Doctor of Philosophy
Joshua A. Roberson
Egyptian New Kingdom triumph scenes, perhaps one of the most recognizable motifs in Egyptian art, adorned the exteriors of temple complexes and depicted the king smiting his enemies and receiving lines of bound toponyms representing subjugated foreign peoples and places. These scenes have often been studied for their relevance to historical geography as well as the military, imperial, and foreign relations history of Egypt. This study approaches New Kingdom triumph scenes instead as composite ideological motifs that deliberately combined specific iconographic and textual elements in a display of royal victory. It identifies the constituent elements of the motif, traces their derivation and diachronic development, and analyzes how those elements were incorporated into New Kingdom triumph scenes to create ideological meaning within that context. In particular, antecedent forms such as smiting scenes, the bound prisoner motif, and litanies of triumph were employed in various ways throughout Egyptian history before they appeared in New Kingdom triumph scenes. This study explores the artistic development of these antecedent forms, their component iconography and text, their ideological messages, and the physical contexts of their usage from the Predynastic to the New Kingdom. From an ideological perspective, the composite content of New Kingdom triumph scenes served three purposes: propaganda through the display of state ideology, protection through apotropaic magic, and accomplishment of politico-religious ritual requirements. These functions were interconnected and would have been contextualized by contemporary audiences through the representational, cultural, historical, and literary traditions that informed them. Thus, the antecedent framework and the diachronic development of the constituent elements determined both the composite form of New Kingdom triumph scenes and their effectiveness as ideological documents displaying themes of royal dominion, royal violence, the otherness of foreigners, divine sanction, and the triumph of ma’at through the destruction of isfet.
Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest.
Vogel, Rebekah Anne, "Smiting All Foreigners, Subduing All Lands: A Diachronic Study of Iconographic, Textual, and Ideological Antecedents of New Kingdom Triumph Scenes" (2022). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 3256.