Wednesday, December 1, 2010

King Tutankhamun #2

Dr. Hawass, photo by AP
The last two posts introduced us to Dr. Zahi Hawass, the face of Egyptian antiquities to the world.  Dr. Hawass recently oversaw DNA testing on King Tutankhamun (KV62) and other mummies from KV21A, KV35YL, KV55, KV35, and KV35EL.  As it turns out, King Tut's family tree is more like a wreath.

Dr. Hawass with King Tut
Photo on the BBC website

  • His great-aunt was also his grandma.  
  • His Uncle and Aunt were also his mom and dad.  
  • And his wife was his half-sister and cousin!  
For genetic evidence and Tut's family tree, see page 52 in the September 2010 issue of National Geographic.  The coverstory is by Dr. Hawass with stunning photos by Kenneth Garrett.  Ken's site is here.  Dr. Hawass' site is here. 

We link King Tutankhamun to Pope John Paul II this time via bloodlines.  Let's get started.

5 Degrees
of double-helix hijinks!

Photo from National
Geographic, June 2005
Fifth Degree: King Tutankhamun,
The Boy King, the Inbred Emperor, The Club-footed, Cleft-palleted (though not hare-lipped) Kid from Cairo (well, Thebes), restored polytheism to Egypt after his heretical father, Akhenaten, led the country in a monotheistic cult of the sun and pharoh for 20 years.  Rather than remaining in the belief of a single god, Aten and keeping his name Tutankhaten, Tut used the name Tutankhamun.  Tut's grandpa's name, Amenhotep, means "Amun is pleased."

Noksbutzwitbroshet and Tutankhamun
She was the daughter of Nefertiti, very
pretty indeed.  

King Tut and his lovely sister/cousin/wife, Noksbutzwitbroshet (sound it out, I made that up, we don't actually know her name,) conceived two children.  Both babies died in the womb and were mummified and buried with Tutankhamun.  

According to Dr. Hawass' article in the September 2010 National Geographic, tut's sister/cousin/widow wrote to the King of Egypt's arch-rivals, the Hittites, asking him to send her a prince to marry her because "my husband is dead, and I have no son."  The Hittitie king did send a prince, but the prince was killed by the chief commander of Tut's armies, Horemheb.  Horemheb figured he'd marry the queen for himself, but he died before children resulted from that union.  Horemheb left his throne to his army colleague.  That colleague married Noksbutzwithbroshet and took the name Ramses I.  Ramses II was the grandson of Ramses I and therefore the great nephew of the late King Tutankhamun.

Fourth Degree: Ramses II
Ramses' bloodline bore some pretty amazing people.  Ramses himself lived almost 100 years.  Many of his offspring were equally hearty.  They include Xerxes the Great, Saint Isaac The Great of Armenia aka. Saint Isaac of Syria, Henry I of France, Eleanor of Aquitaine, and Henry Plantagenet.  
Bas relief of Xerxes The Great

Mosaic of St. Isaac of Armenia

Eleanor of Aquitaine as played by
Katherine Hepburn in
"A Lion in Winter"

Henry VIII in characature by Amir Taqi

Third Degree: King Henry VIII:  
Some 100 generations after Ramses II, King Henry VIII (Plantagenet) ascended to the throne of England.  Marriage will forever bear the scars of Henry's tussle with the Catholic Church.  

Second Degree: Saint Thomas Moore
In Henry's desperate attempt to get legitimate tail on the side,  he tortured and killed two saints of the church, Cardinal Fisher and Thomas Moore.  These men died because they refused to help their king create a loopole whereby he could divorce his wife, Katherine of Aragon.  Here is a clip from the series "The Tudors."  The scene of Thomas Moore's execution.  I'll spare you the torture of Cardinal Fisher.  

First Degree: Pope Pius XI
Thomas Moore was canonized by
Pope Pius XI in 1935
Tut to Ramses to Henry VIII to Thomas Moore to Pope Pius XI to John Paul II

Coming soon! In King Tut #3, discover the pharoh of the exodus, and how he was related to Tut.

Divorce: Divorce is not possible in Christianity.  God marries two people, but the two people have to be willing participants in the marriage.  The only way for a marriage to be dissolved is if it did not happen in the first place.  This is the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church.*  Annulments can be petitioned for.  They mean that the marriage was never valid.  Here is a short list of reasons for annulment.

  1. one or both parties was not willing to marry on the wedding day
  2. one or both parties were not in their right mind on the wedding day
  3. one or both parties was incapable of consummating the marriage on the wedding day
  4. the wedding was not held in a church and God was not asked to be part of the marriage
Civil divorce is necessary when violence, substance abuse or other intolerable circumstances enter a marriage.  If you divorce YOU ARE STILL CATHOLIC.  Just because you don't live with someone and have protected your children from them etc, does not mean that you are not married to them in the eyes of God.  You can still love your spouse, pray for your spouse, and do nice things for your spouse.  You just can't marry someone else.  Talk to a priest if you have any questions.  
It is not true that money can buy an annulment.  Henry VIII had loads of money, as do the Kennedys of Massachusetts, but both have been unable to get annulments.  If an annulment is fought, its chances of being granted are greatly reduced.

*The Eastern church has a kind of 3-strikes practice which is actually more ancient than the Roman understanding, but with the East, death does NOT end the marriage.  You just can't escape the permanence of marriage in Catholic faith.   When we make a podcast version of the blog, we'll have to discuss this further.

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