Pharaoh and his Brothers

Stefan Jakob

In the highly developed framework of international relationships during the Near Eastern Late Bronze Age, one central aspect is the concept of 'brotherhood': In their correspondence, the kings of the major powers addressed each other as 'my brother' as an expression of their equality.

They employed familiar language as if they were real relatives. Nevertheless, they never meet face-to-face. The personal contact between the royal courts was the task of the rulers' envoys.

New evidence for the way these men are passing through foreign countries, their itineraries, the size of delegations e.g. from Hatti, Amurru, Sidon and not least Egypt, has been found in the archive of the Middle Assyrian relay station Harbe (modern Tall Huwera) in Northern Syria.

A group of letters, written in the office of the Assyrian Grand Vizier, also reveals a snapshot of the political situation in the region between Egypt, Anatolia and Mesopotamia at the end of the 13th century B.C.

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To reference this article we suggest
Jakob, S., 'Pharaoh and his Brothers', BMSAES 6 (2006), 12-30,

Contact details for the author

Seminar für Sprachen und Kulturen des Vorderen Orients (Assyrilogie), Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, Hauptstrasse 126, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany