- The main source on her is one paragraph in Herodotus’s Histories, which I’ll reproduce here in full: “To avenge her brother (he was king of Egypt and was slain by his subjects who then gave Nitocris the sovereignty) she put many Egyptians to death by guile. She built a spacious underground chamber; then, with the pretence of handselling it, but with far other intent in her mind, she gave a great feast, inviting those Egyptians whom she knew to have been most concerned in her brother’s murder; and, while they feasted, she let the river in upon them by a great secret channel. This was all that the priests told of her, save that when she had done this, she cast herself into chamber of hot ashes, thereby to escape vengeance.” ↩
- The hieroglyphs here are taken from the art for Hatshepsut – I was strapped for time – save for the ones enclosed by an elongated circle on the screen left wall, behind the musicians. That is the ostensible name of Nitocris as written on the Royal Papyrus of Turin – or so it was thought. More on this in a bit. ↩
- For a long time the only evidence of Nitocris, outside of Herodotus and Manetho, was from the aforementioned Royal Papyrus of Turin, an extremely tattered listing of Egyptian rulers. For many years – possibly back to Herodotus’s time? – it had been assembled incorrectly, and listed Nitocris at the end of the 6th Dynasty. Using microscopic analysis in 2000, though, historian Kim Ryholt discovered the correct ordering, and that the fragment assumed to refer to Nitocris was, in fact, referring to one of the names of a previously-established male king. As it stands, there’s no architecture or tomb or any other evidence of Nitocris’s reign, aside from ancient Greek texts. Still, great story! ↩
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Next Time on Rejected Princesses
Defeating aboriginal golems with hot bread? Should have called her tribe Waddawoman. (or in modern spelling, Wardawoman)