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Pillar of Ramsesemperre, Royal Cupbearer and Fanbearer

Pillar of Ramsesemperre, Royal Cupbearer and Fanbearer - The Archaeological Civic Museum of Bologna

Pillar of Ramsesemperre, Royal Cupbearer and Fanbearer

The Pillar of Ramsesemperre with Royal Cupbearer and Fanbearer shows the importance of these roles in the ancient Egyptian Pharaoh’ court. This pillar dates to Ramesses II or slightly later. Ramesses II also known as Ramesses the Great, is often regarded as the greatest, most celebrated, and most powerful pharaoh of the Egyptian Empire.

One famous story about one Royal Cupbearer comes from the Bible in Genesis:

“Sometime later, the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt offended their master, the king of Egypt.  Pharaoh was angry with his two officials, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker, and put them in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, in the same prison where Joseph was confined. The captain of the guard assigned them to Joseph, and he attended them.”

According to the bible story, Joseph had earned a reputation as an interpreter of dreams. He interprets the dreams of the Royal cupbearer and the Royal Baker, while they were imprisoned on suspicion of theft. Joseph prophesied that the cupbearer’s dream means that he will soon be acquitted and returned to his role as Royal Cupbearer, whereas the baker’s dream means that Pharaoh will have him executed. These dream interpretations come to pass.

For the Royal Cupbearer and Fanbearer on this pillar, we do not have a story. We can only imagine what he saw and heard in the Royal Palace of the Pharaoh.

Exhibits of the Archaeological Civic Museum

Reflections

  • Did Cupbearers also play the role of wine taster to make sure there were no poisoning plots?
  • Was this ritual Joseph from the bible stories may have witnessed?
  • How many Royal Cupbearer and Fanbearer would there have been in service ready to serve Ramesses II?
  • What makes Egyptian art unique?

Pillar of Ramsesemperre, Royal Cupbearer and Fanbearer

  • Title:              Pillar of Ramsesemperre, Royal Cupbearer and Fanbearer
  • Created:        1279 – 1204 BC
  • Period:          19th Dynasty, Reign of Ramses II  to Merenptah
  • Find-site:      Saqqara, also spelt Sakkara or Saccara, Egypt
  • Media:           Limestone
  • Museum:      The Archaeological Civic Museum of Bologna

Explore Egyptian Art

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“Know the world in yourself. Never look for yourself in the world, for this would be to project your illusion.”
– Egyptian Proverbs

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Photo Credit 1)JOM

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