The investigation of the personal aspects of ancient Egyptian pharaohs is a hazardous undertaking owing to the purposeful orientation of our textual records. Most studies on their reigns concentrate upon the series of monuments and written accounts which have been left to us as well as the numerous high ranking private individuals who worked and performed their duties under the aegis of various rulers. Yet, as is known to every Egyptologist, all of the royal material is particularly difficult to analyze owing to their purposeful orientations. Specifically, what the monarchs wanted to publicize was not their innermost feelings at any specific time and place as we would wish but instead indicate certain reactions to specific events, usually for them very important ones, and most certainly not a psychological summary of their identities. Researches therefore have to sift though a quantity of disparate sources in order to limn the monarch’s persona. On the other hand, so long as the royal accounts are detailed enough some distinct characteristics of a pharaoh can be discerned. Fortunately, when it came to war, the New Kingdom pharaohs, and Pianchy of Kush as well, were determined to provide extensive records of their major campaigns, both pictorially and textually.
The following chapters attempt to do just that. This volume expressly avoids extensive linguistic coverage of the key narratives, partly because of the theme but equally due to the already well-researched historiographic studies that appear.