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Horemheb was the last king of the 18th dynasty of Egypt. He is believed to have come from Heraklepolis, which is located near the entrance of Fayoum. Nothing much is known about the parents of this pharaoh. Horemheb was most likely a military officer during the reign of Amenhotep III and became a commander during the rule of Akhenaten.
Horemheb became the deputy of the king during the reign of Tutankhamen, during which he enjoyed much more freedom than at any time before. During this time Horemheb was able to carry on some military operations in Syria.
The birth name of Horemheb was Horemheb Meryamun, which means "Horus in is Jubilation, Beloved of Amun." The name of this king is often also written as Horemhab or Haremhab. The throne name of the ruler was Djeserkheperure Setepenre, which meant "Holy are the manifestations of Re, Chosen of Re."
Horemheb was an ambitious man. After the death of Ay, Horemheb succeeded as the king of Egypt in 1321 B.C. Horemheb is believed to have been middle-aged when he ascended the throne and he consolidated his rise as an Egyptian king only after marrying Mutnodjment who was probably the sister of Nefertiti and the songstress of Amun. The pharaoh thus managed to form a link back with the female royal bloodline, even though it was tenuous. A recently discovered tomb at Saqqara shows that the king had an earlier wife as well by the name of Amenia. The bones recovered at the tomb make us believe that Mutnodjment might have died due to poor health during childbirth and it also seems no other children outlived the pharaoh.
Regardless of the many efforts made by Horemheb, tomb robbers succeeded in vandalising pharaonic tombs during his reign. An example is the restoration of the tomb which belonged to Tuthmosis IV. He is also associated with the re-closure of the tomb of Tutankhamen, and Maya is supposed to have helped him during all the restoration work.
Horemheb tried to consolidate his hold by dividing the army into two separate commanders after rising to the throne. He put one division in charge of northern Egypt and a second for southern or Lower Egypt. In addition to the restoration of traditional religion in Egypt, many other works were undertaken under Horemheb, although not much information is available in this regard. Horemheb's rock-cut sanctuary at Silsila also speaks of a Nubian military operation.
In addition to religious restoration efforts, an inscription on the north face of the tenth pylon at Karnak was duplicated at Abydos which described the desire of the king to remedy many excesses that were committed by the servants of the state. All these documents were named as the Great Edict of Horemheb, and it says that the king invoked very harsh punishments to those who were found guilty of corruption. Punishments included unlawful requisitioning of boats and slaves, illegal taxation, theft of cattle hides, fraud in assessing lawful taxes and extortion of local mayors by officials.