Prior to the XXIst Dynasty of ancient Egypt the title God's Wife was given to Pharaoh's wife. During the XXIst Dynasty it was transferred to Pharaoh's daughter, who was consecrated as an oblate to Amun and forbidden to have relations with mortal men. When the Nubians (Ethiopians from Upper Egypt) under Kashta conquered Lower Egypt under Osorkon III in the 8th century BCE and began the XXVth Dynasty, the institution was changed from a religious one to a political position, and a parallel succession of pharaohs and God's wives was established.
A form of adoption was also instituted, whereby each God's wife adopted her successor. Often this amounted to aunt-niece adoption, since the God's wife would be adopting her brother's (Pharaoh's) daughter. The God's wife was a very powerful position, and had its own court, civil service and estates, even though the power was confined to Thebes. The best-known women to hold this position were:
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