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"The farm is my birthright. I will work it as long as I can."
―Iras to Bayek, 48 BCE[src]
ACO Iras

Iras

Iras was a Greco-Egyptian woman who owned a date farm on the road from Yamu to Alexandria from 48 BCE onward. She inherited the farm from her father Uteh when he, along with the rest of her family, were murdered by soldiers sent by the wealthy Alexandrian Sophronios in the hopes of seizing their land by force. Thanks to the help of the Medjay Bayek of Siwa, Iras was saved from Sophronios and allowed to rebuild her farm in peace.

Biography

For centuries, Iras's family of Greek descent had owned a plot of land on the road from Yamu and Alexandria by Lake Mareotis. They were date farmers although they had left this particular farm untended for all their years of ownership until the middle of the 1st century BCE. Under Uteh, Iras's father, the family finally began to cultivate the farm; their success, however, soon drew the envy of a wealthy Alexandrian by the name of Sophronios.[1]

Iras was only a young girl in 48 BCE when her family were slaughtered at their farm by soldiers sent by Sophronios in retaliation for Uteh refusing to concede the property through a false deed of sale. The entire farm was razed, but Iras, alone, managed to survive. Determined to give her family over to the priests in Yamu for a proper burial, she laboriously brought each of the three bodies of her slain kin one-by-one down to the Temple of Sekhmet. There, the bodies were laid down in natron while they awaited mummification by the Head Embalmer.[1]

In the meantime, Iras returned to her farm, determined to maintain what was now her birthright. However, Sophronios' soldiers soon returned to finish off Iras, forcing her to hide in a well. They never found her; instead, they were slain to the last man by the Medjay Bayek who arrived to help her after hearing of her ordeal. In response to Bayek's offer to guarantee her future safety, Iras informed him that she heard they were based in a villa northwest of the farm.[1]

Although Bayek was able to assassinate Sophronios in Alexandria not long after he investigated the lead at the villa, given his own pressing matters to meet his wife Aya in that city, he did not find it convenient to ride back to Iras to deliver the good news.[1] It was only sometime later when Bayek once again found himself on the road between Yamu and Alexandria that he stopped by her farm to notify her of his success. Assured that she would be able to cultivate her farm without further danger, Iras hoped that someday, she would have the means to return to her home of Alexandria.[2]

Personality and characteristics

"I wish it had been I who slit his throat."
―Iras, hearing of Sophronios's death; 48 BCE[src]

Strong-willed and resilient, Iras proved her mental fortitude in coping with the murder of her entire family. In the immediate aftermath, she undertook the arduous duty of carrying each of her family's body down the long road to Yamu all by herself, one after another, proving her powerful sense of determination and responsibility. While the Head Embalmer of Yamu pitied her plight, worried for the fate of an orphaned girl deprived of her family's livelihood, she defied his expectations by remaining unfazed, fully prepared to rebuild her family's farm alone if she had to. Even without any means of defense and having witnessed her family's deaths firsthand, she steadfastly refused to yield what had become her inheritance.[1]

Like Bayek, Iras, too, felt pangs of vengeance over the murder of her family. Upon receiving news of Sophronios's death, she admitted that she wished that somehow she had been the one to execute him herself. Finding parallels with his own bitter path of violence, Bayek corrected her: it was not a deed to envy, much to her apology.[2]

Appearance

References