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The Great Name

The Great Name: Ancient Egyptian Royal Titulary

Ronald J. Leprohon
Edited by Denise M. Doxey
  • Book Info
    The Great Name
    Book Description:

    The titulary of the ancient Egyptian king was one of the symbols of authority he assumed at his coronation. At first consisting only of the Horus name, the titulary grew to include other phrases chosen to represent the king’s special relationship with the divine world. By the Middle Kingdom (late twenty-first century B.C.E.), the full fivefold titulary was clearly established, and kings henceforth used all five names regularly. This volume includes all rulers’ names from the so-called Dynasty 0 (ca. 3200 B.C.E.) to the last Ptolemaic ruler in the late first century B.C.E., offered in transliteration and English translation with an introduction and notes.

    eISBN: 978-1-58983-736-2
    Subjects: History, Religion

Table of Contents

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  1. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  2. List of Figures
    (pp. ix-x)
  3. Series Editor’s Foreword
    (pp. xi-xii)
    Theodore J. Lewis

    Writings from the Ancient World is designed to provide up-to-date, readable English translations of writings recovered from the ancient Near East.

    The series is intended to serve the interests of general readers, students, and educators who wish to explore the ancient Near Eastern roots of Western civilization or to compare these earliest written expressions of human thought and activity with writings from other parts of the world. It should also be useful to scholars in the humanities or social sciences who need clear, reliable translations of ancient Near Eastern materials for comparative purposes. Specialists in particular areas of the ancient...

  4. Chronological Table
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  5. Map of Egypt
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  6. Abbreviations
    (pp. xix-xx)
  7. I Introduction
    (pp. 1-20)

    The pharaoh is one of the most recognizable figures in ancient Egypt. As far back as the late Predynastic period, a ruler was easily identifiable in a pictorial composition by the fact that he was depicted on a larger scale than the other human figures around him.¹ Other symbols of authority were the regalia the king wore and the titulary he assumed at his coronation. At first consisting only of the so-called Horus name, the titulary was expanded over time to include other epithets chosen to represent the king’s special relationship with the divine world. By the time of the...

  8. II Early Dynastic Period
    (pp. 21-30)

    The designation “Dynasty 0,”¹ in the Prehistoric period referred to as Nagada IIIb,² was first used by James E. Quibell to describe artefacts he discovered at Hierakonpolis whose archaeological context made it plain that they preceded those of the First Dynasty.³ King Scorpion, whose famous macehead is now in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (no. AN1896–1908.E3632),⁴ is a well-known example of such rulers. Another group, which also immediately precedes the First Dynasty, is firmly attested from the royal Cemetery B at Abydos.⁵

    The three main Upper Egyptian centers of power at the time were Abydos, Nagada, and Hierakonpolis. As the...

  9. III Old Kingdom
    (pp. 31-48)

    The period of Dynasties 3 to 8 is the so-called Pyramid Age, when astonishing technological and architectural advances allowed the building of these magnificent structures. By the time of the Third Dynasty, the problems besetting the end of the previous dynasty seemed to have been resolved and the palace could move on to governing the country. The crowning achievement of the age was the Step Pyramid at Saqqara, built for King Djoser by his architect Imhotep. Transforming the traditional media of mud brick and vegetation into stone, Imhotep was able to translate the older perishable architectural motifs into a design...

  10. IV First Intermediate Period
    (pp. 49-53)

    Following the accelerating decentralization of the country after the Sixth Dynasty, the nomarchs of the twentieth Upper Egyptian nome in their home base of Neni-Nesu (Greek Herakleopolis) declared themselves heirs to the Horus throne. This line, which is ignored by the compilers of the Abydos List, was assigned two different figures by Manetho in his numbering of dynasties,² but is actually the same family and, in fact, is treated as such in the Turin Canon.³ Hence they are grouped together here. It is likely that the Tenth Dynasty ruled only Lower and Middle Egypt and was contemporary with the early...

  11. V Middle Kingdom
    (pp. 54-80)

    Around the middle of the twenty-first century B.C.E., King Mentuhotep II defeated the Herakleopolitans and ended the civil war. To indicate the various stages of his reign, he changed his titulary a number of times.¹ The three stages of this process are labeled (a), (b), and (c) in the list. The first set of names comes from early in his reign, when he called himself the Horussʿnḫ ib t3wy,“The one who has sustained the mind of the Two Lands.” By his fourteenth regnal year, this was changed to the Horus and Two Ladiesnṯri ḥḏt,“The one whose...

  12. VI Second Intermediate Period
    (pp. 81-92)

    Around the middle of the seventeenth century B.C.E., Egypt suffered a humiliating foreign occupation of the northeastern part of the country. The invaders from western Asia are commonly known as the Hyksos, a term derived from the Egyptian expressionheqa khasut,“Ruler of Foreign Lands,” a phrase the first three Hyksos rulers used in their own titulary. The old model of a sudden and violent invasion, an impression mostly derived from later New Kingdom propagandistic texts,¹ has been revised in the light of recent archaeological work. The latter has shown already existing settlements of Asiatics in the eastern Delta, into...

  13. VII New Kingdom
    (pp. 93-135)

    Even though King Ahmose (II) was part of the previous royal family, his complete victory over the Hyksos anciently earned him the honor of being considered the inaugurator of the new era we call the New Kingdom.¹ Flush with victory, the Egyptians embarked on their greatest adventure yet. First turning to the south, they secured Lower and Upper Nubia, going as far up as the Fifth Cataract. Once this was accomplished, they cast their eye to the northeast. Still stinging from the occupation and perhaps feeling that the best defense was a good offense, the Egyptians set about creating a...

  14. VIII Third Intermediate Period
    (pp. 136-163)

    With the death of Ramses XI, a new set of rulers claimed the throne and established themselves at Tanis, north of the previous residence of Per-Ramses. Its first king was Smendes, who may have been married to one of Ramses XI’s daughters. The Tanite kings recognized the semi-independent power of the High Priests of Amun in Thebes, and this tenuous relationship was maintained through various marriage ties. Egypt suffered more internal difficulties at this time, including the ongoing robbing of the royal tombs in the Valley of the Kings, which forced the Theban authorities to collect the royal mummies and...

  15. IX Late Period
    (pp. 164-174)

    When the Assyrians drove the Kushites back to Napata, they installed a family from Sais as their representatives in Egypt. The new king, Psamtek I, soon took advantage of his masters’ absence to declare himself independent, beginning what we designate as the Twenty-Sixth Dynasty. He also secured Upper Egypt and its Theban governor Mentuemhat by having his daughter Nitocris adopted by Shepenwepet II, the Kushite God’s Wife of Amun.¹

    In western Asia, the Twenty-Sixth Dynasty backed its Assyrian allies against the growing power of Babylon. Pharaoh’s foreign adventures came to a halt in 605 B.C.E. at the hands of King...

  16. X The Macedonian And Ptolemaic Dynasties
    (pp. 175-188)

    Alexander the Great defeated the Persians and invaded Egypt in 332 B.C.E. He immediately endeared himself to the Egyptians by adopting their ways and paying homage to their gods. For the latter, he went as far as the Oasis of Siwa in the Western Desert, where he was purported to have been confirmed as pharaoh by the oracle of the temple of Amun there. He founded the city of Alexandria, his new capital on the Mediterranean in the northwestern Delta. Unfortunately, Alexander’s success was short-lived. He died in Babylon in 323 B.C.E., and his hard-won empire was soon divided among...

  17. Appendix A. Index of Royal Names
    (pp. 189-230)
  18. Appendix B. Alphabetical List of Kings
    (pp. 231-240)
  19. Appendix C. Greek–Egyptian Equivalents of Royal Names
    (pp. 241-242)
  20. Bibliography
    (pp. 243-260)
  21. Concordances
    (pp. 269-271)