Ancient Egyptian royal titulary

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The royal titulary or royal protocol is the standard naming convention taken by the pharaohs of ancient Egypt. It symbolises worldly power and holy might and also acts as a sort of mission statement for the reign of a monarch (sometimes it even changed during the reign).

Pharaoh Title of Ancient Egyptian rulers

Pharaoh is the common title of the monarchs of ancient Egypt from the First Dynasty until the annexation of Egypt by the Roman Empire in 30 BCE, although the actual term "Pharaoh" was not used contemporaneously for a ruler until Merneptah, c. 1200 BCE. In the early dynasty, ancient Egyptian kings used to have up to three titles, the Horus, the Sedge and Bee (nswt-bjtj) name, and the Two Ladies (nbtj) name. The Golden Horus and nomen and prenomen titles were later added.

Ancient Egypt ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa

Ancient Egypt was a civilization of ancient North Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in the place that is now the country Egypt. Ancient Egyptian civilization followed prehistoric Egypt and coalesced around 3100 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under Menes. The history of ancient Egypt occurred as a series of stable kingdoms, separated by periods of relative instability known as Intermediate Periods: the Old Kingdom of the Early Bronze Age, the Middle Kingdom of the Middle Bronze Age and the New Kingdom of the Late Bronze Age.

A mission statement is a short statement of why an organization exists, what its overall goal is, identifying the goal of its operations: what kind of product or service it provides, its primary customers or market, and its geographical region of operation. It may include a short statement of such fundamental matters as the organization's values or philosophies, a business's main competitive advantages, or a desired future state—the "vision".

Contents

The full titulary, consisting of five names, did not come into standard usage until the Middle Kingdom but remained in use as late as the Roman Empire.

Middle Kingdom of Egypt period in the history of ancient Egypt between about 2000 BC and 1700 BC

The Middle Kingdom of Egypt is the period in the history of ancient Egypt following a period of political division known as the First Intermediate Period. The Middle Kingdom lasted from around 2050 BC to around 1710 BC, stretching from the reunification of Egypt under the reign of Mentuhotep II of the Eleventh Dynasty to the end of the Twelfth Dynasty. The Eleventh Dynasty ruled from Thebes and the Twelfth Dynasty ruled from el-Lisht. Some scholars also include the Thirteenth Dynasty of Egypt wholly into this period as well, in which case the Middle Kingdom would finish around 1650 BC, while others only include it until Merneferre Ay around 1700 BC, last king of this dynasty to be attested in both Upper and Lower Egypt. During the Middle Kingdom period, Osiris became the most important deity in popular religion. The Middle Kingdom was followed by the Second Intermediate Period of Egypt, another period of division that involved foreign invasions of the country by the Hyksos of West Asia.

Egypt (Roman province) Roman province that encompassed most of modern-day Egypt

The Roman province of Egypt was established in 30 BC after Octavian defeated his rival Mark Antony, deposed Pharaoh Cleopatra, and annexed the Ptolemaic Kingdom to the Roman Empire. The province encompassed most of modern-day Egypt except for the Sinai Peninsula. Aegyptus was bordered by the provinces of Crete and Cyrenaica to the west and Judea to the East.

Origins

In order that the pharaoh, who held divine office, could be linked to the people and the gods, special epithets were created for them at their accession to the throne. These titles also served to demonstrate ones qualities and link them to the terrestrial realm. The five names were developed over the centuries beginning with the Horus Name. [1] [2] This name identified the figure as a representative of the god Horus. [3] The Nebty name (the Two Ladies Name) was the second part of the royal titular [4] [3] of Upper and Lower Egypt. [2] This name placed the king under the protection of two female deities, Nekhbet and Wadjet [4] and began sometime towards the end of the First Dynasty as a reference to "The one who belongs to Upper and lower Egypt", along with mention of the Two Ladies. [2] Beginning sometime in the Fourth Dynasty of Egypt, the Gold Falcon name (sometimes called the Horus of Gold) was created. [5] The last two names of the king, the prenomen and the nomen, were generally depicted within the circular, roped cartouche of the king (eventually the cartouche would contain all royal names, including the queen and the royal children) and were known as the Throne name and the Son of Re name. [5]

Nekhbet Egyptian deity

Nekhbet was an early predynastic local goddess in Egyptian mythology, who was the patron of the city of Nekheb. Ultimately, she became the patron of Upper Egypt and one of the two patron deities for all of Ancient Egypt when it was unified.

Wadjet lion-headed Egyptian goddess, symbolizing the potentially destructive power of the sun, angry avatar of the gentle Bastet

Wadjet, known to the Greek world as Uto or Buto among other names including Wedjat, Uadjet, and Udjo, was originally the ancient local goddess of the city of Dep. It became part of the city that the Egyptians named Per-Wadjet "House of Wadjet" and the Greeks called Buto, which was an important site in prehistoric Egypt and the cultural developments of the Paleolithic.

Upper Egypt strip of land on the Nile valley between Nubia and Lower Egypt

Upper Egypt is the strip of land on both sides of the Nile that extends between Nubia and downriver (northwards) to Lower Egypt.

Horus name

Serekh containing the name of Djet and an association with Wadjet, on display at the Louvre Egypte louvre 290.jpg
Serekh containing the name of Djet and an association with Wadjet, on display at the Louvre
Ancient Egyptian royal titularyAncient Egyptian royal titulary

The Horus name is the oldest form of the pharaoh's name, originating in prehistoric Egypt. Many of the oldest-known Egyptian pharaohs were known only by this title. [6]

Horus name

The Horus name is the oldest known and used crest of Ancient Egyptian rulers. It belongs to the "Great five names" of an Egyptian pharaoh. However, modern Egyptologists and linguists are starting to prefer the more neutral term: the "serekh name". This is because not every pharaoh placed the falcon, which symbolizes the deity Horus, atop his serekh.

Prehistoric Egypt period of earliest human settlement to the beginning of the Early Dynastic Period of Egypt

The prehistory of Egypt spans the period from the earliest human settlement to the beginning of the Early Dynastic Period around 3100 BC, starting with the first Pharaoh, Narmer for some Egyptologists, Hor-Aha for others, with the name Menes also possibly used for one of these kings. This Predynastic era is traditionally equivalent to the final part of the Neolithic period beginning c. 6000 BC and ends in the Naqada III period c. 3000 BC.

The Horus name was usually written in a serekh, a representation of a palace façade. The name of the pharaoh was written in hieroglyphs inside this representation of a palace. Typically an image of the falcon god Horus was perched on top of or beside it. [6]

Serekh

A serekh was a specific important type of heraldic crest used in ancient Egypt. Like the later cartouche, it contained a royal name.

Egyptian hieroglyphs Formal writing system used by the ancient Egyptians

Egyptian hieroglyphs were the formal writing system used in Ancient Egypt. Hieroglyphs combined logographic, syllabic and alphabetic elements, with a total of some 1,000 distinct characters. Cursive hieroglyphs were used for religious literature on papyrus and wood. The later hieratic and demotic Egyptian scripts were derived from hieroglyphic writing, as was the Proto-Sinaitic script that later evolved into the Phoenician alphabet. Through the Phoenician alphabet's major child systems, the Greek and Aramaic scripts, the Egyptian hieroglyphic script is ancestral to the majority of scripts in modern use, most prominently the Latin and Cyrillic scripts and the Arabic script and Brahmic family of scripts.

At least one Egyptian ruler, the Second Dynasty pharoah Seth-Peribsen, used an image of the god Set instead of Horus, perhaps signifying an internal religious division within the country. He was succeeded by Khasekhemwy, who placed the symbols of both Set and Horus above his name. Thereafter, the image of Horus always appeared alongside the name of the pharaoh. [6]

Second Dynasty of Egypt dynasty of ancient Egypt

The Second Dynasty of ancient Egypt is the latter of the two dynasties of the Egyptian Archaic Period, when the seat of government was centred at Thinis. It is most known for its last ruler, Khasekhemwy, but is otherwise one of the most obscure periods in Egyptian history.

Seth-Peribsen ancient Egyptian ruler

Seth-Peribsen is the serekh name of an early Egyptian monarch (pharaoh), who ruled during the Second Dynasty of Egypt. His chronological position within this dynasty is unknown and it is disputed who ruled both before and after him. The duration of his reign is also unknown.

Set (deity) god of the desert, storms, and foreigners in ancient Egyptian religion

Set or Seth is a god of chaos, fire, deserts, trickery, storms, envy, disorder, violence, and foreigners in ancient Egyptian religion. In Ancient Greek, the god's name is given as Sēth (Σήθ). Set had a positive role where he accompanies Ra on his solar boat to repel Apep, the serpent of Chaos. Set had a vital role as a reconciled combatant. He was lord of the red (desert) land where he was the balance to Horus' role as lord of the black (soil) land.

By the time of the New Kingdom, the Horus name was often written without the enclosing serekh.

Nebty ("two ladies") name

Ancient Egyptian royal titulary

The Nebty name (lit. "two ladies") was associated with the so-called "heraldic" goddesses of Upper and Lower Egypt:

The name is first definitively used by the First Dynasty pharaoh Semerkhet, though it only became a fully independent title by the Twelfth Dynasty.

This particular name was not typically framed by a cartouche or serekh, but always begins with the hieroglyphs of a vulture and cobra resting upon two baskets, the dual noun "nebty".

Horus of Gold

Ancient Egyptian royal titulary

Also known as the Golden Horus Name, this form of the pharaoh's name typically featured the image of a Horus falcon perched above or beside the hieroglyph for gold.

The meaning of this particular title has been disputed. One belief is that it represents the triumph of Horus over his uncle Seth, as the symbol for gold can be taken to mean that Horus was "superior to his foes". Gold also was strongly associated in the ancient Egyptian mind with eternity, so this may have been intended to convey the pharaoh's eternal Horus name.

Similar to the Nebty name, this particular name typically was not framed by a cartouche or serekh.

Throne name (prenomen)

Praenomen of the Cartouche of Thutmose II preceded by Sedge and Bee symbols, Temple of Hatshepsut, Luxor Luxor, hieroglyphs on an obelisk inside the Temple of Hatshepsut, Egypt, Oct 2004.jpg
Praenomen of the Cartouche of Thutmose II preceded by Sedge and Bee symbols, Temple of Hatshepsut, Luxor
Ancient Egyptian royal titulary
Ancient Egyptian royal titulary
Ancient Egyptian royal titulary
Ancient Egyptian royal titulary

The pharaoh's throne name, the first of the two names written inside a cartouche, and usually accompanied the title nsw-bity (nsw(t)-bjt(j)), traditionally interpreted as "[He] of sedge [and] bee" and often translated for convenience as "King of Upper and of Lower Egypt", with the sedge and bee being symbols for Upper and Lower Egypt, respectively, [7] [8] although recent research has thrown this interpretation into doubt. [9] [10]

The epithet nb tꜣwy, "Lord of the Two Lands", referring to valley and delta regions of Egypt, often occurs as well.[ clarification needed ]

Personal name (nomen)

Ancient Egyptian royal titularyAncient Egyptian royal titulary
 

This was the name given at birth. The name itself was preceded by the title "Son of Ra", written with the hieroglyph of a duck (za), a homonym for the word meaning "son" (za), adjacent to an image of the sun, a hieroglyph for the chief solar deity Ra. It was first introduced to the set of royal titles in the Fourth Dynasty and emphasizes the king's role as a representative of the solar god Ra. For women who became pharaoh, the preceding title was interpreted as "daughter" also.

Modern historians typically refer to the ancient kings of Egypt by this name, adding ordinals (e.g. "II", "III") to distinguish between different individuals bearing the same name.

Examples of the full titulary

Senusret I

In the Middle Kingdom, the full titulary was sometimes written in a single cartouche, as in this example from Senusret I, from Beni Hasan.

Senusret five fold titulary.jpg

Hatshepsut

The full titulary of Eighteenth Dynasty pharaoh Hatshepsut, providing a guide to pronunciation and its equivalent meaning and showing the differences since this pharaoh is a woman, is as follows,

  • Horus name: Wesretkau, "Mighty of Kas"
  • Nebty name: Wadjrenput, "She of the Two Ladies, Flourishing of years"
  • Golden Horus: Netjeretkhau, "Divine of appearance" (Netjeret is the feminine form of netery meaning 'godly' or 'divine', and khau, 'appearances')
  • Praenomen: Maatkare, "Truth [Ma'at] is the Ka of Re"
  • Nomen: Khnumt-Amun Hatshepsut, "Joined with Amun, Foremost of Noble Ladies"

Thutmose III

Ancient Egyptian royal titulary
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serekh or Horus name
Ancient Egyptian royal titulary
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Ancient Egyptian royal titulary
Nebty name
Ancient Egyptian royal titulary
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Golden Horus name
Ancient Egyptian royal titularyAncient Egyptian royal titulary
Hiero Ca1.svg
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Hiero Ca2.svg
praenomen or throne name
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nomen or birth name
Thutmose III
in hieroglyphs

The full titulary of Eighteenth Dynasty pharaoh Thutmose III, providing a guide to pronunciation and its equivalent meaning, is as follows

  • Horus name: Kanakht Khaemwaset, "Horus Mighty Bull, Arising in Thebes"
  • Nebty name: Wahnesytmireempet, "He of the Two Ladies, Enduring in kingship like Re in heaven"
  • Golden Horus: Sekhempahtydjeserkhaw, "Horus of Gold Powerful of strength, Sacred of appearance"
  • Praenomen: Menkheperre, "He of the Sedge and the Bee, Enduring of form is Re"
  • Nomen: Thutmose Neferkheperu, "Son of Ra, Thutmose, beautiful of forms"

Bibliography

Related Research Articles

In Egyptian history, the Upper and Lower Egypt period was the final stage of prehistoric Egypt and directly preceded the nation's unification. The conception of Egypt as the Two Lands was an example of the dualism in ancient Egyptian culture and appeared frequently in texts and imagery, including in the titles of Egyptian pharaohs.

Cartouche oval with inscriptions

In Egyptian hieroglyphs, a cartouche is an oval with a horizontal line at one end, indicating that the text enclosed is a royal name. They came into common use during the beginning of the Fourth Dynasty under Pharaoh Sneferu, but earlier examples date to the mid Second Dynasty on Cylinder Seals of Seth-Peribsen. While the cartouche is usually vertical with a horizontal line, if it makes the name fit better it can be horizontal, with a vertical line at the end . The Ancient Egyptian word for it was shenu, and it was essentially an expanded shen ring. In Demotic, the cartouche was reduced to a pair of brackets and a vertical line.

Uraeus stylized, upright form of an Egyptian cobra used as a symbol of sovereignty, royalty, deity and divine authority in Ancient Egypt

The Uraeus is the stylized, upright form of an Egyptian cobra, used as a symbol of sovereignty, royalty, deity and divine authority in ancient Egypt.

Hor-Aha Egyptian pharaoh

Hor-Aha is considered the second pharaoh of the First Dynasty of Egypt by some Egyptologists, others consider him the first one and corresponding to Menes. He lived around the 31st century BC and is thought to have had a long reign.

Mentuhotep I Egyptian pharaoh

Mentuhotep I may have been a Theban nomarch and independent ruler of Upper Egypt during the early First Intermediate Period. Alternatively, Mentuhotep I may be a fictional figure created during the later Eleventh dynasty, which rose to prominence under Intef II and Mentuhotep II, playing the role of a founding father.

Semerkhet Egyptian pharaoh

Semerkhet is the Horus name of an early Egyptian king who ruled during the first dynasty. This ruler became known through a tragic legend handed down by the ancient Greek historian, Manetho, who reported that a calamity of some sort occurred during Semerkhet's reign. The archaeological records seem to support the view that Semerkhet had a difficult time as king and some early archaeologists even questioned the legitimacy of Semerkhet's succession to the Egyptian throne.

Qahedjet

Qahedjet could be the horus name of an Ancient Egyptian king (pharaoh) who may have ruled during the 3rd dynasty or could be a voluntarily archaistic representation of Thutmose III. Since the only artifact attesting the ruler and his name is a small stela made of polished limestone of uncertain origin and authenticity, Egyptologists are discussing the chronological position and historical figure of Qahedjet.

Two Ladies

In Ancient Egyptian texts, the "Two Ladies" was a religious euphemism for the goddesses Wadjet and Nekhbet, two deities who were patrons of the Ancient Egyptians and worshiped by all after the unification of its two parts, Lower Egypt, and Upper Egypt. When the two parts of Egypt were joined together, there was no merger of these deities as often occurred with similar deities from various regions and cities. Both goddesses were retained because of the importance of their roles and they became known as the Two Ladies, who were the protectors of unified Egypt.

The Egyptian hieroglyph representing gold, phonetic value nb, is important due to its use in the Horus-of-Gold name, one of the Fivefold Titulary names of the Egyptian pharaoh.

Stela of Queen Tetisheri Ancient Egyptian queen

The Stela of Tetisheri is a limestone donation stele erected by Pharaoh Ahmose I, founder of the Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt. It sits in the construction of his mortuary complex that included a cenotaph to his grandmother Queen Tetisheri, Senakhtenre's Great Royal Wife and grandmother of both Ahmose and his Principal Wife, Ahmose-Nefertari.

Neithhotep

Neithhotep or Neith-hotep was an ancient Egyptian queen consort living and ruling during the early First Dynasty. She was once thought to be a male ruler: her outstandingly large mastaba and the royal serekh surrounding her name on several seal impressions previously led Egyptologists and historians to the erroneous belief that she may have been an unknown king.

In ancient Egyptian art, the Set animal, or sha, is the totemic animal of the god Set. Because Set was identified with the Greek Typhon, the animal is also commonly known as the Typhonian animal or Typhonic beast.

Nebty name

The Nebty name was one of the "great five names" used by Egyptian pharaohs. It was also one of the oldest royal titles. The modern term "Two-Ladies-name" is a simple derivation from the translation of the Egyptian word nebty.

Prenomen (Ancient Egypt)

The prenomen, cartouche name or throne name of ancient Egypt was one of the five royal names of pharaohs. The first pharaoh to have a Sedge and Bee name was Den during the First Dynasty.

Nomen (Ancient Egypt) part of Ancient Egyptian royal titulary; one of the pharaohs five names

The nomen of Ancient Egyptian pharaohs was one of the "Great five names". It was introduced by king Djedefre, third pharaoh of the 4th Dynasty, as an emendation to the traditional nswt-bity crest. The nomen was later separated from the prenomen to become an independent royal name.

References

  1. Toby A.H. Wilkinson (11 September 2002). Early Dynastic Egypt. Routledge. p. 172. ISBN   978-1-134-66420-7.
  2. 1 2 3 Ronald J. Leprohon (30 April 2013). The Great Name: Ancient Egyptian Royal Titulary. SBL Press. pp. 1–15. ISBN   978-1-58983-736-2.
  3. 1 2 Günther Hölbl (1 February 2013). A History of the Ptolemaic Empire. Routledge. p. 79. ISBN   978-1-135-11983-6.
  4. 1 2 Paul D. LeBlanc (1 December 2017). Deciphering the Proto-Sinaitic Script: Making Sense of the Wadi el-Hol and Serabit el-Khadim Early Alphabetic Inscriptions. Subclass Press. p. 47. ISBN   978-0-9952844-0-1.
  5. 1 2 James P. Allen (2000). Middle Egyptian: An Introduction to the Language and Culture of Hieroglyphs. Cambridge University Press. pp. 64–66. ISBN   978-0-521-77483-3.
  6. 1 2 3 Toby A. H. Wilkinson: Early Dynastic Egypt. Routledge, London/New York 1999, ISBN   0-415-18633-1, p. 74-75.
  7. Sethe, Kurt (1911) “Das Wort für König von Oberägypten” in Zeitschrift für Ägyptische Sprache und Altertumskunde, vol. 42, issue 1-2
  8. Ewa Wasilewska, Creation Stories of the Middle East, 2000, 130f.
  9. Peust, Carsten (2007) “Zur Bedeutung und Etymologie von nzw ‘König’” in Göttinger Miszellen, 213, pp. 59-62
  10. Schenkel, Wolfgang (1986) “Das Wort für König (von Oberägypten)” in Göttinger Miszellen, 94, pp. 57-73