List of ancient Egyptian dynasties

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In Ancient Egyptian history, dynasties are series of rulers sharing a common origin. They are usually, but not always, traditionally divided into thirty-two pharaonic dynasties. The first thirty divisions are due to the 3rd century BC Egyptian priest Manetho, and appeared in his now-lost work Aegyptiaca, which was perhaps written for the Greek-speaking Ptolemaic ruler of Egypt. The names of the last two, the short-lived Thirty-First Dynasty and the longer-lasting Ptolemaic Dynasty, are later coinings.

History of ancient Egypt aspect of history

The history of ancient Egypt spans the period from the early prehistoric settlements of the northern Nile valley to the Roman conquest, in 30 BC. The Pharaonic Period is dated from the 32nd century BC, when Upper and Lower Egypt were unified, until the country fell under Macedonian rule, in 332 BC.

Dynasty sequence of rulers considered members of the same family

A dynasty is a sequence of rulers from the same family, usually in the context of a feudal or monarchical system, but sometimes also appearing in elective republics. Alternative terms for "dynasty" may include "house", "family" and "clan", among others. The longest-surviving dynasty in the world is the Imperial House of Japan, otherwise known as the Yamato dynasty, whose reign is traditionally dated to 660 BC.

Manetho Egyptian historian and priest from Ancient Egypt

Manetho is believed to have been an Egyptian priest from Sebennytos who lived in the Ptolemaic Kingdom in the early third century BC, during the Hellenistic period. He authored the Aegyptiaca in Greek, a major chronological source for the reigns of the pharaohs of ancient Egypt. It is unclear if he wrote his work during the reign of Ptolemy I Soter or Ptolemy II Philadelphos, but no later than that of Ptolemy III Euergetes.


While widely used and useful, the system does have its shortcomings. Some dynasties only ruled part of Egypt and existed concurrently with other dynasties based in other cities. The Seventh might not have existed at all, the Tenth seems to be a continuation of the Ninth, and there might have been one or several Upper Egyptian Dynasties before the First Dynasty.

The Seventh Dynasty of Egypt would mark the beginning of the First Intermediate Period in the early 22nd century BC but its actual existence is debated. The only historical account on the Seventh Dynasty was in Manetho's Aegyptiaca, a history of Egypt written in the 3rd century BC, where the Seventh Dynasty appears essentially as a metaphor for chaos. Since next to nothing is known of this dynasty beyond Manetho's account, Egyptologists such as Jürgen von Beckerath and Toby Wilkinson have usually considered it to be fictitious. In a 2015 re-appraisal of the fall of the Old Kingdom, the Egyptologist Hracht Papazian has proposed that the Seventh Dynasty was real and that it consisted of kings usually attributed to the Eighth Dynasty.

The Tenth Dynasty of ancient Egypt is often combined with the 7th, 8th, 9th and early 11th Dynasties under the group title First Intermediate Period.

The Ninth Dynasty of ancient Egypt is often combined with the 7th, 8th, 10th and early 11th Dynasties under the group title First Intermediate Period. The dynasty that seems to have supplanted the 8th Dynasty is extremely obscure. The takeover by the rulers of Herakleopolis was violent and is reflected in Manetho's description of Achthoes, the founder of the dynasty, as 'more terrible than his predecessors', who 'wrought evil things for those in all Egypt".

List of dynasties in ancient Egyptian history

DynastySeatPeriod of ruleRulers
StartEndTermFirst to ruleLast to ruleList
Early Dynastic Period
Dynasty I Thinis 3100 BCE2900 BCE200 years Narmer Qa'a (list)
Dynasty II Thinis 2890 BCE2686 BCE204 years Hotepsekhemwy Khasekhemwy (list)
Old Kingdom
Dynasty III Memphis 2686 BCE2613 BCE73 years Djoser Huni (list)
Dynasty IV Memphis 2613 BCE2494 BCE119 years Sneferu Shepseskaf
Thamphthis [lower-alpha 1]
Dynasty V Memphis 2494 BCE2345 BCE149 years Userkaf Unas (list)
Dynasty VI Memphis 2345 BCE2181 BCE164 years Teti Merenre Nemtyemsaf II
Netjerkare Siptah [lower-alpha 2]
Nitocris [lower-alpha 3]
First Intermediate Period
Dynasty VII [lower-alpha 4] Memphis [1] :396UnknownUnknownUnknownUnknownUnknown(list)
Dynasty VIII Memphis [1] :3962181 BCE2160 BCE21 years Netjerkare Siptah [lower-alpha 2]
Neferirkare II (list)
Dynasty IX Heracleopolis Magna 2160 BCE2130 BCE30 years Meryibre Khety [lower-alpha 5] Unknown(list)
Dynasty X Heracleopolis Magna 2130 BCE2040 BCE90 years Meryhathor Unknown(list)
Middle Kingdom
Dynasty XI [lower-alpha 6] Thebes 2130 BCE1991 BCE139 years Intef Mentuhotep IV (list)
Dynasty XII Itjtawy 1991 BCE1802 BCE189 years Amenemhat I Sobekneferu (list)
Dynasty XIII [lower-alpha 7] Itjtawy 1803 BCE1649 BCE154 years Sekhemre Khutawy Sobekhotep Unknown(list)
Second Intermediate Period
Dynasty XIV Avaris 1725 BCE1650 BCE75 years Yakbim Sekhaenre [lower-alpha 8] Unknown(list)
Dynasty XV Avaris 1650 BCE1550 BCE100 years Salitis Khamudi (list)
Abydos dynasty [lower-alpha 9] Abydos 1650 BCE1600 BCE50 yearsUnknownUnknown(list)
Dynasty XVI Thebes
1649 BCE1582 BCE67 years Anat-her Unknown(list)
Dynasty XVII Thebes 1580 BCE1550 BCE30 years Rahotep Kamose (list)
New Kingdom
Dynasty XVIII Thebes
1550 BCE1292 BCE258 years Ahmose I Horemheb (list)
Dynasty XIX Thebes
1292 BCE1189 BCE103 years Ramesses I Twosret (list)
Dynasty XX Pi-Ramesses 1189 BCE1077 BCE112 years Setnakhte Ramesses XI (list)
Third Intermediate Period
Dynasty XXI Tanis 1069 BCE943 BCE126 years Smendes Psusennes II (list)
Dynasty XXII Bubastis 943 BCE720 BCE223 years Shoshenq I Osorkon IV (list)
Dynasty XXIII Heracleopolis Magna
837 BCE728 BCE109 years Harsiese A Rudamun (list)
Dynasty XXIV Sais 732 BCE720 BCE12 years Tefnakht Bakenranef (list)
Dynasty XXV
Memphis 744 BCE656 BCE88 years Piye Tantamani (list)
Late Period
Dynasty XXVI Sais 664 BCE525 BCE139 years Psamtik I Psamtik III (list)
Dynasty XXVII
Babylon 525 BCE404 BCE121 years Cambyses II Darius II (list)
Dynasty XXVIII Sais 404 BCE398 BCE6 years Amyrtaeus Amyrtaeus (list)
Dynasty XXIX Mendes 398 BCE380 BCE18 years Nepherites I Nepherites II (list)
Dynasty XXX Sebennytos 380 BCE343 BCE37 years Nectanebo I Nectanebo II (list
Dynasty XXXI
Babylon 343 BCE332 BCE11 years Artaxerxes III Darius III (list)
Greco–Roman Period
Argead dynasty
Alexandria 332 BCE309 BCE23 years Alexander III of Macedon Alexander IV of Macedon (list)
Ptolemaic dynasty
Alexandria 305 BCE30 BCE275 years Ptolemy I Soter Caesarion (list)
Egypt was incorporated into the Roman Empire in 30 BCE.
(see Roman Egypt and List of Roman dynasties)

Reigning times of the 31 Egyptian Dynasties.png
The 31 pre-Ptolemaic dynasties by the length of their rule (in 25-year bins), [lower-alpha 10] each dynasty being a coloured box. The early dynasties and the three Kingdoms are blue, with darker colours meaning older. Intermediate periods are red, orange, and yellow. Note that multiple dynasties could reign from different cities simultaneously in intermediate periods and at the end of the Middle Kingdom. Dynastic reigning times are often very approximate; the above uses the dates of the Egyptian dynasty list template.

See also


  1. The existence of Thamphthis is not archaeologically attested.
  2. 1 2 Netjerkare Siptah could either be the last monarch of Dynasty VI or the founder of Dynasty VIII depending on the historian's characterization.
  3. The existence of Nitocris is not archaeologically attested.
  4. The only historical account of Dynasty VII was found in Aegyptiaca by Manetho. Some historians consider Dynasty VII to be fictitious. [1] :393 [2] :xiii
  5. Some historians consider Meryibre Khety to be the founder of Dynasty IX, [3] [4] [5] [6] while others believe that Meryibre Khety reigned during Dynasty X. [7]
  6. Dynasty XI before the reign of Mentuhotep II is typically classified as part of the First Intermediate Period of Egypt.
  7. Some historians classify Dynasty XIII as part of the Second Intermediate Period of Egypt.
  8. Some historians consider Yakbim Sekhaenre to be the founder of Dynasty XIV, [8] while others believe Yakbim Sekhaenre reigned during Dynasty XVI. [9]
  9. The existence of the Abydos dynasty is debated.
  10. Starting on the far right of this chart, only one dynasty lasted over 250 years (18th dynasty). Two dynasties lasted between 200 and 225 years (two boxes). One dynasty lasted between 175 and 200 years (one box), etc.

Related Research Articles

The Ptolemaic dynasty, sometimes also known as the Lagids or Lagidae, was a Macedonian Greek royal family, which ruled the Ptolemaic Kingdom in Egypt during the Hellenistic period. Their rule lasted for 275 years, from 305 to 30 BC. They were the last dynasty of ancient Egypt.

The Eighth Dynasty of ancient Egypt is a poorly known and short-lived line of pharaohs reigning in rapid succession in the early 22nd century BC, likely with their seat of power in Memphis. The Eighth Dynasty held sway at a time referred to as the very end of the Old Kingdom or the beginning of the First Intermediate Period. The power of the pharaohs was waning while that of the provincial governors, known as nomarchs, was increasingly important, the Egyptian state having by then effectively turned into a feudal system. In spite of close relations between the Memphite kings and powerful nomarchs, notably in Coptos, the Eighth Dynasty was eventually overthrown by the nomarchs of Heracleopolis Magna, who founded the Ninth Dynasty. The Eighth Dynasty is sometimes combined with the preceding Seventh Dynasty, owing to the lack of archeological evidence for the latter which may be fictitious.

Late Period of ancient Egypt time period of Ancient Egypt

The Late Period of ancient Egypt refers to the last flowering of native Egyptian rulers after the Third Intermediate Period in the 26th Saite Dynasty founded by Psamtik I, but includes the time of Achaemenid Persian rule over Egypt after the conquest by Cambyses II in 525 BC as well. The Late Period existed from 664 BC until 332 BC, following a period of foreign rule by the Nubian 25th dynasty and beginning with a short period of Neo-Assyrian suzerainty, with Psamtik I initially ruling as their vassal. The period ended with the conquests of the Persian Empire by Alexander the Great and establishment of the Ptolemaic dynasty by his general Ptolemy I Soter, one of the Hellenistic diadochi from Macedon in northern Greece. With the Macedonian Greek conquest in the latter half of the 4th century BC, the age of Hellenistic Egypt began.

The Thirteenth Dynasty of ancient Egypt is often combined with Dynasties XI, XII and XIV under the group title Middle Kingdom. Some writers separate it from these dynasties and join it to Dynasties XIV through XVII as part of the Second Intermediate Period. Dynasty XIII lasted from approximately 1803 BC until approximately 1649 BC, i.e. for 154 years.

Nepherites II or Nefaarud II was the last pharaoh of the feeble and short-lived Twenty-ninth Dynasty, the penultimate native dynasty of Egypt.

Sheshi Egyptian pharaoh

Maaibre Sheshi was a ruler of areas of Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period. The dynasty, chronological position, duration and extent of his reign are uncertain and subject to ongoing debate. The difficulty of identification is mirrored by problems in determining events from the end of the Middle Kingdom to the arrival of the Hyksos in Egypt. Nonetheless, Sheshi is, in terms of the number of artifacts attributed to him, the best-attested king of the period spanning the end of the Middle Kingdom and the Second Intermediate period; roughly from c. 1800 BC until 1550 BC. Hundreds of scaraboid seals bearing his name have been found throughout Canaan, Egypt, Nubia, and as far away as Carthage, where some were still in use 1500 years after his death.

Neferirkare Egyptian pharaoh

Neferirkare was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the Eighth Dynasty during the early First Intermediate Period. According to the egyptologists Kim Ryholt, Jürgen von Beckerath and Darrell Baker he was the 17th and final king of the Eighth Dynasty. Many scholars consider Neferirkare to have been the last pharaoh of the Old Kingdom, which came to an end with the 8th Dynasty.

Wahkare Khety Egyptian Pharaoh of the 9th Dynasty

Wahkare Khety was an Ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the 9th or 10th Dynasty during the First Intermediate Period.

Meryibre Khety Egyptian pharaoh

Meryibre Khety, also known by his Horus name Meryibtawy, was a pharaoh of the 9th or 10th Dynasty of Egypt, during the First Intermediate Period.

Merikare Egyptian pharaoh

Merikare was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the 10th Dynasty who lived toward the end of the First Intermediate Period. His name cannot be recognized in the Turin King List. The dates of his reign are uncertain and debated among scholars.

Nebkaure Khety Egyptian pharaoh

Nebkaure Khety was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the 9th or 10th Dynasty, during the First Intermediate Period.

Yakbim Sekhaenre Egyptian pharaoh

Sekhaenre Yakbim or Yakbmu was a ruler during the Second Intermediate Period of Egypt. Although his dynastic and temporal collocation is disputed, Danish Egyptologist Kim Ryholt believes that he likely was the founder of the Levantine-blooded Fourteenth Dynasty, while in older literature he was mainly considered a member of the Sixteenth Dynasty.

Netjerkare Siptah Egyptian pharaoh

Netjerkare Siptah was an Ancient Egyptian pharaoh, the seventh and last ruler of the Sixth Dynasty. Alternatively some scholars classify him as the first king of the Seventh or Eighth Dynasty. As the last king of the 6th Dynasty, Netjerkare Siptah is considered by some Egyptologists to be the last king of the Old Kingdom period.

Sharek Egyptian pharaoh

Sharek or Shalek could have been a poorly known ancient Egyptian pharaoh during the Second Intermediate Period of Egypt.


  1. 1 2 3 Hratch Papazian (2015). "The State of Egypt in the Eighth Dynasty". In Peter Der Manuelian; Thomas Schneider (eds.). Towards a New History for the Egyptian Old Kingdom: Perspectives on the Pyramid Age. Harvard Egyptological Studies. BRILL.
  2. Wilkinson, Toby (2010). "Timeline". The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt. New York: Random House. p. xiii. ISBN   9781408810026. The system of dynasties devised in the third century B.C. is not without its problems—for example, the Seventh Dynasty is now recognized as being wholly spurious, while several dynasties are known to have ruled concurrently in different parts of Egypt...
  3. Flinders Petrie, A History of Egypt from the Earliest Times to the XVIth Dynasty (1897), pp. 114–15.
  4. Alan Gardiner, Egypt of the Pharaohs. An introduction, Oxford University Press, 1961, p. 112.
  5. William C. Hayes, in The Cambridge Ancient History , vol 1, part 2, 1971 (2008), Cambridge University Press, ISBN   0-521-07791-5, p. 464.
  6. Nicolas Grimal, A History of Ancient Egypt, Oxford, Blackwell Books, 1992, p. 140.
  7. Jürgen von Beckerath, Handbuch der Ägyptischen Königsnamen, 2nd edition, Mainz, 1999, p. 74.
  8. Ryholt (1997), p. 409
  9. Sekhaenre Yakbim on