Menkare

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Menkare was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh, the first or second [1] ruler of the Eighth Dynasty. Menkare probably reigned a short time at the transition between the Old Kingdom period and the First Intermediate Period, in the early 22nd century BC. [2] The rapid succession of brief reigns at the time suggests times of hardship, possibly related to a widespread aridification of the Middle East, known as the 4.2 kiloyear event. As a pharaoh of the Eighth Dynasty, according to Manetho, Menkare's seat of power would have been Memphis.

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.

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.

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 very 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.

Contents

Attestations

Historical source

Menkare's only secure historical source is the Abydos king list, a list of kings redacted during the reign of Seti I for religious purposes and which today serves as the primary historical source for kings of the early First Intermediate Period. The praenomen Menkare appears on the 41st entry of the list. Another king list redacted during the early Ramesside period, the Turin canon, may have listed Menkare as well. Unfortunately, a large lacuna affects the papyrus of the canon where Menkare's name would have been listed. [3]

Abydos King List

The Abydos King List, also known as the Abydos Table, is a list of the names of seventy-six kings of Ancient Egypt, found on a wall of the Temple of Seti I at Abydos, Egypt. It consists of three rows of thirty-eight cartouches in each row. The upper two rows contain names of the kings, while the third row merely repeats Seti I's throne name and praenomen.

Seti I second pharaoh of the 19th dynasty in ancient egypt

Menmaatre Seti I was a pharaoh of the New Kingdom Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt, the son of Ramesses I and Sitre, and the father of Ramesses II. As with all dates in Ancient Egypt, the actual dates of his reign are unclear, and various historians claim different dates, with 1294 BC to 1279 BC and 1290 BC to 1279 BC being the most commonly used by scholars today.

Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt Egyptian dynasty from -1295 to -1186

The Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt is classified as the second Dynasty of the Ancient Egyptian New Kingdom period, lasting from 1292 BC to 1189 BC. The 19th Dynasty and the 20th Dynasty furthermore together constitute an era known as the Ramesside period. This Dynasty was founded by Vizier Ramesses I, whom Pharaoh Horemheb chose as his successor to the throne.

Contemporaneous source

The tomb of queen Neit in South Saqqara houses a relief showing the queen in front of a damaged royal cartouche. [4] The Egyptologist Percy Newberry proposed that the cartouche reads Menkare, which would thus be the sole contemporaneous attestation for this king having survived to this day. [5] This opinion is shared by Gae Callender, who reexamined Jéquier's plates of the inscription. [6]

Percy Edward Newberry was a British Egyptologist.

A source from a later period
Cylinder seal referring either to Menkare or to Menkaure of the 4th Dynasty. Seal Menkare.png
Cylinder seal referring either to Menkare or to Menkaure of the 4th Dynasty.

Another possible, though not contemporaneous, attestation of Menkare is a cylinder seal made of glazed steatite, now in the British Museum under the catalog number 30557, and inscribed with the text "The Good God, Lord of the Two Lands, Menkare". [7] [8] The seal dates to the 26th Dynasty, some 1700 years after Menkare's lifetime. The attribution of the seal to Menkare is unlikely: given that Menkare is a rather obscure king, some scholars have suggested instead that the seal bears a mistake and actually refers to the better known pharaoh Menkaure , builder of the third pyramid of Giza. [2]

British Museum National museum in the Bloomsbury area of London

The British Museum, in the Bloomsbury area of London, United Kingdom, is a public institution dedicated to human history, art and culture. Its permanent collection of some eight million works is among the largest and most comprehensive in existence, having been widely sourced during the era of the British Empire. It documents the story of human culture from its beginnings to the present. It was the first public national museum in the world.

The Twenty-sixth Dynasty of Egypt was the last native dynasty to rule Egypt before the Persian conquest in 525 BC. The dynasty's reign is also called the Saite Period after the city of Sais, where its pharaohs had their capital, and marks the beginning of the Late Period of ancient Egypt.

Menkaure Egyptian pharaoh of the 4th dynasty

Menkaure, was an ancient Egyptian king (pharaoh) of the 4th dynasty during the Old Kingdom, who is well known under his Hellenized names Mykerinos and Menkheres. According to Manetho, he was the throne successor of king Bikheris, but according to archaeological evidences he rather was the successor of king Khafre. Menkaure became famous for his tomb, the Pyramid of Menkaure, at Giza and his beautiful statue triads, showing the king together with his wives Rekhetre and Khamerernebty.

Refuted identification with Nitocris

In an old hypothesis, the Egyptologist Flinders Petrie suggested that Menkare should be equated with queen Nitocris, a legendary figure appearing in Herodotus' Histories and Manetho's Aegyptiaca and who is believed to have lived close to Menkare's lifetime. Petrie based his hypothesis on the fact that Nitocris is credited with the construction of the third pyramid of Giza by Manetho. Since this pyramid was in fact built by Menkaure, Petrie surmised that Manetho fell victim to a tradition which had confused Menkare and Menkaure. [9] Similarly, the seal would seem to be another manifestation of this confusion. Petrie's hypothesis has been thoroughly disproven by modern analyses of the Turin canon however, and Nitocris is now known to originate from the names of the real ruler Netjerkare Siptah. [3] The attribution of the seal remains uncertain. [2]

Flinders Petrie English egyptologist

Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie, FRS, FBA, commonly known as Flinders Petrie, was an English Egyptologist and a pioneer of systematic methodology in archaeology and preservation of artefacts. He held the first chair of Egyptology in the United Kingdom, and excavated many of the most important archaeological sites in Egypt in conjunction with his wife, Hilda Petrie. Some consider his most famous discovery to be that of the Merneptah Stele, an opinion with which Petrie himself concurred.

Nitocris has been claimed to have been the last pharaoh of ancient Egypt's Sixth Dynasty. Her name is found in Herodotus' Histories and in writings by Manetho, but her historicity is questionable. If she was in fact a historical person, then she may have been an interregnum queen, the sister of Merenre Nemtyemsaf II and the daughter of Pepi II and Queen Neith. Alternatively, the Egyptologist and phylologist Kim Ryholt has argued that Nitocris is legendary but derives from an historical figure, the male pharaoh Neitiqerty Siptah, who succeeded Merenre Nemtyemsaf II at the transition between the Old Kingdom and First Intermediate Period.

<i>Histories</i> (Herodotus) book by Herodotus

The Histories of Herodotus is considered the founding work of history in Western literature. Written in 440 BC in the Ionic dialect of classical Greek, The Histories serves as a record of the ancient traditions, politics, geography, and clashes of various cultures that were known in Western Asia, Northern Africa and Greece at that time. Although not a fully impartial record, it remains one of the West's most important sources regarding these affairs. Moreover, it established the genre and study of history in the Western world.

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References

  1. Jürgen von Beckerath: Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen, Münchner ägyptologische Studien, Heft 49, Mainz : Philip von Zabern, 1999, ISBN   3-8053-2591-6, see pp.6667, king No 2.
  2. 1 2 3 Darrell D. Baker: The Encyclopedia of the Pharaohs: Volume I - Predynastic to the Twentieth Dynasty 3300–1069 BC, Stacey International, ISBN   978-1-905299-37-9, 2008, p. 197
  3. 1 2 Kim Ryholt: The Late Old Kingdom in the Turin King-list and the Identity of Nitocris, Zeitschrift für ägyptische Sprache und Altertumskunde 127:87100, (2000).
  4. Gustave Jéquier, Maṣlaḥat al-Āthār (1993): Les pyramides des reines Neit et Apouit (in French), Cairo: Institut français d’archéologie orientale, OCLC 195690029, see plate 5.
  5. Percy Newberry (1943): Queen Nitocris of the Sixth Dynasty, in: The Journal of Egyptian Archeology, vol. 29, pp=5154
  6. Gae Callender: Queen Neit-ikrety/Nitokris, in: Miroslav Barta, Filip Coppens, Jaromic Krecji (editors): Abusir and Saqqara in the year 2010/1, Prague: Czech Institute of Egyptology, Faculty of Arts, Charles University, 2011, ISBN   978-8-07-308384-7, see pp. 249250
  7. 1 2 Harry Reginald Hall: Catalogue of Egyptian Scarabs, etc., in the British Museum, vol I: Royal Scarabs, British Museum 1913, available online see p. 272 seal num 2650.
  8. Peter Kaplony: Die Rollsiegel des Alten Reiches, Vol II, Fondation Egyptologique Reine Elisabeth, Brussels 1981, see p. 427428 and pl. 113 num 1 and p. 114 num. 1 & 2.
  9. Flinders Petrie: A History of Egypt, Volume 1, 1902, available online, see p. 86, 104105.
Preceded by
Netjerkare Siptah
Pharaoh of Egypt
Eighth Dynasty
Succeeded by
Neferkare II