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Segerseni was an ancient Egyptian or Nubian chieftain of Nubia, likely reigning concurrently with the end of the 11th and beginning of the 12th Dynasty during the early Middle Kingdom.

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.

Nubia region along the Nile river, which is located in northern Sudan and southern Egypt

Nubia is a region along the Nile river encompassing the area between Aswan in southern Egypt and Khartoum in central Sudan. It was the seat of one of the earliest civilizations of ancient Africa, with a history that can be traced from at least 2500 BC onward with the Kerma culture. The latter was conquered by the New Kingdom of Egypt under pharaoh Thutmose I around 1500 BC. Nubia was home to several empires, most prominently the kingdom of Kush, which conquered Egypt during the 8th century BC during the reign of Piye and ruled the country as its Twenty-fifth Dynasty.

The Eleventh Dynasty of ancient Egypt is a well-attested group of rulers. Its earlier members before Pharaoh Mentuhotep II are grouped with the four preceding dynasties to form the First Intermediate Period, whereas the later members are considered part of the Middle Kingdom. They all ruled from Thebes in Upper Egypt.



Segerseni is attested by one [3] or two [4] [5] rock inscriptions discovered in Umbarakab (Khor-Dehmit) in Lower Nubia. Segerseni's throne name as given on the inscriptions remains in doubt as it was roughly carved and became badly weathered over time. It could be Menkhkare or Wadjkare . The former is now regarded as more probable. [3] One of Segerseni's inscriptions possibly records a war in the unidentified region of Persenbet. [5]

Wadjkare was an Ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the Eighth dynasty who reigned c. 2150 BC during the First Intermediate Period. He is considered to be a very obscure figure in Egyptian history.

Segerseni is not attested on any of the Egyptian king lists. [3]


Even though Segerseni adopted the titles of an Egyptian pharaoh, there is no evidence of him outside of Nubia. [3] He was thus most likely a pretender to the Egyptian or Nubian throne headquartered in Lower Nubia, during a politically troubled period: either at the beginning of the First Intermediate Period, [3] during the Second Intermediate Period, [5] or in the time span including the reign of Mentuhotep IV of the 11th Dynasty and the early reign of Amenemhat I of the 12th Dynasty. [1] [3] [6] The latter possibility is seen as more probable by Egyptologists. [3] In particular, these two rulers seem to have had problems in being universally recognized as legitimate pharaohs.

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.

Pretender someone who claims a relation to a throne

A pretender is one who maintains or is able to maintain a claim that they are entitled to a position of honour or rank, which may be occupied by an incumbent, or whose powers may currently be exercised by another person or authority. Most often, it refers to a former monarch, or descendant thereof, whose throne is occupied, claimed by a rival or has been abolished.

Lower Nubia is the northernmost part of Nubia, downstream on the Nile from Upper Nubia. Sometimes, it overlapped Upper Egypt stretching to the First and Second Cataracts, so roughly until Aswan. A great deal of Upper Egypt and northern Lower Nubia were flooded with the construction of the Aswan High Dam and the creation of Lake Nasser. However the intensive archaeological work conducted prior to the flooding means that the history of the area is much better known than that of Upper Nubia. Its history is also known from its long relations with Egypt.

It is known that Amenemhat I dispatched Khnumhotep I, the faithful Great Chief of the Oryx nome (the 16th nome of Upper Egypt) at Elephantine to Nubia in order to wipe out the last resistance against him there, [7] but it is not known with certainty who was the leader of this resistance. It remains conjectural to posit that it was Segerseni. Furthermore, two other rulers based in Nubia, Iyibkhentre and Qakare Ini are known, likely from the same time period. They were both likely pretenders to the Egyptian throne, and the relationships between them and Segerseni are unknown. If Segerseni was indeed Amenemhat I's foe, he could have been fighting on Mentuhotep IV's side or for his own Nubian realm. Indeed, Nubia had gained its independence during the First Intermediate Period, as indicated by the military campaigns of Mentuhotep II in the region, only 40 years prior to Segerseni's conjectured lifetime. [8]

Khnumhotep I Egyptian nomarch

Khnumhotep I was an ancient Egyptian Great Chief of the Oryx nome during the reign of Pharaoh Amenemhat I of the 12th Dynasty, Middle Kingdom.

A nomarch was a provincial governor in Ancient Egypt; the country was divided into 42 provinces, called nomes. A nomarch was the government official responsible for a nome.

Oryx nome

The Oryx nome was one of the 42 nomoi in ancient Egypt. More precisely, it was the 16th nome of Upper Egypt. It was named after the Scimitar oryx, and was roughly located in the territories surrounding the modern city of Minya in Middle Egypt.

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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.

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.

Sobekneferu Egyptian queen regnant

Sobekneferu reigned as pharaoh of Egypt after the death of her brother Amenemhat IV. She was the last ruler of the Twelfth Dynasty of Egypt and governed Egypt for almost four years from 1806 to 1802 BC. Her name means "the beauty of Sobek."

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.

Intef I 11th dynasty (Theban) Pharaoh

Sehertawy Intef I was a local nomarch at Thebes during the early First Intermediate Period and the first member of the 11th Dynasty to lay claim to a Horus name. Intef reigned from 4 to 16 years c. 2120 BC or c. 2070 BC during which time he probably waged war with his northern neighbor, the Coptite nomarch Tjauti. Intef was buried in a saff tomb at El-Tarif, known today as Saff el-Dawaba.

Intef II Egyptian Pharaoh

Wahankh Intef II was the third ruler of the Eleventh Dynasty of Egypt during the First Intermediate Period. He reigned for almost fifty years from 2112 BC to 2063 BC. His capital was located at Thebes. In his time, Egypt was split between several local dynasties. He was buried in a saff tomb at El-Tarif.

Intef III was the third pharaoh of the Eleventh Dynasty of Egypt during the late First Intermediate Period in the 21st century BC, at a time when Egypt was divided in two kingdoms. The son of his predecessor Intef II and father of his successor Mentuhotep II, Intef III reigned for 8 years over Upper Egypt and extended his domain North against the 10th Dynasty state, perhaps as far north as the 17th nome. He undertook some building activity on Elephantine. Intef III is buried in a large saff tomb at El-Tarif known as Saff el-Barqa.

Amenemhat I ruler of Egypt

Amenemhat I also Amenemhet I and the hellenized form Ammenemes, was the first ruler of the Twelfth Dynasty, the dynasty considered to be the golden-age of the Middle Kingdom of Egypt. He ruled from 1991 BC to 1962 BC.

Senusret I pharaoh of Egypt

Senusret I also anglicized as Sesostris I and Senwosret I, was the second pharaoh of the Twelfth Dynasty of Egypt. He ruled from 1971 BC to 1926 BC, and was one of the most powerful kings of this Dynasty. He was the son of Amenemhat I. Senusret I was known by his prenomen, Kheperkare, which means "the Ka of Re is created."

Mentuhotep IV Egyptian pharaoh

Nebtawyre Mentuhotep IV was the last king of the 11th Dynasty. He seems to fit into a 7-year period in the Turin Canon for which there is no recorded king.

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.

Sekhemkare Egyptian pharaoh

Sekhemkare Amenemhat V was an Egyptian pharaoh of the 13th Dynasty during the Second Intermediate Period. According to Egyptologists Kim Ryholt and Darrell Baker, he was the 4th king of the dynasty, reigning from 1796 BC until 1793 BC. The identity of Amenemhat V is debated by a minority of Egyptologists, as he could be the same person as Sekhemkare Amenemhat Sonbef, the second ruler of the 13th Dynasty.

Amenemhet VI Egyptian pharaoh

Seankhibre Ameny Antef Amenemhet VI was an Egyptian pharaoh of the early Thirteenth Dynasty ruling in the first half of the 18th century BC during a time referred to as the late Middle Kingdom or early Second Intermediate Period, depending on the scholar. Amenemhat VI certainly enjoyed a short reign, estimated at 3 years or shorter. He is attested by a few contemporary artefacts and is listed on two different king lists. He may belong to a larger family of pharaohs including Amenemhat V, Ameny Qemau, Hotepibre Qemau Siharnedjheritef and Iufni.

Nehesy Egyptian pharaoh

Nehesy Aasehre (Nehesi) was a ruler of Lower Egypt during the fragmented Second Intermediate Period. He is placed by most scholars into the early 14th Dynasty, as either the second or the sixth pharaoh of this dynasty. As such he is considered to have reigned for a short time c. 1705 BC and would have ruled from Avaris over the eastern Nile Delta. Recent evidence makes it possible that a second person with this name, a son of a Hyksos king, lived at a slightly later time during the late 15th Dynasty c. 1580 BC. It is possible that most of the artefacts attributed to the king Nehesy mentioned in the Turin canon, in fact belong to this Hyksos prince.

Seankhenre Mentuhotepi Egyptian pharaoh

Seankhenre Mentuhotepi was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh during the fragmented Second Intermediate Period. According to egyptologists Kim Ryholt and Darrell Baker, he was the fifth king of the 16th Dynasty reigning over the Theban region in Upper Egypt. Alternatively, Jürgen von Beckerath sees him as the fifth king of the 17th Dynasty.

Iyibkhentre Egyptian ruler

Iyibkhentre was an ancient Egyptian or Nubian ruler who most likely reigned at the end of the 11th and beginning of the 12th Dynasty.

Qakare Ini was an ancient Egyptian or Nubian ruler who most likely reigned at the end of the 11th and beginning of the 12th Dynasty over Lower Nubia. Although he is the best attested Nubian ruler of this time period, nothing is known of his activities.

The Wadi el-Hudi is a wadi in Southern Egypt, in the Eastern Desert. Here were ancient quarries for amethyst. The Wadi el-Hudi is important in archaeology for its high number of rock inscriptions and stelae, mainly dating to the Middle Kingdom, as amethyst was especially popular in this period. The Wadi el-Hudi ends in the Nile valley a few kilometers north of Aswan and is coming there from the South-East. The ancient amethyst quarries are about 20 kilometres south-east from Aswan.


  1. 1 2 Jürgen von Beckerath, Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen, Deutscher Kunstverlag, München/ Berlin 1984, ISBN   3-422-00832-2, pp. 64, 196.
  2. Arthur Weigall, A Report on the Antiquities of Lower Nubia. Cairo 1907, pl. 19.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 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. 357
  4. T. Save-Soderbergh: Agypten und Nubien, Lund: Hakan Ohlsson 1941, 43 f
  5. 1 2 3 Török, László (2008). Between Two Worlds: The Frontier Region Between Ancient Nubia and Egypt 3700 BC - 500 AD. Brill. p. 101. ISBN   978-90-04-17197-8.
  6. Wolfram Grajetzki, The Middle Kingdom of ancient Egypt: history, archaeology and society. London, Duckworth Egyptology, 2006, pp. 27-28.
  7. Nicolas Grimal, A History of Ancient Egypt, Oxford, Blackwell Books, 1992, p. 158–60.
  8. Gae Callender, in: Ian Shaw (edit.), Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, p. 140.

Further reading

Henri Louis Marie Alexandre Gauthier was a French Egyptologist and geographer. In 1903 he entered the French Institute of Oriental Archaeology of Cairo. He made extensive excavations at Dra Abu el-Naga and El Qattah (1904), and devoted himself to work on both historical and geographical issues of Ancient Egypt. In 1909 he was part of a French team which discovered Huni's Pyramid in Elephantine, and discovered a large granite conical object with an inscription revealing the name of the pharaoh Huni of the 3rd dynasty of the Old Kingdom. Gauthier worked with Gaston Maspero who asked him to copy the inscriptions of the Nubian temples of Amada, Kalabsha and Wadi es-Sebua.

Thomas Schneider is a German Egyptologist.

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