Seventh Dynasty of Egypt

Last updated
Egypt
ca. 2181 BC–ca. 2160 BC
Capital Memphis
Common languages Egyptian language
Religion
ancient Egyptian religion
Government Absolute monarchy
Historical era Bronze Age
 Established
ca. 2181 BC
 Disestablished
ca. 2160 BC
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Blank.png Sixth Dynasty of Egypt
Eigth Dynasty of Egypt Blank.png

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. [1] [2] 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.

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.

Anarchy rejection of hierarchy

Anarchy refers to a society, entity, group of people, or a single person that rejects hierarchy. The word originally meant leaderlessness, but Pierre-Joseph Proudhon adopted the term in his 1840 treatise What Is Property? to refer to anarchism, a new political philosophy which advocates stateless societies based on voluntary associations.

Jürgen von Beckerath was a German Egyptologist. He was a prolific writer who published countless articles in journals such as Orientalia, Göttinger Miszellen (GM), Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt (JARCE), Archiv für Orientforschung (AfO), and Studien zur Altägyptischen Kultur (SAK) among others. Together with Kenneth Kitchen, he is viewed as one of the foremost scholars on the New Kingdom and the Third Intermediate Period of Egypt.

Contents

Historical sources

Based on the now lost writings of Africanus (c. 160–240) and Eusebius (c. 260–340), themselves based on the now lost work of the Egyptian priest Manetho (3rd century BC), the Byzantine scholar George Syncellus (died after 810) variously assigns to the period after the Sixth dynasty – the Seventh Dynasty – 70 kings in 70 days (Africanus) or 5 kings in 75 days (Eusebius). [3] :395 According to Manetho, these kings would have ruled in Memphis. [3] :396 Rather than a historical reality, this rapid succession of kings has long been interpreted as a metaphor for chaos. [3] :395

Sextus Julius Africanus was a Christian traveler and historian of the late second and early third centuries. He is important chiefly because of his influence on Eusebius, on all the later writers of Church history among the Church Fathers, and on the whole Greek school of chroniclers.

Eusebius Greek church historian

Eusebius of Caesarea, also known as Eusebius Pamphili, was a historian of Christianity, exegete, and Christian polemicist. He became the bishop of Caesarea Maritima about 314 AD. Together with Pamphilus, he was a scholar of the Biblical canon and is regarded as an extremely learned Christian of his time. He wrote Demonstrations of the Gospel, Preparations for the Gospel, and On Discrepancies between the Gospels, studies of the Biblical text. As "Father of Church History", he produced the Ecclesiastical History, On the Life of Pamphilus, the Chronicle and On the Martyrs. He also produced a biographical work on the first Christian Emperor, Constantine the Great, who ruled between 306 and 337 AD.

George Synkellos or Syncellus was a Byzantine chronicler and ecclesiastic. He had lived many years in Palestine as a monk, before coming to Constantinople, where he was appointed synkellos to Tarasius, patriarch of Constantinople. He later retired to a monastery to write what was intended to be his great work, a chronicle of world history, Ekloge chronographias, or Extract of Chronography. According to Anastasius Bibliothecarius, George "struggled valiantly against heresy [i.e. Iconoclasm] and received many punishments from the rulers who raged against the rites of the Church", although the accuracy of the claim is suspect.

Some Egyptologists, such as Papazian (2015), [3] :395 believe that this interpretation may give undue weight to Manetho's writings, and that it distorts the general scholarly understanding of the end of the Old Kingdom. According to Papazian (2015), [3] :395 "a re-examination ... of the Seventh Dynasty's existence, remains fully justified" and some of the kings usually attributed to the mid-Eighth Dynasty should instead be understood to belong to the Seventh Dynasty. Being attested by two additional ancient historical sources as well as archeological evidence, the Eighth Dynasty is not quite as obscure as the Seventh. As a consequence, some Egyptologists combine the Seventh and Eighth Dynasty into a single line of kings, reigning immediately after the Sixth Dynasty.

List of rulers

The Seventh Dynasty is usually considered fictitious and is thus either ignored altogether by modern scholars or it is combined with the Eighth Dynasty. The Egyptologist Hracht Papazian has proposed in 2015 that a number of rulers usually seen as belonging to the mid-Eighth Dynasty identified by the Abydos king list should be attributed to a Seventh Dynasty: [3] :416

Dynasty VII as per Papazian [3] :416
NameEvidence beyond the Abydos king list
Djedkare Shemai
Neferkare Khendu
Merenhor
Neferkamin
Nikare Possibly attested by a cylinder seal. [4]
Neferkare Tereru
Neferkahor Attested by a cylinder seal.
Neferkare Pepiseneb Turin Canon gives at least one year. [5]
Neferkamin Anu

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Menkare Egyptian pharaoh

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Wazad Egyptian pharaoh

Wazad was an Egyptian pharaoh during the Second Intermediate Period. According to the egyptologists Kim Ryholt and Darrell Baker, Wazad was a member of the 14th Dynasty of Egypt reigning c. 1700 BC. As a king of the 14th dynasty, he would have reigned from Avaris over the eastern Nile Delta and possibly over the western Delta as well. The Memphis-based 13th Dynasty reigned over Middle and Upper Egypt at the same time. Alternatively, according to Jürgen von Beckerath and Wolfgang Helck, Wazad was a ruler of the 16th Dynasty and a vassal of the Hyksos 15th Dynasty. This view is debated in egyptology, in particular because Ryholt and others have argued that the 16th Dynasty was an independent Theban kingdom rather than a vassal dynasty of the Hyksos.

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References

  1. 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. [by Manetho] 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...
  2. Jürgen von Beckerath, Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen. Münchner ägyptologische Studien (in German). 49. Mainz: Philip von Zabern. ISBN   978-3-8053-2591-2.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 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.
  4. Peter Kaplony: Die Rollsiegel des Alten Reichs, vol. 2: Katalog der Rollsiegel (Monumenta Aegyptiaca Vol. 3), La Fondation Égyptologique Reine Élisabeth, Brüssel 1981, issue 144.
  5. Kim Ryholt: "The Late Old Kingdom in the Turin King-list and the Identity of Nitocris", Zeitschrift für Ägyptische Sprache und Altertumskunde, 127 (2000), p. 91
Preceded by
Sixth Dynasty
Dynasty of Egypt
c. 2181
Succeeded by
Eighth Dynasty