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Ancient Egypt
Ancient Lives

The splendor of Aten,
Thy dawning is beautiful in the horizon of heaven,
O living Aten, Beginning of life!
Hymn to the Sun
Akhenaten, Pharaoh of Egypt (c.1352-1336 BC)

mpressive monuments and artifacts are the visible evidence of Egypt's past glory. From the written accounts they carry we can trace the lives of many who made their mark upon the land, and in the history, of Ancient Egypt.

On this page are the names of:

The dating of events in Ancient Egyptian history is still difficult. Like other ancient peoples the Egyptians dated everything by the number of years the present king had been on the throne. Although they were very good at keeping records (a king's reign would be recorded even to the nearest day) most of this detailed information has been lost.

The dates of each pharaohs reign may only be taken as an approximation because these differ depending upon the reference material used. Even though the priest Manetho listed each reign consecutively this was not always supported by other evidence. At certain times it would appear that rival kings, or even whole dynasties, were ruling at the same time. Sometimes a pharaoh and his son might share the throne, as co-regents, and therefore the years overlap.

If the name of a person is highlighted then more information can be obtained by a single click on that name.

Egyptian Kings
PRE-DYNASTIC PERIOD

(????-2920 BC)

There is little to recover about prehistoric Egypt, a time before written records began. The remains of Paleolithic man have been found in the Nile valley and evidence exists that Neolithic man settled in the low desert bordering the swamps of the Nile valley.

The excavation of ancient dwellings has shown that early humans gradually cleared and settled the region of the Nile valley over a period of about 4000 years. During this time peoples from Africa and Western Asia came together to produce the civilization of Ancient Egypt that is seen as the dawn of the historic period.

From small villages, that began to develop methods of farming and the domestication of animals, grew larger settlements. Within these communities the inhabitants had learned to build using sun-dried bricks and to irrigate the land that they farmed. They could weave, make glass, work with copper and produce stone or pottery vessels. Indeed each phase of their development can be characterized by the type of pottery that was produced.

EARLY DYNASTIC PERIOD

1st Dynasty
(2920-2770 BC)

This is also known as the Archaic Period. Little actual history is known of the pharaohs of the early dynasties. Their monuments, however, are some of the most studied artifacts in the world. The unification of Egypt takes place in this period and there are royal tombs built at Saqqara and Abydos. Stone is first used as a building material and timber is imported from Syria. Records are kept with the development of hieroglyphic writing.

Menes (Aha)
Djer
Wadj
Den (Udimu)
Anendjib
Semerkhet
Kaa

2nd Dynasty
(2770-2650 BC)

Hetepsekhemwy
Reneb
Ninetjer
Peribsen
Khasekhemwy

OLD KINGDOM

The age of the great pyramid builders. During the 3rd Dynasty there are pyramids at Saqqara, Zawiyat Al Aryan and Maidum. The pyramids of Giza, Dahshur and Abu Roash are built during the 4th Dynasty.

There is evidence of mining expeditions to Sinai, trade with Byblos for timber and stone quarrying at Aswan. There are also trading expeditions to Punt and Nubia. In the 5th Dynasty there is war with the Libyans.

The last king of the 6th Dynasty, Pepi II, came to the throne early and reigned for over 90 years, the longest reign in history.

3rd Dynasty

Sanakhte (Nebka) 2650-2630 BC
Netjerykhet (Djoser) 2630-2611 BC
Sekhemkhet (Djoser Teti) 2611-2603 BC
Khaba 2603-2599 BC
Huni 2599-2575 BC

4th Dynasty

Sneferu 2575-2551 BC
Khufu (Cheops) 2551-2528 BC
Radjedef 2528-2520 BC
Khafre (Chephren) 2520-2494 BC
Menkure (Mycerinus) 2490-2472 BC
Shepseskaf 2472-2467 BC

5th Dynasty

Userkaf 2465-2458 BC
Sahure 2458-2446 BC
Neferirkare Kakai 2446-2426 BC
Shepseskare Ini 2426-2419 BC
Raneferef 2419-2416 BC
Niuserre Izi 2416-2392 BC
Menkauhor 2396-2388 BC
Djedkare Izezi 2388-2356 BC
Wenis 2356-2323 BC

6th Dynasty

Teti 2323-2291 BC
Pepi I (Meryre) 2289-2255 BC
Merenre Nemtyemzaf 2255-2246 BC
Pepi II (Neferkare) 2246-2152 BC

FIRST INTERMEDIATE PERIOD

This was a very troubled time. There was a breakdown of centralized government with weak kings ruling from Memphis and others possibly setting up their own local dynasties. Asian and Libyan nomads settled in the delta region.

Eventually, during the 11th Dynasty, Mentuhotep II established order from his capital at Thebes.

7th and 8th Dynasties
2150-2135 BC

9th and 10th Dynasties
2135-1986 BC

11th Dynasty

Inyotef I (Sehertawy) 2074-2064 BC
Inyotef II (Wahankh) 2064-2015 BC
Inyotef III (Nakhtnebtepnefer) 2015-2007 BC
Mentuhotep II 2007-1986 BC

MIDDLE KINGDOM

With Egypt unified once more under Mentuhotep II the Asians are expelled from the delta and there is a return to foreign trade and enormous building projects. The conquest of Nubia begins and is completed by the 12th Dynasty.

There is a refinement in the making of jewellry and it is a golden age of art and craftsmanship. Prosperity returns to Egypt and trade increases with Palestine and Syria. Irrigation schemes and land reclamation take place in Al Fayoum.

Internal troubles begin to surface towards the latter end of the 12th Dynasty and the power of later kings, during the 13th & 14th Dynasties, is confined to Upper Egypt.

11th Dynasty

Mentuhotep II (Nebhepetre) 1986-1956 BC
Mentuhotep III (Sankhkare) 1956-1944 BC
Mentuhotep IV (Nebtawyre) 1944-1937 BC

12th Dynasty

Amenemhet I (Sehetepibre) 1937-1908 BC
Senusert I (Kheperkare) 1917-1872 BC
Amenemhet II (Nubkaure) 1875-1840 BC
Senusert II (Khakheperre) 1842-1836 BC
Senusert III (Khakaure) 1836-1817 BC
Amenemhet III (Nimaatre) 1817-1772 BC
Amenemhet IV (Maakherure) 1772-1763 BC
Neferusobek (Sobekkare) 1763-1759 BC

SECOND INTERMEDIATE PERIOD

Following a period of instability the Hyksos invade and conquer. Ruling from Avaris on the delta they form the 15th & 16th Dynasties. Some of the Hyksos kings probably ruled all of Egypt.

Kamose, a prince of the 17th Dynasty, wages a war of liberation against the Hyksos rulers and eventually the Theban prince regains power. Again Egypt is united under one ruler.

13th Dynasty

21 kings for around 63 years then:
Neferhotep I 1696-1686 BC
Sihathor 1685-1685 BC
Sobekhotep IV 1685-1678 BC
Sobekhotep V 1678-1674 BC
Iaib 1674-1664 BC
Ay 1664-1641 BC
9 kings for about 20 years

14th Dynasty

15th Dynasty

Salitis
Bnon
Apachnan (Khian)
Apophis (Auserre Apepi)
Khamudi

16th Dynasty

17th Dynasty

Tao I (Senakhtenre)
Tao II (Sekenenre)
Kamose (Wadjkheperre)

NEW KINGDOM

Nubia is once again conquered and it is an age of colonial expansion with Palestine and Syria also falling to the Egyptians. There are diplomatic exchanges between the great powers. There is prosperity and a renaissance in art and building projects. During the 'Ramesside' age there are campaigns in Palestine and Syria. The armies of Ramses II meet the Hittites in battle at Kadesh. Towards the end of the 19th Dynasty the increasing power of the priesthood corrupts the central government. During the 20th Dynasty there is a gradual decline both at home and abroad and this ends in divided rule.

18th Dynasty

Ahmose (Nebpehtyre) 1539-1514 BC
Amenhotep I (Djeserkare) 1514-1493 BC
Thutmose I (Akheperkare) 1493-1481 BC
Thutmose II (Akheperenre) 1481-1479 BC
Hatshepsut (Maatkare) 1473-1458 BC
Thutmose III (Menkheperre) 1479-1425 BC
Amenhotep II (Akheperure) 1427-1392 BC
Thutmose IV (Menkheperure) 1392-1382 BC
Amenhotep III (Nebmaatre) 1382-1344 BC
Amenhotep IV / Akhenaten 1352-1336 BC
Neferneferuaten 1341-1337 BC
Smenkhkare (Ankhkheperure) 1337-1336 BC
Tutankhamun (Nebkheperure) 1336-1327 BC
Ay (Kheperkheperure) 1327-1323 BC
Horemheb (Djeserkheperure) 1323-1295 BC

19th Dynasty

Ramses I (Menpehtyre) 1295-1294 BC
Seti I (Menmaatre) 1294-1279 BC
Ramses II (Usermaatresetepenre) 1279-1213 BC
Merenptah (Baenrehotephirmaat) 1213-1203 BC
Amenmesse (Menmire) 1203-1200 BC
Seti II (Userkheperuresetepenre) 1200-1194 BC
Siptah (Akhenresetepenre) 1194-1188 BC
Tausert (Sitremeritamun) 1188-1186 BC

20th Dynasty

Setakht (Userkhauremeryamun) 1186-1184 BC
Ramses III (Usermaatremeryamun) 1184-1153 BC
Ramses IV (Hekamaatresetepenamun) 1153-1147 BC
Ramses V (Usermaatresekheperenre) 1147-1143 BC
Ramses VI (Nebmaatremeryamun) 1143-1136 BC
Ramses VII (Usermaatresetepenre) 1136-1129 BC
Ramses VIII (Usermaatreakhenamun) 1129-1126 BC
Ramses IX (Neferkaresetepenre) 1126-1108 BC
Ramses X (Khepermaatresetepenre) 1108-1099 BC
Ramses XI (Menmaatresetepenptah) 1099-1069 BC

THIRD INTERMEDIATE PERIOD

The 21st Dynasty ruled from Tanis while the high priest Herihor and his successors controlled Thebes. Kings of Libyan descent established the 22nd & 23rd Dynasties but ruled independently and subsequently there was divided rule. The 25th Dynasty represented the establishment of a separate kingdom in Egypt by the Nubians.

21st Dynasty
Smedes 1070-1044 BC
Amenemnisu 1040 BC
Psusennes I 1040-992 BC
Amenope 993-984 BC
Osochor 984-978 BC
Siamun 978-959 BC
Psusennes II 959-945 BC

22nd Dynasty

Shoshenq I 945-924 BC
Osorkon I 924-909 BC
Takelot 909--? BC
Shoshenq II ?--883 BC
Osorkon II 883-855 BC
Takelot II 860-835 BC
Shoshenq III 835-783 BC
Pami 783-773 BC
Shoshenq IV 773-735 BC
Osorkon IV 735-712 BC

23rd Dynasty

Pedubaste I 828-803 BC
Osorkon IV 777-749 BC
Peftjauwybast 740-725 BC

24th Dynasty

Shepsesre Tefnakht I 725-720 BC
Wahkare Bakenranef 720-715 BC

LATE KINGDOM

The Nubians fall under the Assyrians invasion. The Greeks help re-establish order. A renaissance in the arts of the 25th Dynasty shows a return to the Old Kingdom style.

25th Dynasty

Shebaka 712-698 BC
Shebitku 698-690 BC
Taharqa 690-664 BC
Tantamani 664-657 BC

26th Dynasty

Psammetichus I (Psam-tik) 664-610 BC
Psammetichus II 610-595 BC
Apries 589-570 BC
Amasis 570-526 BC
Psammetichus III 526-525 BC

PERIOD OF PERSIAN DOMINATION (525-404 BC)

A few months after the death of Amasis, in 525, the invading host of Persia led by Cambyses reached Egypt and de-throned his son, Psammetichus III. There are differing views about the reign of Cambyses and his successors but, whatever their attitude to the native peoples, commerce flourished during this time.

By the time of Xerxes I the Egyptians began to rebel though and Xerxes put down the revolt with severity. There are no further recorded incidents until about 410 BC when again revolution threatened the Persian domination. By 404 BC Egypt was once again independent.

27th Dynasty

Cambyses 525-522 BC
Darius I 521-486 BC
Xerxes I 486-466 BC
Artaxerxes I 465-424 BC
Darius II 424-404 BC

28th Dynasty

Amyrtaios 404-399 BC

29th Dynasty

Nepherites I 399-393 BC
Psammuthis 393 BC
Hakoris 393-380 BC
Nepherites II 380 BC

30th Dynasty

The 30th Dynasty contains the last of the Egyptian-born Pharaohs.

Nectanebo I 380-362 BC
Teos 365-360 BC
Nectanebo II 360-343 BC

SECOND PERSIAN PERIOD (343-332 BC)

31st Dynasty

The 31st Dynasty in also known as the Second Persian Period and was added after Manetho created his list of kings. The new Persian ruler, Ochus, was determined to crush Egypt. An expedition in 351 BC was repulsed but a second succeeded and Nectanebo II, last of the native pharaohs, fled to Upper Egypt.

Ochus (Artaxerxes III) 343-338 BC
Arses 338-336 BC
Darius III Codomannus 335-332 BC

GREEK PERIOD (332 BC-30 BC)

Macedonian Kings-Alexandria

Alexander the Great 332-323 BC
Philip Arrhidaeus 323-316 BC
Alexander IV 316-304 BC

Ptolemaic Dynasty

This period is confusing due to all of the co-regencies. Scholars are not always in agreement on the order of reigns and, in some case, the reigns themselves, from Ptolemy VI through Ptolemy XI. In any event, Egypt's authority and wealth was intact until the death of Cleopatra, at which time, Egypt was overpowered by Rome.

Ptolemy I Soter I 323-285 BC
Ptolemy II Philadelphus 282-246 BC
Ptolemy III Euergeter I 246-222 BC
Ptolemy IV Philopator 222-205 BC
Ptolemy V Epiphanes 205-180 BC
Ptolemy VI Philometor 180-164 & 163-145 BC
Ptolemy VII Neos Philopator 145 BC
Ptolemy VIII Euergetes II 170-163 & 145-116 BC
Cleopatra III & Ptolemy IX Soter II 116-107 & 88-80 BC
Cleopatra III & Ptolemy X Alexander I 107-88 BC
Cleopatra Berenice 81-80 BC
Ptolemy XI Alexander II 80 BC
Ptolemy XII Neos Dionysos 80-58 & 55-51 BC
Berenice IV 58-55 BC
Cleopatra VII & Ptolemy XIII 51-47 BC
Cleopatra & Ptolemy XIV 47-44 BC
Cleopatra VII & Ptolemy XV Cesarion 44-30
BC

Other People in Egyptian History

Ankhesenpaaten
Ahmose
Imhotep
Manetho
Meritaten
Nefertari
Nefertiti
Tiy


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