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number of beings called Shesu Heru, or "followers of Horus"; of their deeds and history nothing is known. Some have believed that during their rule Egypt was divided into two parts, each ruled by its own king; and others have thought that the whole of Upper and Lower Egypt was divided into a large series of small, independent principalities, which were united under one head in the person of Menes. There is, however, no support to be obtained from the inscriptions for either of these theories. The kings of Egypt following after the mythical period are divided into thirty dynasties. For the sake of convenience, Egyptian history is divided into three periods:—I, the Ancient Empire, which includes the first eleven dynasties; II, the Middle Empire, which includes the next nine dynasties (XIIth-XXth); and, III, the New Empire, which includes the remaining ten dynasties, one of which was of Persian kings. The rule of the Saite kings was followed by that of the Persians, Ptolemies and Romans. The rule of the Muhammedans, which began A.d. 641, ended A.d. 1517, when the country was conquered by the Turks; since this time Egypt has been nominally a pashalik of Turkey.
The date assigned to the first dynasty is variously given by different scholars : by Champollion-Figeac it is B.C. 5867, by Bockh 5702, by Bunsen 3623, by Lepsius 3892, by Lieblein 3893, by Mariette 5004, and by Brugsch 4400. As far as can be seen, there is much to be said in favour of that given by Brugsch, and his dates are adopted throughout in this book.
Dynasty I, from This, or Thinis.
4400. Mena, the first human king of Egypt, founded Memphis, having turned aside the course of the
Nile, and established a temple service there. 4366. Teta, wrote a book on anatomy, and continued
buildings at Memphis. 4266. Hesep-ti. Some papyri state that the 64th Chapter
of the Book of the Dead was written in his time.
Dynasty II, from Memphis. 4133. Bet'au, in whose reign an earthquake swallowed up
many people at Bubastis. 4100. Kakau, in whose days the worship of Apis at
Memphis, and that of Mnevis at Heliopolis, was
4066. Ba-en-neter, in whose days, according to John of Antioch, the Nile flowed with honey for eleven days. During the reign of this king the succession of females to the throne of Egypt was declared valid.
4000. Sent. The sepulchral stele of one of this king's priests is preserved at Oxford.
Dynasty III, from Memphis.
. Nefer-ka-Seker, in whose reign an eclipse appears to
Dynasty IV, from Memphis.
Scncferu. Important contemporaneous monuments of
he built the first pyramid of Gizeh.
Dynasty V, from Elephantine. 3366. Tet-ka-Ra. The Precepts of Ptah-hetep were written
during the reign of this king. 3333. Unas, whose pyramid at Sakkarah was explored in 1881.
Dynasty VI, from Memphis.
3266. Teta, the builder of a pyramid at Sakkarah. 3233. Pepi-meri-Ra, the builder of a pyramid at Sakkarah. 3200. Mer-en-Ra. 3166. Nefer-ka-Ra.
3133 (?). Nit-aqert (Nitocris), "the beautiful woman with rosy cheeks."
f Dynasties VII and VIII, from Memphis. 3100. ^ Dynasties IX and X, from Heraclcopolis.
Dynasty XI, from Diospolis, or Thebes.
From the time of Nitocris to Amenemhat I. Egyptian history is nearly a blank. The names of a large number of kings who ruled during this period are known, but they cannot, at present, be arranged in exact chronological order.
2500. Se-anch ka-Ra. This king is known to us through an inscription at Hamamat, which states that he sent an expedition to the land of Punt; this shows that at that early date an active trade must have been carried on across the Arabian desert between Egypt and Arabia. The other kings of the XIth dynasty bore the names of Antef-aa, An-antef, Amentuf, An-aa, and Mentu-hetep. Se-anch-ka-Ra appears to have been the immediate predecessor of the XIIth dynasty.
* These names are obtained from the Tablet Of Abydos.
Dynasty XII, from Diospolis, or Thebes.
2466. Amenemhat I. ascended the throne of Egypt after hard fighting; he conquered the Uaua, a Libyan tribe that lived near Korosko in Nubia, and wrote a series of instructions for his son Usertsen I. The story of Senehet was written during this reign.
2433. Usertsen I. made war against the tribes of Ethiopia; he erected granite obelisks and built largely at Heliopolis.
2400. Amenemhat II. Chnemu-hetep, son of Nehera, whose tomb is at Beni-hasan, lived during the reign of this king.
2366. Usertsen II.
2333. Usertsen III.
2300. Amenemhat III. During this king's reign special attention was paid to the rise of the Nile, and canals were dug and sluices made for irrigating the country; in this reign the famous Lake Moeris, in the district called by the Arabs El-Fayum,*was built. The rise of the Nile was marked on the rocks at Semneh, about thirty-five miles above the second cataract, and the inscriptions are visible to this day.
2266. Amenemhat IV.
2233. Dynasties XIII-XVII. The Hyksos Period.
According to Manetho these dynasties were as follows:—
„ XV, Hyksos, 6 „ „ 260 ,,
„ XVII, from Thebes, 10 „ ,, 10 ,,
* From the Coptic 4>IOJUL, « the lake." t A town in the Delta.