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The history of Egypt is the oldest history known to us It is true that the earliest of the Babylonian kings whose names are known lived very little later than the earliest kings of Egypt, nevertheless our knowledge of the early Egyptian is greater than of the early Babylonian kings. A large portion of Egyptian history can be constructed from the native records of the Egyptians, and it is now possible to correct and modify many of the statements upon this subject made by Herodotus, Diodorus Siculus and other classical authors. It is important to note, too, that, as the result of excavations which have been carried on in several parts of Upper Egypt by Europeans and natives during the last 15 years, we have now gained a general idea of the character of the civilization which preceded that of the Dynastic Period; and it is right to assert that the beginnings of the civilization of the Nile Valley date from the latter part of the Neolithic Period. The native and other docunients from which Egyptian history is obtained are:

I. Lists of Kings found in the Turin Papyrus, the Tablet of Abydos, the Tablet of Şakkâra, and the Tablet of Karnak. The Turin Papyrus contained a


complete list of kings, beginning with the god-kings and continuing down to the end of the rule of the Hyksos, about B.C. 1700. The name of each king during this period, together with the length of his reign in years, months and days, was given, and it would have been, beyond all doubt, the most valuable of all documents for the chronology of the oldest period of Egyptian history, if scholars had been able to make use of it in the perfect condition in which it was discovered. When it arrived in Turin, however, it was found to be broken into more than one hundred and fifty fragments. The joining of the fragments of the papyrus was undertaken by Seyffarth, who produced a roll from them on which were twelve columns, with from twenty-six to thirty names in each column. A subsequent examination of the fragments proved that Seyffarth had no competent knowledge of the hieratic character, and the joining was in many cases the result of guesswork. So far back as 1824, Champollion recognized the true value of the fragments, and placed some of them in their chronological order. Its evidence is of the greatest importance for the history of the XIIIth and XIVth dynasties, because in this section the papyrus is tolerably perfect ; for the earlier dynasties it is of very little use.

On the monuments each Egyptian king has usually five names, or titles :-1. As the successor of Horus ; this title is really the name of the king's “ double.” 2. As lord of the shrines of the South and North, which were called Nekhebet and Per-Uatchet respectively. 3. As the Horus of gold. 4. As the king of the South and North united. 5. As son of Rā. Some early kings appear to have had a name as the representative or successor of the god Set.

The Horus title or Ka name of the king was usually

written in a rectangular space,

which is called serekh

something which makes known,” a sort of "banner,” or “cognizance," and the other names

,... titles of the king were preceded by 12 A,



The titles Nos. 4 and 5 are commonly called “prenomen " and "nomen," and each is written in a “cartouche"

By extension it now commonly signifies both the enclosing oval and its contents.

Thus the prenomen of Thothmes III. is


Rā-men-Kheper, and his




Rā-men-Kheper means some

thing like “Rā (the Sun-god) establishes becoming or existence”; Teḥuti-mes means “born of Thoth,” or “Thoth's son.” These names are quite distinct from his titles. Before the prenomen comes the title suten båt, † “ King of the South and North,” and after it comes

sa , son of the Sun,” preceding the

Cartouche is the name which is usually given to the oval o, in which the name of a royal person is enclosed. The discovery that cartouches contained royal names was made by Zoega, a little before the close of the eighteenth century.

† The word Pharaoh, nya, which the Hebrews called the kings of Egypt, is derived from the Egyptian per ãa, otherwise written

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It means “Great House," 1.2., the house in which

ali men live. Somewhat the same idea is intended to be conveyed by the title “Sublime Porte.”


“ Suten”

means King of the South, i.e., Upper

Egypt, and “Båt

means King of the North, i.e., Lower Egypt, the Delta, etc. Each prenomen has a meaning, but it is at times difficult to render it exactly in English. Every dynastic king styled himself king of “the South and North,” and from the IVth dynasty every king called himself “Son of Rā," "son of the Sun." The first title is sometimes varied by “ Beautiful god, lord of the two lands,"

As examples of the royal titles, other than those contained in the prenomen and nomen, may be mentioned the following :- Thothmes III. is styled

"Horus, mighty bull, diademed with Maāt, the lord, maker of things, Rā-men-kheper.” This is his KA name.

He is also called :

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Vulture, i.e., Nekhebet, Lord of the Shrine of the
Uræus, i.e., Per-Uatchet, mighty of terror in
the lands”;
of the white crown, beloved of Rā”;

« Golden

$, “ Horus, exalted


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Horus, mighty of valour, smiter of the Nine Bows,

etc. In the earliest times the kings were named after some attribute possessed by them ; thus Mena, the first king of Egypt, is the “firm” or “established.” In the Turin Papyrus only the prenomens of the kings are given, but its statements are confirmed and amplified by the other lists.

1.e., The Nine Great Tribes of the Sudân, whose principal weapons were bows and arrows.

The Tablet of Abydos* was discovered by Dümichen in the temple of Osiris at Abydos, during M. Mariette's excavations there in 1864. This list gives us the names of seventy-six dynastic kings, beginning with Mená or Menes, and ending with Seti I., the father of Rameses II. ; it is not a complete list, and it would seem as if the scribe who drew up the list only inserted such names as he considered worthy of living for ever. No attempt is made to record the names of the kings who ruled before the union of the Kingdoms of the North and South, and the Hyksos kings are unnoticed.

The kings whose names are given on the Tablet of Abydos are: DYNASTY I.


14. Tchatchai. 2. Teta.

16. Tcheser-sa.

15. Nebka.

3. Åteth. 4. Ata.

17. Tetå.

5. Semti. is a mis

18. Setches.

19. Rā-nefer-ka.
take on the part of
the scribe for

DYNASTY IV. 6. Merbap.

20. Seneferu. 7. Hu (or, Nekht).

21. Khufu (Cheops). 8. Qebh (read SEN).

22. Tet-f-Rā.
23. Khāf-Rā (Chephren).

24. Men-kau-Rā

(Mycerinus). 9. Betchau.

25. Shepseskaf. 10. Kakau. 11. Ba-en-neter.

DYNASTY V. 12. Uatch-nes.

26. Userkaf. 13. Senta.

27. Saḥu-Rā. pp. 6, 7. There is a duplicate in the British Museum (Northern Egyptian Gallery, No. 117).


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