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The Ninth Dynasty of Ancient Egypt History

  • 05 16, 2023

The Ninth Dynasty of Ancient Egypt History

The 9th dynasty is from Heracleopolis, with 19 kings and a duration, according to Manetho, of 409 and 185 years. For all this time, the name of only one king, Actos, placed in the ninth dynasty is mentioned. Manetho says he was crueler than all his predecessors, but then he ended up mad and torn to pieces by a crocodile.

We are completely unaware of the circumstances that led to the rise of the "House of Akhtoy". The city of origin, Heracleopolis, is today's Ihnasya el-Medina, a town west of the Nile opposite Beni Sueif; 55 miles south of Memphis. Nothing has remained to reveal the importance it had in antiquity, but testimonies found elsewhere confirm what Manetho has handed down to us on the Heracleopolitan origin of the IX and X dynasty.

We understand that the name of Actos, or Akhtoy, was chosen by no less than three different rulers for their second cartouche. It is very probable, even if certain documents are lacking, that the first king of the dynasty adopted the name of Horo as Meribtowe ("Beloved in the heart of the Two Countries"), and to give more strength to his claims he did not hesitate to assume all pharaonic titles.

To have risen to this very high rank he must have had a character of exceptional energy, but all that remains to validate the authenticity of his existence is a copper brazier from the Louvre, an ebony stick from Mir, and a few other objects equally meaningless. A second Akhtoy, whose first name was Wahkara, is known only through a finely decorated coffin from El-Bersha, on which it seems that his cartouches were written by mistake in place of those of the true owner, the Intendant Nefri.

The existence of a third king of the same name, Akhtoy Nebkaura, is attested only by a weight coming from the excavations in Er-Retaba and by a citation in one of the few works of Egyptian fiction that have come down to us, in which the story of a farmer in the peripheral oasis of Wadi Natrun, robbed of his donkey and all the merchandise on his way to Heracleopolis.

The eloquence with which the peasant handed his complaints to the thief lord was such that he was held back so that his supplications, reproaches, and invectives could be written in order to amuse the sovereign. No less than eighteen rulers of the same family were originally registered in the Turin canon


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The Ninth Dynasty of Ancient Egypt is a relatively obscure period in Egyptian history, and there is limited information available about its rulers and achievements. It is believed to have been a time of political instability and regional rulers. Further research and archaeological discoveries may provide more insights into this less-documented dynasty.


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