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King Pepi I

  • 05 16, 2023

King Pepi I

Near the end of the Ancient Empire era, in the 24th and 23rd centuries BC, Meryra-Pepy, also known as Pepy I or Pepi I, was a pharaoh of Ancient Egypt and the third king of Dynasty VI. He ruled for over 40 years.

King Pepi, I proved to be an energetic ruler and a great builder; in Bubastis, there are the ruins of a sanctuary erected by him, which also undertook the construction of an important building in Eliopoli, whose god, although somewhat out of fashion, had not completely fallen into oblivion.

In the Ptolemaic era, the name of this same ruler was remembered in the temple of Dendera as that of the founder. In Ieracompoli two of his copper statues were discovered, which are the best examples of metal sculpture left from the Old Kingdom.

The impression of greatness evoked by the name of Meryra Pepi I is not based, however, on the grandeur of monuments, but on the great abundance and vast diffusion of the epigraphs that mention it. Other proofs are the fact that Memphis took its name from its pyramid, called Mn-nfr, "(Pepi is) settled and beautiful", and that he was still reverently remembered many centuries later.

An expedition to the alabaster quarry of Hatnub bears the date of the twenty-fifth census of cattle which, being then biennial, is equivalent to the fiftieth year of reign. The same rock inscription, as well as others in Wadi Hammamat, recalls his first Sed festival, which was probably celebrated in the thirtieth year of his reign. Pepi was proud of this event and commemorated it on numerous alabaster vases, now in the Louvre and other museums No satisfactory explanation has been found for the proven change of his ancient name Neferzahor in Meryra.

Her marriages, certainly consecutive, with the daughters of a provincial hereditary prince, perhaps of Abido, called Khui, seem to indicate a modest disposition; the two daughters were granted the same title, Meryre-ankh-nas, and if we are to believe the inscription that recalls this fact, one became the mother of the successor of Pepi I, Merenre I, and the other of the successor of these, Pepi II, while a third son Djau was granted the high office of vizier. This link with the provinces seems perfectly in tune with the spirit of the time. It was Pepi I, we don't know for what reasons, probably forced by the real needs of the situation.


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Egypt Tours FAQ

Read top Egypt tours FAQs

Foreign invasions had a significant impact on the rule of the Pharaohs in ancient Egypt throughout its long history. These invasions often led to changes in leadership, the disruption of dynasties, and shifts in political and cultural dynamics. Here are some key points regarding how foreign invasions affected the Pharaohs' rule:

Hyksos Invasion (Second Intermediate Period):

The most notable foreign invasion was the Hyksos invasion during the Second Intermediate Period (circa 1782-1570 BCE). The Hyksos were likely Semitic people who invaded and occupied the Nile Delta region.
The Hyksos established their rule in Lower Egypt, while native Egyptian rulers continued to rule in Upper Egypt. This division led to a fragmented Egypt, with multiple pharaohs ruling different regions.
The Hyksos introduced new technologies and military tactics, including horse-drawn chariots and composite bows, which later Egyptian rulers adopted.

New Kingdom and Foreign Relations:

The New Kingdom period (circa 1550–1070 BCE) marked the reunification of Egypt under native rulers, who sought to expand their influence and protect Egypt from foreign threats.
Pharaohs of the New Kingdom, such as Thutmose III and Ramesses II, engaged in military campaigns to secure Egypt's borders and protect it from foreign invasions. These campaigns sometimes extended Egypt's territory.

Assyrian and Persian Invasions:

Egypt faced invasions by the Assyrians in the 7th century BCE and later by the Persians in the 6th century BCE. These invasions resulted in the temporary loss of independence and the establishment of foreign rule.
Pharaoh Psamtik III was the last native Egyptian ruler before the Persian conquest. The Persian rulers, notably Cambyses II and Darius I, held Egypt as part of their empire.

Greek and Roman Invasions:

Alexander the Great's conquest of Egypt in 332 BCE marked the beginning of the Hellenistic period. After Alexander's death, the Ptolemaic dynasty, of Greek origin, ruled Egypt for several centuries.
In 30 BCE, Egypt was annexed by the Roman Empire after the defeat of Cleopatra VII and Mark Antony. Egypt remained under Roman rule for centuries, with a brief period of Byzantine rule.

Cultural Exchanges and Influences:

Foreign invasions often resulted in cultural exchanges and the assimilation of foreign elements into Egyptian culture. This included the adoption of foreign deities, customs, and architectural styles.

Decline of Pharaonic Authority:

With each foreign invasion, the traditional authority and divine status of Pharaohs were eroded. They often became puppets of foreign rulers or lost their sovereignty altogether.

Continued Egyptian Identity:

Despite foreign invasions and changes in rulership, Egypt maintained a strong sense of cultural and national identity. Elements of ancient Egyptian culture endured through various periods of foreign rule.


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