The term pharaoh comes from the Egyptian word "Per aa" back ( " big house " ), which was originally either a sovereign title or proper name, but the name given to the royal court or palace. The use of " Pharaoh " with respect to the person of the king came from Thutmose III only in the New Kingdom. on, but this was then titling the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, not the rule, and no part of the official protocol. In Coptic - the last stage of the Egyptian language - it is then the normal word for king.

In the Hebrew language of the Bible all the kings of ancient Egypt are with "Pharaoh" anachronistically referred. Similarly, on many Egyptologists the word "Pharaoh" for all Egyptian rulers, although the title "king" at least until Siamun would be the correct form. Siamun was the first ruler to "Per aa" wore as a royal title. He reigned in the third interval as the sixth king of the 21st Dynasty.

  • 5.1 Horus name
  • 5.2 Nebtiname
  • 5.3 Gold Name
  • 5.4 throne name
  • 5.5 proper name

Term use

Apart from the entire five-part titulary the ancient Egyptian texts also list other names or epithets of the so-called king. These are both within his titulary as busy outside of these " perfect ( good ) God," " the great God ", " Lord of the Crowns", "Lord of the Two Lands ", " Lord of the making of things ( the rites ) "and" Lord of the Sed feast ".

Unique evidence that a ruler saw himself as pharaoh, is often that he wrote his name in hieroglyphics a cartridge that was reserved only royal name. However, queens and princesses have even sporadically since the end of the 12th Dynasty, and later regular cartridges. The occupied only on scarabs ruler of the 16th Dynasty, on the other hand often wear no cartridge, but by the title of " Neter - nefer " ("The perfect God ") and " Sa Ra" ( " son of Re" ) clearly identified as a ruler.

The local kings of all ancient Egyptian Small States during the Second (16th dynasty ) and the Third Intermediate Period may be referred to law as pharaohs, as they all wore a mostly full royal titulary. Some of these rulers - even high priest, God's Wives and Libyan local princes - can even assign throne name, which shows that they definitely saw himself in the tradition of larger rulers. In addition, the Ptolemies are not the last pharaohs, the Roman Emperor count basically to the Egyptian pharaohs, as this area was part of their territory, and they are at least partly occupied Hieroglyphic in Ancient Egypt.

Self-image of the King ( Pharaoh)

Divine kingship

Since the Early Dynastic period, the king (Pharaoh) understood as the son of the sky deities; he was also its delegate, emissary, partners and successors. The latter equation refers to the reign of the gods, who previously ruled on the earth according to ancient Egyptian mythology. The in the past often postulated divine identification with Horus does not match the source location and the view of the world, which consisted of three levels. Rather, the king looked on its own layer between the divine sky and the earth-based humans. The king was transferred with his coronation the office of " divine Horus". This process manifested itself in the Horus name. So the king took over as the earthly rulers, the " paternal office of Horus" and was additionally since the 4th Dynasty as "Son of Re".

The Egyptology rejected the meantime until well past the middle of the 20th century represented concept that equated the king with a deity, and defined the role of the king in accordance with the ancient Egyptian mythology due to the source material again. Only a few researchers rely on a divinity of the king, for example, the Old Testament scholar Klaus Koch, however, without mentioning evidence for this assumption. The special role marked the king as " divine mediator " who passed on the plans of the gods of heaven to the people and took care that the " divine will " has been implemented accordingly. The " divinity of the king " therefore confined to his office and did not relate to him itself Thus the king reached only in connection with his ruler Office a divine status, but without being self- identified with a deity. In Egyptology, in this context, the term " divine kingship " is used, which refers to the representative in the divine mission activities of the king. It remains unclear whether the early dynastic kings directly related to the deity Horus or Horus the falcon used only as a general " symbol of the distant sky gods ". After the death of the King ( Pharaoh) of these occurred in his heaven rise to there "born in the composite of the other deities and ancestors" as a deified king to exercise his office.

As part of its activities, the king wore his duties with respect to a wide variety of epithets, such as " Perfect God ", in which the divine sonship should be brought to the process as a born-again kingdom to God in the figure of the king expressed. The additional cars of Ramses II designation "Great God ", however, refers to the appreciation of earthly kingship, which was settled in the divine hierarchy below the gods. However, Ramses II was not satisfied, as " bound by instructions god-king " a clothe " subordinate office", which is why he made ​​the attempt in his official philosophy to lift by appropriate epithet the kingship to the gods equal level. The " Gleichrangigkeitsbemühungen " of Ramses II could not prevail, but reflected the failed counter-reactions of some kings resist, trying to increase the value of divine kingship.

Divine legitimacy

The at the coronation " ritually activated divinity " in terms of kingship replied the king in the role of the earthly representatives of the gods. Associated with this gave the gods ' thrones, long years of rule and the land of Egypt ", so that the king with divine blessing the world order Maat maintains and protects against foreign invaders. From the second millennium BC, a text is known, has been installed in numerous temples and divine legitimation describes:

" Re the king upon the earth of the living forever and ever. (So ​​he works ) in judgment of the people, while satisfying the gods, the origination of truth and the destruction of sin. He gives food to the gods, the glorified dead victims. "

Prohibition of Attribution of the King ( Pharaoh)

Particularly striking is the prohibition to mention the names of deities. Such taboos are only secondarily and partially investigated in Egyptology for the ancient Egyptian religion. Herodotus reported on the ban, in certain contexts public pronounce the name of Osiris. In this theme, the negative confession of Ramses VI. , Who boasted to have not uttered the name of Tatenen heard. The rite, not to mention the name of the king, but only write down and read is attested more often; detail, for example in the Middle Kingdom in the "doctrine of a man for his son " and in sources that deal with "right behavior towards the king." Reasons for this taboo are well seen in the reverence and fear of the respective deity, as the negative reception of magical powers has been associated with public utterance. In the case of the prohibition of name pronunciation of the king should be the main subject, the fear of consequences are magical to which a possible defamation could result through carelessness. In this context, is the more taboo environment, the call to "hidden and secret names of certain gods."

Cartridge form

The cartridge form, probably originally came from the " 's Ring " is a rope loop with overlapping ends, the ancient Egyptian symbol of eternity or infinity and protection, developed with the length of each king name to a more elongated, elliptical shape.

Made of highly detailed representations it is clear that the cartridges line actually consists of a double cord, which is defined as a rope loop around the royal name, and at the end with a knot. In more schematic representation of the node as a container positioned 90 ° to the longitudinal axis of the cartridge at an angle bar, which corresponds in length to about the width cartridges appear. The name hieroglyphs inside the cartridge always began on the opposite side of this bar. The entire cartridge could both vertically (perpendicular ) and horizontally ( horizontally ) are presented, which could be either on the right or on the left side in the latter type of cartridge beginning. See also hieroglyphics cartridge.

Name spelling

Within the royal cartouches follows the naming scheme usually the general laws of the hieroglyphic letters. For example, the sign of a contained in the name or part of name Egyptian deity out of respect for this the entire name or the corresponding part of the name is always prefixed.

The throne name of Thutmose III. is in Egyptological school pronunciation ( transliteration) "Men - cheper - Re" and is read in the transcription as " mn- HPR -R ˁ " in the German translation as " Neutral / is resistant appearance ( sForm ) of Re". The names of letters within the cartridge, however, starts from the already explained reasons with the hieroglyph of the deity Re.

Names and titles

Horus, throne and proper name often appear on the monuments of a king. In the Early Dynastic Period (1st and 2nd dynasty ) the Horus name is the main name, while the throne name is more common later. Nebti and gold name other hand, are rarely used and are therefore not known by many rulers.

Horus name

The Horus name is the oldest testified title of king and comes forward to just before the first Dynasty. Is written the name in a Serech, a rectangle on which perched a hawk. The lower part of the rectangle is the Royal Palace facade decorated ( " palace façade " ), the upper part symbolizes the yard / house. In this open area, the name of the king in hieroglyphics. From the 4th dynasty of the title can be written without Serech. The title letters are then in horizontal text with the Horus falcon in the beginning.


The Nebtiname or mistresses name is already in use as a surname in the Prädynastik; However there with other hieroglyphs composition. In the Frühdynastik followed by King Hor Den ( 1st Dynasty ) the introduction of the Nebtizeichens with the two goddesses Nekhbet and Wadjet. Both sit on a per basket, the sign for neb ( hieroglyph Gardiner V30 ), which means "lord". The Nebtiname is derived from the two existing neb - sign and the two goddesses. The sign for neb also belongs to another name of the king: "Lord of the Two Lands " ( Neb taui ).

Gold Name

The fifth title is often of gold or gold name Horus name known. The symbol for the Golden Horus name consists of a falcon ( Horus ), who on the hieroglyph for gold ( nbw ), a pectoral sits. The Golden Horus name was first used as official Zusatztitulatur of Djoser in the 3rd Dynasty. Since King Sneferu of this title, was initiated by the Hawks, who sits on the necklace, this notation to the Middle Empire remained the same.

Throne name

Beige is the throne name is most frequently the term " Nesut " or " Nisut ", when referring to the king as a secular ruler. This means that " the by the rush ", but referred only to the ruler of Upper Egypt, so Südägyptens. The title of Pharaoh of Lower Egypt was " Biti ", which means: " that of the bee ." The two tracks are combined in official inscriptions " Nesut - biti ". Was the throne name cartridge, the term " Nesut - biti " preceded by the pharaoh was both ruler of Upper as well as Lower Egypt. Nevertheless, kept the name " Pharaoh " in most languages ​​to date for the designation of the ancient Egyptian ruler. Not always the Pharaohs cartridges, the additional terms " Sa Ra" or were " Nesut biti - " prefix. Very often, on statues, steles, temple or grave inscriptions and papyrus texts alone to find the cartridges.

Proper name

An Egyptian king had besides his own name (also maiden name), which since the 5th dynasty by the name "Sa Ra ", " son of Re", is clarified, still four more titles and additional incurred later designation. With the birth of a king's son was not determined whether this would follow his father to the throne. Such was his own and birth name as that of an ordinary citizen, and did not contain the "Program", as it expresses the complete titulary with all five titles. It happened, however, that he received the name of his father or grandfather. The name of a prince, was introduced with the words son of the king of his body and not written in a cartouche.

Other names

In texts or official titles, in which the king is not mentioned by name, as ruler title usually the word " Nesut " ( " nisut " ) used ( for example, " sesch - Nesut ", " clerk of the King" ), very rarely " biti " ( for example, " chetemti - biti ", " Siegler of the King" ).

In religious texts and biographical inscriptions of officials often refer to the Egyptian king only as " Horus", without specifying the name of the ruler. In more secular context, the terms " Neb " ( "the Lord" ) or " Neb taui " ( "Lord of the Two Lands " ) occur. The latter also frequently holds a name of the ruler. Here is also found as an additional variant " Hem ", which is always translated as "Your Majesty ". Actually, it just means "servant", although the translation "person" is preferred more and more in recent literature. This additional designation usually appears in phrases such as " hem- ef" ( transliteration: Hm = f), " His Majesty ", and also appears in the form " Hem en neb taui " (HM n nb t3wj ), " servant (or: the majesty ) the Lord of the Two Lands "on. Rarely, especially in the Second Intermediate finds the name " Chu- Baq " ( " reigning ruler ").

Manetho was a temple scribe from Sebennytos in Egyptian Thebes. He wrote about the middle of the third century BC during the reign of Ptolemy I. due to the writings of the Egyptians in the Greek language, the history of Egypt from the earliest times to the Macedonian conquest in up to three books ( Aegyptiaca ). This work has gone down early, only the list of dynasties, one third of the royal name ( Manetho names) and some fragments have been preserved. Part of Manetho names ( eg, from Amenhotep Amenhotep - the latter is the Egyptological vocalization ) is still in use today; next to the traditional forms of Herodotus names (eg Cheops). Many researchers prefer to use this Graecized name because they might come closer to the pronunciation than the Egyptological vocalization.

Royal insignia

  • The Red and the White Crown, worn together as a " double crown ", the so-called " Pschent ". Before the Empire unification of Upper and Lower Egypt wore the regent either the white or red crown.
  • Other crowns, as the Chepresch or the Nemes kerchief.
  • Uraeus and vulture, also symbols of Upper and Lower Egypt, mostly together, such as on death masks, of which the best known is that of Tutankhamun.
  • Crook and flagellum (often called Wedel or scourge ). They also stand for Upper and Lower Egypt and give an indication of the beginnings of civilization.
  • The ceremonial beard or Pharaohs: Pharaohs wear on all the reliefs and paintings a long, braided and false beard, this was - just like the other royal insignia - created at official occasions.

Mentuhotep II with the Red Crown and ceremonial beard

Sesostris III. with Pschent

Tutankhamun with Nemes kerchief, uraeus and vulture and ceremonial beard

Tutankhamun with Chepresch, crook and Wedel

The famous Kings ( Pharaohs )


  • Djoser
  • Cheops
  • Hatshepsut
  • Thutmose III.
  • Akhenaten
  • Tutankhamun
  • Ramses II (the Great)

Women as king (Pharaoh)

There are four women who are shown to be wielded absolute power. The most famous of them is Hatshepsut, the first as a guardian for her stepson Thutmose III. acted and later practiced in his place as regent. Further examples are Cleopatra and the mother of Pepi II

Backed by evidence is also that the Great Royal Wife Tiye, during the reign of her husband, Amenhotep III. Government tasks perceived and later probably also for her son Akhenaten. For the 18th Dynasty is considered in other cases, wives supported their men in the government. However, this assumption is not secured.

There is also the theory that the mysterious Amarna king Smenkhkare in reality was Queen Nefertiti, which adopted this name as their throne names. This thesis support such as the Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves, Michael Höveler -Müller, Christine El Mahdy - and Cyril Aldred.