Pepy I


Pepy I
King 2332-2283 BC.
    Later generations venerated Pepy I as one of the great rulers of the Old Kingdom. It is probable that as the son of Queen Iput, he succeeded *Teti, although another king—Usekare—appears to have ruled briefly for a year, perhaps while Iput acted as regent for her son.
    Pepy I married two sisters who were both named Meryreankhnes; one became the mother of the next king, Merenre, while the second sister produced *Pepy II who ultimately succeeded Merenre. It is likely that Pepy I married the second queen late in his reign, as *Pepy II was only a child when he succeeded to the throne. The sisters came from a non-royal background; they were the daughters of Khui, a powerful hereditary governor of the Thinite nome, and their brother, Djau, became vizier. Earlier tradition had demanded that the king should marry his own full- or half-sister, but it was now more important to gain the support of the powerful provincial nobility.
    During this reign, Weni—a man of humble origin—rose to become a judge, and his inscription from Abydos provides details of the events of his career: as judge, he heard in private the cases of conspiracy that had occurred in the royal harem, one of which implicated a queen of Pepy I. He also mentions his role in dealing with the incursions by the *Beduin on Egypt's north-eastern frontier, indicating that pressures were already building up in that area. Later, such harrassment would contribute to the downfall of the Old Kingdom.
    Pepy I constructed a pyramid complex a short distance from Saqqara and although the temple has not been excavated, the pyramid is important because here, in 1881, Maspero first discovered the evidence that the interior walls of the pyramids of the later Old Kingdom were inscribed with the Pyramid Texts. These religious spells, which occur in several pyramids, comprise the earliest known body of religious and magical texts from ancient Egypt. Other major building activities of the reign included the king's sanctuary at Bubastis in the Delta; also during his reign expeditions were sent to Nubia and Sinai.
    Towards the end of his reign, it is possible that the king associated his elder son Merenre with him on the throne, providing an early example of co-regency.
BIBL. Drioton, E. Notes diverses, 2. Une Coregence de Pepy Ier de Merenre (?). Ann. Serv. 44 (1945) pp. 55-6; Mercer, S.A.B. The Pyramid Texts in translation and commentary. (four vols) New York: 1952; Habachi, L. Tell Basta. Cairo: 1947, pp. 11 ff.
Biographical Dictionary of Ancient Egypt by Rosalie and Antony E. David
* * *
(reigned c. 2321–2287 BC)
   Throne name Meryre. Son of Teti of Dynasty 6 and Queen Iput I. He had a lengthy reign and is attested at various sites, notably at Hierakonpolis, where a life-size copper statue of the king and a smaller figure, possibly of his son Nemtyemsaf I, were discovered. There is a mysterious reference in the inscription of Weni to a disgraced queen who was replaced by two sisters, both renamed Ankhesenmeryre, otherwise Ankhesenpepy I and II. His other wives included Nubwenet, Inenek-Inti, and Meritetes, whose tombs next to the pyramid of the king were identified in 1990, 1992, and 1995. Another queen, Nedjeftet, was named in texts found in the tomb of Inenek-Inti, while Mehaa was named in the tomb of her son, Prince Hornetjerikhet, excavated in 1996. The king was buried in a pyramid at Saqqara, whose discovery in 1880 revealed the first examples of pyramid texts and has been the subject of excavation by a French team since 1966. He was succeeded by his son, Nemtyemsaf I.
Historical Dictionary Of Ancient Egypt by Morris L. Bierbrier

Ancient Egypt. A Reference Guide. . 2011.

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