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Dynasties of Ancient Egypt
Predynastic Period
Protodynastic Period
Early Dynastic Period
1st 2nd
Old Kingdom
3rd 4th 5th 6th
First Intermediate Period
7th 8th 9th 10th 11th
Middle Kingdom
11th 12th
Second Intermediate Period
13th 14th 15th 16th 17th
Abydos Dynasty
New Kingdom
18th 19th 20th
Third Intermediate Period
21st 22nd 23rd 24th 25th
Late Period
26th 27th 28th
29th 30th 31st
Hellenistic Period
Argead Dynasty
Ptolemaic Dynasty

Known rulers, in the History of Egypt, for the Second Dynasty.

The First and Second Dynasties of ancient Egypt are often combined under the group title, Early Dynastic Period. The capital at that time was Thinis.

For the first three pharaohs, sources are fairly close in agreement and the order is supported by an inscription on the statuette of Hetepdief, who served in the mortuary cults of these three kings.

Name Dates Comments
Hotepsekhemwy 25-29 years
Nebre 10-14 years
Nynetjer 40 years

However, the identity of the following rulers is unclear. Surviving sources might be giving the Horus name or the Nebty name and the birth names of these rulers. They may also be entirely different individuals, or could be legendary names. This might never be resolved.

It has been theorised that following the reign of Nynetjer, the country was split and ruled by two successors due to the overly complex state administration of the whole of Egypt.[1]

The following list contains various king names from different sources:

Name Dates Comments
Weneg 8 years Listed as the fourth king of the dynasty on the Turin, Saqqara and Abydos king lists. Only attested in Lower Egypt.[2]
Senedj 20 years Listed as the fifth king of the dynasty on the Turin, Saqqara and Abydos king lists.
Neferkare I Listed as the sixth king of the dynasty in the Saqqara and Turin King lists, but omitted from the Abydos King List. Only attested in later documents dated long after the time period of the Second dynasty. May have only ruled Lower Egypt.
Neferkasokar 8 years Listed as the seventh king of the dynasty in the Saqqara and Turin King lists, but omitted from the Abydos King List. Only attested in later documents dated long after the time period of the Second dynasty. May have only ruled Lower Egypt.
"Hudjefa" 11 years Name literally means "erased" or "missing", showing that this king's name was unknown or lost by the Nineteenth Dynasty. Listed as the eighth king of the dynasty on the Saqqara Tablet, but omitted from the Abydos King List. May have only ruled Lower Egypt.

The following kings are known by their Horus name (or nomen) and are either identical to kings mentioned above or seperate kings of this dynasty.

Name Dates Comments
Peribsen Name connected to Seth deity rather than the traditional Horus. Attested by contemporary inscriptions, but not on later king lists. Only attested in Upper Egypt.
Sekhemib Attested by contemporary inscriptions, but not on later king lists. May be identified with Peribsen or his immediate successor.
Nubnefer Nomen of a king, unknown placement. Name does not appear on any known official king lists. May be birth name of Nebre or a completely separate ephemeral king who ruled at some point following Nynetjer's reign.

With the last ruler, the sources return to an agreement:

Name Dates Comments
Khasekhemwy 17-18 years

Although Manetho states the capital was at Thinis, the same as during the First Dynasty, at least the first three kings were buried at Saqqara, suggesting the center of power had moved to Memphis. Beyond this, little can be said about the events during this period; the annual records on the Palermo Stone only survive for the end of the reign of Raneb and for parts of Nynetjer's. One important event possibly happened during the reign of Khasekhemwy: many Egyptologists read his name ("the Two Powers are Crowned") as commemorating the union of Upper and Lower Egypts.

External links

  • Grimal 1994, p. 55.
  • Wilkinson 1999, p. 88.
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