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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 Seventh and Eighth Dynasties.

The Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh (Thebes only) Dynasties of ancient Egypt are often combined under the group title, First Intermediate Period.

The Seventh and Eighth Dynasties are a little-known line of kings (pharaohs) during a confusing time in the history of Egypt.

Kings

Seventh and Eighth Dynasty
Name Dates Comments
Menkare c. 2181 BC (probably short reign)
Neferkare II
Neferkare (III) Nebi
Djedkare Shemai
Neferkare (IV) Khendu
Merenhor
Seneferka Neferkamin
Nikare
Neferkare (V) Tereru
Neferkahor
Neferkare (VI) Pepiseneb ?-2171 BC
Neferkamin Anu c. 2170 BC (Turin Canon gives rule of 2 years, 1 month and 1 day)
Qakare Ibi 2175–2171 BC (Turin Canon gives rule of 4 years and 2 months)
Neferkaure 2167–2163 BC (Turin Canon gives rule of 2 years, 1 month and 1 day)
Neferkauhor Khuwyhapi 2163–2161 BC
Neferirkare 2161–2160 BC

Sources

Manetho

The three sources which provide our knowledge on this period is exceedingly difficult to work with. Manetho's full history does not survive intact, but is known through other writers who quoted from it. Unfortunately, the two ancient historians who quote from this section, Sextus Julius Africanus and Eusebius of Caesarea, provide inconsistent accounts of both dynasties. Africanus claims that the Seventh dynasty consisted of 70 kings that ruled during a period of seventy days in Memphis, and the Eighth consisted of 27 kings who reigned for 146 years. However, Eusebius records that during the Seventh Dynasty five kings ruled over seventy five days, and the Eighth includes five kings who ruled for 100 years. Seventy kings in seventy days is usually considered the correct version of Manetho, but obviously not the actual correct dates. This epithet is interpreted to mean that the pharaohs of this period were extremely ephemeral, and the use of seventy may be a pun on fact that this was Manetho's seventh dynasty.[1] The fact that Manetho does not provide actual historical data on this period is interpreted by many as meaning that the seventh dynasty is fictitious.

The Turin Canon of Kings and Abydos King List

Two Egyptian documents record the names of the kings of Egypt, however they do not divide them into dynasties. Kings 42 to 56 on the Abydos King List come between the end of the sixth dynasty and the beginning of the eleventh, and do not appear to be from the ninth or tenth dynasties either.[2] The Turin Canon is heavily damaged, and cannot be read without much difficulty. However, the fragment containing what is believed to be the name of Nitocris has two mangled names and a third name on it which is clearly that of Qakare Ibi, the 53rd king on the Abydos king list. There seems to be left room for two more kings before the end of the dynasty.[3] This would indicate that the the missing parts of the Turin Papyrus probably contained the kings in the 51st to 55th registers of the Abydos King list. Because the Turin papyrus omits the first nine kings on the Abydos list, W.C. Hayes thinks it reasonable that the Egyptians may have divided the seventh and eighth dynasties at this point.[4][5]

Decline into Chaos

Given that five names of the kings from this period have Pepi II's throne name Neferkare in their own names, they may have been descendants of the sixth dynasty who were trying to hold on to some sort of power.[6] Some of the acts of the final four eighth dynasty kings are recorded in their decrees to Shemay, a vizier during this period, however only Qakare Ibi can connected to any monumental construction. His pyramid has been found at Saqarra near Pepi II and continues to have the pyramid texts written on the walls.[7]

However many kings there actually were, it is clear that during this time period a breakdown of the central authority of Egypt was underway. The rulers of these dynasties were based in Memphis; with the exception of the final eighth dynasty kings, all that is known of most of these rulers is their names. This group of kings was eventually overthrown by a rival group, the Ninth Dynasty, based in Herakleopolis Magna.

References

  1. Grimal, Nicolas. A History of Ancient Egypt. p.138. Librairie Arthéme Fayard, 1988.
  2. Abydos King List, Accessed November 9, 2006
  3. Smith, W. Stevenson. The Old Kingdom in Egypt and the Beginning of the First Intermediate Period, in The Cambridge Ancient History," vol. I, part 2, ed. Edwards, I.E.S, et al. p.197. Cambridge University Press, New York, 1971
  4. Smith, W. Stevenson. The Old Kingdom in Egypt and the Beginning of the First Intermediate Period, in The Cambridge Ancient History," vol. I, part 2, ed. Edwards, I.E.S, et al. p.197. Cambridge University Press, New York, 1971
  5. Piccione's King Lists
  6. Grimal, Nicolas. A History of Ancient Egypt. p.140. Librairie Arthéme Fayard, 1988.
  7. Grimal, Nicolas. A History of Ancient Egypt. p.140. Librairie Arthéme Fayard, 1988.
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