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Vizier
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Vizier (transliteration: ṯꜥty) was an ancient Egyptian occupational title. The vizier was the highest official in ancient Egypt to serve the Pharaoh during the Old, Middle, and New Kingdoms.[1] The vizier's paramount duty was to supervise the running of the country, much like a prime minister. At times this included small details such as sampling the city's water supply.[2] The viziers thus acted as the pharaoh's highest sealbearer. All other lesser supervisors and officials, such as tax collectors and scribes, reported to the vizier. The judiciary was part of the civil administration, and the vizier also sat in the High Court. At any time, the pharaoh could exert his own control over any aspect of government, overriding the vizier's decisions. The vizier also supervised the security of the pharaoh and the palace by overseeing the comings and goings of palace visitors.[3]

History[]

Early depiction's of the title may be seen on the Narmer Palette and Narmer Macehead in a primitive form (ṯt).[4] The earliest known holder of the title was Menka of the Second Dynasty. During the Fourth Dynasty and early Fifth Dynasty, viziers were exclusively drawn from the royal family; from the period around the reign of Neferirkare Kakai onwards, they were chosen according to loyalty and talent or inherited the position from their fathers.[5] From the Fifth Dynasty onwards, viziers, who by then were the highest civilian bureaucratic official, held supreme responsibility for the administration of the palace and government, including jurisdiction, scribes, state archives, central granaries, treasury, storage of surplus products and their redistribution, and supervision of building projects such as the royal pyramid.[3]

In the New Kingdom, there was a vizier for Upper and Lower Egypt each. The title was by then referred to as Vizier of Upper/Lower Egypt or Overseer of Upper/Lower Egypt. The New Kingdom office of Viceroy of Kush was effectively a vizier over the Nubian territories. The Vizier was often titled Overseer of the Northern Lands with regards to the Viceroy, who was titled Overseer of the Southern Lands.

The Instruction of Rekhmire ("Installation of the Vizier"), a New Kingdom text, defines many of the duties of the vizier, and lays down codes of behavior and traits that were required to be a vizier:

  • Act by the law
  • Judge fairly
  • Do not act willfully or headstrong

List of Viziers[]

Early Dynastic period[]

Viziers of the Early Dynastic period
Vizier Pharaoh Dynasty Comments
Menka Nynetjer (?) 2nd Dynasty Earliest known holder of the title

Old Kingdom[]

Viziers of the Old Kingdom
Vizier Pharaoh Dynasty Comments
Kagemni I Sneferu 4th Dynasty Purported author of the Instructions of Kagemni. Not attested in contemporary sources,
Nefermaat I Khufu 4th Dynasty Son of Sneferu and father of Hemiunu
Hemiunu Khufu 4th Dynasty Nefermaat's son, believed to have designed Khufu's pyramid
Kawab Khufu 4th Dynasty Eldest son and vizier of Khufu
Ankhhaf Khafre 4th Dynasty Son of Sneferu
Nefermaat II Khafre 4th Dynasty Nephew of Nefermaat the Elder, a son of Nefertkau I; a grandson of Sneferu
Minkhaf Khafre 4th Dynasty Son of Khufu, vizier under Khafre
Khufukhaef Khafre 4th Dynasty Son of Khufu, vizier under Khafre
Nikaure Menkaure 4th Dynasty Son of Khafre
Ankhmare Menkaure 4th Dynasty Son of Khafre
Duaenre Menkaure 4th Dynasty Son of Khafre, vizier during the late 4th dynasty
Nebemakhet Menkaure 4th Dynasty Son of Queen Meresankh III
Iunmin I Menkaure 4th Dynasty Possibly son of Khafre, vizier during the late 4th dynasty
Babaef II Shepseskaf 4th Dynasty Grandson of Khafre
Seshathotep Heti Userkaf 4th Dynasty It is not certain if Seshathetep held the titles of a vizier.
Sekhemkare Userkaf and Sahure 5th Dynasty Son of Khafre and queen Hekenuhedjet.
Werbauba Sahure 5th Dynasty
Washptah Sahure and Neferirkare Kakai 5th Dynasty
Minnefer Nyuserre Ini I 5th Dynasty
Ptahshepses Nyuserre Ini I 5th Dynasty Became the son-in-law of Nyuserre Ini some time after his ascension to the throne.
Kay Nyuserre Ini I 5th Dynasty
Pehenuikai Nyuserre Ini I 5th Dynasty
Ptahhotep Desher Menkauhor Kaiu or Djedkare Isesi 5th Dynasty
Ptahhotep Djedkare Isesi 5th Dynasty
Seshemnefer (III) Djedkare Isesi 5th Dynasty
Ptahhotep I Djedkare Isesi 5th Dynasty Purported author of The Maxims of Ptahhotep
Akhethotep Djedkare Isesi 5th Dynasty Son of Ptahhotep I.
Senedjemib Inti Djedkare Isesi 5th Dynasty
Ptahhotep II Unas 5th Dynasty
Akhethetep Hemi Unas 5th Dynasty
Ihy Unas 5th Dynasty
Niankhba Unas 5th Dynasty
Sekhem-ankh-Ptah 5th or 6th Dynasty Dating uncertain, may have been the son-in-law of a king.
Senedjemib Mehi 6th Dynasty possible son-in-law of Unas (or Djedkare Isesi), vizier during the early 6th dynasty
Nefersheshemre Teti 6th Dynasty
Kagemni Teti 6th Dynasty son-in-law of Teti
Mereruka Teti 6th Dynasty son-in-law of Teti
Khentika Teti 6th Dynasty
Mehu Teti 6th Dynasty
Ankhmahor Teti - Pepi I 6th Dynasty
Merefnebef Teti - Pepi I 6th Dynasty Merefnebef is also known as Unis-ankh and Fefi in his tomb
Heri Teti - Pepi I 6th Dynasty May have participated in the assassination of Teti
Meryteti Pepi I 6th Dynasty grandson of Teti, son of Mereruka
Iunmin II Pepi I 6th Dynasty
Nebet Pepi I 6th Dynasty First woman appointed vizier, mother-in-law of Pepi I
Inenek-Inti Pepi I 6th Dynasty Consort of Pepi I
Tjetju Pepi I 6th Dynasty
Qar Pepi I 6th Dynasty
Djau Pepi I 6th Dynasty brother-in-law of Pepi I, son of Nebet
Rawer Pepi I 6th Dynasty
Weni Nemtyemsaf I 6th Dynasty Likely the same person as vizier Neferwenmeryre
Teti Pepi II 6th Dynasty
Shemai Neferkaure - Neferkauhor Khuwyhapi 7th and 8th Dynasties son-in-law of Neferkauhor, nomarch of Coptos, later vizier
Idy Neferirkare (?) 7th and 8th Dynasties son of Shemay

Middle Kingdom and Second Intermediate Period[]

Viziers of the Middle Kingdom and Second Intermediate Period
Vizier Pharaoh Dynasty Comments
Babi Mentuhotep II 11th Dynasty
Dagi Mentuhotep II 11th Dynasty
Amenemhat I Mentuhotep IV 11th Dynasty He later became king as Amenemhat I, first Pharaoh of the 12th Dynasty
Ipy Amenemhat I 12th Dynasty
Intef-Iqer Amenemhat I
Senusret I
12th Dynasty He is indicated in the Wadi el-Hudi as being involved in military missions in Lower Nubia.[3]
Senusret Senusret I
Amenemhat II
12th Dynasty
Ameny Amenemhat II 12th Dynasty
Amenemhat-Ankh Amenemhat II (?)[6] 12th Dynasty
Saiset Amenemhat II 12th Dynasty
Nebit Senusret III 12th Dynasty
Khnumhotep III Senusret III 12th Dynasty
Khety Amenemhat III 12th Dynasty
Ameny Amenemhat III 12th Dynasty [6]
Simentu Amenemhat III 12th Dynasty [6]
Senusret-Ankh End 12th Dynasty
Beginning 13th Dynasty
Khenmose [6] 13th Dynasty
Ankhu Khendjer 13th Dynasty
Resseneb 13th dynasty Son of Ankhu[7]
Iymeru 13th Dynasty Son of Ankhu[7]
Neferkare Iymeru Sobekhotep IV 13th Dynasty
Sebka-Bebi[8] 13th Dynasty
Ibiau[8] Ibiau or Ay 13th Dynasty
Ay[8] Merhotepre Ini II 13th Dynasty Ay was Mayor of El Kab before being appointed Vizier in Year 1 of Ini II, as reported in the Juridical Stela.
Aymeru[8] 13th Dynasty Aymeru was the younger son of Ay and succeeded him in office, as reported in the Juridical Stela.
Senebhenaf Djehuty 16th Dynasty Perhaps the son of Vizier Ibiau;[8] father-in-law of Pharaoh Djehuty; father of Queen Mentuhotep.[9]

New Kingdom[]

Viziers of the New Kingdom
Vizier Pharaoh Dynasty Comments
Tetinefer Ahmose II? 18th Dynasty Vizier of the North (Memphis)
Imhotep Thutmose I 18th Dynasty Vizier of the South
Aakheperreseneb Thutmose I 18th Dynasty Vizier of the South
Aametju-Ahmose Thutmose II, Hatshepsut, Thutmose III 18th Dynasty Vizier of the South
Useramun Hatshepsut, Thutmose III 18th Dynasty Vizier of the South
Neferweben Thutmose III 18th Dynasty Likely Vizier of the North
Rekhmire Thutmose III 18th Dynasty Vizier of the South
Amenemopet-Pairy Amenhotep II, Thutmose IV 18th Dynasty Vizier of the South
Seny Thutmose IV 18th Dynasty Vizier of the South
Hepu Thutmose IV 18th Dynasty Vizier of the South
Thutmose Thutmose IV 18th Dynasty Vizier of the North
Ptahmose Amenhotep III 18th Dynasty Vizier of the South
Amenhotep-Huy Amenhotep III 18th Dynasty Vizier of the North
Aperel Amenhotep III, Akhenaten 18th Dynasty Vizier of the North
Ramose Amenhotep III, Akhenaten 18th Dynasty Vizier of the South
Nakhtpaaten Akhenaten 18th Dynasty Vizier of the South
Pentu Tutankhamun 18th Dynasty Vizier of the South
Ay Tutankhamun 18th Dynasty Vizier of the South, succeeded Tutankhamen as Pharaoh
Usermontu Ay and Horemheb 18th Dynasty Vizier of the South
Seti the Elder (?) Horemheb 18th Dynasty Posssibly given the title posthumously when his son Ramesses I became pharaoh and may have never actually held the position.
Paramessu Horemheb 18th Dynasty Vizier of the North, later took the throne as Ramesses I.
Nebamun Horemheb, Ramesses I, Seti I, Ramesses II 18th and 19th Dynasty Vizier of the South
Seti I Ramesses I 19th Dynasty Vizier of the North
Hatiay Seti I and Ramesses II 19th Dynasty Vizier of the North?
Paser Seti I and Ramesses II 19th Dynasty Vizier of the South
Nehy I Ramesses II 19th Dynasty Vizier of the South
Khay Ramesses II 19th Dynasty Vizier of the South, ca. Year 27-45
Thutmose Ramesses II 19th Dynasty Vizier of the South, ca. Year 45-50.
Parehotep I Ramesses II 19th Dynasty Vizier of the North in ca year 40.
Parehotep II Ramesses II 19th Dynasty Vizier of the North in ca year 50. Also served as High Priest of Ptah and Ra.
Neferrenpet Ramesses II 19th Dynasty Vizier of the South in ca year 50
Panehesy Merenptah 19th Dynasty Vizier of the South
Pensekhmet Merenptah 19th Dynasty Vizier of the South, Year 8
Merysekhmet Merenptah 19th Dynasty Vizier of the North, Year 3?
Amenmose Seti II 19th Dynasty Vizier of the South
Khaemtir Amenmesses 19th Dynasty Vizier of the South, served as Viceroy of Kush under Merenptah.
Paraemheb Seti II 19th Dynasty Vizier of the South
Hori Seti II, Siptah, Tausret, Setnakhte and Ramesses III 19th and 20th Dynasty
Iuty 20th Dynasty Vizier of the North?
Nehy II (?) Ramesses III 20th Dynasty
Hewernef Ramesses III 20th Dynasty Vizier of the South
To Ramesses III 20th Dynasty Vizier of the South
Neferrenpet Ramesses IV to Ramesses VI 20th Dynasty Vizier
Nehy III Ramesses VI 20th Dynasty Vizier, son of Neferronpe
Mentuherhetef Ramesses IX 20th Dynasty Vizier of the South
Wennefer Ramesses IX 20th Dynasty Vizier of the South
Nebmarenakhte-Sahtanefer Ramesses IX, Ramesses X and Ramesses XI 20th Dynasty
Khaemwaset Ramesses IX 20th Dynasty Vizier of the South
Herihor Ramesses XI 20th Dynasty Vizier of the South

Third Intermediate Period[]

Viziers of the South[10]
Vizier Pharaoh year Dynasty Comments
Herihor Smendes I c. 1075 BC 21st Dynasty
Pinedjem I Smendes I c. 1070 BC 21st Dynasty
Amenherpamesha Psusennes I c. 1040 BC 21st Dynasty
Neseramun (A) Siamun c. 960 BC 21st Dynasty Son of Nebneteru (ii) a Letter Writer to the Pharaoh
Iuput Shoshenq I c. 940 BC 22nd Dynasty Vizier of the South
Padimut Osorkon I c. 920 BC 22nd Dynasty Vizier of the South
Ia-o Osorkon I c. 900 BC 22nd Dynasty
Rudpamut Takelot I c. 880 BC 22nd Dynasty
Hor(y) Takelot I c. 876 BC 22nd Dynasty
Nimlot C Osorkon II c. 850 BC 22nd Dynasty Vizier of the South
Hori Takelot II c. 845? BC 23rd Dynasty Son of Iutjek?
Nespaqashuty A Takelot II c. 835 BC 23rd Dynasty
Horsaiset D Shoshenq III c. 825 BC 22nd Dynasty
Hor (viii) Shoshenq III c. 820 BC 22nd Dynasty
Pentyefankh Pedubast I c. 815 BC 23rd Dynasty
Horsaiset E Shoshenq III and Shoshenq IV c. 790 BC 22nd Dynasty
Horsaiset F Pami c. 785 BC 22nd Dynasty Also served as High Priest of Ptah
Djedkhonsiuefankh E Shoshenq III / Osorkon III c. 780 BC 22nd-23rd Dynasty
Nakhtefmut C Shoshenq III / Osorkon III c. 775 BC 22nd-23rd Dynasty
Hor x Osorkon III c. 770 BC 22nd-23rd Dynasty Son of Nakhtefmut C
Pamiu Osorkon III c. 765 BC 22nd-23rd Dynasty Vizier of the South
Pakharu Takelot III c. 765 BC 22nd-23rd Dynasty Son of Pamiu
Osorkon-Ankh Takelot III c. 765 BC 22nd-23rd Dynasty
Padiamenet Rudamun c. 760 BC 22nd-23rd Dynasty Son of Pamiu
Horsaiset H Ini IV (?) c. 730 BC 24th Dynasty Theban Vizier of the South
Hor-Ankh Ini IV (?) c. 730 BC 24th Dynasty Abydene Vizier of the South
Nespaqashuty B Piye c. 725 BC 25th Dynasty Abydene Vizier of the South
Nesmin Piye c. 725 BC 25th Dynasty Theban Vizier of the South, son of Horsaiset H
Padiaset Piye c. 720 BC 25th Dynasty Theban Vizier of the South, son of Horsaiset H
Khaemhor Piye c. 715 BC 25th Dynasty Theban Vizier of the South, son of Horsaiset H
Horsaiset-Pahrer Shabataka c. 710 BC 25th Dynasty Theban Vizier of the South, son of Khaemhor A
Nesmin Shabataka c. 710 BC 25th Dynasty Theban Vizier of the South, son of Khaemhor A
Nespaqashuty C Shabataka 25th Dynasty Abydene Vizier of the South
Mentuhotep ? 25th Dynasty Vizier of the North
Nespamedu Taharqa c. 680 BC 25th Dynasty Abydene Vizier of the South, Son of Nespaqashuty C
Nespaqashuty D Tanutamun and Psamtik I c. 655 BC 25th-26th Dynasty Abydene Vizier of the South, buried in TT312, Son of Nespademu
Djedkare ? 25th Dynasty Vizier of the North

Late Period[]

Viziers of the Late Period[11]
Vizier Pharaoh Dynasty Comments
Horsaiset R Psamtik I 26th Dynasty Vizier of the North, also served as High Priest of Ra
Sasobek Psamtik I 26th Dynasty Vizier of the North
Nasekheperensekhmet Psamtik I 26th Dynasty Vizier of the North
Bakenrenef Psamtik I 26th Dynasty Vizier of the North
Ankhwennefer Psamtik I 26th Dynasty Vizier of the North
Iry 26th Dynasty Vizier of the South
Djedwebisetiuefankh 26th Dynasty Vizier of the South
Iufaa Psamtik I 26th Dynasty Vizier of the North, father of Gemenefhorbak
Gemenefhorbak Psamtik I 26th Dynasty Vizier of the North
Harsomtusemhat 26th Dynasty Vizier of the North
Psamtik-Meryneith Ahmose III 26th Dynasty Vizier of the North
Pasherientaihet Ahmose III 26th Dynasty Vizier of the North
Psamtikseneb Nectanebo II 30th Dynasty

See also[]

References[]

  1. Shaw 2000, p. 104.
  2. Goddard 2012.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Moreno García 2013.
  4. Wilkinson 2001.
  5. Lichtheim 1976, p. 21.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Grajetzki 2009, p. 169.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Grajetzki 2009, p. 170.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Ryholt 1997, p. 192.
  9. Grajetzki 2009, p. 40.
  10. Kitchen 1986, Table 15, p. 483.
  11. Viziers by Anneke Bart

Bibliography[]

  • Goddard, J., 2012: Public Health Entomology. Starkville: CRC Press.
  • Grajetzki, W., 2009: Court Officials of the Egyptian Middle Kingdom. London.
  • Kitchen, K.A., 1986: The Third Intermediate Period in Egypt, 1100-650 B.C. (Book & Supplement) Aris & Phillips.
  • Lichtheim, M., 1976: Ancient Egyptian Literature, Volume II: The New Kingdom.
  • Moreno García, J.C., 2013: Ancient Egyptian administration. Leiden, The Netherlands.
  • Ryholt, K., 1997: The Political Situation in Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period c.1800-1550 B.C. Museum Tuscalanum Press.
  • Shaw, I., 2000: The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt. Oxford University Press.
  • Wilkinson, T.A.H., 2001: Early Dynastic Egypt. Routledge, London.
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