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Narmer/Menes – The first pharaoh of Egypt

February 5, 2012 1 comment

The founder the first dynasty of Egypt was the mythical Menes. His name is only attested on a few monuments or papyri from later periods, none contemporary with his supposed rule. Pharaoh Narmer on the other hand, is attested on contemporary items and is also seen as the unifier of the two lands The general consensus among Egyptologists these days is to equate these two names.

The hieroglyphs of this first king, with the Manuel de Codage code below the cartouches, and the names assigned to the king by the ancient greek authors. The early pharaohs are only attested by their Horus name. The nomen/prenomen (Menes, Meni, etc.) was most likely added in later times.

Hieroglyphic sources


Y5:N35-M17
Meni
mn-i
Abydos Canon #1

Y5:N35-M17-A1
Meni
mn-i
Turin Papyrus 2.10

Y5:N35-M17-Z4-G7
Meni
mn-i
Turin Papyrus 2.11

Y5:N35-M18
Meni
mn-i
Ramesseum, LD VII-163

K13
Nar
nar
Horus name

K13-U23
Narmer
nar-mr
Horus name

K13-U23-G47
Narmertjay
nar-mr-TAi
Horus name

Classical sources

Author Original Transliteration Transcription
Eratosthenes1 Μήνης Mēnēs Menes
Diodorus Siculus Μηνᾶν / Μηνᾶ Mēnan / Mēna Mena
Herodotus Μῖνα / Μῖνι Mina Mina
Africanus 1-1 Μήνης Mēnēs Menes
Eusebius 1-1 Μήνης Mēnēs Menes
Eusebius (Armenian) Մէմէս Memes
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