The Royal Canon Library: Volume 15

Illustrated catalogue of the Egyptian Museum of Turin

Pietro Camillo Orcurti


Pages 129-130

No. 1. Chronological papyrus (Framework hanging on the right side of the room.)

Contains a list of kings from the beginnings of the Egyptian monarchy until the Nineteenth Dynasty, an era in which it seems to have been written. On the backside, we find the name of Ramesses in the midst of various accounting records. It is a great pity that it is in this state due to carelessness by those who transported it to us from Egypt. The illustrious Seyffarth patiently established the order of the fragments. There are great doubts about the reordering system followed by the patient German. However, even in the current state greatly it helps history through the series of names written on the same fragment, by means of the numbers assigned to each reign, and the amounts placed at the end of each dynasty. This shows that the system of Manetho was national.


Pages 211-215

Chronological papyrus.

For the singularity and historical usefulness of this papyrus, I esteemed well to give here a petty summary that I could not put in the text in order not to alter the proportions of the various parts of this work. The papyrus, as we seem to have already noted, is now composed of several fragments (164) arranged in twelve vertical columns by the patient and learned Seyffarth.

Column 1, fragment 1, the first line begins like this: “Theirs (you mean years, word that disappeared because of the tearing of the papyrus) 1000”. The fragment ends here: but it can not be said that the figure was finished: indeed it is likely that they were afterwards, hundreds and tens, and perhaps even unity.
In line 2 we read: “days 30 (?), Their years 1115, days ... (missing the figure)”.
Line 3: “.... 10 fulfilled their royal (duties)”.
Line 4: “their ... 330, duration of (life)”.
Line 5: “... 10 fulfilled their royal (duties), their lifetime ...”
Line 6: “... days 19, years 11, months 4, days 22 (?)”.
Line 7: “... days 19, years 2000 (here too the number is uncertain, the units are missing)”.
Line 8: “... Father God ... 7, their years, duration of their life ...”
Line 9: “... Hor ... 13 thousand years[*] and four hundred twenty, (the units are missing)”.
Line 10: “... reigns to Horus... years 23210 (?)”.
Line 11: “King Menes of stable life”.
Line 12: “King Menes[*] of a stable life, performed his royal duties ...”
Line 13: “King A-(thot)? ...”
Line 14: “King ...”

The numbers in line 9, 10 are not certain, because Champolllon read the first one: 14420, and the second one: 23200, or: 24204. From this we can understand that the primitive order of these fragments had to be different from the current one. For it seems more probable that it should begin with the realm of the Gods, placing a short sum of money at the end of this part: then come to the exposition of the kings’ realms, making it preceded by such a sum total. This is perhaps the part that remains in line 11, which precedes the name of Menes, and of his successors, of which there remains a trace of Athot. So it is believed that fr. 11, placed at the head of the second column should be at the head of the papyrus. Fr. 2,10, are blank, or contain few non-discernible signs.

Column 2, fr. 11, line 1: Champollion read Baionch, the living spirit: others read Seb (Cronos). Line 2: Champ. read Isis, others, Osiris. Line 3: Set. Line 4: Aroeri (Horus the older). Line 5: Thot. After Champ. read: 3226, and assigns a sum of years to each God. Line 6: Thmei 3140. Line 7: Horus (the younger) 400. Note that some of these figures noted by Champollion have disappeared: but one can suppose that having taken a copy of the papyrus on the principle, they were still legible. Line 11: “23 reigns in 5623 years ... 28 days” and in line 12 another total of 13218 years. Fr. 12 seems to have the number 17718 in the first line; but it does not agree with the antecedent fragment. Fragments 2-13-17 that make up the second column are very small.

Fragment 18 which is in column 3 seems to contain the last kings of the third dynasty although neither the names nor the length of the regpi agree with those of Maneto in the list conserved by Africanus. The first line from: “8 years, 3 months”. In the second line the hieroglyphics are uncertain, and from what remains we read: “11 years, 8 months, 4 days, and his life of 34 years”. Some surmise that this figure should be attributed to the Sephuris 8th king of the III dynasty, although Africanus gives him 30 years of reign. The king who comes later reigned, “26 years, 2 months, and 1 day,” and lived for at least 40 years; because the units are missing. This figure also accords with Kerphere, ninth king of Dynasty III, who reigned 26 years according to Africanus. In the following line only number 19 remains: but it is uncertain whether the characters of the royal title, in line 4, contain a name of king.

In the following line is the beginning of a new dynasty, perhaps Dynasty IV of Manetho. The first name is Sora; Soris of Africanus followed by “19 years, 1 month, the duration of his life:” So comes a Sora II. Here the figures are missing: but as the African gives in only Soris, to whom he attributes 29 years of reign, one can believe that the second reigns 10 years, and that the sum of the two kingdoms is enclosed in the figure 29. In Africanus follows Suphis who built the great pyramid; but here the fragment of the papyrus is broken. Fragment 19 see “Sent,” a name that is found in the tombs near the pyramids. It is followed by “Nofre-Ke. (King)” the Nepherkeres of the Africanus, third king of the Fifth dynasty. Fragment 20 begins with “days 28:” the name of the third line reads “Thoth:” and in the name of the fourth line we see a character that is similar to the leg in the lasso, and means “fraud.” Line 8 of fr. 20, added to 3 of fr. 24 retain the name of “Kem”; wherefore one may suppose that one speaks of God here, and not a king. Then we come to fr.. 30. This large and very long also contains figures that may be the lives of nine kings who lived 73, 72, 63, 95? ... 95, 70? 24? (and maybe 70 years). From the great longevity they seem to belong to the kings of the Fourth Dynasty: but this is doubtful as is the position of the fragment.

Column 4 has a continuous succession of lines that occupy the entire height of the papyrus: and is composed of fr. 32 and 34. Fr. 31 and 33 are very small, and contain only two titles of kings. But it is very uncertain if they belong to this column. Fr. 32 and 34 contain almost nothing but figures. The last four lines of fr. 34 contains the names of kings, who are the last of the Fifth Dynasty. In Manetho, according to Africanus, the last three kings are Menkeres, Tankeres, Obnus (Onnus, Unus). In the fragment we find the name of Men-kere, preceded by another sign, and followed by “years 8”. Then Tat, the same one found on scarabs, and in a tomb in Sakkara. Some believe, however, that this Tat is different, and that the other is a shepherd Manetho placed by error in the Fifth Dynasty. The name followed by “28 years”. Finally the third name reads Unnas, and is followed by “years 30”. Africanus figures are quite different; for he has: 9, 44, 33. But save the second, the other two are very close. The last line of this fragment apparently contains a sum “67 kings from Menes to ...” Africanus counts from Menes to the end of Dynasty V, 42 kings, Eusebius 73. But here the papyrus disagree with Manetho.

Column V, consists mainly of fr. 41, 42, 43, 44, 47, 48. Fr. 43 begins with the name of Queen Nitocris, the last sovereign of Dynasty VI of Manetho, the first queen mentioned by Herodotus. Dr. Hincks claims that this fragment should be attached to fr. 59 instead of fr. 53, since the length of the last two reigns given by fr. 59 are: “90 (and more) years” for the first; and “1 year” for the second; they can apply to Phiops who according to Africanus reigned for 100 years, and to Mentesuphis, which according to the same reigned 1 year, and were the immediate ancestors of Nitocris. The names that follow Nitocris in fr. 43 are the first three shepherds of the XV dynasty, the first of which is placed after Papi (Phiops) and Merenre (Menthesuphis) on the list of Chenoboscion.

Column VI is made up mainly of fr. 59, 61, 63, 64, 67. Fragment 63 seems to contain some kings of the XIth Dynasty, being the first name that remains that of Menmoph,[*] whose 46 year is in the stele of our Museum already illustrated by us on p. 34. The name that comes after is the first name of King Aan, the father or ancestor of Sesortasen I. In fragment 64, line 2 is the end of the prenoms of Amun-em-he I, the last king of the eleventh, followed by a part of another which appears to be from Sesortasen I, the head of the XII, who partly reigned simultaneously with Amun-em-he. After this name there is “years 45” which coincides with the 46 years given by Africanus to Sesonchosis, and with the discovery made of the year 44 of Sesortasen on the monuments. In the next line are “10, 19, 30 (or more because the units are missing), and 40 (or more)” that seem to belong to the realms of Amun-em-he II, Sesortasen II and III, and Amun-em-he III of these kings, Amun-em-he II reigned jointly with Sesortasen II and I; his “year 2” coincide with “year 44” of Sesortasen I, and his “year 35” with “year 3” of Sesortasen II. The “year 35” date of Amun-em-he II was found on the monuments “year 3” of Sesortasen II, “year 13” of Sesortasen III, and “43” of Amun-em-he III.

Column VII. Fr. 72 contains the last two kings of Dynasty XII. Amun-em-he IV who reigned “9 years, 3 months and 27 days”, and No-fre-sevak-re, who reigned “3 years, 10 months, and 24 days”: This answers to Queen Skemiophris (Sevak-Nofre) of Manetho, who gives her four years. Here the papyrus end the dynasty with a sum of 203 years. Africanus instead puts 160: Eusebius 245, while the sum of the individual reigns is 182. After this column VII gives names of kings who are connected with Amun-em-he I, and his name is often repeated. They follow names that seem to correspond to some in Karnak’s chamber who belonged to the Dynasty XIII. Some believe that these immediately preceded the Thebans of the Eighteenth, and they reasonably claim that Tutmes III, Amenhothi I, and Amosi derived their lineage from the Theban Sesortasen, Sekennre, and Menmoph: while Sabacos, and others of the Thirteenth, belonged to different families and perhaps were Ethiopians. One of them is found on a monument to Senmeh with mention of the name of his predecessor Sesortasi III: and another Sabaco, the 7th in the upper line was found on the island of Argos. For this reason it is believed that the kings of dynasties XI and XII hold in Karnak’s chamber a position directly connected with Tutmes III, while those of the XIII are placed on the right. But this is perhaps a too early question. Although the lower part of column VII, fr. 76, 77, 78, 79 can not join fr. 72, it is likely that it contains, like fr. 81, the kings of the Thirteenth Dynasty. Many of these signs seem to have the forename and the phonetic name of a king. Among the earliest and oldest examples of two cartuches are those of King Papi, or Maire of the Sixth Dynasty, one of the many kings who may have received the name Moeris from the Greeks.

Columns VIII and IX form the continuation of the papyrus on the left, as evidenced by the correspondence of the fibers. In column IX, fr. 97, the first name has the word “Nahsi” (which means Negro) preceded by the sun: can also be read re-Nahsi, or Nahsi-re. In the eight line there is part of Re-uben-re hich is similar to the second in fr. 99, and to another, the fourth in fr. 94. This name is very important, since it was found in Nineveh, on a scarab brought from Thebes by Mr. Wilkinson. It has this same title attached to the name of Queen Amun-num-het, widow of Tutmes III, who is here called “Uben-t-re in the foreign contries” that is, the disk of the sun. In fr. 101, the second name is the same that was found by the Duke of Northumberland and Colonel Felix in the temple of Gebel Berkel in Ethiopia, which reads: “S-tore-en-re.” Some others mentioned by the papyrus are seen on scarabs, and on the monuments of Egypt.

In column XI, fr. 143 perhaps hold some kings of the Eighteenth Dynasty, but these, like many others, are uncertain. Many of those who remain ntact are unknown, kings who reigned briefly did not leave their names on the monuments. Some may have been inserted into the papyrus only because it was of royal family, and some may have demanded the title of king, without actually having held the scepter. Many may also have belonged to the Pharaohs who reigned simultaneously with the shepherds, whose names were omitted by Manetho and on the monuments.

However, although many causes contribute to making the canon of Manetho different from the chronological papyrus, and from the monuments, there are still points of agreement that we can no longer doubt the authority of the first, nor the importance of this papyrus, which, studied more profoundly and commenting on it with monuments, it can still be fruitful with many historical revelations.

*Also according to Manetho, the kingdoms of the Gods up to Horus extend to 13,900: hence there is evident agreement in the thousands.*According to Alkanes he reads: “The kings of the Kings Menes (ie the family of Menes) have had the kingdom for 200 years.” Manetho in fact gives 255 to the First Dynasty, which is likely composed of only descendants of Menes.*According to Bunsen’s opinion, followed by us, the name of Ra-neb tu would be Mentatep, which belongs to the Eight Dynasty.