The Royal Canon Library: Volume 25

Studies on Manetho and the Egyptian Royal Lists

Wolfgang Helck


Pages 83-84

The "extensions"; Subdivisions in T.[*]

An unexplained difference between T and M in connection with the sum numbers must be pointed out: not all the dynasties of Manetho match with those of the Turin Papyrus. A similarity can be found in the Fifth, and probably also in the Sixth, the Eleventh, Twelfth, and Fifteenth dynasties, that is, wherever the contemporaries have already spoken of a dynasty, as we did for the Heracleopolitan period with the name of the “House of Khety”. But until the end of the Fifth Dynasty, T does not give sums or dynastic headings, but seems to indicate subdivisions by adding the words “ruled as a king” (even in the Third Dynasty “his lifetime”). However, these subdivisions are elsewhere than in M: they begin with Miebis, Zoser (especially emphasized by rubrum!), and nfr-ir-kꜢ-rꜤ. This change is striking because we know from Pap. Westcar that the transition from the Fourth to the Fifth dynasty was seen as a strong division already at that time. This raises the conjecture that we are not dealing with dynastic divisions here. If we look at the intermediate spaces according to which the written comments stand, the result is a striking match:

Menes to ḥsp.ti6 lines
Miebis to Nb-kꜢ13 lines
Djoser to Sahure14 lines
nfr-ir-kꜢ-rꜤ to [wsr-kꜢ-rꜤ]9 lines (and a sum)
mri-rꜤ to 'Ibi11 lines and 4 lines total (see above!)
(Col. IV 9) to V 413 lines
V 5 to 1814 lines (including 2 sums and one heading)
V 19 to VI 3 (12th dynasty)10 lines
VI 4 to 1512 lines (and the note “omitted”)
VI 16 to VII 214 lines
VII 3 to (16)14 lines
(VII 17) to VIII 315 lines
VIII 4 to 1916 lines
VIII 20 to (IX 4)15 lines
(IX 5) to 1915 lines
IX 20 to (X 2)15 lines
(X 3) to x?Disruption apparently caused by the explicit
x to x 30?introduction of the Hyksos; together 28 lines.
X 31 to XI 1516 lines
XI 16 to XI 3015 lines
XI 31 to ?incomplete

Therefore, there is a striking preference for the numbers 13 to 16, with an increasing tendency to be recognized. I did not consider the two cases VI 1 and IV 1, ie in the first line of the page. As you might expect, the writer has inserted the full text at the top of the page. Could not the full writing be because it was copied from a vorlage[*] that had between 13/6 lines per page, in the same way the number of lines increase in the Pap. Turin itself, where Col. II begins with 25 lines and Col. IX has 32 lines? The writer of T would then have copied as he read it in his template without considering that the full line spelling actually belonged only to the head of the page - which he has also inserted twice. We have still to add the lines for the dynasty of gods of the template above Menes to ḥ

*The Royal Canon of Turin is abbreviated as T by Helck.*German for “template, prototype or prior version of a manuscript”.