Amenhotep III in hieroglyphs

The ninth pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty, a.k.a. Amenophis III

The reign of Amenhotep III was a period of unprecedented prosperity and artistic splendour, when Egypt reached the peak of its artistic and international power. In an Amarna letter from the King of Mittanni, his name is written as Nimmureya, which is the Akkadian rendition of Amenhotep III's throne name Nebmaatra. He is known as Amenophis III from the Greek historians of antiquity.

More than 250 statues of him has been discovered and identified and provide a series of portraits spanning his entire reign. There is no conclusive evidence for a co-regency with his son Akhenaten, as has been suggested many times. Amenhotep III built a mortuary temple at Karnak, where the Colossi of Memnon still stands, but had it built too close to the Nile, so already 200 years later it was a ruin.

Precedessor
Thutmose IV

Successor
Amenhotep IV

Reign of Amenhotep III
AE Chronology1390–1353
v. Beckerath1392–1354
Shaw1390–1352
Dodson1388–1348
Arnold1391–1353
Malek1391–1353
Grimal1390–1352
Redford1410–1372
Manetho (Josephus)36y 5m
Manetho (Africanus)37 years
Manetho (Eusebius)36 years
Manetho (Jerome)38 years
Highest attestationYear 38

The Royal Titulary

From the hieroglyphic records

The Dual King
The Son of Ra

Horus Ka nakht kha em Maat  The Dual King Neb Maat Ra  Son of Ra Amenhotep, heqa Waset

Horus names

Horus name

The oldest form of the name of a pharaoh, a falcon representing Horus is perched on the palace facade.

Horus name
Ka nakht kha em Maat
kꜢ-nḫt-ḫꜤ-m-mꜢꜤt
The strong bull, appearing in truth
E1:D40-xa-m-H6
Description de l'Egypte, II, plates 20-22 (Memnon statues)
Lepsius, Denkmäler aus Ägypten und Äthiopien, III, 80a
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 140-141, 9:H1b
Horus name variant
Ka nakht kha em Maat
kꜢ-nḫt ḫꜤ-m-mꜢꜤt
The strong bull, appearing in truth
E1:D40-xa-m-C10A
Konosso Island
Lepsius, Denkmäler aus Ägypten und Äthiopien, III, 82a
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 140-141, 9:H1a
Horus name variant
Ka nakht sekhem fau
kꜢ-nḫt sḫm-fꜢw
The strong bull, powerful of splendor
E1:D40-sxm-f:Aw
Lepsius, Denkmäler aus Ägypten und Äthiopien, III, 85a5
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 140-141, 9:H2
Horus name variant
Wah renput asha hebu
wꜢḥ-rnpwt ꜤšꜢ-ḥꜢbw
Enduring of years and numerous of festivals
wAH-rnp-rnp-rnp-I1:Z2-W3:Z2
Lepsius, Denkmäler aus Ägypten und Äthiopien, III, 83a4
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 140-141, 9:H3
Horus name variant
Wetjes hedjet mery Iunu
wṯz-ḥḏt mri-iwnw
Who has raised the White Crown, the beloved one of Heliopolis
U39-T3B-t-HDt-mr-iwn-nw:O49
Lepsius, Denkmäler aus Ägypten und Äthiopien, III, 83a6
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 140-141, 9:H4
Horus name variant
Ka nakht heqa heqau
kꜢ-nḫt ḥḳꜢ-ḥḳꜢw
The strong bull and ruler of rulers
E1:D40-HqA-HqA-HqA-HqA
Backside of southern Memnon colossi
Urkunden des Ägyptische Alterthums , IV, 1746
Lepsius, Denkmäler aus Ägypten und Äthiopien, Text III, 144
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 140-141, 9:H5

Nebty names

Two ladies hieroglyphs

The “Two Ladies”, the goddesses Nekhbet and Wadjet, representing Upper and Lower Egypt respectively.

Nebty name
Semen hepu segereh tawy
smn-hpw sgrḥ-tꜢwi
Who has established laws and pacified the Two Lands
s-mn:n:Y1-h:p-w&3-s-g:r-H-a:Y1:N17:N17
St. Petersburg sphinx A
Urkunden des Ägyptische Alterthums , IV, 1747 (A)
Nebty name variant
Semen hepu segereh tawy
smn-hpw sgrḥ-tꜢwi
Who has established laws and pacified the Two Lands
s-mn:n:Y1-h:p-w-Y1:Z2-s-g:r-H-a:N17:N17
Eastern El Kab Temple
Lepsius, Denkmäler aus Ägypten und Äthiopien, III, 80
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 140-141, 9:N1
Nebty name variant
Wer menu er djat pehtyef
wr-mnw-r-ḏꜢt-pḥti.f
Great of monuments extending his strength
wr:r-mn:nw*nw*nw:r-U29-t:F9*F9-Z4:f
Backside of southern Memnon colossi
Urkunden des Ägyptische Alterthums , IV, 1746 (583.2)
Lepsius, Denkmäler aus Ägypten und Äthiopien, Text III, 144
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 140-141, 9:N5
Nebty name variant
Aa neru her khaset nebet
ꜤꜢ-nrw-ḥr-ḫꜢst-nbt
Dreaded in every foreign land
aA:n:r-w-H1:D40:Z2-D2:1-N25:nb:t
St. Petersburg sphinx B
Urkunden des Ägyptische Alterthums , IV, 1747 (B)
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 140-141, 9:N4
Nebty name variant
Semen hepu mi neb Waset
smn-hpw mi-nb-wꜢst
Who has established laws like the lord of Thebes
s-mn:n:Y1-h:p*3-w-mi-i-nb-R19-t:O49
Lepsius, Denkmäler aus Ägypten und Äthiopien, Text III, 88
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 140-141, 9:N2

Golden Horus names

Golden Horus name

Horus perched on Gold, which was associated with eternity, but its meaning is disputed.

Golden Horus name
Aa khepesh hui setjetiu
ꜤꜢ-ḫpš-hwi-sṯtiw
Great of valour, smiting the Asiatics
aA:xpS:D40-H-A24-S22:t-A&Z2
Konosso Island
Lepsius, Denkmäler aus Ägypten und Äthiopien, III, 82a
Golden Horus name variant
Ka en nesu der pedjut 9
kꜢ-n-nswt dr-pḏt-9
The bull of kings who has repelled the Nine Bows
E1:n-sw&t-A43E-A43E-A43E-d:r:D40-T10:t*Z2:Z2*Z2
St. Petersburg sphinx A
Urkunden des Ägyptische Alterthums , IV, 1747 (A)
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 140-141, 9:G3
Golden Horus name variant
Tjehen kheperu wer biaut
ṯḥn-ḫprw wr-biꜢwt
Dazzling of manifestations and great of wonders
THn-xpr-w&3-wr:r-U16:t*Z2
Lepsius, Denkmäler aus Ägypten und Äthiopien, III, 83a7
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 140-141, 9:G4
Golden Horus name variant
Hefenu habu mity Ra
ḥfnw-ḥꜢbw miti-rꜤ
Immeasureable of festivals, the (very) likeness of Ra
H-f:n:I8*Z2-W3:Z2-ra:Z1-mi-t:Z4
Lepsius, Denkmäler aus Ägypten und Äthiopien, III, 83a1
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 140-141, 9:G6
Golden Horus name variant
Saa hutef net djet
sꜤꜢ-ḥwt.f-nt-ḏt
Who has magnified his temple of eternity
z:aA:a-O7-t:f:n:t-D&t:N17
Backside of southern Memnon colossus
Urkunden des Ägyptische Alterthums , IV 1746 (583.3)
Lepsius, Denkmäler aus Ägypten und Äthiopien, Text III, 144
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 140-141, 9:G7

Throne names

Prenomen or throne name

Announced at the coronation and always written in a cartouche. The “official” name of the pharaoh. Also known as the Prenomen.

Throne name
Neb Maat Ra
nb-mꜢꜤt-rꜤ
The possessor of the Maat of Ra
ra:nb-mAat
Passim
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 140-141, 9:T1
Throne name variant
Neb Maat Ra*
nb-mꜢꜤt-rꜤ
The possessor of the Maat of Ra
ra-mAat-nb
Abydos Canon no. 73
Saqqara Canon no. 5

Throne name variant
Neb Maat Ra
nb-mꜢꜤt-rꜤ
The possessor of the Maat of Ra
ra:nb-Aa11v-t-C10A
Petrie, Six temples at Thebes, plates XI and XII (C.G 34025 recto)
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 140-141, 9:T2
Throne name variant
Neb Maat Ra, tit Ra
nb-mꜢꜤt-rꜤ tit-rꜤ
The possessor of the Maat of Ra, the (very) image of Ra
a:nb-C10A-ra*t:D17
Lepsius, Denkmäler aus Ägypten und Äthiopien, III, 73c+81c
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 142-143, 9:T5
Throne name variant
Neb Maat Ra, tit Amun
nb-mꜢꜤt-rꜤ tit-imn
The possessor of the Maat of Ra, the (very) image of Amun
ra:nb-C10A-i*(mn:n):D17
Gardiner, The Inscriptions of Sinai, plate LXVI (212 face)
Lepsius, Denkmäler aus Ägypten und Äthiopien, III, 71d
Throne name variant
Neb Maat Ra, setep en Ra
nb-mꜢꜤt-rꜤ stp-n-rꜤ
The possessor of the Maat of Ra, whom Ra has chosen
ra:nb-C10A-stp&n&ra
Urkunden des Ägyptische Alterthums , IV, 1686
Lepsius, Denkmäler aus Ägypten und Äthiopien, III, 73a
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 142-143, 9:T8
Throne name variant
Neb Maat Ra, iwa Ra
nb-mꜢꜤt-rꜤ iwꜢ-rꜤ
The possessor of the Maat of Ra, the heir of Ra
ra:nb-C10A-ra:t:F44
Lepsius, Denkmäler aus Ägypten und Äthiopien, III, 73d
Throne name variant
Neb Maat Ra, iry en Ra
nb-mꜢꜤt-rꜤ iri.n-rꜤ
The possessor of the Maat of Ra, whom Ra has made
ra:nb-C10A-ra:ir:n
Lepsius, Denkmäler aus Ägypten und Äthiopien, III, 73a
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 142-143, 9:T10
Throne name variant
Neb Maat Ra, mery en Ra
nb-mꜢꜤt-rꜤ mri.n-rꜤ
The possessor of the Maat of Ra, whom Ra has loved
ra:nb-C10A-ra:U7:n
Lepsius, Denkmäler aus Ägypten und Äthiopien, III, 73d+e
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 142-143, 9:T11
Throne name variant
Neb Maat Ra, sa Ra
nb-mꜢꜤt-rꜤ zꜢ-rꜤ
The possessor of the Maat of Ra, son of Ra
ra:nb-C10A-ra:H8
St. Petersburg sphinx A
Urkunden des Ägyptische Alterthums , IV, 1474 A
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 142-143, 9:T12

Birth names

Nomen or birth name

Personal name given at birth. Also known as the Nomen .

Birth name
Amenhotep, heqa Waset
imn-ḥtp ḥḳꜢ-wꜢst
Amenhotep, ruler of Thebes
i-mn:n:Htp-HqA-R19
Passim
Lepsius, Denkmäler aus Ägypten und Äthiopien, III, 70-90
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 142-143, 9:E1
Birth name variant
Amenhotep, heqa Waset
imn-ḥtp ḥḳꜢ-wꜢst
Amenhotep, ruler of Thebes
i-mn:n-Htp-HqA-q-R19
Lepsius, Denkmäler aus Ägypten und Äthiopien, III, 80
Birth name variant
Amenhotep, netjer heqa Waset
imn-ḥtp nṯr-ḥḳꜢ-wꜢst
Amenhotep, God and ruler of Thebes
i-mn:n-Htp:t*p-nTr-HqA-q-S40
Papyrus Berlin 9784
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 142-143, 9:E2
Birth name variant
Amenhotep, iwa Ra heqa Waset
imn-ḥtp iwꜢ-rꜤ ḥḳꜢ-wꜢst
Amenhotep, heir of Ra, ruler of Thebes
i-mn:n:Htp-HqA-R19-ra:F44
Urkunden des Ägyptische Alterthums , IV, 1681
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 142-143, 9:E3
Birth name variant
Amenhotep
imn-ḥtp
Amun is satisfied
i-mn:n:Htp-t:p
Lepsius, Denkmäler aus Ägypten und Äthiopien, III, 53
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 142-143, 9:E4

The sources of antiquity

From the writings of the historians and scholars of antiquity

AuthorGreekTranscriptionReign
Africanus xviii, 9 Ωρος Orus 37 years
Eusebius xviii, 8 Ωρος Orus 36 years
Jerome Orus 38 years
Josephus 96 Ωρος Orus 36 years, 5 months

Bibliography

  • Gauthier, H. Le livre des rois d'Égypte. MIFAO 18 (1912): 306–342
  • Beckerath, J. “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, Second edition, MÄS 49 (1999) : 140–143
  • Leprohon, R. J. The Great Name: Ancient Egyptian Royal Titulary (Atlanta, 2013): 102–104
  • Baker. D. D. The Encyclopedia of the Pharaohs: Volume I (London, 2008): 44–49
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