Ay in hieroglyphs

The fourteenth pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty, a.k.a. Aja, Aya

Ay is believed to be the father of Nefertiti. the wife of Akhenaten. When Tutankhamun died, his powerful vizier Ay quickly stepped in and assumed kingship, despite fact that general Horemhab was the designated heir. Manetho assigned Armais with a reign for 4-5 years, which usually has been assigned to Ay instead, based on his known highest date of 4 years. It is now believed that the assignation of Armais to Horemhab was correct, but the number of years should be raised by ten. This leaves Ay unaccounted for by Manetho, unless one of the three(!) Akenchereses could somehow be assigned to Ay.

Precedessor
Tutankhamun

Successor
Horemheb

Reign of Ay
AE Chronology1323–1320
v. Beckerath1325–1321
Shaw1327–1323
Dodson1333–1328
Arnold1338–1335
Malek1327–1323
Grimal1327–1323
Redford1346–1343
Highest attestationYear 4

The Royal Titulary

From the hieroglyphic records

The Dual King
The Son of Ra

Horus Ka nakht tjehen khau  The Dual King Kheper kheperu Ra  Son of Ra It netjer Ay

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 tjehen khau
kꜢ-nḫt tḥn-ḫꜤw
The strong bull, the one of glittering crowns
E1:D40-S15A:xa*Z2
Lepsius, Denkmäler aus Ägypten und Äthiopien, III, 113b+c
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 146-147, 14:H1
Horus name variant
Ka nakht tjehen khau
kꜢ-nḫt ṯḥn-ḫꜤw
The strong bull, the one of glittering crowns
E1:D40-U33-V28-n:nw*w-THn:xa*Z2
Stela found at Giza (CG 34187)
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 146-147, 14:H2
Horus name variant
Ka nakht tjehen kheperu
kꜢ-nḫt ṯḥn-ḫprw
The strong bull, the one of dazzling manifestations
E1:D40-THn-xpr:Z2
Lepsius, Denkmäler aus Ägypten und Äthiopien, III, 113a
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 146-147, 14:H3

Nebty name

Two ladies hieroglyphs

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

Nebty name
Sekhem pehty der setet
sḫm-pḥti dr-sṯt
Who is mighty of strength, who subdues the Asiatics
sxm-Aa15:F9*F9-d:r-S22:t*t:N25
Panopolis Grotto
Lepsius, Denkmäler aus Ägypten und Äthiopien, III, 114b+c
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 146-147, 14:N1

Golden Horus name

Golden Horus name

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

Golden Horus name
Heqa Maat sekheper tawy
ḥḳꜢ-mꜢꜤt sḫpr-tꜢwi
The ruler of truth, who created the Two Lands
HqA-q-C10A-s-xpr-r:N17:N17
Panopolis Grotto
Lepsius, Denkmäler aus Ägypten und Äthiopien, III, 114b+c
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 146-147, 14:G

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
Kheper kheperu Ra
ḫpr-ḫprw-rꜤ
Everlasting are the Manifestations of Ra
ra-xpr-xpr-xpr
Tomb of Tutankhamun KV62, burial chamber, north wall
Porter & Moss, Topographical Bibliography , I, 570 (8:1)
Throne name variant
Kheper kheperu Ra
ḫpr-ḫprw-rꜤ
Everlasting are the Manifestations of Ra
ra-xpr-xpr-Z2
Urkunden des Ägyptische Alterthums , IV, 2108
Throne name variant
Kheper kheperu Ra, iri Maat
ḫpr-ḫprw-rꜤ iri-mꜢꜤt
Everlasting are the Manifestations of Ra, who does what is right
ra-xpr-xpr-C10A-Z2A-D4
Panopolis Grotto
Lepsius, Denkmäler aus Ägypten und Äthiopien, III, 114b+c
Throne name variant
Kheper kheperu Ra, iri Maat
ḫpr-ḫprw-rꜤ iri-mꜢꜤt
Everlasting are the Manifestations of Ra, who does what is right
ra-xpr-xpr-Z3-ir:Aa11:t
Tomb of Ay (KV23)
Lepsius, Denkmäler aus Ägypten und Äthiopien, III, 113a+d
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 146-147, 14:T1
Throne name variant
Kheper kheperu Ra, iri Maat
ḫpr-ḫprw-rꜤ iri-mꜢꜤt
Everlasting are the Manifestations of Ra, who does what is right
ra-xpr-xpr-Z2:D4:Aa11
Sarcophagus of Ay
d'Avennes, Histoire de l'art Egyptien, Atlas I, plate 6
Lepsius, Denkmäler aus Ägypten und Äthiopien, III, 113d
Throne name variant
Kheper kheperu Ra, iri Maat
ḫpr-ḫprw-rꜤ iri-mꜢꜤt
Everlasting are the Manifestations of Ra, who does what is right
ra-xpr-xpr-Z3-D4:Aa11-C10A
Urkunden des Ägyptische Alterthums , IV, 2107
Throne name variant
Kheper kheperu Ra, iri Maat
ḫpr-ḫprw-rꜤ iri-mꜢꜤt
Everlasting are the Manifestations of Ra, who does what is right
ra-xpr-xpr-Z3-C10A-ir
Brooklyn Museum 66.174.1

Birth names

Nomen or birth name

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

Birth name
It netjer Ay
iti-nṯr Ꜥy
God's father, Ay
nTr-i-t:f-i-A2-i-i
The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 18, 50-52
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 146-147, 14:E2
Birth name variant
It netjer Ay netjer heqa Waset
it-nṯr Ꜥy nṯr-ḥḳꜢ-wꜢst
God's father, Ay, God and ruler of Thebes
X2-nTr-i-A2-i-i-nTr-HqA-R19
Sarcophagus of Ay
d'Avennes, Histoire de l'art Egyptien, Atlas I, plate 6
Lepsius, Denkmäler aus Ägypten und Äthiopien, III, 113; 114b+c
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 146-147, 14:E1

Bibliography

  • Gauthier, H. Le livre des rois d'Égypte. MIFAO 18 (1912): 374–380
  • Beckerath, J. “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, Second edition, MÄS 49 (1999) : 146–147
  • Leprohon, R. J. The Great Name: Ancient Egyptian Royal Titulary (Atlanta, 2013): 106–107
  • Baker. D. D. The Encyclopedia of the Pharaohs: Volume I (London, 2008): 62–65
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