According to Africanus, Manetho named Bicheres as the successor to Suphis (Khafra) but there is no archaeological evidence for a king by that name. Herodotus and Diodorus writes that after Khufu died, his brothersic Chephren (Khafra) took the throne, but Diodorus correctly adds that it was Khufu's son Chabryen (Radjedef) who ascended the throne. Khafra and Radjedef were in fact brothers, which shows that Herodotus and Diodorus simply misunderstood the relation told by the Egyptian priests, or that there were inconsistencies in the traditions about the fourth dynasty even in ancient Egypt. Maybe the earlier records (on papyrus) were corrupted and only partially readable.
After the reign of Radjedef, his son Setka was set to rule but something must have happened to him, and perhaps his younger brother Baka (Hellenised to Bicheris) was appointed as the new king. Somewhow the uncle Khafra managed to manouver himself to assume the throne.
The Turin papyrus and Manetho both list 8 Fourth Dynasty kings, the Abydos Canon names only six, but the Saqqara Canon lists nine. This source discrepancy is extremely difficult to reconcile or interpret. Following the cartouche of Khafra, the Saqqara list is ruined, leaving five unreadable names (numbers 35-39.) The Turin papyrus, by coincidence(?), is likewise damaged in the same area (4.13-16), leaving four unreadable names after Khafra.
Turin 4.14 and 4.15 can with good confidence be assigned to Menkaura and Shepseskaf respectively. That leaves 4.13 and 4.15 as possible placements for Baufra. Logically Baufra must have ruled before Menkaura, just like Ratoises (Radjedef,) his name was displaced in Manetho's dynasty, and should thus be in 4.13. This give the succession Baufra → Menkaura → Shepseskaf → Djedefhor. This might have been the tradition about the pyramid builders during the New Kingdom, and would solve the Turin problem.
The Saqqara list still have one more empty cartouche to account for, and there seems to be no solution to this problem.
The Royal Titulary
From the hieroglyphic records
Golden Horus name
Horus perched on Gold, which was associated with eternity, but its meaning is disputed.
Announced at the coronation and always written in a cartouche. The “official” name of the pharaoh. Also known as the Prenomen.
Drioton, Une Liste des Rois de la IV Dynastie dans l'Ouadi Hammamat. Bulletin de la Société Français d'Égyptologie 16, 41-49
Gardiner, The Royal Canon of Turin (1959) III:13
The sources of antiquity
From the writings of the historians and scholars of antiquity
|Africanus iv, 6
- Leprohon, R. J. The Great Name: Ancient Egyptian Royal Titulary (Atlanta, 2013): 36
- Baker. D. D. The Encyclopedia of the Pharaohs: Volume I (London, 2008): 68–69
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