Khafra in hieroglyphs

The fourth pharaoh of the Fourth Dynasty, a.k.a. Khafre, Chephren, Khefren

Khafra was a son of Khufu and succeeded his brother Radjedef. It is possible that his name actually was Rakhaf, using the same pattern as his brother, with Ra at the beginning of the name rather than at the end as is the norm used in Egyptology. Rakhaf translates to "Ra is his (very) appearance", which actually makes sense, so it is not unreasonable to consider it. Herodotus and Diodorus transcribed his name as Khephren, which suggests that Khafra would fit as the source. Manetho named him Souphis.

He is of course known as the builder of the second largest pyramid at Giza, but little else is known about him.

Precedessor
Radjedef

Successor
Menkaura

Reign of Khafra
AE Chronology2472–2448
v. Beckerath2547–2521
Shaw2558–2532
Dodson2437–2414
Allen2520–2494
Arnold2512–2477
Malek2518–2493
Redford2576–2551
Turin King List... years
Manetho (Africanus)66 years

The Royal Titulary

From the hieroglyphic records

The Dual King

Horus User ib  The Dual King Khaf Ra

Horus name

Horus name

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

Horus name
User ib
wsr-ib
Strong-minded
wsr-ib
Borchardt, Catalogue général des antiquités égyptiennes du Musée du Caire, 17
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 54-55, 4:H

Nebty name

Two ladies hieroglyphs

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

Nebty name
User em
wsr-m
Who is strong by means of the Two Ladies
wsr-m
Borchardt, Catalogue général des antiquités égyptiennes du Musée du Caire, 16
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 54-55, 4:N

Golden Horus name

Golden Horus name

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

Golden Horus name
Sekhem bik nebu
sḫm-bik-nbw
The golden falcon is powerful
S42*G7:S12
Statue of Chephren, Cairo Museum JE 10062 (CG 14)
Porter & Moss, Topographical Bibliography , III, 21
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 54-55, 4: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
Khaf Ra
ḫꜤ-f-rꜤ
He appears (as) Ra
ra-N25-f
Passim
Lepsius, Denkmäler aus Ägypten und Äthiopien, II, 41a
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 54-55, 4:E1
Throne name variant
Khaf Ra*
ḫꜤ-f-rꜤ
He appears (as) Ra
ra-xa-a:f
Abydos Canon no. 23

Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 54-55, 4:E3
Throne name variant
Khaf Ra*
ḫꜤ.w-f-rꜤ
He appears (as) Ra
ra-xa-w-f
Saqqara Canon no. 40

Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 54-55, 4:E4
Throne name variant
User ib Khaf Ra
wsr-ib-ḫꜤ-f-rꜤ
With a strong heart, he appears (as) Ra
wsr-ib:Z1-ra-xa:f
Aegyptische Inschriften aus den Königlichen Museen zu Berlin, I, p.2 (15387)
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 54-55, 4:E2
Throne name variant
Kha..
..-ḫꜤ-..
//-xa://-G7
Turin King List 4.12
Gardiner, The Royal Canon of Turin (1959) III:12

The sources of antiquity

From the writings of the historians and scholars of antiquity

AuthorGreekTranscriptionReign
Africanus iv, 3 Σoυφις Suphis 66 years
Herodotus 127 Χεφρηνα Chephren 56 years
Diodorus 1.64.1 Κεφρην Cephren 56 years
Eratosthenes 16 Σαωφις β Saophis II 27

Bibliography

  • Gauthier, H. Le livre des rois d'Égypte. MIFAO 17 (1907): 86–94
  • Beckerath, J. “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, Second edition, MÄS 49 (1999) : 54–55
  • 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): 169–171
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