Khufu in hieroglyphs

The second pharaoh of the Fourth Dynasty, a.k.a. Cheops

The name of the pharaoh who had the Great pyramid at Giza built is of course the well known pharaoh Cheops, which is the hellenized version of his birth name, Khufu. He also used the longer Khnum-Khuf(u), most likely to accentuate his divine connection with the ram-headed creator god Khnum.

According to Manetho, Khufu ruled for 63 years, and according to Herodotus 50 years, but the Turin King-list only attest 23 years. The actual number of years is unknown, although 27 years is considered as the lowest possibility, while it might be at least 46 years if the cattle-count was held biennially.

Precedessor
Sneferu

Successor
Radjedef

Reign of Khufu
AE Chronology2509–2483
v. Beckerath2579–2556
Shaw2589–2566
Dodson2470–2447
Allen2551–2528
Arnold2555–2520
Malek2549–2526
Redford2609–2584
Turin King List23 years
Manetho (Africanus)63 years

The Royal Titulary

From the hieroglyphic records

The Dual King

Horus Medjedu  The Dual King Khufu

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
Medjedu
mḏdw
Who has been adhered to/followed
Aa24-w
Lepsius, Denkmäler aus Ägypten und Äthiopien, II, 2b+d
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 52-53, 2:H1
Horus name variant
Medjed
mḏd
Who has been adhered to/followed
Aa24
Mariette, Monuments divers recueillis en Égypte et en Nubie, II, plate 53
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 52-53, 2:H2

Nebty name

Two ladies hieroglyphs

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

Nebty name
Medjeder
mḏd-r
Who has adhered to the Two Ladies
Aa24:r
Tomb of Chemetnu (Giza G5210)
Lepsius, Denkmäler aus Ägypten und Äthiopien, II, 26a
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 52-53, 2:N1

Golden Horus name

Golden Horus name

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

Golden Horus name
Bikui-nebu
bik.wi-nb.w
The golden double falcon
G5*G5:nbw
Lepsius, Denkmäler aus Ägypten und Äthiopien, II, 2b
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 52-53, 2:G1

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
Khufu
ḫwfw
He protects me
x-w-f-w
Tomb of Iymeri (Giza G6020)
Lepsius, Denkmäler aus Ägypten und Äthiopien, II, 50b
Throne name variant A
Khufu
ḫfw
He protects me
x:f-W
Westcar Papyrus, 6.18
Throne name variant B
Khufu*
ḫfw
He protects me
x:f-w
Abydos Canon no. 21

Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 52-53, 2:E4
Throne name variant C
Khufu*
ḫwfwf
He protects me
x:f-w-f
Saqqara Canon no. 42

Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 52-53, 2:E5
Throne name variant D
Khufu
ḫwfw
He protects me
x:D43-f-w
Lepsius, Denkmäler aus Ägypten und Äthiopien, II, 124
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 52-53, 2:E2
Throne name variant E
Khufu*
ḫfw
He protects me
x-w-f
Wadi Hammamat inscription
Drioton, Une Liste des Rois de la IV Dynastie dans l'Ouadi Hammamat. BSFE 16, 41-49
Throne name variant F
Khnum Khufu
ḫnmw ḫwfw
Khnum protects me
W9R-E10-x-w-f
Tomb of Iymeri (Giza G6020)
Tallet, Des papyrus du temps de Chéops au ouadi el-Jarf, BSFE 188 (2014), 42, fig. 17
Lepsius, Denkmäler aus Ägypten und Äthiopien, II, 50a
Throne name variant G
Name missing
Turin King List 4.10
Gardiner, The Royal Canon of Turin (1959) III:10

The sources of antiquity

From the writings of the historians and scholars of antiquity

AuthorGreekTranscriptionReign
Africanus iv, 2 Σoυφις Suphis 63 years
Eusebius iv, 3 Σoυφις Soyphis
Herodotus 124 Χεοπα Cheops 50 years
Diodorus 1.63.2 Χεμμις Chemmis 50 years
Eratosthenes 15 Σαωφις Saophis 29

Bibliography

  • Gauthier, H. Le livre des rois d'Égypte. MIFAO 17 (1907): 72–83
  • Beckerath, J. “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, Second edition, MÄS 49 (1999) : 52–53
  • Leprohon, R. J. The Great Name: Ancient Egyptian Royal Titulary (Atlanta, 2013): 35
  • Baker. D. D. The Encyclopedia of the Pharaohs: Volume I (London, 2008): 189–191
PLEASE NOTE
There might be errors on this page.
Make sure you use the correct source!
Yes, you would be surprised...