Mentuhotep II in hieroglyphs

The fifth pharaoh of the Eleventh Dynasty, a.k.a. Montuhotep II

Mentuhotep II reigned for 51 years, but after 14 years of peace and prosperity, the Heracleopolitan tenth dynasty desecrated the Abydos necropolis, effectively starting a war with the pharaoh of Thebes. During the next twenty years the conflict raged on, neither side winning outright. Sometime during this time, Mentuhotep changed his names, perhaps to reflect the ambition to reunite the Two Lands. After finally accomplishing the defeat of the Heracleopolitans, the Two Lands were once again united under a pharaoh, and once again, his names were changed to reflect this.

Precedessor
Intef III

Successor
Mentuhotep III

Reign of Mentuhotep II
AE Chronology2009–1959
v. Beckerath2046–1995
Shaw2055–2004
Dodson2066–2014
Malek2050–1999
Grimal2061–2009
Franke2008–1957
Redford2061–2000
Turin King List51 years

The Royal Titulary

From the hieroglyphic records

The Dual King
The Son of Ra

Horus Sema tawy  The Dual King Neb hapet Ra  Son of Ra Mentuhotep

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
Sankh ib tawy
s-Ꜥnḫ-ib-tꜢwi
The one who invigorates the heart of the Two lands
s-anx-ib:N19
First part of reign
British Museum, stela EA1203
Bibliotheca Aegyptica, X, §23.3
Hieroglyphic Texts in the British Museum, I, plate 53
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 78-79, 5:H1
Horus name variant
Netjer hedjet
nṯr-hḏt
The divine one of the white crown
nTr-S2
Second part of reign
Lepsius, Denkmäler aus Ägypten und Äthiopien, II, 150b
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 78-79, 5:H3
Horus name variant
Sema tawy
smꜢ-tꜢwi
The uniter of the Two Lands
zmA-N19
Third part of reign
British Museum EA753
Bibliotheca Aegyptica, X, §27.1
Hieroglyphic Texts in the British Museum, VI, plate 23 (2)
Prisse d'Avennes, Monuments Égyptiens, plate VII. Louvre Stele C14
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 78-79, 5:H5

Nebty names

Two ladies hieroglyphs

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

Nebty name
Netjer hedjet
nṯr-hḏt
The divine one of the White Crown
nTr-S2
Second part of reign
Lepsius, Denkmäler aus Ägypten und Äthiopien, II, 150b
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 78-79, 5:N1
Nebty name variant
Sema tawy
smꜢ-tꜢwi
The uniter of the Two Lands
zmA-N19
Third part of reign
Bibliotheca Aegyptica, X, §27.1
Prisse d'Avennes, Monuments Égyptiens, plate VII. Louvre Stele C14
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 78-79, 5:N3

Golden Horus name

Golden Horus name

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

Golden Horus name
Bik nebu qa shuty
bik-nbw ḳꜢ-šwti
Lofty of plumes
q*G5:nbw-Sw-Sw
Third part of reign
Naville, The XIth dynasty temple at Deir el-Bahari, II, plate X (F)
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 78-79, 5:G2

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 hapet Ra
nb-ḥꜢpt-rꜤ
The possessor of the rudder of Ra
ra:nb-P8
Abydos Canon no. 57
Karnak Canon no. 29
Third part of reign
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 78-79, 5:T4
Throne name variant
Neb hapet Ra*
nb-ḥꜢpt-rꜤ
The possessor of the rudder of Ra
ra-P8-nb
Saqqara Canon no. 13
Third part of reign
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 78-79, 5:T5
Throne name variant
Neb hapet Ra
nb-ḥꜢpt-rꜤ
The possessor of the rudder of Ra
ra:nb-Aa5A\:t
Second part of reign
Naville, The XIth dynasty temple at Deir El-Bahari, II, plate XVIII A
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 78-79, 5:T1
Throne name variant
Neb hapet Ra*
nb-ḥꜢpt-rꜤ
The possessor of the rudder of Ra
ra:nb-P8-G7
Third part of reign
Turin King List 6.16
Gardiner, The Royal Canon of Turin (1959) V:16

Birth names

Nomen or birth name

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

Birth name
Mentuhotep
mnṯw-ḥtp
Montu is satisfied
mn:n:T-w-Htp:t*p
First part of reign
British Museum, stela EA1203
Bibliotheca Aegyptica, X, §23.3
Hieroglyphic Texts in the British Museum, I, plate 53
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 78-79, 5:E1 (1)
Birth name variant
Mentuhotep
mnṯw-ḥtp
Montu is satisfied
mn:n:T-w-Htp:t*p
Third part of reign
Lepsius, Denkmäler aus Ägypten und Äthiopien, II, 149b
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 78-79, 5:E3
Birth name variant
Sa Ra, Mentuhotep
zꜢ-rꜤ-mnṯw-ḥtp
Mentuhotep, son of Ra
zA&ra-mn:n:T-w-Htp:t*p
Second part of reign
Bibliotheca Aegyptica, X, §26, Stele Louvre C 252
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 78-79, 5:E1 (2)

Throne + Birth name

Combination of Throne- and Birth-name cartouches
probably only used for a special occasion.

Throne + Birth name
Neb hapet Ra, sa Ra, Mentuhotep
nb-ḥꜢpt-rꜤ zꜢ-rꜤ-mnṯw-ḥtp
The possessor of the rudder of Ra, son of Ra, Mentuhotep
ra-nb:Aa5-zA&ra-mn:T-w-Htp:t*p
Second part of reign

Bibliography

  • Gauthier, H. Le livre des rois d'Égypte. MIFAO 17 (1907): 228–237
  • Beckerath, J. “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, Second edition, MÄS 49 (1999) : 78–79
  • Leprohon, R. J. The Great Name: Ancient Egyptian Royal Titulary (Atlanta, 2013): 55
  • Baker. D. D. The Encyclopedia of the Pharaohs: Volume I (London, 2008): 223–227
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