Merenptah in hieroglyphs

The fourth pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty, a.k.a. Merneptah

Merenptah was the thirteenth son of Ramesses II and ascended the throne when he was at least sixty years old. While Manetho records that he ruled for 20 years, it was probably only about half of that.

Precedessor
Ramesses II

Successor
Seti II

Reign of Merenptah
AE Chronology1213–1203
v. Beckerath1213–1203
Shaw1213–1203
Dodson1212–1201
Arnold1224–1214
Malek1213–1203
Grimal1212–1202
Redford1237–1226
Manetho (Africanus)20 years
Manetho (Eusebius)40 years
Manetho (Jerome)40 years
Highest attestationYear 10

The Royal Titulary

From the hieroglyphic records

The Dual King
The Son of Ra

Horus Ka nakht ha em Maat  The Dual King Ba en Ra, mery netjeru  Son of Ra Mer en Ptah, hotep her Maat

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 ha em Maat
kꜢ-nḫt ḥi-m-mꜢꜤt
The strong bull who rejoiced in Truth
E1:D40-V71-A28-m-H6
Libyan war stela of Merenptah (Athribis stela), Cairo JdE 50568 (recto)
Kitchen, Ramesside Inscriptions , IV, 20:8
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 156-157, 4:H1
Horus name variant A1
Ka nakht ha em Maat
kꜢ-nḫt ḥꜤi-m-mꜢꜤt
The strong bull who rejoiced in Truth
E1:D40-A28-Aa15-Aa11v:t-C10A
CG 34025 (Israel stele)
Petrie, Six temples at Thebes, plate XIII and XIV
Kitchen, Ramesside Inscriptions , IV, 13:7
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 156-157, 4:H2
Horus name variant A2
Ka nakht ha em Maat
kꜢ-nḫt ḥꜤi-m-mꜢꜤt
The strong bull who rejoiced in Truth
E1:D40-H*A28:a-m-C10A
Kitchen, Ramesside Inscriptions , IV, 64:5
Horus name variant A3
Ka nakht ha em Maat
kꜢ-nḫt ḥꜤi-m-mꜢꜤt
The strong bull who rejoiced in Truth
E1:D40-H-A137-m&t-H6
Kitchen, Ramesside Inscriptions , IV, 43:16
Petrie, Tanis, II, plate VII (137)
Horus name variant A4
Ka nakht ha em Maat
kꜢ-nḫt ḥꜤi-m-mꜢꜤt
The strong bull who rejoiced in Truth
E1:D40-V71-A28-M:mAa
Kitchen, Ramesside Inscriptions , IV, 51:13
Horus name variant A5
Ka nakht ha em Maat
kꜢ-nḫt ḥꜤi-m-mꜢꜤt
E1:D40-H-a:Z4*A28-m-C10A
Kitchen, Ramesside Inscriptions , IV, 72:14
Horus name variant A6
Ka nakht ha em Maat
kꜢ-nḫt ḥꜤi-m-mꜢꜤt
The strong bull who rejoiced in Truth
E1:D40-H-a:Z4-A28*H6:Aa15
Usurped Ramesses II colossus, dorsal pillar (Cairo JdE 35126)
Kitchen, Ramesside Inscriptions , IV, 59:1-2
Horus name variant A7
Ka nakht ha em Maat
kꜢ-nḫt ḥꜤi-m-mꜢꜤt
The strong bull who rejoiced in Truth
E1:D40-H-Z4-A28-a-m-C10A
Memphis Palace of Merenptah
Kitchen, Ramesside Inscriptions , IV, 55:5
Horus name variant A8
Ka nakht ha em Maat henek su en Ra em kheret-heru
kꜢ-nḫt ḥꜤi-m-mꜢꜤt ḥnk-sw-n-rꜤ-m-ẖrt-hrw
The strong bull who rejoiced in Truth, and who offers it to Ra every day
E1:D40-H-a:y-A28-m-C10A-H-M2:n-k:D38-sw-w-n:(ra:Z1)*A40-Aa15:T28:r-ra:Z1:t
Lepsius, Denkmäler aus Ägypten und Äthiopien, III, 200d
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 156-157, 4:H3
Horus name variant B1
Ka nakht der pedjut 9
kꜢ-nḫt dr-pḏt
The strong bull who repelled the Nine Bows
E1:D40-d:r:pD-3:3:3
ASAE , 15, 104
Kitchen, Ramesside Inscriptions , IV, 54:11
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 156-157, 4:H9
Horus name variant B2
Ka nakht der pedjut 9
kꜢ-nḫt dr-pḏt-9
The strong bull (who defeated?) the Nine Bows
E1:D40-H-A24-T10:t*3:3*3
Kitchen, Ramesside Inscriptions , IV, 13:8
CG 34025 (Israel stele)
Horus name variant C
Ka nakht mai hebenef
kꜢ-nḫt iw-ḥbn.n.f
The strong bull (like) a triumphant lion
E1:D40-E22A-H*b:n:nw*W-T30:D40:n:f
Kitchen, Ramesside Inscriptions , IV, 1:8
Wall stele of Merenptah at temple of Amada
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 156-157, 4:H4
Horus name variant D1
Ka nakht sa Amun
kꜢ-nḫt zꜢ-imn
The strong bull, son of Amun
E1:D40-zA&Z1-i-mn:n
Petrie, Tanis, II, plate 7
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 156-157, 4:H11
Horus name variant D2
Ka nakht sa Amun
kꜢ-nḫt zꜢ-imn
E1:D40-C12A-H8:1
Petrie, Tanis, II, plate VII 136
Kitchen, Ramesside Inscriptions , IV, 43:5
Horus name variant E1
Ka nakht sa Ra
kꜢ-nḫt zꜢ-rꜤ
The strong bull, son of Ra
E1:D40-zA&ra
Kitchen, Ramesside Inscriptions , IV, 55:1
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 156-157, 4:H10
Horus name variant E2
Ka nakht sa Tatenen
kꜢ-nḫt zꜢ-ṯꜢ-tnn
The strong bull, son of Tatenen
E1:D40-C18C-H8:1
Petrie, Tanis, II, plate 7
Kitchen, Ramesside Inscriptions , IV, 43:7
Horus name variant F
Ka nakht nesu tawy
kꜢ-nḫt nsw-tꜢwi
The strong bull and king of the Two Lands
E1:D40-sw-t:N17:N17
Kitchen, Ramesside Inscriptions , IV, 54:16
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 156-157, 4:H14
Horus name variant G
Ka nakht per em Ra
kꜢ-nḫt pri-m-rꜤ
The strong bull who has emerged as Ra
E1:D40-pr:D54-Aa15:ra*Z1
Qaha obelisk in Egyptian Museum in Cairo (face 4)
CG 17025
Kitchen, Ramesside Inscriptions , IV, 31:12
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 156-157, 4:H5
Horus name variant H
Hotep her Maat mi Tatenen
ḥtp-ḥr-mꜢꜤt mi-tꜢṯnn
Satisfied with Maat,like Tatenen
Htp:D2*Z1-C10A-C18F-mi
Qaha obelisk in Egyptian Museum in Cairo (face 1 left)
CG 17025
Kitchen, Ramesside Inscriptions , IV, 31:5
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 156-157, 4:H7
Horus name variant I
Ka nakht ba en Ra djet Itemu
kꜢ-nḫt bꜢ-n-rꜤ ḏt-itmw
The strong bull, (with) spirit of Ra and body of Atum
E1:n-ra:Z1-D&&&(t*Z1)-t:U15
Qaha obelisk in Egyptian Museum in Cairo (face 1 right)
CG 17025
Kitchen, Ramesside Inscriptions , IV, 31:4
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 156-157, 4:H6
Horus name variant J
Ka nakht ha tawy (?)
kꜢ-nḫt hꜤꜤ-tꜢwi
E1:D40-H-A137:N17:N17
Usurped R2 colossus, base block (Cairo JdE 35126)
Kitchen, Ramesside Inscriptions , IV, 59:6
Horus name variant K1
Ka nakht akh en Atum
kꜢ-nḫt Ꜣḫ-n-itm
The strong bull, beneficial to Atum
E1:D40-Ax&x:n-t:U15:Aa15
Kitchen, Ramesside Inscriptions , IV, 50:13
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 156-157, 4:H13
Horus name variant K2
Ka nakht akh en Ra
kꜢ-nḫt Ꜣḫ-n-rꜤ
The strong bull, beneficial to Ra
E1:D40-G25&x:n-ra*C2:nb
Kitchen, Ramesside Inscriptions , IV, 50:10
Horus name variant L
Neb hebu khau
nb-ḥꜢbw-ḫꜤw
Possessor of festivals and crowns
nb:O23K*Z3-xa:xa*xa
Kitchen, Ramesside Inscriptions , IV, 54:14
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 156-157, 4:H12
Horus name variant M
Nedj her itef mity Maat
nḏ-ḥr-it.f miti-mꜢꜤt
Protector of his father, the likeness of Maat
Aa27-nw:D40-D2*Z1:t:f-Z1:f-mi:t-H6-C10A
Qaha obelisk in Egyptian Museum in Cairo (face 2)
CG 17025
Kitchen, Ramesside Inscriptions , IV, 31:8
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 156-157, 4:H8

Nebty names

Two ladies hieroglyphs

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

Nebty name
Iri bau er ta en Temehu
iri-bꜢw-r-tꜢ-n-ṯmhw
Who exercised power against the land of the Temehu
D4:G30-Z3-r:N16:Z1*N21-N-ti-m-H-w-T14-A1*A1:N17-Z3
Kitchen, Ramesside Inscriptions , IV, 20:9
Athribis stela, Cairo JdE 50568
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 156-157, 4:N1
Nebty name variant A1
Kha mi Ptah em khenu hefnu
ḫꜤi-mi-ptḥ-m-ẖnw-ḥfnw
Who has appeared like Ptah among hundreds of thousands
xa:a:Y1-mi-p:t-H-m-F26:n-I8A:Z2
Lepsius, Denkmäler aus Ägypten und Äthiopien, III, 200d (1)
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 156-157, 4:N3
Nebty name variant A2
Kha mi Ptah em khenu hefnu er semen hepu neferu em-khet tawy
ḫꜤi-mi-ptḥ-m-ẖnw-ḥfnw-r-smn-hpw-nfrw-m-ḫt-tꜢwi
Who has appeared like Ptah among hundreds of thousands in order to establish the perfect laws throughout the Two Lands
xa:(p:t)*H-mi-Aa15:F26:n:nw*O1-I8:I8:I8-r:s*(mn:n:Y1)-O4A:p-w-V12:3-nfr-Z3-Aa15:M3:x*t:N21*N21
Kitchen, Ramesside Inscriptions , iV, 58:7
Lepsius, Denkmäler aus Ägypten und Äthiopien, III, 198e
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 156-157, 4:N2
Nebty name variant B
Aa pehty wer nakhtu
ꜤꜢ-pḥti wr-nḫtw
Great of might and important of victories
aA:a:F9*F9-wr:r-n:xt:x^^^D40:t*W
Kitchen, Ramesside Inscriptions , IV, 1:8
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 156-157, 4:N4

Golden Horus names

Golden Horus name

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

Golden Horus name
Neb senedj aa shefyt
nb-snḏ ꜤꜢ-šfit
Lord of fear and great of majesty
nb:snD-aA:N37:f-F8
Kitchen, Ramesside Inscriptions , IV, 1:9
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 156-157, 4:G1
Golden Horus name variant D
Senakht Kemet der pedjut 9 er dit hotep netjeru em mersen
snḫt-kmt dr-pḏt-r-dit-ḥtp-nṯrw-mr.sn
Who has strengthened Egypt and repelled the Nine Bows in order to satisfy the gods with what they love
s-n:M3:x*t:D40-I6:Aa15:t*niwt-d:r:D40-T10:t*Z2:Z2*Z2-r:t:a:Htp-R8*R8*R8-m-U7:r-z:n:Z2
Kitchen, Ramesside Inscriptions , IV, 66
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 156-157, 4: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
Ba en Ra, mery netjeru
bꜢ-n-rꜤ mri-nṯrw
The soul of Ra, beloved of the Gods
ra-E1:n-N36:R8A
Mariette, Abydos II, pl. 50
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 158-159, 4:T8
Throne name variant A
Ba en Ra, mery netjeru
bꜢ-n-rꜤ mri-nṯrw
The soul of Ra, beloved of the Gods
C2-E11:n-R8A:N36
Petrie, Tanis, I, plate 2 (8 B)
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 158-159, 4:T7
Throne name variant B1
Ba en Ra, mery Amun
bꜢ-n-rꜤ mri-imn
The soul of Ra, beloved of Amun
C2A\-C12A-N36-E11*Z1:n
Black granite statue, CG 42148
Throne name variant B2
Ba en Ra, mery Amun
bꜢ-n-rꜤ mri-imn
The soul of Ra, beloved of Amun
U6\-C12\-C2-E1:n
Lepsius, Denkmäler aus Ägypten und Äthiopien, III, 200d (1)
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 158-159, 4:T1
Throne name variant B3
Ba en Ra, mery Amun
bꜢ-n-rꜤ mri-imn
The soul of Ra, beloved of Amun
E1:n-C53A-C12M-N36
Black granite statue, CG 42148
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 158-159, 4:T3
Throne name variant B4
Ba en Ra, mery Amun
bꜢ-n-rꜤ mri-imn
The soul of Ra, beloved of Amun
ra-E1:n-C12-mr
Black granite statue, CG 42148
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 158-159, 4:T4
Throne name variant B5
Ba en Ra, mery Amun
bꜢ-n-rꜤ mri-imn
The soul of Ra, beloved of Amun
ra-G29&1*G7:n-mr-i-mn:n
Papyrus Anastasi III 7.2 - British Museum EA10246.5
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 158-159, 4:T5

Birth names

Nomen or birth name

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

Birth name
Mer en Ptah, hotep her Maat
mri-n-ptḥ ḥtp-ḥr-mꜢꜤt
Beloved of Ptah, Maat is satisfied
C102\-C10A-N36:n-Htp:D2*Z1
Kitchen, Ramesside Inscriptions , IV, 31
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 158-159, 4:E1
Birth name variant A1
Mer en Ptah, hotep her Maat
mri.n-ptḥ ḥtp-ḥr-mꜢꜤt
Beloved of Ptah, Maat is satisfied
U6\-C102\-C10A-n:Htp:D2*Z1
Lepsius, Denkmäler aus Ägypten und Äthiopien, III, 200d (1)
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 158-159, 4:E2
Birth name variant A2
Mer en Ptah, hotep her Maat
mri.n-ptḥ ḥtp-ḥr-mꜢꜤt
Beloved of Ptah, Maat is satisfied
C19-N36:n-C178-Htp:D2*Z1
Walking statue of Merenptah, Cairo CG 42148
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 158-159, 4:E3
Birth name variant A3
Mer en Ptah, hotep her Maat
mri.n-ptḥ ḥtp-ḥr-mꜢꜤt
Beloved of Ptah, Maat is satisfied
U6\-p:t-H-C10A-n:Htp:D2*Z1
Walking statue of Merenptah, Cairo CG 42148

The sources of antiquity

From the writings of the historians and scholars of antiquity

AuthorGreekTranscriptionReign
Africanus xix, 3 Aμενεφθης Amenephthes 20 years
Eusebius xix, 3 Aμμενεφθίς Ammenephthis 40 years
Jerome 41 Ammenophis 40 years

Bibliography

  • Gauthier, H. Le livre des rois d'Égypte. MIFAO 19 (1913): 113–126
  • Beckerath, J. “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, Second edition, MÄS 49 (1999) : 156–159
  • Leprohon, R. J. The Great Name: Ancient Egyptian Royal Titulary (Atlanta, 2013): 120–122
  • Baker. D. D. The Encyclopedia of the Pharaohs: Volume I (London, 2008): 205–208
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