Sneferu in hieroglyphs

The first pharaoh of the Fourth Dynasty, a.k.a. Snefru, Snofru

According to Manetho, Sneferu ruled for 29 years, although the Turin King-list only lists 24. A biennial cattle-count would indicate a 48 year reign, but it is likely that the counts sometimes happened yearly, but he probably ruled 30 to 40 years, which would explain how he managed to build three pyramids. It is known that he ruled for at least three years after the 24th cattle-count.

Precedessor
Huni

Successor
Khufu

Reign of Sneferu
AE Chronology2543–2510
v. Beckerath2614–2579
Shaw2613–2589
Dodson2520–2470
Allen2575–2551
Arnold2600–2555
Malek2573–2549
Redford2649–2609
Turin King List24 years
Manetho (Africanus)29 years

The Royal Titulary

From the hieroglyphic records

The Dual King

Horus Neb Maat  The Dual King Sneferu

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
Neb Maat
nb-mꜢꜤt
The Lord of Maat
nb:U4-t
Cairo Museum JE 38568
relief from Wadi Maghara, Sinai
Lepsius, Denkmäler aus Ägypten und Äthiopien, II, 2a
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 52-53, 1:H1
Horus name variant
Neb Maat Sneferu
nb-mꜢꜤt snfr-w
The Lord of Maat, has made me perfect
nb:U1-Aa11:t-s-nfr-r:w
Schott, Nachrichten der Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen, 1956, 67, fig. 5
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 52-53, 1:E1

Nebty name

Two ladies hieroglyphs

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

Nebty name
Neb Maat
nb-mꜢꜤt
Lord of Maat
nb:U4-t
Cairo Museum JE 38568
relief from Wadi Maghara, Sinai
Lepsius, Denkmäler aus Ägypten und Äthiopien, II, 2a
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 52-53, 1:N

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
bik-nbw
Golden falcon
G5:nbw
Cairo Museum JE 38568
relief from Wadi Maghara, Sinai
Lepsius, Denkmäler aus Ägypten und Äthiopien, II, 2a
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 52-53, 1: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
Sneferu
s-nfr-w
The one who has been made perfect
s-nfr-r:f-w
Tomb of Nefermaat II (Giza G7060)
Lepsius, Denkmäler aus Ägypten und Äthiopien, II, 17a
Throne name variant
Sneferu*
n-nfr-w
The one who has been made perfect
s-nfr-f:r-w
Saqqara Canon no. 43

Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 52-53, 1:E4
Throne name variant
Sneferu*
s-nfr-w
The one who has been made perfect
s-nfr-w
Abydos Canon no. 20

Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 52-53, 1:E3
Throne name variant
Snefer..*
s-nfr..
The one who has been made perfect
s-nfr-//-G7
Turin King List 4.6
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 52-53, 1:E5
Gardiner, The Royal Canon of Turin (1959) III:9
Throne name variant
Sneferu*
s-nfr-w
The one who has been made perfect
s-nfr-r-w
Karnak Canon no. 2
Cairo Museum JE 38568
relief from Wadi Maghara, Sinai
Lepsius, Denkmäler aus Ägypten und Äthiopien, II, 2a
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 52-53, 1:E2
Throne name variant
Sneferu*
s-nfr-w
The one who has been made perfect
s-nfr-f:r-W
Westcar Papyrus, 6.19

The sources of antiquity

From the writings of the historians and scholars of antiquity

AuthorGreekTranscriptionReign
Africanus iv, 1 Σωρις Soris 29 years

Bibliography

  • Gauthier, H. Le livre des rois d'Égypte. MIFAO 17 (1907): 61–71
  • 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): 386–389
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