Tutankhamun in hieroglyphs

The thirteenth pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty, a.k.a. Tutankhamon, King Tut, Tutankhamen

Despite being almost unknown before 1922 and only reigning for a very brief period of time, Tutankhamun has definitely become as the most well-known pharaoh of modern times after the discovery of his treasure-filled tomb that same year.

In Amarna letter EA 9, the king of Babylon wrote to the pharaoh of Egypt. The name transliterates to Ni-ib-hu-ur-re-re-ia, which transcribes to Nib-khurre-reya, which probably is the Akkadian cuneiform rendition of Neb-kheperu-ra. This is still debated among Egyptologists, and could instead belong to his father, Akhenaten. However, Akkadian nib only transcribes Egyptian neb and never nefer, which means it can't belong to Akhenaten, whose throne name begins with Nefer-. The content of EA 9 itself fits better with Akhenaten though, so the identity can't be said to be final for sure.

Precedessor
Smenkhkara

Successor
Ay

Reign of Tutankhamun
AE Chronology?–1324
v. Beckerath1335–1325
Shaw1336–1327
Dodson1343–1333
Arnold1348–1338
Malek1336–1327
Grimal1336–1327
Redford1355–1346
Manetho (Josephus)9 years
Manetho (Africanus)6 years
Manetho (Jerome)9 years
Highest attestationYear 10

The Royal Titulary

From the hieroglyphic records

The Dual King
The Son of Ra

Horus Ka nakht tut mesut  The Dual King Neb kheperu Ra  Son of Ra Tut ankh Amun

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 tut mesut
kꜢ-nḫt twt-mswt
The strong bull, pleasing of birth
E1:D40-t-w&t-ms-s-w-t:Z2
Urkunden des Ägyptische Alterthums , IV, 2056
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 144-145, 12:H1
Horus name variant
Ka nakht tut mesut
kꜢ-nḫt twt-mswt
The strong bull, pleasing of birth
E1:D40-t-w&t-A23-ms-s-W-A17-t:Z2
Restoration stele, CG 34183
Urkunden des Ägyptische Alterthums , IV, 2025
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 144-145, 12:H2
Horus name variant
Ka nakht tut mesut
kꜢ-nḫt twt-mswt
The strong bull, pleasing of birth
E1:D40-t&w&t-ms-t-s
Ornamental gilt and inlaid casket (JE 61476), Carter No. 44
Horus name variant
Ka nakht tut mesut
kꜢ-nḫt twt-mswt
The strong bull, pleasing of birth
E1:D40-t&w&t-ms-z:t*Z2
Tutankhamun's small chair, (JE 62029, Carter No. 87)
Horus name variant
Ka nakht tut mesut
kꜢ-nḫt twt-mswt
The strong bull, pleasing of birth
E1:D40-t&w&t-ms-t&w&Z2
Tutankhamun's alabaster Wishing Cup (JE 62125, Carter No. 14)
Horus name variant
Ka nakht tut mesut
kꜢ-nḫt twt-mswt
The strong bull, pleasing of birth
E1:D40-A23-ms-Z3
Karnak Open Air Museum stone blocks

Nebty names

Two ladies hieroglyphs

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

Nebty name
Nefer hepu segereh tawy
nfr-hpw sgrḥ-tꜢwi
One of perfect laws, who pacifies the Two Lands
nfr-h:p-w-iz-Z3-s-g:r-H-a:N17:N17-N21:N21
Urkunden des Ägyptische Alterthums , IV, 2054
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 144-145, 12:N1
Nebty name variant
Nefer hepu segereh tawy, sehotep netjeru nebu
nfr-hpw sgrḥ-tꜢwi sḥtp-nṯrw-nbw
One of perfect laws, who pacifies the Two Lands and satisfied the gods
nfr-h:p-w-Z3-s-g:r-H-a:N17:N17-s-Htp:t*p-nTrw:nb-w
Petrie, Illahun, Kahun and Gurob, plate 24 (12)
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 144-145, 12:N3
Nebty name variant
Wer ah Amun
wr-Ꜥḥ-imn
Great of the palace of Amun
wr:r-aH-pr:Z1-i-mn:n
Urkunden des Ägyptische Alterthums , IV, 2033
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 144-145, 12:N2

Golden Horus names

Golden Horus name

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

Golden Horus name
Wetjes khau sehotep netjeru
wṯs-ḫꜤw sḥtp-nṯrw
Elevated of appearances who satisfied the gods
U39-xa:Z2-s-Htp:t*p-nTrw
Urkunden des Ägyptische Alterthums , IV, 2054
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 144-145, 12:G1
Golden Horus name variant
Wetjes khau sehotep netjeru
wṯz-ḫꜤw sḥtp-nṯrw
Elevated of appearances who satisfied the gods
U39-xa:Z2-z:Htp:t*p-nTrw
Restoration stele, CG 34183
Urkunden des Ägyptische Alterthums , IV, 2056
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 144-145, 12:G2
Golden Horus name variant
Wetjes khau itef Ra
wṯz ḫꜤw-it.f-rꜤ
Who has elevated the appearances of his father Ra
w-T:z-U39-xa:Z2-i-t:f-A40:f-A40E
Urkunden des Ägyptische Alterthums , IV, 2044
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 144-145, 12:G3

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 kheperu Ra
nb-ḫprw-rꜤ
Lord of the forms of Ra
ra-xpr-Z2:nb
Urkunden des Ägyptische Alterthums , IV, 2043
Lepsius, Denkmäler aus Ägypten und Äthiopien, III, 115,118; III, 119b, Text 79
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 144-145, 12:T1
Throne name variant
Neb kheperu Ra
nb-ḫprw-rꜤ
Lord of the forms of Ra
ra:nb-xpr-Z2
Urkunden des Ägyptische Alterthums , IV, 2058
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 144-145, 12:T2
Throne name variant
Neb kheperu Ra, heqa Maat
nb-ḫprw-rꜤ ḥḳꜢ-mꜢꜤt
Lord of the forms of Ra, ruler of Maat
ra:nb-xpr-Z3-HqA-Sw
Urkunden des Ägyptische Alterthums , IV, 2057
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 144-145, 12:T3

Birth names

Nomen or birth name

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

Birth name
Tut ankh Amun
twt-Ꜥnḫ-imn
The living image of Amun
i-mn:n-t&w&t-anx
Statue of Tutankhamun CG 42091 (JE 36583)
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 144-145, 12:E3
Birth name variant
Tut ankh Amun heqa Iunu shemai
twt-Ꜥnḫ-imn ḥḳꜢ-iwnw-šmꜤi
The living image of Amun, ruler of southern Heliopolis
i-mn:n-t&w&t-anx-HqA-iwn-Sma
Lepsius, Denkmäler aus Ägypten und Äthiopien, III, 115+119b; Text III, 79
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 144-145, 12:E2
Birth name variant
Tut ankh Aton
twt-Ꜥnḫ-itn
The living image of Aton
i-t:n:ra-t&w&t-anx-n:x
Name at birth, changed to Tutankhamun after Amarna period
Urkunden des Ägyptische Alterthums , IV, 2056
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 144-145, 12:E1

The sources of antiquity

From the writings of the historians and scholars of antiquity

AuthorGreekTranscriptionReign
Africanus xviii, 11 Ραθως Rathos 6 years
Eusebius xviii, 10 Aθωρις Athoris 39 years
Jerome Achoris 9 years
Josephus 96 Pαθωτις Rathotis 9 years

Bibliography

  • Gauthier, H. Le livre des rois d'Égypte. MIFAO 18 (1912): 365–373
  • Beckerath, J. “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, Second edition, MÄS 49 (1999) : 144–145
  • Leprohon, R. J. The Great Name: Ancient Egyptian Royal Titulary (Atlanta, 2013): 106
  • Baker. D. D. The Encyclopedia of the Pharaohs: Volume I (London, 2008): 479–481
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