Horemheb

Also known as: Horemhab, Haremhab Dynasty XVIII

Horemheb was commander in chief of the army and the designated heir to Tutankhamun. The vizier Ay managed to seize power when Tutankhamun died suddenly, probably while Horemhab was abroad with the army. However, Ay died after only a few years reign, and Horemheb finally ascended the throne. It is not known how he managed it, but presumably it was well known that he was the intended heir to Tutankhamun.

Horemeb initiated a return to religious normalcy by restoring the old gods to power, reducing the worship of Aten introduced by Akhenaten to rubble. He furthermore started erasing all traces of their reign and history, and was very successful, as the Amarna period kings were more or less forgotten.

Horemheb might be the Armaa mentioned in a historical text of the Hittite king Mursili II, written when Horemheb was the commander of the armies of Asia, before he became pharaoh. This name seems quite similar to the Armais/Armesis of Manetho.

Horemheb failed to produce a son, so instead he appointed his vizier, Paramessu, to succeed him, which he did as Ramesses I.

Reign of Horemheb
AE Chronology1319–1292
von Beckerath1321–1294
Shaw1323–1295
Dodson1328–1298
Malek1323–1295
Arnold1335–1308
Grimal1323–1295
Redford1343–1315
Manetho (Josephus)4y 1m
Manetho (Africanus)5 years
Manetho (Eusebius)5 years
Manetho (Jerome)5 years
Highest attestationYear 27

 

The Royal Titulary

From the hieroglyphic records

Horus name
Horus name of Horemheb: Ka nakht seped sekheru
Ka nakht seped sekheru
kꜢ-nḫt spd-sḫrw
The Strong bull, whose plans are clever
E1:D40-M44-s-x:r-Y1:Z2
Medinet Habu stele fragment
ASAE, 17, 85
, Denkmäler aus Ägypten und Äthiopien (), III, 112d
, Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen (), 146-147, 14:H
Horus name variant
Horus name of Horemheb: Ka nakht seped sekheru
Ka nakht seped sekheru
kꜢ-nḫt spd-sḫrw
The Strong bull, whose plans are clever
E1:D40-M44-s-x:r:Z2
Coronation inscription on Turin statue C.1379
Gardiner. 1953. "The coronation of King Haremhab". JEA 39. 13-31, pl. II
Nebty name
Nebty name of Horemheb: Wer biat em ipetsut
Wer biat em ipetsut
wr-biꜢwt-m-ipt-swt
Great of marvels in Ipetsut (Karnak)
wr:r-U16A:t*Z2-m-i-p:t-st-st-Q1
Medinet Habu stele fragment
ASAE, 17, 85
, Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen (), 146-147, 14:N
Golden Horus name
Golden Horus name of Horemheb: Hor her Maat, sekheper tawy
Hor her Maat, sekheper tawy
hrw-ḥr-mꜢꜤt sḫpr-tꜢwi
Pleased with Maat, who (re)-created the Two Lands
h:r:Y1-D2:Z1-mAat-s-xpr:N17:N17
Urkunden des Ägyptische Alterthums, IV, 2113
, Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen (), 146-147, 14:G
Throne name
Throne name of Horemheb: Djoser kheperu Ra, setep en Ra
Djoser kheperu Ra, setep en Ra
ḏsr-ḫprw stp-n-rꜤ
The sacred one of the manifestations of Ra, chosen of Ra
ra:Dsr-xpr:Z2-stp&n&ra
Abydos king list 74
Saqqara king list 4
Karnak pylon IX
, Denkmäler aus Ägypten und Äthiopien (), III, 112b
, Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen (), 146-147, 14:T1
Throne name variant
Throne name of Horemheb: Djoser kheperu Ra, heqa Maat
Djoser kheperu Ra, heqa Maat
ḏsr-ḫprw-rꜤ ḥḳꜢ-mꜢꜤt
The sacred one of the manifestations of Ra, ruler of Maat
ra:Dsr-HqA-xpr-Sw-Z2*ra:stp:n
, Denkmäler aus Ägypten und Äthiopien (), III, 119f
, Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen (), 146-147, 14:T2
Throne name variant
Throne name of Horemheb: Djoser kheperu en Ra
Djoser kheperu en Ra
ḏsr-ḫprw-n-rꜤ
The sacred one of the manifestations of Ra
ra:Dsr-xpr:Z2-n
Marseille stela 17 and 26
de Saulcy, Mémoires de l'Académie nationale de Metz, 1864, Pt. 2, 257-358
Birth name
Birth name of Horemheb: Horemhab
Horemhab
ḥr-m-ḥꜢb
Horus is in jubilation
G5-Aa15:Hb-A42A
Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, 39, plate II, row 15 (as hereditary prince)
, Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen (), 146-147, 14:E1
Birth name variant
Birth name of Horemheb: Horemhab meren Amun
Horemhab meren Amun
ḥr-m-ḥꜢb mri.n-imn
Horemheb, whom Amun has loved
i-mn:n:U7-G5-S3-Aa15:W3
, Denkmäler aus Ägypten und Äthiopien (), III, 119-122
, Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen (), 146-147, 14:E2
Birth name variant
Birth name of Horemheb: Horemhab meren Amun
Horemhab meren Amun
ḥr-m-ḥꜢb mri.n-imn
Horemheb, whom Amun has loved
i-mn:n:U7-G5-n:Aa15:W3
, Denkmäler aus Ägypten und Äthiopien (), III, 120b
, Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen (), 146-147, 14:E3
Birth name variant
Birth name of Horemheb: Horemhab meren Amun
Horemhab meren Amun
ḥr-m-ḥꜢb mri.n-imn
Horemheb, whom Amun has loved
i-mn:n:N36-G5-n:Aa15:W3
Medinet Habu stele fragment
ASAE, 17, 85
Birth name variant
Birth name of Horemheb: Horemhab meren Amun
Horemhab meren Amun
ḥr-m-ḥꜢb mri.n-imn
Horemheb, whom Amun has loved
i-mn:n-G5-m-W3:ra-U7:n
Urkunden des Ägyptische Alterthums, IV, 2170
, Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen (), 146-147, 14:E5

The sources of antiquity

From the writings of the historians and scholars of antiquity

AuthorGreekTransliterationTranscriptionReign
Africanus xviii, 14 Aρμεσης Armesis Armeses 5 years
Eusebius xviii, 14 Aρμαις Armais Armais 5 years
Jerome Armais also called Danaus 5 years
Josephus 97 Aρμαις Armais Armais 4 years, 1 month

Bibliography


Handbuch der Ägyptischen Königsnamen, MÄS 49 (1999): 146–147
The Encyclopedia of the Pharaohs: Volume I – Predynastic to the Twentieth Dynasty 3300–1069 BC (London, 2008), 115–118
Le livre des rois d'Égypte. MIFAO 18 (1912): 381–396
The Great Name: Ancient Egyptian Royal Titulary (Atlanta, 2013), 107

 

End of page
The Royal titulary

The full titulary was announced at the coronation, when a pharaoh officially became king.

Horus
Horus name
The oldest form of a pharaoh's name, often enclosed in a serekh, a sort of "heraldic crest" representing a palace facade.

Nebty
Nebty name
The "Two Ladies", the heraldic goddesses Nekhbet and Wadjet, representing Upper and Lower Egypt respectively.

Golden Horus
Golden Horus name
Gold was strongly associated with eternity, but the meaning of this title is disputed.

Prenomen
Throne name
(prenomen) Announced at the coronation, and written in a cartouche.

Nomen
Personal name
(nomen) The name given at birth, also written in a cartouche.

Kinglists
Ancient historians

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