Dynasty I

Semerkhet was the first pharaoh using the Nebty title in its ultimate form. The name in the New Kingdom king lists is Semsu or Semsem, which means the eldest, which might tie in with the 72 years mentioned in the Turin papyrus, but he likely only ruled for a decade or so. According to Africanus and Eusebius he was named Semempses by Manetho.

Reign of Semerkhet
AE Chronology2763–2756
von Beckerath2861–2853
Turin Canon63 (years?)
Manetho18 years


The Royal Titulary

From the hieroglyphic records

Horus name
Horus name of Semerkhet: Semer khet
Semer khet
Companion of the Gods
Petrie, Royal Tombs, I, plate XXVIII
, Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen (), 40-41, 7:H
Throne name
Throne name of Semerkhet: Iry
The Dual king who belongs to the Two Ladies
Ivory label British Museum EA 32668
Petrie, Royal Tombs, I, plate XII (1)
The archaic sign (A469) is similar to A17 and was likely confused by the NK scribes.
Throne name variant
Throne name of Semerkhet: Semsu*
The eldest
Abydos king list 7
Mariette, Abydos, I, plate 43 (7)
, Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen (), 40-41, 7:2
Throne name variant
Throne name of Semerkhet: Semsem*
The elder (of Horus)
Royal Canon of Turin 3.18
Gardiner, The Royal Canon of Turin (1959), II:18
, Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen (), 40-41, 7:3

The sources of antiquity

From the writings of the historians and scholars of antiquity

Africanus i, 7 Σεμεμψης Semempses Semempsis 18 years
Eusebius i, 7 Σεμεμψης Semempses Semempses 18 years
Eratosthenes 5 Πεμφως Pemphos Pemphus 18 years


Handbuch der Ägyptischen Königsnamen, MÄS 49 (1999): 40–41
The Encyclopedia of the Pharaohs: Volume I – Predynastic to the Twentieth Dynasty 3300–1069 BC (London, 2008), 376–378
Le livre des rois d'Égypte. MIFAO 17 (1907): 11–14
The Great Name: Ancient Egyptian Royal Titulary (Atlanta, 2013), 26–27


End of page
The Royal titulary

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

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 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.

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

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

Ancient historians

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