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Pharaohs of Egypt
• Pharaohs were the kings of Egypt.
• The word “Pharaoh” was used by the Greeks
and Hebrews.
• Pharaoh means Great Palace in Greek.
• The title “Pharaoh” originated from the Greek
language and it is used in the Old Testament.
• According to Egyptian legend, the first kings
of Egypt were later some of the most famous
• All of the Pharaohs we know today existed at
the end of the Predynastic period.
Responsibility Of Pharaohs
• Pharaohs ruled with absolute power. There were few
if any challenged against the King.
• Despite absolute power the Pharaoh was expected to
rule subject to Ma’at.
• Ma’at was the goddess and symbol of the
equilibrium of the universe.
• The Pharaoh was expected to govern according to
the principles of Ma’at.
• Any King that attempted to radically change society
would be seen as destroying the equilibrium that
was so important to Egyptian tradition.
• To keep the pure line of succession, a
Pharaoh passed on the throne to the eldest
son born of the Principal Queen, or Great
Royal Wife.
• Each king was usually keen to demonstrate
to his subjects that he was the “chosen” heir.
• The Pharaoh owned all of the land, people,
and possessions in Egypt.
• Any personal wealth enjoyed by Egyptians
people was considered a result of the
generosity of the King.
Major Pharaohs
• There were several Pharaohs of Egypt.
However, we will focus on some of the
main Pharaohs:
Ramses II
• Founding King of the 1st Dynasty
• Ruled between 3100-2850 B.C.E
• First Pharaoh to unify upper and lower Egypt
into one Kingdom
• Ancient Egypt’s form of a civilization began
with King Menes.
• He created the city of Memphis because of
its good location. It would be easy to defend
against any attacks.
• During his reign he expanded his kingdom
and developed commercial trade links.
• His chief wife was Queen Berenib, although
she wasn’t the mother of his heir: Djer.
• The mother of Djer was Neithotepe, Menes’
other wife.
• He died at the age of 63.
• According to legend he was attacked by wild
dogs or Nile crocodiles at Faiyum.
• He died leaving behind the legacy of a
powerful civilization.
• His tomb lays at Saqqara, the farmed area of
Rames II
• Went to the throne at the age of 20 and
reigned for 67 years.
• This was the second longest reign for any
Egyptian King.
• Ramses is remembered for constructing many
architectural marvels.
• Constructed more colossal statues than any
other Egyptian King.
• Two of his greatest monuments are the two
huge temples at Abu Simbel.
Ramses II
• Ramses also had many military victories.
• Not long after the reign of Ramses II, Egypt
was invaded and eventually fell to the rule of
• Ramses not only excelled in architecture but
he also had a great number of wives.
• By the end of his life Ramses had over 100
• After his death Ramses son, Menataph,
became the heir to the throne.
• Original name was Amonhotep IV.
• Reigned 1350-1334 B.C.E
• He wanted to change the Egyptian supreme
god from Amon-Re to Aton.
• Therefore he changed his name to Akenaton
which means “he who serves Aton”
• He also built a new city called Akhetaton.
• This was the first attempt at radically
changing the Egyptian religion.
• His wife was Nefertiti who was known for her
• Today, Akenaton is remembered for trying to
introduce monotheism to Egypt.
• Monotheism means only one god:Aton.
• It is not sure how Akenaton died but the text two
kings, Smenkhkara and Tutankhamun were
apparently son’s-in-law to Akenaton.
• After his reign Egypt returned back to their old
Ahmose I – Meaning Born of Iah
Reigned – c. 1539-1514 BC
Founder of the Eighteenth Dynasty
Member of the Theban royal house, the
son of pharaoh Seqenenre Tao.
• When he was seven his father was killed
• At age ten his brother died of unknown
causes, after reigning only three years.
• Ahmose I assumed the throne after the
death of his brother, and upon coronation
became known as Neb-Pehty-Re (The
Lord of Strength is Re).
• He completed the conquest
and expulsion of the Hyksos
from the delta region
• Restored Theban rule over
the whole of Egypt
• Successfully reasserted
Egyptian power in its formerly
subject territories of Nubia
and Canaan.
• Reorganized the administration of
the country, reopened quarries,
mines and trade routes and began
massive construction projects of a
type that had not been undertaken
since the time of the Middle
• This building program culminated in
the construction of the last pyramid
built by native Egyptian rulers.
• Ahmose's reign laid the foundations
for the New Kingdom, under which
Egyptian power reached its peak.
His reign is usually dated to the mid16th century BC.
King Tutankhamen came to the throne at a very young
When his father died, believed to be Akhenaton, he
became King at age 10.
King Tutankhamen helped restore Egypt's old beliefs
from when his father tried to make Egypt a monotheism
He died suddenly at the young age of 18 by a blow to the
back of his head.
Since his tomb had not yet been made, he was laid in a
tomb of a member of the nobility.
He is famous today because of his tomb found by
archaeologists. Some say it was the most important
archaeological find.
• Cleopatra VII Philopator
• Reigned – 51 – 12 BC
• She was the last active
pharaoh of Ancient Egypt
• She was a member of the
Ptolemaic Dynasty
• She represented herself as
the reincarnation of an
Egyptian Goddess, Isis
• Cleopatra ruled with Julius Ceasar
• After Caesar's assassination in
44 BC, she aligned with Mark
Antony in opposition to Caesar's
legal heir, Gaius Julius Caesar
Octavianus (later known as
• Antony eventually committed
• Cleopatra followed suit, according
to tradition killing herself by
means of an asp bite on August 12,
30 BC.
• After her rule, Egypt became a
Roman province and fell under the
rule of Rome
• Hatshepsut - meaning Foremost
of Noble Ladies
• Reigned - 1508–1458 BC) and was
the fifth pharaoh of the
Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt.
• She ruled jointly with Thutmose III
who had ascended to the throne
as a child one year earlier.
• Regarded by Egyptologists as
one of the most successful
pharaohs, reigning longer than
any other woman of an
indigenous Egyptian dynasty.
• Khufu lived from 2589-2566 B.C.E
• He reigned for around 24 years.
• Khufu is most remembered for building Great
Pyramid of Giza.
• The pyramid originally stood 481 feet tall.
• Khufu had many sons but the one chosen to be his
successor was Djedefre.
• Khufu left behind the legacy of the Great Pyramid
and even today it’s still a mystery to how it was built.
Discussion Questions
1) In your opinion, was it right for the
Pharaohs to rule with absolute power?
2) Do you think Egypt would be so well
known today if Pharaohs did not exist?
3) In ancient Egypt all property belonged to
the Pharaohs, would our society be
successful if this was true today about
the Prime Minister.
Brier, Bob. PhD. History of ancient Egypt. The First Nation in History.
The Learning Company. 2001.
Dowling, Mike. The Pharaoh. West Palm Beach Florida, 23 Oct.
2004. 18 Oct. 2006
Dunn, Jimmy. Egypt Feature Story The Kings (Pharaohs) of Ancient
Egypt. 1996. 18 Oct. 2006
Newman, Garfield. Echoes from the Past. Whitby, Ontario: McGraw
- Hill Ryerson Limited, 2001.
“Pharaoh." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2006. Encyclopaedia
Britannica Online. 18 t. 2006 . <>.
Discovering Ancient Egypt. 2001. 18 Oct. 2006