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Name of Merenptah
Merenptah Louxor-HeadAndShoulders-BackgroundKnockedOut.png
Head of the statue of Merenptah ( Luxor Museum )
Throne name
Hiero Ca1.svg
E11 N5
C12 U6
Hiero Ca2.svg
Ba- Soul of Re ,
beloved of Amun
Hiero Ca1.svg
N5 E11
R8 R8 R8
Hiero Ca2.svg
Ba-soul of Re, lover of Amun, lover of the gods
Hiero Ca1.svg
N5 G29
Hiero Ca2.svg
Ba-soul of Re
Proper name
Hiero Ca1.svg
C19 N36
C10 R4
D2 Z1
Hiero Ca2.svg
(Meri en Ptah hetep ago Maat)
the Ptah loves of the Mate is satisfied
Greek Manetho variants:
Josephus : Amenôphis
Africanus : Amenephthês
Eusebius : Ammenephthis
Eusebius, A version: Amenephthis

Merenptah was the fourth king ( Pharaoh ) of the ancient Egyptian 19th Dynasty ( New Kingdom ) and ruled from 1213 to 1204 BC. Chr.

Other name variants

  • Merneptah
  • Menepthah
  • Amenophat
  • Merneptah Ramses-Merenptah
  • Set (h) i-Merenptah

Other titles

  • Name of Horus : Who cheers over the mate and others
  • Nebtiname : Who lets (his) power affect the land of the Libyans. Variation: He appears like Ptah in the midst of hundreds of thousands to establish the perfect laws in the two countries; Great in strength, rich in victory.
  • Gold Name : That inspires fear and commands awe (free transmission). Variant: Who makes Egypt strong, who throws down the nine bows [i.e. the enemies of Egypt] in order to give peace to the gods in the two countries.

Family and origin

Merenptah was the third son of Ramses II and his second great royal wife Isisnofret (Isetnefret) and the 13th son of this king. He was married to his sister Isisnofret and Tachat . Two sons are attested from this marriage: Sethos-Merenptah and Amenmesse , who succeeded him to the throne. His main consort was Bintanat II, daughter of Ramses II and Bintanat (his sister and royal consort Ramses II).



Because of his father's long reign, his older brothers had already died and Merenptah must also have been of advanced age when he greg on June 28th . ( 19. Achet I ) ascended the throne. According to Manetho , he ruled 19 years and 6 months, but the highest recorded date of his reign is 9 years and 3 months (10th year of reign).

Foreign policy

Merenptah put down revolts in Nubia , repulsed an attack by Libyans , who were joined by associations of some of the so-called sea ​​peoples , on the Nile Delta (see Libyan War ). If corresponding reliefs are assigned in Karnak Merenptah, he also moved to the Canaanite and possibly Syrian areas and put down revolts in Palestine (this campaign is, however, controversial in the professional world). From the 5th year of Merentptah there is a delivery of grain to the Hittite Empire "to keep it alive", which indicates a famine in the Hittite Empire.

A victory stele from the 5th year of Merenptah's reign, also called Israeli stele in literature , is the first and only mention of Israel in Egyptian texts: among the destroyed cities of Canaan , a group of people called "Israel" is also mentioned, who were destroyed and their seeds exterminated should be.

Dates of the Nile flood

Some dates of the Nile flood have come down to us from the reign of Merenptah :

Dates of the flood of the Nile (reign of Merenptah)
Reg.year year Ancient Egyptian date Gregorian calendar comment
1 1213 BC Chr. 3. Achet III August 11th Birth of the great flood of the Nile
2 1212 BC Chr. 3. Achet II July 12 Birth of the great flood of the Nile
7th 1207 BC Chr. 5. Achet III August 11th Birth of the Nile Flood
10 1204 BC Chr. 13. Achet II 20th of July Birth of a great flood of the Nile

Grave and mummy

Sarcophagus of Merenptah
Head of the mummy of Merenptah, Cairo CG 61079

Merenptah's grave ( KV8 ) is located in the eastern part in the Valley of the Kings in Thebes and was the first to be completely axially laid out. This construction method was retained afterwards. In the open since ancient tomb were two sarcophagi of granite and remains one of alabaster found.

The king's mummy was discovered by Victor Loret in 1898 in the tomb of Amenhotep II ( KV35 ), where it had been hidden towards the end of the 20th dynasty . Merenptah's mummy is also known as the white mummy because it is whitish in color. It was examined by Grafton Elliot Smith and described in 1912 in Catalog of the Royal Mummies in the Museum of Cairo . The royal mummy is with the inventory no. CG 61079 in the Egypt Museum in Cairo .

Psusennes I from the 21st dynasty usurped another sarcophagus (Merenptahs), the origin of which the Egyptologists do not agree on; probably it comes from the cenotaph or the actual grave of Merenptah (KV8).


  • Jan Assmann : The inscription on the outer sarcophagus lid of Merenptah. In: Communications from the German Archaeological Institute, Cairo Department (MDAIK). Vol. 28, 1972, pp. 47-73. ( online )
  • Jan Assmann: Neith speaks as mother and coffin. Interpretation and metric analysis of the inscription on the coffin cover of Merenptah. In: MDAIK. Vol. 28, 1972, pp. 115-139. ( online )
  • Darrell D. Baker: The Encyclopedia of the Egyptian Pharaohs, Volume I: Predynastic to the Twentieth Dynasty (3300-1069 BC). Bannerstone Press, London 2008, ISBN 978-1-905299-37-9 , pp. 205-208.
  • U. Cruz-Uribe: On the wife of Merenptah. In: Göttinger Miszellen (GM). Vol. 24, 1977, pp. 23-32.
  • Marianne Eaton-Krauss: Seti-Merenptah as Crown Prince Merenptahs. In: Göttinger Miscellen. Vol. 50, 1981, pp. 15-22.
  • Erik Hornung : The New Kingdom. In: Erik Hornung, Rolf Krauss, David A. Warburton (eds.): Ancient Egyptian Chronology (= Handbook of Oriental studies. Section One. The Near and Middle East. Volume 83). Brill, Leiden / Boston 2006, ISBN 978-90-04-11385-5 , pp. 197-217 ( online ).
  • Horst Jaritz, Brigitte Dominicus, Hourig Sourouzian: The mortuary temple of Merenptah in Qurna. 2nd excavation report (7th and 8th campaign). In: MDAIK. Vol. 51, 1995, pp. 57-83.
  • Horst Jaritz, Brigitte Dominicus, Uwe Minuth, Walter Niederberger, Anne Seiler: The mortuary temple of Merenptah in Qurna. 3rd excavation report (9th and 10th campaign). In: MDAIK. Vol. 52, 1996, ISBN 3-8053-1861-8 , pp. 201-232.
  • Horst Jaritz, Brigitte Dominicus, Walter Niederberger, Hourig Sourouzian, Laurent Stalder: The mortuary temple of Merenptah in Qurna. 4. Excavation report. In: MDAIK. Vol. 55, 1999, pp. 13-62.
  • Horst Jaritz u. a .: The mortuary temple of Merenptah in Qurna. 5. Excavation report. In: MDAIK. Vol. 57, 2001, pp. 141-170.
  • KA Kitchen : Ramesside Inscriptions, 4: Merenptah & the late nineteenth Dynasty. Blackwell, Oxford 2003, ISBN 0-631-18429-5 .
  • Susanne Martinssen-von Falck: The great pharaohs. From the New Kingdom to the Late Period. Marix, Wiesbaden 2018, ISBN 978-3-7374-1057-1 , pp. 149–152.
  • Thomas Schneider : Lexicon of the Pharaohs. Albatros, Düsseldorf 2002, ISBN 3-491-96053-3 , pp. 159-162.
  • Hourig Sourouzian: Les monuments du roi Merenptah. von Zabern, Mainz 1989, ISBN 3-8053-1053-6 .
  • AP Zivie: Quelques remarques sur un monument nouveau de Mérenptah. In: Göttinger Miscellen. Vol. 18, Göttingen 1975, pp. 45-50.

Web links

Commons : Merenptah  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Notes and individual references

  1. ^ Dating according to Schneider : Lexicon of the Pharaohs. Düsseldorf 2002, p. 319.
  2. Wolfgang Helck : History of ancient Egypt . Brill, Leiden 1981, ISBN 90-04-06497-4 , p. 191.
  3. a b Thomas Schneider: Lexicon of the Pharaohs. Düsseldorf 2002, p. 160 (sv "Merenptah") with further literature.
  4. Volkert Haas : History of the Hittite Empire. Brill, Leiden – Boston – Cologne 1998, p. 310f.

predecessor Office successor
Ramses ii Pharaoh of Egypt
19th Dynasty