Pepi I.

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Name of Pepi I.
Statue of Pepis I .; Egyptian Museum , Cairo
Horus name
mr i i tA
Loved by the two countries
U6 i i X
X1 Z1
Mry-ẖ lover of godhood
Gold name
G5 G5 G5
Goldenest of the falcons
Throne name
Hiero Ca1.svg
G5 F35 V18
Hiero Ca2.svg
With perfect protection, a Horus
Hiero Ca1.svg
ra mr i i
Hiero Ca2.svg
lover of Re
Proper name
Hiero Ca1.svg
i i
Hiero Ca2.svg
List of Kings of Abydos (Seti I) (No.36)
Hiero Ca1.svg
ra mr
i i
Hiero Ca2.svg
List of Kings of Saqqara (No.34)
Hiero Ca1.svg
i i
Hiero Ca2.svg
for  Manetho

Phiops  Φíός

Pepi I ( Greek Phiops I ) was the third king ( pharaoh ) of the ancient Egyptian 6th dynasty in the Old Kingdom . He ruled approximately within the period from 2295 to 2250 BC. Chr.


Pepi I was the son of Teti II and Iput I.


Term of office

There is great uncertainty about the exact duration of Pepis I's rule. In the Royal Papyrus Turin from the New Kingdom only 20 years are given. In the 3rd century BC Egyptian priests living in BC Manetho called 53 years. Only a very limited number of contemporary dates have survived. The highest date indicates either a "year of the 25th time counting" or a "year after the 25th time counting". This refers to the nationwide cattle count, originally introduced as the escort of Horus , for the purpose of tax collection. This census originally took place every two years (that is, an “xth year of counting” was followed by a “year after the xth time of counting”), but later also partly annually (for an “xth year the count ”was followed by the“ yth year of the count ”). Since Pepi's government only provides information for two or three years after the census, there is a minimum documented term of government of 27 years and a maximum of 50 or 51 years.

The fluctuations in the annual figures for different researchers are correspondingly large. While a large part is assuming a long reign (e.g. Thomas Schneider 55 years, Jürgen von Beckerath at least 40 years or Jean Vercoutter 44 years) there are also supporters of a significantly shorter reign. For example, Erik Hornung assumes 32 years and Wolfgang Helck and Hans Goedicke assume only 20 years of their own government and a subsequent usurpation of the Userkare's years of government.

The informative value of documents relating to Pepi's first Sedfest is also problematic . This anniversary festival was ideally celebrated for the first time after 30 years of government. Since it is both with Pepis “18 + x. Year of Counting "and the" 25. Year of the Census ”, Anthony Spalinger assumes that two parallel dating methods were used during Pepi's reign: an annual and a biennial census. The Sedfest would therefore have taken place after five years of userkare's reign (estimated by Spalinger) and Pepis I's own reign of 25 years. On the other hand, Michel Baud comes to a completely different interpretation : According to him, the relevant documents (both expedition inscriptions) refer to the Sedfest, but the actual dates only indicate the times of the expeditions and not the festival. He thinks that the actual date of the Sedfest can be found in the annals stone of South Saqqara . This is so badly worn that there are hardly any entries from Pepi's reign, but there is an above-average paragraph which, assuming a strict biennial count, would coincide with Pepi's 30th or 31st year of reign. At the same time, this would be an indication of Pepi's long reign of 50 or more years.

Circumstances of the seizure of power

He came to the throne of the pharaohs after the murder of his father and the ensuing chaos.

Family policy

After the elimination of the older queen ( harem conspiracy ) in the year of the 21st count, he married two daughters of Chui ( Hwj ) from Abydos , who both took the court name Anchenespepi and Anchenesmerire. The older, Anchenespepi I , mother of Merenre , died soon after the birth of her son; the younger, Anchenespepi II. , still lived during the reign of her son Pepi II. Other wives were Nubwenet , Inenek-Inti , Meritites II. , Nedjeftet , Behenu and Haaheru . With the latter he had a son named Hornetjerichet . Other children, whose mothers are unknown, were a son named Tetianch and two daughters named Neith and Iput II , who were later both married to their (half) brother Pepi II.

Domestic politics

Domestically, the provinces continued to develop towards greater independence compared to the residence.

Some of the viziers of Pepi I are known: from the early reign of Ankh-mahor / Sesi, Mereruka / Meri, Chentikai / Ichechi, Mehu , Ptah-hotep. Later then Tep-em-anch, Tjenti, Meriteti, Rawer, Mereri, Nefer-sixem-sixat / Chenu, Sesi and Idu / Nefer Ankh-merirê.

Vizier in Upper Egypt was Djau , the brother of the queens Anchenespepi I and Anchenespepi II, in Abydos Iuu .

Foreign policy

Campaigns on the Sinai Peninsula and to Palestine in his time are documented. Recently found seal impressions show that the starting point for Pepi's ventures on the Sinai Peninsula was the port of Ain Suchna on the Gulf of Suez .

Construction activity

The pyramid Pepis I in Saqqara-South

Reconstruction of the Pepi I pyramid

The pyramid of Pepi I in Saqqara-South was called Men-nefer-Pepi ("Permanent and perfect is (the pyramid of) Pepi"). This later gave rise to the name Memphis ( Men-nefer ) for the capital . Today the pyramid has fallen into disrepair, so that the cover of the coffin chamber can be seen from the outside. This was quite small in its dimensions (side length 76 m) and contains pyramid texts .

In search of the two pyramids of the queens Anches-Merire, a previously unknown pyramid was discovered by Jean Leclant near Saqqara in early 1995 , with a mortuary temple and remains of an obelisk , which are assigned to Pepi and a queen Merit-Ites on the basis of inscriptions. Merit-Ites is said to be another wife, daughter or granddaughter of Pepi. The Egyptian antiquities administration dates this pyramid to the 8th dynasty .

According to Schneider, the pyramids of Inenek-Inti and the "western queen" are the graves of the two Anches-merire.

Further construction activity

There is evidence of sacred building activity in Bubastis , Tanis , Dendera , Elephantine , Heliopolis , Koptos , Armant, Edfu and Hierakonpolis . In Abydos he had a rock chapel carved into the rock for Chontamenti .

Further evidence

Golden falcon head with obsidian eyes from Hierakonpolis ( Egyptian Museum Cairo , JE 32158, CG 14717)

James Edward Quibell found the beautifully crafted head of a Horus falcon made of gold and obsidian in Hierakonpolis in 1898 .

The biography of a Weni has also been found who was already subordinate to the royal domains under Teti . Pepi I appointed Weni as judge and priest of his pyramid temple.

Weni later appears as the commander-in-chief of the army, who recruited Nubian troops and led five penal trains against rebellious Bedouins . A sixth expedition took him to Palestine.


Two statues of Pepis I were found at the end of the 19th century by James Edward Quibell in a depot in the Temple of Horus in Hierakonpolis . They are now in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo (Inv.No. JE 33034 and JE 33035). They are two hollow statues made of chased copper with a wooden core. The larger one is 177 cm tall; the smaller one, however, measures only 65 cm and was found inside the large statue. The large statue is shown walking. The right arm is placed against the body, while the left arm is bent and the king holds a staff in his hand. The apron and crown were made separately and have not survived. In the eyes there are inlays made of limestone and obsidian . The small figure is also shown striding, but with both arms pressed against the body. Instead of a crown, she wears a wig. On the forehead there is a hole for a specially made uraeus snake , which has not been preserved, like the apron. The little statue also has limestone and obsidian inlays in its eyes, and remnants of gilding have been preserved on the toenails. Since only the large statue has an inscription, there are different views as to whom the small one represents. One hypothesis assumes that it represents Pepi's son Merenre I, who was appointed heir to the throne at his father's Sedfest . According to another hypothesis, however, it is a rejuvenated depiction of Pepi I. Christian Eckmann, a restorer sent by the Roman-Germanic Central Museum in Mainz was able to restore the two statues and that of a falcon with a gold crown in 2002 in cooperation with the German Archaeological Institute to lock.

The Cairo Museum houses two other statues of Pepis I. One (Inv.No. CG 541) is a sphinx , of which only the front paws and part of the base plate have survived. The piece is made of slate and has a length of 215 cm. It was found in Haret el-Rum in the southeastern Nile Delta, but probably originated in Heliopolis, as an inscription between the forelegs of the Sphinx suggests.

The last statue in Cairo is made of alabaster and shows the king kneeling in a sacrificial gesture in front of a vessel. He wears an apron and a Nemes headscarf .

Another piece, very similar to the previous one, is of unknown origin and is now in the Brooklyn Museum (Inv.-No. 39.121). It is a statuette made of slate with a height of 15.2 cm, a width of 4.6 cm and a depth of 9 cm. The piece shows the king kneeling in an apron and the Nemes headscarf. On the forehead there is a hole in which a now lost uraeus snake was inserted. The eyes have inlays made of alabaster for the eyeballs and obsidian for the pupils. The king holds two spherical pots in his hands on his thighs. On the front part of the base plate is the personal name Pepis, on the right side of the statuette his throne name Meri-Re. Since the inscription on the base also names the goddess " Hathor , mistress of Dendera ", it is conceivable that Dendera is the place of origin of the piece.

Another statuette of unknown origin is also in the Brooklyn Museum (Inv.-No. 39.120). It is made of alabaster and measures 26.7 cm × 6.98 cm × 15.9 cm. The king is shown seated on a throne. He wears a Sedfest cloak and holds the scourge and crook crossed in front of his chest. He wears the white crown of Upper Egypt on his head . Behind his head sits a right-facing Horus falcon on the arm of the throne. An inscription on the base gives the name Pepis.

During excavations that took place between 2001 and 2003 in the north-west of Sakkara , two terracotta figures , both of which show a lion goddess, at whose feet each stand two kings represented as children. In the first figure, which has a total height of 100 cm, the right king is marked with the name of Horus from Cheops , the second king of the 4th dynasty . The king on the left is made separately and bears the proper name of Pepi I. It is likely that his statue was added later and the figure was probably created under Cheops. The second figure is almost identical in size and appearance to the first. The only difference is that the goddess is holding a scepter here . Again two kings are depicted at their feet, the left of whom was added later and bears the name of Pepi I. No inscription has been preserved on the right. Due to their similarity, the excavators assume that both statues belong together and were made at the same time under Cheops or his successor. Later Pepi I added his image. In the Middle Kingdom, the statues, which had broken up in the meantime, were repaired and reused, although the kings depicted had probably lost their importance compared to the lion goddess, as their names were painted over with plaster.

Two other statuettes are privately owned. The first was acquired by Alfred Wiedemann in Koptos in 1880 . It is made of green faience and consists only of a base plate, a foot and part of the back pillar on which the king is identified by a name inscription. The other piece was found in Qift in 1881 and is now in England . It was a standing statue made of hard rock that was found without a head. It bears a vertical name inscription on the back pillar and to the left of it the depiction of a king in adoring posture.

Pepi I. in memory of ancient Egypt

Redrawing of the Karnak King List

During the New Kingdom was in the 18th Dynasty under Thutmose III. In the Karnak Temple the so-called King List of Karnak is attached, in which the name of Pepi I is mentioned. In contrast to other ancient Egyptian king lists, this is not a complete listing of all rulers, but a shortlist that only names those kings for whom during the reign of Thutmose III. Sacrifices were made.



  • Darrell D. Baker: The Encyclopedia of the Egyptian Pharaohs. Volume I: Predynastic to the Twentieth Dynasty (3300-1069 BC). Bannerstone Press, Oakville 2008, ISBN 978-0-9774094-4-0 , pp. 292-295.
  • Peter A. Clayton: The Pharaohs. Bechtermünz, Augsburg 1995, ISBN 3-8289-0661-3 , pp. 65-67.
  • Martin von Falck, Susanne Martinssen-von Falck: The great pharaohs. From the early days to the Middle Kingdom. Marix, Wiesbaden 2015, ISBN 978-3-7374-0976-6 , pp. 161-167.
  • Thomas Schneider : Lexicon of the Pharaohs. Albatros, Düsseldorf 2002, ISBN 3-491-96053-3 , pp. 191-193.

About the name

  • Kurt Sethe : Documents of the Old Kingdom . Hinrichs, Leipzig 1903, 1913, Volume I, pp. 94–95, p. 95 Fig. 36.
  • Rudolf Anthes : The rock inscriptions from Hatnub . Hinrichs, Leipzig 1928, plate 4 (IV).
  • Papyrus Bulaq VIII.
  • Edouard Naville: Bubastis . 1891, plate 32.
  • Jürgen von Beckerath : Handbook of the Egyptian king names . Deutscher Kunstverlag, Munich / Berlin 1984, ISBN 3-422-00832-2 , pp. 56–57, 184.

To the pyramid

Questions of detail

  • Michel Baud: The Relative Chronology of Dynasties 6 and 8. 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. 144-158 ( online ).
  • Aidan Dodson , Dyan Hilton: The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt. Thames & Hudson, London 2004, ISBN 0-500-05128-3 , pp. 70-78 ( PDF file; 67.9 MB ); retrieved from the Internet Archive .
  • Christian Eckmann, Saher Shafik: Life to Horus Pepi. Restoration and technological investigation of the metal sculptures of Pharaoh Pepi I from Hierakonpolis (= Mongraphs, Volume 59 ). Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum, Mainz 2005, ISBN 3-88467-085-9 .
  • Naguib Kanawati: Governmental Reforms in Old Kingdom Egypt (= Modern Egyptology series. ). Aris & Phillips, Warminster GB 1980, pp. 28-36, 40-43.
  • Naguib Kanawati: Two conspirations against Pépy ler. In: Chronique d'Égypte. (CdE) Vol. 56, No. 112, 1981, pp. 203-217.
  • Jean Leclant: À la quête des pyramides des Reines de Pépy Ier (= Bulletin de la Société Française d'Égyptologie. (BSFE) Vol. 113) 1988, pp. 20, 21.
  • Jean Leclant: Noubounet - Une Nouvelle Reine d'Egypte. In: Counterpart. Festschrift for Emma Brunner-Traut . Tübingen 1992, pp. 211-219.
  • Nigel Strudwick: The administration of Egypt in the Old Kingdom: the highest titles and their holders. KPI, London 1985, ISBN 0-7103-0107-3 .
  • Dieter Kurth: On the representations of Pepi I in the Hathor temple of Dendera. (= Egyptological treatises. (ÄA) 46 ). 1987, pp. 1-23.
  • Paolo Matthiae: The Destruction of Ebla Royal Palace: Interconnections between Syria, Mesopotamia and Egypt in the Late EB IVA- In: P. Äström: High, Middle or Low? acts of an International Colloquium on Absolute Chronology held at the University of Gothenburg 20th-22nd August 1987 / Part III. Göteborg 1987-1989, p. 163ff.
  • Patrizia Piacentini, Matḥaf al-Miṣrī: L'autobiografia di Uni, principe e governatore dell'Alto Egitto (= monograph di SEAP. Series minor, vol. 1). Giardini Editori e Stampatori, Pisa 1990.
  • Horst Klengel : Syria: 3000 to 300 BC: a handbook of political history. Wiley-VCH, Weinheim 1992, ISBN 3-05-001820-8 , p. 22ff., 27.
  • Peter Munro : The Unas cemetery north-west: topographical-historical introduction. von Zabern, Mainz 1993, p. 21f.
  • Jürgen von Beckerath : Chronology of the pharaonic Egypt . von Zabern, Mainz 1994, ISBN 3-8053-2310-7 , pp. 27, 39, 73, 148-152, 188.
  • Alessandra Nibbi: The nHsy.w of the Dashur Decree of Pepi I. In: Göttinger Miszellen . (GM) Vol. 53, Göttingen 1982, pp. 27-32.
  • Eva Lange: The Pepis I Ka facility in Bubastis in the context of royal Ka facilities in the Old Kingdom. In: Journal of Egyptian Language and Culture. No. 133, 2006, pp. 121-149 (panels XXVII-XXXIII).

Web links

Commons : Pepi I.  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Year numbers according to Schneider: Lexicon of the Pharaohs. Düsseldorf 2002.
  2. Michel Baud: The Relative Chronology of Dynasties 6 and 8. Leiden / Boston 2006, pp. 147–151, 156.
  3. ^ T. Schneider: Lexicon of the Pharaohs. Düsseldorf 2002, p. 191.
  4. Jürgen von Beckerath: Chronology of the Pharaonic Egypt. Mainz 1994, p. 150.
  5. ^ Anthony Spalinger: Dated Texts from the Old Kingdom. In: Studies on Ancient Egyptian Culture. Volume 21, 1994, pp. 305-306.
  6. Michel Baud: The Relative Chronology of Dynasties 6 and 8. Leiden / Boston 2006, pp. 149-150.
  7. Michel Baud: The Relative Chronology of Dynasties 6 and 8. Leiden / Boston 2006, p. 150.
  8. ^ Pierre Tallet: Les "ports intermittents" de la mer Rouge à l'époque pharaonique: caractéristiques et chronologie. In: Bruno Argémi and Pierre Tallet (eds.): Entre Nil et mers. La navigation en Égypte ancienne (= Nehet. Revue numérique d'Égyptologie Volume 3). Université de Paris-Sorbonne / Université libre de Bruxelles, Paris / Brussels 2015, p. 60, tab. 1 ( online ).
  9. ^ Bryan Kraemer: A shrine of Pepi I in South Abydos. In: Journal of Egyptian Archeology 103 (1), June 2017, pp. 13–34
  10. Alessandro Bongioanni, Maria Sole Croce (Ed.): Illustrated guide to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. White Star, Vercelli 2001, ISBN 88-8095-703-1 , pp. 84-85.
  11. ^ Annual report 2002 of the German Archaeological Institute ( Memento of March 8, 2014 in the Internet Archive ), p. 161 (PDF, 1.6 MB).
  12. ^ Ludwig Borchardt: Catalog Général des Antiquités Égyptiennes du Musée du Caire. Statues and statuettes of kings and individuals. Part 2. Reichsdruckerei, Berlin 1925, p. 90 ( PDF; 61 MB ).
  13. Bob Tadema Sporry: The Empire of the Pharaohs. 4000 years of life, history and culture in ancient Egypt. Weltbild, Augsburg 1989, ISBN 3-926187-94-8 , p. 78.
  14. ^ Marsha Hill: Pepi I Kneeling. In: Metropolitan Museum of Art (Ed.): Egyptian Art in the Age of the Pyramids. ISBN 0-87099-906-0 , pp. 434-435.
  15. Brooklyn Museum - Kneeling Statuette of Pepy I
  16. ^ Brooklyn Museum - Pepy I with Horus Falcon
  17. Sakuji Yoshimura, Nozomu Kawai, Hiroyuki Kashiwagi: A Sacred Hillside at Northwest Saqqara. A Preliminary Report on the Excavations 2001-2003. In: Communications from the German Archaeological Institute Cairo Department (MDAIK). Volume 61, 2005, pp. 392-394; Sakuji Yoshimura (Ed.): Sakuji Yoshimura's Excavating in Egypt for 40 Years. Waseda University Expedition 1966-2006. Project in celebration of the 125th Anniversary of Waseda University. Waseda University, Tokyo 2006, pp. 134-137, 223 (No. 174-75).
  18. ^ Alfred Wiedemann: Contributions to Egyptian history. In: Journal of Egyptian Language and Antiquity. Volume 23, 1885, p. 78 ( online ).
  19. Dietrich Wildung : The role of Egyptian kings in the consciousness of their posterity. Part I. Posthumous sources on the kings of the first four dynasties (= Munich Egyptological Studies. (MÄS) Vol. 17). Deutscher Kunstverlag, Munich / Berlin, 1969, pp. 60–63.
predecessor Office successor
Userkare Pharaoh of Egypt
6th Dynasty