Throne name

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Throne name in hieroglyphics
Hiero Ca1.svg
Throne name hieroglyphs
Hiero Ca2.svg
Nesut-biti -…
Nswt-bjtj-… ,
also: Nj-swt-bjtj-…
The one from the bulrush, the one from the bee, ...

The name of the throne (also Nesut-biti name) was the most important name of the ancient Egyptian kings ( pharaohs ) in the royal stitular since the 4th dynasty and was added by Neferirkare ( 5th dynasty ) in this form as a second cartouche to the proper name (birth name). It was probably originally a question of two epithets that were first documented under King Den ( 1st dynasty ). The relationship to the two halves of Upper and Lower Egypt was initially only of secondary importance.

The kings were given this name in God's shadow (Seh-netjer) on the occasion of the coronation. From the time of accession to the throne as the designated successor of the late king until the coronation, the proper name was still valid.

Historical development of the notation

Horus name of Sneferu in a serech , which contains both the signs of the name of the throne and the next name
The title "Nesut-biti" or "Nisut-biti" is a combination of the two separate titles:
  1. M23 X1
    (nesut / nisut) and
  2. L2
The title was already in the early days and also in the Old Kingdom
with the next name
(the two mistresses) connected and stood in front of it. In their dual form, both double titles fit together very well. The double title nesut-biti has been used since Den ( 1st dynasty ) and the spelling has remained unchanged since then: the image of a plant ( swt - sut) and a bee ( bjt - bit). Under both there is the "T" character
which is read archaically tj .
The spelling
M23 X1
( King [of Upper Egypt] ) and has been documented since the Old Kingdom and was initially read as swtn . Kurt Sethe interpreted this spelling as nj-swt , in the translation then as “belonging to the sut plant”. It is therefore a synonym for the older form swtj ("The one of the Sut plant").
N (j) swt was used to denote the king himself, but not as a title that comes before the king's name. The hieroglyphic spelling was never changed, but apparently the pronunciation of the title. A similar development can be seen with the title biti ( bjtj )
- "King [of Lower Egypt]" - not recognizable. He only found himself in very old official titles , such as
ḫ (" sealer of the king "), received or in the names of primeval and mythical kings.

When the worship of the sun god reached a climax in the 5th dynasty, under Neferirkare another name was added or adopted, provided that the proper name (birth name) did not contain the name Re . This new name, which the Egyptologists call the throne name, was written in a cartouche, in front of which the symbols of the "two countries" (Upper and Lower Egypt), bees and bulrushes stand as an indication of the rule over the united kingdom . The kings of the 5th Dynasty often suppressed their original name through the throne name.

From the 18th to the 25th dynasty and from the 29th dynasty up to the Roman period, the throne names were extended by so-called epithets . For example, the throne name of Thutmose III. not only Men-cheper-Re ("Remaining / permanent are the appearances of Re"), but with an epithet in a variant also read Men-cheper-Re meri-en-Re ("Staying / permanent are the appearances of Re, loved by Re ”).

Ordinary texts usually only mention the name of the throne, whereas all the names of the king are in very solemn inscriptions.

Throne name of Thutmose II, Temple of Hatshepsut , Luxor

Reading and translation

According to Rainer Hannig , in addition to the reading Nesu-biti ( Nsw-bjtj ), the readings nesu-bit ( nsw-bjt ), nesut-bit ( nswt-bjt ), nisut-bit ( njswt-bjt ) and nisut-biti ( njswt -bjtj ) is used as a reference. The cuneiform rendering of insibija is attested for the New Kingdom .

The translation with “King of Upper and Lower Egypt” is not literal, but only gives the meaning of the name, since the actual meaning is unknown. Other possibilities used are: "The one from the rush, that from the bee" and predominantly "belonging to the sut plant and the bee".

The throne name of Thutmose II.
L1 N35
is read as follows: Nswt-bjtj (Nesut biti): ˁ3-ḫpr-n-Rˁ (Aa-cheper-en-Re). The translation is in full: "King of Upper and Lower Egypt: With a large figure that belongs to Re".
The sun disk
, which stands for the deity Re, is always at the beginning in the royal cartouche, but must always be read at the end.

See also


  • Jürgen von Beckerath : Handbook of the Egyptian king names . In: Munich Egyptological Studies . Volume 49, von Zabern, Mainz 1999, ISBN 3-8053-2591-6 , pp. 21-25.
  • Susanne Bickel: The connection between the worldview and the state. In: Reinhard Gregor Kratz: Images of Gods, Images of God, Views of the World (Egypt, Mesopotamia, Persia, Asia Minor, Syria, Palestine) . Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2009, ISBN 978-3-16-149886-2 , pp. 79-102.
  • Jochem Kahl : nsw and bit: The beginnings In: Eva-Maria Engel, Vera Müller, Ulrich Hartung: Signs from the sand: Streiflichter from Egypt's history in honor of Günter Dreyer . Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 2008, ISBN 978-3-447-05816-2 , pp. 307-351 ( online ).
  • Jochem Kahl : Upper and Lower Egypt - A dualistic construction and its beginnings . In: Rainer Albertz , Anke Blöbaum, Peter Funke: Spaces and Boundaries: Topological Concepts in the Ancient Cultures of the Eastern Mediterranean . Utz, Munich 2007, ISBN 3-8316-0699-4 , pp. 3–28 ( online ).

Web links

Rolf Gundlach:  Throne names. In: Michaela Bauks, Klaus Koenen, Stefan Alkier (eds.): The scientific biblical lexicon on the Internet (WiBiLex), Stuttgart 2006 ff., Accessed on February 25, 2009.

Notes and individual references

  1. ^ Peter A. Clayton: The Pharaohs. Bechtermünz, Augsburg 1995, ISBN 3-8289-0661-3 , p. 218.
  2. Susanne Bickel: The combination of worldview and state image. Tübingen 2009, p. 85.
  3. Note according to Jürgen von Beckerath: Handbook of the Egyptian king names. Mainz 1999, p. 15: the botanical determination is not certain, even if the information is often given as rush .
  4. ^ Jürgen von Beckerath: Handbook of the Egyptian king names. Mainz 1999, p. 4.
  5. a b Rolf Felde: Egyptian kings and queens. R. Felde Eigenverlag, Wiesbaden 1995, p. XXI.
  6. ^ Rainer Hannig: Large Concise Dictionary Egyptian-German: (2800 - 950 BC) . von Zabern, Mainz 2006, ISBN 3-8053-1771-9 , p. 261.
  7. Note according to Jürgen von Beckerath: Handbook of the Egyptian king names. Mainz 1999, p. 16: Documented in the Amarna letters with the approximate pronunciation ense-bija , which would refute the popular explanation as nj-swt bjtj . If that were the case, then the cuneiform paraphrase should not be missing the t from bjtj , which is preserved in Coptic . In addition, both the word of the swt plant and the bee are dependent on nj (belonging).