Most important pharaohs of Ancient Egypt

Abu Simbel

Temple of Ramses II at Abu Simbel

The most important pharaohs of Ancient Egypt are largely responsible for the popularity that civilization still has throughout the planet today. To them we owe great monumental works that we currently conserve and also that your world preserves intact all its aura of mystery and magic.

And it is that not even the best scholars of Ancient Egypt have been able to explain how the civilization of the Nile could build its magnificent works of architecture and engineering under the reigns of those monarchs when many other cultures had barely left the Neolithic. If you want to get to know these extraordinary characters a little better, we invite you to follow us on a tour of the most important pharaohs of the world. Ancient Egypt.

The most important pharaohs of Ancient Egypt, from Djoser to Cleopatra

The pharaohs directed the destinies of Ancient Egypt over a long period of three thousand years that includes various dynasties. They were almost divine characters or, at least, considered descendants of deities such as Horus o Ra. However, it was at death that, fused with Osiris, they reached true divine category. But, without further ado, let's meet the most prominent of them.

Zoser, author of the first preserved pyramid

This pharaoh, also known as Necherjet and that he ruled between 2665 and 2645 BC, he is not as famous as the later ones. But, if we talk to you about Imhotep, maybe you will position yourself better. Commissioned by the first, the second built the step pyramid of Saqqara, south of Memphis, the capital of his empire.

Also called the stepped pyramid of Djoser because of its shape, it served as a model for the later Giza complexes and all other later pyramids. And Imhotep is considered the first great architect in history.

The Pyramid of Saqqara

Step pyramid of Saqqara

Cheops, the first among the most important pharaohs of Ancient Egypt

Precisely the pharaoh who had the Great Pyramid of Giza it is a little later and already truly important. Also called Khufu, ruled the destinies of Egypt between the years 2589 and 2566 before Jesus Christ. Historically, he has had a reputation as a tyrant, to which the Greek greatly contributed Herodotus, a not very rigorous historian.

In any case, bequeathing us the Great Pyramid of Giza makes up for other things. Not for nothing, it is the only one Seven Wonders of the World ancient that we have today and also the largest pyramid of how many were built in Ancient Egypt.

It is believed that the genius responsible for raising it was the architect Hemiunu, which at that time was also the cottage or first magistrate after the pharaoh himself. And the grandeur of his work will give you an idea of ​​the fact that it was the tallest building on the planet until the XNUMXth century after Christ, when it was surpassed by the capital of Lincoln Cathedral, in Great Britain.

In Egyptian Museum in Cairo you can see a representation of Cheops. It is a small ivory statue found by the English archaeologist Flinders Petrie in Abydos, called the Sacred City of Osiris.

Khafre, a worthy successor

Son of Cheops, this pharaoh cannot be said to have put his father in a bad place. Because he not only had his own pyramid built, but also the well-known Great sphinx, one of the great symbols of Ancient Egypt.

Khafre ruled between the years 2547 and 2521 and, if only for the monumental value of what he has bequeathed to us, he must rank among the most important pharaohs of Ancient Egypt. In addition, we also have a representation of him: the seated statue of Jafra, which you can also see in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

The Great Sphinx

Great Sphinx and Pyramid of Jaffra

Tuthmosis III, a conqueror

Our next great pharaoh did not stand out so much for his constructive concerns as for his desire to conquer. In fact, he waged so many campaigns across the territories of present-day Lebanon, Syria, and Palestine that, during his reign, the Egyptian Empire achieved its maximum territorial extension.

Tuthmosis III ruled from 1479 to 1425 BC and, rather than building temples, he dealt with restoring and expanding existing ones. However, he owes the seven great Karnak obelisks. His tomb was discovered in the matchless King's Valley.

Amenophis III

Like the previous one, it belonged to the XNUMXth Dynasty of Egypt and he ruled between 1390 and 1353 before Jesus Christ. His reign was long and prosperous, since he knew how to take advantage of the conquests of his predecessors to maintain a hegemonic position in the area.

He was also a great builder. Among the works that he promoted, the new temple of Thebes o Soleb's, in Nubia. Of his mausoleum only the so-called Colossi of Memnon, two gigantic seated statues, each eighteen meters high.

Amenhotep IV or Akhenaten, called the Heretic Pharaoh

Son of the previous one, he ruled between the years 1353 and 1336. He has gone down in history with the nickname of Pharaoh Heretic because he established the monotheistic cult of Aten, which was none other than the sun.

As if that were not enough, he moved the capital of the empire of Slash a Ajetaton, the current Amarna, where he built great temples destined to the new cult with the wealth seized from the old priests. But this also meant an artistic revolution. Until then, the iconography of Egyptian art depicted the gods as humanized. But with Amenhotep IV the protagonism passed to the royal family.

Akhenaten

Akhenaten bust

And we also have to talk to you about this, because the Pharaoh's wife was the most well-known Nefertiti that has appeared so many times in movies and novels. A woman as beautiful as she is gifted to rule, some paleo-historians believe that she was the Semenejkara that he co-governed with the pharaoh himself first and alone later. Returning to the subject of art, precisely the Nefertiti bust It is one of the best known sculptures of Ancient Egypt.

As ruler, Akhenaten, with the help of Nefertiti, carried out all the changes that we have told you about and that are known as the Amarna Revolution. With it, he consolidated the royal power against that of the high priests and his time was one of prosperity for the kingdom.

Tutankhamun, the youngest among the most important pharaohs of Ancient Egypt

He was the son of the former but not of his wife but of Meketaton, his half-sister, according to some sources or one of his aunts, according to others. He ruled the destinies of Egypt between 1334 and 1325, largely undoing what his father had done.

Call for applications the Kid King, restored the polytheistic cult returning much of the power to the priests. He also reinstated the capital to Slash. But he also restored a good part of the monuments damaged in the previous turbulent stage.

Tutankhamun may not be among the most important pharaohs of Ancient Egypt, but he is undoubtedly the most popular. The discovery of his almost intact tomb by Howard Carter and the supposed curse that seems to have fallen on all who participated in the discovery have turned him into a character surrounded by a mythical aura. From there to cinema and literature there is only one step and the Child King has starred in numerous films and novels.

Tutankhamen

Tutankhamun in Luxor

Ramses II, the Builder King

He is considered the pharaoh with the longest reign, as he ruled for 66 years (from 1279 to 1213 BC). He was also probably the one who had the most children, as they are estimated at about a hundred.

But it is also known as the builder king for the large number of spectacular temples that he had built. Among them, his own mausoleum, the Ramesseum, in the Valley of the Kings, or the famous temples that make up Abu Simbel. But Ramses II went even further. He built a whole new capital of the empire east of the Nile delta. He called it Pi-Ramses Aa-najtu or the City of Ramses. Finally, the name of the Great Royal Wife will also sound familiar to you: Nefertari, which translates as "whereby the sun shines."

Cleopatra VII, the one who put the Roman Empire in check

When he came to the throne in 51 BC, world hegemony already belonged to Rome. However, this powerful woman did everything possible to preserve Egypt, which was no longer living in its prime, from the hands of the Latins.

Without a doubt, it is the most famous of all those who held the position of pharaoh. Your relationships with Marco Antonio and with Julius Caesar they have spawned countless movies. Justly Caesarion, the son she had with the second, would succeed her on the throne with the name of Ptolemy XVAlthough it was more symbolic than anything else, since when Cleopatra died, Egypt became a Roman province.

The Red Chapel of Karnak

Red Chapel of Karnak

Apparently, Cleopatra was an extraordinary woman who knew how to set up a whole diplomatic network, lead naval forces and even write medical treatises and linguistics books.

In conclusion, the ones we have shown you are some of the most important pharaohs of Ancient Egypt. To them we owe many of the greatest monuments of the classical world and the heritage of an enormously advanced civilization for its time. However, there were others as prominent as them. For example, Micerino, to which we owe the third pyramid of the Giza plateau; Amenemhat I, builder of the complex The Lisht and author of literary works, or the queen-pharaoh Hatshepsut, forerunner of Cleopatra and who ordered the building of the Deir-el-Bahari temple and Red Chapel of Karnak. Don't you think those of these characters are exciting biographies?


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