Pepi II.

Written by Felgr Pavel on .

Pepi II.

Ninety-four years! This was allegedly the lenght of the longest rule in Pharaohs history, the rule of 6th dynasty Pharaoh Pepi II. An unpleasant result of his exceptional longevity was political chaos that came to the land. The chaos was so big that the death of Pepi II meant the end of the golden era at the same time.

Pepi II., the fourth of the fifth Pharaoh of the 6th dynasty (2,360 - 2,180 BC), was likely to be a son of Pepi I. and Ankhesenmeryre II., a princess who came from Abydos. Merenre, the half-brother of Pepi II., ruled before him for a short period, probably only for 5 of 6 years. Merenre's short rule continued in politics of his father, Pepi I. - Merenre mined in mines on Sinai Peninsula and made military crusades to Palestine that were led by loyal general Weni, who was already in charge under Pepi I. rule.

Pepi II. - pharaoh of the seven years

At the age of 7, Pepi II. couldn't rule by himself. So the regents ruled instead of him, his mother Ankhesenmeryre II. and his mother's brother and Pepi's uncle Djau, who was alreade a vizier under Merenre rule. Ankhesenmeryre II. was a very strong personality for sure, who affected Egyptian political history in a significant way. An inscription on a limestone block was preserved from her chantry temple that describes Ankhesenmeryre II as "royal wife of Pepi I. and Merenre and mother of the king Pepi II".

When young Pepi II. was old enough to rule single-handed, he continued with the politics of his father and his half-brother. But the former regent Djau surely helped to the inexperienced Pharaoh. So Pepi II. focused on Sinai Peninsula and the Land of Punt (Pharaohs already traded with Punt under 5th dynasty rule), from where more and more precious metal was imported.

Pepi II. was also interested in Nubia that was crucial for Egyptian economy. The ruler made winning crusades into Dongola area in the beginning of his rule. Another crusade was made even further to the south into the land of Jam, which was situated to the south of Buhen between the second and the third cataract.

Builder Pepi II.

Pepi II., whom we actually don't know much about, wasn't likely a very distinct Pharaoh, who was only marked out with his invicible health. He participated on embellishment of his capital Memphis (Mennefer) and other significant towns in Upper Egypt.

Pyramid of Pepi II. located in southern part of Saqqara necropolis. His rule was too long and his royal power was gradually decreased in favour of the Nomes. The king even had to issue two imunity edicts, which freed all people and property belonged to Min's temple in Qift of paying taxes and other payments.

The dissatisfaction of farmers increased more and more in the second half of Pepi's rule and the farmers revolted against the state administration officers in the end. Except these folk revolts, the old ruler had to face the pressure of Egyptian wealthy men, who gained more and more land all over the country for pursuing their chantry cult. This situation led to even bigger disparity among social layers.

The golden era of the Old Kingdom ended with the death of Pepi II. and an uneasy First Intermediate Period began that was affected by uncertainty and chaos. Disputes over the throne led to an inevitable crisis. Merenre II. came to the throne, one of the sons of Pepi II and his half-sister Neith. The wife of Merenre was allegedly queen Nitocris, who became the last ruler of the 6th dynasty.

Message from the Nile

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