Egypt’s famous Pharaohs
With a history as long as Egypt’s (over seven thousand years) it’s no surprise that some of its rulers rose to greatness. For millennia the pharaohs have fascinated the rest of the world and today they and their ancient civilization is one of the major draws for tourists to the country as well as a few history loving expats. We take a look at just some of the most famous.
Djoser (2668-2649 BC)
This Pharaoh ruled Egypt during the days of the Old Kingdom and is most famous for commissioning the construction of the first ever Egyptian Pyramid, the Step Pyramid. During his reign he also took advice from the famous scribe and architect Imhotep.
Khufu (2589-2566 BC)
Another Pyramid builder, Khufu was the Pharaoh who commissioned the building of the Great Pyramid at Giza. Khufu’s son Djedefra built in honour of his father the Great Sphinx that guards the world wonder of the Pyramids of Giza.
Hatshepsut (1479-1458 BC)
One of Egypt’s greatest female rulers Hatshepsut is often regarded as the ‘first great woman in history of whom we are informed’. She is also thought to have been one of the most successful rulers in the country’s long history. Under her reign Egypt became wealthier and began to open itself up to foreign lands. On her death she had ruled for 22 years making her one of the longest reigning women in Egyptian history.
Thutmose 3rd (1479-1425 BC)
Nicknamed the ‘Napolean of Egypt’ Thutmose created the largest Egyptian empire ever seen. He is considered to be a military genius by historians having captured 350 cities in his reign and conquering Syria and large tracts of North Africa and the Levant.
Tutankhamen (1333-1324 BC)
The most famous of all Pharaohs is the boy king Tutankhamen whose tomb was discovered by British explorer Howard Carter. The Pharaoh is more famous for that discovery then anything he did in live as many myths and legends surround him. He was the son of Akhenaten and the famous queen Nefertiti. The world famous golden death mask is often used as the icon for ancient Egypt.
Ramessess 2nd the Great (1279-1213 BC)
The most celebrated and most powerful Pharaoh of the Egyptian Empire Ramesses the 2nd is the only Pharoah to have earned the title of ‘Great’. He is most famous for his victories in war and his 66-year long reign. On one of the walls of Ramesses’s temples it says that in one of the battles with the Nubians he had to fight a whole battle alone without any help from his soldiers. He is also thought to have been the pharaoh in the story of Moses.
Ptolemy 1st- (323BC- 283BC)
Known as the saviour by the Egyptians Ptolemy was one of Alexander the Greats generals who became ruler of Egypt after Alexander’s death. He founded the Ptolemaic dynasty that adopted many Greek/ Macedonian customs. He was known as the saviour due to Alexander’s victory over the Persians that had conquered Egypt decades before.
Cleopatra 7th – (51-30 BC)
Egypt’s most famous and infamous female ruler, Cleopatra was the last ruler of ancient Egypt. She oversaw the end of the Egyptian era and saw the beginning of the Roman Empire. She is most famous for her union with Julius Caesar and his general Mark Antony. After losing a battle against Caesars heir Octavian, she and her lover killed themselves by means of a snake bite. In most depictions, Cleopatra is portrayed as a great beauty, and her successive conquests of the world’s most powerful men are taken as proof of her aesthetic appeal.