Episode 21: The Excited Child

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Pepy II (Part I): the Child King

At just six-years old, the new King of Upper and Lower Egypt Pepy II cannot possibly exercise power on his own. Enter his mother, Ankh-enes-Pepy, who oversees the kingdom on his behalf.

In a short sojourn to the countryside, we meet Qar, a noble who handles agriculture and cattle-rearing in Upper Egypt. Finally, the great royal expeditions continue. Harkhuf, a royal companion, is despatched to the Western Desert and to Nubia for trade. On his return, he brings a very special gift for the excited Pepy…

 

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Harkhuf, from his tomb (Source: Wikipedia)

Harkhuf, from his tomb (Source: Karen Green via Wikipedia)

Ankh-enes-Pepy and her son, Pepy II. The child bears the insignia of kingship, revealing the commanding power of the Queen.

Pepy and his mother, whose power is emphasized both by her size and by her protective (or controlling) hands on his body.

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The autobiography of Harkhuf, outside his tomb at Qubbet el-Hawa, Aswan/Elephantine (Source: Heidi Kontkanen, Flickr.com).

Cattle atop the Narmer Palette, and the rearing of cattle in domestic situations.

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The pyramid of Pepy II at Saqqara (Source: Egyptphoto.ncf.ca)

Bibliography

Ian Shaw (editor), The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, 2004.

William Kelly Simpson (editor), The Literature of Ancient Egypt, 2003.

Nicolas Grimal, A History of Egypt, 1994.

Ancient Egypt Online – Pepy II.

National Geographic – Pyramid of Pepy II.