Episode 22: Pepy Lives

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Pepy II (Part II): Authority Projected Abroad

In the twenty-fifth year of his reign, Pepy II is just thirty-one years old. Having spent most of his life at the head of a mighty kingdom, he is firmly ensconced in power. But can he rule effectively on his own, without the guidance he received as a child?

To project his authority outside the kingdom, Pepy commissions royal agents to represent him in foreign lands. Four men are drawn from two families.

The Pepynakht Family: Pepynakht Hery-ib and his son, Sabni I. Hery-ib visits Palestine; his son visits Wawat (Nubia).

The Mekhu Family: Sabni II and Mekhu. These men visit Nubia on expeditions to return Egyptian bodies to the homeland.

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Assouan : tombe de Sarenpout

The tomb of Pepynakht Hery-ib, built at Elephantine/Aswan (Source: Academie Strasbourg).

pepi II relief_640Scenes from the pyramid temple of Pepy II – Nefer-ka-Re Pepy Men-Ankh “Nefer-ka-Re Pepy is Established, (he) is Living” – at Saqqara (Source: egyptphoto.ncf.ca).


Deborah Vischak, Community and Identity in Ancient Egypt: The Old Kingdom Cemetery at Qubbet el-Hawa, 2014 (Google Books): 225-238.

Ancient Egypt Online – Pepy II

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

Nicolas Grimal, A History of Egypt, 1994.