Egypt was continually governed, at least in part, by native pharaohs for approximately 2500 years, until it was conquered by the Kingdom of Kush in the late 8th century BC, whose rulers adopted the traditional pharaonic titulature for themselves. Following the Kushite conquest, Egypt experienced another period of independent native rule before being conquered by the Achaemenid Empire, whose rulers also adopted the title of “Pharaoh”. The last native pharaoh of Egypt was Nectanebo II, who was pharaoh before the Achaemenids conquered Egypt for a second time.
Achaemenid rule over Egypt came to an end through the conquests of Alexander the Great in 332 BC, after which it was ruled by the Hellenic Pharaohs of the Ptolemaic Dynasty. Their rule, and the independence of Egypt, came to an end when Egypt became a province of Rome in 30 BC. Augustus and subsequent Roman emperors were styled as Pharaoh when in Egypt until the reign of Maximinus Daia in 314 AD.
The dates given in this list of pharaohs are approximate. They are based primarily on the conventional chronology of Ancient Egypt, mostly based on the Digital Egypt for Universities database developed by the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, but alternative dates taken from other authorities may be indicated separately.
Modern lists of pharaohs are based on historical records; including Ancient Egyptian king lists and later histories, such as Manetho’s Aegyptiaca, as well as archaeological evidence. Concerning ancient sources, Egyptologists and historians alike call for caution in regard to the credibility, exactitude and completeness of these sources, many of which were written long after the reigns they report. An additional problem is that ancient king lists are often damaged, inconsistent with one another and/or selective.
The following ancient king lists are known (along with the dynasty under which they were created)):
- Palermo stone (5th Dynasty); carved on an olivine-basalt slab. Broken into pieces and thus today incomplete.
- Giza King List (6th Dynasty); painted with red, green and black ink on gypsum and cedar wood.
- South Saqqara Stone (6th Dynasty); carved on a black basalt slab.
- Karnak King List (18th Dynasty); carved on limestone.
- Abydos King List of Seti I (19th Dynasty); carved on limestone. Very detailed, but omitting the First Intermediate Period.
- Abydos King List of Ramesses II (19th Dynasty); carved on limestone.
- Saqqara King List (19th Dynasty), carved on limestone. Very detailed, but omitting most kings of the 1st Dynasty for unknown reasons.
- Turin King List (19th Dynasty); written with red and black ink on papyrus. Likely the most complete king-list in history, today damaged.
- Manetho’s Aegyptiaca (Greek Period); possibly written on papyrus. The original writings are lost today and many anecdotes assigned to certain kings seem fictitious.
The following list of predynastic rulers may be incomplete. Since these kings precede the First Dynasty, they have been informally grouped as “Dynasty 0”.
- Iry-Hor Around 3170 BC
- Crocodile Around 3170 BC
- Ka Around 3170 BC
- And, Scorpion II Around 3170 BC
Early Dynastic Period
The Early Dynastic Period of Egypt stretches from around 3150 to 2686 BC.
The First Dynasty ruled from around 3150 to 2890 BC.
- Narmer Around 3150 BC
- Hor-Aha Around 3125 BC
- Sneferka Around 2900 BC
- And, Horus Bird Around 2900 BC
The Second Dynasty ruled from 2890 to 2686 BC.
- Weneg-Nebty Around 2740 BC
- Sekhemib-Perenmaat Around 2720 BC
- Neferkara I
- Hudjefa I
- And, Khasekhem(wy)
The Old Kingdom of Egypt is the point of Egypt which succeeded the Early Dynastic Egypt and precedes the troubled First Intermediate Period. The kingdom ruled from 2686 to 2181 BC.
The Third Dynasty ruled from 2686 to 2613 BC.
- Sanakht Around 2650 BC
- Khaba 2643–2637 BC
- And, Huni 2637–2613 BC
The Fourth Dynasty ruled from 2613 to 2498 BC.
- Khufu 2589–2566 BC
- Djedefre 2566–2558 BC
- Khafre 2558–2532 BC
- Baka/Bauefrê Around 2570 BC
- Menkaure 2532–2503 BC
- Shepseskaf 2503–2498 BC
- And, Thamphthis Around 2500 BC
The Fifth Dynasty ruled from 2498 to 2345 BC.
- Userkaf 2498–2491 BC
- Sahure 2490–2477 BC
- Neferirkare Kakai 2477–2467 BC
- Neferefre 2460–2458 BC
- Shepseskare A few months
- Nyuserre Ini 2445–2422 BC
- Menkauhor Kaiu 2422–2414 BC
- Djedkare Isesi 2414–2375 BC
- And, Unas 2375–2345 BC
The Sixth Dynasty ruled from 2345 to 2181 BC.
- Teti 2345–2333 BC
- Userkare 2333–2332 BC
- Meryre Pepi I 2332–2283 BC
- Merenre Nemtyemsaf I 2283–2278 BC
- Neferkare Pepi II 2278–2184 BC
- Neferka 2200–2199 BC
- Merenre Nemtyemsaf II 1 year and 1 month c. 2184 BC
- And, Neitiqerty Siptah 2184–2181 BC
First Intermediate Period
The First Intermediate Period (2181–2060 BC) is a period of disarray and chaos between the end of the Old Kingdom and the advent of the Middle Kingdom.
The Old Kingdom rapidly collapsed after the death of Pepi II. He had reigned for more than 64 and likely up to 94 years, longer than any monarch in history. The latter years of his reign were marked by inefficiency because of his advanced age. The union of the Two Kingdoms fell apart and regional leaders had to cope with the resulting famine.
The kings of the 7th and 8th Dynasties, who represented the successors of the 6th Dynasty, tried to hold onto some power in Memphis but owed much of it to powerful nomarchs. After 20 to 45 years, they were overthrown by a new line of pharaohs based in Herakleopolis Magna. Some time after these events, a rival line based at Thebes revolted against their nominal Northern overlords and united Upper Egypt. Around 2055 BC, Mentuhotep II, the son and successor of pharaoh Intef III defeated the Herakleopolitan pharaohs and reunited the Two Lands, thereby starting the Middle Kingdom.
Seventh and Eighth Dynasties (combined)
The Seventh and Eighth Dynasties ruled for approximately 20–45 years (possibly 2181 to 2160 BC). They comprise numerous ephemeral kings reigning from Memphis over a possibly divided Egypt and, in any case, holding only limited power owing to the effectively feudal system into which the administration had evolved. The list below is based on the Abydos King List dating to the reign of Seti I and taken from Jürgen von Beckerath’s Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen as well as from Kim Ryholt’s latest reconstruction of the Turin canon, another king list dating to the Ramesside Era.
- Menkare Probably short, Around 2181 BC
- Neferkare II
- Neferkare (III) Neby
- Djedkare Shemai
- Neferkare (IV) Khendu
- Neferkare (V) Tereru
- Neferkare (VI) Pepiseneb
- Neferkamin Anu Around 2170 BC
- Qakare Ibi 2169–2167 BC
- Neferkaure 2167–2163 BC
- Neferkauhor Khuwihapi 2163–2161 BC
- And, Neferirkare 2161–2160 BC
The Ninth Dynasty ruled from 2160 to 2130 BC. The Turin King List has 18 kings reigning in the Ninth and Tenth Dynasties. Of these, twelve names are missing and four are partial.
- Meryibre Khety I (Acthoes I) 2160 BC–unknown
- Neferkare VII
- Nebkaure Khety II (Acthoes II)
- Senenh— or Setut
- And, H—
The Tenth Dynasty was a local group that held sway over Lower Egypt that ruled from 2130 to 2040 BC.
- Meryhathor 2130 BC–unknown
- Neferkare VIII Between 2130 and 2040 BCE
- Wahkare Khety (Acthoes III)
- And, Merykare Unknown–2040 BC
The Eleventh Dynasty was a local group with roots in Upper Egypt that ruled from 2134 to 1991 BC. The 11th dynasty originated from a dynasty of Theban nomarchs serving kings of the 8th, 9th or 10th dynasty.
Intef the Elder Iry-pat
The successors of Intef the Elder, starting with Mentuhotep I, became independent from their northern overlords and eventually conquered Egypt under Mentuhotep II.
- Mentuhotep I Tepy-a Unknown–2134 BC
- Sehertawy Intef I 2134–2117 BC
- Wahankh Intef II 2117–2069 BC
- And, Nakhtnebtepnefer Intef III 2069–2060 BC
The Middle Kingdom (2060–1802 BC) is the period from the end of the First Intermediate Period to the beginning of the Second Intermediate Period. In addition to the Twelfth Dynasty, some scholars include the Eleventh, Thirteenth and Fourteenth Dynasties in the Middle Kingdom. The Middle Kingdom can be noted for the expansion of trade outside of the kingdom that occurred during this time.
Eleventh Dynasty continued
The second part of the Eleventh Dynasty is considered to be part of the Middle Kingdom of Egypt.
- Nebhepetre Mentuhotep II 2060–2010 BC
- Sankhkare Mentuhotep III 2010–1998 BC
- Nebtawyre Mentuhotep IV 1997–1991 BC
Enigmatic kings, only attested in Lower Nubia
- Segerseni Early 20th century BC
- Qakare Ini Early 20th century BC
- And, Iyibkhentre Early 20th century BC
The Twelfth Dynasty ruled from 1991 to 1802 BC.
- Sehetepibre Amenemhat I 1991–1962 BC
- Kheperkare Senusret I (Sesostris I) 1971–1926 BC
- Nubkaure Amenemhat II 1929–1895 BC
- Khakheperre Senusret II (Sesostris II) 1897–1878 BC
- Khakaure Senusret III (Sesostris III) 1878–1860 BC
- Nimaatre Amenemhat III 1860–1815 BC
- Maakherure Amenemhat IV 1815–1807 BC
- And, Sobekkare Sobekneferu 1807–1802 BC
The position of a possible additional ruler, Seankhibtawy Seankhibra, is uncertain. He may be an ephemeral king, or a name variant of a king of the 12th or 13th Dynasty.
Second Intermediate Period
The Second Intermediate Period (1802–1550 BC) is a period of disarray between the end of the Middle Kingdom, and the start of the New Kingdom. It is best known as when the Hyksos, whose reign comprised the Fifteenth Dynasty, made their appearance in Egypt.
The Thirteenth Dynasty was much weaker than the Twelfth Dynasty, and was unable to hold onto the two lands of Egypt. Either at the start of the dynasty, c. 1805 BC or toward the middle of it in c. 1710 BC, the provincial ruling family in Xois, located in the marshes of the eastern Delta, broke away from the central authority to form the Canaanite Fourteenth Dynasty.
The Hyksos made their first appearance during the reign of Sobekhotep IV, and around 1720 BC took control of the town of Avaris (the modern Tell el-Dab’a/Khata’na), conquering the kingdom of the 14th dynasty. Sometime around 1650 BC the Hyksos, perhaps led by Salitis the founder of the Fifteenth Dynasty, conquered Memphis, thereby terminating the 13th dynasty. The power vacuum in Upper Egypt resulting from the collapse of the 13th dynasty allowed the 16th dynasty to declare its independence in Thebes, only to be overrun by the Hyksos kings shortly thereafter.
Subsequently, as the Hyksos withdrew from Upper Egypt, the native Egyptian ruling house in Thebes set itself up as the Seventeenth Dynasty. This dynasty eventually drove the Hyksos back into Asia under Seqenenre Tao, Kamose and finally Ahmose, first pharaoh of the New Kingdom.
The Thirteenth Dynasty (following the Turin King List) ruled from 1802 to around 1649 BC and lasted 153 or 154 years according to Manetho. This table should be contrasted with Known kings of the 13th Dynasty.
- Sekhemre Khutawy Sobekhotep I 1802–1800 BC
- Sonbef 1800–1796 BC
- Nerikare 1796 BC
- Sekhemkare Amenemhat V 1796–1793 BC
- Ameny Qemau 1795–1792 BC
- Hotepibre Qemau Siharnedjheritef Also called Sehotepibre 1792–1790 BC
- Iufni Very short reign, possibly c. 1790 – 1788 BC
- Seankhibre Amenemhet VI 1788–1785 BC
- Semenkare Nebnuni 1785–1783 BC or 1739 BC
- Sehetepibre Sewesekhtawy 1783–1781 BC
- Sewadjkare 1781 BCE
- Nedjemibre 7 months, 1780 BC or 1736 BC
- Khaankhre Sobekhotep Reigned c. 3 years, 1780–1777 BC
- Renseneb 1777 BC
- Awybre Hor I Reigned 1 year and 6 months, 1777–1775 BC
- Sekhemrekhutawy Khabaw Estimated reign 3 years, 1775–1772 BC
- Djedkheperew Estimated reign 2 years, 1772–1770 BC
- Sedjefakare 5 to 7 years or 3 years, 1769–1766 BC
- Khutawyre Wegaf Around 1767 BC
- Khendjer Minimum 4 years and 3 months c. 1765 BC
- Imyremeshaw Reigned less than 10 years, starting 1759 BC or 1711 BC.
- Sehetepkare Intef IV Less than 10 years
- Seth Meribre Reign ended 1749 BCE
- Sekhemresewadjtawy Sobekhotep III 4 years and 2 months 1755–1751 BC
- Khasekhemre Neferhotep I 1751–1740 BC
- Menwadjre Sihathor 1739 BC
- Khaneferre Sobekhotep IV 1740–1730 BC
- Merhotepre Sobekhotep V 1730 BC
- Khahotepre Sobekhotep VI Around 1725 BC
- Wahibre Ibiau 1725–1714 BC or 1712–1701 BC
- Merneferre Ay I 23 years, 8 months and 18 days, 1701–1677 BC or 1714–1691 BC
- Merhotepre Ini 2 Years 3 or 4 Months and 9 days, 1677–1675 BCor 1691–1689 BC
- Sankhenre Sewadjtu 3 years and 2–4 months, 1675–1672 BC
- Mersekhemre Ined 3 years, 1672–1669 BC
- Sewadjkare Hori 5 years
- Merkawre Sobekhotep VII 2 years and 6 months 1664–1663 BC
Seven kings Names lost in a lacuna of the Turin canon 1663 BC
- Mer[…]re Unknown
- Merkheperre Some time between 1663 BC and 1649 BC
- Merkare Some time between 1663 BC and 1649 BC
- Name lost Unknown
- Sewadjare Mentuhotep V Around 1655 BC
- […]mosre Unknown
- Ibi […]maatre Unknown
- Hor[…] […]webenre Unknown
- Se…kare Unknown
- Seheqenre Sankhptahi Between 1663-1649 BC
- …re Unknown
- Se…enre Unknown–1649 BC
The position of the following kings is uncertain:
- Dedumose I Possibly a king of the 16th dynasty Around 1654
- Dedumose II Possibly a king of the 16th dynasty Unknown
- Sewahenre Senebmiu Late 13th dynasty. After 1660 BC
- Snaaib Possibly a king of the Abydos Dynasty Unknown
- And, Mershepsesre Ini II Late 13th dynasty. Unknown
The Fourteenth Dynasty was a local group from the eastern Delta, based at Avaris, that ruled from either from 1805 BC or c. 1710 BC until around 1650 BC. The dynasty comprised many rulers with West Semitic names and is thus believed to have been Canaanite in origin. It is here given as per Ryholt, however this reconstruction of the dynasty is heavily debated with the position of the five kings preceding Nehesy highly disputed.
- Yakbim Sekhaenre Chronological position uncertain, here given as per Ryholt 1805–1780 BC
- Ya’ammu Nubwoserre Chronological position uncertain, here given as per Ryholt 1780–1770 BC
- Qareh Khawoserre Chronological position uncertain, here given as per Ryholt 1770–1760 BC
- ‘Ammu Ahotepre Chronological position uncertain, here given as per Ryholt 1760–1745 BC
- Sheshi Chronological position, duration of reign and extend of rule uncertain, here given as per Ryholt. Alternatively, he could be an early Hyksos king, a Hyksos ruler of the second part of the 15th Dynasty or a vassal of the Hyksos. 1745–1705 BC
- Nehesy Around 1705
- Khakherewre Unknown
- Nebefawre Around 1704 BC
- Sehebre Possibly identifiable with Wazad or Sheneh Around 1704 to 1699 BC
- Merdjefare Possibly identifiable with Wazad or Sheneh Around 1699 BC
- Sewadjkare III Unknown
- Nebdjefare 1694 BC
- Webenre Unknown
- Djefare? Unknown
- Webenre Around 1690 BC
- Nebsenre At least 5 months of reign, some time between 1690 BC and 1649 BC
- Sekheperenre 2 months, some time between 1690 BC and 1649 BC
- Anati Djedkare Only known from the Turin canon Unknown
- Bebnum Only known from the Turin canon Some time between 1690 BC and 1649 BC
- ‘Apepi Possibly attested as a king’s son by 5 scarabs-seals c. 1650 BC
The position and identity of the following pharaohs is uncertain:
- Nuya Unknown
- Wazad Around 1700 BC
- Sheneh Unknown
- Shenshek Unknown
- Khamure Unknown
- Yakareb Unknown
- And, Yaqub-Har 17th–16th centuries BC
The Turin King List provides additional names, none of which are attested beyond the list.
The Fifteenth Dynasty arose from among the Hyksos people who emerged from the Fertile Crescent to establish a short-lived governance over much of the Nile region, and ruled from 1674 to 1535 BC.
- Semqen 1649 BC – Unknown
- ‘Aper-‘Anat Unknown
- Sakir-Har Unknown
- Khyan 30–40 years
- Apepi 40 years or more
- And, Khamudi 1555–1544 BC
The Second Intermediate Period may include an independent dynasty reigning over Abydos from c. 1650 BC until 1600 BC. Four attested kings may be tentatively attributed to the Abydos Dynasty, and they are given here without regard for their (unknown) chronological order:
- Sekhemraneferkhau Wepwawetemsaf Uncertain
- Sekhemrekhutawy Pantjeny Uncertain
- Menkhaure Snaaib Uncertain
- And, Woseribre Senebkay Around 1650 BC
The Sixteenth Dynasty was a native Theban dynasty emerging from the collapse of the Memphis-based 13th dynasty c. 1650 BC and finally conquered by the Hyksos 15th dynasty c. 1580 BC. The 16th dynasty held sway over Upper Egypt only.
Name of the first king is lost here in the Turin King List and cannot be recovered
- Sekhemresementawy Djehuti 3 years
- Sekhemreseusertawy Sobekhotep VIII 16 years
- Sekhemresankhtawy Neferhotep III 1 year
- Seankhenre Mentuhotepi 1 year
- Sewadjenre Nebiryraw I 26 years
- Neferkare(?) Nebiryraw II Around 1600 BC
- Semenre Around 1600 BC
- Seuserenre Bebiankh 12 years
- Djedhotepre Dedumose I Around 1588-1582 BC
- Djedneferre Dedumose II Around 1588-1582 BC
- Djedankhre Montemsaf Around 1590 BC
- Merankhre Mentuhotep VI Short reign, around 1585 BC
- Seneferibre Senusret IV Unknown
- And, Sekhemre Shedwast Unknown
The 16th Dynasty may also have comprised the reigns of pharaohs Sneferankhre Pepi III and Nebmaatre. Their chronological position is uncertain.
The Seventeenth Dynasty was based in Upper Egypt and ruled from 1650 to 1550 BC:
- Sekhemrewahkhaw Rahotep Around 1620 BC
- Sekhemre Wadjkhaw Sobekemsaf I At least 7 years
- Sekhemre Shedtawy Sobekemsaf II Unknown to around 1573 BC
- Sekhemre-Wepmaat Intef V Possibly around 1573-1571 BC
- Nubkheperre Intef VI Around 1571 to the mid-1560s BC
- Sekhemre-Heruhirmaat Intef VII Late 1560s BC
- Senakhtenre Ahmose Around 1558 BC
- Seqenenre Tao 1558–1554 BC
- Wadjkheperre Kamose 1554–1549 BC
The early 17th Dynasty may also have included the reign of a pharaoh Nebmaatre, whose chronological position is uncertain.
The New Kingdom (1550–1077 BC) is the period covering the Eighteenth, Nineteenth, and Twentieth dynasty of Egypt, from the 16th to the 11th century BC, between the Second Intermediate Period, and the Third Intermediate Period.
Through military dominance abroad, the New Kingdom saw Egypt’s greatest territorial extent. It expanded far into Nubia in the south, and held wide territories in the Near East. Egyptian armies fought with Hittite armies for control of modern-day Syria.
Three of the best known pharaohs of the New Kingdom are Akhenaten, also known as Amenhotep IV, whose exclusive worship of the Aten is often interpreted as the first instance of monotheism, Tutankhamun known for the discovery of his nearly intact tomb, and Ramesses II who attempted to recover the territories in modern Israel/Palestine, Lebanon and Syria that had been held in the Eighteenth Dynasty. His reconquest led to the Battle of Qadesh, where he led the Egyptian armies against the army of the Hittite king Muwatalli II.
The Eighteenth Dynasty ruled from c. 1550 to 1292 BC:
- Nebpehtire Ahmose I, Ahmosis I Around 1550–1525 BC; Radiocarbon date range for the start of his reign is 1570–1544 BC, the mean point of which is 1557 BC
- Djeserkare Amenhotep I 1541–1520 BC
- Aakheperkare Thutmose I 1520–1492 BC
- Aakheperenre Thutmose II 1492–1479 BC
- Maatkare Hatshepsut 1479–1458 BC
- Menkheperre Thutmose III 1458–1425 BC
- Aakheperrure Amenhotep II 1425–1400 BC
- Menkheperure Thutmose IV 1400–1390 BC
- Nebmaatre Amenhotep III The Magnificent King 1390–1352 BC
- Neferkheperure-waenre Amenhotep IV/Akhenaten 1352–1336 BC
- Ankhkheperure Smenkhkare 1335–1334 BC
- Ankhkheperure-mery-Neferkheperure/Neferneferuaten 1334-1332 BC
- Nebkheperure Tutankhaten/Tutankhamun 1332–1324 BC
- Kheperkheperure Ay (II) 1324–1320 BC
- And, Djeserkheperure-setpenre Horemheb 1320–1292 BC
The Nineteenth Dynasty ruled from 1292 to 1186 BC and includes one of the greatest pharaohs: Rameses II the Great.
- Menpehtire Ramesses I 1292–1290 BC
- Menmaatre Seti I 1290–1279 BC
- Usermaatre-setpenre Ramesses II the Great 1279–1213 BC
- Banenre Merenptah 1213–1203 BC
- Menmire-setpenre Amenmesse 1203–1200 BC
- Userkheperure Seti II 1203–1197 BC
- Sekhaenre/Akhenre Merenptah Siptah 1197–1191 BC
- And, Satre-merenamun Tausret 1191–1190 BC