The Sixth Heracleopolitan King Merikare Khety

In: Journal of Egyptian History
Arkadiy Demidchik Novosibirsk National Research State University Russia

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The history of the Heracleopolitan royal “House of Khety,” comprising Manethonian Dynasties ix and x, remains unknown to us. The only monarch whose place in the Heracleopolitans’ succession is believed to be well established is Merikare, the addressee of the famous treatise on kingship. For almost eight decades he has been alleged to be the final or penultimate Heracleopolitan ruler. However, even this hardened opinion rests on erroneous presumptions. Close scrutiny of all pertaining records permits rather to identify Merikare with the sixth Heracleopolitan pharaoh, listed in the Turin King-list, v. 24, with the nomen “Khety.” Merikare’s father, the fifth king of Heracleopolis, managed to restore the capital back to Memphis. Therefore, later he was at times considered as founder of a new, Dynasty “x”, with his four “purely Heracleopolitan” predecessors forming “Dynasty ix.” Such is an explanation for Manetho’s much debated division of the Heracleopolitans into two dynasties.

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