Name: Montuhotep II (Nebhepetre) of Inyotef III
Surname: Inyotef III
Given Name: Montuhotep II (Nebhepetre) of
Birth: ABT 2000 BC in Egypt
Death: 1956 BC
Reign from 1986 BC to 1956 1
Change Date: 20 Mar 2014 at 01:00:00|
Father: Inyotef III (Nakhtnebtepnefer) b: ABT 2025 BC in Egypt
Mother: Aoh (Iah) (wife of Inyotef III) b: in Egypt
Neferu II (wife of Montuhotep II) b: ABT 2000 BC in Egypt
- Montuhotep III (Sankhkare) of Montuhotep II of Inyotef III b: ABT 1975 BC in Egypt
- Associates of Pharaoh Montuhotep II of Inyotef III foster b: ABT 2000 BC in Egypt
- AKA Pharaoh (Montuhotep II) Mentuhotpe II of Inyotef III foster b: ABT 2000 BC in Egypt
- AKA Pharaoh (Montuhotep II) Nebhepetre II of Inyotef III foster b: ABT 2000 BC in Egypt
Tem (wife of Montuhotep II) b: in Egypt
Ashait (Ashayet) (wife of Montuhotep) b: in Egypt
- Sadeh of Montuhotep II b: in Egypt
Kawit (wife of Montuhotep II) b: ABT 2000 BC in Egypt
Amunet (Henhenet) (wife of Montuhotep II) b: ABT 2000 BC in Egypt
Sadhe (wife of Montuhotep II) b: in Egypt
Kemsit (wife of Montuhotep II) b: in Egypt
- Title: Web sites
Mentuhotep II, First Ruler of the Middle Kingdom
by Jimmy Dunn
For everyone who studies Egyptian history, we like to point out occasionally the fallacy of a ccepting a single reference about many different ancient topics. One problem with experts i s they have their own opinions, which they often state unequivocally, even though others disa gree. References on the first ruler of the Middle Kingdom are a perfect example of this.
His throne name was most certainly Neb-hetep-re, meaning "Pleased is the Lord Re", though w e also find it spelled Nebhepetra. But this is not his common, or birth name, and here we r un into problems. "Chronicle of the Pharaohs" by Peter A. Clayton refers to him as Mentuhote p I, and gives his reign as 2060-2010. However, the "Oxford History of Ancient Egypt" edite d by Ian Shaw gives his name as Mentuhotep II, with a reign from 2055-2004 while Aidan Dodso n in his book, "Monarchs of the Nile" refers to him as Montjuhotpe II, with a reign from 2066 -2014. "A History of Ancient Egypt" by Nicolas Grimal calls him Mentuhotpe II, with a reig n from 2040-2009, while "Who Were the Pharaohs" by Stephen Quirke simple calls him, as well a s the following two kings Mentuhotep, without elaboration or dates.
So much for Egyptology being consistent, but never fear, they are all talking about the sam e king, and they all place his rule as the first of the Middle Kingdom and within the 11th Dy nasty. However one names him, his birth name, Mentuhotep, means "The God Montu is Content" . It should be noted that Montu was a Theban god of war. Mentuhotep ruled Egypt from Thebes , which until then, had not been as prominent as it later became.
We believe he was the son or heir of Intef III, for a number of reasons. First, there is a r elief located at Wadi Shatt el-Rigal, near Gebel es-Silsila, that incorporates a colossal fig ure of Mentuhotep II dwarfing three other figures believed to be he mother, Intef III and Khe ty his chancellor. There is also a masonry block found at Tod with reliefs portraying Mentuho tep II towing over three kings, named Inhtef, lined up behind him. However, Mentuhotep worke d so diligently to enhance his reputation with his contemporaries with self-deification tha t some Egyptologists believe he may not have been a legitimate heir to the throne, though th is might also be explained by his efforts to reunite Egypt.
Left: Part of the Jubilee celebration scene of Mentuhotep II from Armant.
Montuhotep's principle wife was Tem, but he had a number of lesser consorts. A second majo r wife was Neferu, who mothered his heir to the throne, and we also know of a wife named Henh enet who died in childbirth.
Though he reunited Egypt after the First Intermediate Period, he did not do this immediately , and we find him with a number of Horus names that follow a progression. First, he was "He w ho gives heart to the Two Lands", followed by "Lord of the White Crown" (Upper Egypt) and fi nally Sematuawy, "Uniter of the Two Lands", as he apparently unified Egypt. Indeed, in late r inscriptions, the king was set alongside Menes as being the second founder of the Egyptia n State.
At first, his reign was probably peaceful, but latter became most certainly a bloody one, an d with a highly militaristic focus. Near his temple at Thebes, American archaeologist Herber t Winlock found a mass tomb in the 1920s with the bodies of 60 of his soldiers who were lai n in battle. There place of burial near the King suggests that the battle they fought was a n important one, but sources disagree on where they might have fought. In the tomb of a loca l prince or general named Mesehti at Asyut, we also find models of marching Egyptian soldier s and even in the tombs of common people, we find an increase in the inclusion of weapons amo ng grave goods.
In year 14 of his rule, we know that a revolt took place in the Abydos area by the Hierakleop olitan forces, and that he quickly crushed it. Afterwards, his armies slowly drove the Hiera kleopolitan forces north eventually leading to his overall rule of Egypt, but even by year 3 9 of his rule, when the country was well under his control, he continued his military campaig ns into Nubia. It would appear that there might have even been an Egyptian based local kingdo m established in the area around Abu Simbel, and so he apparently crushed these upstarts, a s well as initiating other policing actions in Lower Nubia. One such expedition was led by hi s Chancellor, Khety, illustrating the importance Mentuhotep II placed on reopening Egypt's ac cess to Nubia, and beyond.
However, he did have a long reign, perhaps as long as 50 years, and peace did finally retur n to Egypt proper, along with prosperity. Mentuhotep II initiated a number of building proje cts, including in the areas of el-Kab, Gebelein, Tod, Deir el-Ballas, Dendera, Karnak, Abydos , Aswan and Armant. His greatest building work, however, was his temple and tomb on the wes t bank at Thebes (Modern Luxor). It is located in the cliffs at Deir el-Bhari, next to the la ter and today more famous temple of Queen Hatshepsut. Many of his high officials are burie d near him including his chancellor Akhtoy, his viziers Dagi and Ipi, and his chief steward H enenu.