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Pepi II

Pepi II, last ruler of the 6th Dynasty and Egypt's Old Kingdom
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  Pepi II, last ruler of the 6th Dynasty and Egypt's Old Kingdom Pepi II, Last ruler of the 6th Dynasty and Egypt's Old Kingdomby Jimmy Dunn  According to tradition, Pepi II was the last ruler of Egypt's 6th Dynasty, and in fact the last significant ruler of the Old Kingdom prior to the onset of what Egyptologists call the FistIntermediate Period !e are told that his reign of possi ly #$ %some Egyptologist elie&e 6$years was the longest in ancient Egyptian history (e seems to ha&e come to the throne ata out the age of si), and would therefore ha&e li&ed until the age of one hundred (owe&er, ecause of the onset of the First Intermediate Period, the latter part of his reign was pro a lyineffectual, perhaps at least somewhat due to his ad&anced age*oth the O)ford (istory of  Ancient Egypt and Peter A +layton, ha&e his reign lasting from -. until /.$ *+0he pharaoh's irth name was Pepi, %also Pepy, Phiops or Fiops as was his father's (isthrone name was 1efer2are, which means 3*eautiful is the 4oul of 5e3 (is mother was An2hnesmerire II %An2hesenpepi, who was the sister of his older rother, erenre and pro a ly acted as Pepi II's regent during his youth 4he may ha&e pro a ly een assisted yher rother, D7au, who was a &i8ier 0here is a well 2nown statue of her holding Pepi II as ayoung oy (owe&er, after  Pepi I's death, she seems to ha&e married erenre (e had a num er of wi&es 0hese included 1eith, the daughter of Pepi I and An2enesmerire I and Ipwet%Iput II, the daughter of his rother erenre 0here is some confusion here, ecause we aretold that he also married An2enesmerire III, who was another daughter of erenre, possi ly y his mother An2henesmerire II A final wife that we 2now of was 9d7e ten %or !ed7e ten(e pro a ly had at least one son named for his rother, erenre!e 2now that Pepi II continued foreign relations in a &ery similar manner to oth hispredecessors of the :th and 6th Dynasties and e&en de&eloped new lin2s with southern Africa (e maintained diplomatic and commercial relations with *y los in ancient  4yria;Palestine (owe&er, we also learn of an incident where Pepi had to send Pepyna2ht%(e<ai  to ring ac2 the ody of an official who was 2illed on a mission in the area of *y los Pepi II as a very young hild, but !earing the raeus of a #ing$ In 1u ia, Pepi sought a policy of pacification !e 2now of se&eral trips and campaigns madesouth into 1u ia oth y (ar2huf, and his successor, Pepyna2ht In fact, these powerful localgo&ernors managed to control 1u ia long after the death of Pepi II form their asein Elephantine %near modern  Aswan Pepi II appears to ha&e een fascinated with some of these tra&els, particularly y his fathersold retainer, (ar2huf, go&ernor of Aswan One interesting account concerns a pygmy secured y (ar2huf on one of his African ad&entures !hen Pepi II learned of this he wrote (ar2huf aletter that (ar2huf later incorporated into his funerary auto iography=>ou ha&e saidthat you ha&e rought a pygmy of the god's dances from the land of thehori8on?dwellers, li2e the pygmy whom the god's seal? earer *awerded rought from Punt inthe time of King Isesi >ou ha&e said to my ma7esty that his li2e has ne&er een rought yanyone who went to >am pre&iously+ome north to the residence at once@ (urry and ringwith you this pygmy whom you rought from the land of the hori8on?dwellers li&e, hail andhealthy, for the dances of the god, to gladden the heart, to delight the heart of King 1efer2arewho li&es fore&er@ !hen he goes down with you into the ship, get worthy men to e aroundhim on dec2, least he fall into the water@ !hen he lies down at night, get worthy men to liearound him in his tent Inspect ten times at night@ y ma7esty desires to see this pygmy morethan the gifts of the mine?land and of Punt@ !hen you arri&e at the residence and this pygmyis with you li&e, hale and healthy, my ma7esty will do great things for you, more than was donefor the god's seal? earer *awerded in the time of King Isesi(e also continued long esta lished mining practices !e 2now from an inscription thattur<uoise and copper continued to e mined at !adi aghara in the 4inai  Alas aster  was <uarried at (atnu and reywac2e and siltsone from !adi (ammamat(owe&er, some information we ha&e from some scenes attri uta le to Pepi II may eritualistic For e)ample, one scene depicting the su mission of Bi yan chiefs during his reignis a close copy of representations in the mortuary temples of 4ahura, 1iuserra and Pepi I 4ome Egyptologists elie&e that such scenes are more sym olic e)pressions of theachie&ements of the ideal 2ing and ore little resem lance to the reality  %alite lid of a vessel$ 4ome would ha&e us elie&e that the First Intermediate Period, a time of decline in Egyptianpower, was ought on y low inundation of the 1ile and crop failure 0his is mostly ecausethey elie&e Pepi II's mortuary comple) was uilt and decorated in a much poorer manner then his predecessors It his possi le that this may ha&e een a contri uting factor (owe&er,during Pepi II's reign, we find increasing e&idence of the power and wealth of high officials inEgypt, with decentrali8ation of control away from the capital, emphis 0hese no les uilt huge, ela orate tom s at +ause,  A2hmin,  A ydos, Edfu and Elephantine, and it is clear that their wealth enhanced their status to the detriment of the 2ing's *ecause the positions of these officials was now hereditary, they now owned considera le land which was passed fromfather to son 0herefore, their allegiance and loyalty to the throne ecame &ery casual as their wealth ga&e them independence from the 2ing Administration of the country ecame difficultand so it was Pepi II who di&ided the position of &i8ier so that now there was a &i8ier of 9pper Egypt and another of Bower Egypt >et the power of these local rulers continued to flourish asthe 2ing grew e&er older, and pro a ly less of an a le rulerForeign relations, particularly concerning 1u ia, were also a drain on Pepi II' treasury In fact,in the latter part of Pepi II's rule, some foreign relations were actually ro2en off (ence, wesee that towards the end of his reign, the go&ernment of Egypt simply unra&eled & relief fragment from Koptos Bong reigns ha&e pro&en to create succession pro lems As powerful as 5amesses II was,his successors li2ewise had pro lems ecause of their ad&anced age when they themsel&esascended to the throne (ence, we find that Pepi II may ha&e een succeeded y a son,erenre II, ut perhaps for only one year According to anetho, he was married to a Cueen1itocris, who succeeded her hus and to ecome the last ruler of the 6th Dynasty (owe&er,&ery little archaeological e&idence of erenre II or 1itocris e)ists erenre II's mother wouldha&e pro a ly een 1eith After Pepi II, the mar&elous uilding pro7ects ceased almostentirely until the reign of entuhotep II of the //th Dynasty  A temple at A ydos may ha&e een a 2a?chapel uilt y Pepi II (is pyramid andmortuary comple) are located in 4outh 4a<<ara ost %if not all of his wife's smaller  pyramids ha&e een disco&ered near y  Pepi II is further attested to y a +alcite statuette of the young 2ing and his mother, now in the*roo2lyn useum of Art, a decree of the 2ing found at the mortuary temple of en2awre, adecree found at A ydos, and three decrees at Koptos %+optos One inscription, now in +airo,records his 4ed festi&al and another inscription is has een found in Iput II's mortuary temple0he 2ing was further mentioned in the iography of D7au %now in +airo in his tom in  A ydos and is mentioned in the tom of I i at Deir el?a rawi 4maller items attesting to Pepi II include faience pla<ue from &arious places mentioning othhis first and second 4ed festi&al, a calcite &essels attri uted to his reign, an I&ory headrestinscri ed with his full titles and se&eral o 7ects found at *y los eferenes(
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