Pepi II

Pepi II is traditionally listed as the last ruler of Egypt's Sixth Dynasty, and the last significant ruler of the Old Kingdom before the First Intermediate Period. He was only 6 years old when he began his incredible 90 year rule (making his the longest reign in Egyptian history). Some scholars have doubted the dates as it was not common to live so long, but it is recorded that he was 100 years old when he died! It is thought that his mother Ankhnesmerire (widow of Pepi I) acted as regent for a period at the beginning of his reign.

Pepi II at the Temple of Min, Koptos

He had a number of wives, including Neith (the daughter of Pepi I) and Ankenesmerire I and Iput II (the daughter of his brother Merenre I) and Ankenesmerire III (another daughter of his brother Merenre I by his mother Ankhenesmerire II), and Udjebten (or Wedjebten). He probably had a son named Merenre who may well be the Merenre II of the kings list.

Foreign policy (especially in Nubia) had become quite a drain on resources. The well oiled Egyptian bureaucracy began to disintegrate and some diplomatic relations were suspended. Scenes showing Pepi II smiting Egypt's foes are thought to be purely ritualistic. For example, a frieze showing the submission of Libyan chiefs during his reign is suspiciously similar to the scene in the mortuary temple of Sahure, while other scenes are reminiscent of those in the mortuary temples of Niuserre and Pepi I

Pepi II with his mother copyright Griannan

His long reign may have created successional difficulties, and some have argued that the low quality of the inundations at the end of the sixth dynasty was causing crop failure and famine. However, there is significant evidence that the power and wealth of the Nobles was increasing at that time. Elaborate tombs were built at Cause, Akhmin, Abydos, Edfu and Elephantine. As the Nobles held hereditary positions, and were now independently wealthy, their loyalty to the king was perhaps reduced. In a move to increase his control over the regions, Pepi II split the role of Vizier into two posts, one for Upper Egypt, the other for Lower Egypt.

Pepi II is depicted in a beautiful Calcite statuette of the young king and his mother. He is also recorded in a number of decrees and inscriptions at Abydos, Koptos (Coptos) and Iput. We also have a record of one of his Heb Sed festivals (jubilee) and the Pharaoh is mentioned in the tombs of Djau (buried in Abydos) an Ibi (Buried in Deir el-Gabrawi).He built a ka-chapel in Abydos and located his pyramid and mortuary complex in South Saqqara. Most of his wives were buried in smaller pyramids nearby.

Pharaoh's Names

Horus Name

Hr nTr haw (Horus Netjerikhaw) - Horus Divine Of Apparition

Nebti Name

nbti nTr haw (Nebti Netjerikhaw) - The Two Ladies, Divine Of Apparition

Golden Horus Name

sxm bik nbw (Sekhem Bik-Nebu) - The Golden Falcon Is Powerful


nfr kA ra (Neferkare) - Beautiful Is The Soul Of Re (Abydos kings list and Saqqara kings list)


ppy (Pepi)
sA ra ppy (Sa Re Pepi) - Pepi Son Of Re
sA ra ppy nfr kA ra (Sa Re Pepi Neferkare) - Pepi Son Of Re, Ka Of Re Is Beautiful

copyright J Hill 2015
Return to Top
Ancient Egypt Online