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The Pharaohs

Pepi II
Birth name: Pepi
Throne name: Neferkare ("Beautiful is the Soul of Re")
Rule: 2278 - 2184 BC (4th king of the 6th dynasty, Old Kingdom)
Noteworthy relatives: Teti (grandfather), Pepi I (father)

 

Pepi II was only six years old when he came to power after the short five-year reign of his older brother, Merenre. Helping out with the pharaonic duties were his uncle Djau serving as vizier and his mother Ankhnesmerire ruling for him as his regent. His reign was the longest in Egyptian history: 94 years!

 

Egypt was divided into many regions called nomes, which were each ruled by a nomarch. The pharaoh was (of course) the supreme ruler of all. But as Pepi II grew older and older, his power and influence declined. The nomarchs began to crave more and more wealth and status. Civil wars broke out as rival nomarchs fought for control of Egypt. The nomes' quest for power brought down the whole centralized government, throwing Egypt into chaos. Pepi II's death marked not only the end of the 6th dynasty, but the glorious times of the Old Kingdom as well.

Alabaster statue of Pepi II sitting on his mother's lap. By Keith Schengili-Roberts (Own work (photo)) [CC BY-SA 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons