The royal titulary


The royal titulary
The royal titulary
Evidence for the role of the pharaoh and his link to the gods can be found in the royal titulary, the
five great names or titles carried by all pharaohs. In addition to his personal name received at birth, a
pharaoh acquired four other titles on his accession. Every royal inscription began with a section that
listed the king’s titles and epithets. The epithets the king chose often signalled the priorities for his
reign. An example of the royal titulary for Thutmose III is provided here.
The five great names of Thutmose III
Epithet adopted by
Thutmose III
The first name was the Horus name in
which the pharaoh was identified as the
earthly manifestation of the falcon god,
Horus. Both the (a) and (b) forms of
Horus were used in the New Kingdom.
The falcon in (b) wears the double
crown of Upper and Lower Egypt. The
rectangular structure in (b), known as a
serekh, dates from the Old Kingdom and
probably represents the king’s palace.
Arising in Thebes
The two ladies are two goddesses
representing Upper and Lower Egypt.
Nekhbet, the vulture goddess (d), was a
deity of Upper Egypt. Wadjet, the cobra
goddess (c), represented Lower Egypt.
The cobra or snake goddess was also
closely linked with the Uraeus, the snake
image of kingship.
Enduring in kingship
like Re in heaven
The falcon in (e) stands on the
hieroglyphic sign for gold and represents
the divine and eternal nature of the
king. The Egyptians considered gold to
be the flesh of the gods because it did
not decay. Its colour also suggested the
radiance of the powerful Egyptian sun.
Powerful of strength,
holy of diadems
This name also symbolises pharaoh’s rule
over both Upper and Lower Egypt. The
sedge reed (f) represents Upper Egypt
and the bee (g) Lower Egypt.
(lasting is the
manifestation of Re)
The fifth name of the king emphasises the
direct solar origin of the king as a child (i)
of the sun-god (h). This is the personal or
family name of the pharaoh.
Thutmose, Neferkheper-u
(Beloved) of
the Two Ladies
Horus of Gold
nswt bity
He of the Sedge and
the Bee
S3 R
Son of Re
02_HUR_A23E_Ch2 PRS.indd 77
(Thoth is born,
beautiful of forms)
Egypt: Society in New Kingdom Egypt to the Death of Amenhotep III
11/11/08 1:29:23 PM