the beginning of the Old Kingdom every Pharaoh had five titles including
alternative personal names and short sentence – epithet.
enclosed in a picture of palace facade is the oldest one. It is a
rectangular frame divided into two parts of different size. The king’s name
was written in the smaller one while the palace’s facade was depicted in the
bigger one. The whole frame, called
(serekh -to make known), was adorned with a sign representing
a falcon - symbol of the Horus-god.
Horizontal illustrating of serekh on these pages, is purely conventional and
in some measure constrained by an arrangement of the Web pages.
second title is nbti[tAwi],
the Two Ladies title. The title equates a king with the vulture goddess
Nekhbet – patron of Upper Egypt, and cobra - goddess Wadjet from Buto in Lower
Egypt. Images of vulture and cobra would represent the word
means Lord. Both godesses were patron Ladies of white and red
crowns. Thus this title is sometimes interpreted the Ruler of the
third title represents Golden Horus, or rather – Horus on the
gold (above gold) Hr nbw. This was a symbol of eternity commemorating a
victory of the Horus-god (benevolence) over Seth (evil). The name was
assumed during coronation.
fourth title of a royal protocol, Prenomen, is interpreted as
nsw bi.tj– Belonging to the
and the Bee (bi.tj).
Naturally reed and bee are the symbols Upper and Lower Egypt. Sometimes
before Prenomen were written titles: nTr.nfr(Beautiful God) andnb-tAwi(Lord of the Two Lands). In antiquity the name
was assumed during enthronement and was enclosed in a cartouche.
Son of Re was the fifth of epithets. It became an element of royal
titulary by the beginning of the Dynasty IV.
It was positioned before the birth name, in turn enclosed in a cartouche.
Ptolemaic era a sixth element had been added to the royal titulary.
Meantime the Alexandrians named their kings with epithets-nicknames, not
necessarily complimentary. In some cases they became more popular than royal
names. They had nothing to do with official titulary.
the formuladi-anx(Endowed With Life) ordi-anx-Dt(Endowed With
Eternal Life) would be adjacent immediately to some of king-names.
To view the transcription of kings titulary properly, please
download and install transliteration font.