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Scarab bearing the final prenomen of the Hyksos pharaoh Apepi,[1] now at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Dagger with the names Neb-Khepesh-Re Apepi

Apepi (also Ipepi; Egyptian language ipp(i)) or Apophis (Greek Άποφις; regnal names Neb-Khepesh-Re, A-Qenen-Re and A-User-Re) was a ruler of Lower Egypt during the fifteenth dynasty and the end of the Second Intermediate Period that was dominated by this foreign dynasty of rulers called the Hyksos. According to the Turin Canon of Kings, he ruled over the northern portion of Egypt for forty years, [2] and would have ruled during the early half of the 1500s (BCE) if he outlived his southern rival, Kamose, but not Ahmose I. [3] Although his reign only entailed northern Egypt, Apepi was dominant over most of Egypt during the early portion of his reign, and traded peacefully with the native, Theban Seventeenth dynasty to the south. [3]

While he may have exerted suzerainty over Upper Egypt during the beginning of his reign, the seventeenth dynasty eventually assumed control over this region, and the Hyksos were driven out of Egypt no more than fifteen years after his death. [4]

Contents

Praenomina

Neb-Khepesh-Re (nb ḫpš rˁ), 'A-Qenen-Re (ˁ3 ḳn n rˁ) and A-User-Re (ˁ3 wsr rˁ) are three praenomina or throne names used by this same ruler during various parts of his reign.[5] While some Egyptologists once believed that there were two separate kings who bore the name Apepi, namely Auserre Apepi and Aqenenre Apepi, it is now recognized that Khamudi succeeded Apepi I at Avaris and that there was only one king named Apepi or Apophis.[6][7] Nebkhepeshre or "Re is the Lord of Strength" was Apepi's first prenomen; towards the middle of his reign, this Hyksos ruler adopted a new prenomen, Aqenenre, which translates as "The strength of Re is great."[8] In the final decade or so of his reign, Apepi chose Auserre as his last prenomen. While the prenomen was altered, there is no difference in the translation of both Aqenenre and Auserre.

Reign

Rather than building his own monuments, Apepi generally usurped the monuments of previous pharaohs by inscribing his own name over two sphinxes of Amenemhat II and two statues of Smenkhkare.[9] Apepi is thought to have usurped the throne of northern Egypt after the death of his predecessor, Khyan, since the latter had designated his son, Yanassi, to be his successor on the throne as a foreign ruler.[10] He was succeeded by Khamudi, the last Hyksos ruler. Ahmose I, who drove out the Hyksos kings from Egypt, established the 18th Dynasty.[9]

In the Ramesside era he is recorded as worshiping Seth in a monolatric way: "[He] chose for his Lord the god Seth. He didn't worship any other deity in the whole land except Seth." Jan Assmann argues that because the Ancient Egyptians could never conceive of a "lonely" god lacking personality, Seth the desert god, who was worshiped exclusively, represented a manifestation of evil.[11]

Apepi
in hieroglyphs
i A2 p
p
i

Family

Two of his sisters, Tani and Ziwat are known. Tani is mentioned on a door of a shrine in Avaris and on an offering table, Ziwat is mentioned on a bowl.[12]

A Prince Apepi, named on a seal (now in Berlin) is likely to have been his son. Apepi also had a daughter, named Herit, a vase belonging to her was found in the tomb of Amenhotep I, which might indicate that at some point his daughter may have been married to a Theban king. [3] The vase, however, may just as well have been an item which was looted from Avaris after the eventual victory over the Hyksos by Ahmose I.

References

  1. ^ see Boston Museum of Fine Arts photo here
  2. ^ Nicolas Grimal, A History of Ancient Egypt. Librairie Arthéme Fayard, 1988, p.189.
  3. ^ a b c Grimal, p.189
  4. ^ Grimal, p.194
  5. ^ Apophis: Titulary
  6. ^ Kim Ryholt, The Political Situation in Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period c.1800-1550 B.C." by Museum Tuscalanum Press. 1997. p.125
  7. ^ Kings of the Second Intermediate Period University College London; scroll down to the 15th dynasty
  8. ^ Apophis:Titulary
  9. ^ a b Grimal, p.193
  10. ^ Ryholt, p.256
  11. ^ "Of God and Gods", Jan Assmann, p47-48, University of Wisconsin Press, 2008, ISBN 029922550X
  12. ^ Aidan Dodson & Dyan Hilton, The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt, Thames & Hudson (2004) ISBN 0-500-05128-3, p.115
Preceded by
Khyan
Pharaoh of Egypt
Fifteenth Dynasty
Succeeded by
Khamudi
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