Menkaura: A Worthy Ancestor

Menkaura was an ancient Egyptian king of the 4th dynasty during the Old Kingdom beginning in approximately 2530 BC.  He was well known under his Hellenized names Mykerinos and Menkheres.  I think that this is significant because it shows that he was known and possibly had an influence on Greek culture.  When the historian Herodotus recognizes your life, you have made an impact. Menkaure became famous for his pyramid tomb at Giza and his beautiful statue triads, showing the king together with goddesses and his wife Khamerernebty.

I was intrigued about adding Egyptian historical figures to my blog partially because of what is happening now in Egypt.  The country receives an enormous amount of military aid from us but they were a power in thir own right on the African continent well before the United States was created.  Egyptian history is immense and will make my blog a richer space on the internet.

Menkaure was the son of Khafra and the grandson of Khufu. A flint knife found in the mortuary temple of Menkaure mentioned a king's mother Khamerernebty I, suggesting that Khafra and this queen were the parents of Menkaure. Menkaure is thought to have had at least two wives.
  • Queen Khamerernebty II is the daughter of Khamerernebti I and the mother of a king's son Khuenre. The location of Khuenre's tomb suggests that he was a son of Menkaure, making his mother the wife of this king.[2][3]
  • Queen Rekhetre is known to have been a daughter of Khafra and as such the most likely identity of her husband is Menkaure.
Menkaure was also known to have a daughter who preceeded him in death.  He seemed to be an awesome Family man and had a fairly decent reign of at least 12 to 18 years.

I wonder what were his daily challenges as a king during that time.  During the Old Kingdom, the king of Egypt (not called the Pharaoh until the New Kingdom) became a living god, who ruled absolutely and could demand the services and wealth of his subjects.[3] The numerous references to the Old Kingdom kings as pharaohs in this article stems from the ubiquitous use of the term "pharaoh" to describe any and all Ancient Egyptian Kings.  Due to the ability to control the flooding of the Nile and irrigate farmland, Egypt began to flourish during this time period.  A king had to be chosen based on leadership ability though and Menkaura must have exhibited hie early in life.  He was probably a great athlete and a skilled fighter.  He had a number of half brothers who just have easily had become king.

Egypt's Old Kingdom (Dynasties 3–6, ca. 2649–2150 BC) was one of the most dynamic periods in the development of Egyptian art. During this period, artists learned to express their culture's worldview, creating for the first time images and forms that endured for generations. Architects and masons mastered the techniques necessary to build monumental structures in stone.[12]
Sculptors created the earliest portraits of individuals and the first lifesize statues in wood, copper, and stone. They perfected the art of carving intricate relief decoration and, through keen observation of the natural world, produced detailed images of animals, plants, and even landscapes, recording the essential elements of their world for eternity in scenes painted and carved on the walls of temples and tombs.[12]

File:MenkauraAndQueen MuseumOfFineArtsBoston.png

Greywacke statue of Menkaura and Queen Khamerernebty II at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

I love the picture of King Menkaura and his wife.  He looked strong and regal and his wife looked like a leader also.  This statue was carved out of a single piece of Alabaster and the craftsmen were awesome.  I will write more about his life in the future.  Until then, you have just received an African history lesson. 

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