Menes Biography

Menes, also known as Mena, Meni or Min (c. 2930 BC). Political leader and King of Egyptian origin who believes himself ruled Egypt between 2930 BC and 2900 BC.

Some historians consider him the sovereign who led to the unification of the high and under Egypt as a single unified kingdom, under a centralist monarchy, as well as the founder of the Egyptian city of Menphis.

However, some Egyptologists have pointed out that Egypt was already unified before this date, while there are confusing references to its identity, being called by the historian Manetón as Menes; by Herodotus as Min, and for the Royal List of Abydos and the Canon of Turin as Meni.


Today some Egyptologists believe that perhaps the figure of King Menes is the agglutination of the characteristics of several kings, among whom could be found Scporzion, Aha and Narmer, the latter figure being with whom he relates most. Ancient historians pointed to Menes as a Thinite, originally from the province of the same name, located in Upper Egypt, being obtained north of this monuments belonging to kings Aha and Narmer.

However, excavations of the Menfis cemetery have revealed King Aha’s tomb as the oldest in that city, narmer who can be seen in some Egyptian representations using alternatively the red crown of lower Egypt and the white crown of the A Egypt, so some specialists believe this is because narmer the king related to the figure of the ancient King Menes.

Early Life

In this sense Narmer or Menes would have been born in Thinites, Upper Egypt. He was the first pharaoh of ancient Egypt and founder of the First Dynasty, which would have flourished around 3150 BC, ushering in the Archaic period, which would have spread until 2680 BC.

He is believed to have ruled for sixty years, although other authors such as Eusebio de Caesarea attribute him only thirty years of tenure on the throne. He is also thought to have succeeded King Horus Scorpion, also known as Hr skr and may have been married to Neithotep, who was a native of the city of Nagada.

Conquests and legacy

With his mighty army he would have conquered the territories of Lower Egypt, located beyond the limits of his kingdom, and corresponding to the Nile River Delta. Immediately, he began the construction of Menfis, a city that historians said would have been erected to demonstrate its power to the inhabitants of Lower Egypt.

According to the account of the first historian, Herodotus, Menes built a fort dam, in order to divert the riverbed of the Nile river and expose a plain, where he had Menfis built. As Herodotus’s account reads:

Menes managed to divert the flowing river to the south, about 100 stages upstream from Menfis, thanks to the levees; pulled out into the old river and got the current flowing through a canal, between the dunes.

Even today the Persians watch this diversion and new riverbed wary, and monitor it all year round. They know that if the river were to break the dam, Menfis would be in great danger of flooding himself. When Menes, the first king, had dried up the old channel, he immediately founded on that plain this city, which today is called Menfis.

With this city, Menfis assumed full control of the Nile Delta, also becoming sovereign of important trade routes, which led from the Mediterranean Sea to the lands of Sinai, Canaan, Mesopotania and Libya.

Likewise, with the construction of Menfis in this location he became the owner of a land from which he was able to obtain large resources and food reserves, which turned this capital city of Lower Egypt into a rich and luxurious city, which in the coming centuries became one of Egypt’s technological and political powers.

During his reign there was a culture of opulence and sumptuousness, where the use of gold as an attire was frequent, which spread throughout Egyptian culture.

Tradition also attributes to King Menes the foundation of the temple of Ptah, god who became fervently worshipped in Menphis, as divine craftsman and maximum deity, a fact that makes Menes also considered the promoter of bringing this rite to the lands under Egypt.

For their part, some researchers have stated that among Menes’ contributions to Egyptian religious customs is the fact that it is pointed out as a law of the southern kings to be able to assume rituals from the north. In this sense he left a great legacy of temples and festivities, assuming many deities from the north himself.

Archaeological data

He is believed to have died of a hippo pot around 2900 BC. According to archaeological data, the body of Narmer, believed to have been the celebrated King Menes, is believed to have been located in the necropolis of um el-Qaab, located in Abidos, in the tomb numbered B17-18.

However, other Egyptologists point out that he may have been buried in the necropolis of Tarjan, although there is also the possibility that they are only symbolic tombs, known as cenotaphs. However, the name Narmer has been found in several ancient hieroglyphical inscriptions in Upper and Lower Egypt. He was succeeded by King Aha.

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Menes Biography
Source: Education  
July 31, 2019

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