Who was the Greatest Pharaoh ever to have lived?

Who was the Pharaoh?

In this article I will be trying to figure out who the greatest Pharaoh throughout Ancient Egypt was. This will include looking at the likes of Akhenaten, Ramesses the Great, Tutankhamun and many others. Firstly let me tell you who the pharaoh was. The Pharaoh was effectively the King in ancient Egypt, but not only that; he was a Dictator unlike modern British Monarchy. He was believed to be god-like and that he would take his place alongside the gods as one of them in the afterlife. Throughout the years of Ancient Egypt there were a lot of these Pharaohs, but I have picked the most prominent ones.

Tutankhamun's famous golden burial mask. One of the most well known Artefacts in the world.
Tutankhamun's famous golden burial mask. One of the most well known Artefacts in the world.

The Boy King and his golden mask

The first one to look at would be Tutankhamun, seeing as it is he is the Pharaoh we arguably know the most about. Tutankhamun lived in the later new Kingdom, a time of chaos and a falling nation, however, King Tut is still reknown all over the world. Is this because he was the greatest pharaoh of all time? Some would argue so. He has had the most impressive collection of burial goods, which initially suggested he was something special. After much consideration however, and after looking at the goods we see from other tombs, there appears to be a more logical reason for King Tut's horde of grave goods. Tutankhamun died at a very young age, we don't believe he had a next of kin; it’s a mystery how he even came to meet his death. For these reasons it is now believed by many and I must say myself included, that there are so many grave goods compared to other tombs because his wasn't worth raiding. In this time of Ancient Egypt there was an ongoing problem of grave robbers, but they only went after the huge targets which has led us to believe that most other Pharaohs would have had a much more impressive collection of goods and for this reason I personally discount Tutankhamun as an option for greatest Pharaoh, however, he is still extremely valuable to the Archaeological world as he has provided us with evidence for so many things that were once theories.

Heretic or Insightful?

After considering Tutankhamun the next obvious choice would be his father, Amenhotep IV or as he is better known, the Heretic King Akhenaten. Within a few years Akhenaten had changed his name, the type of religion and capital of the country. He did all of this with the creation of man-kinds first documented example of Mono-theism, the belief in one god. Akhenaten, within a short time of being made Pharaoh, abolished all of the old gods such as Sobek, Isis, Hathor, and Anubis, even Osiris, Horus and Amun had gone too. He replaced them all with the Sun Disc god called "The Aten". The Aten was depicted as a sun disc, with its rays shining down either with reaching hands on the ends of these rays or with an Ankh on the end of each. This was the greatest upset in the History of ancient Egypt as the priesthoods had much power, and the existence of the old gods could not be wiped out without destroying major cities and all the monuments to said gods. So Akhenaten made a big decision. He decided to rebuild Egypt with a place called Amarna as its capital. Armana, or as it is called today el-Armana, was a city in the centre of a huge almost circular valley with one small gap which was often used for trade and other transport, but as it was in the west and there was a similar dip in the east it appeared the sun rose and fell through this city alone, which satisfied the new religion as it was based only around a sun god. Again, I would personally have to annihilate him as a choice for Greatest Pharaoh, as like the leader of any country today, it was his job to do the best for his people, and he did what was right for him. He was still a genius for being able to re-write Religion and move an entire capital in his quite short reign, but he was not a man of the people, and therefore not the Greatest.

A wall carving found at Armana. In the top left you can see the sun disc representing the Aten and in the right is Akenaten in Sphix-form.
A wall carving found at Armana. In the top left you can see the sun disc representing the Aten and in the right is Akenaten in Sphix-form.
Djoser's step Pyramid at Saqqarra
Djoser's step Pyramid at Saqqarra

Step right up

Djoser. He is not too well known unlike the previous two, but you should all know of the Step Pyramid. Well, that’s where Djoser was buried. Djoser took the simple mastaba tomb of the old kings, and transformed it into this monumental building that we all know today as the Step Pyramid at Saqqara. Djoser originally had a normal tomb, but then we believe he kept living on, past the predicted age of he and most pharaohs at the time. This in itself was a miracle and sets the trend here for Djoser. Something that still baffles Egyptologists today, how did he build so high? There are many theories but none are set in stone, not only how did he do it, but how did he think of this, how did he plan the intricate tunnels beneath the pyramid and all back in a time in Egypt where there was no texts written on the walls and hardly any written on papyrus. This man was a technological genius. He started a new era of Egypt that still stands today, one of the wonders of the world stemmed from his brilliant design. And al of this with little writing which not only would have made giving out instructions extremely difficult, but also it gives us no idea as to how he created this masterpiece. Yet again, however, we must consider Djoser as a Pharaoh overall. Despite being a technological genius launching Egypt into a new era, he brought neither wealth, prosperity nor safety through conquering rivals therefore we must search on.

One of Ramesses the Great's monumental constructions at Abu Simbel.
One of Ramesses the Great's monumental constructions at Abu Simbel.

The Builder

Another recently well known Pharaoh from the New Kingdom in ancient Egypt was Pharaoh Ramesses II, and if you have never heard of a Ramesses II you may know him simply as Ramesses the Great. He deserves this title. Rather than leaving riches in his own tomb like Tutankhamun, or being a radical Heretic like Akenaten or a technological genius like Djoser, Ramesses II did bring Egypt and its people happiness. Going through the main things a pharaoh should do we can see how "Great" he really was. Firstly safety, the only way to ensure safety from invasion in this time was to be the invader yourself, and Ramesses II went off and made hundreds of campaign many of which we think he was on the battlefield for himself. The next stage would be to make sure the gods are satisfied and Maat (balance or justice in the form of a goddess) is kept. We know he at least made it appear as if he did this very very well as there are many tomb paintings and other recordings of him offering to the gods, not only that but he built on many temples including Karnak where he constructed a monumental Pylon and filled the Hypostyle hall with 134 colossal columns. This leads on to the final box he ticks, wealth and prosperity for Egypt. He was known as Ramesses the Great, or the Builder, as he constructed thousands of monuments to gods, his own burial chamber and mortuary temple along with mass civilian building schemes. He lived and created the peak of Ancient Egypt's wealth and strength and is therefore a very strong candidate.

This is a common sight in tombs. Pharaohs wanted to show they were balanced, like Maat. So they depicted themselves (centre) with Seth (left) and Horus (right)
This is a common sight in tombs. Pharaohs wanted to show they were balanced, like Maat. So they depicted themselves (centre) with Seth (left) and Horus (right)

The Myth of a Pharaoh

The final thing to consider is the first pharaohs. The ones in Egyptian myth. Osiris, Seth and Horus. The background of the story is Osiris and Seth were brothers, Osiris being the Pharaoh. Seth was jealous and tricked Osiris into his trap where he cut his bother into pieces and scattered him about the land, Osiris' wife who is Horus' mother gathered her husband back together and with her healing powers gave him life, but as a god, god of the underworld. Seth took control, but Horus knew what had happened and an epic battle was fought between the two in which Horus loses an eye but eventually wins the fight. Horus becomes Pharaoh and when he dies becomes god of the Pharaoh himself and is always shown as an eye, the one he lost, usually about the pharaoh. This is a myth, so whether or not you believe it is up to the individual. But if it was real, then it could very well be possible that these gods, the early pharaohs, were the greatest, as they set the religion for this nation which is eventually what drives them to become such a great nation.

So who really was the Greatest Pharaoh?

Looking back we can dismiss the first 3 on the terms that together they would make the greatest pharaoh, and they each have traits of a great pharaoh, but none of them are the greatest. Like I have just mentioned the gods too can be disputed as it is al based around myth and legend so is up to the individual to believe or not. Personally, I would have to take Ramesses the Great as the greatest pharaoh oh all time as he brought safety, wealth, and Maat to the Egyptians and therefore completed every one of his duties to the very end even if he did usurp a lot of his claimed buildings.

Viewer's Choice

Who do you think was the Greatest Pharaoh??

  • Tutankhamun
  • Akhenaten / Amunhotep IV
  • Djoser
  • Ramesses II
  • Osiris
  • Horus
  • Other (Please comment who though)
See results without voting

More by this Author


31 comments

Divok profile image

Divok 5 years ago Author

Haha :) its good to see 60% of people agree that Ramesses II is the greatest Pharaoh of them all :) I will be hoping to write an article soley on Ramesses II later this month after my exams as it appears people like him more :D

Thanks to all for the feedback :)


Andrew (smartest) 5 years ago

No it is Tutankamun or Khufu!


Divok profile image

Divok 5 years ago Author

Well, Khufu was probably the pharaoh who had the greatest amount of power. But he wasn't the guy that made Egypt the most prosperous.

Also, Tutankhamun didn't really do too much, its just because no one robbed his grave that we all know about him. Most pharaohs didn't want to admit he existed. For example, Seti I had a 'Kinglist' inscribed in his cenotaph temple, but certain names were missing such as Hatshepsut, Akhenaten, and also Tutankhamun. This was an attempt to remove these certain pharaohs from history, so he cannot have been that great :P

Thanks for getting involved with a comment though :D


Karl C Nelson 5 years ago

Traditionally, Ramses iI, "The Great" has been Ancient Egypt's greatest Pharaoh. It was Ramses, alone among Egyptian kings, who deserved the title "The Great." While the kings (and queen) of the 18th Dynasty, Hapsetsut, Thutmoses III, Amenhotep III, and even Akhenaten, Egyptian civilization reached similar heights. The 18th Dynasty ended with the abrievated reign of King "Tut" and it fell to the pharoahs of the 19th Dynasty, of which Ramses II was first among them.


Divok profile image

Divok 5 years ago Author

That is very true Karl, which is why in this hub I speak of some of those 18th Dynasty. However it didn't fall straight to Ramesses II. Ramesses I was the first pharaoh of the 19th Dynasty and he wasn't a great leader, didn't bring any particular prosperity to Egypt, but it was his son, Seti I and his grandson, Ramesses II, who made The later half of the New Kingdom period the great prosperous time it was.


lili 5 years ago

idk who cares about pharaohs anyway?


Rob P 4 years ago

Narmer was the greatest. His wars of conquest CREATED Egypt from bands of competing nomes. Vision, foresight, military prowess and SUCCESS (unlike Rameses, whose greatest 'victory' was a PR campaign). Rameses is WAY overrated - keep in mind he inherited a prosperous Egypt - Narmer had to build one.


Me 4 years ago

Senusret III was the greatest of all.


Liza 4 years ago

I think the best pharoh, at least one of them, should be Hatshepsut.


abcdefg 4 years ago

I also believe it was Ramesses II but I would include Menes. He did make Egypt one in the first place and brought peace and prosperity. He is definitly #2


hello 4 years ago

What did Ramses II really actually do to keep Egypt prosperous and stuff?


4 years ago

go ramses 2!


Mac 4 years ago

Kamose & Ahmose I- Largely due to their sucessful re-conquest of Egypt and subsequest building of an imperial empire, the genious of these men matches those of Alexander the Great and the Roman empire. From their time forward they create a template for the coming pharaohs to follow insuring a dynamic nation. From Hatchepsut to Thutmose III to Ramses II, all will owe a great debt to the New Kingdom's architects leaving us 3,000 years of treasures.


jesus martinez 4 years ago

GO RAM$E$ II


METALOZON 3 years ago

Stop mentioning Tutankhamun when talking about pharaohs. That kid was a nobody compared to the other pharaohs. It's so annoying when you search for cool and important pharaohs and queens and you always see something about that little kid Tut, who got famous only cause he had a rich tomb.

The article title is : Who was the Greatest Pharaoh ever to have lived? So the moment I saw the word Tutankhamun my first thought was " oh crap... why, why.... give me one reason that little brat is even mentioned aside from his treasure..."


ThQ 3 years ago

I am sorry to say that, bu the view that Ramses II was the greatest pharaoh of Egypt only reflects the large ignorance of ancient egyptian history outside of egyptology. Ramses II was not the greatest builder of his era: in fact he stole a number of monuments, statues and temples from his most powerful predecessor: Amenhotep III. Amenhotep III lived at the peak of Egypt power and wealth, when its frontiers extended well beyond that of Ramses II's time on the throne. Amenhotep III military was unrivaled at his time, when Ramses II really did not win the war against the hittites, barely escaping a crushing defeat at Qadesh. Amenhotep III's wealth was so extreme he usually send massive gold statues to his vassal kings as gifts. As another example, when Amenhotep III went to a hunt, he would issue thousands of stone scarabs relating how many lions he killed. Amenhotep III is responsible for the largest statues of pharaohs ever carved (except the great sphinx): the Memnon colosses. Some of the most well known statues of Ramses II have been recognized as recarved with his name over that of Amenhotep III. Amenhotep III is not as well known as Ramses II for several reasons, two of the most important being: 1) Ramses II is commonly seen as the pharaoh of the exodus, which made him reknown in jewish and christian cultures; 2) Amenhotep III's fame is overshadowed by his son Akhenaten well known for other reasons.

Objectively, Ramses II was certainly a great pharaoh and a mighty resurgence of Egyptian power at a time where Egypt's slow decline had started. But Amenhotep III lived at the very apex of Egypt's power. He is the greatest pharaoh of the New Kingdom in term of wealth and building achievement (by far in terms of number of monuments and volume).


sean 3 years ago

Amenhotep III


but 3 years ago

ollection of burial goods, which initially suggested he was something special. After much consideration however, and after looking at the goods we see from other tombs, there appears to be a more logical reason for King Tut's horde of grave goods. Tutankhamun died at a very young age, we don't believe he had a next of kin; it’s a mystery how he even came to meet his death. For these reasons it is now believed by many and I must say myself included, that there are so many grave goods compared to other tombs because his wasn't worth raiding. In this time of Ancient Egypt there was an ongoing problem of grave robbers, but they only went after the huge targets which has led us to believe that most other Pharaohs would have had a much more impressive collection of goods and for this reason I personally discount Tutankhamun as an option for greatest Pharaoh, however, he is still extremely valuable to the Archaeological world as he has provided us with evidence for so many things that were once theories.

Heretic or Insightful?

After considering Tutankhamun the next obvious choice would be his father, Amenhotep IV or as he is better known, the Heretic King Akhenaten. Within a few years Akhenaten had changed his name, the type of religion and capital of the country. He did all of this with the creation of man-kinds first documented example of Mono-theism, the belief in one god. Akhenaten, within a short time of being made Pharaoh, abolished all of the old gods such as Sobek, Isis, Hathor, and Anubis, even Osiris, Horus and Amun had gone too. He replaced them all with the Sun Disc god called "The Aten". The Aten was depicted as a sun disc, with its rays shining down either with reaching hands on the ends of these rays or with an Ankh on the end of each. This was the greatest upset in the History of ancient Egypt as the priesthoods had much power, and the existence of the old gods could not be wiped out without destroying major cities and all the monuments to said gods. So Akhenaten made a big decision. He decided to rebuild Egypt with a place called Amarna as its capital. Armana, or as it is called today el-Armana, was a city in the centre of a huge almost circular valley with one small gap which was often used for trade and other transport, but as it was in the west and there was a similar dip in the east it appeared the sun rose and fell through this city alone, which satisfied the new religion as it was based only around a sun god. Again, I would personally have to annihilate him as a choice for Greatest Pharaoh, as like the leader of any country today, it was his job to do the best for his people, and he did what was right for him. He was still a genius for being able to re-write Religion and move an entire capital in his quite short reign, but he was not a man of the people, and therefore not the Greatest.

A wall carving found at Armana. In the top left you can see the sun disc representing the Aten and in the right is Akenaten in Sphix-form.

Djoser's step Pyramid at Saqqarra

Step right up

Djoser. He is not too well known unlike the previous two, but you should all know of the Step Pyramid. Well, that’s where Djoser was buried. Djoser took the simple mastaba tomb of the old kings, and transformed it into this monumental building that we all know today as the Step Pyramid at Saqqara. Djoser originally had a normal tomb, but then we believe he kept living on, past the predicted age of he and most pharaohs at the time. This in itself was a miracle and sets the trend here for Djoser. Something that still baffles Egyptologists today, how did he build so high? There are many theories but none are set in stone, not only how did he do it, but how did he think of this, how did he plan the intricate tunnels beneath the pyramid and all back in a time in Egypt where there was no texts written on the walls and hardly any written on papyrus. This man was a technological genius. He started a new era of Egypt that still stands today, one of the wonders of the world stemmed from his brilliant design. And al of this with little writing which not only would have made giving out instructions extremely difficult, but also it gives us no idea as to how he created this masterpiece. Yet again, however, we must consider Djoser as a Pharaoh overall. Despite being a technological genius launching Egypt into a new era, he brought neither wealth, prosperity nor safety through conquering rivals therefore we must search on.

One of Ramesses the Great's monumental constructions at Abu Simbel.

The Builder

Another recently well known Pharaoh from the New Kingdom in ancient Egypt was Pharaoh Ramesses II, and if you have never heard of a Ramesses II you may know him simply as Ramesses the Great. He deserves this title. Rather than leaving riches in his own tomb like Tutankhamun, or being a radical Heretic like Akenaten or a technological genius like Djoser, Ramesses II did bring Egypt and its people happiness. Going through the main things a pharaoh should do we can see how "Great" he really was. Firstly safety, the only way to ensure safety from invasion in this time was to be the invader yourself, and Ramesses II went off and made hundreds of campaign many of which we think he was on the battlefield for himself. The next stage would be to make sure the gods are satisfied and Maat (balance or justice in the form of a goddess) is kept. We know he at least made it appear as if he did this very very well as there are many tomb paintings and other recordings of him offering to the gods, not only that but he built on many temples including Karnak where he constructed a monumental Pylon and filled the Hypostyle hall with 134 colossal columns. This leads on to the final box he ticks, wealth and prosperity for Egypt. He was known as Ramesses the Great, or the Builder, as he constructed thousands of monuments to gods, his own burial chamber and mortuary temple along with mass civilian building schemes. He lived and created the peak of Ancient Egypt's wealth and strength and is therefore a very strong candidate.

This is a common sight in tombs. Pharaohs wanted to show they were balanced, like Maat. So they depicted themselves (centre) with Seth (left) and Horus (right)

The Myth of a Pharaoh

The final thing to consider is the first pharaohs. The ones in Egyptian myth. Osiris, Seth and Horus. The background of the story is Osiris and Seth were brothers, Osiris being the Pharaoh. Seth was jealous and tricked Osiris into his trap where he cut his bother into pieces and scattered him about the land, Osiris' wife who is Horus' mother gathered her husband back together and with her healing powers gave him life, but as a god, god of the underworld. Seth took control, but Horus knew what had happened and an epic battle was fought between the two in which Horus loses an eye but eventually wins the fight. Horus becomes Pharaoh and when he dies becomes god of the Pharaoh himself and is always shown as an eye, the one he lost, usually about the pharaoh. This is a myth, so whether or not you believe it is up to the individual. But if it was real, then it could very well be possible that these gods, the early pharaohs, were the greatest, as they set the religion for this nation which is eventually what drives them to become such a great nation.

So who really was the Greatest Pharaoh?

Looking back we can dismiss the first 3 on the terms that together they would make the greatest pharaoh, and they each have traits of a great pharaoh, but none of them are the greatest. Like I have just mentioned the gods too can be disputed as it is al based around myth and legend so is up to the individual to believe or not. Personally, I would have to take Ramesses the Great as the greatest pharaoh oh all time as he brought safety, wealth, and Maat to the Egyptians and therefore completed every one of his duties to the very end even if he did usurp a lot of his claimed buildings.

Viewer's Choice

Who do you think was the Greatest Pharaoh??

Tutankhamun

Akhenaten / Amunhotep IV

Djoser

Ramesses II

Osiris

Horus

Other (Please comment who though)

See res


A Guy 2 years ago

Hatshepsut


wrong 2 years ago

wrong


wrong 2 years ago

wrong


man 2 years ago

Who was the Pharaoh?

In this article I will be trying to figure out who the greatest Pharaoh throughout Ancient Egypt was. This will include looking at the likes of Akhenaten, Ramesses the Great, Tutankhamun and many others. Firstly let me tell you who the pharaoh was. The Pharaoh was effectively the King in ancient Egypt, but not only that; he was a Dictator unlike modern British Monarchy. He was believed to be god-like and that he would take his place alongside the gods as one of them in the afterlife. Throughout the years of Ancient Egypt there were a lot of these Pharaohs, but I have picked the most prominent ones.

Tutankhamun's famous golden burial mask. One of the most well known Artefacts in the world.

The Boy King and his golden mask

The first one to look at would be Tutankhamun, seeing as it is he is the Pharaoh we arguably know the most about. Tutankhamun lived in the later new Kingdom, a time of chaos and a falling nation, however, King Tut is still reknown all over the world. Is this because he was the greatest pharaoh of all time? Some would argue so. He has had the most impressive collection of burial goods, which initially suggested he was something special. After much consideration however, and after looking at the goods we see from other tombs, there appears to be a more logical reason for King Tut's horde of grave goods. Tutankhamun died at a very young age, we don't believe he had a next of kin; it’s a mystery how he even came to meet his death. For these reasons it is now believed by many and I must say myself included, that there are so many grave goods compared to other tombs because his wasn't worth raiding. In this time of Ancient Egypt there was an ongoing problem of grave robbers, but they only went after the huge targets which has led us to believe that most other Pharaohs would have had a much more impressive collection of goods and for this reason I personally discount Tutankhamun as an option for greatest Pharaoh, however, he is still extremely valuable to the Archaeological world as he has provided us with evidence for so many things that were once theories.

Heretic or Insightful?

After considering Tutankhamun the next obvious choice would be his father, Amenhotep IV or as he is better known, the Heretic King Akhenaten. Within a few years Akhenaten had changed his name, the type of religion and capital of the country. He did all of this with the creation of man-kinds first documented example of Mono-theism, the belief in one god. Akhenaten, within a short time of being made Pharaoh, abolished all of the old gods such as Sobek, Isis, Hathor, and Anubis, even Osiris, Horus and Amun had gone too. He replaced them all with the Sun Disc god called "The Aten". The Aten was depicted as a sun disc, with its rays shining down either with reaching hands on the ends of these rays or with an Ankh on the end of each. This was the greatest upset in the History of ancient Egypt as the priesthoods had much power, and the existence of the old gods could not be wiped out without destroying major cities and all the monuments to said gods. So Akhenaten made a big decision. He decided to rebuild Egypt with a place called Amarna as its capital. Armana, or as it is called today el-Armana, was a city in the centre of a huge almost circular valley with one small gap which was often used for trade and other transport, but as it was in the west and there was a similar dip in the east it appeared the sun rose and fell through this city alone, which satisfied the new religion as it was based only around a sun god. Again, I would personally have to annihilate him as a choice for Greatest Pharaoh, as like the leader of any country today, it was his job to do the best for his people, and he did what was right for him. He was still a genius for being able to re-write Religion and move an entire capital in his quite short reign, but he was not a man of the people, and therefore not the Greatest.

A wall carving found at Armana. In the top left you can see the sun disc representing the Aten and in the right is Akenaten in Sphix-form.

Djoser's step Pyramid at Saqqarra

Step right up

Djoser. He is not too well known unlike the previous two, but you should all know of the Step Pyramid. Well, that’s where Djoser was buried. Djoser took the simple mastaba tomb of the old kings, and transformed it into this monumental building that we all know today as the Step Pyramid at Saqqara. Djoser originally had a normal tomb, but then we believe he kept living on, past the predicted age of he and most pharaohs at the time. This in itself was a miracle and sets the trend here for Djoser. Something that still baffles Egyptologists today, how did he build so high? There are many theories but none are set in stone, not only how did he do it, but how did he think of this, how did he plan the intricate tunnels beneath the pyramid and all back in a time in Egypt where there was no texts written on the walls and hardly any written on papyrus. This man was a technological genius. He started a new era of Egypt that still stands today, one of the wonders of the world stemmed from his brilliant design. And al of this with little writing which not only would have made giving out instructions extremely difficult, but also it gives us no idea as to how he created this masterpiece. Yet again, however, we must consider Djoser as a Pharaoh overall. Despite being a technological genius launching Egypt into a new era, he brought neither wealth, prosperity nor safety through conquering rivals therefore we must search on.

One of Ramesses the Great's monumental constructions at Abu Simbel.

The Builder

Another recently well known Pharaoh from the New Kingdom in ancient Egypt was Pharaoh Ramesses II, and if you have never heard of a Ramesses II you may know him simply as Ramesses the Great. He deserves this title. Rather than leaving riches in his own tomb like Tutankhamun, or being a radical Heretic like Akenaten or a technological genius like Djoser, Ramesses II did bring Egypt and its people happiness. Going through the main things a pharaoh should do we can see how "Great" he really was. Firstly safety, the only way to ensure safety from invasion in this time was to be the invader yourself, and Ramesses II went off and made hundreds of campaign many of which we think he was on the battlefield for himself. The next stage would be to make sure the gods are satisfied and Maat (balance or justice in the form of a goddess) is kept. We know he at least made it appear as if he did this very very well as there are many tomb paintings and other recordings of him offering to the gods, not only that but he built on many temples including Karnak where he constructed a monumental Pylon and filled the Hypostyle hall with 134 colossal columns. This leads on to the final box he ticks, wealth and prosperity for Egypt. He was known as Ramesses the Great, or the Builder, as he constructed thousands of monuments to gods, his own burial chamber and mortuary temple along with mass civilian building schemes. He lived and created the peak of Ancient Egypt's wealth and strength and is therefore a very strong candidate.

This is a common sight in tombs. Pharaohs wanted to show they were balanced, like Maat. So they depicted themselves (centre) with Seth (left) and Horus (right)

The Myth of a Pharaoh

The final thing to consider is the first pharaohs. The ones in Egyptian myth. Osiris, Seth and Horus. The background of the story is Osiris and Seth were brothers, Osiris being the Pharaoh. Seth was jealous and tricked Osiris into his trap where he cut his bother into pieces and scattered him about the land, Osiris' wife who is Horus' mother gathered her husband back together and with her healing powers gave him life, but as a god, god of the underworld. Seth took control, but Horus knew what had happened and an epic battle was fought between the two in which Horus loses an eye but eventually wins the fight. Horus becomes Pharaoh and when he dies becomes god of the Pharaoh himself and is always shown as an eye, the one he lost, usually


Sir David 2 years ago

Who was the Pharaoh?

In this article I will be trying to figure out who the greatest Pharaoh throughout Ancient Egypt was. This will include looking at the likes of Akhenaten, Ramesses the Great, Tutankhamun and many others. Firstly let me tell you who the pharaoh was. The Pharaoh was effectively the King in ancient Egypt, but not only that; he was a Dictator unlike modern British Monarchy. He was believed to be god-like and that he would take his place alongside the gods as one of them in the afterlife. Throughout the years of Ancient Egypt there were a lot of these Pharaohs, but I have picked the most prominent ones.

Tutankhamun's famous golden burial mask. One of the most well known Artefacts in the world.

The Boy King and his golden mask

The first one to look at would be Tutankhamun, seeing as it is he is the Pharaoh we arguably know the most about. Tutankhamun lived in the later new Kingdom, a time of chaos and a falling nation, however, King Tut is still reknown all over the world. Is this because he was the greatest pharaoh of all time? Some would argue so. He has had the most impressive collection of burial goods, which initially suggested he was something special. After much consideration however, and after looking at the goods we see from other tombs, there appears to be a more logical reason for King Tut's horde of grave goods. Tutankhamun died at a very young age, we don't believe he had a next of kin; it’s a mystery how he even came to meet his death. For these reasons it is now believed by many and I must say myself included, that there are so many grave goods compared to other tombs because his wasn't worth raiding. In this time of Ancient Egypt there was an ongoing problem of grave robbers, but they only went after the huge targets which has led us to believe that most other Pharaohs would have had a much more impressive collection of goods and for this reason I personally discount Tutankhamun as an option for greatest Pharaoh, however, he is still extremely valuable to the Archaeological world as he has provided us with evidence for so many things that were once theories.

Heretic or Insightful?

After considering Tutankhamun the next obvious choice would be his father, Amenhotep IV or as he is better known, the Heretic King Akhenaten. Within a few years Akhenaten had changed his name, the type of religion and capital of the country. He did all of this with the creation of man-kinds first documented example of Mono-theism, the belief in one god. Akhenaten, within a short time of being made Pharaoh, abolished all of the old gods such as Sobek, Isis, Hathor, and Anubis, even Osiris, Horus and Amun had gone too. He replaced them all with the Sun Disc god called "The Aten". The Aten was depicted as a sun disc, with its rays shining down either with reaching hands on the ends of these rays or with an Ankh on the end of each. This was the greatest upset in the History of ancient Egypt as the priesthoods had much power, and the existence of the old gods could not be wiped out without destroying major cities and all the monuments to said gods. So Akhenaten made a big decision. He decided to rebuild Egypt with a place called Amarna as its capital. Armana, or as it is called today el-Armana, was a city in the centre of a huge almost circular valley with one small gap which was often used for trade and other transport, but as it was in the west and there was a similar dip in the east it appeared the sun rose and fell through this city alone, which satisfied the new religion as it was based only around a sun god. Again, I would personally have to annihilate him as a choice for Greatest Pharaoh, as like the leader of any country today, it was his job to do the best for his people, and he did what was right for him. He was still a genius for being able to re-write Religion and move an entire capital in his quite short reign, but he was not a man of the people, and therefore not the Greatest.

A wall carving found at Armana. In the top left you can see the sun disc representing the Aten and in the right is Akenaten in Sphix-form.

Djoser's step Pyramid at Saqqarra

Step right up

Djoser. He is not too well known unlike the previous two, but you should all know of the Step Pyramid. Well, that’s where Djoser was buried. Djoser took the simple mastaba tomb of the old kings, and transformed it into this monumental building that we all know today as the Step Pyramid at Saqqara. Djoser originally had a normal tomb, but then we believe he kept living on, past the predicted age of he and most pharaohs at the time. This in itself was a miracle and sets the trend here for Djoser. Something that still baffles Egyptologists today, how did he build so high? There are many theories but none are set in stone, not only how did he do it, but how did he think of this, how did he plan the intricate tunnels beneath the pyramid and all back in a time in Egypt where there was no texts written on the walls and hardly any written on papyrus. This man was a technological genius. He started a new era of Egypt that still stands today, one of the wonders of the world stemmed from his brilliant design. And al of this with little writing which not only would have made giving out instructions extremely difficult, but also it gives us no idea as to how he created this masterpiece. Yet again, however, we must consider Djoser as a Pharaoh overall. Despite being a technological genius launching Egypt into a new era, he brought neither wealth, prosperity nor safety through conquering rivals therefore we must search on.

One of Ramesses the Great's monumental constructions at Abu Simbel.

The Builder

Another recently well known Pharaoh from the New Kingdom in ancient Egypt was Pharaoh Ramesses II, and if you have never heard of a Ramesses II you may know him simply as Ramesses the Great. He deserves this title. Rather than leaving riches in his own tomb like Tutankhamun, or being a radical Heretic like Akenaten or a technological genius like Djoser, Ramesses II did bring Egypt and its people happiness. Going through the main things a pharaoh should do we can see how "Great" he really was. Firstly safety, the only way to ensure safety from invasion in this time was to be the invader yourself, and Ramesses II went off and made hundreds of campaign many of which we think he was on the battlefield for himself. The next stage would be to make sure the gods are satisfied and Maat (balance or justice in the form of a goddess) is kept. We know he at least made it appear as if he did this very very well as there are many tomb paintings and other recordings of him offering to the gods, not only that but he built on many temples including Karnak where he constructed a monumental Pylon and filled the Hypostyle hall with 134 colossal columns. This leads on to the final box he ticks, wealth and prosperity for Egypt. He was known as Ramesses the Great, or the Builder, as he constructed thousands of monuments to gods, his own burial chamber and mortuary temple along with mass civilian building schemes. He lived and created the peak of Ancient Egypt's wealth and strength and is therefore a very strong candidate.

This is a common sight in tombs. Pharaohs wanted to show they were balanced, like Maat. So they depicted themselves (centre) with Seth (left) and Horus (right)

The Myth of a Pharaoh

The final thing to consider is the first pharaohs. The ones in Egyptian myth. Osiris, Seth and Horus. The background of the story is Osiris and Seth were brothers, Osiris being the Pharaoh. Seth was jealous and tricked Osiris into his trap where he cut his bother into pieces and scattered him about the land, Osiris' wife who is Horus' mother gathered her husband back together and with her healing powers gave him life, but as a god, god of the underworld. Seth took control, but Horus knew what had happened and an epic battle was fought between the two in which Horus loses an eye but eventually wins the fight. Horus becomes Pharaoh and when he dies becomes god of the Pharaoh himself and is always shown as an eye, the one he lost, usually


Tom 2 years ago

17 tho


Tom 2 years ago

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

17


JonDIDit profile image

JonDIDit 2 years ago

I voted other ...Thutmose I -18th Dyn and Sesostris I/Cheops 12th Dyn

Thutmose reconquered Nubia and it held for the next 500 years and expanded his Navy; his dream Stela that is in the British Museum speaks of ONE GOD BEFORE Ahkenaten and he was a gardener bringing back plants from his many expeditions

Sesostris left a troop of soldiers and settlers in Colchis and their descendants are still there today.

Ramesses was virile for many years, his architect Iceni (sp) built many grand things and he told the people what they wanted to hear which makes him a good politician but he was plagued by the chaos of many invasions and strikes, civil unrest and economics down turns which never stopped him from aggrandizing himself even when the Battle of Kadesh was really a draw he couldn't admit that but the Hittites admitted the draw in their writings recently deciphered


Justin 19 months ago

The best pharaoh that lived was the one who saved us all, his name is King Atem


simon 19 months ago

I like cheese


Kyle 19 months ago

Taharqa !


Merrick 14 months ago

Top 4 Greatest Pharaohs (in no particular order):

Amenhotep III

Rameses II

Hatshepsut

Thutmose III


awesome sauce 13 months ago

I vote Cleopatra, the last pharaoh

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working