Stele of Anpuemhat attesting the funerary cult of Merikare.
|Pharaoh of Egypt|
|Successor||Mentuhotep II (11th dynasty)|
|Died||around 2040 BC|
Merikare (also Merykare and Merykara) was a pharaoh in the Ninth or Tenth Dynasty of Egypt, during the First Intermediate Period in about 2075 BC. His name is not mentioned in the Turin King List; also his dates are uncertain.
Merikare (praenomen "Beloved of the Soul of Re") was possibly the son of Akhtoy Nebkaure, who may have been his immediate predecessor as pharaoh, but the exact order of succession for these dynasties is uncertain. He may have been partly contemporaneous with the reigns of Intef I and Intef II in Thebes, but this is not confirmed.
The Teaching for King Merykara, ascribed to Kheti, was apparently addressed to him. In it, his father mentions having sacked Thinis, but advises him to deal more leniently with the troublesome Upper Egyptian realms.
Inscriptions in a tomb belonging to another Kheti who was a provincial governor of Asyut mention his supporting Merikare against the Theban rulers in the south.
He died in ca. 2040 BC. His pyramid at Saqqara has not yet been discovered, but the titles of the officials involved in its construction are documented, as his funerary cult endured into the 12th dynasty; in fact, Merikare's cartouche appears on the steles of two priests, Apa and Anpuemhat, who were responsible for his funerary cult during the Middle Kingdom.
"The Pharaonic institution is the perfect way to govern."
"He who rules over the Two Lands is a wise man.
As Master of the nobility, Pharaoh cannot be an ignorant man.
He was already wise at his mother's breast,
Since God has chosen him from millions of men."
"The companions of Pharaoh are the Gods."
"Pharaoh is he who increases wealth and knows how to give.
Pharaoh is the lord of joy.
He who rebels against him would pull down Heaven."
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- Miriam Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature, vol. 2. pp. 97-109. University of California Press 1980, ISBN 0-520-02899-6, p. 97
- James Edward Quibell, Excavations at Saqqara (1905-1906), Le Caire, Impr. de l'Institut français d'archéologie orientale (1907), p. 20 ff; pl. XIII, XV.
-  PER ANKH The House of Life website
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