The semi-mythical aspect of Manetho’s king list

The semi-mythical aspect of Manetho’s king lists generally refers to the earliest periods of Egyptian history, particularly the First Dynasty and some parts of the Pre-Dynastic period, often referred to as the “Mythical Period” or the “Time of the Gods” and “Demigods.”

DynastyReign Start (BCE)Reign End (BCE)Total Span (Years)Number of KingsSpan per King (Years)
Ptah (Hephaestus)900019000.00
Ra (Helios)100011000.00
Geb (Kronos)5001500.00
Set (Typhon)3501350.00
Demigods and Spirits
Thoth (Hermes Trismegistus)322613226.00
Horus (son of Osiris/Isis)148811488.00
Pre-dynastic Rulers5000310019002576.00
1st Dynasty31002890210826.25
2nd Dynasty28902686204922.67
3rd Dynasty2686261373514.60
4th Dynasty26132498115814.38
5th Dynasty24982345153917.00
6th Dynasty23452181164627.33
7th Dynasty218121602154.20
8th Dynasty216021303056.00
9th Dynasty21302025105426.25
10th Dynasty21301991139623.17
11th Dynasty21341991143720.43
12th Dynasty19911803188823.50
13th Dynasty18031649154819.25
14th Dynasty170516901553.00
15th Dynasty16501550100616.67
16th Dynasty1650158070417.50
17th Dynasty158015503047.50
18th Dynasty155012922581418.43
19th Dynasty12921189103812.88
20th Dynasty118910771121011.20
21st Dynasty1077943134719.14
22nd Dynasty943720223924.78
23rd Dynasty837728109427.25
24th Dynasty7327201226.00
25th Dynasty74465688517.60
26th Dynasty664525139623.17
27th Dynasty525404121815.13
28th Dynasty404398616.00
29th Dynasty3983801844.50
30th Dynasty38034337312.33
31st Dynasty3433321133.67
The total sum of years reigned for all the dynasties, including the mythical and pre-dynastic rulers, is 25,922 years. This includes the long reigns attributed to the gods and demigods in Egyptian mythology.

Pre-Dynastic and Mythical Kings

Before the establishment of the First Dynasty, there are mentions of legendary rulers and gods who supposedly reigned over Egypt. These figures often blend myth and history, making it difficult to distinguish historical facts.

Pre-Dynastic Rulers According to Manetho

  1. Gods and Demigods (Mythical Era)
    • Ptah (Hephaestus): Considered one of the creator gods, Ptah was worshipped as the god of craftsmen and architects. He was said to have reigned for 9,000 years.
    • Ra (Helios): The sun god, Ra, was believed to have ruled for 1,000 years. He was a central figure in Egyptian mythology, often depicted with a falcon head and a sun disk.
    • Shu: The god of air, Shu, was said to have reigned for 700 years.
    • Geb (Kronos): The earth god, Geb, ruled for 500 years. He was often depicted as lying beneath the sky goddess Nut.
    • Osiris: The god of the afterlife, Osiris, reigned for 450 years. He is one of the most significant deities in Egyptian mythology.
    • Set (Typhon): The god of chaos, Set, ruled for 350 years. He was often depicted as a figure of disorder and conflict.
    • Horus: The sky god, Horus, reigned for 300 years. He is usually depicted as a falcon or a man with a falcon’s head.
  2. Demigods and Spirits of the Dead (Transitional Era)
    • Thoth (Hermes Trismegistus): The god of wisdom and writing, Thoth, was believed to have reigned for 3,226 years.
    • Ma’at: The goddess of truth and justice, Ma’at, was said to have ruled for 2,150 years.
    • Anubis: The god of mummification and the afterlife, Anubis, reigned for 1,573 years.
    • Horus (son of Osiris and Isis): This Horus, distinct from the earlier sky god, ruled for 1,488 years.

Human Kings (Early Dynastic Era)

  • Menes (or Narmer): Often considered the first pharaoh of a unified Egypt, Menes is credited with founding the First Dynasty around 3100 BCE. His reign marked the beginning of recorded Egyptian history.
  • Athothis (Djer): The successor of Menes, Athothis is believed to have ruled for 27 years. He continued to consolidate power and establish administrative structures.
  • Kenkenes (Den): Another early ruler who reigned for 31 years. He is known for his military campaigns and economic development.
  • Uenephes (Adjib): Ruled for 23 years, Uenephes is noted for his construction projects and further expansion of the kingdom.
  • Usaphaidos (Semerkhet): Reigned for 20 years, known for various administrative reforms.
  • Miebidos (Qa’a): Ruled for 26 years, concluding the First Dynasty with stability and continuity.
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