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For other uses, see Menes (disambiguation).
Africanus Mns
Eusebius Mns
The cartouche of Menes on the Abydos King List
The cartouche of Menes on the Abydos King List
Successor Hor-Aha
Royal titulary [show]
Menes ('mi?ni?z; Egyptian mnj, probably pronounced ma'nij;[5] Ancient Greek ?????;
[4] Arabic ??????) was a pharaoh of the Early Dynastic Period of ancient Egypt
credited by classical tradition with having united Upper and Lower Egypt and as the
founder of the First Dynasty.[6]

The identity of Menes is the subject of ongoing debate, although mainstream

Egyptological consensus identifies Menes with the Naqada III ruler Narmer[1][2][3]
(most likely) or First Dynasty pharaoh Hor-Aha.[7] Both pharaohs are credited with
the unification of Egypt to different degrees by various authorities.

Contents [hide]
1 Name and identity
1.1 Narmer and Menes
2 Dates
3 History
3.1 Capital
3.2 Cultural influence
3.3 Crocodile episode
3.4 Death
4 In popular culture
5 See also
6 Notes
7 References
8 Bibliography
9 External links
Name and identity[edit]
N35 M17
in hieroglyphs
The Egyptian form, mnj, is taken from the Turin and Abydos King Lists, which are
dated to the Nineteenth Dynasty, whose pronunciation has been reconstructed as
ma'nij. By the early New Kingdom, changes in the Egyptian language meant his name
was already pronounced ma'ne?.[8] The name mnj means He who endures, which, I.E.S.
Edwards (1971) suggests, may have been coined as a mere descriptive epithet
denoting a semi-legendary hero [...] whose name had been lost.[4] Rather than a
particular person, the name may conceal collectively the Naqada III rulers Ka,
Scorpion II and Narmer.[4]

The commonly-used name Menes derives from Manetho, an Egyptian historian and priest
who lived during the pre-Coptic period of the Ptolemaic Kingdom. Manetho noted the
name in Greek as ????? (transliterated Mns).[4][9] An alternative Greek form, ???
(transliterated Min), was cited by the fifth-century-BC historian Herodotus,[10] is
a variant no longer accepted; it appears to have been the result of contamination
from the name of the god Min.[11]
Narmer and Menes[edit]
Main article Narmer

The ivory label mentioning Hor-Aha along with the mn sign.

The almost complete absence of any mention of Menes in the archaeological record[4]
and the comparative wealth of evidence of Narmer, a protodynastic figure credited
by posterity and in the archaeological record with a firm claim[2] to the
unification of Upper and Lower Egypt, has given rise to a theory identifying Menes
with Narmer.

The chief archaeological reference to Menes is an ivory label from Nagada which
shows the royal Horus-name Aha (the pharaoh Hor-Aha) next to a buildin