Amenemhat I in Wikipedia
Amenemhat I, also Amenemhet I, was the first ruler of the Twelfth Dynasty (the dynasty considered to be the
beginning of the Middle Kingdom of Egypt). He ruled from 1991 BC to 1962 BC. Amenemhat I was a vizier of his
predecessor Mentuhotep IV, overthrowing him from power, scholars vary if Mentuhotep IV was killed by Amenemhat
I, regarding the practise of the time it's considered likely. Amenemhet I was not of royal
lineage, and the composition of some literary works (the Prophecy of Neferti, the Instructions of Amenemhat)
and, in architecture, the reversion to the pyramid-style complexes of the 6th dynasty rulers are often considered
to have been attempts at legitimizing his rule. Amenemhat I moved the capital from Thebes to Itjtawy and was buried
His son Senusret I followed in his footsteps, building his pyramid–a closer reflection of the 6th dynasty pyramids
than that of Amenemhat I–at Lisht as well, but his grandson, Amenemhat II, broke with this tradition.
Two literary works dating from the end of the reign give a picture about Amenemhat I's death. The Instructions of
Amenemhat were supposedly counsels that the deceased king gave to his son during a dream. In the passage where he
warns Senusret I against too great intimacy with his subjects, he tells the story of his own death as a
" It was after supper, when night had fallen, and I had spent an hour of happiness. I was asleep upon my bed,
having become weary, and my heart had begun to follow sleep. When weapons of my counsel were wielded, I had become
like a snake of the necropolis. As I came to, I awoke to fighting, and found that it was an attack of the
bodyguard. If I had quickly taken weapons in my hand, I would have made the wretches retreat with a charge! But
there is none mighty in the night, none who can fight alone; no success will come without a helper. Look, my injury
happened while I was without you, when the entourage had not yet heard that I would hand over to you when I had not
yet sat with you, that I might make counsels for you; for I did not plan it, I did not foresee it, and my heart had
not taken thought of the negligence of servants. "
This passage refers to a conspiracy in which Amenemhat was killed by his own guards, when his son and co-regent
Senusret I was leading a campaign in Libya. Another account of the following events is given in the Story of
Sinuhe, a famous text of Egyptian literature:
" Year 30, third month of the Inundation season, day 7, the god mounted to his horizon, the King of Upper and
Lower Egypt Sehetepibre went aloft to heaven and became united with the sun's disk, the limb of the god being
merged in him who made him; whilst the Residence was hushed, hearts were in mourning, the Great Gates were closed,
the courtiers crouched head on leap, and the nobles grieved.
Now His Majesty had sent an army to the land of the Tjemeh (Libyans), his eldest son as the captain thereof, the
goodly god Senusret. He had been sent to smite the foreign countries, and to take prisoner the dwellers in the
Tjehnu-land, and now indeed he was returning and had carried off living prisoners of the Tjehnu and all kinds of
cattle limitless. And the Companions of the Palace sent to the western side to acquaint the king's son concerning
the position that had arisen in the Royal Apartments, and the messengers found him upon the road, they reached him
at time of night. Not a moment did he linger, the falcon flew off with his followers, not letting his army know.
But the king's children who accompanied him in this army had been sent for and one of them had been summoned.
Amenemhat I is considered to be the first king of Egypt to have had a coregency with his son, Senusret I. A double
dated stela is dated to the thirtieth year of Amenemhat I and to the tenth year of Senusret I, which establishes
that Senusret was made co-regent in Amenemhat's 20th regnal year.
Amenemhat I's name is associated with one of only two sebayt or ethical "teachings" attributed to Egyptian
monarchs, entitled the Instructions of Amenemhat, though it is generally thought today that it was composed by a
scribe at the behest of the king.
Amenemhat I's Horus name, Wehemmesu, which means renaissance or rebirth, is an allusion to the Old Kingdom period,
whose cultural icons and models (such as pyramidal tombs and Old Kingdom artistic motifs) where emulated by the
Twelfth Dynasty kings after the end of the First Intermediate Period. The cult of the king was also promoted during
this period, which witnessed a steady return to a more centralized government.
The royal court
The vizier at the beginning of the reign was Ipi, at the end of the reign Intefiqer was in charge. Two treasurers
can be placed under this king: another Ipi and Rehuerdjersen. Two high stewards, Meketre and Sobeknakht, have also
Naguib Mahfouz, the Nobel Prize-winning Egyptian writer, includes Amenemhat I in one of his stories published in
1941 entitled "Awdat Sinuhi". The story appeared in an English translation by Raymond Stock in 2003 as "The Return
of Sinuhe" in the collection of Mahfouz's short stories entitled Voices from the Other World. The story is based
directly on the "Story of Sinuhe", although adding details of a lovers' triangle romance involving Amenemhat I and
Sinuhe that does not appear in the original. Mahfouz also includes the pharaoh in his account of Egypt's rulers
"Facing the Throne". In this work, the Nobel laureate has the Ancient Egyptian gods judge the country's rulers
from Pharaoh Mena to President Anwar Sadat.