Pepi I Meryre in Wikipedia
Pepi I Meryre (reigned 2332 – 2283 BC) was the third king of the Sixth dynasty of Egypt. His first throne name was Neferdjahor
which the king later altered to Meryre meaning "beloved of Re."
Pepi was the son of Teti and Iput, who was a daughter of Unas, last pharaoh of the previous dynasty. He needed the support of
powerful individuals in Upper Egypt in order to put down his brother, the usurper Userkare who had murdered his father and for
Pepi to win back his rightful throne. These individuals would remain a strong presence in his court thereafter.
His two most important wives and the mothers of his two successors (Merenre Nemtyemsaf I and Pepi II) were Ankhesenpepi I and
Ankhesenpepi II. Other known wives include Meritites IV, Nubwenet and Inenek-Inti, who are buried in pyramids adjacent to that of
Pepi, Mehaa, who is named in the tomb of her son Hornetjerkhet, and a queen named Nedjeftet who is mentioned on relief fragments.
He also had a son called Teti-ankh and two daughters, Iput II and Neith, both became wives to Pepi II.
Pepi I's reign was marked by aggressive expansion into Nubia, the spread of trade to far-flung areas such as Lebanon and the
Somalian coast, but also the growing power of the nobility. One of the king's officials named Weni fought in Asia on his behalf.
Pepi's mortuary complex, Mennefer Pepy, eventually became the name for the entire city of Memphis after the 18th Dynasty..
The decline of the Old Kingdom arguably began during Pepi I’s reign, with nomarchs (regional representatives of the king)
becoming more powerful and exerting greater influence. Pepi I married two sisters – Ankhesenpepi I and II – who were the daughters
of a nomarch and Upper Egyptian vizier, Nebet, and later made their brother, Djau, a vizier. The two sisters' influence was
extensive, with both sisters bearing sons who were later to become pharaohs.
An analysis of the damaged Dynasty 6 South Saqqara Stone Annal document gives him a reign of c. 48–49 years but this is not
confirmed by the Turin King List which apparently assigns him 44 years, according to the Danish Egyptologist Kim Ryholt's
analysis of this document. The latter figure may be closer to the truth since it would imply that Pepi I's cattle count dating
system was not always biennial. That this is the case is suggested by a famous Year after the 18th Count, 3rd Month of Shemu day
27 inscription from Wadi Hammamat No. 74-75 which mentions the "first occurrence of the Heb Sed" in that year for Pepi. (This
would be Year 36 if the Biannial dating system was used.) This information is significant because the Heb Sed Feast was always
celebrated in a king's Year 30. If Pepi I was following a biennial counting system, the inscription should have been dated to the
Year after the 15th Count instead. This implies that the cattle count during the 6th dynasty was not regularly biannual.
Pepi I's highest dated document is the Year of the 25th Count, 1st Month of Akhet day [lost] from Hatnub Inscription No.3. The
South Saqqara Stone also confirms that Pepi I's last year was his Year of the 25th Count.
Two copper statues of Pepi I and his son Merenre were found at Hierakonpolis; they are thought to depict the two royals
symbolically "trampling underfoot the Nine bows," a stylized representation of Egypt's conquered foreign subjects. These rare
statues were found in one of the underground stores of the temple of Nekhen "together with a statue of king Khasekhemui (Second
Dynasty) and a terracota lion cub made during the Thinite era." The statues had been disassembled and placed inside one another
and sealed with a thin layer of engraved copper bearing the titles and names of Pepi I "on the first day of the Jubilee" or Heb
Sed feast. While the identity of the larger adult figure as Pepi I is revealed by the inscription, the identity of the smaller
and younger statue remains unresolved. The most common hypothesis among Egyptologists is that the athletic young man in the
smaller statue was Merenre
"who was publicly associated as his father's successor on the occasion of the Jubilee. The placement of his copper effigy inside
that of his father would therefore reflect the continuity of the royal succession and the passage of the royal sceptre from father
to son before the death of the pharaoh could cause a dynastic split."
More recently, however, it has been suggested that the smaller statue is in fact that "of a more youthful Pepy I, reinvigorated by
the celebration of the Jubilee ceremonies."
Pepi I was a prolific builder who ordered extensive construction projects in Upper Egypt at Dendera, Abydos, Elephantine and
Hierakonpolis. One of his most important court officials was Weni the Elder who had a great canal built at the First Cataract for
the king. Weni was also put in charge of the highly sensitive task of putting on trial a Queen Weret-yamtes, a wife of Pepi I, who
had conspired to murder the king.