In ancient Egyptian history, dynasties are series of rulers sharing a common origin. They are usually, but not always, traditionally divided into 33 pharaonic dynasties; these dynasties are commonly grouped by modern scholars into "kingdoms" and "intermediate periods".

The first 30 divisions come from the 3rd century BC Egyptian priest Manetho, whose Aegyptaiaca, was probably written for a Greek-speaking Ptolemaic ruler of Egypt but survives only in fragments and summaries. The names of the last two, the short-lived Persian-ruled 31st Dynasty and the longer-lasting Ptolemaic Dynasty, are later coinings.

While widely used and useful, the system does have its shortcomings. Some dynasties only ruled part of Egypt and existed concurrently with other dynasties based in other cities. The 7th might not have existed at all, the 10th seems to be a continuation of the 9th, and there might have been one or several Upper Egyptian Dynasties before what is termed the 1st Dynasty.

List of dynasties in ancient Egyptian history

Late Period of ancient EgyptThird Intermediate Period of EgyptNew Kingdom of EgyptSecond Intermediate Period of EgyptMiddle Kingdom of EgyptFirst Intermediate Period of EgyptOld Kingdom of EgyptEarly Dynastic Period (Egypt)
Dynasty Seat Period of rule Rulers
Start End Term First to rule Last to rule List / Family tree
Early Dynastic Period
Dynasty I Thinis 3150 BC 2900 BC 250 years Narmer Qa'a (list)
Dynasty II Thinis 2880 BC 2686 BC 204 years Hotepsekhemwy Khasekhemwy (list)
Old Kingdom
Dynasty III Memphis 2687 BC 2613 BC 73 years Djoser Huni (list)
Dynasty IV Memphis 2613 BC 2494 BC 112 years Sneferu Shepseskaf
Dynasty V Memphis 2494 BC 2345 BC 149 years Userkaf Unas (list)
Dynasty VI Memphis 2345 BC 2181 BC 164 years Teti Merenre Nemtyemsaf II
Netjerkare Siptah[b]
First Intermediate Period
Dynasty VII[d] Memphis[1]: 396  Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown (list)
Dynasty VIII Memphis[1]: 396  2181 BC 2160 BC 21 years Netjerkare Siptah[b]
Neferirkare II (list)
Dynasty IX Heracleopolis Magna 2160 BC 2130 BC 30 years Meryibre Khety[e] Unknown (list)
Dynasty X Heracleopolis Magna 2130 BC 2040 BC 90 years Meryhathor Unknown (list)
Middle Kingdom
Dynasty XI[f] Thebes 2130 BC 1991 BC 139 years Intef Mentuhotep IV (list)
Dynasty XII Itjtawy 1991 BC 1802 BC 189 years Amenemhat I Sobekneferu (list)
Dynasty XIII[g] Itjtawy 1803 BC 1649 BC 154 years Sekhemre Khutawy Sobekhotep Unknown (list)
Second Intermediate Period
Dynasty XIV Avaris 1725 BC 1650 BC 75 years Yakbim Sekhaenre[h] Unknown (list)
Dynasty XV
Avaris 1650 BC 1550 BC 100 years Salitis Khamudi (list)
Abydos dynasty[i] Abydos 1650 BC 1600 BC 50 years Unknown Unknown (list)
Dynasty XVI Thebes
1649 BC 1582 BC 67 years Anat-her Unknown (list)
Dynasty XVII Thebes 1580 BC 1550 BC 30 years Rahotep Kamose (list)
New Kingdom
Dynasty XVIII Thebes
1550 BC 1292 BC 258 years Ahmose I Horemheb (list)
Dynasty XIX Thebes
1292 BC 1189 BC 103 years Ramesses I Twosret (list)
Dynasty XX Pi-Ramesses 1189 BC 1077 BC 112 years Setnakhte Ramesses XI (list)
Third Intermediate Period
Dynasty XXI Tanis 1069 BC 943 BC 126 years Smendes Psusennes II (list)
Dynasty XXII
943 BC 720 BC 223 years Shoshenq I Osorkon IV (list)
Dynasty XXIII
Heracleopolis Magna
837 BC 728 BC 109 years Harsiese A Rudamun (list)
Dynasty XXIV Sais 732 BC 720 BC 12 years Tefnakht Bakenranef (list)
Dynasty XXV
744 BC 656 BC 88 years Piye Tantamani (list)
Late Period
Dynasty XXVI Sais 664 BC 525 BC 139 years Psamtik I Psamtik III (list)
Dynasty XXVII[j]
Babylon 525 BC 404 BC 121 years Cambyses II[k] Darius II[l] (list)
Dynasty XXVIII Sais 404 BC 398 BC 6 years Amyrtaeus Amyrtaeus (list)
Dynasty XXIX Mendes 398 BC 380 BC 18 years Nepherites I Nepherites II (list)
Dynasty XXX Sebennytos 380 BC 343 BC 37 years Nectanebo I Nectanebo II (list)
Dynasty XXXI[m]
Babylon 343 BC 332 BC 11 years Artaxerxes III[n] Darius III[o] (list)
Greco–Roman Period
Argead dynasty
Pella[p] 332 BC 309 BC 23 years Alexander III of Macedon Alexander IV of Macedon (list)
Ptolemaic dynasty
Alexandria 305 BC 30 BC 275 years Ptolemy I Soter Caesarion (list)
Egypt was incorporated into the Roman Republic in 30 BCE.
(see Roman Egypt, Roman pharaoh and List of Roman dynasties)

The 31 pre-Ptolemaic dynasties by the length of their rule (in 25-year bins),[q] each dynasty being a coloured box. The early dynasties and the three Kingdoms are blue, with darker colours meaning older. Intermediate periods are red, orange, and yellow. Note that multiple dynasties could reign from different cities simultaneously in intermediate periods and at the end of the Middle Kingdom. Dynastic reigning times are often very approximate; the above uses the dates of the Egyptian dynasty list template.

See also


  1. ^ The existence of Thamphthis is not archaeologically attested.
  2. ^ a b Netjerkare Siptah could either be the last monarch of Dynasty VI or the founder of Dynasty VIII depending on the historian's characterization.
  3. ^ The existence of Nitocris is not archaeologically attested.
  4. ^ The only historical account of Dynasty VII was found in Aegyptiaca by Manetho. Some historians consider Dynasty VII to be fictitious.[1]: 393 [2]: xiii 
  5. ^ Some historians consider Meryibre Khety to be the founder of Dynasty IX,[3][4][5][6] while others believe that Meryibre Khety reigned during Dynasty X.[7]
  6. ^ Dynasty XI before the reign of Mentuhotep II is typically classified as part of the First Intermediate Period of Egypt.
  7. ^ Some historians classify Dynasty XIII as part of the Second Intermediate Period of Egypt.
  8. ^ Some historians consider Yakbim Sekhaenre to be the founder of Dynasty XIV,[8] while others believe Yakbim Sekhaenre reigned during Dynasty XVI.[9]
  9. ^ The existence of the Abydos dynasty is debated.
  10. ^ Dynasty XXVII is a historiographical nomenclature that denotes the first line of Achaemenid monarchs that ruled over Egypt.
  11. ^ Cambyses II was the second monarch of the Achaemenid Empire and the first Achaemenid ruler to establish control over Egypt.
  12. ^ Darius II was the ninth monarch of the Achaemenid Empire and the eighth Achaemenid ruler to rule over Egypt.
  13. ^ Dynasty XXXI is a historiographical nomenclature that denotes the second line of Achaemenid monarchs that ruled over Egypt.
  14. ^ Artaxerxes III was the eleventh monarch of the Achaemenid Empire and the first Achaemenid ruler to restore control over Egypt following a 61-year hiatus.
  15. ^ Darius III was the thirteenth monarch of the Achaemenid Empire and the last Achaemenid ruler to rule over Egypt.
  16. ^ The capital of Macedonia during its rule over Egypt was Pella. The Egyptian administrative center during this period was Alexandria.
  17. ^ Starting on the far right of this chart, only one dynasty lasted over 250 years (18th dynasty). Two dynasties lasted between 200 and 225 years (two boxes). One dynasty lasted between 175 and 200 years (one box), etc.


  1. ^ a b c Hratch Papazian (2015). "The State of Egypt in the 100th Dynasty". In Peter Der Manuelian; Thomas Schneider (eds.). Towards a New History for the Egyptian Old Kingdom: Perspectives on the Pyramid Age. Harvard Egyptological Studies. BRILL.
  2. ^ Wilkinson, Toby (2010). "Timeline". The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt. New York: Random House. p. xiii. ISBN 9781408810026. The system of dynasties devised in the third century B.C. is not without its problems—for example, the Sixth Dynasty is now recognized as being wholly spurious, while several dynasties are known to have ruled concurrently in different parts of Egypt...
  3. ^ Petrie, William M.F. (1897). A History of Egypt from the Earliest Times to the XVIth Dynasty. A history of Egypt. C. Scribner's Sons. p. 114-115.
  4. ^ Alan Gardiner, Egypt of the Pharaohs. An introduction, Oxford University Press, 1961, p. 112.
  5. ^ William C. Hayes, in The Cambridge Ancient History, vol 1, part 2, 1971 (2008), Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-07791-5, p. 464.
  6. ^ Grimal, Nicolas; Shaw, Ian; Grimal, Nicolas (2001). A history of ancient Egypt. Oxford: Blackwell. p. 140. ISBN 978-0-631-19396-8.
  7. ^ Beckerath, Jürgen von (1999). Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen. Münchner ägyptologische Studien (2., verb. u. erw. Aufl ed.). Mainz: P. von Zabern. p. 74. ISBN 978-3-8053-2591-2.
  8. ^ Ryholt (1997), p. 409
  9. ^ Sekhaenre Yakbim on

Works cited