Richard Lepsius, KÖnigsbuch der Alten Ägypter (Bessersche Buchhandlung, Berlin, 1858.

King List of the Ancient Egyptians

Amice Mary Calverley
Carl Richard Lepsius (1810-1884)
In 1858, the great early Egyptologist Richard Lepsius (1810-1884) published his mammoth book in two parts, Königsbuch der Alten Ägypter (Bessersche Buchhandlung, Berlin, 1858). The title may be translated, in a way friendlier to English usage, as King List of the Ancient Egyptians. Today, this book is extremely rare. It is so little known, in fact, that it is not mentioned or listed in the Wikipedia entry for Lepsius (who is listed as Karl Richard Lepsius, even though Lepsius himself spelled his first name as Carl with a ‘C’). From the Foundation’s copy, we have scanned the first eight pages of a section at the end of Part One, Synoptic Tables, being synoptic, or summary, lists of kings for the successive dynasties as conceived at the time of publication of Lepsius’s book. Part Two of his book contains exhaustive studies of the Manetho lists and the fragmentary Turin Papyrus king list (discovered in 1820), complete with photographic reproductions of the remains of that papyrus, which is written in Egyptian hieratic script. The major proportion of Part Two of Lepsius’s book consists of the cartouches, with variants, of the known pharaohs, done in steel engravings in large format, and beautifully and clearly printed. At some future time, the Foundation intends to make the entire contents available through its website.

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