Chephren


Chephren
King 2558-2533 BC.
    Herodotus names the fourth ruler of the Fourth Dynasty as Chephren, which was the Graecised form of the Egyptian 'Khafre'; he was probably the son of *Cheops whose example he followed by building a magnificent pyramid complex at Giza. There is little difference in the measurements of the area or the height of their two pyramids, and the component parts of Chephren's complex—pyramid, funerary temple, causeway and valley building—are better preserved than those of his father. Part of the limestone outer casing is still visible on Chephren's pyramid and in the burial-chamber, the polished granite sarcophagus has survived.
    The funerary temple is remarkable for the size of the limestone blocks which have been used in its construction and which are unsurpassed in any other Egyptian buildings. In the valley building, the severe architectural forms and the use of red granite are particularly impressive and it was here that the fine diorite statues of the king (including the famous example in the Cairo Museum) were discovered. It is evident that, during this reign, the art of the Old Kingdom reached one of its highest levels of achievement. In general, Chephren's pyramid complex is the best preserved sample of this type of religious architecture and it formed the basis and pattern for most future pyramid developments. Unlike *Cheops' complex, there was no provision for the burial of the king's family and courtiers in rows of mastaba-tombs at the base of the pyramid, but Chephren's queens and royal children were interred in rock-cut tombs in the ground near the pyramid, while the Court officials either used unfinished tombs left over from *Cheops' reign or built new tombs near *Cheops' city of the dead.
    A unique feature of Chephren's complex is the Great Sphinx which lies to the north-east of his pyramid. Carved from an outcrop of rock at the side of the causeway which leads up to the pyramid temple, the Sphinx represents a human-headed, crouching lion and may have portrayed Chephren's facial features. Later, it became known to the Egyptians of the New Kingdom as the god 'Horus-in-the-Horizon' who was the guardian of this area. It became a notable feature and was visited by kings; in the famous Dream Stela, *Tuthmosis IV recounts how, when he was a prince out hunting, he fell asleep at the foot of the Sphinx and dreamt that the Sphinx appeared to him and complained of the sand which threatened to engulf it. When he became king, *Tuthmosis IV ordered the sand to be cleared away from the Sphinx, and the story is preserved on a stela which he caused to be set up between the paws of the Sphinx.
    The Giza Sphinx is the largest and one of the oldest examples of these hybrid creatures to be found in Egypt; throughout the succeeding ages, it retained a popular mythology as a symbol of mystery and hidden truths.
    As an individual, Chephren, like his father, remains a shadowy figure; *Herodotus provides the only account of him, stating that he was tyrannical and impious and was hated by his subjects, whom he forced to build his pyramid.
BIBL. Edwards, I.E.S. The Pyramids of Egypt. Harmondsworth: 1985, pp 116-69; Holscher, U. Das Grabdenkmal des Konigs Chephren. Leipzig: 1912.
Biographical Dictionary of Ancient Egypt by Rosalie and Antony E. David
* * *
   See Khafre.
Historical Dictionary Of Ancient Egypt by Morris L. Bierbrier

Ancient Egypt. A Reference Guide. . 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Chephren — (Sephres, der griechische Name für den einheimischen Chafra), alter König von Ägypten, gehörte zur 4. Dynastie der Könige von Memphis, s. Ägypten (Gesch.) I. u. II., u. ist Erbauer einer der Pyramiden von Giseh …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Chephren — (Chafre), König von Ägypten, Sohn und Nachfolger des Cheops (s.d.), und Erbauer der zweitgrößten Pyramide von Gize (s. Pyramide) …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Chéphren — ou Khéphren troisième pharaon de la IVe dynastie. Successeur de Chéops, il fit construire la deuxième pyramide de Gizeh et le Grand Sphinx …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Chephren —   [ç ], ägyptisch Chaefre [x ], Khaefre [x ], ägyptischer König der 4. Dynastie, Sohn und zweiter Nachfolger des Cheops; regierte etwa 2520 2494 v. Chr. Auf ihn gehen die mittlere der drei Pyramiden von Giseh (Chephrenpyramide, ursprünglich 143,5 …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Chephren — Namen von Chephren Statue des Chephren; Ägyptisches Museum, Kairo …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Chéphren — Khéphren Pour les articles homonymes, voir Kephren (homonymie). Articles de la série Pharaon Classements alphabétique …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Chephren — /kef reuhn/, n. Khafre. * * * …   Universalium

  • Chephren — Cheph•ren [[t]ˈkɛf rən[/t]] n. anh big Khafre …   From formal English to slang

  • Chephren — /kef reuhn/, n. Khafre …   Useful english dictionary

  • Chephren-Pyramide — Ägyptischer Name …   Deutsch Wikipedia


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