Free Essay About Pharaoh Snefru
Born to Huni and Meresankh I, Snefru was the first Pharaoh of the fourth dynasty who ruled between 2613 and 2589 BC. His reign lasted for approximately twenty-four years. Snefru’s family originated from Hermopolis, an Egyptian town. Unlike most Pharaohs, he did not ascend to the throne through birthright since his mother was a concubine (Tyldesley, 2009). Instead, he legitimized his claim as Pharaoh by marrying his half-sister, Hetepheres I, who was of royal blood. They bore a son, Khufu, who later became famous for building the Great Pyramid of Giza (Thomas, 2003).
Snefru reigned during an era of development and technical invention in the building of pyramids. He built three pyramids, which were larger than those made by his predecessors were. These pyramids were a shift from step pyramids to steep-sided pyramids. His most celebrated project was the Bent Pyramid of Dahshur. Snefru contributed to the continuous progression of Egyptian religious beliefs. Additionally, he promoted a highly centralized system of government, which beckoned the peak of the fourth dynasty. It is during his reign that the position of the vizier came into extreme importance (Thomas, 2003).
Snefru used his logic and intelligence to maintain and consolidate power among the royal family. Most of his chosen representatives were members of the royal family. Snefru managed Egypt through a number of administrative divisions called nomes. Through good trading and exportation practices, he improved Egypt’s economy by forming trade routes along the Mediterranean (Thomas, 2003). Similar to many Pharaohs, Snefru was an astute diplomat and his relations with other countries along the Mediterranean enabled him to receive a lot of construction material. Among these materials was cedar wood, which Snefru used to construct towering boats measuring up to fifty meters in length (Tyldesley, 2009).
A superior military leader, he waged victorious wars against the Nubians and Libyans, securing safety for his kingdom’s western and southern borders. These wars made Snefru wealthy. He gained an extensive collection of treasure. Snefru stationed a stronghold at Buhen and seized Sinai, making it a territory of Egypt. Additionally, he conquered turquoise mines in the Sinai region and held extensive property across Egypt (Thomas, 2003).
One of the earliest pyramids linked to Snefru was the Maydum pyramid. Originally built as a step pyramid, Snefru modified it into a flat-sided pyramid. Later, Snefru designed the Dashur pyramids as flat-sided pyramids; however, his constructors had to reduce the steepness when construction faults began to appear before completion. The reconstruction led to the naming of the pyramids as ‘blunted’ due to the bent form of the structures. Finally, Snefru succeeded in building a real flat-sided pyramid, which has the name ‘Red Pyramid.’ Snefru’s architectural inventions functioned as a facilitator for later pyramid constructors to thrive on (Tyldesley, 2009).
Snefru’s reign signified the epitome of the fourth dynasty. Many ancient records painted him as a beneficent Pharaoh. Many of the places named after him still retain his name long after his demise. Many prevalent Egyptian tales place Snefru as either a central or a secondary figure. He gained a reputation as a well-grounded, kind and wise ruler. Early works recurrently depict him as a leader who would refer to non-royal Egyptians as his relatives (Tyldesley, 2009). Snefru may have died of natural causes in 2589 BC. Many theories hold that the Red Pyramid carries his remains. At the end of his reign, Snefru’s son, Khufu, succeeded the throne (Thomas, 2003).
Thomas, S. (2003). Snefru : the pyramid builder. New York,NY: Rosen Pub.Group.
Tyldesley, J. A. (2009). The pharaohs. London: Quercus.