Who was Narmer?

The Scorpion was succeeded by another king whose name we read doubtfully from his inscriptions as Narmer or Bezau, or perhaps even as Menes; for either he or his son was this same Menes of whom Herodotus had heard. Narmer continued the invasion of lower Egypt, which seems to have been a land more settled and advanced than his own. Led by the god or symbol of his people, the hawk, he slew thousands of his opponents, made captives of "a hundred and twenty thousand," and proudly adds on his inscriptions the exact figures of half a million oxen and a million and a half of goats which he also subjected to his rule, leading them into the rigors of captivity not wholly strange to them.

From his conquests Narmer brought back to his capital, Hierakonpolis, many artisans from lower Egypt, who were capable of erecting artistic monuments to his triumph. In fact, we have here on a smaller, narrower scale just what happened in the Euphrates region when the wild Semites of the upper valley defeated the more cultured Sumerians and appropriated their arts.

We can not clearly make out whether Narmer and Menes are really one person or two, a father and his son. But it was Narmer who won these victories and who now assumed the red crown of lower Egypt in addition to the white crown of his own domain. He wedded a princess. Neithhetep, apparently from the lower Egyptian capital, which was at Sais, and he thus united the two reigning houses. It may be that Menes was the child rather than the husband in this marriage which united all Egypt into a single state; and thus Menes the son was reckoned as the first legitimate ruler of the whole land.

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Read about Who was Narmer? in the The Story of the Greatest Nations and the Worlds Famous Events Vol 1

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