The Semna Inscription of Mermose

Ancient Egypt: The Semna Inscription of Mermose

The Semna Inscription of the vice-roy Merimose

............. occurred the reaping of the harvest of the [foe] of Ibhet. Every man [reported] and one mustered [an army of] Pharaoh, L.H.P., which was under command of this king's son. He made troops, commanded by commanders, each man with his village; from the fortress of Beki to the fortress of Taroy, making 52 iters of sailing.

The might of Nibmatre took them in one day, in one hour, making a great slaughter ............. their cattle; not one of them escaped; each one of them was brought ... ... ... ... fear. The might of Amenhotep took them; the barbarians among them, male as well as female, were not separated; by the plan of Horus, Lord of the Two Lands, King Nibmatre, mighty bull, strong in might. Ibhet had been haughty, great things were in their hearts, (but) the fierce-eyed lion, this ruler, he slew them by command of Amon-Atum, his august father; it was he who led him in might and victory.

List of the captivity which his majesty took in the land of Ibhet, the wretched:

Living negroes

150 heads


110 heads


250 heads

Servants of the negroes

55 heads

Their children

175 heads


740 living heads

Hands thereof


United with the living heads


The king's son, vigilant for his lord, favorite of the Good God, governor of the entire land of Kush, king's scribe, Mermose. He saith: "Praise to thee! O Good God! Great is thy might against him that confronts thee; thou causest them that are rebellious against thee to say: 'The fire that we have made rages against us.' Thou hast slain all thy enemies, overthrown beneath thy feet."

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- Stela of Amenhotep III From Semna (British Museum)

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Ibhet : important for its quarries, see the biography of Weni

this king's son : Mermose, the vice-roy

Beki : near Kubban, about 50 km above the 1st cataract

52 iters: somewhat more than 100 km (Breasted)

Nibmatre : Nebmaatre, Amenhotep III (1402-1364)

This was a local policing action rather than a military campaign. Its conduct was left in the hands of the viceroy.

The population of Nubia was small, perhaps counting as few as 100,000 inhabitants.

Hands thereof : A hand was cut off the corpse of a fallen enemy as proof of a kill.

Tombos inscription of Merimose


Source: Oriental Institute, University of Chicago

James Henry Breasted Ancient Records of Egypt, PartTwo, 852ff