Pepi II Neferkare|
ruled 2246 - 2152 BC - Egypt
King Pepi II (spelled also Pepy) is also known as Neferkare; he was the fifth king of the 6th Dynasty was the son of Pepi I and Queen Ankhnesmeryre II. Pepi II succeeded his brother Merenre who died young. Late Egyptian tradition has Pepi II acceding to the thrown at the age of six.
His mother served as co-regent for several years. Social disorder or even civil war is possible to have occurred, when supporters of the god Set were fighting those of Horus.
The outcome can have been that two kings ruled at the same time, in Upper and Lower Egypt respectively. The picture left shows the name of the pharaoh from the Sakkara king list from the 19th dynasty, positioned just before Neferkaseker.
A later (c. 1800 BC) story has the king sneaking out of the palace at night to visit his general Sisenet (spelled also Sissine), who was his lover. This is significant because it is an example of a relationship between two adult men rather than between a man and boy as was often the case in the ancient world. Perhaps this is the earliest story of a homosexual relationship.
This alabaster statuette of 16 cm high represents Pepi II as a child, in a pose that is unusual in both royal and private statuary.
The king is squatting on the ground with his legs folded and slightly apart. He is completely naked, a sign of his young age.
His left hand was resting on his knee and, although it is missing, his right hand is assumed to have been held to the mouth.
The statuette was found in the funerary temple of Pepi II at Saqqara South and is part of the collection of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.