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Queen Nitocris was an Egyptian pharaoh who ruled during the 6th dynasty. She was also known by other names like Nitiqret and Nitokris, Neterkare or Nitikrty. The meaning of her name is "The soul of the Re is Divine." She ruled in ancient Egypt at the end of the old kingdom.
Much remains unknown about Queen Nitocris since scholars were unable to find archeological remains that could help us learn more. The available information on her is only through Manetho, the Turin Canon, and Herodotus.
Nitocris was reportedly a virtuous and beautiful woman who was married King Metesouphis II and is believed to have been his sister as well. It’s been recorded that her husband was murdered and the queen took revenge on the guilty before taking her own life.
Queen Nitocris reigned from 2148-44 BC and was succeeded by Pepi II. Queen Nitocris became pharaoh after much dispute when there was no male heir to ascend the throne. She is most remembered in Egyptian history as the bravest and most beautiful women of her time. No structures were commissioned by her and she is left unmentioned in many Egyptian records. Again, her reign is believed to have been short and it lasted less than three years.
The husband of Queen Nitocris was an old kingdom monarch who rose to power at the end of the sixth dynasty. But after a short reign, he was murdered by his own subjects. Nitocris then emerged as the sole ruler of Egypt.
She was determined to avenge the death of her beloved husband-brother. She gave orders to secretly construct a huge underground hall connected to the river Nile by a hidden channel. When this chamber was completed she threw a splendid inaugural banquet, inviting as guests all those whom she held personally responsible for the death of the king. When the guests were feasting she ordered to open the gates of the secret conduit which led to the flowing of the tremendous volume of waters from the river Nile. This drowned of all those who were suspected of the king’s death. In order to save herself from the anger of the people, she later committed suicide.
She has often been described as "braver than all men of her time, the most beautiful of all women, fair skinned with red cheeks".
It’s also claimed by some that Queen Nitocris was behind the construction of the third pyramid in Giza, but there is no proof of this.