Famous Egyptians

The history of Egypt is 7000 years of civilization development. During this time, Egypt has spawned an insane number of great rulers, religious leaders, scientists and other famous people. All of them are worthy of the attention of our dear readers, but our rating is not rubber, and we had to choose the 10 best. These people built important landmarks in Egypt, you will see them on advertising posters and souvenirs during your trip. Know them better by sight and have an idea of ​​their achievements and heritage.


10th place

Imhotep (XXVII century BC)

The most famous scientist and architect of ancient Egypt

Why on this list: everyone knows him, since the image is very actively used in popular culture

Why only 10th place: people do not know him, but his image

He was the chief priest of the god Ra and the chief adviser to Pharaoh Djoser of the III dynasty. He is one of the few figures of ancient Egypt who was deified, and Imhotep was revered as the god of medicine.

It was Imhotep who built the first Egyptian pyramid by erecting several mastabas on top of each other. This first pyramid is called the “Step Pyramid of Djoser” and is located in the Sakkara necropolis, 25 kilometers south of modern Cairo. Surprisingly, it has been well preserved externally, although inside it was plundered during the First Transitional Period.

The real scientist Imhotep is almost unknown, we know his artistic images better. Most of all he was glorified by three parts of the film “The Mummy”. The photo above is a frame from this movie. It’s hard to say what the real Imhotep looked like. We only have statues from the New Kingdom period, which are unlikely to reliably depict it.

The tomb of Imhotep was never found, and, probably, we are still waiting for a loud archaeological discovery associated with his name.



9th place

Muhammad Ali of Egypt (XVIII-XIV centuries A.D.)

The most famous ruler of Egypt in modern times

Why in this list: his role in the history of Egypt is huge, his reforms have become a “leap forward” for the country

Why only 9th place: in the mass consciousness, he was ousted by the famous boxer Kasius Clay, who took the name of Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali Pasha was an officer in the Ottoman army when he arrived in Egypt in 1798. He was sent here with a small detachment as reinforcements in the war with Napoleon. Muhammad Ali did not succeed in the war with the French, but began to pursue a political career in Egypt. By 1905, he was appointed governor of all of Egypt.

But this was not enough for Muhammad Ali Pasha, he was already hatching a plan of reforms. In 1830, Egypt stopped paying tribute to the Ottoman Empire and began to defend its independence. During his reign, reforms of the army and administration were carried out, which made Egypt a modern country for its time. Egypt became de facto independent, although it was nominally considered part of the Ottoman Empire.

In our country, Muhammad Ali of Egypt is not well known, so he only has 9th place in this list. A visit to the Muhammad Ali Mosque is an obligatory part of any excursion to Cairo.


8th place

Rudolf Hess (XX century)

German politician, National Socialist

Why on this list: did you think he was Egyptian?

Why only 8th place: he is not such an Egyptian

Loyal ally of Hitler and one of the founders of the National Socialist Party in Germany. Rudolf Hess was born in Egypt in the city of Alexandria in 1894. In Egypt, he spent his earlier childhood, and then returned back to Switzerland.

We do not know how the Egyptian environment influenced him. We hope that Egypt did not participate in the formation of his worldview in any way.

Rudolf Hess became famous for having unauthorizedly boarded a plane in 1941 and flew from Germany to England. At that moment, the countries were at war for a long time. Why did he do it and what did he want to achieve? We do not know until now, as all documents were classified by British intelligence. Hitler declared him insane and a traitor. In 2017, these documents were declassified, but there was nothing new in them.



7th place

Gamal Abdel Nasser (XX century)

President of Egypt (1954-1970), Hero of the Soviet Union

Why On This List: The Most Active Leader Of Modern Egypt

Why only 7th place: we don’t know him so well

In the mid and late 60s, Gamal Abdel Nasser became the hero of anecdotes in the Soviet Union. He was awarded the Order of Lenin and the Star of the Hero of the USSR. The Soviet people could not understand this step, and this misunderstanding was expressed in a satirical form.

For Egypt, this was a real hero. Gamal Abdel Nasser was a very skillful politician, he skillfully played world leaders like puppets. As a result of his rule, the Soviet Union built a large hydroelectric power station for Egypt in the city of Aswan for almost no cost. The Warsaw Pact countries supplied Egypt with the latest weapons at low prices and with deferred payments.

Nasser led Egypt during the two Arab-Israeli wars in 1956 and 1967, both of which were extremely unsuccessful. Nasser turned out to be a good politician, but not the most skillful commander. Dozens of streets and a reservoir are named after him in Egypt.


6th place

Pharaoh Ramses II (XIII century BC)

3rd Pharaoh of the 19th Dynasty of Ancient Egypt

Why on this list: the Pharaoh who ruled Egypt for 66 years is a record

Why only 6th place: he is known, but not as well as the following characters

Pharaoh Ramses II lived for 90 years, and 66 of them he was the ruler of Egypt. He had 6 official wives, and God knows how many concubines. Historians are still counting the number of his children, and the figure has already passed the mark of 100. He is called Ramses II the Great.

Tourists know Ramses II for the famous Abu Simbel temple, which was moved by scientists to a new place during the construction of the Aswan Dam. It is assumed that it was Ramses II who was the pharaoh of the exodus. The latter fact has not been proven, but in time everything converges. He defeated the Hittites at the Battle of Kadesh, conquered Phenicia and Syria.

In popular culture, Pharaoh Ramses II last appeared in the film “Exodus: Kings and Gods”, in the cartoon “Prince of Egypt” he appears as one of the main characters. And, of course, he leads the Egyptian nation in Sid Meier’s Civilization games.



5th place

Pharaoh Cheops (XXVI century BC)

2nd Pharaoh of the 4th Dynasty of Ancient Egypt

Why on this list: everyone knows his pyramid

Why only 5th place: we know the pyramid, but very little is known about him

The pyramid of Cheops is known to everyone, but few readers can say something about him. It is rarely spoken about in written sources, and the burial temple near the pyramid has hardly survived. His only image is a small statuette measuring only 7.5 centimeters, found in one of the temples in Abydos. You can see this figurine in the photo above.

But it was his pyramid at the time of construction that became the tallest structure on Earth and remained so for more than four millennia. The reign of Cheops is the apogee of the development of Egypt during the period of the Old Kingdom.


4th place

Queen Nefertiti (XIV century BC)

Wife of Pharaoh Akhenaten from the 17th Dynasty

Why On This List: Known For Legends Of Her Beauty

Why only 4th place: she did not do something important in her life

It is amazing how a wife who has not accomplished anything important in her life has outstripped her husband, the great religious reformer of Egypt, in popularity.

Pharaoh Akhenaten carried out an important reform in Egypt – he introduced the worship of the single god Aten, that is, he introduced monotheism. The reform took place “with slippage”, which we will not talk about in detail now. Everything would have been great for Akhenaten, but he did not have an heir. And his wife Nefertiti bore him 6 daughters and not a single son. The probability of such a combination of circumstances is 1 in 64.

After the death of Queen Nefertiti in the 13th or 14th year of Akhenaten’s reign, the pharaoh married his daughter, but no heir was born. Incest has never led anyone to goodness. After the death of Akhenaten himself, his name was forgotten by the priests of Amun, previously persecuted by him.

But, the memory of Nefertiti herself remained in the centuries, as one of the most beautiful women of ancient Egypt.



3rd place

Sultan Saladin (XII century AD)

The most famous ruler of Egypt in the Middle Ages

Why On This List: He ‘s The Hero Of Any Book Or Movie About The Crusades

Why only 3rd place: it has more famous competitors

First mentioned in classical English literature by Walter Scott, Sultan Saladin (Salah ad-Din) became a symbol – the main enemy of the Crusader Knights.

Later, his image began to appear in any works related to the Crusades. Moreover, it does not matter what period. In most cases, the authors confuse his real life time, and in his works he fights with all the crusaders, from the very first to the last. The last high-profile appearance of this character in popular culture – the film “Kingdom of Heaven” directed by Ridley Scott. The role of Sultan Saladin was played by the Syrian actor Ghassan Massoud.

It was Sultan Saladin who built the Cairo citadel, which has long become an obligatory part of the excursion program in Cairo. He is also familiar to tourists by the fortress named after him near the Taba resort on the Sinai Peninsula.


2nd place

Pharaoh Tutankhamun (XIV century BC)

The most famous pharaoh of ancient Egypt

Why on this list: almost all know his name

Why only 2nd place: he became famous by accident

It’s amazing! Pharaoh Tutankhamun did not actually rule Egypt. He nominally ascended the throne at the age of 10, and the regents ruled for him. At the age of 19, he died, and it is not clear exactly from what. Perhaps he died after falling from a chariot while hunting, or maybe from an illness. They prepared him for burial so quickly that they poured oil on the mummy. At the time of extraction, the mummy was severely damaged, and it is not possible to determine the cause of death.

He became famous by chance. Almost all the tombs in the Valley of the Kings were plundered in antiquity, and only one was found by archaeologists almost intact, it was the tomb of Tutankhamun. Its contents were found intact and are now preserved in the Cairo Museum. The most famous find in the tomb is a burial mask made of gold and weighing over 10 kilograms. This mask is featured on the 1 Egyptian Pound coin.

He is very famous for the song of the rock group “Nautilus Pompilius”. Remember, “The truth is always the same. Pharaoh said this, he was very clever, and for this he was called Tutankhamun. ” We love Vyacheslav Butusov for “Chained”, for “Titanic”, for “Wings”, but the text of the song about Tutankhamun is complete rubbish.



1st place

Cleopatra (1st century BC)

The most famous ruler of Egypt

Why 1st place: everyone knows it

Feminists, rejoice! The first place in the list of the most famous Egyptians is occupied by a woman. This is not our whim, it really is.

In the royal lineage of the Ptolemies, all men were called Ptolemies, and all women were called Cleopatras. It is correct to call the woman we know as “Cleopatra VII”. She reigned on the Egyptian throne at the very moment when the country fell into dependence on Rome. Her whole life was associated with the Romans. She was in a civil marriage with Julius Caesar, and even bore him a son. After the assassination of Caesar, she married the Roman general Mark Antony and bore him three children. After the defeat of Anthony, the queen lost her life, allowing a snake to bite her.

The image of Cleopatra has always been fanned with romance, which is why it has become insanely popular in popular culture. He has written dozens of literary works for her, and she appears in dozens of films.

In the resorts of Egypt, dozens of objects are named in its part – lagoons, islands, bays and beaches. There is only one nudist beach in Hurghada and it is called “Cleopatra Beach”. In Sharm el-Sheikh, a luxury 5-star hotel is named in her honor, and even the Cleo park water park. The most famous cigarettes in Egypt are called “Cleopatra”. Among tourists, the “Cleopatra pool” in Turkey is also known.

The rightful first place is occupied by Queen Cleopatra.