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in hieroglyphs
Hotep offering table
Part of base of basalt royal statue. Queen's feet on 9 bows before an offering table. Hotep sign at front edge. Hes vase with spouted vases and lamp. Late Period. From Egypt. The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, London

Hotep (ḥtp) is an Egyptian word that roughly translates as "to be at peace". The word also refers to an "offering" ritually presented to a deity or a dead person, an "offering table," an individual being "at rest" in a literal sense (sitting on a throne) or a figurative sense (being dead), the action of the sun when it "sets" in the west, and other, less common meanings. Hotep is regularly found in the names of ancient Egyptian figures such as Hotepsekhemwy (ḥr ḥtp-sḫm.wj "the two powers are at peace"), the first ruler of Egypt's Second Dynasty.[1] Recently, hotep has been defined as the result of action in accord with maat.[2]


Hotep and hetep are the Egyptological pronunciations of Egyptian ḥtp, which was pronounced differently over time. Cuneiform texts during the New Kingdom period suggest the contemporary pronunciation of /hátap/ for the verb, which eventually became Coptic ϩⲁⲧⲡ/ϩⲟⲧⲡ hatp/hotp "be content" and ϩⲱⲧⲡ hōtp "be reconciled".[3][4]


Hotep is rendered in hieroglyphs as an altar/offering table (Gardiner sign R4). It has special semantic meanings in the Ancient Egyptian offering formula, also known as the ḥtp-dj-nsw formula, to refer to the "boon given by the king", or the food and goods on which a dead soul was supposed to subsist during the afterlife.[5]

The phrase m ḥtp has been translated to mean literally "at peace" or living the life in balance (Maat).[6][7][8]

Hotep movement[edit]

Since the mid-2000s,[9] a Black nationalist new religious movement has emerged that calls itself Hotep. Followers of the Hotep movement are African-American and follow an Afrocentric version of Kemetism with the claim that the ancient Egyptian pharaohs were black.

Pharaonic names with hotep[edit]

List of pharaohs with "hotep" as part of their name:

Other names with hotep[edit]

List of non-pharaonic people with "hotep" as part of their name:

In popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Egyptian kings - Hotepsekhemwy, Hetepsekhemwy, Bedjau, Boethos".
  2. ^ Davies, Vanessa (2018-09-11). Peace in Ancient Egypt. Harvard Egyptological Series. Brill. p. 2. ISBN 978-90-04-38021-9.
  3. ^ "Coptic Dictionary Online". Retrieved 2017-03-16.
  4. ^ Allen, James P. (2013-07-11). The Ancient Egyptian Language: An Historical Study. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781107032460.
  5. ^ Gardiner, Alan. (1957). Egyptian Grammar, Third Edition, p. 170. Griffith Institute, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. ISBN 0-900416-35-1.
  6. ^ "NiankhkhnumKhnumhotep Names United".
  7. ^ Branney, Sean (1988). Strange Eons (PDF). 2, Issue 10. Retrieved July 16, 2006.
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-09-27. Retrieved 2006-07-16.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ Damon Young (2016-03-05). "Hotep Explained". Retrieved 2019-03-06. Over the past decade or so, the working definition of “Hotep” has morphed
  10. ^ [1] Archived January 20, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Rudy Aunk (November 29, 2007). "What is the Meaning of Hotep?". The Cultural Health News Blog. Retrieved 2014-07-31.
  12. ^ Angelica Jade Bastién (October 16, 2016). "'Insecure' Season 1, Episode 2: Failure to Change". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-11-01.

Further reading[edit]

  • Davies, Vanessa (2018). Peace in Ancient Egypt. Harvard Egyptological Series. Brill. ISBN 978-90-04-38021-9.
  • Faulkner, William (1991). Middle Egyptian. Griffith. ISBN 0-900416-32-7.:
    p 159 hrt = "peace", hrw = "pleasing, be pleased, satisfied";
    p 179 htp = "altar, offering, boon which the king grants, be pleased, be happy, be gracious, pardon, be at peace, be peaceful, become calm"
    p 180 "rest, satisfy, make content, htpw peace, contentment, good pleasure, make peace, htpt peace, contentment. To put to rest disputes, and settle the complaints of petitioners be peaceful, calm, make peace".

External links[edit]