What Are Some Interesting Facts About the Pharaoh Khufu?

The Egyptian pharaoh Khufu was the second ruler of ancient Egypt's fourth dynasty. He tasked his builders with constructing the largest pyramid ever built, which is known today as the Great Pyramid of Giza. Khufu was mummified and placed in the pyramid following his death.

Khufu was known as Cheops by the Greeks; his full name was Khnum-Khufu, which translates to phrase "the god Khnum protects me." Egyptians worshiped Khufu as a living god during his reign; he ruled as both the religious and political leader of the empire. He was known as a cruel, absolute leader, unlike his father and grandfather before him.

Khufu began his reign in 2589 B.C.; it lasted for approximately 23 years until his death in 2566 B.C. He inherited the throne from his father Seneferu and had two wives, Queen Meritites and Queen Henutsen.

Khufu had nine sons and 15 daughters. According to the Greek historian Herodotus, Khufu sent one of his daughters to work in a brothel to help pay for his pyramid's construction. Considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the pyramid originally sat at 481 feet high and 755 feet wide. His sarcophagus sat directly in the middle.