Khufu is one of Egypt's most famous and misunderstood pharaohs. Ruling during Egypt's 4th dynasty--from 2589 B.C. to 2566 B.C.--he is known both for his spectacular monument and for his cruelty as a king.

Reputation

The ancient historian Herodotus describes Pharaoh Khufu of Egypt as being a cruel ruler who forced his subjects to work for him. That was a harsh change from previous times of fortune and order.

Achievement

Khufu's most famous achievement is the Great Pyramid at Giza, which he ordered to be built during his reign. The pyramid reveals ancient Egypt's advanced technology and insight, and it's now one of the seven wonders of the world.

Misconceptions

Legend has it that Khufu enslaved his people to build the Great Pyramid for him. However, graffiti reveals that many workers called themselves "Friends of Khufu," and it states how they were paid for their labor.

Religion

Herodotus reports that Khufu closed down Egypt's temples. He may have even made himself out to be the Egyptian sun god, Ra, during his reign.

Legacy

Approximately 2,000 years after his reign, members of an Egyptian cult worshiped Khufu as a god. Although he may have been an unpopular pharaoh, his name is forever linked with the Great Pyramid, one of ancient Egypt's greatest achievements.