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The rule of Menes, whose actual existence cannot be verified by the historical record, is pivotal as he is considered by Egyptian tradition to be the first Pharaoh in human form; who inherited the throne of Egypt directly from the sun god Horus. Tradition holds that he was the first Pharoah of the first Dynasty. All later Pharaohs were considered to be earthly manifestations of Horus. He is credited with having joined upper and lower Egypt into a unified kingdom under his rule. Herodotus credits him with founding the city of Memphis, which became the cultural center and juncture of upper and lower Egypt. A number of apocryphal legends exist about Menes, including that he was attacked by his own dogs and was saved by riding a crocodile across the Nile, in gratitude for which he founded the city of Crocodilopolis. Another legend is that he was killed by a hippopotamus. Although he cannot be proven by historical record, his importance to Egyptian tradition cannot be overestimated.
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