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Khufu Knows All

The Secret Doors to Ultimate Knowledge

In the Battle of Abdyos against the Nubians, Khufu was advised by his general, Otheos, that the enemy with their superior numbers were likely to encircle his army unless he immediately called for a retreat.

Khufu is said to have angrily replied, “I will not turn my back on the enemy like some Thebean whore who will bend over for so much as a pair of laying hens!”

“Then what are we to do, my Lord?” Otheos asked?

“Tell the trumpeter to sound the call to charge!” the king said.

Otheos did as he was ordered. But before the trumpeter could  raise the trumpet to his lips, he was shot through the mouth with an arrow and killed. As the army fell back, the charioteers turned around as quickly as they could, making a hasty and disorganized retreat, led by Khufu himself.

When Khufu returned to Thebes, he called his Vizier, Lord Hepu, and ordered him to have inscribed on the wall in the temple of Amun the story of how Khufu insured a great victory by refusing his general’s advice to retreat and instead ordering a new attack. Pictured there, as travelers today may see for themselves, is Khufu in his chariot, holding high the head of his general, Otheos.

—Herodotus, Histories