Cheops, an ancient king of Egypt, who reigned several thousand years B. 0. and built the first and largest pyramid. Diodorus calls him Chembes or Chemmis, but the name Cheops given to him by Herodotus has superseded all others, and is now universally applied to him and his pyramid. According to Herodotus, he was the first bad king of Egypt. He closed the temples and forbade the people to offer sacrifices, compelling them to labor in his service. He reigned 50 years, and was succeeded by his brother Cephren, who built the second pyramid. The Egyptians hated these kings as tyrants so much that even in the time of Herodotus they did not like to mention their names, but, as he says, "called the pyramids after Philition, a shepherd who at that time fed his flocks about the place." What this passage means modern scholars have not been able to determine. The most plausible conjecture is that the Egyptians had forgotten who built the pyramids, and ignorantly ascribed them to the foreign conquerors and tyrants called shepherd kings, though it is certain that they were built long before the shepherd kings entered Egypt. Cheops has been identified by modern researches with the Suphisof Manetho (who ascribes to him a reign of 63 years) and the Shufu of the inscriptions; and his brother Suphis II. seems to have reigned conjointly with him and to have contributed to the building of the pyramid, in which they were both buried.

The chamber in the great pyramid called the queen's chamber was in reality that which contained the body of the second Shufu, who, surviving his brother, was considered his successor.