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Pah-Peh-Rheo, is a fictional character of the Scrooge McDuck universe, featured as the direct ancestor and founding father of The Clan McDuck.

He first appeared in the eight-part saga Storia e glory della dinastia dei paperi (History and glory of the Duck Dynasty) by Guido Martina, Romano Scarpa, Giorgio Cavazzano and Giovan Battista Carpi, first published April 5-May 24, 1970.


He was presumably a distant descendant of Scrooge Shah, the last King of Sagbad (a pan on the name of Baghdad). The later was featured in the story King Scrooge the First by Carl Barks and Tony Strobl, first published in October, 1967, as the earliest known ancestor of Scrooge McDuck. According to that story Sagbad was sacked in 2033 BC by the troops of young immortal King Khan Khan( 2050 BC - 1967 AD) but King Sgrooge Sah and his apparent heir Prince Donduk managed to escape. The immortal lost their tracks but would much later locate their distant descedants.

In any case according to his origin story Pah-Peh-Rheo was born an Egyptian. He was supposedly an non-royal uncle to a Queen of Egypt who herself was the great-grandmother of Cleopatra VII of Egypt. It should be noted that historically this would be Cleopatra III of Egypt (lived c. 160 - 101 BC, reigned as junior co-regent 141 - 116 BC, and as senior co-regent 116 - 101 BC). Her parents Ptolemy VI of Egypt and Cleopatra II of Egypt were siblings. The only way Pah-Peh-Rheo could be the Queen's non-royal uncle would be if he was an illegitimate son of her grandfather Ptolemy V of Egypt or her grandmother Cleopatra I of Egypt. In this case he would be a member of minor importance to the Ptolemaic dynasty.

Royal Treasurer

He supposedly served his niece as a royal treasurer. Concerned about the safety of the royal treasury he decided to create a secure hiding place for it. For this purpose he hired Archimede Pitagorico, a mechanic from Syracuse, Sicily. As he explained his name derives from his ancestor Pythagoras and his great-grandfather Archimedes. The mechanic was depicted as a distant ancestor of Gyro Gearloose. He created a crypt below the floor of an ancient forgotten Pyramid by the sores of the Nile.

When the crypt finished, Pah-Peh-Rheo and four non-royal nephews of his undertook the duty of transporting one thousand sacks of gold disguised as cameleers. On the road to the Pyramid they were stopped and questioned by four desert bandits, depicted as distant ancestors of the Beagle Boys. Pah-Peh-Rheo managed to convince them that his caravan was consisted only of carriers of infectious disease, making their last trip. The bandits fled in order to avoid contacting the disease and the caravan continued on its way. They successfully managed to transfer their cargo in the crypt. Unbeknown to the others, Pah-Peh-Rheo and his mechanic had arranged for one thousand sacks of desert sand to be placed in the actual chamber of the Pyramid. This was intended to fool anybody who would come searching for the treasure. With their mission finished they all returned to the palace in Alexandria.

Sometime later though, the leader of the desert bandits conceived a plan to abduct the Queen and have Pah-Peh-Rheo exchange her for the contents of his treasury. He sent the Queen a coffin of fruit, supposedly as a gift from the fruit merchants guild. But when the "gift" was delivered to the Queen's chambers, two of the bandits emerged for it. They quickly managed to subdue the Queen and her present servants. Then they rolled a carpet around her and managed to carry her out of the palace and to their lair. Soon enough a message with their demands was delivered to Pah-Peh-Rheo. Deciding to play along he led the bandits to the Pyramid and they delivered him the Queen. Pah-Peh-Rheo , the Quuen, his four nephews and his mechanic fled by boat. Soon enough the bandits found that the sacks he pointed them to contained only sand. They gave chase by boat but by use of a simple mirror reflecting sunlight to his eyes and dazzling them, their leader lost command of the boat and crashed to a nearby reef. With the bandits now convinced that the Pyramid contained only sand , Pah-Peh-Rheo also led his allies to believe that he intentionaly wanted to draw attention to the Pyramid while the treasure was transported elsewhere. The Pyramid and the treasure below it where so left undisturbed for centuries to come.

Fall of the Egyptian Kingdom

According to the story Egypt soon fell and was annexed to the Roman Empire, while the surviving members of the royal dynasty had to flee. Historically the official annexation of Egypt to the Roman Republic occured on August 1, 30 BC followed by the suicide of Cleopatra VII of Egypt on August 12, 30 BC and the execution of her co-ruler Ptolemy XV Caesarion later that month. The later's siblings Alexander Helios, Cleopatra Selene and Ptolemy Philadelphus were according to Plutarch relocated to Rome under the guardianship of Octavia, although a lack of furher reference to Alexander has been argued as evidence that he was executed with his elder brother. In Egyptian calendars the year 30 BC is considered the last of the reign of Cleopatra VII and the first of that of Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus who in 27 BC would become the first Augustus of the Roman Empire. Subsequent Roman Emperors seemed to be considered successors of the Pharaohs in Egypt at least for the purpose of keeping with the traditional chronological system.

Life in Rome

Pah-Peh-Rheo and his four non-royal nephews supposedly managed to escape with a small portion of the royal treasury. Their subsequent activities are uncertain but they would eventualy resurface, having relocated in Rome. Pah-Peh-Rheo had changed his name to Petronius Paperonius and established himself as a tavern-keeper. He had gained a reputation for serving small portions and wine containing more water from the Tiber river than alcohol (ethanol). He was also reportedly suspected of serving cat meat. Meanwhile, he was secretly busy with the illegal conversion of his Egyptian gold coins into Roman currency.

His relative peace would soon come to an end. The desert bandits believed him to have escaped with the entire royal treasury and were still trying to locate him. They eventually succeeded in tracing him to Rome. Four of them were sent to further locate him and the treasure. Their leader had instructed them to come in contact with an old acquaintance of his. The later (depicted as a distant ancestor of Black Pete) was a former criminal and gladiator but by that time had gained a reputation as a lanista. He was rejoiced to hear of his old friend and even more so to learn of the treasure.

The bandits proceeded in explaining that Pah-Peh-Rheo was last reported to be hiding in Rome under an assumed name and operating a tavern by the Tiber river. The old gladiator in turn explained that there were more taverns by the Tiber than fleas on a dog. Informed that Pah-Peh-Rheo was a miser by reputation, he thought of Petronius Paperonius. He accompanied the bandits to Petronius' tavern and they easily recognized the later to actually be Pah-Peh-Rheo.

The five agreed to sleep early and return to the tavern at night as burglars. But the old gladiator planed to betray his new allies. While they slept, he visited a centurion of the Praetorian Guard. The centurion (depicted as a distant ancestor of John D. Rockerduck) had reportedly acted as his partner in a number of shady but profitable schemes and was also interested in this one. He and his men would wait for the burglars to enter the tavern and find the treasure. Then they would procceed to arrest them all and gather the treasure as evidence. Finally the centurion and the gladiator would share the treasure among them.

But events did not go according to their plan. The burglars found the golden coins in the tavern's cellar, contained in large wooden barrels but caused enough noise to alert Petronius and his four nephews. They arrived armed with clubs and a fight started. The centurion chose this opportunity to enter and arrest them all. He informed the old gladiator that their alliance had ended and no sharing would occure. He also revealed himself to be a personal enemy of Petronius. He accused the later of being a traitor to the Roman Empire and promised him death by capital punishment.

The centurion wanted to ensure this conclusion with a signed order by Roman Emperor "Pippus Caesar Augustus" (Caesar Augustus depicted as a distant ancestor of Goofy). But he did not want the later to closely examine the case and discover the treasure. He soon formed another scheme. By morning the centurion had secretly organized a riot in Rome. Rioters were in protest of the Emperor's inactivitie as of late. The centurion alerted the Emperor to the event. The later verbally commented on his loyalty. He confessed that the reason behind this inactivitie was the lack of sufficient funds to organize his legions, finance new campaigns of conquest or even finish the construction of the Colloseum. (The later is an anachronism as this ancient amphitheatre was historically constructed during the 70s and 80s by Emperors Vespasian, Titus and Domitian).

The centurion advised the offering of entertainment to the crowds. He then offered the Emperor a list of entertainment events and stated that it was ready to be signed. The Emperor stated that he was illiterate and asked the centurion to read the list aloud. (The historical Octavianus was far from being illiterate and is considered to be the author of a text known as Res Gestae Divi Augustae (The Deeds of the Divine Augustus), a first-person summary of his carreer released on the occassion of his death in 14 AD).

The Emperor listened to the list and seemed content with it. He proceeded in signing it. The centurion then offered to personally make the announcement to the public. But the Emperor would not hand him the list. He then revealed that Petronius' three youngest nephews had escaped custody and contacted him. He asked them to read the list which actually was a command to throw Petronius and his eldest nephew to the lions. Having attempted to fool the Emperor, the centurion was arrested for treason. Petronius and his elder nephew were released. Petronius soon learned that the price of his release was to finance a new campaign with his treasure.

Campaigning and settling in Caledonia

The campaign was soon organized and targeted the region of Caledonia in Northern Britain. The Emperor reportedly suspected the region to be rich in natural resources of iron. Among the infantry were the demoted centurion, the old gladiator and the desert bandits. Apparently the campaign required the conscription of prisoners and all six were included. Petronius followed the campaign with supply wagons. He was reportedly hoping to regain his wealth by selling supplies directly to the soldiers. The campaign soon prooved to be poorly conceived as the Emperor had vastly underestimated both the expenses of the campaign and the supply demand of his troops. The later revolted against him. He was forced to cancel the campaign and return in haste to Rome. Petronius had by that time regained most of his treasure. While the troops abandoned Caledonia, he decided to settle there among the Picts. Petronius reportedly later added to his wealth by providing the local clans with the tartan cloth needed for their kilts. He settled at the shores of Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands. He reportedly died at an advanced age due to breathing problems.

Descedants and legacy

His descedants would come to be known as The Clan McDuck of Scotland. According to later writer Don Rosa, the earliest known among them in year 122 sold stone to the construction crew of Hadrian 's wall. They presumabely included Andold Temerary, nicknamed "Wild Duck", who in 794 became the commander of Walstaen Castle ( Italian: Castello Malcot) and his Lady Aydis. By the 10th century his descedants had settled in and around the castle Dismal Downs in the middle of Rannoch Moor. The castle is presumed to have been build by Sir Eider McDuck (880 - 946).

During the 14th century, a descedant of his named in Italian Paperon McPaperon (Scrooge McDuck the Elder) had settled in Edinburgh. By 1392, he acted as a favorite of the Queen of Scotland and relative of his "Trisnonna Papera" (Great-Great-Grandma Duck, historically at the time King Robert III of Scotland reigned and his Queen consort was Annabella Drummond) and a life-long enemy of Duke McRockerduck. He reportedly owned the Kingdom's lead Mines and directed the Royal Mint. He had also learned of a family tradition stating that every century since Petronius' death and on an April night , a ghost of illusion of him appeared... bathing in his hidded Roman gold.

The descedant settled in Loch Ness and waited for the appearance. It occured on April 30, 1392 and led him to discover the treasure. He then proceeded in abandoning Scotland for the Iberian peninsula. He settled in Seville, Andalusia, Castile and established a Spanish branch of the family that would spread Paperonius' influence and star in the further chapters of Storia e glory della dinastia dei paperi (History and glory of the Duck Dynasty).

It should be perhaps noted that Petronius' centennial reappearances would presumably have occured in 1392, 1292, 1192, 1092, 992, 892, 792, 692, 592, 492, 392, 292, 192, 92 and would place his death in 8 BC. By that time he would be more than 108 years old.