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The Military

It was not until Dynasty 12 during the Middle Kingdom Period that Egypt had a full-time standing Army, and the standing Navy was not instituted until even later though ships and boats were used to transport Maritime Trained Troops around and if needed, they could fight from the ships, before this date.

It was Pharaoh Senusret I who looked to improve the country’s infrastructure, art, defence, agricultural output, literature, and building projects which in their style revived the artistic and architectural styles reminiscent of the Old Kingdom Period. He then created the full-time standing Army so that the nomarchs could no longer form their own smaller armies of conscripts if they felt powerful enough to stand up to the Pharaohs.

Now the military was under the sole control of Pharaoh and the Vizier. In carrying out this method of centralised government, Pharaoh Senusret I was careful to allow for the individual nomarchs to nurture, blossom and announce their cultural differences to their neighbours whilst remaining solely loyal to the Throne.

Hierarchical Structure
by the time of the
New Kingdom Period

Officer: in Charge of 50 Soldiers

Superior Officer: in Charge of 250 Soldiers


Troop Commander

Troop Overseer: in Charge of a Garrison

Fortification Overseer

Lieutenant Commander





Initial battles were internal in Egypt as the country’s natural inclination was towards protecting what they owned rather than looking to substantially increase their lands.

Early Dynastic Period             
Egyptologists have discovered evidence of conflicts which are thought to have been ceased by Pharaoh Narmer when he unified Egypt 

Old Kingdom Period               
Nomarchs conscripted soldiers as and when necessary, who fought for their area or Nome. They had successful operations in Palestine, Syria, and Nubia, often fighting with mercenaries from other areas, especially those in Nubia.

First Intermediate Period      
Often blamed, in part, on the Nomes having their own conscripts at their beck and call, as it encouraged the Nomarchs to utilise their power.

Middle Kingdom Period         
Pharaoh Senusret I maintained the first national standing Army in Egypt which included the Posts “Minister of War” and “Commander in Chief”.

Second Intermediate Period  
Hyksos and Egyptian Pharaohs fought internally over several years to try to seize the Throne of all Egypt and reunite the land. For Egypt’s benefit, the Hyksos had introduced to Egypt the Horse and the Chariot as means of weaponry as well. The Medjay and Nubian Mercenaries often fought with one of the two sides.

New Kingdom Period             
The Pharaohs who succeeded after the Hyksos were defeated now wanted to ensure that Egyptians ruled over Egyptian land, so they introduced the idea of Buffer Zones to protect their lands. Campaigns were made into Nubia, Mesopotamia, Palestine, Syria, Libya, and of course the Hittites with the infamous Battle of Kadesh, whilst the Navy fought against the Sea Peoples.

Third Intermediate Period     
Egypt was invaded. The Army was all but wiped out by the Persian’s and their professional Army.

Late Period     
Egyptians Pharaohs, although once again in charge of Egypt were often faced with internal battles whose troops included many Greek Mercenaries. Persians eventually retook Egypt, and the Period was only ended with the “invasion” of Alexander the Great.

Greek Period  
The Macedonian and then Greek Military Tactics and Armies were employed after this time.


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