Select Page

What was the Hierarchy of Egypt?

Government

The Government format, as we would understand it today, is a form of Monarchy

     Pharaoh: Absolute Power and a living God on Earth

     Royal Family, Viziers, High Priests, Nobles: Devolved power from Pharaoh

     Military, Head Government Officials, Medjay: Devolved power from Pharaoh and Vizier

     Scribes, Government Officials, Nomarchs: Devolved power from Vizier and Head Government Officials

     Town Mayors: Devolved power from Vizier and Government Officials

     Talented craft and Merchant Classes: Devolved power from Town Mayors under instruction from above

     Farmers and Construction Workers: Devolved power from Town Mayors under instruction from above

     Servants

History

Beginning of United Egypt

  • Occurred in the 1st Dynasty under Pharaoh Menes who reigned out of Memphis and began the concept of Central Government and a rule of law

 

Old Kingdom

  • Between Dynasties 5-6 Pharaoh’s power had eroded and the Government positions became hereditary rather than appointed on dedication
  • The Nomarchs by comparison grew ever more powerful and by the end of Dynasty 6 they were ruling in their Nomes autonomously; collecting their own taxes, building their own Temples and Monuments in their own honour and commissioning their own tombs

Middle Kingdom

  • Learning from the errors of their forebears, Middle Kingdom Pharaohs used the same base for their governments with the addition of tighter and more specific Titles and Duties for their many more appointed Officials, aiming to limit an Official’s influence outside their specific role
  • Nomarch’s lost their individual controls which were diverted back to centralised Government and their duties were overseen by Pharaoh’s representative
  • As a result, the Towns gained influence and their Mayors garnered the influence that the Nomarchs lost

New Kingdom

  • Nomarchs lost out once again as Pharaohs decreased the land area in most of the Nomes and instead increased the number of Nomes
  • Pharaohs also created a full time Military presence and altered the Legal System to allow religious intervention which left this particularly open to corruption

 

Late Period

  • When the Pharaohs reunited Egypt, they immediately re-centralised the Government
  • Persian Rulers established a full monetary economy for the first time in Egyptian history
  • Greek and Roman Empires put in place their own governmental systems