Select Page

The Viziers

The People

Ancient Egypt’s Prime Minister

The Egyptian title for Prime Minister was Tjaty. He was the First in Line after the King of Egypt and was usually appointed by Pharaoh. His main role was as Chief Advisor to Pharaoh for issues throughout Ancient Egypt. By the New Kingdom Period the role was so large that Pharaoh appointed 2 Viziers, one for Upper Egypt and one for Lower Egypt. 

In an administrative capacity, Tjaty was responsible for the daily testing of the water supply to ensure cleanliness, as well as overseeing finance, the military, agriculture, the judiciary and infrastructure – roads, canals and dams, also the receiving and adjudicating the Supervisors and Officials under the control of the Vizier

The Vizier would report daily activities to Pharaoh every evening cover the administration of the Palace and Government, including:

• Scribes and State archives
• Central granaries and the Treasury
• The Storage of surplus products and their redistribution

• The Supervision of building projects such as the royal pyramid or tomb

 

It was a necessity for the Vizier to be very well educated and knowledgeable about the interior workings of the Government. They were trained as a Scribe and educated in accountancy, architecture, law, history, agriculture and the priesthood. The architecture education was often the most demanding as Pharaoh would often charge the Vizier with the overseeing of the construction of Pharaoh’s construction projects; such as the Royal Palaces, Temple Complex and Tomb. 

A Vizier’s Code of Conduct

Act by the law  :  Judge fairly  :  Do not act wilfully or be headstrong

Vizier Rekhmirem

Vizier for Pharaoh Thutmose III and Pharaoh Amenhotep II during the 18th Dynasty and he served in this role for 50 years

Vizier Imhotep

He served Pharaoh Djoser I during the 3rd Dynasty as a Vizier and High Priest, an Architect, an Engineer, a Physician and also a Philosopher who was given divine status after his death

Vizier Ankhu

Vizier for King Sobekhotep II and King Khendjer during the Thirteenth Dynast. He was known for maintaining the stability of the rule of Egypt during a period where several Pharaohs were deposed

Vizier Hemiunu

He served Pharaoh Khufu during the 4th Dynasty and was a Prince of Egypt. Hemiunu was responsible for overseeing the construction of the Giza Necropolis’ Great Pyramid

Vizier Amenemhat

Vizier for Pharaoh Mentuhotep IV during the 12th Dynasty. He later became Pharaoh Amenemhat I in his own right and created with establishing the “Golden Age” of Ancient Egypt

Vizier Ptahhotep I

He served Pharaoh Djedkare Isesi during the 5th Dynasty. He supported and flourished Egyptian literature and “The Instructions of Ptahhotep”

Vizier Aperel

Vizier for Pharaoh Amenhotep III and, his son, Pharaoh Akhenaten during the 18th Dynasty. He is known for the supervision of construction of the Colossi of Memnon; Amenhotep III’s Palace Complex known as Malkata; the Palace City for all Governance which covered 226,000 square meters and was the largest in Egypt

Vizier Khay

He served as Vizier for Pharaoh Ramesses II during the 19th Dynasty. He was elevated to a Princely status by Pharaoh. Responsible for the construction of Abu Simbel Temples, the new Capital City called Pi-Ramses, and the construction of the additions Pharaoh made to the Temples