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What is a Vizier?

Government

Known as: Tjaty and First in Line after the King of Upper Egypt, usually appointed by Pharaoh

What: Chief Advisor to Pharaoh, often referred to as the Prime Minister

When: Throughout Ancient Egypt once Pharaohs took the rule and before the Greco-Roman Periods. By the New Kingdom Period the role was so large that Pharaoh appointed 2 Viziers, one for Upper Egypt and one for Lower Egypt

Who: Quite often, the position was handed to a reliable and trusted member of the Royal Family; who had given Pharaoh confidence to handle the day-to-day running of Egypt to them

Where: As the chief advisor to Pharaoh, the Vizier would be sequestered to the Capital City for the majority of the role

Depicted as: Wearing long, white robes which symbolises a purity of the heart and the spirit

 

Education & Training

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.

 

Responsibilities of the Vizier

A Vizier, in an administrative capacity for the daily function of Egypt including the daily testing of the water supply to ensure cleanliness. Their jurisdiction would include overseeing

  • Finance
  • The Military
  • Agriculture
  • The judiciary
  • Infrastructure
  • 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
  • State archives
  • Central granaries
  • Treasury
  • Storage of surplus products and their redistribution
  • Supervision of building projects such as the royal pyramid or tomb 

 

The Vizier’s Code of Conduct

– Act by the law

– Judge fairly

– Do not act wilfully or be headstrong

When an “underage” Pharaoh came to the Throne or Pharaoh was incapacitated or absent; such as at War, then the Vizier acted as Regent

 

 

A Vizier’s Education & Training

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