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The Military

The Military

Who are the people who protected this Ancient Civilisation?

What: Pharaoh was the Military Commander 

Who: Generals had great power and often posed a threat to Pharaoh so they were usually trusted members of the Royal Family

Where: Main Force in the Capital City; with Fortresses manned by Garrisons of Guards along the East and West borders, inside the Eastern Desert and in the South facing Nubia; especially along the Nile River 

Why: Military was permanently established to keep Egypt’s enemies out and evolved from there


The Military was permanently established to keep Egypt’s enemies out and evolved from there

The Old Kingdom Period
There was no standing army during the Old Kingdom Period. An Army could be raised when needed from the various Nomes of Egypt. The conflict came from the Libyans in the West via the Sahara Desert, the Nubians in the  South, the North from the Sinai and Canaanites, and sometimes from internal conflict when the Nomes formed rival factions. 

During the Old Kinggdom, the Army would use Shields and Spears; Cudgels and Maces; Daggers; Bows and Arrows.

The Middle Kingdom Period
Pharaoh brought in standing Armies which were kept training to a certain standard in the 12th Dynasty. So, if an Invasion occurred further troops were raised again from the various Nomes.

The Second Intermediate Period
With a collapsed Government in the country, the Army became trapped between the Hyksos to the North and the Kushite Nubians to the South. It appears to have been the time when the horse drawn Battle Chariot, the Ourarit, and the composite bow as tools were introduced. As you can imagine, these remarkably transformed the functioning of the Military.

The New Kingdom Period
In the New Kingdom, the Hittites from the North-East became the largest threat as they looked to conquer Egypt, but instead signed a Peace Treaty with Pharaoh Ramses II, with regrets that their Infantry was not as strong as Egypt’s. The Sea Peoples invaded and remained a strong threat, but the Military was robust and tenacious enough to repel their advances. The light, fast and manoeuvrable chariots and the skills of the Driver and Bow Fighter were second to none. Which, when combined with the new advances in body armour, helmets and weaponry, made them highly imposing. 

The Late Period
When Alexander the Great conquered Egypt the Military became heavily influenced by the Greeks and their Military styles.

Military Personnel

Click on the Image to meet the people who fought for Egypt

Military Organisation 

Click on the Image to learn how the Army over Egypt’s long history was arranged


Click on the Image to discover why it was not until Dynasty 12 that Egypt had a full-time standing Army


Click on the Image to find out how Egypt’s weaponry evolved particulalry between the Bronze and Iron ages

The Police


The Navy

Click on the Image to discover when Egypt put in place its first proper Navy and what battles they fought and for who


Click on the Image to learn about how string of Forts were erected to protect Egypt’s borders

The Medjay

Click on the Image to meet the people who became the elite paramilitary force for Egypt’s rulers

Battle of Kadesh

Click on the Image to learn more about the infamous Battle of Kadesh: the Egyptians under Pharaoh Ramses II versus the Hittites under King Muwatalli II, for the City of Kadesh

World’s First Peace Treaty

Click on the Image to discover how a copy of this Peace Treaty is now in the United Nations Building in New York, USA


The Sea Peoples

Click on the Image to find out how the different Pharaohs faced the nomadic Sea Peoples, who could be compared to Pirates!

The Neighbours

Click on the Image to learn who Ancient Egypt’s neighbours were during War and Peace


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