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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 West from the Libyans via the Sahara Desert
  • the South from the Nubians
  • the North from the Sinai and Canaanites
  • sometimes from internal conflict when the Nomes formed rival factions

The main opposition was usually from the Nubians.

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.



Battle of Kadesh


Sea Peoples

Click on the Image to find out how Pharaoh Ramses III faced the Sea Peoples.



The Neighbours

Who were Ancient Egypt’s neighbours? During War and during Peace. Click on the Image to find out.

Military Organisation

How was the Military organised in Egypt’s Pharaonic times? Click on the Image to find out. 


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