Eastern Mediterranean Societies:Egypt SSWH1: Analyze the origins, structures, and interactions of complex societies in the ancient Eastern Mediterranean from 3500 BCE to 500 BCE. b: Describe the relationship of religion and political authority in Ancient Egypt
Impact of Geography Nile River is the longest river in the world - Running over 4,000 miles begins in the heart of Africa and runs north to the Mediterranean. The northern part is called Lower Egypt and the southern part is called Upper Egypt. floods each year, enriching the soil around it. surplus of food Egyptian farmers could grow in this fertile soil made Egypt prosperous. served as a great highway that enhanced transportation and communication.
Impact of Geography • Egypt had geographical barriers that protected it from invasion • deserts to the west and south • Red Sea to the east • Mediterranean Sea to the north • rapids in the southern Nile. • Geography gave the Egyptians a sense of confidence and added to the noteworthy continuity of Egyptian civilization for thousands of years.
Course of Egyptian History • Historians divide Egyptian history into three major periods of stability, peace, and cultural flourishing: the Old Kingdom, the Middle Kingdom, and the New Kingdom. • Periods of upheaval fell between them. • Egyptian history began around 3100 B.C. when Menes created the first royal dynasty in Egypt. • A dynasty is a family of rulers. Their right to rule is passed on through the family.
Old Kingdom: 2700-2200 BCE • Egyptian rulers became known as pharaohs, which means “great house” or “palace.” • Old Kingdom pharaohs are: • Nebkha Djoser Sekhemkhet • Khaba Huni Sneferu • Khufu (Cheops) Kauab Djedefre • Khafre (Chephren) Bakare Menkaure • Shepseskaf Djedefptah Userkaf • Sahure Neferirkare (Kakai) • Shepseskare Neferefre Niuserre • Menkauhor Djedkare Unas • Teti I Userkare Pepi I • Merenre I Pepi II Merenre II • Nitocris
Old Kingdom • regarded as a god who ruled over Egypt • Theocracy • same person is both spiritual and political leader (government by divine authority) • The Pharaoh’s advisors and ministers were almost always priests, who were considered the only ones worthy and able to carry out the god-king’s commands • Absolute power • Used bureaucracy • Headed by vizier (prime minister) • Controlled trade, collected taxes, supervised building of canals, dams & storehouses for grain.
Old Kingdom • Built pyramids as tombs for kings • Mummification • Included provisions for afterlife
The Middle Kingdom 2200-1600 BC • Near the end of the Old Kingdom, a failed nobles revolt made the monarchy more powerful. • marked by an increase in foreign trade and enormous building projects. • in first renaissance, and the prosperity led to some amazing monuments • A few of the Pharaohs: • Montuhotep II Montuhotep III • Inyotef IV Iyibre-Khent • Segerseni Montuhotep IV • Amenemhet I Senusert I • Amenemhet II Senusert II • Senusert III Amenemhet III • Amenemhet IV Neferusobek
Middle Kingdom • Egyptians later portrayed this time as a Golden Age. Egypt expanded territory into Nubia, and trade reached into Mesopotamia and Crete. • The kings had a new concern for the people during the Middle Kingdom. He was portrayed as a shepherd of the people. He was expected to build public works and provide for the people’s welfare. Swampland was drained and a new canal connected the Nile River and the Red Sea.
Middle Kingdom • End of Middle Kingdom – invaded & conquered by the Hyksos • use of bronze weapons and horse drawn chariots against Egyptian stone weapons and fighting on foot.
The New Kingdom 1567-1085 BC • New Kingdom Pharaohs are: • Ahmose Amenhotep I Thutmose I • Thutmose II Hatshepsut Thutmose III • Amenhotep II Thutmose IV Amenhotep III • Amenhotep IV Smenkhkare Tutankhamen • Ay Horemheb Ramses I • Seti I Ramses II Merenptah • Amenmesse Seti II Siptah • Tawosret Bay Sethnakht • Ramses III Ramses IV Ramses V • Ramses VI Ramses VII Ramses VIII • Ramses IX Ramses X Ramses XI
The New Kingdom 1567-1085 BC • Ahmose drove the Hyksos out in 1600 BC • Took title of Pharaoh • Began trying to build an empire. • Before the end of the New Kingdom, Egypt was a successful empire. • Was extremely wealthy
The New Kingdom • Queen Hatshepsut came to power around 1480 BC • 1st female pharaoh • organized vast building projects. • Thutmose III got the throne from his step-mother upon her death • expanded the empire to Syria.
The New Kingdom • Amenhotep IV • broke with Egypt’s polytheistic past and declared that all people worship Aton – the sun-disk god. • changed his name to Akhenaton meaning “it is well with Aton” • Many people rejected the change. – thought it would upset the cosmic order and destroy Egypt • Commoners did not like that Aton had no human form • Priests of the old gods lost their power and became angry
The New Kingdom • Tutankhamen • a child king (age 9) • was forced to undo all the religious changes made by Akhenaton • Ramses II (Ramses the Great) • Egypt had lost its empire by the time Ramses came along because of the changes Akhenaton had made. • He began to fight the Hittites to regain control of Syria. • The war came to a standstill at the Battle of Kadesh • Egyptians and the Hittites became allies.
The New Kingdom • Upon Ramses death in 1213 BC, sea raiders invaded Egypt. • Egypt collapsed in 1085 BCE • By 945 BC, they were taken over by foreigners.
Government Structure • The governmental officials included: • the vizier, or the prime minister • the chief treasurer • the tax collector • the minister of public works, and • the army commander. • The land itself was divided up into provinces called nomes. • Each nome had a governor, • appointed by the Pharaoh • responsible to the vizier
Taxes were paid in goods and labor. • Citizens were drafted into the army and forced labor for periods of time to pay what was called a corvée, the labor tax. Slaves, mercenaries, and draftees were often used in the army.
Importance of Religion • The Egyptians were also polytheistic. • The Sun was worshipped as the source of life. The god’s name was Ra or later, Amon-Ra. • The Egyptian ruler was called Son of Re, the sun god in earthly form. • Other important gods: • God of river and afterlife – Osiris • Goddess of home– Isis • God of the desert – Set (evil) • God of the pharaoh - Horus
Egyptian Gods Set Isis Ra Horus Osiris
Importance of Religion • Afterlife: a person’s spirit continued to live for eternity – if the body was prepared for burial following certain procedures. Thus, mummification was important. • Role of Humanity: to follow the commands of the king to preserve peace and prosperity for their nation.
Egyptian Society Pharaoh Ruling Class (bureaucracy) Merchants & artisans peasants slaves
Egyptian Society • The majority of Egyptian people were peasants who worked the land along the fertile Nile flood basin. • These people had no voice in their government, and accepted this fact because it was backed by their religion. • This mingling of religion and government is probably what kept Egypt so powerful and centralized during its high points.
Egyptian Society • Slaves would join mercenaries and citizen draftees in army service. • It is believed, however, that Egyptian slaves were not used to construct sacred monuments, such as the Pyramids. • Egyptologists were led to this conclusion by recent finding of worker burial grounds near such monuments. The workers received proper Egyptian burials, whereas slaves did not.
Egyptian Society • Egyptians married young (arranged by parents) • Men were masters • Women ran house and educated children • Kept property, even in marriage • In event of divorce, women would receive compensation • Some women were merchants, priestesses and pharaohs
Egyptian Economy • Fertile Nile River Valley granted them good agriculture • Nile River & access to the Mediterranean allowed them to trade
Egyptian Inventions • Hieroglyphics • Black ink • Papyrus • Pyramids • Geometry: area and volume • Experts at human anatomy and medical treatment • Sails "No limit may be set to art, neither is there any craftsman that is fully master of his craft"The Instruction of Ptahhotep