Pharaohs of ancient Egypt

Written by Felgr Pavel on .

History of ancient Egypt (period 3300-30 BC) tells not only about kings, queens and their everyday life, but also about political events in Old, Middle and New Kingdom under great Pharaohs rule.

What was status of a Pharaoh in ancient Egypt? Pharaoh was an earthly son of Ra, the highest of all deities. His title came from the ancient Egypt name for king's institution as a Great palace. He guaranteed the running of the world and was responsible for it as a spiritual leader and ruler. He was considered as a living Horus, reincarnation and legitimate successor of the first mythic king Horus - the hawk god and a son of Isis and Osiris, who inherited the Egyptian kingdom from his father. There is how history describes the Pharaoh:

"As "a good God" you are praised by your liege people, worshipped by priests, you caused fear in enemies. You are a Pharaoh, the one, whose name we pronounce with fear and also the one, whom we respectfully called God, Ruler, His majesty, Horus in palace or King. You are a sacred being and so you have all power in your hands. You keep your eye fatherlike on your liege people and their prosperity and safety as well. You are a human God and king according to the principle of Maat, the goddess of truth and justice.

As a child of Ra, the omnipotent God-Sun, you also maintain a world-wide and original order on Earth and fight against unleashing a chaos. There is nothing what could disturb stars movement, Nile flooding or relationships among people under your benignant care. As a spiritual leader you are the only voice of gods on Earth. You let build their temples and sanctuaries."

Pharaoh was the master of both lands (after southern and northern Egypt integration) and he was a guarantee of Egypt unity. He wears pschent - a double crown on his head with a protective hawk and a cobra (uraeus). The crown symbolized the rule over Upper and Lower Egypt. Pschent was a combination of high white crown of Upper Egypt (Hedjet) and red crown of Lower Egypt (Deshret). Except the crown other symbols of Pharaoh's power were also Egyptian cross (ankh) - a symbol of life, crook a symbol of a high dignitary, flail (flagellum), a sceptre (was), which developed from a forked stick for killing serpents. The stick's bottom ended with little fork and there was a greyhound head on the top, which reminded the mysterious animal of Seth.

hedjet deshret pschent
Upper Egypt Lower Egypt The crown of both lands

The bodies of Pharaohs were mummified and laid in sarcophaguses after their death. The mummy of died Pharaoh was brought into the tomb on the western Nile bank 70 days after death, where "the sun disappears". The coffin was ferried across the river by a big ship decorated with flowers and the coffin was laid in a painted case under canopy during the journey. The priest was wreathed into leopard skin at the ceremony and he started with incense smoking and sacred texts recitation during the sail. Pharaoh's relatives, friends and servants sailed on other ships. Simultaneously funereal equipment and oblations were ferried, that were laid into the tomb. The coffin was laid on a sleigh pulled by oxen on the other riverbank.

The sarcophagus was erected at the tomb in front of the entrance. The queen knelt and uttered "farewell with the dead". The priest started the opening of the mouth ceremony then, touched the Pharaoh's face with wooden adze and chisel and return him into life in this way, so he could speak, eat and see again. An animal was sacrificed after various rituals and the sarcophagus was brought into the tomb in the end. You can see the way of laying Pharaoh's body in a sarcophagus on Tutankhamun's sarcophagus.

You can also download a list of Egyptian Pharaohs and a detailed overview of the rulers in particular dynasties from the beginning of Egypt till its affiliation as another province to Rome in year 30 BC after the battle of Actium.

Message from the Nile

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