The Two Crowns
Before the time of Narmer Upper and Lower Egypt were two separate kingdoms. The ruler of each kingdom wore a special hat to show his position, a red crown for Lower Egypt and a white one for Upper Egypt. Narmer put the two hats together to form the crown of a united Egypt. Identical crowns were worn by all future pharaohs.
In theory, the pharaoh could do anything he liked. He could create new laws or abolish old ones. He could order people to be punished or even executed for no reason at all. Pharaoh was considered to be a god and it was the duty of all Egyptians to obey his commands at all times.
The Limits of Power
In reality no pharaoh was able to behave exactly as he liked. Pharaohs had to act according to the traditions and customs laid down as laws by the ancient gods. If a pharaoh issued unpopular laws or imposed harsh taxes he risked sparking a rebellion.
The pharaohs ruled Egypt through a network of officials. The most important of these were the nomarchs, or local governors. They collected tax due to pharaoh and enforced law and order in their area. This picture shows a nomarch checking the taxes gathered while a criminal waits to learn what punishment he will suffer.
The Pharaohs held regular banquets to celebrate religious events or to welcome important visitors. The pharaoh could demand the finest foods and drinks. Roast gazelle, goose or heron were favourite dishes along with a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. Musicians an dancers provided entertainment.
What title was given to local governors in ancient Egypt?
The pharaoh was head of the legal system, the tax system, the law system and the religious system.
From Action Files - Egypt (comes complete with stickers, info cards, head-dress, games etc)
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