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Pharaohs of Egypt Pharaohs • Pharaohs were the kings of Egypt. • The word “Pharaoh” was used by the Greeks and Hebrews. • Pharaoh means Great Palace in Greek. • The title “Pharaoh” originated from the Greek language and it is used in the Old Testament. • According to Egyptian legend, the first kings of Egypt were later some of the most famous gods. • All of the Pharaohs we know today existed at the end of the Predynastic period. Responsibility Of Pharaohs • Pharaohs ruled with absolute power. There were few if any challenged against the King. • Despite absolute power the Pharaoh was expected to rule subject to Ma’at. • Ma’at was the goddess and symbol of the equilibrium of the universe. • The Pharaoh was expected to govern according to the principles of Ma’at. • Any King that attempted to radically change society would be seen as destroying the equilibrium that was so important to Egyptian tradition. Succession • To keep the pure line of succession, a Pharaoh passed on the throne to the eldest son born of the Principal Queen, or Great Royal Wife. • Each king was usually keen to demonstrate to his subjects that he was the “chosen” heir. • The Pharaoh owned all of the land, people, and possessions in Egypt. • Any personal wealth enjoyed by Egyptians people was considered a result of the generosity of the King. Major Pharaohs • There were several Pharaohs of Egypt. However, we will focus on some of the main Pharaohs: • • • • • • • • Menes Ramses II Akhenaton Ahmose Tutankhamen Cleopatra Hatshepsut Khufu Menes • Founding King of the 1st Dynasty • Ruled between 3100-2850 B.C.E • First Pharaoh to unify upper and lower Egypt into one Kingdom • Ancient Egypt’s form of a civilization began with King Menes. • He created the city of Memphis because of its good location. It would be easy to defend against any attacks. • During his reign he expanded his kingdom and developed commercial trade links. Menes • His chief wife was Queen Berenib, although she wasn’t the mother of his heir: Djer. • The mother of Djer was Neithotepe, Menes’ other wife. • He died at the age of 63. • According to legend he was attacked by wild dogs or Nile crocodiles at Faiyum. • He died leaving behind the legacy of a powerful civilization. • His tomb lays at Saqqara, the farmed area of Memphis. Rames II • Went to the throne at the age of 20 and reigned for 67 years. • This was the second longest reign for any Egyptian King. • Ramses is remembered for constructing many architectural marvels. • Constructed more colossal statues than any other Egyptian King. • Two of his greatest monuments are the two huge temples at Abu Simbel. Ramses II • Ramses also had many military victories. • Not long after the reign of Ramses II, Egypt was invaded and eventually fell to the rule of foreigners. • Ramses not only excelled in architecture but he also had a great number of wives. • By the end of his life Ramses had over 100 children! • After his death Ramses son, Menataph, became the heir to the throne. Akhenaton • Original name was Amonhotep IV. • Reigned 1350-1334 B.C.E • He wanted to change the Egyptian supreme god from Amon-Re to Aton. • Therefore he changed his name to Akenaton which means “he who serves Aton” • He also built a new city called Akhetaton. • This was the first attempt at radically changing the Egyptian religion. Akhenaton • His wife was Nefertiti who was known for her beauty. • Today, Akenaton is remembered for trying to introduce monotheism to Egypt. • Monotheism means only one god:Aton. • It is not sure how Akenaton died but the text two kings, Smenkhkara and Tutankhamun were apparently son’s-in-law to Akenaton. • After his reign Egypt returned back to their old Gods. Ahmose • • • • Ahmose I – Meaning Born of Iah Reigned – c. 1539-1514 BC Founder of the Eighteenth Dynasty Member of the Theban royal house, the son of pharaoh Seqenenre Tao. • When he was seven his father was killed • At age ten his brother died of unknown causes, after reigning only three years. • Ahmose I assumed the throne after the death of his brother, and upon coronation became known as Neb-Pehty-Re (The Lord of Strength is Re). Ahmose • He completed the conquest and expulsion of the Hyksos from the delta region • Restored Theban rule over the whole of Egypt • Successfully reasserted Egyptian power in its formerly subject territories of Nubia and Canaan. Ahmose • Reorganized the administration of the country, reopened quarries, mines and trade routes and began massive construction projects of a type that had not been undertaken since the time of the Middle Kingdom. • This building program culminated in the construction of the last pyramid built by native Egyptian rulers. • Ahmose's reign laid the foundations for the New Kingdom, under which Egyptian power reached its peak. His reign is usually dated to the mid16th century BC. Tutankhamen • • • • • • King Tutankhamen came to the throne at a very young age. When his father died, believed to be Akhenaton, he became King at age 10. King Tutankhamen helped restore Egypt's old beliefs from when his father tried to make Egypt a monotheism society. He died suddenly at the young age of 18 by a blow to the back of his head. Since his tomb had not yet been made, he was laid in a tomb of a member of the nobility. He is famous today because of his tomb found by archaeologists. Some say it was the most important archaeological find. Cleopatra • Cleopatra VII Philopator • Reigned – 51 – 12 BC • She was the last active pharaoh of Ancient Egypt • She was a member of the Ptolemaic Dynasty • She represented herself as the reincarnation of an Egyptian Goddess, Isis Cleopatra • Cleopatra ruled with Julius Ceasar • After Caesar's assassination in 44 BC, she aligned with Mark Antony in opposition to Caesar's legal heir, Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus (later known as Augustus). • Antony eventually committed suicide. • Cleopatra followed suit, according to tradition killing herself by means of an asp bite on August 12, 30 BC. • After her rule, Egypt became a Roman province and fell under the rule of Rome Hatshepsut • Hatshepsut - meaning Foremost of Noble Ladies • Reigned - 1508–1458 BC) and was the fifth pharaoh of the Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt. • She ruled jointly with Thutmose III who had ascended to the throne as a child one year earlier. • Regarded by Egyptologists as one of the most successful pharaohs, reigning longer than any other woman of an indigenous Egyptian dynasty. Khufu • Khufu lived from 2589-2566 B.C.E • He reigned for around 24 years. • Khufu is most remembered for building Great Pyramid of Giza. • The pyramid originally stood 481 feet tall. • Khufu had many sons but the one chosen to be his successor was Djedefre. • Khufu left behind the legacy of the Great Pyramid and even today it’s still a mystery to how it was built. Discussion Questions 1) In your opinion, was it right for the Pharaohs to rule with absolute power? Explain. 2) Do you think Egypt would be so well known today if Pharaohs did not exist? 3) In ancient Egypt all property belonged to the Pharaohs, would our society be successful if this was true today about the Prime Minister. Bibliography • • • • • • Brier, Bob. PhD. History of ancient Egypt. The First Nation in History. The Learning Company. 2001. Dowling, Mike. The Pharaoh. West Palm Beach Florida, 23 Oct. 2004. 18 Oct. 2006 http://www.mrdowling.com/604-pharaoh.html. Dunn, Jimmy. Egypt Feature Story The Kings (Pharaohs) of Ancient Egypt. 1996. 18 Oct. 2006 http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/pharaohs.htm. Newman, Garfield. Echoes from the Past. Whitby, Ontario: McGraw - Hill Ryerson Limited, 2001. “Pharaoh." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2006. Encyclopaedia Britannica Online. 18 t. 2006 . <http://www.britannica.com/eb/article9059581>. THE ASTRA CORPORATION LIMITED . Egyptology Online: Discovering Ancient Egypt. 2001. 18 Oct. 2006 http://www.egyptologyonline.com/pharaohs.htm. THE END!!!