E

gyptian society was shaped like a pyramid. The pharaoh and queen are in the first place. Below them, nobles, high priests, scribes, ministers, and officers formed the upper class.

The middle level is craftsmen and merchants, while workers and farmers formed the base. All major decisions on administrative and political affairs and religious ceremonies are made in the name of the pharaoh.

The social pyramid:

Pharaoh is at the top of Egyptian society. He commanded the army and ruled the country through a network of nobles, officials, and scribes. Artisans are busy building and decorating tombs and temples, but most Egyptians worked as farmers.

  • The pharaoh was the most powerful person in the entire kingdom.
  • Scribes, priests, and noblemen formed the upper class.
  • Skilled craftworkers, such as sculptors, belonged to the middle class.
  • Unskilled workers, such as farmers and fishermen, made up the  lowest class

Power of the pharaoh

The first ruler of a united Egypt ruled by conquest.

However, to keep Egypt united, the rulers need more than military power. He needs to convince the Egyptian people to accept his authority. People with authority have the right to control others.

People obey a person out of fear. They selectively obey authority.

Pharaoh has many names and titles, indicating his status and power.

Two names were written within cartouches cartouche

“A cartouche is an oval border around hieroglyphs that spell out a pharaoh’s name. The hieroglyphs inside this cartouche spell out the name of Ramesses II’

The birth name and the throne name. Thutmose III had Thutmose (“Thoth is born”) as his birth name and Menkheperre (“The manifestation of Re is established”) as his throne name. Other titles included the Nebty name, which signified that the pharaoh was lord of both Upper and Lower Egypt. A pharaoh’s regalia—his ornaments and dress—were also symbols of his power.

Queens

The Queen Pharaoh had many wives, but only one wife with the title of “Great Royal Wife” ruled his queen next to him.

Noblemen

The titles of important nobles and officials are “Fanbearer on the King’s Right” and “Master of Horses”. This is a statue of the Egyptian nobleman Seneb, who has won 20 titles, including “The King’s Love”.

Royals and nobles

Pharaohs were the supreme rulers of ancient Egypt. Their names, clothes, and regalia were all symbolic of their power. Mayors, tax collectors, and army generals helped and advised the pharaoh on political and administrative matters.