23 November 2011
Tuthmosis III: The Pharaoh that Reigns Supreme
A country is a reflection of its leader; the citizens, military, laws, and cultural traditions directly reflect the aspirations of the leader. In Ancient Egypt, many Pharaohs had the honour of leading Egypt, sculpting it to their respective visions. One Pharaoh, however, remains the most successful leader as he strengthened Egypt’s presence in the Middle East on many accounts. Tuthmosis III continues to be widely recognized as the greatest Egyptian Pharaoh. His unique approach to the military, which included his presence in the line of duty, made him a leader of the people. He strengthened the army by deliberating over battle plans and reforming weaponry. In addition, as he advanced into other cities, he taught his laws in order to further Egypt’s political presence and make his way the only way. Tuthmosis III proved his artistic valor through his architectural contributions both in life, and in honouring his death. King Tuthmosis III is the greatest of all Egyptian Pharaohs. His contribution to military, political, and architectural advancements have sculpted his legacy.
In order to gain the respect and trust of one’s people, it is of utmost importance that a Pharaoh is skilled when it comes to military battles. Tuthmosis III is best known for his military campaigns. He is often referred to as the “Napoleon of Egypt” but unlike Napoleon, he never lost a battle. Before being in power, “He had conducted some military campaigns during Hatshepsut’s [his stepmother] reign, and he had spent a great deal of time preparing the land and naval forces of Egypt for his own expeditions” (Bunson 415). It is evident that he concentrated his efforts on establishing a strong and skilled army. In addition, he was well respected since he fought alongside his troops. He became one with his citizens instead of leading them from the sidelines. He is well recognized for the tactics at the Battle of Megiddo. The battle began at the fortress at Mount Carmel during Tuthmosis III’s twenty-second regnal year. The king of Kadesh began a riot and his army waited in front of the mountain to begin the battle. Tuthmosis III, being a courageous leader, guided his army over Mount Carmel despite the opposition. After camping at Ar-Megiddo over night, Tuthmosis III used the river to his advantage, as means of travel and trapping his opponents. Coupled with the leather body armour covered with metal scales, the troops were a force to be reckoned with. Although Tuthmosis III is best known for conquering Megiddo, he also introduced many vital weapons that eventually lead him to victories that spanned two decades. One of the more notable tactics was the chariot, which was lead by horses and used to carry large shields (The Napoleon of Ancient Egypt). This made the army more dominant and agile over their opponent. In his thirty-third regnal year, Tuthmosis III conquered the area of the Euphrates where he brought boats and rafts with his troops in order to move them across the river. This served a double purpose because after conquering the cities, the boats would be loaded with prisoners, horses, armour, and other goods that would be brought back to the Nile. Tuthmosis III’s success in militia sharpened his skills in the political forum, thus reinforcing the fact that he is the greatest Pharaoh of all time.
When reevaluating the effectiveness of a leader, it is imperative to consider his or her contributions to politics since that best represents the legacy left behind. Tuthmosis III passed on his political message in a way that now may seem unorthodox, however, served his purpose successfully. He formed: ...garrison-towns at strategic points and removed the sons of local rulers to Egypt as hostages for their father’s good behavior. These sons were brought up with the Egyptian royal children ‘to serve their lord and stand at the portal...