Structure of Egyptian society
Create a labelled diagram to present an overview of the structure of Egyptian society. (358 – 9/1 -2) Roles of the pharaoh
The pharaoh was a representative of the gods and his main role was to uphold maat – truth, justice and harmony between the gods and the people of Egypt, and to keep isefet, chaos, at bay. Chaos could be natural, such as drought, famine and plague, or caused by humans, such as civil unrest and war. Egyptians believed that, as long as the gods were appropriately honoured, they would ensure peace and prosperity in the land. The pharaoh’s responsibilities were extensive. They can be grouped into three main areas: * Observance of religious rituals and festivals, including the construction and maintenance of temples and the endowment of temple estates * Administration of the government and application of justice and the law * Protection of Egypt’s people and borders
Images of the Pharaoh
Two significant and recurrent images of the pharaoh were depictions of him as representative of the gods and as a warrior. The Egyptian belief in the divinity of Pharaoh was reflected in the royal regalia, the royal titulary and epithets such as ‘The Good God’ and ‘Living Horus’. In temples and tombs and in religious feasts and festivals, pharaohs stressed their devotion to the gods. New Kingdom rulers paid particular attention to their relationship with the god Amen. This differed slightly form earlier periods because Egyptian made offerings to statues of their living ruler long before Ramesside time, but the cult of the living king did not signify divinity. Hatshepsut (18th Dynasty) was the first to depict her own divinity, as daughter of Amen, in her Divine Birth Inscription in her mortuary temple at Deir el Bahri. Rulers after her claimed divine perentage in similar insscriptions, among them Amenhotep III (18th dynasty), Seti and Ramesses II. Ramesses II made particular use of the Pharaoh as god image by colossal...
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