Theocracy is rule by gods, and the pharaoh, seen as a living god, son of Re (sun god), represented the people under the gods. The pharaoh had absolute power, but he delegated tasks to a variety of bureaucratic positions (nonelected government officials), such as, Viziers, high priests, army commanders, chief treasurers, the minister of public works, Nomarchs, and tax collectors. The Vizier, who was appointed by the Pharaoh, was responsible for the Nomarch (a noble governor of a Nome); Nomarchs, who were appointed by the Pharaoh or inherited the position, ruled over Nomes. There were 42 Nomes (Provinces) -22 in Upper Egypt and 20 in Lower Egypt, which ran along the Nile Delta. Under the pharaoh, Vizier, and Nomarchs were scribes; written by scribes, the archive held administrative records, such as, laws, wills, marriage contracts, conscription lists, tax information, letters, and trial transcripts, etc. Enacting laws, delivering justice, and maintaining law and order was the pharaoh’s responsibility; the laws under the pharaoh were based on Ma’at (the female godess of truth and justice). Both men and women were equal under the law, because the gods and goddesses were equal to each other. Both men and women had the right to own and sell property, make contracts, marry and divorce, receive inheritance, and pursue legal disputes in court. Married couples could own property jointly and protect themselves from divorce by agreeing to marriage contracts, which stipulated the financial obligations of the husband to his wife and children should the marriage end. However, women were not usually educated or officials.
Ancient Egyptians had a polytheistic religion, over 2000 gods and goddesses. The Egyptians had many tales about how the world began. According to one legend, it started with an ocean in darkness. Then a mound of dry land rose up and the sun god Re appeared; he created light and all things. Another version has Re emerging from a sacred blue lotus that grew...
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