History has many important figures, but few arouse more interest and passion than Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. This pivotal character manages to amass a mixture of magic, mystery, and power that makes her a phenomenon worth investigating.
What is a Pharaoh?
A title given to the kings of Egypt, it is a name derived from Egyptian and Hebrew meaning great house. In the earliest Egyptian documents, the word seems to have been used to refer to a court and was eventually applied to a king or head of government.
He is said to be an incarnation (with a falcon head) of the god Horus, successor to Osiris. Since he was considered a god, the Egyptians prostrated themselves before him, unable to see or touch his face. Pharaohs were also said to have magical powers.
Characteristics of a Pharaoh
It is very easy to identify a pharaoh by his striking appearance. However, this is not the only thing that characterized a pharaoh. Among other things are:
- It displayed numerous symbols of power.
- He wore flashy outfits that reflected his power and lined his eyes.
- He had absolute power.
- He was considered a god.
- He was the owner of most of the land.
- It was law and justice.
- He lived surrounded by wealth, in a great palace, and with a large number of slaves and servants.
- He was the supreme commander of the army.
Symbols of power of a Pharaoh
Each symbol used by the pharaoh had a specific function and highlighted the great power he possessed. Among the symbols used by a pharaoh were:
- Crowns: At the front of his crown was the image of the sacred ureus, or cobra, which was believed to spit fire and destruction on his enemies. There were different types of crowns and each had a meaning. Among the best-known are:
- The white Crown or Hedjet symbolized Upper Egypt.
- The red Crown or Desheret symbolized Lower Egypt.
- The double Crown or Sechemty symbolized the unification of Egypt.
- A feathered Crown or Shuty was worn by the great royal wives.
- Crown Osiriaca or Atef was used in certain funeral rituals.
- Triple Crown Atef or Hemrem was composed of 3 Atef crowns and is said to have a solar function.
- Scepters: Their function was to emphasize the authority of the pharaoh. The scepters used by a pharaoh were:
- The Nejej was shaped like a flail or scourge and was used in ceremonies. He was very often associated with the god Osiris.
- The crook-shaped Heka was the eternal companion of the Nejej scepter. Just as a shepherd leads his flock with a crook, the pharaoh was the shepherd of his people and led it with the Heka. He was also associated with the god Osiris and magical powers were attributed to him.
- The beard: This was false and he used it only when he appeared in public to identify himself with Osiris.
Clothing of a Pharaoh
Pharaoh’s clothes were made of linen, symbolizing his wealth, so they were almost transparent and conspicuous. It covers the head, hangs upright behind the ears, ties a cloth (shendeet) around the waist, wraps it around the body from back to front, and wears a long dress.
In addition, she also wears accessories such as necklaces, rings, and earrings and is covered with a makeup called Koru.
Powers of a Pharaoh
He was the supreme ruler of Egypt until his death, and after his death, his power passed from generation to generation as his eldest son became the new Pharaoh to rule the kingdoms. rice fields. He possesses great power and wealth but also has many responsibilities. He was the head of government, the head of the army, and the head of religion.
There is no Egyptian law like the one promulgated by Pharaoh. Since the lands of Egypt united, he is known as the ruler of two lands, including Upper and Lower Egypt. As a military commander, he is someone who is willing to lead an army into battle.
From an early age, he was trained in the use of weapons and practiced archery in lion hunts. His duty as a religious leader was to build temples to make offerings to the gods. He begged the gods for help by performing many rituals in the rice fields.
Pharaoh had many officials and ministers who ruled the country. He has a minister like the president of the government and is always by his side. Other assistants are the secretary, the councilor, and the monarch. He was worshiped as a living god, identified with the god Horus, and attained immortality after death with Osiris.
The pharaohs always had to live with great royal wives, queens, and messengers of the dynasty. He is extremely powerful and important to the system, as he cannot become a Pharaoh without first marrying a royal woman.
In ancient Egypt, several queens wielded absolute power after the death of their husbands. The title these celebrities hold in power is Queen Pharaoh, not Pharaoh.
Most prominent pharaohs
There were many pharaohs and queen-pharaohs who ruled in Ancient Egypt, forming more than 30 dynasties. Its beginning was around the year 3000 BC with the I dynasty until the year 30 BC with the Ptolemeic dynasty. However, not all pharaohs were so relevant and well-known today. Among the most outstanding are:
- Narmer or Menes: He was the first pharaoh and the founder of the I dynasty. He founded Memphis and managed to conquer the lands of the Nile Delta. In addition, he built the temple of Ptah.
- Cheops: Second pharaoh of Dynasty IV who ruled for 23 years. He had the Great Pyramid of Giza built and years after his death, he came to be venerated as a true god.
- Tutankhamun: He belonged to the 18th dynasty and was the last pharaoh of the royal lineage, which achieved the return to the religious and social normality of Ancient Egypt.
- Ramses II: He is known as one of the most prominent pharaohs. He reigned for 66 years and was a great warrior. He built great works such as the temples of Osireion, Ramesseum, and Abydos, among others.
- Cleopatra VII: She was the last queen of Ancient Egypt. He began his reign when he was 18 years old and is attributed an extraordinary beauty, although many writings attribute his charm rather to his personality.