Old Kingdom of Egypt

The Old Kingdom of Egypt existed during (2695-2160 B.C.). It was characterized by “creativity and originality” i.e. slavery, sacrificial murder, and superstition. Its religious system was an interesting collage that consisted anatomical blending of species (human and animal) and prone to acceptance of theoretical inconsistencies by those in power, who reserved authority to rationalized the status quo. Western Civilization Beyond Boundaries (fifth edition) states “that they were not troubled by it because; Egyptians believed that a fundamental unity underlay the varieties of nature.”  (Thomas F.X. Noble, 2008) However, one can wonder if along with its economy, control was centralized as a means of privatizing public resources for the benefit of the few in power. They believed that one can go on living in the “after life” after a physical death within the context of existing here on earth. The wealthy could even bring along all of their cherished possessions –and slaves too –  of course only after murdering them all. In the afterlife, ruling powers could be non-royalty and even given rights to incantations, spells, and magic, if they paid sufficient finances for it. Surprisingly, the highest official was not the Pharaoh he was known as the “vizier” and had more day to day power than the Pharaoh did. In this era of the Fourth Dynasty, the first pyramids of Giza were constructed with King Khufu’s’ being the largest of them. These were the places thought to be inhabited during the afterlife. They symbolized Egypt’s power structure which resembled a Pyramid; the elite at the top and everyone else under their dominance. The Sphinx was also constructed during that time and is thought to represent his son King Khafre. Egypt was amongst the first government in recorded history to govern such large territory. The highest point of power was called the “Great House” and was later called Pharaoh which was a sacred monarchy. The Pharaoh was a self-prophesized God. Egyptian men did not let Egyptian women gain equal status but could buy, sell, inherit, bequeath, sue, and testify in courts. A married woman could also retain the status of “complete legal independence” if the need was sufficient.  Similar to Christian beliefs, they were expected to make home the focus of their activities.

Works Cited

Thomas F.X. Noble, B. S. (2008). Western Civilization Beyond Boundaries. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.

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