Egyptian Empire

1560 Words 7 Pages
During the years 1250-30BC the Egyptian Empire was slowly collapsing due to change in areas such as the climate, technology, religion and war. What remained constant was that the Egyptian people were ruled by pharaohs. I am going to focus on the extent to which the pharaohs caused the collapse of the Egyptian Empire. For example the poor decisions made by the pharaohs, to establish if the decisions made were the main cause of the collapse. I will then review other factors such as religion, climate change, famine and technology to assess their contribution to the collapse.
Throughout Egyptian history pharaohs were significant figures influencing war, economy, religion and technology. Many historical debates depict that the pharaohs were the
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There is a re-occurring theme surrounding the death of many pharaohs. Whenever the country was failing either politically or economically, the pharaoh’s death tended to be brutal. Vernus, suggests that the main reason why Ramesses III was assassinated in 1155BC was due to jealousy within the harem, causing conspiracy in the court. This view is refuted by Grimal , arguing that Ramesses III reorganised land allocations which gave more land to the temples rather than to the people, causing agricultural land to be wasted. The economic focus is plausible as during the reign of Ramesses III in 1186-1155BC, the economy was an important part of the empire, although the jealousy of the peasants against the temples would not have helped the situation. The shortage of farming land meant less food for the people of Egypt, causing hunger strikes and the world’s first workers strike at Deir El Medina during Ramesses 29th year as pharaoh. These strikes led to Ramesses’ weakening as the Pharaoh, as the surge of starving and homeless people created economic turmoil within Egypt. Newby suggests that the main cause for this rupture in the economy was due to the strikes, as it increased inflation enormously, so much so that the traditional barter system failed. Grimal agrees that strikes were a large factor in the damaged economy, …show more content…
His decision to give Cambyses II, the ruler of Persia, a substitute daughter instead of his own daughter was a mistake because he did not want her to become a concubine. Cambyses II discovered the lie and plotted war against Egypt. This mistake led to Egypt being held under Persian rule. Psametik III became pharaoh at a young age at the start of the war in 525BC. He was therefore not experienced to effectively run an empire which contributed to the decline. Poor decisions were not the only reason why the Battle of Pelusium was a significant factor to the collapse of the Egyptian Empire, as religion played an important role. Cambyses’ choices during the Battle of Pelusium were one of the earliest examples of psychological warfare. Egyptians held cats in the highest esteem, and the penalty for injuring or killing a cat were severe. They worshipped a cat goddess, whom they called Bastet. Cambyses, aware that the Egyptians were religious placed cats at the front line of the battle. Herodotus implies that this action is the main reason why the Egyptians lost the battle, as they did not want to fight lest they injured the animals. This has been disputed by many historians such as Newby , who agrees that religion was a factor, but argues that Psametik III played a large factor in the defeat because he was a young and inexperienced pharaoh. Herodotus has a more

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