Welcome To The Nile Gift in Egypt

Egypt Old MapEgypt, officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, (ˈiː.dʒɪpt (help·info), Egyptian: Kemet; Coptic: Ⲭⲏⲙⲓ Kīmi; Arabic: مصر‎ Miṣr; Egyptian Arabic: Máṣr) is a country in North Africa. The Sinai Peninsula is part of Egypt, but forms a land bridge to Asia. Covering an area of about 1,001,450 square kilometers (386,660 sq mi), Egypt borders Libya to the west, Sudan to the south and the Gaza Strip and Israel to the east. The northern coast borders the Mediterranean Sea; the eastern coast borders the Red Sea.

Egypt is one of the most populous countries in Africa and the Middle East. The great majority of its estimated 80,300,000 people (2007 US State Department estimate) live near the banks of the Nile River, in an area of about 40,000 square kilometers (15,000 sq mi), where the only arable agricultural land is found.
The large areas of the Sahara Desert are sparsely inhabited. About half of Egypt’s residents live in urban areas, with the majority spread across the densely-populated centres of greater Cairo, Alexandria and other major cities in the Nile Delta. Continue reading Welcome To The Nile Gift in Egypt

The Governmental System In Ancient Egypt

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Egypt had one of the first organized governments. Before Upper and Lower Egypt were united, each area was ruled by a king. In 3100 BC, after the country was united into a centralized system of government, it was then divided into 42 nomes, or regions. A governor ruled each region but had to obey the pharaoh.

The pharaoh was the highest authority and had total power over the people. The pharaoh controlled the executive and judicial branches of government and was assisted by many appointed civil servants. When selecting these aides, the pharaoh had to follow the legal rules of seniority and literacy.

Government officials in the Old Kingdom held positions such as the Royal Courtiers, Advisors, Councilors, and Ministers. The Royal Court’s status grew over time and covered religious, civil, judicial, and military duties. The Advisor was the highest official in the state, but not a member of the government’s higher Council. The Council was comprised of senior state officials who enforced legislation and royal decrees and later assumed judiciary functions. The Minister was the head of the judges. Continue reading The Governmental System In Ancient Egypt

The Governmental System In Ancient Egypt

Sample imageSample image

Egypt had one of the first organized governments. Before Upper and Lower Egypt were united, each area was ruled by a king. In 3100 BC, after the country was united into a centralized system of government, it was then divided into 42 nomes, or regions. A governor ruled each region but had to obey the pharaoh.

The pharaoh was the highest authority and had total power over the people. The pharaoh controlled the executive and judicial branches of government and was assisted by many appointed civil servants. When selecting these aides, the pharaoh had to follow the legal rules of seniority and literacy.

Government officials in the Old Kingdom held positions such as the Royal Courtiers, Advisors, Councilors, and Ministers. The Royal Court’s status grew over time and covered religious, civil, judicial, and military duties. The Advisor was the highest official in the state, but not a member of the government’s higher Council. The Council was comprised of senior state officials who enforced legislation and royal decrees and later assumed judiciary functions. The Minister was the head of the judges.

A number of administrators specialized in handling taxes, finance, public works, and labor distribution on various projects. Egypt was the first country to implement a system for workers in governmental projects such as crafts, industry, agriculture, and construction.

Courts of law existed in all Egyptian regions. Many contracts and papyri about petitions and verdicts prove that there were specific, fixed laws concerning everyday transactions such as inheritance, marriage, grants, wills, land ownership, and other commercial transactions. Everything was recorded and kept in an archive, including wills, title deeds, census lists, orders, tax lists, letters, inventories, regulations, and trial transcripts.

During the Greco-Roman age, the Ptolemaic king took the position of pharaoh and followed the system of central government. Because the priests threatened the invaders’ control, the Ptolemies tried to weaken them by stripping the temples of their properties and rights. They later changed their policy and won the priests’ support by showing respect to Egyptian beliefs and building more temples. The Ptolemies maintained the country’s division into regions with the governor as the head. The governor acquired a military character as the leader of the garrison and its financial administrator. Inside these districts there were exclusive cities for the elite Greek classes to live in, such as Nokratis, Alexandria, and Ptolemia.

The Ptolemies enacted laws prohibiting intermarriage between the Greeks and the Egyptians. During this time, the judiciary system recognized four separate sets of law for Egyptians, Greeks and foreigners, Greek cities, and the Jewish people. The “Polytium” system appeared, which was a league of all-Greek classes, acting as an independent board of a military-like nature. It also had social and religious activities and was subject to the king. The division between the Egyptians and the Greeks did not last long. Some Egyptians became attendants and administrators and marriage between Egyptians and Greeks gradually increased.

When Egypt became a Roman province, the Romans made no changes unless necessary. The Roman emperor became the pharaoh of Egypt and was portrayed in the Egyptian temples wearing the pharaoh’s double crown and clothes. The emperor directly managed Egypt’s affairs and took the leadership of the Roman Army. A new post was added in the administration which was the chief judge.

From the Roman legal point of view, Egypt’s population was divided into two basic divisions: Romans and Egyptians. However, the word “Egyptians” was used to refer to all the population of Egypt including the Egyptians, Greeks, and the Jewish people. A head tax was imposed on Egyptians but not on Roman citizens and Alexandrians, who held the right to join the army and were exempt from taxes. During the Roman era, Egyptians lived under very bad conditions because of high taxes and forced labor. Reforms applied in the third century gave Roman citizenship to everybody and the privileges enjoyed by the minority were cancelled. Decentralization was later applied by King Diocletian.

After Egypt became an Islamic province, it continued to be governed from abroad. The caliph appointed a ruler who governed Egypt and managed its affairs in the caliph’s name. He supervised collecting “Al-Kharag,” which is the tax on agricultural land. Christians and Jews paid taxes and Muslims paid Zakah. The Police Chief was responsible for preserving security and the post official was responsible for the communication between Egypt and the Center of Caliphate.


The kingdom of Mitanni – ancient torkey

The kingdom of Mitanni

The kingdom of Mitanni was a feudal state led by a warrior nobility of Aryan or Hurrian origin. Frequently horses were bred on their large landed estates. Documents and contract agreements in Syria often mention a chariot-warrior caste that also constituted the social upper class in the cities.

Below: The Hittites Kingdom at it’s height

The aristocratic families usually received their landed property as an inalienable fief. Consequently, no documents on the selling of landed property are to be found in the great archives of Akkadian documents and letters discovered in Nuzi, near Kirkuk. The prohibition against selling landed property was often dodged, however, with a stratagem: the previous owner “adopted” a willing buyer against an appropriate sum of money. The wealthy lord Tehiptilla was “adopted” almost 200 times, acquiring tremendous holdings of landed property in this way without interference by the local governmental authorities. He had gained his wealth through trade and commerce and through a productive two-field system of agriculture (in which each field was cultivated only once in two years). For a long time, Prince Shilwa-Teshub was in charge of the royal governmental administration in the district capital. Sheep breeding was the basis for a woolen industry, and textiles collected by the palace were exported on a large scale. Society was highly structured in classes, ranks, and professions. The judiciary, patterned after the Babylonian model, was well organized; the documents place heavy emphasis on correct procedure.

Native sources on the religion of the Hurrians of the Mitanni kingdom are limited; about their mythology, however, much is known from related Hittite and Ugaritic myths. Like the other peoples of the ancient Middle East, the Hurrians worshiped gods of various origins. The king of the gods was the weather god Teshub. According to the myths, he violently deposed his father Kumarbi; in this respect he resembled the Greek god Zeus, who deposed his father Kronos. The war chariot of Teshub was drawn by the bull gods Seris (“Day”) and Hurris (“Night”). Major sanctuaries of Teshub were located at Arrapkha (modern Kirkuk) and at Halab (modern Aleppo) in Syria. In the east his consort was the goddess of love and war Shaushka, and in the west the goddess Hebat (Hepat); both were similar to the Ishtar-Astarte of the Semites.

The sun god Shimegi and the moon god Kushuh, whose consort was Nikkal, the Ningal of the Sumerians, were of lesser rank. More important was the position of the Babylonian god of war and the underworld, Nergal. In northern Syria the god of war Astapi and the goddess of oaths Ishara are attested as early as the 3rd millennium BC.

Below: The Hittites were some of the first warriors to use the chariot.

In addition, a considerable importance was attributed to impersonal numina such as heaven and earth as well as to deities of mountains and rivers. In the myths the terrible aspect of the gods often prevails over indications of a benevolent attitude. The cults of sacrifices and other rites are similar to those known from the neighbouring countries; many Hurrian rituals were found in Hittite Anatolia. There is abundant evidence for magic and oracles.

Temple monuments of modest dimensions have been unearthed; in all probability, specific local traditions were a factor in their design. The dead were probably buried outside the settlement. Small artifacts, particularly seals, show a peculiar continuation of Babylonian and Assyrian traditions in their preference for the naturalistic representation of figures. There were painted ceramics with finely drawn decorations (white on a dark background). The strong position of the royal house was evident in the large palaces, existing even in district capitals. The palaces were decorated with frescoes. Because only a few Mitanni settlements have been unearthed in Mesopotamia, knowledge of Mitanni arts and culture is as yet insufficient.