The Monarchy

Authored by: Aidan Dodson

The Egyptian World

Print publication date:  September  2007
Online publication date:  May  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415427265
eBook ISBN: 9780203820933
Adobe ISBN: 9781136753770

10.4324/9780203820933.ch6

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Abstract

As has been so frequently stated that it verges on cliché, the king stood at the pinnacle of the pyramid that was Egyptian society. In theory at least, the whole of Egypt belonged to him in trust from the gods. In temples, he was the sole officiant, all officials in the state were appointed by him and all land was ultimately leased from him. In addition, his was the role of maintaining the security of Egypt and holding back the forces of chaos – especially in the form of foreigners. Thus, the status and standing of the monarchy was fundamental to the health of the country, and periods of national decline almost always went hand-in-hand with problems in the functioning of the monarchy – although the polarity of cause and effect in such cases can be a matter for debate.

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