Pharaoh is a transliteration of the word “pr-aa,” which means “great house.” “pharaoh” refers to anyone who held the highest political and religious power in ancient Egypt. The position was reserved for men only and was not hereditary. However, it could be inherited by a son if no other male heirs were left alive. This article will examine the history of Ancient Egyptian Pharaohs in Ancient Egypt and their contributions to society and culture.
Who were the Pharaohs?
The Ancient Egyptian Pharaohs were the rulers of Ancient Egypt. The first Pharaoh was Menes, who united Upper and Lower Egypt around 3100 BC. The last native Egyptian Pharaoh was Cleopatra VII, who died in 30 B.C. after being defeated by Rome during a war between her country and that nation.
They held the position of Pharaoh for life; it wasn’t hereditary like other monarchies, where titles were passed along to family members upon death or abdication (such as with British kings). Instead, the king could appoint his successor-but there were only complex rules on how this should happen later when dynasties began forming with families who preferred their sons over all others.
The Role of Pharaohs in Ancient Egypt Society
Ancient Egyptian society was centered around the Pharaoh, who was considered to be a god on earth. The ancient Egyptians viewed their leaders as divinely appointed and believed that the gods had chosen them to rule over them.
The Pharaoh was responsible for overseeing all aspects of life in Egypt, including politics, economics, religion, and culture. He also managed building projects like temples and monuments essential to maintaining order throughout the land.
Don’t miss to Read More about What to see in Cairo: The best things to see in Cairo.
The Pharaohs of the Old Kingdom Era
The Old Kingdom was a time of great wealth and prosperity. The Pharaohs were the supreme rulers of Egypt, who ruled from their capital city Memphis. This period is also known as the Pyramid Age because it saw many large pyramids built as tombs for their pharaohs.
The first Pharaoh of this era was Djoser (2650 BCE), who ruled over Lower Egypt, while his vizier Imhotep ruled Upper Egypt.
The Pharaohs of the Middle Kingdom Era
The Middle Kingdom is the second period in Egyptian history, following the Old Kingdom and preceding the New Kingdom, and it lasted from 2055 BCE to 1650 BCE.
The pharaohs of this era include Mentuhotep I, who reunited Egypt after its division by warring factions; Nebhepetre Mentuhotep II, who expanded his kingdom’s territory into northern Nubia; Amenemhat III, who ruled for over 50 years and built some of Egypt’s most famous temples at Karnak and Luxor; Sobekneferu (2032-2010 BCE), who was only female ruler of Egypt during her time; Senusret III (1897 – 1878 BCE), who defeated several Libyan invaders but died before he could celebrate his victory.
The Pharaohs of the New Kingdom Era
The New Kingdom Era was a time of great prosperity for Egypt. It’s often called the Golden Age of Egypt, lasting from about 1550 BCE until 1069 BCE. The pharaohs who ruled during this period included Thutmose III (1479-1425 BCE), Amenhotep III (1388-1350 BCE), Akhenaten (1353-1336 BCE), and Ramses II (1279-1213). These rulers presided over vast armies that conquered Nubia and Kush; they also expanded trade routes with other nations and built impressive temples as monuments to themselves–the most famous being Tutankhamun’s tomb!
Famous Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt
1- Narmer – The Unifier of Upper and Lower Egypt
Narmer was the first king of united Egypt. He came to power around 3200 BCE and is believed to have founded Memphis. He is also known as Egypt’s first Pharaoh or king. Narmer’s legacy lives on in Egyptian culture today. He is often depicted wearing a crown shaped like a bull’s horns, symbolizing strength and protection.
The Female Pharaoh Who Ruled for Over 20 Years. Hatshepsut is one of the most famous female pharaohs in history. She was one of the most powerful rulers in Egypt’s history, ruling for over 20 years (she started her reign at 22 and died at 50). She was the daughter of Thuthmose I and Ahmose Nefertari and married her half-brother Tuthmosis II when she was 12 years old. After he died, Hatshepsut became regent for their son Tuthmosis III until he came of age. When Tuthmosis III took over after 18 years as a co-regent, Hatshepsut took on all the responsibilities of a ruler without any formal title or position—she didn’t even have a burial place until long after her death!
3- Akhenaten – The Pharaoh Who Introduced Monotheism
Akhenaten was the Pharaoh who introduced monotheism, and he was considered one of the most important rulers in the history of ancient Egypt because of his religious reforms. Akhenaten was born Amenhotep IV and later changed his name to Akhenaten (“Effective Father”), also known as Amenhotep IV. He ruled Egypt from 1353 BC. until 1336 BCE, the same time Moses led the people of Israel out of Egypt in 1446 BCE. His religious reform included the worship of the Aten, the sun disk, and the supreme deity of the Amarna religion. He built temples dedicated to the Aten, including one in the Karnak temple complex, which he dedicated to himself and his wife, Nefertiti. He also established a new capital called Akhetaten (“Horizon of the Aten”), which is now known as Tell el-Amarna or Amarna (not to be confused with Amman).
4- Tutankhamun – The Boy King Who Restored Polytheism
Tutankhamun, or King Tut as he became famous, was the boy king who reinstated polytheism in Egypt. He ruled from 1332-1323 BC and was only 19 when he died. Archaeologists discovered Howard Carter and his tomb in 1922. The tomb of Tutankhamun is located in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt. The tomb contained a wealth of treasures, including gold, silver, precious stones, and everyday items such as carriages and furniture. The discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb sparked renewed interest in Egyptian culture and traditions that had been lost over time due to political turmoil throughout the country’s history until his reign as king when things were stable enough to focus on restoring their culture to its originality. Before, a form was corrupted by foreign influences from other countries, such as Greece or Rome, who were trying to take control of Egypt using force rather than diplomacy (which is why they won).
5- Ramses II – The Longest Reigning Pharaoh of Egypt
Ramesses II, or Ramesses the Great, was the longest-reigning Pharaoh in Egypt. His reign lasted 67 years and ruled from 1279 BC to 1213 BC. He is famous for building the city of Pi-Ramses, which means “House of Ramesses” in ancient Egypt. The town was built in his honor as a place where he could live and rule over his people. Ramesses II was born in Memphis, Egypt, on June 18, 1303, B.C. His mother was Queen Toya, and his father was Pharaoh Seti I. His wife was Nefertari, and she was also one of his daughters. They had four sons: Merneptah (who succeeded him), Ramses III (who reigned after him), Sethos I (who reigned after him), and Seti II (who reigned before him).
6- Cleopatra VII – The Last Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt
Cleopatra VII was the last Pharaoh of ancient Egypt. She ruled from 51 BC to 30 B.C. and was the daughter of Ptolemy XII Auletes. Her full name was Cleopatra Philopator Philometor Soteira Philadelphos Euergetis, which means “Cleopatra, mistress of her father, loving mother goddess, sister and wife of the king, benefactor of Egypt.” Cleopatra married two of her brothers: the first to Ptolemy XIII, who was killed in action against Julius Caesar, then to her other brother Ptolemy XIV, who died shortly after his coronation as co-ruler. She had a son with Caesar named Caesarion (Ptolemy XV). Cleopatra’s reign ended with Octavian’s victory at the Battle of Actium. Octavian became Emperor Augustus, and Egypt became a Roman province.
7- Khufu – The Pharaoh Who Built the Great Pyramid of Giza
Khufu was the Pharaoh who built the Great Pyramids of Giza. He ruled from 2589 to 2566 B.C. and was buried in the Pyramid after his death. Khufu was known as “the Great” because he was one of Egypt’s most powerful rulers and ruled for 23 years. He also built many other structures, including pyramids and temples. The Great Pyramid is thought to have been made by 20,000 men over 20 years. It is considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, along with the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and the Lighthouse of Alexandria.
8- Amenhotep III – The Pharaoh Who Commissioned the Colossi of Memnon
Amenhotep III, also known as Amenhotep the Great, was a pharaoh who ruled Egypt from 1390 to 1352 BC. He was one of the longest-ruling pharaohs in history, and during his reign, he built many temples and sculptures in honor of his mother, wife, and other deities. His power is famous for when the Colossui of Memnon was built at Thebes. Colossi of Memnon Two colossal statues stand outside Thebes (present-day Luxor). Amenhotep III commissioned them to commemorate his military victories over the Hittites and Syrians. The statues are carved from white quartzite and decorated with gold leaf. They initially painted it a bright red, but that color has faded over time – leaving behind only its beautiful stone form and impressive size (less than 20 feet in height).
Life of Pharaohs – Religion, Family, and Lifestyle
Pharaohs were seen as gods on earth who the gods had chosen to rule over Egypt. The kings of Egypt believed that they were the direct descendants of the sun god Horus and as such, they had a sacred duty to protect their people.
The Egyptians believed that all things in nature had a spirit or soul (breath), which gave them life. They also believed that only one God created everything, including humans, animals, and plants – this was known as Ra (or Re). He was known as the father creator because he made everything from nothing by speaking words into existence with his mouth!
The End of the Pharaohs – The Persian and Roman Invasions
The end of the Pharaohs came with the Persian invasion, followed by a period of instability. Eventually, Alexander the Great took control of Egypt in 332 BCE and established it as part of his empire. Greek kings then ruled it until 30 BCE, when it became part of Roman territory.
The Legacy of the Pharaohs – Art, Architecture, and Culture
The pyramids are one of the most famous structures in Egypt, and they’re also among the largest. They were built to be tombs for pharaohs and their families.
The Sphinx is an enormous statue with a human head and lion’s body guarding the Great Pyramids at Giza. Its identity has been debated for centuries; some believe it was created by ancient Egyptians, while others think aliens may have built it!
Temples were places where people came together to worship their gods and kings in rituals called festivals (or “feasts”). In addition to religious ceremonies, these buildings also served as centers for learning about astronomy, mathematics, medicine–and even sports like wrestling matches!
Tombs were underground burial chambers where dead bodies were placed after death so their spirits could return as ghosts when people visited them during festivals celebrating their lives on earth (or what’s left of those lives).
What can we learn from the pharaohs? They were not just rulers but also people who loved their country. They built great art, architecture, and literature. Their legacy is still with us today, thousands of years later. The pyramids are still standing!
The ancient Egyptian civilization produced some fantastic artworks and architecture that remain beautiful and interesting to study today (even though it’s usually displayed in museums). If you want to learn more about Egyptian culture, visit one of these museums soon!
We hope that you have enjoyed learning about the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt.