• Society
  • Social Pyramid
  • Egyptian Nobility

  • Comparison between Egyptian and Roman Nobility

    Criteria Egyptian Nobility Roman Nobility
    ImagesEgyptian Nobility Roman Nobility
    Social Status - Nobility in Egypt was hereditary.
    - Right below the Pharaoh in status were the powerful Nobles, they hold government posts, and were rulers over the Nomes (provinces) of Egypt.
    - From the Noble families often emerged the Royal dynasties of the Pharaohs
    - In the Old Kingdom, the courts of the local nobility where the royal centre for cultural predominance. Noble families sometimes contended and challenged the authority of the Pharaoh They were pillars of social stability, and provided local political cohesion to their regions in times of failing central power
    - From the Middle Kingdom onwards the power and independence of the Nobility was diminished, and their administrative functions were taken over by the Viziers
    - Nobility in Roman society was not a matter established merely by birth, it was established by the holding of high offices over generations
    - Only after three successive generations achieved high office in a row, could a family be noble. And yet it took only one generation to lose this nobility again.
    Public Office - Each Nome was governed by a Noble
    - The Nomes remained in place for more than three millennia, Under the system that prevailed, the country was divided into 42 Nomes: 20 comprising Lower Egypt, whilst Upper Egypt was divided into 22.
    - Nobles had very little role in the role of the central authority. The status of the local nobility was more independent of the central authority than that of the royal administrators such as the Vizier and High Priest who flourished around the person of the Pharaoh
    - The privileged Roman embarked on ambitious political careers. All the young nobleman's abilities and energy were devoted to getting onto and climbing the ladder of offices and posts in the central authority
    - By failing to achieve high office, either by lack of effort or lack of ability, the nobleman's family, his children, would lose their status.
    Clothing - They used jewelry for ornamentation, round collars of jewels or beads, they decorated their wrists and upper arms with rings bracelets.
    - Both for beauty and protection from the heat, they wore long. heavy black wigs of sheep's wool or human hair, they also wore striped or embroidered headdresses to signify their upper social standing.
    - The normal formal robe for a noble Roman citizen was a toga worn over a simple tunica. As time passed the Roman toga lost the bulk of its fabric and became much smaller.
    - Roman nobility used very simple jewelry for ornamentation
    Social Habits - Nobles spent his leisure time hunting and fishing - Private life was merely a space to rest and to find friends and build personal alliances.
    Burials - Noble Egyptians were buried in mastabas and underground tombs. Basically every person had a separate tomb, collective family tombs were not considered appropriate for the Egyptian Elite.
    - The Nobles had their bodies preserved by Mummification just like the Pharaohs
    - Their tombs were decorated with paintings, food was provided for the voyage to heaven, and filled with statues of their servants to work for them in the hereafter.
    - Noble Romans were buried in family tombs, containing the remains of several generations.
    - The tombs were single-chambered vaulted buildings with a rectangular plan of