Comparison between Egyptian Pharaohs and democratic Presidents
|Criteria||Egyptian Pharaoh||President in Liberal Democracy|
|Social Status||The pinnacle of Egyptian society, a god in Earth - an incarnation of Horus the falcon god||A common citizen|
|Access to power||The ascent of the throne was the succession of the eldest son of a dead Pharaoh, Sometimes the heir's coronation as a co-regent prior to the father's death was performed||Universal elections|
|Duration of Rule||Lifetime||Limited by law and election mandate|
|Administrative power||Supreme Power, the Pharaoh himself was the figure upon whom the whole administrative structure of the state rested. These god Pharaohs usually commanded tremendous resources, was the head of the civil administration and the supreme warlord||Distribution of power between different State institutions|
|Titles||The kings of Egypt were not called Pharaohs by the Egyptians.
The title of "Pharaoh" actually comes to us from the Greek language and its use in the Old Testament.
In Egypt a whole range of titles were used for a full statement of a Pharaoh's name and
title, these included: |
- The living Horus
- Lord of the Two Lands
- High Priest of every temple
|Representative of the people|
|Responsibilities||The Pharaoh was subject to grave responsibilities, he was tasked with keeping the order and defeat the enemies of the country. making sufficient offerings and otherwise satisfying the gods so that they would bless Egypt with a bountiful Nile flood. failure at these tasks meant a weakening of the state, and in some cases, such as at the end of the Old Kingdom, this failure lead to a complete collapse of the country.||Responsible for state affairs according to mandate, but performance constantly monitored by the people and State institutions|
|Judgment of Rule||Worshipped during his reign and after his death, never judged - few exceptions occurred when dead Pharaohs were defamed by succeeding rival Pharaohs such as Akhenaten and Hatshepsut||Subject to criticism during and after his rule|
- Pharaohs wore and were buried with the religious Magical Amulets that protected them from evil powers
- They also wore other regalia connected to their divine power and authority such as crowns, flails and crooks
- It is noted that despite of widespread depiction in royal portraits, no ancient crown ever has been found, Tutankhamen's tomb, discovered largely intact, did contain his crook and flail, but not a crown.
- This official State item was not retained by dead pharaohs as personal possessions, and had to be passed along to a successor.
- Crowns may have been temple property, after all the pharaoh was crowned by the High Priest
Crook and Flail - Royal Authority
- The Crook and Flail are the emblems of Osiris, these two objects are Shepherd's tools -one of the epithets of Osiris was "Good shepherd."
- They were the symbols of divine authority carried by Pharaohs in State festivals, and became two of the most prominent items in the royal regalia
- They were commonly represented together, held across the chest of the Pharaoh
- The crook was a cane with a hooked handle, sometimes gold-plated and reinforced with blue copper bands
- It symbolized the very concept of rule and was even employed as the hieroglyph for the word "rule"
- The flail was a rod with three attached beaded, strands. It derived from the shepherd's whip
It symbolized the Pharaoh's ability to punish his enemies
- The Uraeus was a cobra in upright position a symbol worn on the crown or headdress of royalty. It symbolized the Lower Egyptian goddess Wadjet
- The cobra snake was on the Pharaoh's forehead to spit fire at his enemies the way a cobra spits poison into an enemy's eyes.
- The pharaoh was recognized only by wearing the Uraeus, which conveyed legitimacy to the ruler
- The Golden Uraeus of Senusret 2 is of solid gold, it has black eyes of granite, a snake head of deep "ultramarine" carnelian inlays.
- For mounting on the Pharaoh's crown, two loops in the rear-supporting tail of the cobra, provide the attach points
The White Crown - Hedjet
- The crown of Upper Egypt (south) is a tall white conical headpiece
- It depicted as early as 3000 BC on the Narmer Palette
- The White crown was worn by the rulers of Upper Egypt (south) before the unification with Lower Egypt (north)
- This crown had a special association with the goddess Nekhbet.
- They were made of fabric or felt, though no actual examples of these crowns have survived
The Red Crown - Deshret
- The crown of Lower Egypt consisted of a cylindrical section with a tall extension at the back and a 'thread' on the front with a curled end.
- The Egyptian pharaohs, wore it to symbolize their authority over Lower Egypt and for the desert Red Land on either side of the Nile river basin.
- This crown is also depicted on the reverse side of the Narmer Palette
- The Red Crown was the emblem of Neith the goddess of warfare, who was the patron of the city of Sais in Lower Egypt.
The Double Crown - Pschent
- Menes founded the First Egyptian Dynasty around 3100 BC and unified the Two Lands of Upper and Lower Egypt.
- With the unification, the red crown and the white crown were combined to become the double crown, known as the "Two Mighty Ones"
- The crown bore two animal emblems, the Uraeus symbol of the Lower Egyptian goddess Wadjet, and an Egyptian vulture representing the Upper Egyptian goddess Nekhbet.
- These were fastened to the front of the Pschent and referred to as the Two Ladies.
- The Pschent represented the pharaoh's power over all of unified Egypt
- Just as is the case with the Deshret and the Hedjet Crowns, no Pschent has survived. It is known only from statuary, depictions, and inscriptions.
The Nemes Crown
- This crown was known from the times of Zoser in the 3rd Dynasty
- More of a head-dress than a crown, the Nemes was the striped head cloth worn by pharaohs. It covered the whole crown and back of the head and nape of the neck
- When a pharaoh was depicted as a sphinx, a Nemes always adorned the head of the sphinx, which suggests that this crown along with the false beard were inspired from the lion's mane
- The Nemes was used almost exclusively in statuary and funerary representation representing the royal Ka
However paintings showing the pharaoh performing daily activities such as hunting or at war, never shown the king wearing the Nemes crown
- This suggests that this crown was actually symbolic only, but were never actually worn