The Full Wiki

Middle Kingdom of Egypt: Wikis

Advertisements
  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Middle Kingdom is the period in the history of ancient Egypt stretching from the establishment of the Eleventh Dynasty to the end of the Fourteenth Dynasty, between 2080 BC and 1640 BC.

The period comprises two phases, the 11th Dynasty, which ruled from Thebes and the 12th Dynasty onwards which was centered around el-Lisht. These two dynasties were originally considered to be the full extent of this unified kingdom, but historians now [1] consider the 13th Dynasty to at least partially belong to the Middle Kingdom.

Contents

Twelfth Dynasty

After the reigns of his successors (Mentuhotep III) and (Mentuhotep IV) of the Eleventh Dynasty ended, there was a smooth transition into the illustrious Twelfth Dynasty. The first Pharaoh of the Twelfth Dynasty, (Amenemhat I), is, according to some sources, the same man as Amenemhat, the Vizier of Upper Egypt, under the reign of Mentuhotep IV. This explains the smooth transition of power in which Amenemhat easily assumed the reins of power after the death of Mentuhotep IV.

Amenemhat I built a new capital for Egypt, known as Itjtawy. The location of this capital is unknown, but is presumably the present-day el-Lisht, although Manetho claims the capital remained at Thebes. Amenemhat pacified unrest in Egypt by force and curtailed the rights of the nomarchs. He is known to have at least launched one campaign into Nubia. In 1971 BCE Amenemhat established his son Senusret I as his junior co-regent. In 1962 BCE, he was presumably murdered by a royal bodyguard. Senuseret, campaigning against Libyan invaders, rushed home to Itjtawy to prevent a takeover of the government. This proved the worth of the institution of the coregency since the new king had acquired useful experience by the time he would start his sole reign. The co-regency system lasted throughout the Twelfth Dynasty and provided great stability.

Senusret's successor Amenemhat II (1929 BCE – 1895 BCE) made the position of the nomarchs hereditary again (thus weakening the centralized government) and established trade connections with Nubia. A war seems to have been conducted in the Levant.

Senusret II (1897 BCE – 1878 BCE) improved trade connections with Nubia, Palestine and the Levant.

His successor Senusret III (1878 BCE – 1839 BCE) was a warrior-king, often taking to the field himself. He led his troops deep into Nubia, and built a series of massive forts throughout the country to establish Egypt's formal boundary with the unconquered areas of the territory. On the domestic front, he built a fine religious temple at Abydos; while it is now destroyed, surviving reliefs show the high quality of the decorations. He was deified at the end of the Middle Kingdom and worshipped by the pharaohs of the New Kingdom. He gave the Crown to his son in his twentieth Year, according to evidence from Papyrus Berlin 10056, but remained the senior coregent.

Amenemhat III (1860 BCE – 1815 BCE) was the last great pharaoh of the Middle Kingdom. Egypt's population began to exceed food production levels and Amenemhat III ordered the exploitation of the Fayyum and increased mining operations in the Sinaï desert. He made sure that nomarchs could no longer inherit their nomes as Amenemhat II had permitted. He also invited Asiatic settlers to Egypt to labor on Egypt's monuments. But late in his reign the annual floods began to fail and his successor Amenemhat IV ruled Egypt for just nine full years (1816 BCE – 1807 BCE) before dying prematurely.

The sister of Amenemhet IV briefly reigned as Queen Sobekneferu (1807 BCE – 1803 BCE). As she apparently had no heirs, the Twelfth Dynasty came to a sudden end as did the Golden Age of the Middle Kingdom.

Pharaohs of the Twelfth through Eighteenth Dynasty are credited with preserving for us some of the most fabulous of Egyptian papyri:

Thirteenth and Fourteenth Dynasties

Advertisements

Thirteenth Dynasty

The Thirteenth Dynasty ruled for approximately 457 years, according to Manetho, but this is presumably an error for 153 years since the digit 4 and 1 were very similar in Greek. A few of the kings and their possible dates include:

Fourteenth dynasty

These kings appear to have gradually lost their grasp over Egypt. A Fourteenth Dynasty appeared in the Delta region, but the pharaohs of this dynasty seem to have been minor monarchs in the Delta region.

The Thirteenth and Fourteenth Dynasties witnessed the slow decline of Egypt into the Second Intermediate Period in which some of the Asiatic settlers of Amenemhat III would grasp power over Egypt as the Hyksos.

References

  1. ^ Gae Calender, The Middle Kingdom Renasissance in The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, Oxford, 2000

Further reading

  • W. Grajetzki, The Middle Kingdom of Ancient Egypt: History,Archaeology and Society, Duckworth, London 2006 ISBN 0-7156-3435-6

Simple English

The Middle Kingdom is the period in the history of ancient Egypt stretching from the establishment of the Eleventh Dynasty to the end of the Fourteenth Dynasty, roughly between 2030 BC and 1640 BC.

The period had two phases, the 11th Dynasty, which ruled from Thebes and the 12th and the following dynasties which were centred around el-Lisht. These two dynasties were originally considered to be the full extent of this unified kingdom, but historians now [1] consider the 13th Dynasty to at least partially belong to the Middle Kingdom.

Notes & references

References

  1. Gae Callender, The Middle Kingdom Renasissance in The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, Oxford, 2000

Further Reading

  • W. Grajetzki, The Middle Kingdom of Ancient Egypt: History,Archaeology and Society, Duckworth, London 2006 ISBN 0-7156-3435-6

Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message