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Sayings and the rule of the ancient Egyptians


Sayings and the rule of the ancient Egyptians

The ancient Egyptians had many sayings and proverbs that reflected their beliefs and values. Here are a few examples:

  •  "Know thyself." This saying, attributed to the Greek philosopher Socrates, actually has roots in ancient Egypt. The phrase was inscribed on the walls of the Temple of Luxor, and it was a reminder to people to understand their own nature and limitations.
  • "As above, so below." This saying reflects the ancient Egyptian belief in the interconnectedness of all things. It suggests that what happens on a small scale is reflected on a larger scale, and vice versa.
  • "The tongue of a man is his sword, and his words are his arrows." This saying emphasizes the power of words and the importance of speaking carefully and thoughtfully.
  • "To speak the name of the dead is to make them live again." In ancient Egyptian religion, it was believed that a person's soul could only live on if they were remembered by the living. Speaking the name of a dead person was a way to keep their memory alive.
  •  "Do not be proud because of your knowledge; instead, be humble because of your ignorance." This saying emphasizes the importance of humility and the idea that there is always more to learn.
  • "One should follow the example of the humble rural dweller who when he has done his work lays himself down in the simple pleasures of his own hearth." This expresses the virtue of leading a simple life.
  • • "Do not boast about your knowledge of books, but restrain it for those of your own kin." This warns against boastfulness and arrogance in displaying one's knowledge. 

  • • "A youth is one who has a pure heart." This says that a youth is determined by purity of heart, not age.

  • • "Do not be arrogant because of your knowledge; approach the unlettered as well as the learned." This promotes humility and kindness towards all people regardless of their level of education.

  • • "Mix freely together, talk freely together, but let your son be the boast of your heart." This encourages open social interaction and taking pride in one's children.

  • Some key aspects of ancient Egyptian rule and governance:

  • • The Pharaoh was the absolute ruler, with strong religious authority. The Pharaoh was considered a god on earth.

  • • The vizier was the chief minister and top administrator, carrying out the orders of the pharaoh. The vizier oversaw taxation, trade, agriculture, and justice.

  • • Nomarchs were provincial governors who reported to the vizier. They oversaw local administration and reported to the pharaoh through the vizier.

  • • The priests held religious authority and sizable influence. Temples owned a lot of land and resources. The pharaoh worked closely with priests to demonstrate religious legitimacy.  

  • • The military helped maintain internal order and security. Expeditions were also sent to Nubia and Canaan to showcase Egyptian power.

  • • Taxation, in the form of grain, livestock, and labor, funded the government and public works. Trade also generated revenue, with markets under government control.

  • • The justice system emphasized fairness and truth. Judgments were rendered by officials, priests, and sometimes the pharaoh for the most serious cases. Punishments included mutilation, forced labor, imprisonment, and execution.

  • • Social classes were hierarchical but socially mobile. Peasants could rise to higher status, and nobles who fell on hard times could face hardship. But in general, classes were very stratified.