How was Egypt before the arrival of Hyksos?

Mar 2019
1,653
Kansas
#41
None of the elite liked to ride horses in that part of the world. Best explanation I can come up with based on correspondence at the time is that there was some kind of stigma associated with it.
Well to be fair, horses of that era were not the noble beasts we think of now.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
26,889
Italy, Lago Maggiore
#42
None of the elite liked to ride horses in that part of the world. Best explanation I can come up with based on correspondence at the time is that there was some kind of stigma associated with it.
Sure the horse wasn't considered symbolically divine. In Ancient Egypt they tent to associate deities with animals. Even from the New Kingdom on, we haven't got evidences that an Egyptian horse god [or goddess] appeared. From East it arrives Ashtarte, connected with horses and chariots, so with war, but she didn't became a horse goddess for the Egyptian. About how they considered the ability in handling horses, in the New Kingdom something was anyway changing: on stela, Amenhotep II had praised by Ashtarte [and Reshep] just regarding how he trained to fight with horses and chariots.
 
Aug 2014
4,683
Australia
#43
Riding a chariot was the ideal mode of fighting and transportation. Riding a horse was for peasants only. Riding an ass was considered more dignified than a horse.
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,638
#44
Riding a chariot was the ideal mode of fighting and transportation. Riding a horse was for peasants only. Riding an ass was considered more dignified than a horse.
That's interesting, but do we have any real evidence of riding horses at all?

Asses was a huge concern, maybe a bit like buying and trading up your car – its something that has come out of working with the written documents from Dier el Medine (the literate artisans and workers on the royal tombs in Thebes, so not your ordinary working man necessarily, but also not high place officials or nobles).

That horses were military to the n:th degree seems pretty obvious and well attested. I've seen nothing at all involving horses in Egypt outside strict military matters though?
 
Aug 2014
4,683
Australia
#45
This is not Egyptian but just to the east. In a letter from Bahdi-Lim to Zimri-Lim, king of the city of Mari (c. 1775 - 1761 B. C.), the ruler was advised to preserve his dignity by riding in a chariot, or even on an ass, but never on horseback when in the presence of Akkadians.* It implies that some people did ride horses but it was considered undignified.

* Source: A. Parrot & G. Dossin, Archives royales de Mari, (Paris: Impr. Nationale, 1950), vol 1, V, 76.
 
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