Were pharaohs the most powerful men on earth until Cyrus the Great?

Feb 2019
75
Thrace
#1
With the exception of Sargon of Akkad, were Egyptian pharaohs the most powerful men on earth uninterrupted from Iry-Hor(earliest-living historical king known by name) all the way till Cyrus?
 

Corvidius

Ad Honorem
Jul 2017
2,381
Crows nest
#2
Probably from Thutmosis III until Ramesses III. Before Thutmosis III they were mostly inward looking and after Ramesses III it was others looking in at them, with greed.
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
4,949
#3
Relatively speaking they probably were before the New Kingdom. Egypt could afford to be inward looking, relatively, since there really wasn't all that much serious competition around.

The Old and Middle Kingdoms were likely the most populous, richest societies in the world in their time. The New Kingdom had to engage and develop the kind of military activity it did to compete, which was new. When done right Egypt certainly was a contender. But it is not on itself a sign of strength. (New Kingdom Egypt was also a bit lagging when it came to military invention and adoption. They certainly did it, just rather consistently as one of the later adopters.)

And then "inward looking" also needs to be qualified. The Old and Middle Kingdoms looked south. North, east and west there wasn't a lot to bother about. Southwards was opportunity, riches, and then increasingly potential trouble.

The Middle Kingdom conquered, pacified and heavily fortified Nubia. And that wasn't done for fun. It was a constant in Egyptian history that the most dangerous border, up to about Ramesses III, was Nubia and the south.

The New Kingdom always kept the largest garrison army in Nubia, under the rather spectacularly named command of the "Sa nisut n-Kush", the "The King's Son of Cush", the Viceroy of Kush. Otoh it meant if there was one Egyptian with the means to try for a military power-grab, and depose the ruling pharao, it was the Viceroy of Nubia with that army. In the Late period the opportunity seems to have been used at least.
 

Corvidius

Ad Honorem
Jul 2017
2,381
Crows nest
#5
Things were going downhill before Ramesses III, but after him, apart from the resurgence of the Saite period, it was all over when the New Kingdom fell. I don't count Egypt as a power when they had foreign rulers, for the power was with the foreign ruler, not Egypt.
 
Feb 2019
75
Thrace
#6
Things were going downhill before Ramesses III, but after him, apart from the resurgence of the Saite period, it was all over when the New Kingdom fell. I don't count Egypt as a power when they had foreign rulers, for the power was with the foreign ruler, not Egypt.
I'm ignorant on the matter :coldsweat: So who was the sovereign state after Ramesses III? The Persian kings?
 

Corvidius

Ad Honorem
Jul 2017
2,381
Crows nest
#7
I'm ignorant on the matter :coldsweat: So who was the sovereign state after Ramesses III? The Persian kings?
It's a big subject, but in very general terms, pharaohs after Ramesses III were incompetents, and after the death of Ramesses XI Egypt entered the Third Intermediate Period. Here we have the situation of high priests of Amun taking control before waves of foreign invasion. It was a mess. For further study I recommend Aidan Dodson's Afterglow of Empire
 
Mar 2014
26
Brazil
#8
Debatable,even in the Old Kingdom there were the Akkadian e Ur III kings,they controlled rich regions and had a big comercial network with the persian golf and India.
Mesopotamian agriculture at the time was very wealthy too.

In the Late Bronze Age Hittites and Mitanni were as powerful as New Kingdom Egypt,but not as rich.Babylonia entered a period of economic decline,and the Assyrians were forming their empire.

During Early Iron age Egyptian territory was divided between different dynasties at the same time, some of them foreign.Assyria was by far the richest because of the conquests,concentrating all the wealth of Phoenician commerce and had contact with Arab routes.



Enviado de meu E6603 usando o Tapatalk
 

Corvidius

Ad Honorem
Jul 2017
2,381
Crows nest
#9
Which I why I chose the time period between Thutmosis III and Ramesses III as the period when Egypt was the major power. In fact I could contract that period to between Thutmosis III and Amunhotep III because Egypt was the undisputed major power during and between their times, with the unravelling beginning with Akhenaten. Ramesses II and III were lesser kings than their 18th Dynasty predecessors and neither had undisputed power in the region.
 
Sep 2014
773
Texas
#10
With the exception of Sargon of Akkad, were Egyptian pharaohs the most powerful men on earth uninterrupted from Iry-Hor(earliest-living historical king known by name) all the way till Cyrus?
Ashurbanipal would have my vote as one of the most powerful men in the history of the human race. The article says he's the last of the great Assyrian kings.
Ashurbanipal
And his library which survived the burning of his palace after he died has advanced our understanding of ancient beliefs, ideas and history. Epic of Gilgamesh anythone?
 
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