Why didn't the ancient Egyptians have a large empire?


Ad Honorem
Jul 2009
Montreal, Canada
They did not have the infrastructures and the organization needed in order to expand their kingdom further.

The lack of developed roads, their incapacity to incorporate conquered peoples and the lack of a more organized military were the main reasons IMO.


Ad Honorem
Jun 2009
western Terranova
well remember, much of that land is area that they didnt really care about: sure, they owned it, but it didnt really count towaards their empire. it was the area along the nile that really counted.
Nov 2010
I always thought of Egypt being a very internally focused civilization. You see other civilizations conquering new lands and putting their stamp on it, but not with Egypt... unless they visited South America.
Apr 2019
United States
I mean what was really the point of conquering the desert. The Nile was very rich and provided the with everything they needed. Their empire could be successful without becoming extremely large.


Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
Demographically speaking ancient Egypt WAS Extremely Large anyway...

Considering Ancient Egypt held something like 10+% of the world population (2-3 million, conservatively estimated), it's not obvious it needed to be geographically bigger. Why should it try to pick up more sparsely populated territories? Bragging rights? Seems redundant... (If anything a recurrent Egyptian problem seems to have been to not have EVEN MORE people turn up and try to settle in Egypt to get in on The Good Life; nothing succeeds like success, a kind The Great Attractor problem.)

The Egyptians were extraordinary in creating not an empire – as in dominating a bunch if non-Egyptians – but rather a MASSIVE early form of a nation state, full of Egyptians by the millions. It had the people, if that worked for it, why would it even need more territory? The ancient Egyptians were also rather clear about the extent to which they were unimpressed by Foreign Parts... ;)
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