The word Pharaoh is considered a common title for the monarchs of the ancient Egyptian civilization but surprisingly the term didn’t refer to any kings until Egypt new kingdom (1570-1070 B.C.E). Originally, meaning “The Great House” or “High House” refers to a royal palace or a holy court. It had a Greek origin and was first used to refer to the meaning of a king in a letter to Amenhotep IV during the mid-eighteenth dynasty (1550-1292 B.C.) stating “Pharaoh, all Life, Prosperity, and Health” and was used again in 1200 B.C to refer to king Merneptah. With time, the term Pharaoh not only referred to the king's palace but became interchangeable with the term king (Nswt). The title Pharaoh referred mostly to the male king but on rare occasions also referred to Female Queens like Hatshepsut.
The pharaoh was the most powerful person in the history of Ancient Egypt as they were the representation of the gods on Earth, the high priest of Every Temple, and the commander of the entire army. The son of the pharaoh would inherit his kingdom to control all the above, the young Pharaoh would become his co-regent and will have to go on special training to prove he is worthy of this power. All the training would focus on building the physical strength and running in a long race to build up endurance, learn to break and tame wild horses, and go on hunting expeditions as it was expected for any pharaoh to lead and fight at the head of his army. The young pharaoh would learn the art of warfare, all the military tactics, and politics to win any battle.
The pharaohs were considered to be the high priest and power of the god on Earth. They performed their duty by supplying daily offerings to the gods to please them. The Kings were the only ones allowed to enter the temple and communicate with the gods where it was believed to house the spirits of the gods themselves. Performing this ritual would bless the pharaohs with great protection power and absolute bliss.
The pharaohs were always depicted wearing a beard, but in this case, probably a fake beard as most men during Egyptian times was clean–shaved. SO most of the beards were plaited like a big braid. This custom was common among the pharaohs even the female Queens like Hatshepsut who was depicted with a fake beard. They believed that having a beard would bring everyone closer to the gods.
The pharaoh was god on earth literally, he was the political and religious ruler of Egypt holding the titles like “High Priest” and “Lord of the Two Lands”, and he or she was viewed as a being of divine immortality. He made all the laws, kept the order, owned all the lands, collected taxes, achieved justice and balance within the lands, and protected Egypt from foreign invaders. They were considered to be God’s power on earth as they were responsible for constructing temples and shrines for worshiping the gods in order to bless them with protection, good health, and long life.
The Nemesis is a striped head-cloth worn by the pharaoh who covers the back of the head all the way to the nape of the neck and on top of it; is a Uraeus which is an upright cobra that symbolizes the pharaoh’s divine power. The Uraeus is a symbol of the ancient Egyptian goddess Wadjet which was a sign that means the pharaoh was ready to strike his enemies with deadly venom if he felt any danger. It was also featured frequently with the crook and the fail which shows the pharaoh’s role as the provider of food and well-being for his nation.
The pharaohs were considered to be creatures of divinity and absolute perfection. That’s why they were always portrayed as a symbol of beauty even if it didn’t reflect the true reality. The ancient Egyptians aspired to achieve the ultimate form of beauty and the peak of artistic expression to become holy themselves.
The sky god Horus has also been celebrated as a great warrior and the greatest god for protection thanks to his all-seeing eye. His myth states that he was able to defeat his evil uncle Seth after killing his Father Osiris and restoring justice and order to the kingdom. Many of the Pharaohs believed to be the human representation of Horus to be a symbol for victory and when they die their bodies would take the form of the god of the underground Osiris. All of these prove how much religion and mythology played a role in their lives.
The makeup was very common back in ancient Egypt as they painted around their eyes with black kohl (metal-bearing mineral) to reduce light reflection. They believe that lining their eyes with kohl would resemble the eyes of the god Horus by creating an almond shape. This act will protect them from evil spirits and eye diseases. Both men and women, also pharaohs wore Khol on their eyebrows and eyelashes. They preferred to apply green and blue eye shadow.
The concepts of Death and The afterlife were essential in their lives as they created many funerary practices and tombs to fit their legacy and to be their homes in the afterlife. They believed in life after death so they stocked their tombs with everything they would when they rose again in the next life for their journey to the underworld led by Anubis to be judged by the hands of Osiris. The valley of kings is filled with many kings and queens that believed in resurrection and judgment.
Discover more about Ancient Egypt and the secrets of Egyptian Pharaohs during a magical Egypt vacation that you can find in our Egypt tour packages or Nile river cruises. All our tours are accompanied by expert Egyptologist tour guides who will explain a lot of facts and information about Egyptian history; pharaohs, battles, and mythology so check it now and book you’re the trip that you desire.
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