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*Area: Features and Structure of Government: *Issues

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*Area: Features and Structure of Government:
*Corruption within the Egyptian administration

*Gradual decline/disintegration of social and political structure as 20th Dyn. aproached

*Decline in Pharaohs power due to officials/nobles’ increasing power, decreasing reliance on Pharaohs
Secondary Sources: Scholar + Opinion + Quote





Partial breakdown in political and social structure during Reign of Merenptah

“…after Merenptah…there may have been a partial breakdown of political and social stability”


Partial breakdown in political and social structure continued from 18th Dyn.

“the lawlessness which Horemheb tried to combat still existed when Seti was Pharaoh”


Word of the King was no longer respected (by the time of Seti I) {opinion based on Seti I’s decrees}

“…it would seem that the word of the King no longer had the same effectiveness in maintaining order…”


During reign of Seti I, there was a growing influence of and corruption within other administrative offices {also in response to Seti I’s decrees}

“It seems that the divine assets needed to be protected as much, in not more from the grasping hands of the tax-collectors, harem officials, local mayors and inspectors as from the common criminal”


Attributes decline of 20th Dyn. to increased power of individuals

“a final index to the disintegration of the traditional government was the granting of extraordinary combined powers to individuals”


More specifically, he attributes decline of 20th Dyn. to Military officers

“(although) the political weakness of the religious system should be noted…military officers, not priests were responsible for the final division of New Kingdom Egypt in two units”

Primary Sources: Source + Quote + Comment




The Decrees of Seti I

As to any Viceroy of Kush, any foreign chief, any mayor, any inspector or person who shall take any person belonging to the House, punishment shall be done to him…”

Tyldesley comments: “Seti’s decree hints at a lack of cohesion between various groups of government departments”

Papyrus Leopold II

I took the twenty deben of gold…and gave them to Khaemope, the district scribe…He released me…And so I got into the habit of robbing the tombs”1.

Tyldesley comments that “the state bureaucracy was now irredeemably infected with corruption which allowed even the highest ranking Theban officials to profit from organised crime”

1Georgina Mata

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