Several million people lived in ancient
Egypt. But they didn't own anything - not their house, not their
jewelry or pets or crops or anything. The only person who owned in
ancient Egypt was the pharaoh. The pharaoh owned everything. The
pharaoh was in charge of everything.
To help him do a good job, the pharaoh
had helpers - lots and lots of helpers. Some helpers were members of the royal family. Others
were people who had worked their way up the government ladder. Each
pharaoh had an organized army, a police force, and a huge number of
ministers and government officials to assist him.
The ancient Egyptians loved titles. So
it's not surprising that government officials gave themselves all kinds of
titles, some quite elaborate.
ancient Egypt, the only title that really mattered besides the title of
Pharaoh was that of Vizier. The Vizier was Pharaoh's right hand
Everyone reported to the official above them. The
very top officials
reported to the Vizier. The Vizier reported to the Pharaoh every day
on what was happening all over Egypt.
The Vizier was also the judge of the
high court. If you had a problem and it was not solved in the local
courts, or in the provincial courts, you could bring your problem in
front of the Vizier on a first come, first served basis. It was
dangerous. The Vizier's decision was final. You could end up in more
trouble than you started with. But the Vizier tried to be fair. He had
to explain aloud the reason for his decision in each case so that
everyone who came to court that day could hear those reasons.
This system of government worked
successfully in ancient Egypt for hundreds and hundreds of years.
12 Great Dynasties