Rulers from Asia Essay

This essay has a total of 1735 words and 9 pages.

Rulers from Asia



Rulers From Asia
After the fall of the Middle Kingdom of Egypt a group of nomadic people from Asia invaded
and captured Lower Egypt. These people were called the Hyksos. Egypt lacked a standing
army and their weapons were far inferior to that of the invaders. The weak rulers of the
Thirteenth Dynasty led to an internal struggle within the government, thus ripping the
empire into many small factions and leaving it open to attack. During this time a group
of peoples from Asia immigrated to Egypt and slowly began to take-over the now divided
government. This led to the separation of Upper and Lower Egypt. Though the Egyptians
learned many new technologies, they still did not want the Hyksos in their lands. The
Egyptian Pharaohs vowed to lead their armies to regain control of their lands, and expand
their empire. Egypt, having a series of weak rulers, led to internal fighting which
weakened the country. Egypt also had no standing army and its protective borders no
longer a threat to invaders, a group of people from Asia the Hyksos, immigrated to Egypt,
using their superior weaponry they took power and ruled Egypt for about one-hundred and
fifty years.

The Pre-Dynastic period, pre 3150 BCE was a period of time when the nomads of Egypt
started to settle, become farmers and build towns. Around 3150 BCE, Egypt was joined
together under the rule of one pharaoh, Narmer, who for the first time in Egypts history
ruled both upper and lower Egypt as one. Between the years 2700-2190 BCE, referred to as
the Old Kingdom or as the Pyramid Age, was a time in which strong ruling families or
dynasties were in power and ruled the land jointly. This was a time when the
construction of the Great Pyramids on the Giza Plateau took place, including the Step
Pyramid for King Zoser and the three large pyramids for the Kings Menkaure, Khafre, and
Khufu. With the fall of the Old Kingdom around 2190 BCE, began a series of five dynasties
that were mostly weak rulers. This is called the First Intermediate Period

Then in 1991 BCE, the Twelfth dynasty brought order to the turmoil and founded what is now
called the Middle Kingdom. During this time Egypt took over Nubia and began trade with
Palestine and Syria in southwest Asia. Also, this was time where arts and literature were
promoted and flourished. But in the year 1786 BCE, the Middle Kingdom ended, leaving the
kings of the next dynasties weak and without a standing army. This allowed for settlers
from Asia to take gradual control over Egypt with their new and stronger weapons.

The Egyptians had no feasible way of stopping the Hyksos from taking control, of the
country. Lower Egypt was unable to defend themselves because of the fighting between
nobles and there was no army available to stop the invaders. In no time, the Hyksos had
taken over all of the delta region, which shrank the portion of free Egypt into a small
area up towards Nubia; Egypt’s long time enemy. As well as taking Egypt, they gave a
large part of Egyptian land to Nubia. The major gold producing region of Egypt was now in
the hands of their enemy. The Hyksos were not bad rulers though, taking care not to
disturb the daily lives of the Egyptian people. The Hyksos did not force their religion
upon the people of Egypt; in fact they began the practice of worshiping the Egyptian gods.
Set became their primary deity. Along with these things the Hyksos, if unintentionally,
brought many new technologies to Egypt. The wheel, chariot, composite bow, and very
importantly, bronze (a copper and tin alloy) were introduced.

Regardless of all of the beneficial things from this occupation, the people of Egypt were
not happy with the rule of a foreign power. The remaining people that lived in free Egypt
began to develop feelings of unrest towards the Hyksos. After a time the indignities set
upon the Egyptians began to pile up, and the city of Thebes went began to revolt. The
Pharaoh Seqenenre was the first in a line of warrior kings that would lead the revolt
against the Hyksos.

The campaign was short lived however. In 1576 BCE; Seqenenre was killed by a Hyksos
battle-axe while in combat. Though Seqenenre had been killed, the revolt would continue
with his son Kamose. Kamose was a spirited leader and vowed to his men “I will grapple
with him and rip open his belly, for my desire is to deliver Egypt and to smite the
Asiatics”(Dersin p.108). The Asiatics he refers to are the Hyksos, and the one he wishes
to “grapple” with is their king. Kamose then sailed down river and regained Middle Egypt
from the Hyksos. It is believed that Kamose was killed during the battle in retaking
Middle Egypt, but scholars are unsure of what really happened. Ahhotep, Kamose’s now
widowed mother ruled in her late son’s place until Ahmose, the younger brother, could take
the throne. Then in 1560 BCE, Ahmose I waged a final campaign against the Hyksos.
Finally the Hyksos had been forced out of the lands of Egypt and now Ahmose could sail up
river to reclaim the lands lost to the Nubians.

Ahmose I brought about the New Kingdom in the year 1554 BCE. This was almost 150 years
after the Hyksos invasion. This was also a time when Egypt was known to be the world’s
greatest power. With the start of the eighteenth dynasty, a standing army was created,
that used many of the weapons and innovations borrowed from the Hyksos. These armies would
eventually march into and conquer most of southwest Asia. Egypt reached the height of its
power around 1400 BCE, but continued to lead campaigns into Asia and gain control of their
neighboring civilization Nubia. The country of Nubia was valuable in resources as well as
slaves and other important commodities Egypt needed. Because of these many conquests
Egypt became the strongest and richest civilization in the Mediterranean area. In1367
BCE, the pharaoh Amenhotep IV came to power. He worshiped a sun god called Aton, who was
also the only god he worshiped. This made many Egyptians unhappy with his rule and
monotheistic ideals. This sparked the Armarna revolution which ended his rule. It took
his successor to put down the rebellion. This man would become the most widely known
ruler in Egypt, King Tutankhamen. The next dynasties would see few problems. They erected
many of the temples to the many different gods all over the face of Egypt, making sure to
destroy all remnants of Amenhotep’s reign. Egypt began its last major decline by the
Twentieth dynasty. This decline was rapid, and would soon be the end of the Egyptians
ruling themselves because the priests and nobles would struggle for power and would once
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