The new kingdom (XVI-XI centuries BC) - History of the East

4.5. The new kingdom (XVI-XI centuries BC)

The successors of Ahmose, especially Thutmose I and Thutmose II, and then the widow of the latter, Queen Hatshepsut, were strong and very powerful rulers, under which the active foreign policy and the conquests of Egypt were launched in both the north and the south. Throughout the country, a grandiose construction, first of all a temple construction, began. In place of the destroyed hyksos and decaying temple structures, new majestic stone communities came, among which the magnificence and size of the capital temple complex of the sun god Amun in Thebes. After the death of Stepmother III, Thutmose II's son (but not Hatshepsut!), The successor to his predecessors, having conquered Syria and Palestine, expanded the southern borders of the country to the fourth Nile threshold. His large and well-organized army, the main force of which now consisted of chariots drawn from horses by horses, was practically unharmed. A colossal military booty, including captives, flowed into Egypt in a powerful stream, where, however, it continued to settle mainly in the storerooms of temples, on the farms of the tsar and his dignitaries. Successors of Thutmose III actively continued his policy, the success of which led to the need for some reforms.

First of all, the reforms touched management systems. The country was divided into two parts, north and south, led by subordinate governors subordinate to the pharaoh, vested with broad powers. The formerly independent nomarchs turned into something like officials, each of whom had his own office with scribes and employees and was in charge of managing the noma. Special chiefs ruled cities and fortresses, as well as conquered areas (as governors).

The activities of all administrators were strictly defined by special norms and instructions, the content of which is known from the texts preserved in the tombs. There are in the texts and a reference to 40 leather scrolls, which were, perhaps, something like a set of laws and regulations, by which officials had to be guided (the code itself did not reach us).

Becoming a strong military power, an empire that included conquered peoples and whose borders reached the north to the Euphrates, Egypt entered into active foreign policy ties with other Middle Eastern countries

East, with the Mitanni and Hittite kingdoms, the Kassite rulers of Babylonia. It is from this era that a lot of very valuable diplomatic documents (the Tell-Amarna archives) have been preserved in the Egyptian archives, allowing to present a picture of international relations of that time. Communications and constant repeated expeditions required considerable resources and efforts. The country also needed numerous warriors, brave, hardy, hardened in battles. Apparently, their own, Egyptian, was no longer enough (there are reports that almost every tenth young man of military age was called into the army), for there are frequent references to the use of mercenaries from among foreigners, Libyans, Ethiopians, Asian peoples sea ​​.

The bet on mercenaries, as well as bringing to the forefront of administrators from among low-ranking officials, was accompanied by an attack on the customary rights and privileges of the priestly nobility, whose authority has diminished significantly. The references to different households and "private houses" are disappearing. But there are reports of the development of irrigation farming, drainage of the swamps of the Nile delta. Strictly centralized administration came into its own. In the country, all new fertile lands were created and put into economic circulation, which, as official conditional allotments, were distributed to soldiers and bureaucrats. This policy strengthened the support of the central government, but at the same time promoted the development of private property and commodity-money relations in the country, as a large number of new allotments were included in the system of market relations rent, sale of grain, etc.). Actually, it was at this time, in the XVI-XV centuries. BC, only appears in the Egyptian lexicon word "merchant" and there are more or less numerous reports of commodity transactions and trade exchanges. Silver, as yet no coins, displaces grain as a measure of market values.

Wars gave many slaves. Being donated to temples, they were most often planted on land and turned into a usual layer of dependent tenant farmers. Perhaps, some Egyptians from among the poor and the poor, who were forced to rent temple lands, already belonged to the category of such dependent ones. However, the main part of the Egyptian workers in the era of the New Kingdom remained "servants of the king" past times. There was a layer nemhu - something like the Nedjes of the Middle Kingdom, which included both farmers and artisans, perhaps also soldiers and officials of lower ranks. Slaves could also enter the hands of the Germans, although the bulk of them, not included in the system of state temple farms, was apparently still in the service of high-ranking officials. However, despite the influx of tens of thousands of prisoners to the country, there were still few slaves in the private sector and they were very expensive. The price of a slave at times amounted to the cost of four or five cows.

Example

One slave-slave was somehow even sold for a price equivalent to 373 grams of silver (one gram equated to 72 liters of grain, 373 g at this rate - over 25 tons of grain).

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