Striking at the Heart of Pharaoh: Social Injustice and Deception in the Place of Truth – Part I

Striking at the Heart of Pharaoh: Social Injustice and Deception in the Place of Truth – Part I

A couple of years before he celebrated his jubilee, Ramesses III was beset by internal problems. A great king who had combated vicious enemies from all corners and was deified by his subjects for his decisiveness; he was cast into a cauldron of unpopularity for a brief while, when a seemingly innocuous protest about delayed wages by elite artisans from Deir el-Medina turned into a commentary on corruption and social injustice which led to the world’s first recorded strike.

At a time when several civilizations in the region were biting the dust one after another, the astute leadership of Ramesses III ensured a stupendous militaristic victory over Egypt’s enemies, notably the Sea Peoples. In this exquisitely painted relief the king is shown making offerings to the gods in the sanctuary of the Temple of Khonsu at Karnak. (CC BY-SA 3.0)

At a time when several civilizations in the region were biting the dust one after another, the astute leadership of Ramesses III ensured a stupendous militaristic victory over Egypt’s enemies, notably the Sea Peoples. In this exquisitely painted relief the king is shown making offerings to the gods in the sanctuary of the Temple of Khonsu at Karnak. (CC BY-SA 3.0)

A King Like None Other

Over the course of two decades on the throne, Pharaoh Ramesses III had achieved military victories that would have been the envy of even his formidable predecessors. When every kingdom in the Near East and Mediterranean was decimated by the treacherous reign of terror unleashed by a coalition of forces known as the Sea Peoples, under the powerful leadership of Ramesses III the Egyptians alone had successfully repelled the attack on their soil. Not just the Sea Peoples, but the Libyans and a rag-tag assemblage of tribes too tasted the wrath of the pharaoh during this period.


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