Lieutenant E. A. Posypkin analyzes the military art of ancient Egypt - and in the relationship of its elements. The work is based on a rich set of sources - among which are materials and documents of various eras, which we will cite in the text. Spelling save those years. There are no illustrations (there are only maps) - but we will fill this question by drawing on illustrations from other publications, primarily from the professional studies of Osprey Publishers. Perhaps some of the provisions of the text are outdated, but for the most part they are very good and extremely interesting - and we hope they will be interesting to a wide circle of readers.
So, go on a journey through the pages stories Ancient Egypt.
When using sources, both original Egyptian and later studies, especially classical authors, E. A. Posypkin set himself the main objective of studying the factual side of the questions (periodization into several kingdoms with transitional or dark eras between them is known) that is told by the ancient Egyptians themselves - through their numerous monuments, as well as what is reliably established by modern science. The sources for this work were, firstly, Egyptian monuments, consisting in numerous inscriptions and paintings on the walls of temples, on individual stellae, in tombs and papyrus, giving a lot of valuable information and, finally, in cannons, in military utensils and in the remains of various military buildings that have survived to the present. Secondly, the writings of modern scholars - Egyptologists, who are also sources, such as the publication of various texts and manuals. Although they are rarely devoted specifically to military issues and, moreover, almost no one with military education can be found among their authors - and therefore, bowing to the scientific authority of such luminaries of science as Brugsch, A. Yerman, G. Maspero and many others. et al., in matters of purely military matters, the author allows himself to state his opinion (but often citing the G. Maspero essay “Histoire ancienne des peuples de l Orient classique” by 1876, but corrected by 1895,). And finally, thirdly, the writings of classical authors, which are useful in the sense of various indirect and additional indications of people who have seen with their own eyes the last glimpses of the life of a once mighty state. But these writings should be used with great caution: for example, one of the most important of these writers, Herodotus, was in Egypt around 450 B.R., during the reign of Artaxerxes I and the administration of Egypt, satrap Pausiris, i.e. relative calm, which happened between the constant uprisings (Brugsh. East. Eg. Per. Vlast. S. 721, approx. 2.). These revolts, of course, were suppressed, the country was subjected to destruction, losing its originality more and more - and this is why Herodotus could not see the real, powerful kingdom of the pharaohs; he only saw the agony of a state organism that had lived for several thousand years.
If we add to this that the priests, who were his guides to this mysterious country for the Greeks, belonged to the lowest servants of the temples, and therefore did not possess any historical knowledge (compare even the order of the reigns of kings according to Herodotus and monuments), and Herodotus if he was not sufficiently familiar with the Egyptian language, then we will see that information gathered from this ancient scholar must be taken only after rigorous assessment and comparison with what the numerous monuments scattered about throughout the Nile Valley, and often far beyond.
So, the most important source is that which reached us from the Egyptians themselves. Even art monuments are important militarily. Egyptian art was a complete art, real: it noticed everything and was interested in everything, and therefore it did not remain indifferent to military glory. Infused with monarchical principles in the best sense of the word, it did not neglect the little people and the little things of everyday life (O. Perrot. Hist. De l'art; IP 38.).
That is why the monuments, which with remarkable fidelity and detail painted all aspects of life even in trifles, are also important for the study of military art - since they do not possess, perhaps, that fullness of instructions that we can learn from the special inscriptions and papyrus that have come down to us , they, instead, give a lively coloring to written information, complementing it with their picturesque and many small details, at least, for example, of military life, which we would not have known without them.
The view of the war, which since ancient times was established in Egyptian society, is remarkable. So, in one of the papyris of the time of Amenemhet I, (XII din., Ca. 2500 BC, R. X. Die Aegyptolegie. H. Brugsch. 1891.), The king says that with him: “we stopped seeing constant battles, then as before (Time of Troubles between VI and XII d. D.) they fought like a bull, who does not remember and does not know the past, ”that the king gave“ the opportunity for everyone to live in peace, both scholars and poor; made it possible to cultivate the land and spread joy everywhere "(Masp. Hist. anc. 1877, r. 102).
These words clearly say that the Egyptians were aware of the fact that war itself is a disaster and recognized it as an inevitable, and sometimes as a necessary, evil in public life, and in the very military power of their state they saw a pledge of peace necessary for the welfare of the country .
In general, the ancient Egyptians were by nature a peaceful people. So Strabo says that in its inaccessible geographical position and because the country produced enough of everything for its people, Egypt was a peaceful state. It was necessary only to restrain the predatory raids of various nomads. All this, of course, refers to the era before the so-called Ancient Kingdom, when the opponents of the Egyptians were not serious enemies (nomadic peoples). Warriors with similar peoples, of course, could not develop militancy (Erm. Aeg. U. Aeg. Leb., II, s. 686).
The new kingdom, in contrast to previous epochs, was distinguished by a strongly militant spirit, for which there were historical reasons.
The war for the overthrow of the yoke Hyksos greatly increased the belligerent spirit of the people and, after driving them out, to meet offended pride, offended by the rule of the Semites, Egypt itself begins to undertake campaigns in Asia; The development of state life caused communion with neighboring nations, which also could not always remain peaceful - all this brought about a significant development of military art and historically develop offensive trends in military affairs.
And the enemies of Egypt themselves have changed: instead of the semi-wild nomads, the Hyksos first appeared, fully assimilating the Egyptian culture, then the Syrian peoples, the Hittites, and finally the Assyrians. It also gave a strong impetus to the development of military art.
The warriors of the Hyksos period:
In the eyes of the government, marches to enemy lands became extremely important; in the reign of each king, they were numbered in state chronicles, and their description was inscribed on the walls of temples and other monuments (Erm. Aeg. u. aeg. Leb., II, ss 694, 695; LD III, 65).
His research lieutenant chronologically limited the conquest of Egypt by the Persians in 527 to R. X. From that time, the once powerful kingdom of the pharaohs turned into a Persian province ruled by satrap, and Egypt lost a significant part of its identity. True, Egypt once again became independent after that - but not for long, and in the first half of 4 c. BC R. X. entered the world Macedonian monarchy.
The Ptolemaic dynasty, established after the great conqueror Alexander the Great, was Greek, which introduced Greek morals, customs and art to this country - this is why, after the conquest of Egypt, Cambyses almost ends its existence and original Egyptian martial art (Masp. Hist. Ans. 1876, p. 528 - 530).
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