The Middle Kingdom of Egypt History

The Middle Kingdom era is considered one of the most brilliant eras of Pharaonic Egypt, where it was called the era of economic prosperity because the kings of the central country undertook many projects to invest natural resources in order to advance the country. Mentuhotep II managed to unite the country again after the state of chaos that affected Egypt during the era of the first transitional era.

The Middle Kingdom, which covers from 2061 to 1785 B.C, includes the 11th dynasty and the 12th dynasty, which corresponds to a recovery of the unitary state after the phase of fragmentation of power following the collapse of the Old Kingdom. The move of the capital to Thebes (Luxor now) marks the beginning of this stage.

During this time, Egypt expanded its borders by conquering part of Nubia. Subsequently, however, it was unable to cope with the raids of the Hyksos and was forced to surrender power to the latter. The Hyksos, who came from Asia, ruled the country between the 13th dynasty and the 17th dynasty and established their political center of government in Avaris.

Without a centralized government, the authority was not effective, since the atomization of power was imposed. Egyptian art became more local, and no noticeable burial complex was built. Religion was also democratized when the lower classes claimed rights that were previously reserved only for royalty. For example, they could use fragments drawn from the Pyramid Texts on the walls of their coffins or tombs.

During the 11th dynasty, began the Middle Kingdom with the reunification of the north and south. The dynasty itself began with 3 kings after Mentuhotep who were in fact little more than kings, who ruled from Thebes. All three are named Intef and participated in wars against the kings of Heracleopolis.

The 13th dynasty, made up of seven kings from Thebes, was one of the most glorious in Egypt. The first pharaoh was Amenemhat I. He stood out for the energy of his government, the pharaohs adopted a theophoric name: Mentuhotep is named after God Montu, the local god of the city of Ermant.

This era was characterized by an evolution of religious ideas. Instead of being considered as in former times, as a god, kings will now be considered as insignificant mortals, although of great skill and courage. The relationship between humanity and the divinity of kings was a very important mental problem for the Egyptians. The unit was restored ending the power of the kings and the nomes disappeared as administrative units and new administrative units were created: the city ​​and its surrounding territory.

Kings of the Middle Kingdom: 2030–1640 B.C.

The 11th dynasty kings: 2030–1981 B.C.

  • Mentuhotep II     2030–2000 B.C.
  • Mentuhotep III    2000–1988 B.C.
  • Qakare Intef       1985 B.C.
  • Sekhentibre        1985 B.C.
  • Menekhkare       1985 B.C.
  • Mentuhotep IV   1988–1981 B.C.

The 12th dynasty kings: 1981–1802 B.C.

  • Amenemhat I       1981–1952 B.C.
  • Senwosret I         1961–1917 B.C.
  • Amenemhat II      1919–1885 B.C.
  • Senwosret II         1887–1878 B.C.
  • Senwosret III        1878–1840 B.C.
  • Amenemhat III      1859–1813 B.C.
  • Amenemhat IV      1814–1805 B.C.
  • Nefrusobek           1805–1802 B.C.

The 13th and 14th dynasties: 1802–1640 B.C.  --  1750-1650

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