The ancient Egyptian military went through many changes from 3150 BC, when this civilization unified into one kingdom, through 31 BC when the Roman Empire conquered
it. They developed one of the greatest military forces in the history of the world. On this page you will find a list of interesting kid-friendly facts about the military of ancient
Egypt; information includes how the military changed and why Egypt needed a strong military force. This information is written for both kids
and adults. In this category of Ancient Egyptian Facts you will find information on all aspects of the ancient Egyptian military, including facts about their weapons, soldiers, tactics, and much more.
Interesting Ancient Egyptian Military Facts
The pharaoh was the main military commander and made all final military decisions. At times certain pharaohs would actually lead their army into battle but usually they
would leave this to their generals.
The pharaohs relied on their generals for advice and to carry out their orders. The amount of reliance depended on the particular pharaoh.
Since generals were given great power (the command of an army), and could pose a threat to the pharaoh, they were often trusted members of the royal family; often the
pharaoh's son. Another method used to limit the power of generals was to divide the army in half giving command of each half to a separate general.
Throughout its history ancient Egypt was concerned about invasion; from early on in its history nomadic tribes would raid Egypt and attempt to gain fertile land in
the Nile River valley. A strong military was needed to defend against these invasions.
Numerous forts were built by the ancient Egyptians to defend its borders. Garrisons of just a few soldiers were stationed in the forts but if a large enemy force
appeared more soldiers could be deployed. The forts had towers from which soldiers could shoot arrows down on their enemy, thick walls and were surrounded by ditches.
Ancient Egypt's military defense was aided by great expanses of desert which surrounded the ancient civilization. It was very difficult for attacking armies to cross
Besides defense ancient Egypt needed a strong military in order to expand its borders through conquest and in order to protect trade routes.
Before the New Kingdom (1570 BC - 1544 BC) the ancient Egyptian military was composed of temporary soldiers. These soldiers would be recruited for a particular
military campaign and then return home to their regular jobs upon completion of the campaign. This changed in the New Kingdom with the formation of an army of
professional fulltime soldiers. This change was necessary in part due to the need to conduct foreign military campaigns a great distance from home where soldiers could
be away from home for years at a time.
Prior to the New Kingdom (1570 BC - 1544 BC) the pharaohs relied on the nomarch's (the governors of regions of ancient Egypt) to recruit soldiers for the army when
necessary. These soldiers were untrained in warfare. With the new kingdom the pharaohs had a full-time army of professional soldiers under their command and they no
longer needed to rely on the nomarchs.
Religion was infused in every aspect of ancient Egyptian life and the military was no exception. Religious ceremonies were held before battles and soldiers wore
religious symbols meant to empower and protect them.
The ancient Egyptian military incorporated mercenary troops; foreigners paid to be in the Egyptian army.