Government in Ancient Egypt as Reflected in Egyptian Literature The literary pieces collected in the anthology The Literature of Ancient Egypt do not give a connected account of the development and characteristics of ancient Egyptian govern-ment, but they do make a number of points clear. In these stories, the power of the Egyptian king is absolute and often exercised in a direct way that contrasts with the bureaucracy of priests, generals, and other servants the king relied on to keep the government running. For instance, the king could be directly petitioned by a commoner for justice in a criminal case, and would respond, if not without giving the commoner a bit of a hard time for his own amusement (Simpson 25-44). The exiled former...The end:
..... keeping the gods pleased, supporting the common people, and trading with outside powers, with expeditions set out that reported directly back to court on their return. The government was also responsible for defending and defining Egypt with military expeditions, alliances, and even walls in the Chinese style. At times when the government grew weak, such as at the end of the Old Kingdom, its local representatives became more independent and emphasized their links with the central court less, but they still carried out the same broad duties to ensure social welfare and peace as they had before. Works Cited Simpson, William Kelly (ed.) The Literature of Ancient Egypt. Third edition. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003. Electronic edition.