In this reading, the "Residence" is the palace and the "Two Lands" are upper and lower Egypt. Who do you think "he who was buried as a falcon" is?  What were the effects of the collapse of Egypt...

In this reading, the "Residence" is the palace and the "Two Lands" are upper and lower Egypt. Who do you think "he who was buried as a falcon" is? 

What were the effects of the collapse of Egypt Old Kingdom?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The answer to the first question here is that “he who was buried as a falcon” must be the pharaoh.  The god Horus was typically depicted as a falcon or as a man with the head of a falcon.  At some times in Egyptian history, the pharaoh was seen as an incarnation of Horus.  This would make him someone who was “buried as a falcon.”  We can also infer this from the rest of this line, which talks about “what the pyramid concealed.”  The pyramid would have been built to house the pharaoh’s remains, so it is likely that this passage is referring to the pharaoh.

The end of the Old Kingdom clearly seemed like a disaster to the sage who wrote this excerpt. However, historians are less negative about the time.  In the “Admonitions,” the sage emphasizes how much the established order has been upset.  About the last half of the “Admonitions” focuses on how people who once had no power and no connections to power are now in positions of power.  He writes about all sorts of things being turned on their heads, even saying that the person “who was ignorant of the lyre” now has a harp.  All of this is about the established order being upset.

Historians are more positive about this.  They agree that the pharaoh’s government lost much of its power at the fall of the Old Kingdom.  However, they tend to think that this was something of a good thing because it allowed wealth, power, and culture to be spread more evenly across Egypt.  They say that more people were able to get wealth.  There was greater access to education.  The provincial elites came to have much more wealth and power and were able to function as patrons of the arts in their own regions.  All of this meant that Egypt became somewhat more equal in terms of its distribution of wealth and power and that its culture was taken out of the pharaoh’s court and came to be present in more segments of Egypt’s population. 

The sage who wrote the “Admonitions” clearly believed that this change was disastrous, but historians tend to see it as more of a good thing.

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