What Are The Cultural Changes During The Reign Of Senwosret III

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Senwosret III was a ruthless and autocratic king. During his long reign, he vanquished his rivals and enforced loyalty among his subordinates, instituting a new ideology of royal power and divine kingship. Changes in Egyptian culture reflect these ideas by portraying the pharaoh in a powerful light and giving him godlike qualities. Innovations in literature and in artistic representations suggest the authoritative and divine nature of Senwosret III and how he commanded loyalty from his subjects. In addition, changes in burial customs and military activity also demonstrated his ruthless qualities and how he consolidated power for himself. By examining the cultural changes during Senwosret III’s reign through literature, art, burial, and military …show more content…

Prior to his rule, Upper Egyptian nomarchs built monumental tombs for themselves. However, they soon cease to be built around the time of Senwosret III’s reign. Although it is not clear why this downward trend occurred, it may reflect a decrease in the power of the regional nomarchs and an increase in power for the pharaoh and the centralized bureaucracy. Since the nomarchs had authority and may have posed as a threat to the royal house, Senwosret III may have managed to strip them of their power during his reign. This change in the political climate is reflected in the lack of nomarch tombs during this time because the nomarchs no longer had the wealth and power to build elaborate tombs for themselves. By taking away power from the nomarchs, Senwosret III displayed his autocratic nature and desire to gain the loyalty of his …show more content…

In this text, the author refers to the pharaoh by saying, “He is Re…,” “He is Khnum for all limbs,” “He is Bastet, who protects the Two Lands,” and “He is Sakhmet…” (Simpson 173). By directly referring to Senwosret as the sun god Re and the creator god Khnum, the text shows how the king was deified and idolized much like the important gods were. Personifying the pharaoh as Bastet and Sakhmet, who were the goddesses of protection and warfare, respectively, also demonstrates his protective nature and shows his determination to defend Egypt’s borders against the threat of its foreign neighbors. In songs in honor of Senwosret III also makes this direct reference to the gods in the same manner by saying, “He is Re, and other rulers of men are insignificant” and “…he is Sekhmet against the enemies who tread upon [his] border” (Simpson 304). Such new trends as shown in these passages emphasize the divine nature of kingship during Senwosret III’s

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