Greece and Egypt
by Laura Dunlap
Many of the ancient Greek people recognized the major Olympian gods and goddesses Zeus, Poseidon, Hades, Apollo, Artemis, Aphrodite, Ares, Dionysus, Hephaestus, Athena, Hermes, Demeter, Hestia, and Hera
Ancient Egyptian religion was a complex system of polytheistic beliefs and rituals which were an integral part of ancient Egyptian society. It centered on the Egyptians' interaction with many deities who were believed to be present in, and in control of, the forces and elements of nature. The practices of Egyptian religion were efforts to provide for the gods and gain their favor. Formal religious practice centered on thepharaoh, the king of Egypt, who was believed to possess a divine power by virtue of his position.
A lot of different ways that included monarchies, oligarchies, tyrannies and democracies,
Monarchy. Pharaoh, Vizier, Nomarks, army commander, the chief treasurer, and the minister of public works.
Elementary at age of 7 where they learned to read and write. Gymnasium was to maintain and build physical health. Secondary, after turning fourteen years old, boys from wealthy families had the option of attending secondary school. A secondary school might have been a permanent one, or it could have been received from traveling teachers such as the Sophists or other philosophers including Zeno of Elea and Anaxagoras of Clazomenae. Secondary education included subjects such as natural science (biology and chemistry), rhetoric (the art of speaking or writing effectively), geometry, astronomy and meteorology. Post-Secondary boys could continue their education after secondary school by obtaining ephebic training. They could petition to become an ephebe at the age of eighteen. In the fifth century BCE,ephebic training began as a military education, followed by two years of military service. Later, however, more advanced academic schooling was included
Agoge, military dominance was of extreme importance to the Spartans of Ancient Greece. In response, the Spartans structured their educational system as an extreme form of military boot camp, which they referred to as agoge. The pursuit of intellectual knowledge was seen as trivial, and thus academic learning, such as reading and writing, was kept to a minimum. A Spartan boy’s life was devoted almost entirely to his school, and that school had but one purpose: to produce an almost indestructible Spartan phalanx. Formal education for a Spartan male began at about the age of seven when the state removed the boy from the custody of his parents and sent him to live in a barracks with many other boys his age. For all intents and purposes, the barracks was his new home, and the other males living in the barracks his family. For the next five years, until about the age of twelve, the boys would eat, sleep and train within their barracks-unit and receive instruction from an adult male citizen who had completed all of his military training and experienced battle. The instructor stressed discipline and exercise and saw to it that his students received little food and minimal clothing in an effort to force the boys to learn how to forage, steal and endure extreme hunger, all of which would be necessary skills in the course of a war. Those boys who survived the first stage of training entered into a secondary stage in which punishments became harsher and physical training and participation in sports almost non-stop in order to build up strength and endurance. During this stage, which lasted until the males were about eighteen years old, fighting within the unit was encouraged, mock battles were performed, acts of courage praised, and signs of cowardice and disobedience severely punished. During the mock battles, the young men were formed into phalanxes to learn to maneuver as if they were one entity and not a group of individuals. To be more efficient and effective during maneuvers, students were also trained in dancing and music, because this would enhance their ability to move gracefully as a unit. Toward the end of this phase of the agoge, the trainees were expected to hunt down and kill a Helot, a Greek slave. If caught, the student would be convicted and disciplined-not for committing murder, but for his inability to complete the murder without being discovered. Ephebe
The students would graduate from the agoge at the age of eighteen and receive the title of ephebes. Upon becoming an ephebe, the male would pledge strict and complete allegiance to Sparta and would join a private organization to continue training in which he would compete in gymnastics, hunting and performance with planned battles using real weapons. After two years, at the age of twenty, this training was finished and the now grown men were officially regarded as Spartan soldiers. Education of Spartan Women
Spartan women, unlike their Athenian counterparts, received a formal education that was supervised and controlled by the state. Much of the public schooling received by the Spartan women revolved around physical education. Until about the age of eighteen women were taught to run, wrestle, throw a discus, and also to throw javelins. The skills of the young women were tested regularly in competitions such as the annual footrace at the Heraea of Elis, In addition to physical education the young girls also were taught to sing, dance, and play instruments often by travelling poets such as Alcman or by the elderly women in the polis.The Spartan educational system for females was very strict, because its purpose was to train future mothers of soldiers in order to maintain the strength of Sparta’s phalanxes, which were essential to Spartan defence and culture.
Children in Ancient Egypt stayed with their mothers until the age of four. During these years, a strong respect for their mothers was instilled in the children. At the age of four, education of the boys was taken over by their fathers.
The trades in Ancient Egypt had levels of earnings and power associated with them. Sons typically followed in the same trade that their father practiced. Some children at this time attended a general village school while others attended a school designed for a specific career such as a priest or a scribe.
Schools taught writing, reading, math, and sports as well as morals and manors. At the age of fourteen, sons of farmers or craftsmen joined their dads in their professions. Those children whose parents had higher status careers continued their education at special schools usually attached to temples or governmental centers.
This higher level of education included learning what was called “Instruction of Wisdom.” The “Instruction of Wisdom” included lessons on ethics and morality. This higher level of education also focused on skills needed for higher status positions such as doctor or scribe. The educational track that a student followed was typically determined by the position that the father held in society, yet, students who showed ability were able to receive training for higher status jobs.
Very few careers were open to most women. While most women trained for motherhood and on how to be a good wife, some girls could train to be dancers, entertainers, weavers, or bakers. Only the daughters of wealthy nobles received an education in reading or writing. The majority of Egyptian women were trained at home by their own mothers.
- Equestrian events. Chariot racing. Riding.
- Pentathlon. Discus. Javelin. Jump. Running. Wrestling.
Wrestling, weightlifting, long jump, swimming,rowing, shooting, fishing and athletics, as well as various kinds of ball games.
The ancient Greeks did not generally leave elaborate grave goods, except for a coin in the hand to pay Charon, the ferryman to Hades, and pottery; however the epitaphios or funeral oration (from which epitaph comes) was regarded as of great importance, and animal sacrifices were made.
Those who could afford them erected stone monuments, which was one of the functions of kouros statues in the Archaic period before about 500 BCE. These were not intended as portraits, but during the Hellenistic period realistic portraiture of the deceased were introduced and family groups were often depicted in bas-relief on monuments, usually surrounded by an architectural frame.
The walls of tomb chambers were often painted in fresco, although few examples have survived in as good condition as the Tomb of the Diver from southern Italy. Almost the only surviving painted portraits in the classical Greek tradition are found in Egypt rather than Greece.
The Fayum mummy portraits, from the very end of the classical period, were portrait faces, in a Graeco-Roman style, attached to mummies.
Early Greek burials were frequently marked above ground by a large piece of pottery, and remains were also buried in urns. Pottery continued to be used extensively inside tombs and graves throughout the classical period. The larnax is a small coffin or ash-chest, usually of decorated terracotta.
The two-handled loutrophoros was primarily associated with weddings, as it was used to carry water for the nuptial bath. However, it was also placed in the tombs of the unmarried, "presumably to make up in some way for what they had missed in life."
The one-handled lekythos had many household uses, but outside the household its principal use was for decoration of tombs. Scenes of a descent to the underworld of Hades were often painted on these, with the dead depicted beside Hermes, Charon or both - though usually only with Charon.
Small pottery figurines are often found, though it is hard to decide if these were made especially for placing in tombs; in the case of the Hellenistic Tanagra figurines this seems probably not the case. But silverware is more often found around the fringes of the Greek world, as in the royal Macedonian tombs of Vergina, or in the neighbouring cultures like those of Thrace or the Scythians.
Ancient Egyptian art is the painting, sculpture, architecture and other artsproduced by the civilization of Ancient Egyptin the lower Nile Valley from about 3000 BC to 100 AD. Ancient Egyptian art reached a high level in painting and sculpture, and was both highly stylized and symbolic.
Men ran the government, and spent a great deal of their time away from home. When not involved in politics, the men spent time in the fields, overseeing or working the crops, sailing, hunting, in manufacturing or in trade. For fun, in addition to drinking parties, the men enjoyed wrestling, horseback riding, and the famous Olympic Games. When the men entertained their male friends, at the popular drinking parties, their wives and daughters were not allowed to attend.
With the exception of ancient Sparta, Greek women had very limited freedom outside the home. They could attend weddings, funerals, some religious festivals, and could visit female neighbors for brief periods of time. In their home, Greek women were in charge. Their job was to run the house and to bear children.
Peoples rights were not based on the genders, but their social class. As an egyptian woman they also had a lot expectations like the men, but they had different roles in their lives. They would take care of the family, like their husbands and kids, their households and daily needs of the family.
Women had high level of respect and again the both genders had legal rights but only according to theory. Women were needed to be responsible for their relationships and took care of the daily and basic needs of the family. They had to serve and watch their husbands and kids to complete their daily needs. An egyptian woman's goal was to mainly raise children into becoming proper women while managing the households which would be the basic needs. After marriage, women were still given independence from their husbands and economic rights. Female were expected to do a lot according to their social roles. Not only they worked for their houses if they wanted they would have an own farm and would work on it, And they were allowed to own businesses but they had to manage it properly. They even had the choice to be rulers of their family instead of the men. It was said that they were restricted to do work based on in their house. In conclusion although both genders have different expectations they were treated the same.
Both men and women were treated equally but they had their own social roles as an adult.The expectations to their behavior were very different:
As an Egyptian man, their social roles were to work and take care of the younger boys in the family while the women took care of other stuff in the house.As a working men in the family they had high level of understanding towards what they needed to do in their work.They would work towards growing crops, building, selling, buying things, and if they could afford they would buy slaves.They would work all day but they still had time to teach their younger sons how to behave as a male.Their fathers taught their kids how to do business and trade.For business they taught them the work their fathers did and for trading they would have a clear understanding of how to do it.This was the role of an egyptian men.
Greek clothing was very simple. Men and women wore linen in the summer and wool in the winter. The ancient Greeks could buy cloth and clothes in the agora, the marketplace, but that was expensive. Most families made their own clothes, which were simple tunics and warm cloaks, made of linen or wool, dyed a bright color, or bleached white. Clothes were made by the mother, her daughters, and female slaves. They were often decorated to represent the city-state in which they lived. The ancient Greeks were very proud of their home city-state.
Now and then, they might buy jewelry from a traveling peddler, hairpins, rings, and earrings, but only the rich could afford much jewelry. Both men and women in ancient Athens, and in most of the other city-states, used perfume, made by boiling flowers and herbs.
The first real hat, the broad-brimmed petasos, was invented by the ancient Greeks. It was worn only for traveling. A chin strap held it on, so when it was not needed, as protection from the weather, it could hang down ones back.
Both men and women enjoyed using mirrors and hairbrushes. Hair was curled, arranged in interesting and carefully designed styles, and held in place with scented waxes and lotions.
Women kept their hair long, in braids, arranged on top of their head, or wore their hair in ponytails. Headbands, made of ribbon or metal, were very popular.
Blond hair was rare. Greek admired the blonde look and many tried bleaching their hair. Men cut their hair short and, unless they were soldiers, wore beards.
Barber shops first became popular in ancient Greece, and were an important part of the social life of many ancient Greek males. In the barber shop, the men exchanged political and sports news, philosophy, and gossip.
Unlike most of the people of the ancient Mediterranean, people in ancient Egypt did not wear just one or two big pieces of cloth wrapped around themselves in various ways. Instead, both men and women inEgypt wore tunics which were sewn to fit them.
Most meals were enjoyed in a courtyard near the home. Greek cooking equipment was small and light and could easily be set up there. On bright, sunny days, the women probably sheltered under a covered area of their courtyard, as the ancient Greeks believed a pale complexion was a sign of beauty.
Food in Ancient Greece consisted of grains, figs, wheat to make bread, barley, fruit, vegetables, breads, and cake. People in Ancient Greece also ate grapes, seafood of all kinds, and drank wine.
Along the coastline, the soil was not very fertile, but the ancient Greeks used systems of irrigation and crop rotation to help solve that problem.
They kept goats, for milk and cheese. They sometimes hunted for meat.
Most years saw a magnificent harvest of cereal (barley and emmer wheat, which could be used to make bread, cakes and beer); vegetables (beans, lentils, onions, garlic, leeks, lettuces and cucumbers), and fruits (including grapes, figs and dates).
Dance was very important to the ancient Greeks. They believed that dance improved both physical and emotional health. Rarely did men and women dance together. Some dances were danced by men and others by women.
There were more than 200 ancient Greek dances; comic dances, warlike dances, dances for athletes and for religious worship, plus dances for weddings, funerals, and celebrations.
Dance was accompanied by music played on lyres, flutes, and a wide variety of percussion instruments such as tambourines, cymbals and castanets.
Board games began as a way of teaching military strategy to soldiers in ancient Egypt. They became, however, a way for Egyptians to entertain themselves. Although many of the sports in which ancient Egyptians engaged are the same that are still played in modern times, they did have some that are unique to their culture. Equilibrium was a sport in which two standing players would hold the wrists of two players that would lean back sharply. The goal was for the two standing players to keep the leaning players from falling to the ground while all players rotated, achieving balance and equilibrium. The ancient Egyptians also enjoyed a version of tug-of-war. In the Egyptian version of the game, a rope was not used. Rather, the two front players in a single file line would hold hands, and everyone behind them would pull. Entertainment and recreation in ancient Egyptian society were primarily intended to maintain a healthy body and mind. Boys' sports tended to be more physical than those of girls, which sometimes bordered upon being violent.
Crime and Punishment
It is interesting to note how different countries enforce laws and order. And, as one shall see later on in this essay, Greece was
In Brazil, for example, if you are in an automobile accident the smart thing to is to leave the scene of the accident as soon aspossible. If you are not apprehended within 24 hours you couldn't be charged with any crime.
There is a famous case in Ri de Janeiro when two trains collided. One of the
engineers left the scene of the accident and was free. The other engineer who was injured and who could not leave was charged and tried. The engineer who fled, having immunity, actually appeared in court on behalf of the charged engineer yet everybody in the court knew he was in the accident.
In France when you are charged with a crime, you are guilty until you have proof of your innocence. In the United States when a person is charged with a crime, no matter how serious, you are innocent until you are proven guilty.
Following is the story in Greece: After the Dark Ages about 1200 - 900BC and beginning at about 900 BC, the Ancient Greeks had no official laws or punishment. Murders were settled by members of the victim's family who would then go and kill the murderer. This often began endless blood feuds. It was not until the middle of the seventh century BC that the Greeks first began to establish official laws.
Around 620 BC Draco, the, lawgiver, wrote the first known law of Ancient Greece. This law established exile as the penalty for homicide and was the only of the of Draco's laws that Solon kept when he was appointed law giver in bout 594 BC. Solon kept many new laws that fit into the four basic categories of Ancient Greek law.
Foreign slaves were often employed to police the cities of Ancient Greece. Greeks found it uncomfortable to have citizens policing their own fellows citizens. Often Greeks relied on citizens to report crimes. After reporting a crime, if an arrest was made, aninformant would receive half of the fine charged to the criminal.
In Athens; criminals were tried before a jury of 200 or more citizens picked at random. Criminals were punished by fines, their right to vote taken away, exile or death. Imprisonment was not typically a punishment.
A Greek community had no police force in the modern sense of the term.
The Skythian archers whom Athens possessed had the primary task of keeping the peace. In the absence of any state-run means of law enforcement, it was up to theinjured party to bring him (or her) before the magistrates. This must have been extremely difficult in the case of violent crime, especially if they happened to be elderly or female. If the injured party was incapable of arresting the criminal, he could summon the magistrate, arrest, and a fine of 1,000 drachmae was imposed.
Other than in cases involving theft, murder, rape and adultery, the accused received a written summons naming the day that he or she was required to appear before a magistrate.
Athenian law was divided into public and private actions. Public actions involved the community as a whole, whereas private actions concerned individuals. There was no public prosecutor. Though in practice many cases would have been that "anyone who wishes" was free to initiate prosecution in a public action or graphe. In the case of a private action, it was the responsibility of the injured party to bring the action. In cases of homicide, the relatives of the victim were required to prosecute the killer.
A preliminary hearing called an anaikrisis took place before a magistrate. Oaths were exchanged by the plaintiff and the defendant, the former swearing that his accusation was genuine, the latter admitting guilt or swearing that he was innocent. The defendant was free at this time to enter a counter plea. The case was then assigned to a particular court on a particular date. All trials, irrespective of the severity of the charges, wereconfined in scope to the space of a single day. Only a limited amount of cross examination took place. The testimony of slaves could be obtained only under torture.
Though magistrates presided over trials, they did not serve as judges in the modern sense of the term. They gave neither advice nor did they sentence those who were found guilty. They merely supervised proceedings in a general way.
Juries composed of citizens over thirty years of age, were often extremely large because it was believed that this reduced the likelihood of bribery. Exceptionally the jury might even include 600 members.
After the speeches had been delivered by the prosecution and the defense, the jurors voted without deliberation. In the 5th century B.C., jurors cast their vote in secret.
Each juror was provided with two tokens, one for conviction and the other for acquittal. The juror deposited one of these in a wooden urn whose tokens were disregarded, and the other in a bronze urn whose votes were counted.
Judgement was passed on a majority verdict. In the 5th century B.C., a tie meant an acquittal In the following century, old-numbered juries were the norm and that is the cusotm today.
Evading Conscription. Transgressions against the state were severely punished in ancient Egypt, with evading conscription being the most serious crime that peasants could commit. Papyrus Brooklyn 35.1446, Middle Kingdom (circa 1980-1630 B.C.E.) records from the Great Prison of Thebes, listed the specific crimes and punishments of those who evaded their work for the state. The Egyptians differentiated between failure to arrive at work and flight from a place of work. Two different crimes were recognized; four different laws were made regarding them. The four separate laws included “the law concerning deserters,” “the law concerning deliberate desertion for six months, “the law concerning deliberate desertion from work,” and “the law concerning the man who runs away without doing his duties.” These crimes were so serious that they were investigated through the Office of the Vizier (prime minister). Whether the vizier himself gave judgments is not known. But a scribe of the vizier’s office confirmed the sentence that was given to the guilty.
Ramifications. The punishments for these crimes were severe. The family of the offender was forced to fulfill his duties as a conscript for an indefinite period of time while the criminal performed state labor in the Great Prison. Each prisoner’s case was reviewed after ten years of servitude. In seventy-eight of eighty cases known from the Brooklyn papyrus, the prisoner was then released. The other two prisoners were condemned to life in prison.
Tomb Robbery. There is reason to believe that tomb robbery was a problem in all periods of Egyptian history. Certainly all Egyptians knew that the tombs of the nobles were filled with valuable objects. The only documentation of an investigation and trial for tomb robbery comes from Dynasty 20 (circa 1190-1075 B.C.E.) in Years 16 to 18 of Ramesses IX. A group of documents in the British Museum in London and the Egyptian Museum in Turin preserved trial transcripts for a series of tomb robberies committed in western Thebes by workers from Deir el Medina. High officials assisted in the commission of these crimes and benefited from the sale of the stolen goods.
Targeted Items. The tomb robbers of Dynasty 20 were active in royal tombs of Dynasty 17 (circa 1630-1539 B.C.E.), in mortuary temples, and in the Valley of the Queens. The papyri describe how the robbers located tombs and the way that they unwrapped mummies and
Preventive Measures. The extant papyri do not specifically discuss problems in the Valley of the Kings. However, shortly after the incidents discussed in these papyri, the priests of the necropolis relocated the mummies of the New Kingdom (circa 1539-1075 B.C.E.) kings to a common tomb. They remained protected there until the late nineteenth century, when they were removed to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
Assassination. The evidence for assassination in Egypt remains vague. The possibility that a person could murder the king would contradict the official ideology that he was at least semidivine. Thus, the hints of assassination plots found in Egyptian texts are veiled and difficult to interpret. The Instructions of Amenemhet I, a Dynasty 12 (circa 1938-1759 B.C.E.) wisdom text, warned in this king’s voice that the price of trust for a king was death. It also seems to describe an attempt against the king’s life.
Ramesses III. More detailed information on assassination dates to the reign of Ramesses III (circa 1187-1156 B.C.E.). A series of badly preserved papyri provide details on a plot against this king that originated among his wives and sons. Whether the plot involved murder or was an attempt to influence the succession in the favor of Prince Pentaweret rather than Prince Ramesses, the designated successor, is unclear. The price paid by the approximately forty plotters was death. Some of the higher-ranking plotters were given permission to commit suicide while others were killed. The reasoning behind this distinction is not clear from the evidence.
Name Changes. One culturally specific punishment for the plotters was changing their names so that their identity would be obliterated. One conspirator, for example, was called “Re hates him” in the trial transcript, probably a change from the more common Egyptian name Meryre (“Re loves (him)”). This punishment would have been serious for an Egyptian who hoped to live forever.
Judicial Oracles. Judicial oracles included the gods in a verdict. At Deir el Medina, the magistrates carried a statue of the Divine Amenhotep I before the assembled litigants. They then posed a yes or no question to the statue, asking if “x” were right and if “y” were wrong. The men carrying the statue then moved either forward or backward. This movement demonstrated that the god concurred with the verdict the court had reached. Judicial oracles were included in questions of real estate and tomb occupancy. These disputes included the interests of the government since houses and tombs at Deir el Medina were state property. Thus, the court asked the state god of the village to confirm a verdict rather than decide it independently. These oracles were not “fixed” but were instead a religious ceremony to confirm the verdict.
Harsh Penalties. Punishment for crimes committed against the state was harsh. Common punishments included one hundred to two hundred blows with a stick, one to five open wounds, mutilation of the nose or ears, and terms of forced labor. The death penalty, however, was rare. It was reserved for assassination of the king, tomb robbery, and official corruption. Loss of office was a common punishment for a variety of administrative misdeeds. This sentence was a double punishment since it also meant loss of the office to the criminal’s son. Forced labor also meant that the whole family of a convicted criminal was put to work for periods of either ten or twenty years.
Means to an End. Torture was used to gain confessions to crimes. Torture victims also were forced to name accomplices in crimes, to reveal the hiding place of stolen goods, and to describe the methods used in a crime. Information on methods allowed the authorities to strengthen security measures. The most common torture was thebastinato, beating the bottom of the foot with a stick.
Men in ancient Greece typically worked outside the home, while women were expected to perform household chores. Greek men were divided into three groups -- citizens, metics and slaves -- and employment opportunities were largely dictated by position in the social hierarchy. Citizenship and occupational opportunities based on social class were inherited, so it was nearly impossible for Greeks to change the social status they were born into. Metics, or non-slave Greeks who migrated to city-states, were not eligible for citizenship and typically worked low-paying jobs.
Farmers - most of the people were farmers. They grew barley to make bear, wheat for bread, vegetables such as onions and cucumbers, and flax to make into linen. They grew their crops near the banks of the Nile River where the rich black soil was good for crops.
Craftspeople - There were a wide variety of craftsmen jobs. They included carpenters, weavers, jewelers, leather workers, and potters. How skilled a craftsman was would determine his success.
Soldiers - Becoming a soldier was an opportunity for a person to rise in society. Most of the soldiers were footmen. There was a well defined hierarchy in the Egyptian army. In peacetime, soldiers would help with government projects such as moving stone for a pyramid or digging a canal.
Scribes - Scribes were important people in Ancient Egypt as they were the only people who knew how to read and write. Scribes came from wealthy families and took years of training to learn the complex Egyptian hieroglyphics.
Priests and Priestesses - Priests and Priestesses were responsible for the temples and held religious ceremonies.
The Greek navy functioned much like the ancient Greek army. Several similarities existed between them, proving that the mindset of the Greeks flowed naturally between the two forms of fighting. Their success on land easily translated onto the sea. Naval actions always took place near the land so they could eat, sleep, and stick to narrow waters to outmaneuver the opposing fleet. It was not uncommon for ships to beach and battle on land as well. Developing new techniques for revolutionary trireme and staying true to their land-based roots, the Greeks soon became a force to be reckoned with on the sea during the 5th century. They were also one of the greatest armies/naval forces in ancient times.
The army pressed forward in close order, in columns of 4 with the ofﬁcers taking the rear. Chariots were positioned either on the wings or in the intervals between the infantry divisions. Skirmishers issued forth in front to clear the line of advance and were followed by the main army and the baggage train made up of 4-wheeled carts pulled by oxen.
When it came to battle, the infantry were always in the center with the chariots on the wings. The light units - mostly archers and slingers, - lined up in front of the heavy troops, and when ordered to attack by the trumpeters, these archers and slingers discharged a volley, and the heavy units of spearmen, khepesh-wielding swordsmen or macemen pressed forward in close order in an impregnable phalanx.
Simultaneously, the chariots would be discharged and swept towards the enemy. The light chariots would fire missiles at the enemy and then move to avoid physical contact. They would be followed by heavy units, the main objective being to crush or break up the enemy front line already harrassed by the light chariotry.
The light Egyptian chariotry would initially charge for something that would appear to be a head-on collision with the enemy lines, but they would wheel at the last moment, running parallel to the enemy front, giving them a broadside of archery ﬁre from the closest range possible. This way, the Egyptians would not present a stationary target and would be protected by the vehicle itself. This kind of assault broke the enemy troop formations as well as pursued the demoralised enemy.
On the other hand, chariots could only operate on level ground and were little use against fortiﬁed walls or in holding ground against the enemy. For these purposes, heavy infantry units were employed. They advanced in phalanx under cover of archery ﬁre either assuming long column formations or being deployed in small distinct bodies in order to fight the enemy in hand-to-hand combat. They used heavy maces, battle axes, or the khepesh (Egyptian sickle-sword) to hit on the flanks and center of the enemy, while often receiving their fair share of friendly fire from the bowmen.
Archers and light infantry either acted in line or adopted loose formations depending on the terrain or the movements of the enemy troops. After the initial charges and demoralization of the enemy, the light chariotry would regroup for a second wave of assault in support of the now engaging infantry units. The chariot archers had to be the most skilled among all archers in the army as the outcome of most battles depended heavily on their aim and ability to break enemy lines and formations.
Whenever a chariot steered too close to the enemy and there was no turning back, the warrior would dismount and grab his spear, battle axe, or khepesh, for hand to hand combat. Other times he would stay in the cart and grab a bow, with the charioteer, reins looped round his waist, holding a shield to protect him while aiming.
In light of the described Egyptian battle tactics and because its success depended greatly on the ability of individual soldiers, it is worth noting that throughout the period of the New Kingdom, the military success of Egypt could be attributed more to the courage and hardiness of her men in battle than to the strategies cooked up by military commanders.