Achievements and Weaknesses of the Middle Kingdom and Its Downfall

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In Ancient Egypt, the Middle Kingdom is seen as one of its finest ages. This is because it was a time of ‘expanding political strength’ and ‘broader economic horizons’[1]. Generally thought to be from approximately 2000 B.C. to 1780 B.C.,[2] it was during the Twelfth Dynasty that Egyptians opened a wide trade amongst other countries, improved agricultural systems, fortified and expanded Egyptian borders with a strong military reputation, and explore the arts and literature to a depth which Egyptians had not previously. The Middle Kingdom has little weaknesses, but these did not prevent its gradual downfall. For Ancient Egypt, a significant advantage of the Middle Kingdom was its trade with other countries. In Palestine and Lower…show more content…
There is a possibility that the rise of the cult of Osiris – the belief that if the right procedures are taken, one will ascend into the afterlife – and in addition to the King, the allowance for the ordinary Egyptian peasant to enjoy the afterlife as well might have undermined the pharaoh’s authority[18]. This in addition to the rising power of the priests would have grown easily into a situation of great unrest, as more Egyptians assumed positions of power and fought amongst themselves. The Middle Kingdom did not end abruptly; instead it was a steady decline that saw its fall. The long reigns of Sesotris II and Ammenemes III (around fifty years each) led to various problems (History of Ancient Egypt) [19] including a lack of faith in the singular king or pharaoh, and those who were denied the crown of Egypt perhaps went to rule other parts of Egypt, gaining power and therefore limiting the power of the king[20]. ‘The country does not seem to have collapsed; instead a feeling that was only the central power that was subject to crises, whereas the stability of the civilization as a whole remained constant’[21]. The diversion of power went from the pharaoh to more of the common people, so they were not as affected as much as the court of the king seemed to be. After the death of the last king, the first to be titled ‘woman-pharaoh’, Sobkneferu[23], and the powerful Twelfth Dynasty ended, Egypt left

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