ArticlePDF Available

Mind then Heart Control: Psychological Warfare as an element of Egyptian Strategy of War during New Kingdom (1) I. Terror of the King as an element of Psychological Warfare

Authors:

Abstract and Figures

This paper discusses the violent treatments of the enemies and enemy captives by kings as an element of the grand strategy of war of the New Kingdom. This paper proposes that the use of violence and overpower against enemies and war captives helped to deliver a strong message aimed to discourage future hostility or rebellions either outside or inside Egypt during the New Kingdom Period. This paper argues that enemy’s morale or “fighting spirit” was the target of such violent procedures to instill fear of the king in their hearts which lead to troops breaking and fleeing in the battlefield.
No caption available
… 
No caption available
… 
No caption available
… 
No caption available
… 
No caption available
… 
Content may be subject to copyright.
1
Mind then Heart Control:
Psychological Warfare as an element of Egyptian Strategy of War
during New Kingdom(1)
I. Terror of the King as an element of Psychological Warfare
Ahmad Abo el Magd
Minia University
Abstract:
This paper discusses the violent treatments of the enemies and enemy captives by
kings as an element of the grand strategy of war of the New Kingdom.
This paper proposes that the use of violence and overpower against enemies and war
captives helped to deliver a strong message aimed to discourage future hostility or rebellions
either outside or inside Egypt during the New Kingdom Period.
This paper argues that enemy’s morale or “fighting spirit” was the target of such
violent procedures to instill fear of the king in their hearts which lead to troops breaking and
fleeing in the battlefield.
Keywords:
Psychological Warfare – Terror – Violence - New Kingdom
Introduction:
War is purposeful and organized violence; a direct and brutal means of persuasion,
designed to “compel our enemy to do our will".(2)
Armed forces use an array of weapons of persuasion to destroy the physical ability of
the enemy to resist. While killing the enemy is perhaps the most direct and obvious means to
disarm an opposing force, war can also be viewed as a non-lethal assault on the enemy mind
rather than the body.(3) Metallic, leather and linen body armour, shields, breastplates and
helmets can protect bodies.(4) The mind has no such protections, making soldiers particularly
vulnerable to a variety of disturbing psychological stimuli on the battlefield including fear,
shock, and uncertainty.(5)
Though perhaps overstated, some have even argued that attacking the mind was even
more important than attacking the body. Surrender after all, wrote one Army officer “is a state
of mind,” or, in the vulgate, “Capture their minds and their hearts and souls will follow”.(6)
The phenomenon of warfare is generally referred as morale. It exists at a variety of
levels, ranging from the national level, the large scale armed forces level, right down to the
smallest tactical units. Morale, the target of psychological warfare, is some kind of
1 The researcher inspired this title, though in different sphere but the same military context, from the title of a
Ph.D. dissertation: Jacobson, M. R., ‘Minds then hearts:’ U.S. Political and Psychological warfare during the
Korean War, The Ohio State University 2005.
2 C. Clausewitz, On War, ed. and trans. Sir Michael Howard and Peter Paret (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University
Press), 1984, 75.
3 M. Jacobson, Minds then Hearts, 1.
4 McDermott, S., Ancient Egyptian Footsoldiers and their weapons: A study of military iconography and weapon
remains, Ph. D. dissertation, University of Manchester, 2002, 47-83.
5 M. Jacobson, Minds then Hearts, 1.
6 Office of the Secretary of Defense, “Meet Psychological Warfare,” Armed Forces Talk 303(1949), 1-11.
2
psychological index of willingness to sacrifice personal safety and suppression of instincts for
personal survival for what is perceived as the greater good of the majority.(7)
Throughout history, military theorists have pointed out that war is as much a battle to
destroy minds as well as bodies. Breaking an enemy’s will to resist involves shattering his
courage, or as Sun Tzu wrote: “One need not destroy one's enemy. One need only destroy his
willingness to engage”(8)
The purpose of this paper is to provide evidence to the ancient Egyptians' conscious
and purposed use violent treatments which are referred to since WWII as "Psychological
warfare" in order to install fear of the King in the mind and hearts of his enemies.
Definition:
There are many definitions for the Psychological warfare as:
“The planned use by a nation of propaganda and activities other than combat which
communicate ideas and information intended to influence the opinions, attitudes, emotions,
and behaviour of foreign groups in ways that will support the achievement of national
aims”.(9)
In the same context: “The use of various techniques, such as propaganda and terror, to
lower an enemy's morale especially in time of war”.(10)
Also, “Use of propaganda against an enemy, supported by whatever military,
economic, or political measures are required, and usually intended to demoralize an enemy or
to win it over to a different point of view”.(11)
Discussion:
The Egyptian New Kingdom provides a wealth of information describing military
conflicts with number of peoples living to the South, West and North-East of them. From the
Euphrates in Western Asia to the Fifth Cataract of the Nile in modern Sudan the Egyptian
army is documented as being a visible and formidable force. This active military role resulted
in the endeavours of the army being at the centre of both private and royal inscriptions. The
Egyptians achieved Order (National Security) through the prowess of the ruler, which meant
that the state perpetuated grandiose images of war through royal iconography either by images
or by the words.(12)
Warfare of this period has regularly been described as imperialistic in nature(13), yet
the real political and economic motivations of warfare including the defence of borders, the
acquisition of valuable land, livestock, natural resources and people were often masked by
layers of religion and ritual which provided both moral justification and a “universal
7 Human, G. L., Military Fortifications, Weapons and Military Strategy in Ancient Syro-Palestine (Iron Age II
A), Master thesis, University of South Africa, 2006, 89.
8 Sun Tzu, as quoted in Jonathan Gratch and Stacy Marsella, “Fight the Way You Train, The Role of Emotions
in Training for Combat,” Brown Journal of World Affairs, 10, no. 1, 2003,11.
9 Wood, N. O., Strategic psychological warfare of the Truman administration: a study of National Psychological
Warfare aims, objectives, and effectiveness, Ph. D. University of Oklahoma, 1982, 6. The author depended on
the U.S. formal definition according to National Security Council, July 10, 1950, 25. U.S. State Department File
511.00/7-1050.
10 http://www.thefreedictionary.com/psychological+warfare
11 http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/psychological+warfare
12 McDermott, S., Ancient Egyptian Footsoldiers, 26.
13 Redford, D.B., Egypt and Canaan in the New Kingdom. Beer-Sheva: Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Press, 1992, 193.
3
framework” for the more impious aspects of war.(14) This ancient agenda is often masked
further by modern analysis which has a tendency to dehumanise ancient Egyptian warfare and
conflict, despite psychologists describing combat as being an integral part of human
behaviour, both in ancient and modern societies.(15)
The text of Thutmose III describing his first campaign which not only resulted in the
capture of most of the Canaanite leaders at Megiddo, but it also established Egyptian rule over
much of the region, states:
"Then his majesty overwhelmed them at the head of his army... they fled headlong (to)
Megiddo with faces of fear, abandoning their horses, their chariots of gold and silver, and
were hoisted up into the town by (being) pulled (by) their garments... .(16)
I- The Concept of the King as Protector of Order (Justification):
Ma’at has long been recognized as not only a goddess but also one of the foundational
philosophical principles of ancient Egyptian society.(17) Egypt’s remarkable longevity and
continuity can at least partially be explained by the sense of tradition and unchanging values
emphasized in the concept of Ma’at.(18) During all the periods of the Egyptian history,
kingship was seen as the “effective power of the order of Ma’at”.(19) The king was bound to a
framework of actions devoted to upholding order and truth.(20)
Isfet (Chaos)(21) has been somewhat overlooked in comparison. The connection
between the re-creation and establishment of Ma’at and the destruction of Isfet is intrinsic
without the destruction of Isfet there can be no establishment of Ma’at.(22)
14 Gnirs, A.M., “Ancient Egypt in War and Society in the Ancient and Medieval Worlds edited by Raaflaub, K
& Rosenstein, N. Washington: Center for Hellenic Studies, 73.
15 Shalit, B. The Psychology of Conflict and Combat. New York: Praeger, 1988, 4.
16 Urk IV 647-650.
17 Ma’at is a topic that has been subjected to limitless scholarly investigations. Among the most important and
recent works, see Assmann, J., Ma’at: Gerechtigkeit und Unsterblichkeit im alten Ägypten (Munich: C.H. Beck,
1990) and Maât, L’Égypte Pharaonique et l’idée de justice sociale, La Maison De Vie, 2003\; Hornung, E.,
“Maat—Gerechtigkeit für Alle? Zur altägyptischen Ethik,” Eranos Jahrbuch 56 (1987): 385-427; Lichtheim, M.,
Maat in Egyptian Autobiographies and Related Studies (Göttingen: Universitätsverlag FrFeiburg Schweiz
Vanden Hoeck & Ruprecht, 1992); Karenga, M., Maat: The Moral Ideal in Ancient Egypt: A Study of Classical
African Ethics (Los Angeles, CA: University of Sakore Press, 2006); DuQuesne, T., “I Know Ma’et: Counted,
Complete, Enduring,” DE 22 (1992): 79-89; Quirke, S., “Translating Ma’at,” JEA 80 (1994): 219-231.
18 Emily Teeter, The Presentation of Maat: Ritual and Legitimacy in Ancient Egypt (Studies in Ancient Oriental
Civilizations 57, Chicago: The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, 1997), 1.
19 Tobin, V., “Ma’at and DIKH: Some Comparative Considerations of Egyptian and Greek Thought.” JARCE 24
(1987), 115.
20 A. Spalinger, Icons of Power: A Strategy of Reinterpretation (Prague: Charles University, Faculty of Arts,
2011), 1-24. In some respects, terms like “truth” are misleading or too simplistic. The Egyptians were less
interested in presenting “truth” in the sense of the sequence of events as they happened than they were in
presenting “truth” as pertains to their cultural values. To the point, “truth in this latter usage relates to the
ideology of kingship and the latent Egyptian superiority over foreigners. This is not to say that the Egyptians
never presented notions of sequence, as clearly Ramesside battle narratives attempt to do so, but that the primary
concern of such reliefs was enforcing the long held ideology of foreigners as dangerous agents of chaos who the
pharaoh must subdue in fulfilling his role as sun god. The king, ever the focus of such scenes, always triumphs.
Even in the most stereotypical of depictions his presence dominates the scene, and his victory is not in question.
By the New Kingdom time period, these ideals were already ancient, though the development of the battle
narrative genre was not.
21 Isfet is the antithesis of
MAat
and not merely the absence of it is an important point. Isfet is more than simply a
lack of Order; it is Disorder and Chaos run rampant. Of course, Ma’at is such a massive concept that single one
English word accurately conveys its exact opposite. For more, see Assmann, Ma’at: Gerechtigkeit und
Unsterblichkeit, 213-221; DuQuesne, T., “I Know Ma’et: Counted, Complete, Enduring”, DE 22 (1992), 90; and
Muhlestein, M., Violence in the Service of Order, 2, n. 7.
22H. Smith, “Ma’et and Isfet,” The Bulletin of the Australian Centre for Egyptology5 (1994), 67-88.
4
The establishment of Order it is for this very purpose that Rea has placed the king on
earth: “Rea has put the king on the land of the living for eternity and infinity so that he may
judge mankind, so that he may satisfy the gods, so that he may bring about Ma’at, so that he
may destroy Isfet”(23) Because creation continued indefinitely in what Assmann calls “the
cosmogonic process” the sun god and king must constantlywrest the cosmos from its
persistent gravitation toward chaos(24) All of this is in keeping with the Egyptians’ urgent
need to return to the era of Order at the onset of creation before the gods separated themselves
and Chaos entered the world. This was the case throughout all of ancient Egyptian history, as
the king was tasked with bringing about this idyllic first moment of creation.(25)
From the Egyptian perspective, one of the greatest sources of Isfet was a rebellious
foreign enemy. As Assmann puts it, “it was the specific task of the temple cult (and thus the
king as well) to thwart the evil designs of Apophis and so ensure the course of the sun and
continuation of creation”.26 Among these “evil designs” were foreign rebellions or incursions
into Egypt.
Thus, rebellions had to be exterminated with the utmost severity in a fashion that
ensured the re-establishment of Order and the eradication of Chaos. This notion applies as
well to foreigners who have not yet rebelled or even been under Egyptian dominion; the
potential for rebellion was sufficient justification for Pharaonic aggression.
The king was justified in using all possible means to put down rebels or threats against
his country. During all periods of Egyptian history, the majority of the texts where the King
used violence was in the context of war when the King is subjecting enemies and rebels
without any connotations.(27)
This is to be expected from the theoretical point of reasoning because rebellion was a
chaotic behaviour of one who should be trusted to act according to
MAat
, so rebellions and the
threats of war were a very embodiment of chaos (
isfet
). Emily Teeter suggests that to act
against the king was to risk the stability of the cosmos.(28) while Anthony Leahy suggests that:
attempts to overthrow the established political order, embodied in the person of the king,
echoed parallel mythological assaults on Ma
a
t ... Rebellion was thus inevitably a crime with
strong religious connotations.(29)
23 The Funerary Papyrus of Khay, ‘Chief Keeper of the Writings of the Lord of the Two Lands,’ generally
known as “The King as Sun Priest” (British Museum 9953, B1): Jan Assmann, Der König als Sonnenpriester:
Ein kosmographischer Begleittext zur kultischen Sonnenhymnen in thebanischen Tempeln und
Gräbern(Glückstadt: J.J. Augustin, 1970), 19;Muhlestein, Violence in the Service of Order, 2.
24 J. Assmann, The Mind of Egypt: History and Meaning in the Time of the Pharaohs. Translated by Andrew
Jenkins, New York: Henry Hold and Company, 1996, 206.
25 J. Assmann, Ma’at: Gerechtigkeit und Unsterblichkeit, 224. See also, Assmann, The Mind of Egypt,
206;Muhlestein, Violence in the Service of Order, 2-4, 95-96; and James P. Allen, Genesis in Egypt: The
Philosophy of Ancient Egyptian Creation Accounts (Yale Egyptological Studies. William Kelly Simpson, ed.
New Haven, CT: Yale University, 1998), 26.
26 Assmann, Mind of Egypt, 147.
27 Gee, J. L., The Requirements of Ritual Purity in Ancient Egypt, 271; K. Muhlestein, Violence in the Service
of Order: The Religious Framework for Sanctioned Killing in Ancient Egypt (BAR International Series 2299,
Oxford: Archaeopress, 2011), 306, 310.
28 Teeter, E., “Ma’at”, in Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt, ed. Donald B. Redford, London, Oxford
University Press, 2001, vol. II , 319.
29 Leahy, A., “Death by fire in Ancient Egypt”, JESHO 27.2 (1984), 201.
5
II- Installing Fear in the enemies' hearts (Target of Psychological Warfare):
The ancient Egyptian sources of the New Kingdom strongly referred to the ability and
even responsibility of the Pharaoh to inspire fear among foreigners and his terror to penetrate their
borders.(30)
In The Poetical Stela of Thutmose III (31), Amun-Re actually takes the credit for
instilling fear of the Pharaoh in the hearts of the people of Naharin. Amun-Re declares:
"I shall establish your power and the awe of you in all the nations,
And the fear of you shall extend to / the four pillars of heaven".(32)
So ...
“They shall hear your war cry and hide in their holes,
For I have deprived their nostrils of the breath of life,
Implanting the fear of your Majesty deep within their hearts”. (33)
"I shall cripple the opponents who come against you,
For their courage will have burned away as their bodies quake with fear".(34)
and...
"I have come to empower you to crush the heathen:
The lands of Mitanni tremble through dread of you".(35)
In the context of the Poem of Ramesses II's prowess and bravery in his famous Battle
of Kadesh, a passage reads:
"One could not find himself in order to fight among them (Hittites).
Their hearts withered in their bodies because of fear of me.
All their arms weakened; they did not know how to shoot.
They could not find their hearts in order to grasp their spears".(36)
Another text from the New Kingdom that is saturated with fear of King Merenptah is
recorded on his famous Victory Stela.(37) The text mentions Merenptah's ability who...
"instilled perpetual dread / in the hearts of the Meshwesh”.(38)
30 O'Dell, E. J., Excavating the Emotional Landscape of Ancient Egyptian Literature, Ph.D. thesis, Department
of Egyptology and Ancient Western Asian Studies at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, May 2008,
119.
31 Originally from Karnak Temples and now in Cairo Museum 34010. Lacau, P., Stéles du nouvel empire, Vol. I,
Catalogue general du Musee du Caire (Cairo, 1909), 17-21and pl. vii; Urk. IV, 6I0-619; BAR, II, §655-662; de
Buck, A., Egyptian Reading Book, Leiden, 1948,53-56; Simpson, W. K., The Literature of Ancient Egypt: An
Anthology of Stories, Instructions, Stelae, Autobiographies, and Poetry; Third Edition, Yale University Press,
New Haven & London, 2003,351-355; Lichtheim, M., Ancient Egyptian Literature, Volume II: The New
Kingdom, Berkeley, 1976, 35-39.
32 de Buck, A., Egyptian Reading Book, Leiden, 1948, 53 (Lines 3-4);
33 Lines 8-9: Simpson, W. K., The Literature of Ancient Egypt, 352.
34Line 12: Simpson, W. K., The Literature of Ancient Egypt, 353; Lichtheim, M., Ancient Egyptian Literature,
II, 36.
35 Line 17: Simpson, W. K., The Literature of Ancient Egypt, 354; Lichtheim, M., Ancient Egyptian Literature,
II, 37.
36 KRI II, 44. 11-48; Faulkner, R. O., “The Battle of Kadesh”, MDAIK 16 (1958), 105 [ 93-111]; Gardiner, A.
H., The Kadesh Inscriptions of Ramses II, Oxford, 1960, 10; Wells, J.W., War in Ancient Egypt, PhD
dissertation, John Hopkins University, 1995, 297.
37 Commonly referred to as the Israel Stela, this monumental text was inscribed on the verso of a large
freestanding stela of Amenhotep III (Cairo Museum 34025) from western Thebes. Petrie, W. M. F., Six Temples
at Thebes, London, 1897, pls. xiii-xiv; Lacau, P., Stéles du nouvel empire, Vol. I, Catalogue gènèral...du Musee
du Caire, 52-59, pls. xvii-xix; KRI IV, 12-19; BAR III, § 602-617; Lichtheim, M., Ancient Egyptian Literature,
II, 73-78; Simpson, W. K., The Literature of Ancient Egypt, 356-360.
38 Simpson, W. K., The Literature of Ancient Egypt, 356-360, 357; O'Dell, E. J., Excavating the Emotional
Landscape of Ancient Egyptian Literature, 119-120.
6
Due to the fear of the Pharaoh:
The Libyans
“desist treading the Black Land, great terror being in their hearts because of Egypt”.(39)
Fear in this instance acts as a sort of buffer that prevents the Libyans from entering Egypt.
In their flight response,
“their vanguard turned tail; their legs could not stand firm but ran”.40
That clear strategy of installing fear deep in the heart of the enemies of Egypt by the
New Kingdom kings had earlier forerunners Middle Kingdom.
In The Story of Sinuhe(41), Sinuhe says directly to Senwosret I:
“Fear of you is repeated in the lowlands and in the highlands, for all that the sun disk
encircles is conquered for you”.(42)
Thus, there is nowhere that is out of the reach of the pharaoh’s command and nowhere
that is safe from the fear of him.
In Cycle Songs in Ho nor of Senwosret III(43), the terror of the pharaoh strikes cave
dwellers and the nine bows alike, for there is
“terror of whom strikes the cave dwellers in their land,
Fear of whom slays the nine bows”.(44)
What is significant here is the ability of the Pharaoh’s terror to penetrate borders as his
terror strikes the cave dwellers “in their land”.
III- Ancient Egyptians' Techniques of Psychological Warfare:
As the rulers of the New Kingdom expanded Egypt’s domination to previously
unreached lengths, they had to practice different types of strategies to maintain Egypt's
supremacy over that wide range of different regions from Nubia in the South to Euphrates in
the North and to deal with peoples of various ethnic groups. The concern of this article is the
strategy of violence and extreme harsh treatments to control and break the "morale" and
"resistance spirit" of Egypt's domination which led to their approval of political and economic
investments.
39 Simpson, W. K., The Literature of Ancient Egypt, 357; O'Dell, E. J., Excavating the Emotional Landscape of
Ancient Egyptian Literature, 115.
40 Simpson, W. K., The Literature of Ancient Egypt, 357.
41 Gardiner, A. H., Die Erzählung des Sinuhe und die Hirten-geschichte, in A. Erman, Literarische Texte des
mittleren Reiches, Hieratische Papyrus aus den königlichen Museen zu Berlin, Bd. V/2, Leipzig, 1909;
Blackman, A.M., The Story of Sinuhe, Bibliotheca Aegyptiaca, II, Brussels, 1932, 1-41; Barns, J. W., The
Ashmolean Ostracon of Sinuhe, London, 1952; Lichtheim, M., Ancient Egyptian Literature, I, The Old and
Middle Kingdoms, University of California Press, 1975, 222-235; Simpson, W. K., The Literature of Ancient
Egypt, 357, 54-66.
42 Simpson, W. K., The Literature of Ancient Egypt, 357, 63.
43 This series of six songs, of which only the first four are well preserved, is part of the archive of papyri from
Illahun. They were first published by Griffith, F. Ll., Hieratic Papyri from Kahun and Gurob, London, 1898,
text, 1–3; pls. 1–3. The hieratic of the first four songs is reproduced in ller, G.., Hieratische Lesestücke,
Leipzig, 1909, 1, pls. 4–5, and the hieroglyphic in Sethe, K., Ägyptische Lesestücke, Leipzig, 1924, 65–67.
There is an analytical study and translation by Hermann Grapow: ‘‘Der Liederkranz zu Ehren Königs-Sesostris
des Dritten aus Kahun,’’MIO1 (1953), 189–209. More recently there is Hans Goedicke’s valuable study with
translations, ‘‘Remarks on the Hymns to Sesostris III", JARCE7 (1968), 23–26. See also Jürgen Osing, ‘‘Zu
zwei literarischen Werke des Mittleren Reiches,’’ in J. Osing, ed., The Heritage of Ancient Egypt: Studies in
Honor of Erik Iversen, Copenhagen, 1992, 101–20.
44 Simpson, W. K., The Literature of Ancient Egypt, 302.
7
During the New Kingdom, the Egyptian State may be had the largest number of
violent encounters with foreigners, as after the re-unification of previously decentered and
politically divided state of the Second Intermediate Period and Hyksos Occupation, emerged
an aggressive politics towards the surroundings foreign political entities.(45) Precisely because
of these encounters and war operations, New Kingdom is may be the richest period with
surviving accounts (visual and written) on enemies, enemy captives and their treatments.
Wide variety of treatments of enemies and enemy captives calls for an interpretative
approach, not only to specific treatments but also to the variety itself.
Many scholars studied the various violent treatments, as detailed below, nevertheless
there is still a lack of a comprehensive study of psychological impact of such violent
treatments of enemies and enemy captives through the utilization of modern theories of
Psychology and its main application, in present study, the Psychological Warfare with the
target of affecting the enemies' actions either before, during and after the wars.
III.1 Executions (Death and Humiliation):
New Kingdom sources preserved a variety of harsh treatments of enemy prisoners.
Such actions fit readily into the Egyptian worldview as a final, emphatic defeat of Chaos
(Isfet). Examples of these actions can be found throughout the New Kingdom.
Death by Water, Decapitation, Burning and Impalement:
A curious example during this time is the mention of the treatment of enemy rulers in
conjunction with water processions. It is well known that military campaigns most often went
forth and returned via the Nile. The return from battle also became a parade of victory,
carrying a host of positive images and simultaneously demonstrating the destructive powers
of water. In the account of Ahmose son of Ibana, we learn that Thutmose I crushed a Nubian
rebellion and that on his return trip a Nubian was hung upside down from the bow of the
king’s ship (
iwn.t pf Xs m HAt bik n Hm=f
).(46) Another more famous variation of this act is
attested in an inscription of Amenhotep II on two essentially uniform stelae erected at Amada
and Elephantine(47) where the King describes his return from a successful campaign during his
third year of reign from Upper Retjenu: "His Majesty returned with great joy to his father
Amun. He slew the seven princes with his mace himself (
smA.n=f pA wr.w 7 m HD=f Ds=f
).
They were from the area of Takhasi (
txs
), and had been given upside down(48) to the prow of
the King's ship".(49) After this prow-bound aquatic journey, the corpses of these princes were
eventually displayed on the walls of Thebes and Napata.(50)
45 Bryan, B., (2000)"The 18th Dynasty before the Amarna Period (c. 1550-1352 BC)," in Shaw, I., (ed.), The
Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, 218-271, Oxford University Press; Shaw, I., (2000), Egypt and the Outside
World, in The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, 324-329, Oxford University Press.
46 Urk. IV, 1-11, esp. lines 35-36; M. Janzen, The iconography of humiliation: the depiction and treatment of
bound foreigners in New Kingdom Egypt, Ph. D Dissertation, The University of Memphis, 2013, 247.
47 The only significant difference between them is the scene depicted at the top. On the Amada stela,
Amenhotep II offers wine to Amun-Rea and Herakhty. The Elephantine depiction shows him receiving life and
stability from Amun and Khnum.
48 Mythologically speaking, hanging the enemies head downwards mimics the backwardness and chaotic nature
of enemies in the afterlife. See J. Zandee, Death as an Enemy according to Egyptian Conceptions(Leiden: Brill,
1960): 73-78; Chegodaev, M., «Lest One Be Turned Upside Down», DE 40 (1998), 67-80.
49 Urk. IV, 1279. K. Muhlestein, Violence in the Service of Order, 47.
50 Stela of Amenophis II, and Inscription of Meneptah, vol. V (Cairo: 1963), line 5 of: pl. IV(facsimile), insert of
the stela of Amenhotep II (this publication is unbound, and the loose pages are unnumbered), lines 16-17; Urk
4:1279; for another translation, see ARE 2:313.
8
Taken together these depictions, texts and archaeological remains paint a clear picture
of suspending vanquished prisoners over water during royal victory parades.(51) it is certain
that rituals associated with vanquished enemies were a part of royal water journeys and their
depictions on kiosks may indicate that a smiting rite took place on some royal barques.(52)
The tomb of Amenemheb (TT 85) preserves one account of the ascension of
Amenhotep II, which may have involved decapitation. Though the text is badly damaged, it is
clear that Amenhotep “cut off the heads of their chiefs” (
dm.n.f tpw srw.sn
).(53)
Perhaps the most problematic example of the execution of enemy prisoners is the
possible burning of a large group of captives by Amenhotep II during his Year 9 campaign,
recorded in the Memphis Stela. The text says: “After his Majesty had viewed the large
amount of booty they were made into living prisoners (
sqr-anx
). Two ditches were made
around them and he filled them with fire (
xt
).(54) The question this passage raises is obvious:
did Amenhotep burn the prisoners? or merely entrap them in fence of fire?
Another harsh example of the treatment of enemy captives by fire is dating to the reign
of Merenptah who recorded on the walls of the Temple of Amada which is located between
the first and second cataracts in Nubia and surely Merenptah fought the Libyans closer to
Libya, but his post-battle deeds were deemed both significant and prohibitive enough to
record at Amada. So concerned were the Egyptians with making grisly political statements
such as these in Nubia, it did not matter if the victims were Nubians nor if the deed itself
actually happened in Nubia (as below in the case of impalement). Merenptah also dealt a
harsh blow to Kushite rebels. The phrase literally reads “fire was thrown (
xAi xt
) on the
Medjai”.(55)
Akhenaten, as recorded on Buhen Stela, dealt harshly with the rebellion of the Nubian
tribe of Akuyati.(56) Djehutymose, the viceroy of Kush, carried off 145 living captives,
including 12 children, with a total of 225 enemy casualties; additional booty, probably 361
head of cattle, also is recorded.(57)
The text reads:
51 K. Muhlestein, "Death by Water: The Role of Water in Ancient Egypt's Treatment of enemies and Juridical
Process", Proceedings of the First International Conference For Young Egyptologists, Italy, October 15-18,
2003, 173-9.
52 Abo el Magd, A., " Prisoners’ Cage in ancient Egypt", Proceedings of First Scientific Conference of
Archaeology Department, Faculty of Arts, Minia University, October, 2012, 1-10, also available:
https://www.academia.edu/20320233/Prisoners_Cage_in_ancient_Egypt
53 Urk. IV, 1408-1413; G. Ebers, “Das Grab und die Biographie des Feldhauptmanns Amen em heb” Zeitschrift
der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft (1876), pl. 3.
54 For the hieroglyphs see Urk. IV: 1307, 10-13. Translations can be found in B. Cumming, Egyptian Historical
Records of the Later Eighteenth Dynasty, Fascile 1, Warminster, 1982, 31; A. Fazekas, “Amenhotep II. und die
Kriegsgefangenen”, Acta antiqa Academiae Scientiarun Hungaricae46 (2006), 60. [59-64.]; Sh. Yeivin,
“Amenophis II’s Asiatic Campaigns.” JARCE 6 (1967), 119-128, especially 127, n. 84.
55 KRI 4:1, line 7; Muhlestein, Violence in the Service of Order, 206-7; Ahmad Abdel-Hamid Youssef,
“Merneptah’s Fourth Year Text at Amada,” ASAE58 (1964), 276 [273-280], E. Hornung, Altagyptische
Höllenvorstellungen. Mit 7 Lichtdrucktafeln und 6 Abbildungen im Text, Abhandlungen der Sächsischen
Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Leipzig, Philologisch-historische Klasse Bd. 59, Heft 3 (Berlin,: Akademie-
Verlag, 1968), 27;
56 For the stela set up by Djehutymose at Buhen and a nearly identical text at Amada, both quite damaged:
Smith, H. S., The Fortress of Buhen: The Inscriptions (London: Egypt Exploration Society, 1976), 124-129 (no.
1595), and pl. 29 and 75; Wolfgang Heick, "Ein 'Feldzug' unter Amenophis IV gegen Nubien," SAK 8 (1980):
117-126; Murnane, Amarna Period, 101-103; Schulman, A., "The Nubian War of Akhenaton," in L'Egyptologie
en 1979 (Paris: Editions du CNRS, 1982), 301 and n. 16.
57 Darnell, J. C. and Manassa, C., Tutankhamun's armies: battle and conquest during ancient Egypt's late 18th
Dynasty, Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey, 2007, 118.
9
List (of the enemy belonging to) Ikayta: living Nehesi 80+ ?; ... | ... their (chiefs?)
12; total number of living captives 145; those who were impaled (
nty.w Hr xt
).(58)... | ...
total 225; beasts 361.
The treatment of the prisoners by Akhenaten is anything but normal. Both texts record
that some of the captured Akuyati tribesmen were "placed atop a stake," the Egyptian idiom
for impalement. (59)
Interestingly, ancient Egyptian texts from later New Kingdom might explain why
Akhenaten used such extreme measures against the Akuyati nomads. According to the Kuban
stela from the reign of Ramesses II, the southern land of Akuta contained "much gold"(60)
since Kuban is the Nile terminus of the main desert road leading to the gold-mining region in
the Wadi Allaqi and considering the further content of the stela, Akuta appears to refer to the
Wadi Allaqi itself, formerly one of the richest gold-mining areas in north-eastern Africa.(61)
Then the main reason of such awesome punishment that troublesome tribe was near the
precious gold mines, which would have provided Akhenaton with a motivation for supplying
a particularly harsh and grisly warning to any who might attempt to tamper in any way with
Egypt's gold supply.(62)
King Merenptah also mentioned the impalement as a penalty in an inscription on the
left thickness of the entrance of the temple of Amun-Rea and Rea-herakhty at Amada,
between the 1st and 2nd cataracts.(63)
Amada wall-stela vividly relates the pharaoh's treatment of his defeated Libyan
enemies and that the king slew a great number of them and then the text records:
The remainder were impaled (lit. put on top of stakes) to south of Memphis (64)
As shown in the inscription of Amada, the determinative of the word "
Hr-tp-xt
"
impaled" shows a pointed stake with a person stuck on it, legs hanging to one side,
arms to the other, apparently face down.
Although impalement is a particularly gruesome and extreme form of execution, the
impalement of Libyans south of Memphis served a concrete military goal as a military scare-
tactic or " Psychological warfare " as an effort to install terror into an enemy army by
increasing the perceived force of the military, despite their actual strength and also to prevent
future incursions or rebellions against the king.(65)
58 Smith, H. S. , The Fortress Of Buhen: The Inscriptions, Forty Eighth Excavation Memoir, Egyptian
Exploration Society: London (UK), 1976, 124-125 and Pl. 29; Schulman, A. R., "The Nubian War of
Akhenaton", in L'Egyptologie en 1979. Axes prioritaires de Recherches. Vol. II, Centre National de la Recherche
sceintifique, Paris, 1982, 301-2.
59 A. Abo el Magd, “Impalement in ancient Egypt”, Journal of the Faculty of Archaeology, South Valley
University, vol. 5, July 2010, 1-39.
60 Kuban Stela of Ramesses II, KRI II, 355, I. 3.
61 Dietrich Klemm, Rosemarie Klemm, and Andreas Murr, "Ancient Gold Mining in the Eastern Desert of Egypt
and the Nubian Desert of the Sudan," in Egypt and Nubia, ed. Friedman; Karola Zibelius-Chen, "Die Kubanstele
Ramses' II und die nubischen Goldregionen," in Hommages aJean Leclant, vol. 2; Hikade, Expeditionswesen,
69-71; Jean Vercoutter, "The Gold of Kush," Kush 7 (1959): 120-153; Redford, From Slave to Pharaoh, 49-53.
62 Darnell, J. C. and Manassa, C., Tutankhamun's armies, 119.
63 PM, VII, 67 no. 5; KRI IV, 1, lines 5-6.
64 KRI IV, 1.6.
65 Manassa, C., The Great Karnak Inscription of Merenptah: Grand Strategy in the 13th Century BC, Yale
Egyptological Studies 5 edited by William Kelley Simpson, Yale University, 2003, 100.
10
III.2 Mutilation (Hand cutting – Phalli Cutting)
The military practice of mutilating the defeated dead enemies by cutting off a dead
enemy's hands and phalli was a common form of grisly trophy taking in the ancient world.
The severed enemy's hand was proof of a soldier's bravery, a kind of trophy especially in the
time of 18th Dynasty. The reason for cutting off the hands, from the time of 19th Dynasty, and
their counting was a practical one and was a means to count the number of defeated (dead)
enemies.(66) This war code was characteristic only for the period of New Kingdom. Is this
practice something, which Hyksos brought with them and left for the Egyptians? (67)
Here are some examples of New Kingdom textual and pictorial references to the
cutting off, carrying and counting dead enemy's hands and phalli:
From the reign of Thutmose III, the biography of Amenemheb giving account to year 33;
Eight campaign, Battle in Senzar as: "I fought hand to hand before the king; I brought off a
hand there (
in .n [=i] Drt im
). He gave to me the gold of honour. ..".(68) Also the Great Karnak
Inscription of King Merenptah describes the state of his Libyan enemies upon his victorious
return back to Egypt: "… donkeys (?) in front of them laden with uncircumcised phalli of the
foreigners of Rebu together with hands of the foreigners who were together with them as fish
upon basket (grass).(69)
A relief on a sandstone block(70) of the reign of Tutankhamun (Fig.1) discovered by
Legrain inside the 2nd Pylon of Karnak preserved a mutilation scene of an Egyptian soldier
cuts the right hand off of a prostrate Nubian Chieftain, who is likely dead. The text beneath
the inscription says: "… their chiefs are thrown because of his massacre, after they had
transgressed the frontier of his Majesty –life, prosperity and health".(71)
Another scene from the famous Battle of Kadesh from Abydos depicts a Sherden
soldier employed in the Egyptian army is shown cutting off the right hand of a Hittite dead
enemy during the fray.(72) (Fig.2) from the same temple of Abydos and the same Battle of
Kadesh is another relief but this time an Egyptian soldier who is cutting the dead Hittite
enemy's right hand.(73) (Fig.3)
The major representation of the carrying of the cut hands can be attested from the
scenes describing the return from the battle like that of Ramesses II's soldiers victorious return
66 J. Galán, “Mutilation of Pharaoh’s Enemies”, in Egyptian Museum Collections around the World I, M.
Eldamaty and M. Trad (eds.), (Cairo, 2002), 441-51; D. Stefanovic, "The Counting of the Dead Enemy's hands",
Journal of the Serbian Archaeological Society (JSAS) 19 (2003) 149-167.
67 D. Stefanovic, The Counting of the Dead Enemy's hands, 165.
68 Urk. IV 892, 4; BAR II §584.
69 More recently A. Abo el Magd, "Dehumanization of the “Other”: Animal Metaphors of Defeated Enemies in
the New Kingdom Military Texts", JARCE 52 (2016), 337.[329–341]; KRI IV.7.12-14 (Line 46); BAR III, 247-
8, §587; Wells, J.W., War in Ancient Egypt, PhD dissertation, John Hopkins University, 1995, 308-9. Unlike the
translation of C. Manassa, The Great Karnak Inscription of Merenptah, 52 where he translated the last part of the
sentence as: ... together with the several hands of [all] the foreign lands which were with them in containers and
baskets.
70 Published by J. Galán, “Mutilation of Pharaoh’s Enemies”, in Egyptian Museum Collections around the World
I, M. Eldamaty and M. Trad (eds.), (Cairo, 2002), 441-51 and now in Cairo Museum. Its Special Register
Number is 13940 and Temporary Number is 8.6.24.7.
71 Urk IV, 2048, 1-6.
72 Wreszinski, Atlas II, pl.20; M. Janzen, The iconography of humiliation: the depiction and treatment of bound
foreigners in New Kingdom Egypt, Ph. D Dissertation, The University of Memphis, 2013, 188, Fig. 23; D.
Stefanovic, The Counting of the Dead Enemy's hands, 150, Fig. 1.
73 Wreszinski, Atlas II, pl.70.
11
from Kadesh with several prisoners and bringing in half a dozen hands tied together with a
string to where severed hands are being reckoned.(74) (Fig.4)
The final category of depictions of the severed hand cutting is the counting of these
hands (and sometimes replaced by phalli). Like the famous scenes of Ramesses II at
Abydos(75) and Ramesses III at Medinet Habu.(76)(Fig.5)
In the Ramesside Period the mutilation of defeated enemy was not limited to the
hands, but the phallus (
Hnn
) started then to be cut off as well; and consequently, they were
also piled up and counted before the pharaoh. The inscriptions often specified that the phalli
had not been circumcised, that they still had its foreskins (
Hnnw m qrnt
). For example,
Merenptah mentions in Karnak that he brought back from his victory against the Libyan tribes
at least 6.359 uncircumcised phalli.(77)
Overall, the psychological importance of mutilating the dead body of one’s enemy and
collecting body parts as trophies cannot be dismissed lightly.(78) It is not hard to imagine the
impression, perhaps is better to say fear, which the horses and spears of the Egyptian army,
adorned with hands might inspire among the enemies or those who aspired to become an
enemy.
III.3 City's Assault:
As the destruction of enemy's army was the target of Egyptian army, the inhabitants of
the cities, towns and villages were often the target of such aggressive treatments where their
fate would depend on circumstances.(79)
City assaults and sieges, in particular, were messy affairs. This was in part due to the
presence of non-combatants who were more often than not caught up in the fighting, and also
to the inherently difficult nature of urban fighting which often provoked considerable
resentment among the troops of the attacking army. It was, therefore, not uncommon for
soldiers to engage in uncontrolled rape, pillaging, and plundering following the fall of a
particularly resilient city.(80) Such behaviour was not a symptom of undisciplined armies, but
was more of a “psychological release” for the attackers especially if they had suffered
considerable casualties in the siege process.
For the Egyptians, this psychological aspect may not have been as pronounced
especially with their preferred style of “indirect” warfare, That is, they tended not to engage in
major prolonged sieges (again another cost consideration) and thus avoided the gradual
74 Wreszinski, Atlas II, pl.70; J. Galán, Mutilation of Pharaoh’s Enemies, 449; D. Stefanovic, The Counting of
the Dead Enemy's hands, 154, Fig. 5.
75 Wresziinski, Atlas II, pl.25b, pl. 70.
76 Wresziinski, Atlas II, pl.133, pl. 124, pl.119
77 KRI IV, 8, 2-16; J. Galán, Mutilation of Pharaoh’s Enemies, 449.
78 It is worthy here to refer to the two studies of: J. Shay, Achillies in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing
of Character (New York 1994), 117-9; and L. A. Tritle, “Hector’s Body: Mutilation Of The Dead In Ancient
Greece And Vietnam”, The Ancient History Bulletin11 (1997), 123-36.
79 Contrarily other ancient cultures which undertook wholesale slaughter against the civilians like the Romans at
New Carthage under the command of Scipio: Polybius, The Rise of the Roman Empire, trans. Ian Scott-Kilvert
(London, 1979), X.15. Rather, the Egyptians, being a cost conscious bureaucratic culture likely found there was
more value to keep captives alive. Cf. K. Kitchen, “Egyptian New-Kingdom Topographical Lists: An Historical
Resource with ‘Literary’ Histories”, in Causing His Name to Live: Studies in Egyptian Epigraphy and History in
Memory of William J. Murnane, P. Brand and L. Cooper (eds.), (Memphis, 2009), 135 [129-35].
80 See, for example: S. McGlynn, By Sword and Fire: Cruelty and Atrocity in Medieval Warfare
(London, 2008), 151-94.
12
building up of group pensive anger and viral resentment that is usually found among
besieging troops with respect to the besieged population.(81)
From the pictorial and textual accounts, it is clear that a percentage of the inhabitants
of assaulted cities ended up as prisoners and were transported back to various locations within
Egypt.(82) Others would have been killed, either intentionally or unintentionally, and if the
population of the city was not in its entirety transported away, the remaining inhabitants (now
the loyal subjects of the Egyptian king) would have remained to carry on with their lives.
Along with the devastation wrought by Thutmose III against the towns of Mitanni, as
described in the Gebel Barkal stela, mention is made of the fact that the inhabitants (the
surviving ones at least) were carried away.(83) Other prisoners were less fortunate and were
killed either during the assault, or soon afterwards as punishment for their crimes, although,
such harsh penalties was generally reserved for the chiefs or leaders and not the general rank
and file.(84) On the whole, it is difficult to believe the Egyptians engaged in the wholesale
slaughter and mutilation of inhabitants of certain cities as this was simply an activity that was
not in their best interests to do so.
Certain cities were likely devastated severely and the logistic and economic
destruction is clearly evident, but their populations probably had more value to the Egyptians
alive rather than dead. The killing or incapacitation of certain segments of a society, in
particular the ruling elite, was practiced and this alone could seriously impair that society’s
ability to field an army. On the other hand, resources that these cities may have been able to
provide, such as troops, food, water, fodder, shelter and so forth are now no longer
available.(85)
III.4 Humiliation:
Depictions of enemy captives bounded in bizarre by ropes like herds of animals and
even torturous poses following battle or presented before the gods back in Egypt emphasize
not only their chaotic nature but more importantly provide endpoints to the entire campaign.
Interesting representation of the weak nature of the captives is viewed by King Seti I
at Karnak. Seti I physically carries four captives as he walks along behind his empty chariot.
81 This was a fact that was not lost among the inhabitants, and Maurice advised that in order to avoid last ditch
desperate resistance against the rampaging troops when a populous city is taken, the gates should be left open in
order to facilitate the fleeing civilian body: Maurice’s Strategikon: Handbook of Byzantine Military Strategy, ed.
and trans. George T. Dennis (Philadelphia, 1984), 81.
82 These captives were divided between estates in Egypt, S. Larkham, “Human Cargo: Transportation of Western
Asiatic People during 11th and 12th Dynasty”, JSSEA34 (2007), 110 [107-13]. Some captives may even have
been branded, including those prisoners that ended up working for the temple of Amun, E. Morris, The
Architecture of Imperialism: Military Bases and the Evolution of Foreign Policy in Egypt’s New Kingdom,
(Leiden, 2005), 65 note 152. The numbers of captives may at times have been substantial. For example,
Khusobek ended up with 160 captives which would have provided this individual with a not too insignificant
economic boost, J. Baines, “The Stela of Khusobek: Private and Royal Military Narrative and Values,” in Form
und Mass, J. Osing and G. Dreyer (eds.), (Wiesbaden, 1987), 46-7; and W. Helck, Die Beziehungen Ägyptens zu
Vorderasien im 3. und 2. Jahrtausend v. Chr.² (Wiesbaden, 1971), 55-6.
83 Urk. IV, 1231.10-11.
84 See, for example: P. Der Manuelian, Studies in the Reign of Amenhotep II, 50. This of course should
not come as too much of a surprise considering that sanctioned killing or capital punishment for certain
crimes was fairly wide spread within Egyptian civil society, see: K. Muhlestein, “Royal Executions: Evidence
bearing on the Subject of Sanctioned Killing in the Middle Kingdom”, JESHO51 (2008),
181-208.
85 B. Heagren, The Art of War in Pharaonic Egypt, An Analysis of the Tactical, Logistic, and Operational
Capabilities of the Egyptian Army (Dynasties XVII-XX), PhD thesis, The University of Auckland, 2010, 309-
10.
13
Such a literally impossible depiction speaks once more to the great creativity of the Egyptians
in showing the pharaoh’s dominance over captives. They are as squabbling children in the
arms of an indignant father, so futile is their resistance to the all-powerful king.(86) (Fig. 6)
Several soldiers interact with prisoners of war on the march back to Egypt. In each
case, the soldier strikes or pushes the captive in the head or back to force them to walk.
(Fig.4)
Some examples show Egyptian soldiers reach back to slap or punch a captive in the
face. (Figs. 7, 8)
On the most basic level, the sheer helplessness of the captives is resounding proof that
pharaoh’s victory, already a mere formality before the campaign, has been emphatically
achieved. The enemies of Egypt are not simply defeated; they are humiliated, tortured, and
broken. From now those foreigners were no longer the enemy of pharaoh they now serve
him.(87)
From sandals and footstools to chariot yokes and walking sticks, the Egyptians
displayed remarkable creativity in incorporating the Iconography of Humiliation into
numerous royal objects. In many cases, the iconography was directly related to an object’s
inherent purpose. As the king used the object, the enemies of Egypt were symbolically
defeated time and time again. He trampled them with his sandals, strangled them or dragged
them through the dust with his canes, and garroted them when he fired his bow.(88)
A particularly telling example of both the effect of fear of the Pharaoh and the
humiliation of the foreign enemy comes from Deir el-Medina: in a sketch on an ostracon the
bound Nubian, still alive, is so terrified that he may be relieving himself, is devoured by a lion
(be it the king, a god, or the pet lion, it represents Egypt).(89) (Fig. 9)
86 Epigraphic Survey, The Reliefs and Inscriptions at Karnak, Volume IV: The Battle Reliefs of King Sety I. OIP
107. Chicago: The Oriental Institute, 1986, pl.13.
87 T. Schneider, “Foreigners in Egypt: Archaeological Evidence and Cultural Context” in Egyptian Archaeology
(Willeke Wendrich, ed. Oxford and Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010), 144-145 [143-163]
88 M. Janzen, The iconography of humiliation, 318-9.
89 Cairo JE 63802 (Deir el-Medina, 19th –20th Dynasty): J. Vandier d'Abbadie, Catalogue des Ostraca figurés de
Deir el-Médineh (nos. 2001 à 2255), DFIFAO 2.1 (Cairo, 1936) no. 2226; A. David, Devouring The Enemy:
Ancient Egyptian Metaphors of Domination, The Bulletin of the Australian Centre for Egyptology 22 (2011),
83-100.
14
Conclusion:
Terror and violent treatments were performed either in the context of actual battle
events or the ritual of presenting the captives and spoils of war to the gods.
New Kingdom is may be the richest period with surviving accounts (visual and written)
on enemies, enemy captives and their treatments.
Violent acts do not randomly target anybody (as individual victim can be chosen as a
representative of some larger category or group) thus it can be observed that the main target
of harsh treatments were the foreign leaders themselves as happened by Amenhotep II and
Ramesses III.
In the mutilation processes, like the hands and phalli cutting, the hand of defeated
enemy was cut off on two occasions: in the actual battle or in the plunder. In both cases, the
enemy soldier was already dead.
Soldiers, who proved they had killed enemies by bringing back their hands, were
rewarded with gold, land, and captives as personal slaves.
It seems very clear that the hand was cut off in cases when the dead enemy was not
circumcised. To the circumcised, the phalli were cut off.
Terror and violent treatments must be performative and publically displayed as without
an audience it will be socially meaningless, because the effects of violence are not so much in
the actual physical result (execution, assault or the infliction of pain).
Performative aspects of Terror and violence allow the message to be sent even to those
whom are not physically affected by it. Some accounts had a number of copies "in the temple
of every god and every goddess".
A characteristic feature of the sources of the terror of the king, visual and written, is that
these sources possess a narrative framework, which can include speeches by the king, gods
and councils, provided that the composition still maintains a chronological progression of the
events.
The iconography is clearly intended to represent a total subjugation and humiliation of
foreigners, with these depictions serving as ideal representations of Pharaonic power and
dominion over his enemies.
Humiliation of foreign entities emphasizes the absolute superiority of the victors in a
way that simple victory does not
The ancient Egyptians used the terror and violent treatments to achieve their National
Security or Order through the "Prevention Strategy" and such terror and violent treatments
represented their lethal prevention weapon.
Another positive effect on the Peaceful Sleep that all the People of Egypt can be
contrasted with the discomfited nights the Pharaoh creates for his enemies and that "his terror
is throughout every land, so that they (enemies) spend the night calling out his name".
Wide variety of treatments of enemies and enemy captives calls for an interpretative
approach, not only to specific treatments but also to the variety itself.
Among the harshest treatments of enemy prisoners were decapitation, impaling, and
immolation. Such actions fit readily into the Egyptian worldview as a final, emphatic defeat
of Chaos.
Two important distinctions concerning these grisly fates should be noted:
1. It appears that only rebellious enemy leaders were subjected to these actions and 2.
Such fates are far less frequent than the fate of slavery.
The tactics of installing fear in the hearts of foreign enemies or in modern terms
Psychological Warfare maintained the National Security of ancient Egypt for about
450 years and protected Egypt in the time of the collapse of other great powers in Like
Khetti (Hittites), Mittani, etc.
15
Figures
Fig. 1. Soldier is severing the hand of a Nubian Chieftain
(J. Galán, “Mutilation of Pharaoh’s Enemies”, in Egyptian Museum Collections around the
World I, M. Eldamaty and M. Trad (eds.), (Cairo, 2002), 443, Fig.1)
Fig. 2. Sherden mercenary cutting the hand of Hittite dead enemy at Kadesh
(D. Stefanovic, The Counting of the Dead Enemy's hands, 150, Fig. 1.)
Fig. 3 Egyptian soldier cutting the hand of Hittite dead enemy at Kadesh
(Wreszinski, Atlas II, pl.70.)
16
Fig. 4 Egyptian soldiers wears hands stringed on a rope
(D. Stefanovic, The Counting of the Dead Enemy's hands, 157, Fig. 8)
Fig.5 Counting the hands and phalli in front of Ramesses III at Medinet Habu
(Wresziinski, Atlas II, pl.62.a)
Fig. 6 Seti I carries four Syrian captives
(Epigraphic Survey, pl. 13)
17
Fig. 7 Egyptian soldier slaps a Nubian captive in the face in the Tomb of Horemheb at
Saqqara,
(S. Heinz, Die Feldzugdarstellungen des Neuen Reiches, Vienna, 2001, 241, I.3)
Fig. 8. Egyptian soldier humiliate a Libyan captive by slapping his face
(First Libyan War of Ramesses III at Medinet Habu, S. Heinz, Die Feldzugdarstellungen, 304,
I.11)
Fig. 9. Nubian captive being devoured by a lion on Ostracon from Deir el- Medina
(A. David, Devouring The Enemy: Ancient Egyptian Metaphors of omination, The Bulletin of
the Australian Centre for Egyptology 22 (2011), 88, fig. 4)
18
Bibliography
Abo el Magd, A., " Prisoners’ Cage in ancient Egypt", Proceedings of First Scientific
Conference of Archaeology Department, Faculty of Arts, Minia University, October, 2012, 1-
10.
__________, "Dehumanization of the “Other”: Animal Metaphors of Defeated Enemies in the
New Kingdom Military Texts", JARCE 52 (2016), 329–341.
__________, “Impalement in ancient Egypt”, Journal of the Faculty of Archaeology, South
Valley University, vol. 5, July 2010, 1-39.
Ahmad Abdel-Hamid Youssef, “Merneptah’s Fourth Year Text at Amada,” ASAE58 (1964),
273-280.
Assmann J., The Mind of Egypt: History and Meaning in the Time of the Pharaohs.
Translated by Andrew Jenkins, New York: Henry Hold and Company, 1996.
__________,Der König als Sonnenpriester: Ein kosmographischer Begleittext zur kultischen
Sonnenhymnen in thebanischen Tempeln und Gräbern, Glückstadt: J.J. Augustin, 1970.
__________, Ma’at: Gerechtigkeit und Unsterblichkeit im alten Ägypten (Munich: C.H.
Beck, 1990). 213-221.
__________, Maât, L’Égypte Pharaonique et l’idée de justice sociale, La Maison De Vie,
2003.
Baines, J., “The Stela of Khusobek: Private and Royal Military Narrative and Values,” in
Form und Mass, J. Osing and G. Dreyer (eds.), (Wiesbaden, 1987), 46-7.
BAR = Breasted, J. H., Ancient Records of Egypt. 3 Volumes. Urbana and Chicago:
University of Illinois Press, 2001 (reprint of 1906).
Barns, J. W., The Ashmolean Ostracon of Sinuhe, London, 1952.
Blackman, A.M., The Story of Sinuhe, Bibliotheca Aegyptiaca, II, Brussels, 1932, 1-41.
Bryan, B., "The 18th Dynasty before the Amarna Period (c. 1550-1352 BC)," in Shaw, I.,
(ed.), The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, 218-271, Oxford University Press, (2000).
Chegodaev, M., «Lest One Be Turned Upside Down», DE 40 (1998), 67-80.
Clausewitz, C. V., On War, ed. and trans. Sir Michael Howard and Peter Paret, 1984.
Cumming, B., Egyptian Historical Records of the Later Eighteenth Dynasty, Fascile 1,
Warminster, 1982.
Darnell, J. C. and Manassa, C., Tutankhamun's armies: battle and conquest during ancient
Egypt's late 18th Dynasty, Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey,
2007.
19
David, A., Devouring The Enemy: Ancient Egyptian Metaphors of Domination, The Bulletin
of the Australian Centre for Egyptology 22 (2011), 83-100.
de Buck, A., Egyptian Reading Book, Leiden, 1948.
Dietrich K., Rosemarie Klemm, and Andreas Murr, "Ancient Gold Mining in the Eastern
Desert of Egypt and the Nubian Desert of the Sudan," in Egypt and Nubia, ed. Friedman;
Karola Zibelius-Chen, "Die Kubanstele Ramses' II und die nubischen
DuQuesne, T., “I Know Ma’et: Counted, Complete, Enduring,” DE 22 (1992): 79-89.
Ebers, G.,Das Grab und die Biographie des Feldhauptmanns Amen em hebZeitschrift der
Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft (1876).
Epigraphic Survey, The Reliefs and Inscriptions at Karnak, Volume IV: The Battle Reliefs of
King Sety I. OIP 107. Chicago: The Oriental Institute, 1986.
Faulkner, R. O., “The Battle of Kadesh”, MDAIK 16 (1958), 93-111.
Fazekas, A., “Amenhotep II und die Kriegsgefangenen”, Acta antiqa Academiae Scientiarun
Hungaricae46 (2006), 59-64.
Galán, J., “Mutilation of Pharaoh’s Enemies”, in Egyptian Museum Collections around the
World I, M. Eldamaty and M. Trad (eds.), (Cairo, 2002), 441-51
Gardiner, A. H., Die Erzählung des Sinuhe und die Hirten-geschichte, in A. Erman,
Literarische Texte des mittleren Reiches, Hieratische Papyrus aus den königlichen Museen zu
Berlin, Bd. V/2, Leipzig, 1909.
Gardiner, A. H., The Kadesh Inscriptions of Ramses II, Oxford, 1960.
Gee, J. L., The Requirements of Ritual Purity in Ancient Egypt, Ph. D dissertation, Yale
University, 1998.
Gnirs, A.M., “Ancient Egypt in War and Society‟ in the Ancient and Medieval Worlds edited
by Raaflaub, K & Rosenstein, N. Washington: Center for Hellenic Studies, 1999,71 -104.
Goedicke, H., ‘‘Remarks on the Hymns to Sesostris III", JARCE7 (1968), 23–26.
Grapow, H., ‘‘Der Liederkranz zu Ehren Königs-Sesostris des Dritten aus Kahun,’’MIO1,
1953.
Gratch, J., and S. Marsella, “Fight the Way You Train, The Role of Emotions in Training for
Combat,” Brown Journal of World Affairs, 10, no. 1, (2003),11.
Griffith, F. Ll. Hieratic Papyri from Kahun and Gurob, London, 1898.
Heagren, B., The Art of War in Pharaonic Egypt, An Analysis of the Tactical, Logistic, and
Operational Capabilities of the Egyptian Army (Dynasties XVII-XX), PhD thesis, The
University of Auckland, 2010.
20
Helck, W., Die Beziehungen Ägyptens zu Vorderasien im 3. und 2. Jahrtausend v. Chr.²
(Wiesbaden, 1971).
Hornung, E., “Maat—Gerechtigkeit für Alle? Zur altägyptischen Ethik,” Eranos Jahrbuch 56
(1987): 385-427.
Hornung, E., Altagyptische Höllenvorstellungen. Mit 7 Lichtdrucktafeln und 6 Abbildungen
im Text, Abhandlungen der Sächsischen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Leipzig,
Philologisch-historische Klasse Bd. 59, Heft 3 (Berlin,: Akademie-Verlag, 1968.
Human, G. L., Military Fortifications, Weapons and Military Strategy in Ancient Syro-
Palestine (Iron Age II A), Master thesis, University of South Africa, 2006.
Jacobson, M. R., ‘Minds then hearts:’ U.S. Political and Psychological warfare during the
Korean War, The Ohio State University 2005.
James P. Allen, Genesis in Egypt: The Philosophy of Ancient Egyptian Creation Accounts
(Yale Egyptological Studies. William Kelly Simpson, ed. New Haven, CT: Yale University,
1998).
Janzen, M., The iconography of humiliation: the depiction and treatment of bound foreigners
in New Kingdom Egypt, Ph. D Dissertation, The University of Memphis, 2013.
Karenga, M., Maat: The Moral Ideal in Ancient Egypt: A Study of Classical African Ethics
(Los Angeles, CA: University of Sakore Press, 2006).
Kitchen, K. A., “Egyptian New-Kingdom Topographical Lists: An Historical Resource with
‘Literary Histories”, in Causing His Name to Live: Studies in Egyptian Epigraphy and
History in Memory of William J. Murnane, P. Brand and L. Cooper (eds.), (Memphis, 2009),
129-35.
KRI = Kitchen, K. A., Ramesside Inscriptions: Historical and Bibliographical, I-VIII
(Oxford, 1982-1990).
Lacau, P., Stéles du nouvel empire, Vol. I, Catalogue general du Musee du Caire (Cairo,
1909).
Larkham, S., “Human Cargo: Transportation of Western Asiatic People during 11th and 12th
Dynasty”, JSSEA 34 (2007), 107-13.
Leahy, A., “Death by fire in Ancient Egypt”, JESHO 27.2 (1984), 199-206.
Lichtheim, M., Ancient Egyptian Literature, I, The Old and Middle Kingdoms, University of
California Press, 1975.
Lichtheim, M., Ancient Egyptian Literature, Volume II: The New Kingdom, Berkeley, 1976.
Lichtheim, M., Maat in Egyptian Autobiographies and Related Studies (Göttingen:
Universitätsverlag FrFeiburg Schweiz Vanden Hoeck & Ruprecht, 1992)
21
Manassa, C., The Great Karnak Inscription of Merenptah: Grand Strategy in the 13th Century
BC, Yale Egyptological Studies 5 edited by William Kelley Simpson, Yale University, 2003.
Manuelian, P., Studies in the Reign of Amenophis II. HÄB. Hildesheim, 1987.
Maurice’s Strategikon: Handbook of Byzantine Military Strategy, ed. and trans. George T.
Dennis, Philadelphia, 1984.
McDermott, S., (2002), Ancient Egyptian Footsoldiers and their weapons: A study of military
iconography and weapon remains, Ph. D. dissertation, University of Manchester.
McGlynn, S., By Sword and Fire: Cruelty and Atrocity in Medieval Warfare, London, 2008.
Möller, G., Hieratische Lesestücke, Leipzig, 1909.
Morris, E., The Architecture of Imperialism: Military Bases and the Evolution of Foreign
Policy in Egypt’s New Kingdom, Leiden, 2005.
Muhlestein, K., "Death by Water: The Role of Water in Ancient Egypt's Treatment of
enemies and Juridical Process", Proceedings of the First International Conference For Young
Egyptologists, Italy, October 15-18, 2003, 173-9.
Muhlestein, K., “Royal Executions: Evidence bearing on the Subject of Sanctioned Killing in
the Middle Kingdom”, JESHO51 (2008), 181-208.
Muhlestein, K., Violence in the Service of Order: The Religious Framework for Sanctioned
Killing in Ancient Egypt, BAR International Series 2299, Oxford: Archaeopress, 2011.
O'Dell, E. J., Excavating the Emotional Landscape of Ancient Egyptian Literature, Ph.D.
thesis, Department of Egyptology and Ancient Western Asian Studies at Brown University,
Providence, Rhode Island, 2008.
Office of the Secretary of Defense, “Meet Psychological Warfare,” Armed Forces Talk 303
(1949), 1-11.
Osing, J., ‘‘Zu zwei literarischen Werke des Mittleren Reiches,’’ in J. Osing, ed., The
Heritage of Ancient Egypt: Studies in Honor of Erik Iversen, Copenhagen, 1992, 101–20.
Petrie, W. M. F., Six Temples at Thebes, London, 1897.
Quirke, S., “Translating Ma’at,” JEA 80 (1994): 219-231.
Redford, D.B. (1992), Egypt and Canaan in the New Kingdom. Beer-Sheva: Ben-Gurion
University of the Negev Press.
Schneider, T., “Foreigners in Egypt: Archaeological Evidence and Cultural Context” in
Egyptian Archaeology (Willeke Wendrich, ed. Oxford and Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell,
2010), 144-143-163.
22
Schulman, A. R., "The Nubian War of Akhenaton", in L'Egyptologie en 1979. Axes
prioritaires de Recherches. Vol. II, Centre National de la Recherche sceintifique, Paris, 1982,
301-2.
Sethe, K., Ägyptische Lesestücke, Leipzig, 1924.
Shalit, B., The Psychology of Conflict and Combat. New York: Praeger, 1988.
Shaw, I., Egypt and the Outside World, in The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, 324-329,
Oxford University Press, 2000.
Shay, J., Achillies in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character (New York
1994).
Simpson, W. K., The Literature of Ancient Egypt: An Anthology of Stories, Instructions,
Stelae, Autobiographies, and Poetry; Third Edition, Yale University Press, New Haven &
London, 2003.
Smith, H., The Fortress Of Buhen: The Inscriptions, Forty Eighth Excavation Memoir,
Egyptian Exploration Society: London (UK), 1976.
Smith, H., “Ma’et and Isfet,” The Bulletin of the Australian Centre for Egyptology5 (1994),
67-88.
Spalinger, A., Icons of Power: A Strategy of Reinterpretation (Prague: Charles University,
Faculty of Arts, 2011), 1-24.
Stefanovic, D., "The Counting of the Dead Enemy's hands", Journal of the Serbian
Archaeological Society (JSAS) 19 (2003) 149-167.
Stela of Amenophis II, and Inscription of Meneptah, vol. V (Cairo: 1963).
Teeter, E., “Ma’at”, in Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt, ed. Donald B. Redford,
London, Oxford University Press, 2001, vol. II , 319.
Teeter, E., The Presentation of Maat: Ritual and Legitimacy in Ancient Egypt (Studies in
Ancient Oriental Civilizations 57, Chicago: The Oriental Institute of the University of
Chicago, 1997).
Tobin, V., “Ma’at and DIKH: Some Comparative Considerations of Egyptian and Greek
Thought.” JARCE 24 (1987), 113-121.
Tritle, L. A., “Hector’s Body: Mutilation Of The Dead In Ancient Greece And Vietnam”, The
Ancient History Bulletin11 (1997), 123-36.
Urk. = Sethe K. and W. Helck. Urkunden der 18. Dynastie. 5 Volumes, Leipzig: Hinrichs,
1906-1961.
Vandier J., d'Abbadie, Catalogue des Ostraca figurés de Deir el-Médineh (nos. 2001 à 2255),
DFIFAO 2.1 (Cairo, 1936).
Vercoutter, J., "The Gold of Kush," Kush 7 (1959): 120-153.
23
Wells, J.W., War in Ancient Egypt, PhD dissertation, John Hopkins University, 1995.
Wolfgang H., "Ein 'Feldzug' unter Amenophis IV gegen Nubien," SAK 8 (1980): 117-126.
Wood, N. O., (1982), Strategic psychological warfare of the Truman administration: a study
of National Psychological Warfare aims, objectives, and effectiveness, Ph. D. University of
Oklahoma.
Wreszinski, W., Atlas zur altaegyptischen Kulturgeschichte, II, Leipzig: Hinrichs, 1934.
Yeivin, Sh., “Amenophis II’s Asiatic Campaigns.” JARCE 6 (1967), 119-128.
Zandee, J., Death as an Enemy according to Egyptian Conceptions (Leiden: Brill, 1960), 73-
78.
Web sites:
http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/psychological+warfare
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/psychological+warfare
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
Article
Full-text available
The paper examines four types of scenes where a dominating pharaoh interacts with a subdued enemy (smiting, trampling, immobilizing, and devouring the enemy); it proposes a lexical expression for the scene, observing its categorization into a specific semantic field through the classifiers of the script, studies the metaphors underlying the iconography and lexico-semantic usage, and completes the obtained picture with textual sources using similar metaphors.
Article
From the earliest periods, the Egyptians represented foreigners in submissive positions, a propagandist motif reflecting either true Egyptian domination or magic thinking meant to cast its spell on reality. The dominance over foreign enemies was portrayed in a variety of contexts: reliefs on temple walls, statuary, various artifacts, texts, etc., using brutal, aggressive, hostile, and humiliating imagery. This article proposes that the use of animal metaphors supported the stereotypical idea of Egyptian supremacy over their enemies and also played an important role in psychological warfare during the New Kingdom as the traditional enemies of Egypt are depicted as weak, naive, and easily controlled. Even they are not worthy to live as they represent a threat to Mз‘t. The author follows a three-tiered analysis: zoological identification and literary perception of the animal, the dynamic relation between the specific animal metaphor and its literary adaptation, and finally the application of the (animal) met...