Ancient History: Egypt : Rulers

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for Ancient History: Egypt

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Rulers

Who was the last ruler of the first dynasty?

Possible Answers:

Semerkhet

Mernith

Qu'a

Menes

Correct answer:

Qu'a

Explanation:

While all of these options name rulers of the first dynasty, Qu'a was the last ruler of the dynasty. Qu'a directly succeeded Semerkhet, and Menes was the first, rather than the last, ruler of the first dynasty.

Example Question #2 : Rulers

Pharaoh Menes is generally credited with __________.

Possible Answers:

resisting the conquests of Alexander the Great and preserving Egyptian autonomy

reforming Egyptian government during the First Intermediate Period

leading the successful rebellion against the Hyksos and founding the New Kingdom

uniting Upper and Lower Egypt and founding the Old Kingdom

the construction of many great monuments, including the Great Pyramid of Giza

Correct answer:

uniting Upper and Lower Egypt and founding the Old Kingdom

Explanation:

Menes was one of the earliest, possibly the earliest Pharaohs in unified Egyptian history. Most historians credit Menes with uniting Upper and Lower Egypt and founding the First Dynasty of the Old Kingdom. Other historians disagree with this hypothesis though and instead credit Narmer with founding the Old Kingdom of Egypt.

Example Question #3 : Rulers

Throughout its long existence, Ancient Egypt was ruled by various dynasties, each with their own succession of pharaohs (aka the Egyptian term for a ruler). How was each ruling dynasty formed?

Possible Answers:

Matriarchal heritage

Military loyalties and/or sworn oaths

Kinship and/or shared residency

Direct male lineage

Alliances with religious authorities

Correct answer:

Kinship and/or shared residency

Explanation:

At the pinnacle of Ancient Egypt’s power structure were the ruling dynastic families, each of whom were led by a sequence of pharaohs. (These dynasties are comparable to Medieval Western European royal houses.) Each dynasty ruled in turn before being somehow either replaced or overthrown by another dynasty. Most often, each dynasty was internally bound together by familial ties, both blood- and marriage-related, although in several cases (usually in the absence or unsuitability of direct heirs) dynasties were formed on the basis of shared residency within the fortified royal compound. Despite these close ties, however, internal dynastic conflicts erupted rather often; disputes frequently arose over the line of succession and physical violence (including assassination) was not uncommon.

Example Question #3 : Rulers

According to Ancient Egyptian socio-religious practices, every pharaoh was believed to be the son of which highly esteemed god/goddess?

Possible Answers:

Anubis 

Osiris 

Horus 

Ra 

Isis 

Correct answer:

Ra 

Explanation:

It is impossible to fully understand the leaders of Ancient Egypt without first comprehending the crucial relationship that existed between these pharaohs and the Egyptian deities. The pharaohs’ role as the nation’s top-ranking political figure was deeply intertwined with religious beliefs. Each pharaoh was believed to be the son of the sun god Ra, who endowed each ruler with various divine abilities and charged his royal offspring with preserving the balance between the Egyptians and the entire divine pantheon. As such, the pharaohs were revered both politically and religiously; for a citizen of Ancient Egypt, to oppose a pharaoh was not only to oppose one’s political ruler but also involved challenging the child of a greatly powerful deity.

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