Ancient History: Egypt : War and Conflict

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

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : War And Conflict

Which of the following reasons is NOT commonly used as one of the factors to explain the collapse of the Old Kingdom and the beginning of the First Intermediate Period?

Possible Answers:

External pressure as a result of constant invasions from Nubian tribes from the south

The decades-long reign of Pharaoh Pepi II, the last king of the Sixth Dynasty, who outlived most of his natural heirs and therefore left an unstable succession and power structure

The emergence of the competing power bases of Thebes and Heracleopolis, each with its own corresponding line of kings

The rise in power of the hereditary monarchs, who gradually acquired most sovereign powers at the expense of the Pharaoh, resulting in a highly decentralized state

Less productive agricultural yields and a dry climate as a result less frequent flooding of the Nile

Correct answer:

External pressure as a result of constant invasions from Nubian tribes from the south


The Old Kingdom during its last years suffered from a variety of instances of dysfunctional governance and infrastructure that resulted in the dissolution of the Old Kingdom and the resulting fragmentation of power. These include discord as a result of Pepi II's lengthy reign, in addition to the monarchs' consolidation of more power and strife between Memphis, Thebes and Heracleopolis. Environmental problems resulting from less rainfall and flooding of the Nile only exacerbated this situation. In contrast, during the entire early period of Egyptian history, Egypt and Nubia engaged in periodic war, but neither side was able to overcome the other. Egypt finally conquered the northern Nubian Kingdom of Kerma around 1500 BCE (during the Eighteenth Dynasty of the New Kingdom). On the other hand, during the later period of Egyptian decline in the Third Intermediate Period, the Kingdom of Kush finally conquered Egypt around 760 BCE, resulting in the Twenty-fifth Dynasty.

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