Talk:Middle Kingdom of Egypt

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Well, this page includes nothing on the history of the period. It was a very turbulent time for Ancient Egypt, someone should expound on such. I'm working on something else, however, but I may return to this for future edits. --Violent Proletarian 00:57, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

You might want to take a look at the section that deals with this period on the Ancient Egypt article. That may be more what you are looking for? There has been talk about replacing some/all of the content with the former into this article. Thoughts? Captmondo 02:19, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

Well, I believe it would be a good idea to delete each article (Old Kingdom, Middle Kingdom, and New Kingdom) to be replaced with a single article, which I suppose we can make out of Ancient Egypt, which would kill three birds with one stone, so that's great. Contact me if that start's getting worked on, I'll try my best to help... wow, I just noticed it's been a while since you sent this. Well, hoping you check back, --Violent Proletarian (talk) 22:21, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

I have also noticed this has been fixed up nicely, but I do still think if there's an article on Ancient Egypt as a central topic than maybe some merging would do well. --Violent Proletarian (talk) 22:22, 8 January 2008 (UTC)


This page doen't tell much about what each of the pharoahs did, just gives a summary. I need to know something that a pharoah did in the middle kingdom, for example in the old kingdom, the Great Pyramid of Khufu. I am doing a project and need this info immediatly. If you have any info plz e-mail me, I will also check back to this page, thx! Trip95 (talk) 19:08, 13 January 2008 (UTC) trip95

Thirteenth and Fourteenth Dynasties[edit]

Most works I've read consider these dynasties to be part of the Second Intermediate Period. What is the basis for including them in the Middle Kingdom? john k (talk) 19:23, 22 August 2009 (UTC)

The Plan[edit]

I plan on setting down to do some work on this article in future days. It strikes me as I read through my sources that of all the major social and administrative changes that took place during the middle kingdom, there's very little that can be indisputably attributed to any given king. Thus, I plan on converting the current material on the 11th and 12th dynasties into a section dealing strictly with political history, i.e., Pharaonic power, succession, and stability. I plan to cover other Pharaonic undertakings, such as the fayuum irrigation project or the weakening of the Nomarchs, in separate sections, instead of as part of a reign-by-reign analysis of political history. My reasoning for this is that most of the generic texts which I have available cover this material on a reign-by-reign basis, but then have to repeat it all in sections about the general administration of the middle kingdom anyways, since the first treatment didn't leave anyone with a clear understanding of these century-long projects as a whole.

So, if anyone comes by and feels like contributing, unless you have any great objections, I think it'd be better to keep the political history strictly political. Thanatosimii (talk) 02:20, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

This is the outline I have going on in my head right now, but the back end is doubtless going to be modified as it gets written.

  • Political History
  • Founding
  • Early 12th
  • Height
  • Decline
  • Administration and Governance
  • Nomes and Nomarchs
  • Empire
  • Society
  • Rise of the Middle Class
  • Agriculture and climate
  • Nile levels
  • Faiyum irrigation project
  • Arts and Literature
  • Monuments and Tombs
  • Statuary
  • Literature
  • Religion
  • Democratization of the Afterlife

Thanatosimii (talk) 23:43, 12 August 2010 (UTC)

This is a real challenge, as there are few books that concentrate exclusively on this time period, and other books that cover the whole of Ancient Egyptian history tend to give it short shrift when compared to the pyramid builders of the Old Kingdom or the glory of the New Kingdom. But I'll lend a hand where I can! Captmondo (talk) 01:26, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
I've noticed a lot of the information which will need to be gathered for the literature/religion/society portions isn't found so much in works explicitly on the Middle Kingdom, but is buried in larger treatments about Egyptian culture from Predynastic to Ptolemaic. I figure I'll need to find a copy of Lichtheim's work on Literature, and I have a few works I'm trying to get on religion, but basic social history is going to be difficult, I expect. One would think that Trigger, Kemp, and O'Connor's Ancient Egypt: A Social History would help, but the relevant chapter covers everything from Old Kingdom through Second Intermediate in one treatment, and often doesn't give a clear explanation about exactly what period within those 1500 years they're talking about. Thanatosimii (talk) 05:24, 15 August 2010 (UTC)
Good work so far! Actually, there are a number of scholarly articles that focus on The Middle Kingdom on JSTOR. Unfortunately I do not have either of the books that you mention in my library, so I can't help you there, but I can look up items of possible interest on JSTOR. If you don't already have access to JSTOR, email me offline to discuss further. Cheers! Captmondo (talk) 13:57, 15 August 2010 (UTC)
I have JSTOR through my local library, and I've found a few things, but my search results haven't always seemed as promising (search "middle kingdom" and you get an awful lot of articles on China). If you know the names of anything you think would be useful, I can take a look at it. Thanatosimii (talk) 17:08, 15 August 2010 (UTC)
Good to hear that you live in an area with an enlightened library system (same as myself). Okay, clearly you have access to the same articles there that I do then. Will look at the other sources I have at hand and will add what I can when I can. Captmondo (talk) 22:28, 15 August 2010 (UTC)

I haven't really finished Administration and Nomes, but I've put a good start there in the mean time. Thanatosimii (talk) 20:55, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

Was thinking about adding some material on the climate of the time (which certainly plays a role in the Egyptian civilizations). I see you have a "Drought" section, but am not sure why you placed this under "Technology". Wouldn't climate/drought be more pervasive and necessary as a background to understanding the context in which the Middle Kingdom arose? Captmondo (talk) 02:00, 19 August 2010 (UTC)
That was by far the hardest section for me to figure out how to organize. I planned on treating the climate, particularly the droughts of the Middle kingdom, in the context of agriculture and the Faiyum irrigation project, but I wasn't sure exactly where to place that. I have the least clear picture of how I imagine this article turning out in that area, so feel free to handle it as you please. Thanatosimii (talk) 02:14, 19 August 2010 (UTC)
I've taken a initial stab at it by putting a "Beginnings" section in the article, following the order from the Old Kingdom article (though without the specific dynastic reference). More to come, and please feel free to change it if you like. Captmondo (talk) 02:04, 20 August 2010 (UTC)
I think unless this page is going to argue that Nile levels are the specific cause of the rise of the Middle Kingdom, this material might be better treated as a part of an agriculture subsection. I've made a few changes to that end as an example of the kind of thing I'm thinking. I do like the idea of having a Beginnings section, but I think such a section should lay out the nature of the First Intermediate Period and suggest various explanations about why Thebes was able to make and Empire out of it. Thanatosimii (talk) 18:10, 20 August 2010 (UTC)
I was actually thinking of taking in that direction, but I like what you have done with that section, and I may have to re-think what I was planning. Was looking to add more about the rise of the middle class during that period with subsequent references. Not to worry though, will see where the source material I run across leads me. ;-) Captmondo (talk) 19:20, 20 August 2010 (UTC)
While we're on that topic, discussion of the middle class is also likely to be tricky. It seems longstanding opinions on the matter have been seriously challenged in the last decade and a half. The traditional position argues that an increase in bureaucratic titles on funerary stele indicates the existence of a new class of moderately wealthy middle class, or at least sub-elite class. This has been criticized on the grounds that it leans too heavily on textual sources, specifically funerary stele, for which there could be alternate explanations. The work I used recently by Janet Richards argues the titles and positions may have existed long before the Twelfth Dynasty, but were not recorded on funerary stele due to religious conventions which did not loosen until the reigns of Senusret III and Amenemhet III. I am not yet certain exactly to what extent these new theories have displaced the traditional orthodoxy within the Egyptological mainstream. Not only would this have a serious impact on that section, but since these stele also tie in to the traditional theories about the suppression of the Nomarchs in favor of a bureaucratic government and about the Osirian religious revolution and the Democratization of the Afterlife, I'm left puzzled as to how to approach this. I have a few sources coming in hopefully early next week which might clear things up, but in the meantime, if you see anything that uncritically accepts any of the above, I'd be careful. Thanatosimii (talk) 20:27, 20 August 2010 (UTC)
Interesting -- you are clearly more up-to-date in this area than I am. I plan to keep poking at this piecemeal, as I find relevant material to add. Am hoping to contribute more to the arts/literature part of the article at the moment, as I am tracking down material in that area. Will keep plugging away at it though. Cheers! Captmondo (talk) 12:27, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
If anyone has time, can they add something about the Middle Kingdom's Trade? Trade is an important part of any dynasty/empire/monarch/democracy/etc. (talk) 23:06, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

What did they call their land?[edit]

Not merely during the middle kingdom, but throughout all of Egypts history, it is difficult to find this data. Or, I believe there are a lot of references to it, but self-apellation does not seem to concern historians so much as it interests me. Or am I wrong?--Xact (talk) 21:03, 29 March 2013 (UTC)

The Egyptian for Egypt is kmt, generally pronounced Kemet, if that's what you're asking. Thanatosimii (talk) 04:02, 13 September 2013 (UTC)