Egypt had one of the first organized governments. Before Upper and Lower Egypt were united, each area was ruled by a king. In 3100 BC, after the country was united into a centralized system of government, it was then divided into 42 nomes, or regions. A governor ruled each region but had to obey the pharaoh.
The pharaoh was the highest authority and had total power over the people. The pharaoh controlled the executive and judicial branches of government and was assisted by many appointed civil servants. When selecting these aides, the pharaoh had to follow the legal rules of seniority and literacy.
Government officials in the Old Kingdom held positions such as the Royal Courtiers, Advisors, Councilors, and Ministers. The Royal Court’s status grew over time and covered religious, civil, judicial, and military duties. The Advisor was the highest official in the state, but not a member of the government’s higher Council. The Council was comprised of senior state officials who enforced legislation and royal decrees and later assumed judiciary functions. The Minister was the head of the judges. Continue reading