Ancient Egyptian Kings

Contributor: Meghan Vestal. Lesson ID: 11956

What are a crook and a flail? Are they criminals? Who owned the entire country of Egypt and wore the craziest crown? Read and watch a video about, and live a day in the life of, the ancient pharaohs!



learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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Pharaohs ruled Egypt centuries before photography existed. However, Egyptians created many statues, etchings, and other artworks showcasing these ancient rulers.

Look at some images created based on this art.

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  • What was a pharaoh?
  • Was he (or she) just a ruler with a major hat?

Learn the strange and mysterious truth about these ancient Egyptian rulers!

Pharaohs were the rulers of ancient Egypt.

They were more than kings because their followers believed that the pharaoh also possessed characteristics of the gods. As you read this section, list a pharaoh's roles and responsibilities.

The pharaoh was given two titles: Lord of the Two Lands and the High Priest of Every Temple.

Lord of the Two Lands

The pharaoh oversaw Upper and Lower Egypt.

The responsibilities associated with this title were those typically associated with a king. Under this title, the pharaoh owned all the land in Egypt.

As the owner of all the land, he was responsible for making laws, initiating and collecting taxes, defending Egypt from invaders, and administering justice to his subjects.

Since these roles were time-consuming, the pharaoh had advisors who helped carry out specific duties, such as collecting taxes.

The pharaoh was highly motivated to fulfill his kingly responsibilities because Egyptian superstition said that if the pharaoh did not complete his duties, the Nile would not rise, and crops would not grow.

High Priest of Every Temple

This title truly made the pharaoh unique compared to the kings in other countries.

The pharaoh represented the gods on the earth and was the mediator between the gods and mortal men. As the representative of the gods, the pharaoh performed religious rituals throughout Egypt and built temples and monuments to honor the gods.

The pharaoh's subjects believed he was all-knowing, could control nature, and was the only earthly being who could communicate with the gods. Because of this, few subjects refused to obey whatever the pharaoh decreed.

Egypt pharaoh trinket

When the pharaoh died, it was believed he became a god in the afterlife. The title of pharaoh was then passed on to his son or closest male heir.

Typically, women were not supposed to become pharaohs, but there are two instances in ancient Egyptian history when a female declared herself the pharaoh.

Continue taking notes on the pharaoh's roles and responsibilities as you explore the resources below.


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Answer the following questions.

  • Which of the pharaoh's responsibilities are most interesting? Explain your answer.
  • How does the pharaoh's job compare to what you know about kings from other nations?
  • What religious responsibilities did the pharaoh have?

By learning about the pharaoh, you have learned that the Egyptians were a spiritual and superstitious people who incorporated many rituals into their daily lives.

Move on to the Got It? section to learn about the symbols associated with the pharaoh.

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