Is it a common mistake to call the ancient Egyptian civilization the Pharaonic civilization?



Mon, 24 Aug 2020 - 03:04 GMT


Mon, 24 Aug 2020 - 03:04 GMT

Papyrus illustrating the ancient Pharaohs of Egypt - Press photo

Papyrus illustrating the ancient Pharaohs of Egypt - Press photo

CAIRO – 24 August 2020: It has become customary to call our ancient Egyptian civilization the Pharaonic civilization. We often take pride in our past and call ourselves the descendants of the pharaohs.


However, many refuse to describe the ancient Egyptian civilization as Pharaonic, on the pretext that it is a “Torahtic" title, insinuated and wrong. There is no evidence of kings from ancient Egypt who bore this title. 


Many state that it is derived from the Pharaoh's mention in the Exodus, in the story of Prophet Moses mentioned in the Holy Book and the Holy Quran. Nonetheless, acclaimed Egyptian archaeologists, such as Selim Hassan, Abdel Aziz Saleh, and Zahi Hawass, have always used the term Pharaoh and Pharaonic to refer to our kings and ancient civilization. 


According to a previous article written by Zahi Hawass and published under the title "Pharaoh: A title or a name for science?", the subject of the derivation of the word Pharaoh was discussed by distinguished scholars headed by Egypt's late scholar  Abdul Aziz Saleh, who stated that the title "Pharaoh" is derived from “Baraa” meaning “house or great palace” and then turned into “Feroo” in the Hebrew language, then the letter “n” was added to it in the Arabic language.


Saleh also explained that this title has been in use since the Old Kingdom among the titles of employees such as "Great Palace Inspector," "Director of the Great Palace," "Clerk of the Great Palace," and "Doctor of the Great Palace," and so on.


The change that has occurred in the modern state is that the word "Baraa" or Pharaoh has come to refer to the king himself. 


Saleh also clarified that the Turks in the time of the Ottoman Empire, especially before its demise, used to refer to the Sultan with the word "Sublime Porte". Now the same thing happens, for example when it is mentioned in the news that the “White House issues a decision to..” in reference to the American President.


“It does not hurt Egypt that there was one tyrant king there who disobeyed the order of his Lord and received the punishment he deserved. Egypt was ruled before him and after him by hundreds of great kings who built a human civilization whose merits can only be denied by a hateful or an ignorant person. The word 'Pharaoh' does not mean tyranny or corruption,” said Hawass.





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