The study of ancient forms of leadership and other related factors has always outlined an interesting account. The style of leadership and the cooperation maintained by the subjects becomes the main area of concern in among other aspects. During the reign of the pharaohs in Egypt, and that of the medieval kings, it is believed that religion took the center stage. This is especially evident in the fact that kings and/or pharaohs were accorded the highest of respect as it was believed that they were chosen by God. In addition subjects were forced to observe other aspects regarding the welfare of the king either in life or in death. The picture therefore comprises of the pharaohs in Egypt and the kings of the medieval era. Their accounts might seem to portray some similarities in the way matters were handled, but they surely pose huge differences.
Ancient pharaohs of Egypt in this case had their own share of accounts that probably interest many people. It is believed that they existed within a total of 30 dynasties whereby more than 170 rulers exercised their authority. Egyptian pharaohs were considered as both divine figures and mortal beings with their subjects giving them the required attention. The issue of divinity was applied by the subjects’ perception of the king as Horus or in other words the protector of the sun god. On the other hand, once a pharaoh met his death he became considered as Osiris or the ruler of the dead. Therefore the pharaoh’s corpse was given the best care ever, in order to ensure that they performed their duties in death accordingly.
Ancient Egyptians also believed that if the former pharaoh was not accorded the respect he required certain traditional codes would be violated and disaster would strike thereafter. This was actually the primary idea that gave birth to the famous mummies of ancient Egypt (Peggy 55). The kings’ bodies were preserved in special tombs that were furnished to the fullest. The items included furniture, gold, food and sometimes sculptures that depicted the presence of servants around the king. Offerings made to the body were set to be continued for very long periods of time after the king passed away.
The ancient Egyptian throne was kind of organized in terms of structure but was marred with controversies at the same time. The basic structure stipulated that it was to be inherited from the father by his son, but mysterious disappearances of the would-be successors characterized the scene most of the time. It is believed that such candidates were killed or eliminated to pave way for certain individuals. New kingdoms came and passed whereby, shifting of hands from one family to the other was common yet against the original concept of the kingdoms’ structure. In order to protect the leadership from slipping out of their families; it is believed that rulers resulted to marrying their daughters, sisters, granddaughters and their brothers but the plan had its limitations as well.
Leadership still changed hands and this further culminated into a very complicated description of the Egyptian kingdom. Nevertheless, the old Egyptian kingdom is credited with having established a government of stability along the Nile valley. It is also understood that they heavily depended on water from river Nile to a greater extent, to support their course (Peggy 57). Some of the most remarkable and perhaps the landmarks of ancient Egyptian success are embodied in the Pyramids and tombs built under the influence of the kings. The structures were either built under the supervision of the king, or for the purpose of burying the king bin a befitting manner.
According to Peggy (68) The pyramids of Egypt stand out as world class marvels even today and represent the architectural intellect of ancient Egyptians amongst many other factors. It is believed that tombs specifically built for the king were first to be discovered and gave birth to the idea of the pyramid. Tombs were used to shelter the corpses of dead kings and almost resembled the pyramids if not for the flattened tops. Built under the supervision of the king, the pyramids supposedly portray the prowess of local Egyptian workers as opposed to the notion that they were actually built by slaves.
Most of the builders were believed to be permanent employees in pharaoh’s home while others were simply villagers induced into the building process. Architects in the process were able to attain a pyramid shape by improvising methods that still amaze people today. On the other hand priests and astronomers combined their efforts in choosing the sites for the pyramid, in accordance with sacred constellations. The pyramids remain as the most prolific symbols of ancient Egyptian kingdoms and portray the extent of leadership qualities of the kings.
It is also remembered that the ancient Egyptian kingdom was gender sensitive since women were also part of the leadership roles experienced during the period. Even though ancient times were dominated by men in terms of culture, a clique of women managed to crop up and rule the kingdom. The most remarkable names that characterized the field in terms of gender were, Hatshepsut and Cleopatra. Hatshepsut managed to rule for 20 years but her term was stopped after she disappeared under unclear circumstances (Peggy 23).
Medieval kings on the other hand are believed to have lived beautiful lives with enough power, privilege and wealth. During their times they were placed at the highest societal levels and only the Catholic Church leaders could rival their worth. They were appointed in a divine way just like the pharaohs of Egypt if not for a few dissimilarities (Fossier 45). Medieval periods, like ancient Egyptian times, observed enough respect to divinity unlike the case today. The kings in this case were believed to have been chosen by God himself and thus they achieved the highest degree of authority. In other words medieval kings lived like small gods and wielded extreme power and wealth. Unlike the pharaohs who were duly respected by the subject, medieval kings were known to generate lots of controversy in the way they handled matters in their kingdoms. Their extreme powers led to turmoil and their reigns were usually short lived. They resulted to forming survival tactics that involved conquering other kingdoms to make sure that their kingdoms enlarged.
Therefore, leadership issues in both the two accounts were subject to controversy albeit with contrasting aspects. As leadership changed hands in the medieval period it is important to note that the kings left behind legacies worth a lot of praise. The renaissance in particular is an example of the fruits of good work done by these kings in improving the lifestyles of the people. Education and living standards underwent considerable transformations and this replicated the situation in Egypt during the period of pharaohs. This was despite a few cases of kings being selfish and only considering their personal goals. Generally they had the tendency of inclining towards the magnificent wealth and power, but they left behind a legacy worth praises. Just like the Egyptian pharaohs, medieval kings were also proud of arts and other societal aspects. Apart from influencing the King James Version of the bible, they had one aspect that almost resembled the pyramids of Egypt in terms of symbolizing power. The round table became a symbol of unity and was born in the era of King Arthur (Pitts 8).
The nexus of the round table was to bring all the knights together in an environment that suggested equality for all. The round table was designed in such a way that all the knights attending the meetings felt equal, since no person sat at a supposed high table. The strategy was able to solve conflicts whenever they arose without members feeling submissive to anyone not even the king. The code of chivalry was observed by the knights on the round table and represented the values of honesty, loyalty and valor. Every seat on the table was accorded the required respect and played a major role in the leadership. Just like the pyramids of Egypt, the round table became the representation of pride and depth within the kingdom for the king and subjects alike. Even though little manpower was involved in making the table, as compared to the pyramid, they all represent same aspects that gave pride and honor to the kingdoms.
Just like the period in which the pharaohs ruled, middle age women were holistically under the rule of men in the society. They were submissive to their fathers, brothers, and husbands and they attracted punishment whenever they disobeyed men. The only difference was that medieval women were not able to rise to leadership positions like Egyptian women did. However, there were few women, particularly queens, who were credited with helping their men succeed in all ways possible. They became very famous but never ascended to the throne (Pitts 8).
It is evident that both systems embraced the monarch system of leadership that brought forward lots of benefits to the people. Egyptians were introduced to the aspect of civilization as a result of their leadership and system of beliefs. The medieval kings also introduced improved education and general welfare of their people through their leadership. Generally the two societies had some identical prospects that were only diversified by the avenues used. The kings used uncouth tactics for ascension and survival but with different perspectives. Women were also in the limelight but ancient Egypt had the most remarkable stint, since their women managed to lead fully.