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Ancient Egyptian Viziers

In the Egyptian pyramid of power, the rank of viziers was next to the Pharaoh. The vizier had the status of a Prime minister. 'tjaty' was the Egyptian title for the vizier. Viziers were the second important class of people in ancient Egypt.

These trusted men often held other titles, such as the "Chief of the King's Works" or "Royal Chancellor of Lower Egypt". One of the later titles held by a vizier was the High Priest of Heliopolis. In Egyptian art, viziers are usually depicted wearing a long robe which came up to the armpits.


Ancient Egyptian Vizier

Ancient Egyptian Vizier



Egyptian Social Pramid


 Egyptian Social Pramid


Egyptian Social Pramid



Egyptian Social Pramid

The garment, usually of pure white material, symbolized his impartiality. Until the 4th dynasty of the Old Kingdom, the vizier was exclusively the son of a king. From the 18th dynasty onward, the office was split between a northern and southern vizier, both holding an equal amount of power. But during Egypt's late period, only little about viziers is known. The position might have lost importance.


He was the highest court official and the deputy of the Pharaoh. But he was not of the royal blood. Successful ministers and especially the vizier were rewarded by large grants of land from the royal domain. The vizier therefore became extremely wealthy. The vizier wielded great power in Egypt and was both feared and respected.

They were consulted by the king on all important matters. Documents had legality only if they had the seal of the vizier. When weak kings reigned, viziers often took control of the country indirectly. In fact, viziers are often elevated to king like Ay, who succeeded Tutankhamen.

The duties of viziers included appointing government officials, hearing legal disputes, conducting census, collecting taxes, controlling achieves, controlling the food supply and distribution, supervising and managing industries and controlling civil order. In addition, young members of the royal family often served under the vizier.

Ancient Egyptian Vizier Imhotep
Ancient Egyptian Vizier Imhotep
Imhotep of the 3rd dynasty was the vizier of the Pharaoh Djoser. He was responsible for the Step pyramid. Imhotep was regarded as the Son of Ptah, the Lord of all Builders. Scribes began a tradition of sprinkling a drop from their water bowl in honour of this great architect whenever they started work.

Records reveal the names of numerous viziers; only a few are listed below:


Dynasty  Vizier
3             Imhotep
4             Menkhaf
5             Ptah-hotep
6             Djau
8             Shemai
11            Amenemhat
18            Rekhmire
19            Nehy
20            Wennefer
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