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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Just How Crazy Were Egyptian Pharaohs?

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Like many rulers from the time before we had running water and microwaves, the pharaohs

of Egypt were considered to be only rivaled in power by the gods their people worshipped.

Considering the ancient Egyptians worshipped a god with crocodile for a head, they must

have thought their pharaohs were pretty boss.

So boss in fact that they let them get away with some pretty ridiculous things during

their time in power, for example lets talk about that time


Pharaoh Psamtik III Let His Army be Defeatedto Save Some Cats

As you may recall from The Mummy movies, cats were kind of a big deal in ancient Egypt.

This is mostly due to the animal being closely linked with the cat-headed goddess of warfare

and balls of twine, Bastet.

In addition, cats were revered for the role they played in protecting food stores and

homes from disease by killing pests likes snakes and rats.

As a result, it was considered a crime in ancient Egypt to harm or, through inaction,

allow a cat to come to harm.

Basically, the pharaohs coined the three laws of robotics millennia before Asimov, and used

them to protect the thing that poops under your stairs.

Perhaps the greatest example of a pharaoh placing the well-being of cats above that

of his own people was when pharaoh Psamtik III literally told his army not to fight because

an enemy commander had released hundreds of cats onto the battlefield.

That commander was Persian king Cambyses II who, knowing of the Egyptians love of cats,

had his men collect as many as they could prior to the battle and ordered them to simply

walk up to the front gate of Pelusium (a major Egyptian stronghold) holding them, along with

releasing hundreds more into the enemy ranks as they advanced.

The Egyptians, under threat of death from their pharaoh, had no choice but to let Cambyses

men walk straight into the city unchecked.

Cambysesmen then methodically slaughtered anyone who dared challenge them, using shields

with cats drawn on them, because oh yeah, even striking an image of a cat in ancient

Egypt was enough to get in trouble.

The end result was a total victory for Cambyses, who celebrated in a dignified, noble fashion.

Just kidding.

He ordered the defeated Egyptian army to march past him as he threw cats at them while screaming

insults at their god.

Luckily for Psamtik, this is by no means the most embarrassing thing to happen to a pharaoh,

with that honor likely belonging to


Pharaoh Menes, the Legendary Pharaoh Who Was Killed by an Angry Hippo

Pharaoh Menes (sometimes written as Mena, or sometimes simply Min) was reportedly Egypts

first pharaoh, and his journey to unify all of Egypt under a single ruler is the stuff

of legend.

Not because it was awesome, but because we know virtually nothing about Meneslife

or rule.

Hes just from that long ago.

In fact, historians are only really confident about a few key details from Meneslife:

That he ruled Egypt during a time of relative peace, that he was well-respected by his people,

and that he was stomped to death by a hippo after 62 years on the throne.

Exactly how Menes met his end at the hands of a hippo isnt known, because apparently

thats not a detail anyone back then felt was all that interesting to note.

All we know for sure is that somehow the first Egyptian pharaoh was mysteriously ambushed

while surrounded by guards, by a hippo.

Speaking of dead pharaohs, did you know


Pharaoh Rameses Got a Passport, Long After He Was Dead

Ramses II is considered to have been one of ancient Egypts greatest rulers, judging

by just how many monuments were built in his name and the fact he was alternatively known

as Ramses the Great by his subjects.

After a 96-year long career as a pharaoh, Ramses was probably looking forward to spending

some quality time alone as a corpse in a pimpingold coffin, but the museums of the world

had other ideas.

Like many great pharaohs, Ramsescorpse was exhumed and put on display in a museum,

his near-century-long legacy as a man thought of as no less than a god summed up by a single

placard in a language his ancient mind couldnt comprehend.

In 1974, after years on display, Ramsescorpse was showing its age and it was agreed

that it should be sent to a Paris laboratory to be prettied up.

Not wanting the memory of one of the greatest pharaoh to be sullied by listing him as luggage,

the Egyptian government granted Ramses an official Egyptian passport for his journey.

Along with listing his name and age (some 3,000+ years at the time he flew), the passport

also listed Ramses occupation asKingwith a small disclaimer adding that he was

dead, as if the fact he was 3,000 years old didnt already give that away.


Pharaoh Sesostris and His Big OlVagina Statues

Pharaoh Sesostris is a pharoah who may or may not have existed, with modern historians

believing that he may actually be a composite figure with the stories told about him being

gleaned from the lives of several pharaohs from across Egypts history.

These pharaohs include the aforementioned Ramses the Great and Seti the First.

As a result, we dont know exactly who the following story is actually attributed to,

but we had to share it, becausewell, youll see.

The story goes that Sesostris was an incredibly confident military leader who hungered for

battle, openly mocking enemies he felt fought poorly and applauding those he felt fought

with honor.

To this end the pharaoh is said to have taken to erecting statues in the middle of conquered

cities he felt didnt put up much of a fight with a giant vagina carved into it.

A symbolic insult suggesting that the conquered citys army fought like women.

Again, we have no idea about the veracity of this tale since its main source is the

notoriously unreliable scholar of history, Herodotus, but put yourself in our shoes and

tell us you wouldnt at least mention a pharaoh with a penchant for erecting giant

vagina statues as an insult?


Pharaoh Akhenaten Got Rid of Religion, So Egypt Got Rid of Him

Akhenaten is a pharoah notable for two things: attempting to introduce monotheism to ancient

Egypt, and the resulting backlash that saw him nearly erased from all of history.

Basically, Akhenaten attempted to abandon the traditional Egyptian religious beliefs

of believing in multiple awesome gods, and instead tried to convince his people to believe

in and worship a single, super god called Aten.

Perhaps because Aten was a lame disk of light with dozens of arms instead of a cool crocodile

man or dog-headed grim reaper, the people of Egypt largely rejected this new religion

and mere days after Akhenaten died, every reference to Atenand by extension Akhenaten

(who styled himself as Atens representative on Earth like some sort of sun-pope) – was

scrubbed from Egypt.

Everything from the vast temples the pharaoh built to simple cooking pots bearing an image

of Aten were destroyed, and Akhenaten himself was branded a traitor, with every mention

of his rule being erased from every historical record.

So complete was this process that his modern scholars had no idea Akhenaten had even existed

until the late 19th century, when some of the items that survived the purge of his new

religion were discovered.


Many Pharaohs Ceremonially Masturbated Into the Nile

Whacking it (the proper scientific term) played a surprisingly big part in ancient Egyptian

culture, with the societys creation story literally involving one of their many gods

masturbating into the cosmos to create life as we know it.

As pharaohs were seen as being basically a single step below the various deities of ancient

Egypt, it was similarly customary for pharaohs to polish their bone and shoot some baby gravy

directly into the Nile every now and again.

The idea behind this bizarre practice was that, like the gods before them, the pharaoh

was infusing the river with his holy seed, encouraging life to spring forth from its

waters in the form of a good harvest.

Of course, not every pharaoh did this, because not every pharaoh had a tallywacker, which

didnt stop them pretending they did.

Just ask


Pharaoh Hatshepsut and Her Big Fake Beard

While the image of an ancient Egyptian pharaoh is undeniably that of a rippling, golden skinned

man with a crooked staff, a silly hat, and a stupid beard, Egypt did have its fair share

of vagina-owning pharaohs.

Among them was Hatshepsut, one of Egypts most celebrated rulers and a woman credited

with one of the longest and most successful reigns of any ruler from history, female or


Along with establishing major trade routes that helped fill Egyptian coffers full of

gold and various spices, Hapshetsut is also credited with inventing that killer eyeliner

all the pharaohs wore.

History notes that Hatshepsuts gender was seldom an issue for her subjects and many

statues were built in her honor sporting her delicate features, and oddly enough, a big


You see, in ancient Egypt that stupid little beard thing was seen as a symbol ofpharaonic

powerand all pharaohs, male and female, were expected to have one during special ceremonies.

The problem for Hatshepsut, other female pharaohs, and even male pharaohs who couldnt grow

a half decent beard, is that this obviously wasnt possible.

As such, elaborate fake beards were constructed to be used by the pharaohs who, for whatever

reason, didnt like the idea of actually growing and maintaining a real one.

Hatshepsut went a step further than this, though, and shes recorded to have ordered

that all statues of her were to capture her likeness while also simultaneously depicting

her as a man to silence any naysayers who believed she couldnt rule because of her


As a result of this, Hapshetsuts statues are a curiosity among historians, as they

clearly depict her with female facial features, but a buff mans body and a beard.


Pharaoh Cleopatra Once Had Herself Delivered Naked in a Carpet

Cleopatra, like Hapshetsut, was one of Egypts celebrated female rulers.

However, unlike Hapshetsut, who went out of her way to appear as a man, Cleopatra was

famous for using her womanly wiles to get her own way.

This is no better summed up than by the story of how she got Julius Caesar into bed.

The story goes that Cleopatra, who was renowned across the ancient world for being both beautiful

and exceptionally cunning, sought to secure Caesars assistance in bolstering her political

power during a diplomatic visit by the Roman ruler.

Seeing as, at the time they met, Caesar was a 52 year old man and she was a nubile 20

year old, Cleopatra realized the best way to do this would probably be with her vagina.

To absolutely ensure that Caesar would have no chance to spurn her advances, she stripped

completely naked and had several slaves roll her up in a giant carpet (some sources say

bed sheets), which she then asked to be delivered to Caesar as agift”.

The slaves knocked on Caesars door, told him they had a present for him, then unrolled

the fabric towards the foot of his bed, revealing a naked Cleopatra, who then invited him to

have some sex.

The resulting love affair between Caesar and Cleopatra formed one of the ancient worlds

most influential power couples, and it all started with a sex-move straight out of Barney

Stinsons playbook.


Pharaoh Pepi II and his Honey Covered Slaves

Pharaoh Pepi II was a fairly unremarkable pharaoh, all things considered.

Sure, he ruled Egypt and probably did the five knuckle shuffle into the Nile a few times,

but he was mostly content during his rule to gorge himself on food and chill with Ra

by bathing shirtless beneath the burning Egyptian sun.

Pepi, however, had a particular dislike of flies, in particular when he was trying to

eat, which was an issue because Pepi was always stuffing his face.

To counter this problem King Pepi had a designated slave in his sizeable entourage covered in

honey every day.

This slave would invariably attract the flies, whod become stuck to the honey and thus

be unable to bother Pepi while he ate.

This worked so well that Pepi eventually had a honey covered slave stand in every room

of his palace so that hed never be bothered by flies again, proving that even the most

minor annoyances can be totally avoided, provided youre rich and powerful enough, and also

have an army of slaves willing to be dipped in honey.


Pharaoh Tutankhamun had a Dagger From Space

Were not going to front by pretending anyone reading this far down on a list of ancient

Egyptian pharaohs doesnt have some sort of an idea about who Tutankhamun is, so were

just going to get right to it and say he had a knife FROM SPACE.

Specifically, Tutankhamun had a small dagger experts believe was forged from the iron heart

of a meteorite.

Found in the pharaohs tomb in the 1920s, the dagger, despite being thousands of years

old, is still sharp enough today that the TSA wouldnt let you board a plane with


But heres the thing: nobody is really sure where the dagger came from, because historical

evidence suggests that the ancient Egyptians werent suitably advanced enough to smelt

iron, let alone forge a weapon using space metal.

This has led historians to presume that the dagger was a gift from a foreign nation who

did possess that technology.

While historians are pretty confident that the foreign nation wasnt the Martians,

they havent explicitly ruled it out either, so we guess those Ancient Aliens guys might

have had a point.

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