In ancient Egypt there were many pharaohs throughout the centuries and while there are many scientists and archaeologists still trying to find out exactly how the Pharaohs lived, there are certain things that we know a Pharaoh did each day in keeping with the rules of ancient Egypt. Here is what a typical day in the life of a pharaoh would be like.
A bright and sunny day shines over Egypt. The pharaoh wakes among the highest amount of luxury you can imagine. He is in a bed with luxurious linens. His every whim is taken care of. When he wakes, this will be the only time in the entire day he will be on his own. The Pharaoh of ancient Egypt has a great many servants, officials and slaves who take care of every single thing he does during that day.
Once he is awake, his servants, including the one known as the Chief of Scented Oil and Pastes For Rubbing His Majesty’s Body will clean the Pharaoh from top to bottom and use special oils and pastes to ensure his good health and of course that he smells like a pharaoh. Once he is clean, he will be dressed in the finest of clothes and wears a great deal of jewellery. The jewellery he wore would tell those around him how incredibly rich and important he was.
Once he is clean and dressed he will walk into his audience chamber. This is where he holds his daily meetings. When a guest enters the room, they must prostrate themselves in front of the Pharaoh. He is after all the divine being of the ancient world and those that visit him are nothing but mere mortals. During these meetings the Pharaoh will meet with the ambassadors of foreign countries who wish to offer him tributes and gifts. There will also be military generals speaking with the Pharaoh about what the military of the country is doing. There may also be visits from the nobility of the country and in fact very important people from right around the empire.
Once the audience chamber is empty, the Pharaoh will go straight to the temple. Because he is the Pharaoh he must pray to the chief god who was known as Amen-Re. It may seem inconvenient, however if the Pharaoh does not do this his empire could possibly lose its entire divine order, this is also known as Maat. If he doesn’t pay tribute to Amen-Re then the empire could fall into chaos (known as Isfet) and the Pharaoh would be held responsible for this and would then no longer be a Pharaoh.
When the Pharaoh reaches the temple, the high priest will take him through the great temple and out to the sanctuary where the Pharaoh will enjoy cool air thick with incense. Once he is in the sanctuary he will approach the statue of Amen-Re. Here he will ask the questions he wishes to know the answers to and the high priest will give him these answers. Once the Pharaoh has finished with these questions he will be presented with a large bull. Once the prayers are finished a man known as the sacred butcher will cut the bull’s throat in a sacrificial gesture to the gods.
After this is complete, the Pharaoh will return to his palace for his midday meal. This is of course a feast that many mere mortals of Egypt could only imagine. He will then get into the royal chariot and enjoy a tour around his empire. Because this was a time in which photos did not exist, this was done so the Egyptians of the land could see their ruler and know what he looks like.
The Pharaoh is always surrounded by bodyguards and he will tour sites where new buildings are being built in his honor. It is up to the Pharaoh as to where and how these will be built and using the materials and décor he is wanting. He will also set taxes for the empire and in this way he ensures that he is kept in the style he accustomed to. Once this is complete he will go back to the palace and spend some time on his own. This can mean he sits with family and talks or he may wander the magnificent gardens that surround his palace.
During the late afternoon, the Pharaoh will return to the temple for a ceremony. The ceremony at this time of the day will mark the setting of the sun for that day. There are further prayers to be said and then he is able to take his leave of the temple.
He will then go back to his palace after this and enjoy an evening feast. When he is ready he will be cleaned and dressed ready for sleep. This is again done by his servants and once he is ready for his sleep they will take their leave. The bodyguards will remain at his door to ensure the pharaoh is kept safe at all times.