We are going to talk about some facts about ancient Egypt army throughout ages.
As we know the main mission of the ancient Egypt army is to defend the country against any invasion and secure its borders.
According to a lot of references, the ancient Egyptian army is the first regular army in history.
Celebrating the return of the victorious army to the homeland
Coming back to the homeland, the Egyptian troops maintained the same military formations they first took to go outside the country conquering their enemies.
Facts about Egypt army during the Pharaonic period
The high-rank POWS were preceded by the chariot of the king. With their hands tied to iron chains, and their necks to ropes.
While the majority had their hands tied behind their backs or over their heads. Celebrations started as soon as their feet had touched the territories of Egypt.
The priests stood on the bridge holding floral wreathes. Senior POWS were punished sometimes to death in a big festival.
The defeated showed their subjection and humiliation to the last moment of their lives to their executioners.
For example the Libyans by raising their forefingers, and others by the palm of their hands.
After killing a batch of POWS, another festival was held in the temple, where the destiny of the rest of them would have to be decided.
And in the meantime, sacrifices and offerings were made to the gods.
An example of these victories was the one scored by Thutmose III, in the Battle of Megiddo, which details had been recorded on the “Triumph Stela”, near Wadi Halfa on the Bohn Temple.
The scene showed the pharaoh leading the army by himself. He came back triumphant, and brought with him the princes of the enemy as POWS.
Their horse-drawn gilded wood war chariots were also captured.
Egypt facts about army in the Islamic period
Meanwhile we have several examples of this kind in the Islamic ages. Ibn Gubair presented a detailed allount of the celebration held in Alexandria in May 1183.
When saladin demonstrated the Crusaders POWS, where people stood along the sides of the road to see the prisoners of the enemy.
While they were in the backs of camels, with their backs facing the tails, and drums beaten and horns blew.
In several Ottoman manuscripts illustrations were presented for these celebrations including that of Mohammed III now on display in Topkapı Museum in Istanbul, dated 1006 A.H 1598 A.D., depicting the procession of the victorious Sultan’s army in two adjacent pages.
The army took the direction from right to left, preceded by the Sultan, his army commanders on their horse saddles, the scholars and statesmen then followed the army formations.
Brass music was played and banners raised high with their beautiful colours.
The Ottoman House Sultans celebrated their victories in such an impressive way since their Sultans led their armies to battles, and when the Sultan returned back home, victorious, he over their enemies demonstrating the POWS in a big parade, the matter which reflected the Arabs piety.
The Ottoman House Sultans celebrated their victories in such an impressive way since their Sultans led their armies to battles, and when the Sultan returned back home, victorious, he sat among his ministers, statement, religious men, and dignitaries and in front of him demonstrated was the booty gained from the enemies, while music was played celebrating the victory, of the national army over the enemies of the country.
Fact about military service in ancient Egypt
During the Middle Kingdom, the names of males under conscription were listed, to be summoned in the time of need.
The king usually maintained a well-organized and highly-trained bridge with assignments similar to those of the royal or republican guards nowadays, while the big bulk of the Egyptian Armed Forces was locally trained in the different provinces of the country.
For example, during the 19th dynasty, Amun Bridge was located in Upper Egypt, Ptah Bridge in North Upper Egypt, and Ra Bridge in Heliopolis.
It was not the will of the conscript to join the army.
When the “conscription officer” made his frequent visits to the province to select the “physically fit young men” wailing and screaming had usually started and sadness prevailed.
In the Islamic ages, the conscription system started in the middle of the Umayyad Dynasty, while before that, the people went to war voluntarily for Jihad.
However when the Muslims were divided into “conflicting sects” and people found it unnecessary to go voluntarily to war, the Caliphs had to apply the mandatory system, which was initiated by al-Hajaj Ibn Youssef during the Caliphate of Abd al-Malik Ibn Marawan.
It is remarkable that conscription was one of the most interesting facts about Egypt army. The conscripts were not mostly satisfied to join the army.
While the conscripts summon caused sadness and pain to their families who expected to miss them for long periods.