Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Egyptians Soldier: Careers for Boys (1300 BC)

Egyptians Soldier: Careers for Boys (1300 BC)
The high spirited young man of Ancient Egypt had an outlet for his energies that promised excitement and a path for advancement.

For the Egypt of New Kingdom times had a large and well-trained army, which protected the frontiers and patrolled the pharaoh’s outlying lands. The King was the army’s commander in chief and often took to the field in person, with a bodyguard of chosen men, and officials to advise him.

Each division of the Egyptian army consisted of about 5000men. Four thousand of them were infantry troops who were subdivided into companies of 200 men. Companies, with names such as ‘Bull in Nubia’ and ‘Manifest in Justice’, were divided into unit of 50 soldiers.

The division’s remaining 1000 men formed a chariot wing of two man teams. They were also foreign mercenaries, often lightly armed skirmishers, who were particularly useful on frontier and desert patrol. Because of the good prospects it offered, the army was not usually short of volunteers.

In emergency however men could be conscripted and then one in a hundred were usually called up. New recruits had their hair cropped, and were issued with leather body armour, helmets and shields. They learned it use all the army’s weapon, but tended to specialize in one in particular, so that there were companies of spearmen, companies of the bowmen and so on.
Egyptians Soldier: Careers for Boys (1300 BC)

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