Prehistory and Ancient Egypt
There is evidence of rock carvings along the Nile terraces and in desert oases. In the 10th millennium BC, a culture of hunter-gatherers and fishers was replaced by a grain-grinding culture. Climate changes or overgrazing around 8000 BC began to desiccate the pastoral lands of Egypt, forming the Sahara. Early tribal peoples migrated to the Nile River where they developed a settled agricultural economy and more centralized society.
By about 6000 BC, a Neolithic culture rooted in the Nile Valley. During the Neolithic era, several pre-dynastic cultures developed independently in Upper and Lower Egypt. The Badarian culture and the successor Naqada series are generally regarded as precursors to dynastic Egypt. The earliest known Lower Egyptian site, Merimda, predates the Badarian by about seven hundred years. Contemporaneous Lower Egyptian communities coexisted with their southern counterparts for more than two thousand years, remaining culturally distinct, but maintaining frequent contact through trade. The earliest known evidence of Egyptian hieroglyphic inscriptions appeared during the pre-dynastic period on Naqada III pottery vessels, dated to about 3200 BC.
The First Intermediate Period ushered in a time of political upheaval for about 150 years. Stronger Nile floods and stabilization of government, however, brought back renewed prosperity for the country in the Middle Kingdom c. 2040 BC, reaching a peak during the reign of Pharaoh Amenemhat III. A second period of disunity heralded the arrival of the first foreign ruling dynasty in Egypt, that of the Semitic Hyksos. The Hyksos invaders took over much of Lower Egypt around 1650 BC and founded a new capital at Avaris. They were driven out by an Upper Egyptian force led by Ahmose I, who founded the Eighteenth Dynasty and relocated the capital from Memphis to Thebes.A unified kingdom was founded c. 3150 BC by King Menes, leading to a series of dynasties that ruled Egypt for the next three millennia. Egyptian culture flourished during this long period and remained distinctively Egyptian in its religion, arts, language and customs. The first two ruling dynasties of a unified Egypt set the stage for the Old Kingdom period, c. 2700–2200 BC., which constructed many pyramids, most notably the Third Dynasty pyramid of Djoser and the Fourth Dynasty Giza pyramids.
The New Kingdom c. 1550–1070 BC began with the Eighteenth Dynasty, marking the rise of Egypt as an international power that expanded during its greatest extension to an empire as far south as Tombos in Nubia, and included parts of the Levant in the east. This period is noted for some of the most well known Pharaohs, including Hatshepsut, Thutmose III, Akhenaten and his wife Nefertiti, Tutankhamun and Ramesses II. The first historically attested expression of monotheism came during this period as Atenism. Frequent contacts with other nations brought new ideas to the New Kingdom. The country was later invaded and conquered by Libyans, Nubians and Assyrians, but native Egyptians eventually drove them out and regained control of their country.
Age of Reformation
After overthrowing the Assyrians, Pharaoh Psamtik I moved the capital of the empire to the city of Sais, within the Nile Delta. This would be the beginning of a series reforms throughout Egypt that would allow to whether upcoming challenges and threats. One of these reforms was the centralization of power within the state, transferring the treasury from the temple systems, to state controlled facilities in Sais.
Under Pharaoh Necho II, Egyptian explorers rediscovered Ophir. With the region filled with resources, Egyptian wealth skyrocketed. Combining trade with gold discovery, the pharaoh was able to keep his armies well supplied, and his projects funded. Under the reign of Necho and his successors, Egypt expanded farther south into Africa. They also advanced north along the Mediterranean coast, but kept most of their efforts in the South.
The point of divergence, was during the Persian invasion of Egypt. When the Persians invaded Egypt, the Egyptian forces marched out to meet them at Belusium. Though they were outmatched, an unexpected sandstorm broke the Persian forces apart, allowing the primary force to be defeated by the Egyptians.
Though it did not break the invasion immediately, it impressed the Greek forces, who switched sides to the Egyptians. With their forces newly bolstered, the Egyptians managed to repel the Persian invaders, though their own casualties prevented them from fully exploiting the victory.
During the time of Alexander the Great, Macedonian forces attempted to invade Egypt, by crossing the Sinai Peninsula. However, his forces were met by Egyptian forces led by Pharaoh Rameses VII. Though the Macedonian forces were superior, the Egyptian advantage of terrain impeded his advance. As his forces struggled to make sustain themselves in the inhospitable terrain, internal conflict forced Alexander to fallback, causing his invasion to fail. Impressed by Egyptian skill, Alexander called for a meeting with Rameses, and two agreed to an alliance against the Persians. A joint Egyptian-Macedonian attack force attacked the Persian capital, in one of the earliest known military operation between two empires. Persepolis was crushed, and the Persian Empire was defeated.
For the next few centuries, Egypt would play a neutral role in most conflicts, playing both sides often times to gain further wealth, and to prevent the development of potential rivals. The Suez Canal was built in the Sinai Peninsula, which allowed the immense expansion of trade. Though it took nearly twenty years to complete, charging toll for those who hoped to pass brought the Egyptians immense wealth.
The first major conflict the Egyptian Empire got involved with was the Second Punic War. After the First Punic War, they secretly formed a treaty of alliance with the Carthaginian Empire, though they did not get involved with the war itself.
When the Second Punic War broke out between the Carthaginians and the Romans, the Carthaginians invoked their treaty with the Egyptians. Due to the well funded, well equipped Egyptian navy, and the fact that they were not subject to the resulting treaties of the First Punic War, the Egyptians managed to achieve naval superiority over the Romans. Meanwhile, as the Carthaginians marched up Europe under the leadership of Hannibal Barca, the Romans were caught in a vice.
Soon, the Egyptian navy landed on the Italian southern coast, and marched North towards Rome. Meanwhile, Carthaginian forces penetrated into Italy's northern region. Caught in between two powerful enemies, the Romans surrendered. Though Hannibal wanted Rome completely razed, Pharaoh Horemheb IV persuaded him otherwise. It has been theorized that this was because since the Egyptians shared a border with the Carthaginians, they did not want to Carthage to lose a potential rival. The victory over the Romans, placed the Carthaginian and Egyptian Empires in the position as the dominant powers in the civilized world.
For the next few decades, the Egyptians the Carthaginians maintained peaceful relations, enjoying a position of dominance in the region. However, the Romans, meanwhile, managed to rebuild their military, and form an alliance with the Ptolemies, and the Seleucids. The combined alliance soon launches an attack against the Carthaginian colonies in Malta and Sicily, beginning the Third Punic War. Though the Egyptians initially stand with the Carthaginians, they are preoccupied with fighting the combined Seleucid and Ptolemic forces. Having relied on the Egyptians for their naval support, the Carthaginians were a disadvantage in naval combat, and quickly lost control of the sea. Soon Pharaoh Rameses XVI realizes that Carthage may not walk away from this. As Egyptian forces manage to finally fight off their enemies, and both of them sue for peace.
Roman forces soon land on the Northern African Coast, and marched towards Carthage, before taking the capital, and completely destroying it. Both sides exhausted from the fight, they sign a treaty of non-aggression.
The wealth gained from the expanded trade, gave the Egyptians the power to push their empire forward, and Egyptian forces expanded rapidly to the South. They took control of the entire Horn of Africa, and much of Central Africa.
Under Pharaoh Sesostris V, Egypt also expanded north. Regions such as Israel, Syria, and Judea quickly fell under their control. This brought them back into conflict with the Seleucids and the Ptolemaic. Unfortunately for the former Alexandrian states, the superior Egyptian forces overpowered their armies, and much of their Middle Eastern territories were lost.
During the Roman Civil War, many Romans fled in exile to Egypt, where Roman infantry concepts, and military strategies were assimilated into the Egyptian military.
In the year 40 BC, the Parthians, under the leadership of Phraates IV, invaded Egyptian territory in Syria. However, the superior Egyptian military repelled them easily. The Parthians continued to attempt to seize the land, but the Egyptian fortifications prevent them each time. Eventually, the Parthians were brought to the negotiating table, since the reigning pharaoh, Thutmose VI, was not interested in traveling North, and was focusing expansion on the South.
After the death of Pharaoh Sesostris VII in the year 925 AD, his vizier, seized power, proclaiming himself Pharaoh Khufu II. He moves the Egyptian capital to Memphis, and imposes harsh taxes against not just the conquered, but also the Egyptian people. Resistance is violently crushed, and soon, Egyptian citizens begin to rise up in revolt. However, they are quickly defeated by Khufu's army.
The war lasted until the year 999 AD, after over forty years of tyranny by the Memphite pharaohs. In the reign of Pharaoh Khufu III, Khufu II's great grandson, he is toppled by one of his generals, who claims to be a descendant from the Saite Dynasty. Proclaiming himself Pharaoh Psamtik XV, he moves the capital back to Sais, his leadership otherwise unchallenged.
In the year 1000 AD, in the wake of the coup by Psamtik, the Egyptian civilian populace begins to call for increased limits on the power of the pharaoh. Psamtik agreed, and allowed for the nehmu, the land owning people of Egypt, to meet to form with him to draft a proper constitution. This leads to the establishment of the Constitution of Sais, and the formation of the Council of Commoners.
After the Revolution, some people, mostly those in provinces that were not yet fully incorporated into the Empire, were dissatisfied. The Constitution of Sais did not specify that the same limits on the Pharaoh's power would apply in conquered provinces. This led Egyptian settlers, and Egyptianized natives to began to protest. Roman agents took advantage of this, and began to lay the seeds for violence. This began a period of turmoil in Egypt, that significantly altered its government, and standing.
Open rebellion broke out in the year 1020 AD, after violence broke out in a small city, where the governor's home was ransacked, led by Roman spies. Pharaoh Psamtik sent his army to put down the rebellion, but it only made matters worse. Rebellion soon spread throughout Egypt's southern provinces, which occupied much Egyptian resources. Though the rebellions were not properly united, the resources needed by the army to keep it under control still taxed the economy, and tired the Empire. The rebellion came to end during the reign of Psamtik XVI, who amended the Constitution with the Council of Commoners. The Constitution of Sais was renamed the Constitution of Karnak as it was carved in the Temple of Karnak.
The time during and after the Great Rebellion weakened the Egyptian position. Though it was never outright invaded, states such as Rome attempted to seize Egyptian territories, which lead to the Egyptian-Roman Wars. Some subjects also attempted to revolt against their Egyptian overlords, though all of them failed.
First Egyptian-Roman War
Taking advantage of the chaos of the rebellion, the Roman Empire declared war on Egypt in the year 1015. They invaded Egypt's Cyrene and Syrian provinces. Though they managed to take Cyrene, they failed to take Syria, due to Egyptian fortifications. Not able to fight two wars on different fronts, Psamtik sued for peace. Rome's terms consist of them keeping Cyrene, Egypt paying a yearly 10,000 debt to Rome for the next 20 years, and tolls on Roman ships reduced significantly.
In the year 1016, hoping to also take advantage of Egyptian internal weakness, Jewish nationals, led by Arieh the Viper as he was then known, in Jerusalem, and the lands surrounding them, began to revolt, with intents of becoming an independent kingdom. However, not interested in having to deal with another large scale conflict within the Empire, Psamtik sent his armies into Jerusalem, intent on crushing the revolt.
As things stood, however, he did not need to. The Jewish people, satisfied with the otherwise lenient rule of their Egyptian overlords, were not inclined to stand behind Arieh's cause. The Egyptian army marched into Jerusalem virtually unopposed, where the residents not only willingly housed the soldiers, but also worked with Egyptian forces to capture, and defeat Arieh. Arieh was brought to Egypt, and executed. The attempted revolt came to be known as the "Fool's Revolt".
Second Egyptian-Roman War
After the rebellion had been subdued, and Egypt was restored to internal stability, Necho V began the process of restoring the Egyptian military, and reasserting themselves in the region. By the end of the reign of his father and predecessor, Psamtik XVI, the payments to Rome had ended, but Egypt still had since lost its holdings in Cyrene, and were still subject to Roman terms.
An invasion force led by Necho invaded Cyrene, and expelled the Romans from the region. A Roman naval fleet was deployed to face the Egyptians, which was in turn, met by an Egyptian fleet. The two forces collided in the Mediterranean. The battle ended with an Egyptian victory, but a costly one, and they were unable to pursue the Romans further North. Further naval skirmishes would occur between the two powers, until the two nations agreed to a peace treaty in the year 1017.
In the year 1020, Muslim invaders from Saudi Arabia attacked Egypt's holdings in Palestine. They successfully captured the region, and later followed up with an attempted invasion of Egypt itself. However, they were defeated at the Suez Fortifications, and were force to retreat back to Jerusalem. There, they claimed the Ark of the Covenant, and shipped it back to Mecca, where it was melted down, and was added to the Ka'ba.
In the year 1022 Egyptians, under the command of Pharaoh Seti IX, launched a naval attack against the Arabs by docking West of Jerusalem, in what became one of the first fully amphibious assaults in history. The Egyptians crushed the Arab ships and stormed the beaches, advancing rapidly East towards Jerusalem. Since that region was poorly defended, the Arabs were crushed, and were expelled from Jerusalem, with the Arab commander, Prince Ala-aldin the Caliph's brother, being captured. While the captured members of the army were executed, Ala-aldin was sent back to Mecca, to issue a message that the Egyptian Empire was not to be trifled with.
During the war, the King of Jerusalem, who ruled in the Pharaoh's name, was killed along with his entire family. Instead of appointing a new king, Seti went to Jerusalem, where he was formally crowned the new King, adding "King of Jerusalem" to his title. This set a precedent, of the Pharaoh ruling directly over Egyptian conquests, opposed to ruling through a native king.
Expansion in Africa
After the Second Egyptian-Roman War, and with their control over the Palestinian region solidified the Egyptians adopted a policy of non-involvement with the North, and instead focused their intention on expanding southward. Under the reign of Pharaoh Ahmose V, the Egyptians began the Great March South, with an army of 200,000 soldiers, 50,000 cavalry, and 1000 elephants. Under the leadership of Ahmose, the Egyptians defeated a multitude of African kingdoms. As they moved south, Egyptian ships expanded East from the African coast, and discovered the island of Madagascar. Egyptian marines quickly landed on the island, conquering the island. Not stopping there, the Egyptians continued their expanse, and quickly took control of Southern Africa, and with that, the Egyptians now controlled half of the African continent.
The Empire possess a vast variety of geographical environments, spanning both colonies, and its African territories. Egypt Proper, and its northern African territories are covered with the Sahara Desert. There are fertile regions covering the Nile lines, and the delta. South of the Nile, in Central and Southern Africa, there are savannahs, and rain forests. The colonies themselves can vary, with Australia consisting of desert, scrub and jungle. New Zealand is predominantly mountain, grassland and forest.
The Egyptian climate is very dry, and warm. Rainfall is annual, generally coming in the winter months. It never rains in the summer; however, it can rain up to 16 inches in the northern most cities. There are records of frost in Sinai-Egypt, though it never snows beyond the mountains.
The Nile still floods annually, due to the limited damming of the Nile river. This allows the routine farming of crops around the Nile, which helps to sustain much of the population in Egypt Proper. The flooding is still referred to colloquially as the "Gift of the Nile".
There exist a great many forms of wildlife in the Empire, spanning its territories. There exist animals varying from large mammals, to forms of fish. Animals such as cats, snakes, crocodiles, among others, are still considered sacred by some, due to the polytheistic beliefs.
Recent census mark the Egyptian population at 430,596,078 people, including colonials, and native peoples in colonial possessions. It is the second-most-populous nation, after the Chinese Empire.
The majority of Egyptian citizens are ethnically Egyptian, including in the colonies, mostly due to racial intermarriage. In Egypt itself, most are ethnically Egyptian, but there also ethnic Greeks, descended from Greek colonists, and travelers. In southern reaches of the Empire, there also Nubians, native Kush, and native tribes people, including Maasai and Zulu peoples. In the Oceanic colonies, there are native Aborigines, and Maori peoples. In the South American colonies, there are Amerindian natives.
Since the establishment of the United Islamic Republic, and the outlawing of non-Muslim religions in that country, many Persians and Arabs have moved to Egypt. This gives Egypt Proper a prominent Arab and Persian population.
The most recent surveys record that roughly eight million people identify as homosexual, bisexual or transgender.
Most Egyptians live in urban, or suburban areas, with a minority living in rural regions. In Egypt proper, most of the population is urbanized, due to the sparse desert that surrounds it. Population is concentrated in the Nile Delta, and around the river itself.
Although the Egyptian Empire is based on the African continent, most Egyptian citizens do not identify as ethnically African, instead just referring to themselves as "Egyptian".
The official language of Egypt is Egyptian. It is the most commonly spoken language in the Empire, and is recognized by law as the state language. However, Nubian and other native African languages are recognized and protected by the state.
In the colonies, all native languages are formally recognized and protected by law. However, they are becoming progressively less common, and are being overtaken by Egyptian.
The vast majority of Egyptians still practice polytheistic Kemetism. Families often have patron deities, which vary radically depending on the family. The most common patron deities consist of Ra, Horus, Osiris, Isis, and Set. Karnak is considered a sacred city, and people often visit it on religious pilgrimage. The Pharaoh is the head of the Kemetic religion, though he is not considered to be a living god, as he was in ancient times.
The Egyptian Empire is known for its long standing, strict policy of religious freedom. The Constitution of Karnak guarantees that one should not be given any greater, or lesser rights than another due to their religious affiliation. People of varying religions are allowed to freely build religious buildings, publicly worship, and promote their beliefs. This policy has, in there perspective of multiple scholars, helped to contribute to Egyptian prosperity.
Censuses generally regard that 70% of Egyptians are married, and 85% of them have children. 5% are widowed, 6% are divorced, and 9% are not married. Generally, both spouses have full education, and 60% of wives have degrees in some form or fashion.
Same-sex marriages are recognized, and legal in the Egyptian Empire. Polygamy is technically legal, but is not practiced, and considered culturally improper.
The Egyptian Empire is a constitutional monarchy. The head of state is the Pharaoh, after which is the elected Council of Commoners, who represent the interests of the primary populace. Much of the Egyptian state policies are spelled out in the "Constitution of Karnak", so named because it is carved on one of the Karnak walls.
While the Pharaoh is no longer considered to be divine as he once was, he still exercises great authority in the Empire. The position is hereditary, and passes onto the Pharaoh's eldest son upon his death. Should he die with no male children, the position goes to his closest male relative. If the transition is not smooth, then the Council will select the heir based on genealogy. The Pharaoh, is the Commander in Chief of the military, and has the power to establish and sever foreign relations, and appoint ambassadors. He also reserves the right to issue judgment and punishment of criminals, depending on the crime.
Council of Commoners
The Council of Commoners consists of elected representatives, who represent the people of the Empire's provinces. They are appointed by popular vote every two years. A council member is not limited to a specific number of terms, but they often are not expected to run for the position twice in a row. The Council's role is to limit the Pharaoh's powers, and represent the interests of the common people. The Pharaoh must get the approval of the Council for declaring war, and the Council also manages economic policies of the Empire. The right to declare martial law is also reserved for the Council.
Judicial and Law Systems
The Egyptian judicial system is not incredibly different from its form in ancient times, though it is not as devoted to the concept of "Ma'at" (order) any more. Trials are relatively simple, consisting of the evidence of both sides presented to a judge, who then issues a verdict, and then a sentence. This can lead to potential corruption, and to make up for this, the position rotates every month, and judges are subject to constant inspection. If any sign of corruption is found, the judge is quickly removed from office, and prosecuted.
Crimes of a higher level, such as espionage or treason, will fall into the hands of the Pharaoh and/or the Council of Commoners. The Pharaoh can issue his judgment, as well as the punishment, though the Council has the right to invalidate the verdict, and commute the sentence if necessary.
Egypt still sanctions and uses the death penalty, though compared to some other nations, the usage is more limited, used primarily for crimes of a particular severity. The method of execution can vary depending on the crime, with some methods varying from lethal injection, to death by crocodile (the latter being reserved for criminals against the entire state itself). The Council of Commoners can commute the sentence if they believe there is substantial evidence against the delivered verdict.
Extradition is only rarely used, and most foreign criminals are summarily tried in Egyptian courts. Exceptions will be made if there is a particularly prominent international situation. Exceptions have existed, if the government deems the crime too serious to allow the criminal any freedom at all.
Egyptian military, known official as the Egyptian Imperial Military, is one of the largest, and most advanced in the world. The commander-in-chief, is the Pharaoh, and all soldiers take an oath of loyalty to him upon being inducted. The military itself is divided into the Imperial Army, Imperial Navy, and Imperial Air Force.
Egypt possesses military bases all around the world, including Chinese and Norwegian territories. They also possess at least two military bases in their Oceanic and South American colonies. These combined forces give the Egyptian Empire a military presence on every continent, save North America.
Egypt is a founding member of the International Union of Diplomacy, and is a ratifier of the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty. The Egyptian Empire is a major world power, and the dominant power in the Africa. It controls half of the continent, including the eastern and southern coasts. It also controls Oceania, most of the Palestinian region, and has colonies in South America. These expanses allow Egypt to exercise global influence.
The Egyptian Empire is divided into provinces, each ruled by a provincial governor, appointed by the Pharaoh. The governor holds the position for life, unless the Pharaoh or the Council say otherwise. The governor manages most of the affairs in a province, including appointed judges. Once a year, the governor is inspected by a Royal Court Official, and a Council inspector, who report to the Pharaoh, and Council respectively. If the governor fails the inspection, then he is stripped of his position. The Egyptian Empire has three forms of administrative systems. The first is Egypt Proper, which consists of the Egyptian homeland surrounding the Nile. Then there are the territories and colonies; territories are the possessions in Africa, and the Mediterranean Eastern Coast. The colonies, such as Australia and New Zealand, are Egypt's overseas possessions.
Much of the Egyptian economy in Egypt Proper comes from trade. Controlling the Suez Canal, as well as the South African coast, allows them to charge ships that travel around Africa. They also have limited petroleum possessions. There greatest natural resource are mineral deposits. These combined sources have made the Egyptian Empire the wealthiest nation in the world.
Many energy advancements, including nuclear power, were discovered and harnessed in Egypt. There are also coal deposits, and oil wells dotting the Empire. Hydro power is common in Egypt, with turbines located across the Nile. Solar power is used, and is actually religious sanctioned by Egypt's religious hierarchy. Djedefre, High Priest of Ra at the temple of Karnak, has called for increased use of solar power, calling it "the batteries of Ra".
In the colonies, the Empire's economy can vary depending on the location. For example, New Zealand and Australia also rely on trade, but agriculture and tourism are also prominent in the economy.
Egypt possesses many forms of transportation. The most popular in Egypt Proper is traveling along the Nile by boat. A census to measure people's preferred methods of transportation beside plane recorded that 45% of people prefer to travel the Nile by boat; 26% preferred road, 29% preferred train.
All forms of Egyptian transportation are industrialized. There exist several boating companies that run the length of the Nile, the most prominent of which is "Nile Imperial Shipping". There are also ship companies that travel between colonies. Train companies are more restricted to intercity travel, and are not generally used for wide spread travel around the Empire. Most Egyptian families possess at least one car. Roads are owned by the state, and are expected to be managed by them as well.