Achievements and Weaknesses of the Middle Kingdom and Its Downfall Essay

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In Ancient Egypt, the Middle Kingdom is seen as one of its finest ages. This is because it was a time of ‘expanding political strength’ and ‘broader economic horizons’[1]. Generally thought to be from approximately 2000 B.C. to 1780 B.C.,[2] it was during the Twelfth Dynasty that Egyptians opened a wide trade amongst other countries, improved agricultural systems, fortified and expanded Egyptian borders with a strong military reputation, and explore the arts and literature to a depth which Egyptians had not previously. The Middle Kingdom has little weaknesses, but these did not prevent its gradual downfall.

For Ancient Egypt, a significant advantage of the Middle Kingdom was its trade with other countries. In Palestine and Lower
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The Hyksos, invaders from Palestine and nearby areas, settled into Egypt in the 1700’s B.C. They gradually seized control of the pharaohs and would rule over Lower and Upper Egypt for 108 years[25].

The Middle Kingdom was a time of prosperity and strength for Ancient Egypt. Its wide extent of foreign trade and affluence, improved water agricultural systems, strong fortifications, and movements to prevent invasion and a depth of literature that was unprecedented made it worthy of notation in Egypt’s history. Despite the diminishing power of the pharaoh, the people of the Middle Kingdom were able to continue on with their lives as usual, and when the last pharaoh of the Twelfth Dynasty died, the people of Egypt carried on into the future, leaving behind one of the greatest periods of Egyptian History.


[1] Lionel Casson, Great Ages of Man, New York, Time Inc., 1969, 12.

[2] Ibid., page 12.

[3] Cyril Aldred, The Egyptians, London, Thames and Hudson, 1961, 112.

[4] Ibid., 113

[5] Ibid., 113.

[6] Casson, op.cit., 53

[7] Aldred. Op. cit., 113

[8] Casson, op.cit., 53

[9] T.G.H James, An Introduction to Ancient Egypt, London, British Museum Publications Ltd, 1979, 53-54

[10] Ibid., 54

[11] Ibid., 53

[12] Gae Callender, Eye of Horus, Melbourne, Longman Cheshire Pty Ltd, 1993, 10.