Weird History
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Facts We Just Learned About Egyptian Royalty That Made Us Say 'Really?'

August 21, 2020 7.8k votes 1.3k voters 93.4k views12 items

List RulesVote up the facts about Egyptian royalty you're glad you finally know.

For being one of the most popular periods of time to look back on, there is still a lot to learn about ancient Egypt and people who lived in it. Archaeologists are still uncovering new things and studying objects found decades ago to unveil new information. Even with some of the most famous pharaohs, there's much we never knew until now.

Check out these ancient Egyptian royalty facts and vote up the ones you're most excited to know!

  • 5

    A Young Boy Was Traded And Then Rose Through The Ranks To Get Revenge

    From a former Redditor:

    TIL that a baby prince from Khawarizam (Persia) was sold as a slave after the Mongols invaded their land and killed his family. He arrived in Egypt and rose among the ranks until he became king. He then lead the army and served the Mongols their biggest defeat in history.

    Context: Saif ad-Din Qutuz, known simpler as Qutux, was young when he was sold into slavery by the Mongols. It isn't verified that he was born into royalty, however. Regardless, once he was traded multiple times, he was trained to be a warrior. He then rose in the ranks to advisor to the sultan, even investigating his sudden death and appointing a new sultan. When the Mongols were closing in, he appointed himself to the throne to defend his people against those who had captured and enslaved him as a child.

    Cool to know?
  • 6

    Many Pharaohs Were Overweight And Ate A High-Sugar Diet

    From Redditor u/Identimental:

    TIL that many ancient Egyptian Pharaohs were overweight and unhealthy, in contrast to their typical depiction. That was likely due to a sugary diet of alcohol, bread and honey.

    Context: Because pharaohs had access to the delicacies of ancient Egypt, it's unsurprising that they ate well. Oftentimes, these rulers are depicted as slender and fit, but recent discoveries counter that. With the discovery and study of the mummy of Hatshepsut, it would appear that she weighed significantly more than her statues and paintings show. It's likely other rulers also struggled with this given the high sugar diet of this ancient civilization.

    Cool to know?
  • 7

    The First Female Pharaoh Depicted Herself As Male

    From Redditor u/Tokyono:

    TIL of Hatshepsut, the first female ruler of ancient Egypt who acted as a full pharaoh. In art, she had herself depicted as a male ruler; she wore a false beard, had her breasts reduced and deemphasized, and her shoulders portrayed as broad and manly. She brought Egypt into a period of prosperity.

    Context: Hatshepsut was the first Egyptian female ruler who had all the power of a pharaoh. Statues erected in her first few years of power depicted her as completely female, but after years as ruler she was depicted as much more manly. She was, however, still referred to as female, just the visual depictions of her became more masculine.

    Cool to know?
  • 8

    Ptolemy II Required All Books Brought By Visitors Be Copied

    From Redditor u/Planet6EQUJ5:

    TIL in ancient Egypt, under the decree of Ptolemy II, all ships visiting the city were obliged to surrender their books to the library of Alexandria and be copied. The original would be kept in the library and the copy given back to the owner.

    Context: The Royal Library of Alexandria was founded by Ptolemy I and accumulated thousands of scrolls before its destruction in 48 BCE. Not all of the information stored in the library was gathered in the traditional manner, however, and many pieces were simply copied. To copy them, all books aboard ships entering the harbor were ordered to be held by the library for the duration of the trip so the team could copy the texts and return new copies to those who brought the books back.

    Cool to know?