Loyalism: An Overview of a Middle Kingdom Political Phenomenon

Marcus Carvalho Pinto

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The Middle Kingdom witnessed the re-establishment of the Egyptian State in a process that changed political ideology. Not only was pharaonic sovereignty reaffirmed and territorial domain reinsured, but the role of kingship itself was also redefined. In this process a new political phenomenon arose, creating a unique form of relationship between the pharaoh and his subjects, which we call Loyalism. The purpose of this paper is to explore the main characteristics of this political phenomenon and its related elements, in order to define its meaning. Although historically dated to the Middle Kingdom, our focus is the reign of the Pharaoh Senwosret I, mainly due to the movement of administrative reform and
cultural development that occurred in this period. Concepts such as cultural memory, invisible religion and connective memory are used to demonstrate how a sense of cultural belonging was created and how individual decisions had implications in the whole society. Loyalty to the pharaoh should be an individual, conscious decision. Loyalism demanded a choice where neutrality was not an option.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAncient Egypt 2017
Subtitle of host publicationPerspectives of Research
EditorsMaria Helena Trindade Lopes, Joanna Popielska-Grzybowska, Jadwiga Iwaszczuk, Ronaldo Guilherme Gurgel Pereira
PublisherHarrassowitz Verlag
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)978-3-447-11458-5, 978-83-952189-5-8
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020
EventVIIIth European Conference of Egyptologists: CECE8 - Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisboa, Portugal
Duration: 26 Jun 20171 Jul 2017
Conference number: 8

Publication series

NameTravaux de L’Institut des Cultures Méditerranéennes et Orientales de L’Académie Polonaise des Sciences
PublisherHarrassowitz Verlag


ConferenceVIIIth European Conference of Egyptologists


  • Egyptology
  • Loyalism
  • Middle Kingdom
  • Cultural Memory
  • Connective Memory
  • Invisible Religion


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