Episode 15: The Enduring Ka


Djedkare Izezi (Part I): the Philosophy of Rule

The shift in social relationships between royalty and elite families is well underway.

Djedkare Izezi
Djedkare Izezi (Source: Ausar Auset Society).

The Viziers are now born not of royalty, but of wealthy families who gain prominence through loyal service to the king. “Merit,” not blood, now dominates the kings’ perspective on governance.

The new class of administrators begin to develop and express their philosophies of rule. This is exemplified in the teachings of Har-djed-ef, composed during the Fifth Dynasty but presented as the works of a Fourth Dynasty son of Khufu.

We also meet the prestigious temple guards, the Khenty-she, whose service in the cult centres brings them prestige and wealth. Prominent members of the khenty-she, Teti and Kapi, are their mascots this episode.

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Three Viziers of Djedkare’s long reign (R to L): Ptah-hotep I; Ptah-hotep II; and Ra-shepses (Source: AncientLuxor.com).


A fallen column in the pyramid complex of Djedkare, at Saqqara (Source: Wikipedia).


Nigel Strudwick, Texts from the Pyramid Age, 2005 (Google Books).

Mark Lehner, The Complete Pyramids, 2008.

Ancient Egypt Online – Djedkare Izezi.