Classi Sociali

Scriveva Erodoto nel V secolo a.C.:
“In Egitto vi sono sette classi:
sacerdoti, i guerrieri, i pastori, i porcari, i mercanti, gli interpreti e i marinai.

Questa sorta di regime feudale esistente nel IV secolo conferma l’esistenza di classi sociali la cui origine è da ricercare in epoche più lontane.

L’Onomasticon d’Amenemope, risalente alla XXI dinastia, dopo gli elementi e le entità divine, il faraone, i suoi parenti, i cortigiani, gli ufficiali e varie professioni, elenca, prima di citare le grandi classi sociale, le etnie conosciute e le categorie umane.

La logica non è per nulla chiara dato che i titoli religiosi appaiono in mezzo a cariche amministrative, mentre alcune funzioni militari interrompono lunghe serie di cariche amministrative.

Tuttavia qualche elemento certo lo abbiamo.

Il primo personaggio dell’antico Egitto era il faraone, interlocutore privilegiato degli dei, deteneva tutti i poteri e i privilegi, ma si assumeva anche i doveri più pesanti verso il suo paese e il suo popolo.

I poteri e i privilegi verranno in seguito divisi con alti funzionari civili, religiosi e militari che il re preferibilmente sceglieva tra i componenti della propria famiglia.

Troviamo questo governo autocratico nei periodi delle grandi restaurazioni che seguirono periodi di gravi disordini interni o invasioni straniere.

Tornata la prosperità con nuove cariche o al contrario appena l’autorità legittima si rivelava inefficace, la gerarchia cambiava verso un regime feudatario in cui i governatori dei nomarchi estendevano i loro privilegi a scapito della struttura centrale.

Dalla costituzione del primo stato organizzato ogni suddito era soggetto a prestare servizi gratuiti.

Praticamente ciascuno, a seconda delle sue capacità, svolgeva un compito prestabilito al servizio del faraone o di privati, i quali avevano facoltà di impiegare personale per mansioni civili, militari, religiose e funerarie in modo temporaneo o permanente.

Fin dai tempi più antichi gli egizi classificarono diversi livelli nella loro società: quello di nobile, popolano o schiavo.

La parola uomo indicava a volte un individuo qualsiasi.

I nobili non dimenticavano mai di sottolineare il loro status, tuttavia non formavano una casta chiusa e non mancavano esempi di promozioni sociali rapide se si era saputo soddisfare il faraone.

Durante la VI dinastia, però, il matrimonio di un nobile con la figlia di un nomarca contribuì ad intaccare il prestigio della regalità faraonica e alcuni caratteri assoluti vennero messi in discussione.

Le iscrizioni su steli, statue, pareti di tombe generalmente indicavano diversi titoli per una stessa persona.

Quando questa occupava un posto di qualche importanza nella società, tra questi titoli qualcuno aveva solo carattere onorifico, mentre gli altri erano i ruoli effettivi che la persona ricopriva simultaneamente o in tempi diversi.

Non era raro trovare cumuli di funzioni amministrative, economiche e persino militari senza nessun vincolo tra loro.

Di solito una queste cariche prevaleva sulle altre.

Tuttavia gli egizi collocavano su un piano di apparente eguaglianza l’esercizio di una professione regolare, il ruolo di amministratore di una grande tenuta, una missione limitata nel tempo conferita dal faraone e la pratica regolare di una particolare devozione.

92 pensiero su “CLASSI SOCIALI NELL’ANTICO EGITTO”
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