During the reigns of Ramses IV-XI, the country fell more and more under the control of the priests of Amon-Ra. As their power grew, they demanded blind conformity to a system that gave them control and their temples wealth. The demand for gold and workers to mine it, the need for troops for the almost continuous war in Asia, and the independence of the powerful leaders in Nubia and Kush weighed heavily on the state. A power struggle was inevitable.
|Ramses IV Mummy|
While Egypt was sinking into mediocrity, deep in the heart of Kush a pharaonic style court continued. Though African in origin, it was Egyptian in tradition and belief. The king bore pharaonic titles, and the cult of Amon-Ra had long been established there. Aware that Egypt was torn by dissention, these proud and vigorous Kushite rulers marched northwards to put an end to the prevailing corruption and re-establish order.
It is perhaps a measure of the greatness of Thebes that Libyans, Kushites, Greeks and Romans honoured, embellished and adorned the ancient city.