Общество Позднего Египта в свидетельствах древнегреческих авторов V–IV вв. до н.э
The article considers the evidence by Herodotus, Plato, Aristotle, Isocrates, Dicaearchus of Messana, Hecataeus of Abdera (followed by Diodorus) and Strabo on the organization of the Ancient Egyptian society. According to this tradition, its major feature was the division into three self-contained and hereditary social groups: priests, warriors and labourers. In the 4th century B.C. it became a common knowledge that this system had once been created by the most ancient king of Egypt, whose image went back to the memory of Senwosret I, a real social reformer of the early Middle Kingdom. In fact this group of evidence described the society of Egypt shaped after the downfall of the New Kingdom, during the Third Intermediate Period (11th to 7th centuries B.C.). The initial fundament of the Egyptian society in the second millennium B.C. was the division of labourers into professional groups whose members were recruited and sometimes transferred from one group into another by the will of the state. By the end of the second millennium B.C. (under the late 19th and the 20th Dynasties) these groups must have become closed-off and formed a hierarchy based on the qualification and the prestige of their members. Weakening of the royal power in the early Third Intermediate Period, its transition to the Libyan dynasties and alienation from the performance of ritual brought to the priestly monopoly on the religious life. At the same time there emerged a specific military class of Libyan origin, whose members were granted land plots (as reflected in the Classical tradition). The formation of this social system must have been completed by the mid-7th century B.C. It seems that this process was backed not so much by the economic developments (e.g. the beginning of the Iron Age and the flourish of trade) as by the downfall of the earlier state construction at the end of the New Kingdom.