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The title of Generalissimo,[1] (ancient Egyptian: imy-rꜣ-mšꜥ-wr) literally Great Overseer of the Army, was the highest military rank in Ancient Egypt. The titleholder would have been in charge of all armed forces of Egypt, only being subject to the Pharaoh. The Generalissimo led all Generals in battle and in war council. The position was not always necessary, as the pharaoh would often fulfilled these duties himself as warrior-king.

Great Overseer of the Army
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Since the duties of the Generalissimo were usually those of the pharaoh, the rank was often assigned to the heir apparent to the throne when the king himself was not capable of campaigning himself.

History[]

The rank of Generalissimo was held by the High Priests of Amun at the end of the New Kingdom, leaving them in charge of the most powerful priesthood while simultaneously controlling the army. As a result, their authority superseded that of the pharaoh in the south, effectively making them de facto rulers in Upper Egypt throughout the 21st Dynasty.

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References[]

  1. The word Generalissimo, an Italian term, is the absolute superlative of generale ('general') thus meaning "the highest-ranking of all generals". The superlative suffix -issimo itself derives from Latin -issimus, meaning "utmost, to the highest grade".
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