The Duties of a Vizier

Image“It is he who hears the case regarding any deficit in the Temple dues. It is he who assesses any assessment in kind for anyone who has to pay one to him. It is he who hears all law cases. It is he who allows reductions in the imposts on places or industry… It is he who opens the House of Gold in connexion with the High Treasurer. It is he who inspects the tribute of Byblos… It is he who inspects the water-supply on the first of every ten-day period…. He it is who fits out ships according as anyone is fitted for it. He it is who despatches any messenger of the Royal Demesne… when the monarch is on an expedition… Lo, as to the position of Vizier, lo, it is not pleasant at all; no, it is bitter as gall…”

Tomb inscription of the Vizier Rekhmire, who served during the reigns of Thutmosis III and Amenhotep II

Life Under the Pharaohs, Leonard Cottrell, Pan Books, 1955.

Photograph: Sebi, false door at the Louvre from TT100, tomb of the vizier Rekhmire from Thebes, 18th Dynasty.