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Throughout time, Egyptian sources display divergent attitudes towards violence expressing the belief that some situations of violence were positive and to be encouraged, while others were to be avoided. Sanctioned violence could be employed for a variety of reasons—the severity of which ranged from inflicting blows to gruesome death. Violence was part of the preternatural realm, notably as Egyptians attempted to thwart potential violence in the afterlife. While the average Egyptian was supposed to eschew violence, kings and their representatives were expected to engage in violent acts in many circumstances. Improper violence disturbed order while sanctioned violence restored it. While the types of sanctioned violence employed and the reasons for employing it changed over time, some attitudes about violence remained constant.


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