Nomarch

The nomes of Upper EgyptAncient Egypt had been subdivided into nomes (districts/provinces) since the earliest days of civilization. Each nome was controlled by a governor, the nomarch, who in turn was controlled, in variable degrees, by the king. Succession of the office occurred mostly within one family. The role of nomarch was expressed by different titles, such as ‘Chief of the nome' and ‘Great overlord' in Upper Egypt and ‘Overseer of...' in Lower Egypt. One monarch could govern several nomes at once. This was, for instance, the case in Upper Egypt during Dynasty 5, when administration underwent decentralization. Throughout the First Intermediate Period, nomarchs retained a great deal of power. During Dynasties 10 and 11, the monarchs of the Theban region discarded the office, in favour of a ‘Great overlord of Upper Egypt'. By Dynasty 12, the office of nomarch was not exercised in the southernmost provinces of Egypt anymore, apart from the nome of Aswan. In Middle Egypt, however, the nomarchs still had a considerable amount of wealth and power, along with usurped royal prerogatives. During the later years of Sesostris III the administration of Egypt was centralized and the office of nomarch discontinued.