- This article is about the Hellenistic country in Africa. For the Hellenistic Empire releasable, see Satrapy of Egypt.
Egypt is a major power in the Middle East, a Macedonian-ruled Diadochi kingdom that emerged from the collapse of the Argead Empire to rule the rich and highly populated Nile valley from the city of Alexandria. It is one of the larger and wealthier countries at the start of the game and while smaller than the competing Diadochi powers of the Antigonid Kingdom and Seleukid Empire, Egypt is much more stable and defendable than the spread out, culturally and religiously diverse empires of its rivals, an advantage that will likely soon prove its value once the Wars of the Diadochi resume. In 450 AUC, Egypt has recently proven its continued presence in the Aegean Sea despite its defeat at the hands of the Antigonids and the loss of Cyprus in a massive naval battle at the Battle of Salamis (in 448 AUC) through its aid and intervention in the Siege of Rhodes and its continued suzerainty over Kos and Andros, though tensions with the Antigonids remain high and a return to war is almost inevitable. Historically, Egypt would contend with the Seleukid Empire for control over Syria and Palestine and dominate the Eastern Mediterranean as far as Cyprus and the Aegean Sea after the fall of the Antigonid Kingdom with its powerful and largely unchallenged navy as the Ptolemaic dynasty entrenched itself in Egypt, eventually falling into a slow decline and losing many of its outlying clients and possessions but surviving all the way until the Roman annexation in 30 BC, having outlived all of the other Diadochi.
The Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt is the latest incarnation of the (in 304 BC) nearly 3000-year-old Ancient Egyptian civilization. It is, however, not a true native Egyptian kingdom but rather an Egyptian kingdom ruled by a Macedonian upper-class aristocracy and a Greek minority that was installed and introduced, respectively, after Alexander the Great's conquest of Egypt in 332-331 BC. Egypt is one of the four main successor states to Alexander the Great's empire that fell about two decades prior. Ptolemaic Egypt is ruled by Ptolemy Soter Lagid, one of the diadochi of Alexander the Great who fought for control over and later partitioned Alexander's empire among themselves after Alexander's death in 323 BC. The Ptolemaic dynasty was able to secure the wealthiest province of the empire, Egypt, for themselves, became rulers of the region and would remain so until 30 BC when Egypt was conquered by Rome, thus ending Egypt as an independent nation for almost 1000 years to come.
- Main article: Egyptian missions
With the Heirs of Alexander DLC, Egypt has a unique set of 4 missions centered around the historical conquests and ambitions of the Ptolemaic dynasty, with a particular focus on their naval ambitions across the Eastern Mediterranean and beyond. These missions direct Egypt to secure control over The Eastern Border by dominating the Levantine Sea from Palestine and Phoenicia up to the coasts of Cilicia and as far as Telmessos and even Pergamon in Asia; aspire to a Greater Empire by expanding both further south into the traditional Egyptian hinterlands of Nubia and Punt as well as west to the cities of Cyrenaica and looking even further afield to the Western Mediterranean, either strengthening trade with Carthage or taking control of the area in the form of a new Western Nesiotic League while intervening in the affairs of the Greeks of Magna Graecia; and finally leveraging Ptolemaic naval power to form a true Mediterranean Thalassocracy that can consolidate its control over Macedon and the rest of the Aegean region and unite the Greeks of the old homeland into a new Hellenic League under Egyptian sponsorship as well as the cities of the Carians into a new Chrysaoric League. There is also a mission tree focused on the domestic and economic affairs of The Macedonian Pharaoh, with the goal of consolidating Ptolemaic control over Egypt, introducing new Helleno-Kemetic syncretic cults, and turning Alexandria into the cultural and intellectual centre of the entire Hellenistic world. In addition to being unique to Egypt, these missions require as well that the Egypt remains a Macedonian culture monarchy under the rule of the Lagid family.
Once the first mission tree The Eastern Border and Greater Empire missions have been successfully completed, the Hellenistic Empire mission tree will become available, directing Egypt towards the restoration of the Hellenistic Empire of Alexander the Great.
With or without the DLC, Egypt also always has access to the generic missions.
The Wars of the Diadochi
At start, all the Diadochi states will receive an event that gives them claims on all of the western half of the former Argead Empire and access to the special Legacy of Alexander wargoal, allowing them to easily declare war and conquer much more territory from each other than would be possible in a normal war. For Egypt, these claims will go away on the death of the first ruler.
Fourth War of the Diadochi
Shortly after the game starts, the Antigonid Kingdom will receive an event to make an ultimatum against Macedon, usually leading to war between the two kingdoms. If hostilities do resume, after a few months Egypt will receive an event that will let them directly declare war on the Antigonids or present an ultimatum to cede control of Palestine and southern Syria in exchange for peace. The Seleukid Empire will also receive a similar event a few months afterwards, and then Thrace a few months after that. All of these wars use the Legacy of Alexander wargoal, which drastically increases the stakes of winning or losing the war.
The Antigonid Cause Wavers
- Main article: The Antigonid Cause Wavers
When Antigonos I Monophthalmos, the starting ruler of the Antigonid Kingdom, dies, their empire will disintegrate if they have not managed to conquer Korinthos (418) from Macedon or have failed to maintained control over a number of key cities scattered across their vast Asian territories. Any ongoing wars against the other Diadochi will end and governors and subjects across the Antigonid realm will begin to defect from the Antigonid cause, forcing the Antigonids to choose between retreating from Asia and maintaining control over their coastal subjects and possessions with their powerful fleet, or abandoning their pretensions to the west to save the Asian core of the kingdom.
If the Antigonids decide to abandon Asia as historically, Egypt will annex all remaining Antigonid territories in Palestine and assume control over any Antigonid subjects in that region (usually Judea and Samaria). Any territories the Antigonids happen to control in Upper Egypt or Lower Egypt will also be returned. If the Antigonids instead choose to stay in the east and try to hold on to Asia, Egypt will still take over Antigonid Palestine and Egypt as well as seize control over Cyprus, but Antigonid subjects in Palestine (i.e. Judea and Samaria) will remain loyal. Depending on which choice is made, the other Diadochi will take over similarly large portions of their former empire as well.
The Cyrenaican Problem
If the Heirs of Alexander DLC is not enabled, near the beginning of the game Egypt will also have to choose how to deal with Cyrenaica, who a few years before had effectively asserted their independence after the death of the previous Ptolemaic governor. Egypt can choose to attempt to bribe the new king and get Cyrenaica as a tributary, assert its historic rights and get claims on the area, or send the king's stepson Magas to restore Ptolemaic rule over the region as a tributary and trigger a civil war for control of the kingdom if they do not accede peacefully.
The Cult of Serapis
If the Heirs of Alexander DLC is not enabled, a few years after the start of the game, Egypt will receive an event about whether or not to embrace the syncretic Serapis Cult, and more generally decide what the cultural and religious orientation of the country as a whole should be. Depending on the choice, Egypt can either choose to stay Macedonian Hellenic, embrace the cult and convert to Kemetic while gaining access to new deities, or fully embrace native traditions and change the primary culture to the Egyptian Bohairic culture as well.
With the Heirs of Alexander DLC, the Serapis Cult deities are unlocked through the The Macedonian Pharaoh mission tree, but there is no option to convert to the Kemetic religion or embrace the Bohairic culture.
The Macedonian Concubine
During the first 20 years, Egypt can get an event regarding the relationships of Ptolemy I Soter's mother and his claim to be a son of Philip II, the Argead king of Macedon and father of Alexander the Great. Depending on how hard the Ptolemaic dynasty chooses to press this claim, the ruler can either use this to improve his or her political standing and gain some family prestige and popularity or legitimacy, or officially proclaim Argead heritage and gain the Blood of the Argeads trait for Ptolemy I and all of his descendants, at a large cost of gold, political power, and legitimacy that will be sure to infuriate the other Diadochi.
As the owner of Alexandria, Egypt has access to the special decisions to build the ancient wonders of the Pharos Lighthouse (the Great Lighthouse of Alexandria) and the Museion (the Great Library of Alexandria).
Maritime journeys are never entirely safe, from pirates and wreckers to storms and tempests the Mediterranean is a dangerous place to be. Nonetheless it is the quickest way to travel for a grand city such as Alexandria on the Nile it is imperative that we are able to guarantee the safety of all ships and sailors.
The small island of Pharos just outside our port would be the perfect location for a great lighthouse to guide the way for all shipping. This venture would also put an end to the infamous wreckers that often roam the island.
A Temple to the Muses
As the natural center of the Post-Alexandrine world the city of Alexandria already attracts many of the best and the brightest Hellenistic minds. We must embrace this role as the carrier of Greek culture and philosophy, and create a temple to the Muses themselves. In this Museion all texts ever written in Greek would be assembled, and any texts yet unknown to Greek scholarship translated.
While it has been the ambition of many a great monarch to assemble a personal library worthy of admiration and envy, few have dared aim as high as this. Should we succeed our memory will live on for centuries, if not millennia.
Egypt also has access to a special decision to reinstate their old client kings of the Pasikratids, if they can conquer Cyprus (from the Antigonid Kingdom). Enacting this decision will give Egypt a choice between restoring the Pasikratids to their old kingdom of 20px Soloi as a feudatory, or granting them control over the entire island of 20px Cyprus as a client kingdom.
Install King of Soloi
Our attempts to control the island of Cyprus were foiled by Antigonus the One-Eyed, but the old city-state of our Pasikratid allies may be resurrected - a kindness that will no doubt be generously rewarded.
As a Hellenistic monarchy, Egypt can take the decision to reunite the Hellenistic Empire if they can conquer the other Diadochi kingdoms and restore its old territorial extent. This, however, requires Egypt to retain its Monarchy and Macedonian primary culture.
Reunite Alexander's Empire
That one power could not possibly come from any dynasty but our own. Only a family that respects the Argead traditions can legitimately claim its legacy.
If Egypt is destroyed (completely annexed and removed from the map), then any other nation that has a primary culture in the Egyptian or Nubian culture groups and has managed to conquer all the key cities of Egypt can reform it through a decision, representing a restoration of the native Egyptian kingdom. Dodekaschoinos and Kush are particularly well positioned to do this if they can manage to defeat the pre-existing Ptolemaic kingdom. Forming Egypt as a country in the Nubian culture group will shift the country's primary culture to Bohairic, representing the shift of the nation's center of power to Egypt.
Note that reforming Egypt will not give access to its unique missions.
Egypt is perhaps the oldest civilization of all, and yet she is not free. Instead pretenders have usurped the kingdom and play at honoring the old gods. This cannot be tolerated. We must unite Upper and Lower Egypt once again under a dynasty that truly understands and cherishes the legacy of the Pharaohs.
To the west, Egypt borders the small breakaway state of Cyrenaica, which Egypt may be able to get as a tributary or client state by event, while the rival Diadochi state of the Antigonid Kingdom and its tributaries of Judea and Samaria looms to the northeast; war is probably inevitable. To the south and southeast, Egypt borders the smaller states of Nabatea and Blemmia, while Kush lies south of Dodekaschoinos.
Egypt starts with the following pantheon:
- War: Alexander (deified)
- Economy: Hathor
- Culture: Amun
- Fertility: Isis
Egypt has a population of 1726 pops at the beginning of the game, divided across its 189 territories. The vast majority of its pops (about 78%) are in the Egyptian culture group, making up the majority throughout most of the Nile valley and parts of the neighbouring desert that forms Egypt proper, with Bohairic culture especially dominant. A number of primary culture Macedonian pops are settled in some of the major cities of Lower Egypt, particularly in the province of Western Delta, with a small Hebrew minority settled throughout the Nile valley. Much of the western desert is Libyan, while Phoenicians and Nabateans form the majority in some of the sparsely populated areas to the east. Most pops follow the religion associated with their culture - the native Egyptian population completely Kemetic, most Macedonians still Hellenic, and the Hebrews, Phoenicians, and Nabateans being Jewish, Canaanite, and Arabic, respectively.
Despite the large proportion of wrong religion, wrong culture group pops - one of the largest in the game - Egypt is generally more stable than the other two Diadochi states with a largely non-Hellenistic population. Egypt has Bohairic culture - which makes up almost half of its pops - as integrated, with significant rights for the remaining Egyptian cultures, which means that most of its pops do not have as large a penalty as pops of other culture groups would normally have. The fact that most of the non-Macedonian population is Kemetic also means that its embrace of Kemetic deities gives a substantial happiness boost for the native Egyptian population that makes up the vast majority of its pops, without needing to spread the deity happiness over multiple different religions.
Population Types are as follows.
- 22 Nobles (1.27%)
- 468 Citizens (27.11%)
- 381 Freemen (22.07%)
- 203 Tribesmen (11.76%)
- 652 Slaves (37.78%)
- Bohairic (Egyptian) - Integrated culture, Citizen rights
- Sahidic (Egyptian) - Protected Inheritances
- Faiyumic (Egyptian) - Protected Inheritances, Right of Intermarriage
- Phoenician (Levantine) - Right to Enter Contracts, Protected Inheritances
- Main article: Hellenic#Egyptian deities
These deities are available to Egypt or countries formed from Egypt if the Heirs of Alexander DLC is enabled, as long as it is Hellenic, or polytheistic and has enough Hellenic pops / controls the deity's holy site, and are unlocked by the unique Egyptian mission tree The Macedonian Pharaoh, requiring Heirs of Alexander:
Serapis cult deities
- Main article: Hellenic#Serapis cult deities
These deities are available to Kemetic nations that have enough Hellenic pops, to a Hellenic or Kemetic Egypt if it chooses to follow the Serapis cult through either its unique mission tree The Macedonian Pharaoh (if Heirs of Alexander is enabled) or the The Cult of Serapis event (if not enabled), or to any polytheistic countries that control their holy site:
Ptolemaic Egypt starts off as an Aristocratic Monarchy ruled by Basileus Ptolemy I Soter Lagid (11 6 6 8 ), of the Lagid family. Ptolemy himself starts off with the cautious trait as well as the Blood of the Lagidae bloodline trait, which grants +20 prominence and +1 zeal for every character with the trait as well as +6% unintegrated culture group happiness and +5% research points if the current ruler has the trait. The trait is inherited patrilineally.
Representing its adoption of some of the native Egyptian traditions, Egypt also has the Familial Marriage succession law enacted, rather than the standard Agnatic Primogeniture.
Out of the three largest diadochi kingdoms (Egypt, the Antigonid Kingdom and the Seleukid Empire), Egypt is the most stable. While the Antigonid Kingdom and the Seleukid Empire have to worry about internal issues due to the fact that their populations are split into a wide variety of cultures and religions and none of them have a clear majority, Egypt does not suffer from such internal disunity. The vast majority of Egypt's pops are Kemetic and in the Egyptian culture group, with a smaller minority of Hellenic Macedonians and the rest (which make up a much smaller minority, mostly on the borders) are a mix of different religions and cultures.
Right from the start, however, Egypt still faces the problem of having a Hellenic Greek minority as the ruling upper class and having the same state religion and primary culture while the majority of the country is populated by Kemetic Egyptians, which can cause problems due to conflicting cultures and religions. If the Heirs of Alexander DLC is not enabled, Egypt does, however, get an event early on in the game called "The Cult of Serapis" that allows it to address this issue in different ways, such as by converting religion or even culture depending on the choices made. Even without this event, the large amount of cultural privileges means that Egypt will usually not face significant unhappiness/unrest issues in their heartland (though it may still make sense to integrate at least Sahidic culture as well to help with Egypt's relatively lower army size compared to the other Diadochi).
Egypt has one of the most unusual geographies as a nation. The vast majority of its land is covered with impassable deserts that can only be traversed along a set of narrow pathways, funneling armies into a few bottlenecks that can easily be blocked by forts. Likewise, Egypt's population is concentrated almost entirely along the Nile River. While this makes it easier to defend the country's core regions, it also makes Egypt more vulnerable to conquerors as once they manage to break through the bottlenecks and seize control of the Nile River, they will more or less control the entire country. This makes it extremely important to protect the Nile river and the surrounding regions.
Despite being one of the largest and wealthiest nations in the world and indisputably the largest military power within its immediate neighborhood, Egypt still faces some threats to its territorial integrity. The most immediate threat would be from the Antigonid Kingdom to the north. While Egypt starts out as wealthier than most of its neighbors, the Antigonids have a significant advantage in terms of military power and a one-on-one confrontation is not an option early on.
Despite its wealth, Egypt does not have everything. Egypt lacks both Wood and Iron, which makes it harder to build up a navy and army respectively. Trading resources to import Iron and Wood will allow Egypt to more easily build up and maintain a working navy with Wood while Iron will allow Egypt to field Heavy Infantry, which are a powerful and very useful infantry unit type to have.
While Egypt is weaker than the Antigonid Kingdom, it has a strong advantage in the fact that by the time Egypt gets its event to join in the Fourth War of the Diadochi, most of the Antigonid armies will be engaged with Macedon all the way on the other end of the empire, and so Egypt will usually be able to invade Palestine unhindered. Even if the Antigonids decide to commit forces to the south, they will usually be distracted by the Seleukid Empire invasion of Syria before they actually reach the Egyptian armies. At this point, the Antigonids will usually be quite overstretched fighting all of the other Diadochi kingdoms, and the more pressing concern for Egypt will be to try to take over as much of Syria as possible before the Seleukids can take it for themselves. Ideally, Egypt would be able to take all of Western Syria and the coast (which is required for the The Eastern Border mission tree), which will give them free reign to take over Cilicia and the rest of Anatolia if they wish. Taking over enough of Syria and then integrating Aramaic will usually give Egypt a sufficient army size to stand up to the Seleukid Empire.
Alongside this, the fact that Egypt owns Skyros in Greece means that they can easily conduct diplomacy with the Greek city states without suffering the border distance penalty, and their much larger size and strength means that most to all of them can be vassalized as feudatories if Egypt spends the effort to improve relations with them. This can be used to diplomatically expand across most of Greece and the Aegean in the early game, and can be useful when fighting against the Antigonid Kingdom.
On its other flanks, Egypt is surrounded by smaller countries that can be easily conquered as long as Egypt is not otherwise occupied. The best target to start the consolidation of the Egypt's rule on East Africa would be the small nation of Cyrenaica to Egypt's west. It is small and weak but should be annexed nonetheless to prevent it from forming any alliances with Egypt's enemies, and being the same religion and same culture group is easy to integrate. In addition to that, this will also grant Egypt a handful of provinces for relatively little aggressive expansion.
Nabatea can be considered a soft target as well, and it holds the last two territories of the capital region of Lower Egypt, as well as territories for the region of Palestine, which already has a governor.
Next up would be Egypt's southern neighbors Kush and Blemmia. Blemmia has very limited expansion options and the Nile Delta is one of the wealthiest areas in the game. As such, Egypt would do well to work to secure their southern flank by attacking Blemmia and conquering it entirely. The provinces gained from this are relatively remote and should thus be able to develop relatively quietly for the rest of the game (although a governor has to be assigned for the region of Punt). Kush lies south of Dodekaschoinos; once Dodekaschoinos has been integrated, Egypt can then attack Kush; remember that this will empower the governor of Nubia, who already administers the whole province of Aswan after the integration of Dodekaschoinos. Once both Kush and Blemmia have been annexed, the southern flank should be mostly secure as the rest of the nations in the area are too small to pose a credible threat for most of the game. As Meroitic is a relatively large culture it may be worth integrating for the levies, although the region of Nubia is relatively distant and remote from Egypt will usually be fighting otherwise
With all of Egypt's borders secured, Egypt is now in a much more powerful position to expand its dominion and take on any of the major powers if it plays its cards correctly. One option could be to to build up a large fleet and sail to the west to take on Carthage and especially Rome before they get too strong, while going north and east into the other Diadochi kingdoms will lead Egypt towards the restoration of the Hellenistic Empire.