10 Fascinating Facts About the Medjay of Ancient Egypt

The Medjay are mostly known only because of the blockbuster Mummy trilogy starring Brendan Fraser, or the most recent addition to the Assassin’s Creed franchise. And despite increasing interest in Ancient Egypt in recent years, the amount of knowledge most people have of them is minimal. In the Mummy trilogy, they still exist in the modern day, an elite band of warriors that has passed down their skill over the generations in order to protect the hidden treasures of the long dead pharaohs. However, while they no longer exist in modern times, their story and their history is much more fascinating than the small tidbits we learn when watching The Mummy.

10. The Medjay Were Originally An Ethnic Group

Over the years, what the Medjay were evolved greatly, becoming first the main mercenaries of Ancient Egypt and then their special police. Over time, their origins have become very blurred. However, the Medjay were originally an ethnic group that lived in Eastern Sudan, and were related to the ancient Nubians. The Medjay were greatly known for their military prowess and their skill at expanding their territory when they desired it. The kingdoms around them, such as the kushites, were both afraid of them and in awe of their skill.

It was common to prepare your borders in anticipation of their strength, but also to hire them out as mercenaries for your own causes, which they were perfectly happy to do. While they originally started out as herders of livestock with great fighting skills, they eventually evolved into something entirely else. While they were hired out over the years by the Romans, the Kushites, and the Egyptians, their skills became so legendary that instead of a people, they eventually turned into an organization. This organization became the backbone of the Egyptians’ elite fighting force — one of the earlier examples of a conquered people being turned into something useful instead of being destroyed.

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