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In Ancient Egypt, servants were smeared with honey in order to attract flies away from the pharaoh.

In Ancient Egypt, servants were smeared with honey in order to attract flies away from the pharaoh.
In Ancient Egypt, servants were smeared with honey in order to attract flies away from the pharaoh.

While the expression ‘you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar’ may not go all the way back to Ancient Egypt, the Pharoah Pepi II certainly understood the concept.

Pepi II began his reign at the age of six during the sixth dynasty of egypt’s Old Kingdom. His throne name was Neferkare which means “Beautiful is the spirit of Ra”. Some suggest he reigned for 94 years, but it’s more likely to have been 64. The length of his reign may have led to stagnation in his administration, a potential factor in the rapid decline of the Old Kingdom. The decline was primarily a factor of increased power of local nobles who had been accumulating significant wealth and were becoming more powerful. The Old Kingdom would come to an end within a few decades of the end of Pepi II’s reign.

Alledgedly Pepi II despised flies and would keep naked slaves smeared with honey near him in order to keep flies away.


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