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"The first Medjay was the protector of the pharaoh. But now, it means we must protect all the people of Egypt. Not just protect them, but work for their well-being."
―The Medjay, Bayek, to his son, Khemu, 49 BCE.[src]
ACO Medjay badge

Bayek showing his Medjay badge

The Medjay were an elite Egyptian paramilitary police force who served and acted as desert scouts and protectors of areas of Pharaonic interest throughout the Old, Middle, and New Kingdom periods of Egypt. The sworn guardians of the pharaoh and the nation; at their peak, the Medjay were highly esteemed and perceived as the very symbol of true honor, courage, and duty. For this reason, their badge was emblazoned with the Eye of Horus, an emblem representing the protection of the Egyptian people.

History

The Medjay were originally established during the Old Kingdom of Egypt and were tasked with the protection of the pharaoh's people. As the most trusted guards to the pharaoh, they were considered as the ultimate protector of the gods and the people.[1]

By the time of the Ptolemaic dynasty, however, the Medjay had faded away, with Bayek of Siwa being one of the few remaining. Bayek's duties largely revolved around him acting as a sheriff of sorts for his community. His wife, Aya, also served as a Medjay. Despite their duties being largely taken over by the Phylakitai, Egyptians throughout the land still recognized the symbol of the Medjay, hailing Bayek as a "protector".[1]

In 48 BCE, Cleopatra appealed to Bayek's sense of duty by making him "Egypt's Medjay", granting him a golden badge to replace his original leather one. Bayek's closest friend, Hepzefa, was also noted as a Medjay in Siwa, having taken on Bayek's duties after he left on his journey of vengeance against the Order of the Ancients.[2] After Hepzefa's death, Bayek was the last of the Medjay, a title he eventually discarded upon the foundation of the Hidden Ones.[1]

Prayer of The Medjay

"Every morning of my childhood, my father and I spoke the Prayer of the Medjay, a promise to those in need. "I am a Medjay. I am a feather in the eagle's wing... a living dagger, plunged from the sky into the heart of chaos. I am a truth unknown... a scabbard unfilled... a son of the Nile... and a defender of the people. You cannot kill me, for I walk among the dead. Come forth by day, and I will guide you home." My son should have learned this prayer from me."
―Bayek's thoughts at the end of Taimhotep's Song

Like the Assassins, who evolved as a direct result of the Medjay teachings, the Medjay had their own guiding principles that dictated their way of life. Like the Creed of the Assassins, the Prayer of the Medjay was passed down orally; Bayek reminisced about it, his own childhood, when watching over a protective ritual performed by Taimhotep and her maidservant Mara for Taimhotep's unborn child, and how he should have taught it to his son before his untimely death.[3]

Members

Ptolemaic Egypt

Trivia

  • In Assassin's Creed: Desert Oath, the Medjay are mentioned as having their own bloodlines, like many families in the Assassin Brotherhood.
  • Historically, there is no attestation for the Medjay's continued existence past the Twentieth Dynasty.[4]

Gallery

Appearances

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Assassin's Creed: Origins
  2. Assassin's Creed: OriginsEgypt's Medjay
  3. Assassin's Creed: OriginsTaimhotep's Song
  4. Wilkinson, Toby (2005). Dictionary of Ancient Egypt. Thames & Hudson.