From Slave to Pharaoh: The Black Experience of Ancient Egypt

From Slave to Pharaoh: The Black Experience of Ancient Egypt

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By (author) Donald B. Redford

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  • Publisher: JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Format: Paperback | 232 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 226mm x 18mm | 295g
  • Publication date: 15 December 2006
  • Publication City/Country: Baltimore, MD
  • ISBN 10: 0801885442
  • ISBN 13: 9780801885440
  • Illustrations note: 38 black & white halftones, 16 black & white line drawings
  • Sales rank: 1,148,083

Product description

In From Slave to Pharaoh, noted Egyptologist Donald B. Redford examines over two millennia of complex social and cultural interactions between Egypt and the Nubian and Sudanese civilizations that lay to the south of Egypt. These interactions resulted in the expulsion of the black Kushite pharaohs of the Twenty-fifth Dynasty in 671 B.C. by an invading Assyrian army. Redford traces the development of Egyptian perceptions of race as their dominance over the darker-skinned peoples of Nubia and the Sudan grew, exploring the cultural construction of spatial and spiritual boundaries between Egypt and other African peoples. Redford focuses on the role of racial identity in the formulation of imperial power in Egypt and the legitimization of its sphere of influence, and he highlights the dichotomy between the Egyptians' treatment of the black Africans it deemed enemies and of those living within Egyptian society. He also describes the range of responses-from resistance to assimilation-of subjugated Nubians and Sudanese to their loss of self-determination. Indeed, by the time of the Twenty-fifth Dynasty, the culture of the Kushite kings who conquered Egypt in the late eighth century B.C. was thoroughly Egyptian itself. Moving beyond recent debates between Afrocentrists and their critics over the racial characteristics of Egyptian civilization, From Slave to Pharaoh reveals the true complexity of race, identity, and power in Egypt as documented through surviving texts and artifacts, while at the same time providing a compelling account of war, conquest, and culture in the ancient world.

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Author information

Donald B. Redford is a professor of classics and ancient Mediterranean studies at the Pennsylvania State University. Among his many books are (as editor) The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt and The Oxford Essential Guide to Egyptian Mythology, and (as author) Akhenaten, the Heretic King and Egypt, Canaan, and Israel in Ancient Times.

Review quote

The first full-scale study in English of relations between Egypt and Nubia in antiquity... Trenchant and illuminating observations abound. Choice 2005 A welcome addition... Professor Redford has demonstrated that more obscure material can be presented in a way that is fresh, exciting and accessible. -- Chris Naunton Egyptian Archaeology 2005 A detailed but spirited account of a theme that has often been marred by tendentiousness and partial thinking. -- John Ray American Historical Review 2005 From Slave to Pharaoh presents a lively account of this period of Nubian rule during Egypt's 25th Dynasty. -- Mariam Ayad Odyssey 2005 A timely contribution to the rapidly growing literature on Nubian and Sudanese studies. -- Richard A. Lobban, Jr. International Journal of African Historical Studies 2005 A well-argued synthesis for this period, its politics, administration, and building activity. -- Arthur Verhoogt Bulletin of the American Society of Papryologists 2005 An easily readable volume that offers considerable insight into a convoluted period of Egyptian history. -- Jacke Phillips Journal of African History 2006 A welcome addition... There is much that should stimulate interest in this fascinating area. -- David Edwards Chronique d'Egypte 2006 The first example in history in history of reverse colonization! -- Peter J. Brand Patterns of Prejudice