Tutankhamun's Armies
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Tutankhamun's Armies : Battle and Conquest During Ancient Egypt's Late Eighteenth Dynasty

By (author) John Coleman Darnell , By (author) Colleen Manassa

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The force that forged an empire. The furious thunder of thousands of hooves, the clatter and sheen of bronze armor sparkling in the desert sun, the crunch of wooden wheels racing across a rock-strewn battlefield-and leading this terrifying chariot charge, the gallant Pharaoh, the ribbons of his blue war crown streaming behind him as he launches yet another arrow into the panicking mass of his soon-to-be-routed enemies. While scenes like the one depicted above did occur in ancient Egypt, they represent only one small aspect of the vast, complex, and sophisticated military machine that secured, defended, and expanded the borders of the empire during the late Eighteenth Dynasty. In Tutankhamun's Armies, you'll discover the harsh reality behind the imperial splendor of the New Kingdom and gain a new appreciation for the formidable Egyptian army-from pharaoh to foot soldier. You'll follow "the heretic king" Akhenaten, his son Tutankhamun, and their three Amana-Period successors as they employ double-edge diplomacy and military might to defeat competing powers, quell internal insurrections, and keep reluctant subject states in line. This vivid and absorbing chronicle will forever change the way you think about the glories and riches of ancient Egypt.

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  • Hardback | 320 pages
  • 198.12 x 271.78 x 30.48mm | 589.67g
  • 31 Aug 2007
  • John Wiley & Sons Inc
  • New York
  • English
  • Illustrations, maps
  • 0471743585
  • 9780471743583
  • 428,361

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Author Information

Egyptologist John Darnell is a Professor in Yale's Department of Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations, and he has considerable field experience, currently directing expeditions in the Egyptian Western Desert. He is the author of numerous scholarly monographs and articles dealing with many aspects of pharaonic culture, history, and language. Colleen Manassa is an Assistant Professor of Egyptology in the same department. They are both experts in Egyptian military history.

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Review quote

‘…very original little book…to vividly bring to life a particular period which many people are very interested in.' (TheBrowser.com, March 2011)

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Back cover copy

The force that forged an empire. The furious thunder of thousands of hooves, the clatter and sheen of bronze armor sparkling in the desert sun, the crunch of wooden wheels racing across a rock-strewn battlefield-and leading this terrifying chariot charge, the gallant Pharaoh, the ribbons of his blue war crown streaming behind him as he launches yet another arrow into the panicking mass of his soon-to-be-routed enemies. While scenes like the one depicted above did occur in ancient Egypt, they represent only one small aspect of the vast, complex, and sophisticated military machine that secured, defended, and expanded the borders of the empire during the late Eighteenth Dynasty. In Tutankhamun's Armies, you'll discover the harsh reality behind the imperial splendor of the New Kingdom and gain a new appreciation for the formidable Egyptian army-from pharaoh to foot soldier. You'll follow "the heretic king" Akhenaten, his son Tutankhamun, and their three Amana-Period successors as they employ double-edge diplomacy and military might to defeat competing powers, quell internal insurrections, and keep reluctant subject states in line. This vivid and absorbing chronicle will forever change the way you think about the glories and riches of ancient Egypt.

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Flap copy

Tutankhamun may have been the boy king, but he had a lot of muscle behind him, as did his father Akhenaten, "the heretic king," and their successors in the Eighteenth Dynasty. As you'll discover in Tutankhamun's Armies, the ancient Egyptian Empire could not and did not endure without two key elements: a strong king skilled in the physical arts of war as well as the mental disciplines of strategy and diplomacy; and a large, complex, and sophisticated armed force equipped with state-of-the-art weaponry for battle on land and sea. Based on ancient Egyptian texts and diplomatic correspondence, inscriptions on stone monuments, and information gleaned, from a host of ancient artifacts and private tombs, this in-depth exploration of pharaoh's army fills a yawning gap in our understanding of ancient Egyptian military history, and thus, the civilization as a whole. Yale University Egyptologists John Darnell and Colleen Manassa develop a vivid picture of the forces, engagements, weaponry, strategies, tactics, and political machinations that characterized warfare during the Amarna period of the New Kingdom (1550-1335) B.C.E). It was a time when great empires vied for power and mighty kings and wily princes went to any length to secure alliances and destroy their enemies. From the daily experiences of the common soldier to the strategic decision s of pharaoh and his top generals, this engaging chronicle examines every aspect of the military life of the period. It reveals how the nature of warfare was transformed by the arrival of two powerful new weapons, the chariot and the composite bow, and explores subtle differences in the Egyptians' tactical approach depending on the nature and strength of the opposition, the terrain in which the conflict took place, and the political objective that Pharaoh hoped to achieve. The authors also offer intriguing profiles of Egypt's enemies, including the powerful Hittite Empire of modern-day Turkey and the contentious city-states of Syria and Palestine. Closer to home were the on-again, off-again subject state of Nubia, the source of most of Egypt's gold, and the fierce monads of the Libyan Desert and mountains, where Egypt's chariots were of little use in battle. Compete with a detailed introduction to the historical and geographical background of ancient Egypt and a concise history of military developments and actions in the pre-Amarna Period, Tutankhamun's Armies adds a new dimension to our understanding of ancient Egypt and the harsh reality behind its architectural splendor and dazzling treasures.

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