A History of Ancient Egypt
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A History of Ancient Egypt

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Explore the entire history of the ancient Egyptian state from 3000 B.C. to 400 A.D. with this authoritative volume The newly revised Second Edition of A History of Ancient Egypt delivers an up-to-date survey of ancient Egypt's history from its origins to the Roman Empire's banning of hieroglyphics in the fourth century A.D. The book covers developments in all aspects of Egypt's history and their historical sources, considering the social and economic life and the rich culture of ancient Egypt. Freshly updated to take into account recent discoveries, the book makes the latest scholarship accessible to a wide audience, including introductory undergraduate students. A History of Ancient Egypt outlines major political and cultural events and places Egypt's history within its regional context and detailing interactions with western Asia and Africa. Each period of history receives equal attention and a discussion of the problems scholars face in its study. The book offers a foundation for all students interested in Egyptian culture by providing coverage of topics like: A thorough introduction to the formation of the Egyptian state between the years of 3400 B.C. and 2686 B.C. An exploration of the end of the Old Kingdom and First Intermediate period, from 2345 B.C. to 2055 B.C. An analysis of the Second Intermediate Period and the Hyksos between 1700 B.C. and 1550 B.C. A discussion of Greek and Roman Egypt between 332 B.C. and A.D. 395. Perfect for students of introductory courses in ancient Egyptian history and as background material for students of courses in Egyptian art, archaeology, and culture, A History of Ancient Egypt will also earn a place in the libraries of students taking surveys of the ancient world and those seeking a companion volume to A History of the Ancient Near East.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 416 pages
  • 180 x 253 x 24mm | 802g
  • Wiley-Blackwell
  • Hoboken, United States
  • English
  • 2nd ed.
  • 1119620872
  • 9781119620877
  • 460,074

Back cover copy

Explore the entire history of the ancient Egyptian state from 3000 B.C. to 400 A.D. with this authoritative volume

The newly revised Second Edition of A History of Ancient Egypt delivers an up-to-date survey of ancient Egypt's history from its origins to the Roman Empire's banning of hieroglyphics in the fourth century A.D. The book covers developments in all aspects of Egypt's history and their historical sources, considering the social and economic life and the rich culture of ancient Egypt.

Freshly updated to take into account recent discoveries, the book makes the latest scholarship accessible to a wide audience, including introductory undergraduate students. A History of Ancient Egypt outlines major political and cultural events and places Egypt's history within its regional context and detailing interactions with western Asia and Africa. Each period of history receives equal attention and a discussion of the problems scholars face in its study. The book offers a foundation for all students interested in Egyptian culture by providing coverage of topics like: A thorough introduction to the formation of the Egyptian state between the years of 3400 B.C. and 2686 B.C. An exploration of the end of the Old Kingdom and First Intermediate period, from 2345 B.C. to 2055 B.C. An analysis of the Second Intermediate Period and the Hyksos between 1700 B.C. and 1550 B.C. A discussion of Greek and Roman Egypt between 332 B.C. and A.D. 395.

Perfect for students of introductory courses in ancient Egyptian history and as background material for students of courses in Egyptian art, archaeology, and culture, A History of Ancient Egypt will also earn a place in the libraries of students taking surveys of the ancient world and those seeking a companion volume to A History of the Ancient Near East.
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Table of contents

List of Illustrations xii

Maps xxviii

Preface to the Second Edition xxix

1 Introductory Concerns 1

1.1 What is Ancient Egypt? 1

Chronological boundaries 1

Geographical boundaries 2

What is ancient Egyptian history? 3

Who are the ancient Egyptians? 4

1.2 Egypt's Geography 6

The Nile River 8

The desert 9

Climate 10

Frontiers and links 11

1.3 The Makeup of Egyptian Historical Sources 12

Papyri and ostraca 12

Monumental inscriptions 14

Historical criticism 14

1.4 The Egyptians and Their Past 15

King lists 15

Egyptian concepts of kingship 19

1.5 The Chronology of Egyptian History 20

Modern subdivisions of Egyptian history 20

Absolute chronology 20

1.6 Prehistoric Developments 21

The beginning of agriculture 21

Naqada I and II periods 24

2 The Formation of the Egyptian State (ca. 3400-2686) 27

2.1 Sources 29

2.2 Royal Cemeteries and Cities 31

The Late Naqada culture 31

Dynasty 0 31

2.3 The First Kings 33

Images of war 33

The unification of Egypt 34

2.4 Ideological Foundations of the New State 35

Kings 35

Cemeteries 36

Festivals 36

Royal annals and year names 37

Gods and cults 38

Bureaucracy 40

2.5 The Invention of Writing 42

Precursors at Abydos 42

Hieroglyphic script 42

2.6 Foreign Relations 47

The Uruk culture of Babylonia 47

Late 4th-millennium Nubia 50

Late 4th-millennium Palestine 50

3 The Great Pyramid Builders (ca. 2686-2345) 52

3.1 Sources 53

3.2 The Evolution of the Mortuary Complex 55

Djoser's step pyramid at Saqqara 56

Sneferu's three pyramids 57

The great pyramids at Giza 58

Solar temples of the 5th dynasty 61

3.3 Administrating the Old Kingdom State 62

Neferirkara's archive at Abusir 62

Officialdom 64

3.4 Ideological Debates? 67

Problems of royal succession 67

The gods Horus and Ra 69

3.5 Foreign Relations 70

Contacts with Nubia 71

Contacts with Asia 72

The western desert 72

3.6 Later Traditions about the Old Kingdom 73

Djoser and Imhotep 73

Sneferu 74

The great pyramid builders 74

4 The End of the Old Kingdom and the First Intermediate Period (ca. 2345-2055) 77

4.1 Sources 78

4.2 The Rise of the Regions and Political Fragmentation 79

Nomes and nomarchs 79

Officials' biographies 79

Pepy II 83

Why did the Old Kingdom dissolve? 84

4.3 Foreign Relations 87

Nubian independence 87

The eastern desert and the Levant 89

Mercenaries 90

4.4 Competition between Herakleopolis and Thebes 90

Herakleopolis 90

Thebes 90

4.5 Appraising the First Intermediate Period 92

Middle Kingdom literary reflections 92

Historical critique 93

5 The Middle Kingdom (ca. 2055-1650) 95

5.1 Sources and Chronology 96

5.2 Kings and Regional Elites 98

Reunification and the 11th dynasty 99

The start of the 12th dynasty and the foundation of Itj-tawi 99

Provincial powers in the early Middle Kingdom 101

Royal interference in the provinces 102

Administrative reorganization 104

Royal power in the 13th dynasty 104

5.3 Kings as Warriors 107

The annexation of Nubia 110

5.4 Egypt in the Wider World 112

The early Kingdom of Kush 112

The eastern desert and Sinai 112

Syria and Palestine 114

The world beyond 114

Rhetoric and practice in foreign relations 115

5.5 The Cult of Osiris 116

5.6 Middle Kingdom Literature and its Impact on Egyptian Culture 118

6 The Second Intermediate Period and the Hyksos (ca. 1700-1550) 122

6.1 Sources and Chronology 123

6.2 Avaris: Multiple Transformations of a Delta Harbor 124

A history of Avaris 124

Cultural hybridity 125

Other immigrants 127

6.3 The Hyksos 127

The name Hyksos 127

Hyksos origins 127

Egyptian cultural influences 128

Political history 130

The 14th and 16th dynasties 131

Hyksos rule in Palestine? 131

6.4 Nubia and the Kingdom of Kush 131

The independence of Lower Nubia 131

The Kingdom of Kush 132

Kerma 132

The extent of the Kingdom of Kush 134

6.5 Thebes in the Middle 136

Royal tombs 136

Seqenenra Taa 137

Kamose's war 137

6.6 The Hyksos in Later Perspective 138

Queen Hatshepsut 139

The gods Ra and Seth 139

Manetho and Josephus 141

7 The Birth of Empire: The Early 18th Dynasty (ca. 1550-1390) 145

7.1 Egypt in a New World Order 148

7.2 Sources and Chronology 149

7.3 Egypt at War 150

War and society in the New Kingdom 150

The "war of liberation" 152

The annexation of Nubia 153

Wars in western Asia 157

7.4 Egypt and the Outside World 159

7.5 Domestic Issues 162

Royal succession 162

Hatshepsut 163

Royal funerary customs 167

New Kingdom bureaucracy 169

Building activity in the early 18th dynasty 171

8 The Amarna Revolution and the Late 18th Dynasty (ca. 1390-1295) 175

8.1 An International Age 177

The Club of the Great Powers 178

The administration of Syria and Palestine 179

The rise of the Hittites 181

A failed marriage alliance 182

8.2 Amenhotep III: The Sun King 182

Amenhotep III's divinity and his building projects 183

The king's family 186

The king's court 187

8.3 From Amenhotep III to Amenhotep IV/Akhenaten 188

8.4 Akhenaten 189

Theban years (years 1 to 5) 191

Akhetaten (years 5 to 12) 192

Turmoil (years 12 to 17) 196

Akhenaten's successors 197

8.5 Akhenaten's Memory 199

9 The Ramessid Empire (ca. 1295-1213) 203

9.1 Domestic Policy: Restoration and Renewal 205

Sety I 205

Rameses II 206

9.2 International Relations: Reforming the Empire 209

Wars in Syria 209

Egyptian-Hittite peace 212

A new imperial structure 212

Foreigners in Egypt 214

9.3 Rameses's Court 217

Officials 217

The royal family 219

9.4 A Community of Tomb Builders 222

10 The End of Empire (ca. 1213-1070) 229

10.1 Problems at Court 231

Sety II and Amenmessu 232

Saptah and Tausret 233

Sethnakht 233

10.2 Breakdown of Order 235

Tomb robberies 235

Workers' strikes 236

10.3 The Decline of Royal Power 237

10.4 Pressures from Abroad 239

Libyans and Sea Peoples 239

The end of the international system 244

10.5 End of the New Kingdom 244

11 The Third Intermediate Period (ca. 1069-715) 249

11.1 Sources and Chronology 250

11.2 Twin Cities: Tanis and Thebes (the 21st dynasty, 1069-945) 253

Tanis 254

Thebes 256

A peaceful coexistence 258

11.3 Libyan Rule (22nd to 24th dynasties, 945-715) 260

Centralization and diffusion of power 260

The God's Wife of Amun 263

11.4 The End of the Third Intermediate Period 265

Nubian resurgence 265

Saite expansion 267

12 Egypt in the Age of Empires (ca. 715-332) 272

12.1 Sources and Chronology 273

12.2 The Eastern Mediterranean in the 1st Millennium 275

12.3 Egypt, Kush, and Assyria (ca. 715-656) 279

Military incidents 279

12.4 Egypt, Greeks, and Babylonians (656-525) 283

Greek-Egyptian relations 283

Military activity 286

12.5 Recollections of the Past Under the Kings of Kush and Sais 286

12.6 Egypt and Persia (525-332) 290

Domination and resistance 291

Mixing cultures 296

13 Greek and Roman Egypt (332 bc-ad 395) 301

13.1 Sources and Chronology 302

13.2 Alexandria and Philae 304

Alexandria 304

Philae 307

13.3 Kings, Queens, and Emperors 308

The Ptolemies 309

Queen Cleopatra VII 311

Roman Egypt 312

13.4 Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians 313

Administration 313

Culture and religion 316

13.5 Economic Developments: Agriculture, Finance, and Trade 319

13.6 The African Hinterland 321

13.7 The Christianization of Egypt 324

Epilogue 327

Guide to Further Reading 329

Glossary 340

King List 343

Bibliography 349

Index 368
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About Marc Van De Mieroop

Marc Van De Mieroop is Professor of History at Columbia University and Director of Columbia's Center for the Ancient Mediterranean. He has also taught at Oxford University and Yale University. He is the author of King Hammurabi of Babylon, The Eastern Mediterranean in the Age of Ramessess II, and A History of the Ancient Near East, ca. 3000-323 B.C.
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