The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt

The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt

4.03 (1,665 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

The story of Ancient Egypt and the extraordinary civilisation that flourished along the banks of the River Nile can seem like a gorgeous pageant studded with exceptional events. Among them are the building of the pyramids, the conquest of Nubia, Akhenaten's religious revolution, the power and beauty of Nefertiti, the life and death of Tutankhamun, the ruthlessness of Ramesses, Alexander the Great's invasion, and Cleopatra's fatal entanglement with Rome which led to the fall of Ptolemaic Egypt. But while three thousand years of pharaonic civilisation have all the ingredients of an epic novel - glittering courts, dynastic intrigues, murky assassinations and epic battles; individual stories of heroism and skulduggery, of triumph and tragedy; and, powerful women and tyrannical kings - the real historical story is even more surprising and far more interesting. The Ancient Egyptians were the first group of people to share a common culture, outlook and identity within a defined geographical territory governed by a single political authority - concepts of nationhood that continue to dominate the planet. As the world's first nation-state, the history of Ancient Egypt is above all the story of the attempt to unite a disparate realm and defend it against hostile forces from within and without. In this magnificent history, Toby Wilkinson combines grand narrative sweep with detailed knowledge of hieroglyphs and the iconography of power, to reveal Ancient Egypt in all its complexity. For the first time we see the relentless propaganda, the cut-throat politics, the brutality and repression that lay behind the appearance of unchanging monarchy as well as the extraordinary architectural and cultural achievements for which it is justly famous.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 672 pages
  • 153 x 234 x 57mm | 1,098g
  • Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Colour Inserts
  • 0747599491
  • 9780747599494
  • 187,694

About Toby Wilkinson

Toby Wilkinson read Egyptology at Cambridge University. Since January 2004 he has been a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge. An acknowledged expert on ancient Egyptian civilisation, he has given lectures around the world and his international reputation has led to invitations to contribute to other major collaborative projects. He is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Egyptian History and has broadcast on radio and tv in the UK and abroad, including BBC's 'Horizon' and Channel 4's 'Private Lives of the Pharaohs', and was the consultant for the BBC's award-winning documentary on the building of the Great Pyramid. His books include the critically acclaimed Dictionary of Ancient Egypt and Genesis of the Pharaohs, and he edited the recent encyclopedia The Egyptian World. He lives in Cambridge.show more

Review quote

'A sophisticated and complete account of the world's first nation state' The Times Books of the Year 'Wilkinson's stirring and clear sighted account of the ancient world's most enduring civilisation comes as a welcome treat' Sunday Times Books of the Year 'I had always presumed, before I read Wilkinson's book, that it was impossible to write a history of Egypt which combined scholarship, accessibility, and a genuine sense of revelation. I was wrong' Observer 'A comprehensive, illustrated history focusing on the dark side of the Pharaohs and some harsh political realities' The Listshow more

Rating details

1,665 ratings
4.03 out of 5 stars
5 34% (573)
4 41% (676)
3 20% (332)
2 4% (62)
1 1% (22)
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