A History of Ancient Egypt / Edition 1

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Overview

Outlining the major political and cultural events, A History of Ancient Egypt is an authoritative and accessible introduction to this fascinating ancient culture.
  • An accessible chronological narrative that draws on a range of historical sources
  • Offers an up-to-date survey of ancient Egypt’s history from its origins to its domination by the Roman Empire
  • Considers social and economic life and the rich culture of ancient Egypt
  • Places Egypt’s history within its regional context, detailing interactions with Asia and Africa
  • Engages students with various perspectives on a range of critical issues with the Key Debate section included in each chapter
  • Makes the latest discoveries and scholarship accessible to a wide audience
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“This Historywill probably be most valuable to readers new to the subject or to non-specialists interested in aspects of Egyptian culture and in need of historical context.”  (Antiquity, 1 January 2013)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405160711
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 9/7/2010
  • Series: Blackwell History of the Ancient World Series, #1
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 424
  • Sales rank: 274,390
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Marc Van De Mieroop is Professor of History at Columbia University. He is the author and editor of numerous publications on the Ancient Near East and ancient Egypt, including A History of the Ancient Near East, ca. 3000 - 323 B.C., 2nd edition (Wiley-Blackwell, 2007), The Eastern Mediterranean in the Age of Ramesses II (Wiley-Blackwell, 2007) and King Hammurabi of Babylon (Wiley-Blackwell, 2005).
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations xiii

List of Color Plates xvi

List of Maps xvii

List of Boxed Texts xviii

List of Summaries of Dynastic History xx

Preface xxi

1 Introductory Concerns 1

1.1 What Is Ancient Egypt? 1

Chronological boundaries 1

Geographical boundaries 3

What is ancient Egyptian history? 4

Who are the ancient Egyptians? 5

1.2 Egypt’s Geography 7

The Nile River 7

The desert 8

Climate 10

Frontiers and links 10

1.3 The Makeup of Egyptian Historical Sources 10

Papyri and ostraca 11

Monumental inscriptions 13

Historical criticism 13

1.4 The Egyptians and Their Past 14

King lists 14

Egyptian concepts of kingship 18

1.5 The Chronology of Egyptian History 19

Modern subdivisions of Egyptian history 19

Absolute chronology 20

1.6 Prehistoric Developments 21

The beginning of agriculture 21

Naqada I and II periods 23

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

2.1 Sources 30

2.2 Royal Cemeteries and Cities 31

The Late Naqada culture 31

Dynasty 0 32

2.3 The First Kings 33

Images of war 33

The unification of Egypt 35

2.4 Ideological Foundations of the New State 36

Kings 36

Cemeteries 37

Festivals 37

Royal annals and year names 38

Gods and cults 39

Bureaucracy 40

2.5 The Invention of Writing 42

Precursors at Abydos 43

Hieroglyphic script 43

2.6 Foreign Relations 47

The Uruk culture of Babylonia 47

Late-fourth-millennium Nubia 48

Late-fourth-millennium Palestine 49

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? 66

Problems of royal succession 67

The gods Horus and Ra 69

3.5 Foreign Relations 71

Contacts with Nubia 71

Contacts with Asia 71

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) 78

4.1 Sources 79

4.2 The Rise of the Regions and Political Fragmentation 80

Nomes and nomarchs 80

Mortuary texts 81

Officials’ biographies 84

Pepy II 84

Why did the Old Kingdom dissolve? 86

4.3 Foreign Relations 88

Nubian independence 88

Beyond the Nile Valley 91

Mercenaries 91

4.4 Competition between Herakleopolis and Thebes 93

Herakleopolis 93

Thebes 93

4.5 Appraising the First Intermediate Period 94

Middle Kingdom literary refl ections 94

Historical critique 95

5 The Middle Kingdom (ca. 2055–1650) 97

5.1 Sources and Chronology 98

5.2 Kings and Regional Elites 100

Reunification and the 11th dynasty 100

The start of the 12th dynasty and the foundation of Itj-tawi 101

Provincial powers in the early Middle Kingdom 103

Royal interference in the provinces 104

Administrative centralization 106

Royal power in the 13th dynasty 107

5.3 Kings as Warriors 108

The annexation of Nubia 112

5.4 Egypt in the Wider World 114

The early Kingdom of Kush 114

The eastern desert and Sinai 115

Syria and Palestine 117

The world beyond 117

Rhetoric and practice in foreign relations 118

5.5 The Cult of Osiris 120

5.6 Middle Kingdom Literature and Its Impact on

Egyptian Culture 121

6 The Second Intermediate Period and the Hyksos (ca. 1700–1550) 126

6.1 Sources and Chronology 127

6.2 Avaris: The Multiple Transformations of a Delta City 128

A history of Avaris 128

Cultural hybridity 129

Other immigrants 131

6.3 The Hyksos 131

The name Hyksos 131

Hyksos origins 132

Egyptian cultural influences 132

Political history 134

The 14th and 16th dynasties 135

Hyksos rule in Palestine? 135

6.4 Nubia and the Kingdom of Kush 136

The independence of Lower Nubia 136

The Kingdom of Kush 136

Kerma 137

The extent of the Kingdom of Kush 140

6.5 Thebes in the Middle 141

Royal tombs 141

Seqenenra Taa 142

Kamose’s war 143

6.6 The Hyksos in Later Perspective 144

Queen Hatshepsut 144

The gods Ra and Seth 145

Manetho and Josephus 147

7 The Birth of Empire: The Early 18th Dynasty (ca. 1550–1390) 151

7.1 Egypt in a New World Order 154

7.2 Sources and Chronology 155

7.3 Egypt at War 157

War and society in the New Kingdom 157

The “war of liberation” 159

The annexation of Nubia 161

Wars in western Asia 164

7.4 Egypt and the Outside World 167

7.5 Domestic Issues 169

Royal succession 169

Hatshepsut 171

Royal mortuary customs 175

New Kingdom bureaucracy 177

Building activity in the early 18th dynasty 180

8 The Amarna Revolution and the Late 18th Dynasty (ca. 1390–1295) 184

8.1 An International Age 186

The Club of the Great Powers 187

The administration of Syria and Palestine 189

The rise of the Hittites 191

A failed marriage alliance 191

8.2 Amenhotep III: The Sun King 192

Amenhotep III’s divinity and his building projects 193

The king’s family 196

The king’s court 197

8.3 From Amenhotep III to Amenhotep IV/Akhenaten 199

8.4 Akhenaten 200

Theban years (years 1 to 5) 200

Akhetaten (years 5 to 12) 202

Turmoil (years 12 to 17) 206

Akhenaten’s successors 206

8.5 Akhenaten’s Memory 209

9 The Ramessid Empire (ca. 1295–1203) 213

9.1 Domestic Policy: Restoration and Renewal 215

Sety I 215

Rameses II 216

9.2 International Relations: Reforming the Empire 219

Wars in Syria 219

Egyptian–Hittite peace 222

A new imperial structure 223

Foreigners in Egypt 225

9.3 Rameses’s Court 227

Officials 227

The royal family 230

9.4 A Community of Tomb Builders 233

10 The End of Empire (ca. 1213–1070) 240

10.1 Problems at Court 242

Sety II and Amenmessu 242

Saptah and Tausret 243

Sethnakht 244

10.2 Breakdown of Order 245

Tomb robberies 245

Workers’ strikes 247

10.3 The Decline of Royal Power 247

10.4 Pressures from Abroad 250

Libyans and Sea Peoples 250

The end of the international system 255

10.5 End of the New Kingdom 256

11 The Third Intermediate Period (ca. 1069–715) 260

11.1 Sources and Chronology 261

11.2 Twin Cities: Thebes and Tanis (the 21st dynasty, 1069–945) 264

Thebes 265

Tanis 267

The concordat 269

11.3 Libyan Rule (22nd to 24th dynasties, 945–715) 272

Centralization and diffusion of power 272

The God’s Wife of Amun 274

11.4 The End of the Third Intermediate Period 276

Nubian resurgence 276

Saite expansion 278

12 Egypt in the Age of Empires (ca. 715–332) 283

12.1 Sources and Chronology 284

12.2 The Eastern Mediterranean in the First Millennium 286

12.3 Egypt, Kush, and Assyria (ca. 715–656) 290

Military incidents 290

12.4 Egypt, Greeks, and Babylonians (656–525) 295

Greek–Egyptian relations 295

Military activity 299

12.5 Recollections of the Past under the Kings of Kush and Sais 300

12.6 Egypt and Persia (525–332) 304

Domination and resistance 305

Mixing cultures 310

13 Greek and Roman Egypt (332 BC–AD 395) 316

13.1 Sources and Chronology 317

13.2 Alexandria and Philae 319

Alexandria 319

Philae 322

13.3 Kings, Queens, and Emperors 325

The Ptolemies 325

Queen Cleopatra VII 327

Roman Egypt 328

13.4 Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians 329

Administration 329

Culture and religion 332

13.5 Economic Developments: Agriculture, Finance, and Trade 336

13.6 The African Hinterland 338

13.7 The Christianization of Egypt 341

Epilogue 344

Guide to Further Reading 346

Glossary 358

King List 362

Bibliography 368

Index 387

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