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From Slave to Pharaoh: The Black Experience of Ancient Egypt

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Overview

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.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Egyptian Archaeology - Chris Naunton

A welcome addition... Professor Redford has demonstrated that more obscure material can be presented in a way that is fresh, exciting and accessible.

American Historical Review - John Ray

A detailed but spirited account of a theme that has often been marred by tendentiousness and partial thinking.

Odyssey - Mariam Ayad

From Slave to Pharaoh presents a lively account of this period of Nubian rule during Egypt's 25th Dynasty.

International Journal of African Historical Studies - Richard A. Lobban

A timely contribution to the rapidly growing literature on Nubian and Sudanese studies.

Bulletin of the American Society of Papryologists - Arthur Verhoogt

A well-argued synthesis for this period, its politics, administration, and building activity.

Journal of African History - Jacke Phillips

An easily readable volume that offers considerable insight into a convoluted period of Egyptian history.

Chronique d'Égypte - David Edwards

A welcome addition... There is much that should stimulate interest in this fascinating area.

Patterns of Prejudice - Peter J. Brand

The first example in history in history of reverse colonization!

Choice

The first full-scale study in English of relations between Egypt and Nubia in antiquity... Trenchant and illuminating observations abound.

Choice

The first full-scale study in English of relations between Egypt and Nubia in antiquity... Trenchant and illuminating observations abound.

Egyptian Archaeology
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

American Historical Review
A detailed but spirited account of a theme that has often been marred by tendentiousness and partial thinking.

— John Ray

Odyssey
From Slave to Pharaoh presents a lively account of this period of Nubian rule during Egypt's 25th Dynasty.

— Mariam Ayad

International Journal of African Historical Studies
A timely contribution to the rapidly growing literature on Nubian and Sudanese studies.

— Richard A. Lobban, Jr.

Bulletin of the American Society of Papryologists
A well-argued synthesis for this period, its politics, administration, and building activity.

— Arthur Verhoogt

Journal of African History
An easily readable volume that offers considerable insight into a convoluted period of Egyptian history.

— Jacke Phillips

Patterns of Prejudice
The first example in history in history of reverse colonization!

— Peter J. Brand

Chronique d'Egypte
A welcome addition... There is much that should stimulate interest in this fascinating area.

— David Edwards

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801885440
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2006
  • Pages: 232
  • Sales rank: 1,304,608
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.49 (d)

Meet the Author

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.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Table of Contents

1 Egyptians and nubians 5
2 The problem of frontiers 11
3 Nubia : Egypt's primary sphere of influence 19
4 "Plotting in their valleys" : the unruly tribesmen 24
5 From Chiefdom to state and back again : the final conquest of kush 31
6 The Egyptian empire in Kush 38
7 The silent years : the abandonment of lower Nubia and the rise of Napata 58
8 The Sudan invades Egypt 65
9 The invasion of Piankhy 72
10 The twenty-fourth dynasty 80
11 The resistance to assyrian expansion 86
12 "Taharqa the conqueror" 93
13 Egypt of the "black pharaohs" 101
14 Thebes under the twenty-fifth dynasty 117
15 The end of the twenty-fifth dynasty in Egypt 139
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