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The Pharaoh: Life at Court and On Campaign
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The Pharaoh: Life at Court and On Campaign

by Garry J. Shaw
 

A highly illustrated look at what it was like to be the pharaoh of Egypt, revealed through the king’s role as husband, lawmaker, judge, priest, builder, and warrior
The pharaoh is the iconic ruler from the ancient world, immortalized in stone and gold and celebrated today in countless films and books. But how did these monarchs—mortals who lived and

Overview

A highly illustrated look at what it was like to be the pharaoh of Egypt, revealed through the king’s role as husband, lawmaker, judge, priest, builder, and warrior
The pharaoh is the iconic ruler from the ancient world, immortalized in stone and gold and celebrated today in countless films and books. But how did these monarchs—mortals who lived and died like anyone else—spend their days? How did they become pharaoh? How did they govern and how were they entertained? In this vividly written and authoritative account, Garry Shaw conveys the full experience of what it was like to be pharaoh, from birth to death, in private and in public, at court and on campaign, and shows how a uniquely Egyptian vision of kingship, with its complex ideology and regalia, evolved. We follow daily events, from waking up in the palace to evenings spent banqueting; in between, the king acted as lawmaker, judge, and priest. The most important ceremonies are compellingly described, including accession, coronation, and the royal funeral, as well as the pomp and protocol of an audience before the monarch. Supplemented by numerous box features, from the internal decoration of pyramids and the women who became pharaoh to pharaonic pets, as well as quotations from contemporary sources and a king list with brief biographies of all the major pharaohs, this beautifully illustrated volume provides a comprehensive insight into the Egyptian pharaoh and his world.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this delightful and lavishly illustrated guide, Egyptologist Shaw (Royal Authority in Egypt’s Eighteenth Dynasty) introduces the fascinating lives and times of the pharaohs in elaborate detail, recreating in stories what it was like to be one. Pharaohs, who were treated as gods, were not all alike, nor did they all face the same circumstances during their reigns. As Shaw points out, the pharaohs of the Old Kingdom built the pyramids and then watched their power wane, despite a long period of artistic experimentation and territorial expansion. But with the death of Amenenhat IV, the 12th dynasty fragmented, as did Egypt, and the Hyksos came to rule the all-important Nile Delta. The outsiders were expelled eventually, and a new prosperity characterized the New Kingdom, where now-famous pharaohs such as Thutmose III and Rameses II walked tall in the halls of power. Drawing on archeological and literary evidence, Shaw reconstructs the lives of pharaohs, detailing everything from their inheritance of the throne to their elevation to divinity, from their lives of luxury in the palaces to their favorite pastimes: hunting, horsemanship, opulent festivals, and musical performances. The author helpfully provides brief biographies of most of the pharaohs, such as Hatshepsut, a strong female pharaoh who established important trading relations with one of Egypt’s neighbors, and Amenhotep IV, who briefly established monotheistic worship. Shaw’s captivating study is the perfect introduction to these fabled rulers. (Nov.)
The Historian
“This clearly written, lavishly illustrated volume presents an account of Egyptian pharaohs in their multifaceted roles in a manner that breathes life into the more conventional, monotone depictions. . . . Highly recommended to the general reader.”
Library Journal
Shaw (Egypt Exploration Society) has devoted most of his research to the daily lives of the pharaohs, and it is his intention to put a human face on the god-kings of ancient Egypt. The text here is readily accessible to the nonspecialist, richly illustrated, mostly in color, and covers the span of Egypt's history from Menes, who first united the country, to the Roman emperor Diocletian. The reader is first introduced to the mythological and archaeological origins of Egyptian kingship. A historical overview follows. Subsequent chapters explore "Becoming Pharaoh," "Being Pharaoh," "Pharaohs on Campaign," highlighting the Battle of Kadesh, "Royal Cities" founded by certain dynasties, "Pharaohs in Death," and "The Last Pharaohs" of the Ptolemaic and Roman periods. Among the topics discussed are royal succession, daily court and cultic activities, health, and pharaonic pets. A "Brief Lives" section provides a list of kings with biographical sketches of the better-known monarchs. VERDICT Highly recommended for anyone with an interest in the civilization of ancient Egypt and as a complement to Aidan Dodson and Dyan Hilton's comprehensive The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt (2010).—Edward K. Werner, St. Lucie Cty. Lib. Syst., Ft. Pierce, FL

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780500051740
Publisher:
Thames & Hudson
Publication date:
11/12/2012
Edition description:
Illustrate
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
1,064,007
Product dimensions:
7.70(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Garry J. Shaw completed his doctorate in Egyptology at the University of Liverpool, and has taught at the at the American University in Cairo.

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