The Twilight of Ancient Egypt: First Millennium, B.C.E.

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Ithaca, New York 2000 Paperback First Paperback Edition; First Printing New 0801486300. Unmarked book, no remainder marks; 0.7 x 9 x 6.1 Inches; 232 pages.

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Karol Mysliwiec surveys a turbulent time in Ancient Egyptian culture and history—the eight hundred years between the eleventh century B.C.E. and the conquest of Egypt by Alexander the Great in 332 B.C.E., after which Egypt became part of the Hellenistic world. It was a time when Libyans, Kushites, Persians, and Greeks ascended to the throne more frequently than did indigenous kings. The history of this phase of pharaonic Egypt, marked by rapid changes in rule, has been relatively neglected until now.

Egypt had become increasingly involved in the affairs of its Near Eastern neighbors (Assyria, Babylon, and Persia) and of the Mediterranean world. These many cultures greatly enriched and influenced pharaonic traditions. At the same time, Egyptian civilization extended far beyond the borders of Egypt itself. One of the most important cultural products of this period is the Old Testament, called here "an inestimable source of information on daily life in pharaonic Egypt."Mysliwiec perceives in recent archaeological discoveries clear evidence that the first millennium B.C.E. was witness to more than a slow, progressive dying out of the pharaonic past; new and creative elements profoundly altered the culture of Ancient Egypt.

Originally published in Polish, The Twilight of Ancient Egypt appeared in 1998 in a German edition. The Cornell edition has been updated by the author and also contains previously unpublished photographs of recently discovered treasures.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
With Valley of the Golden Mummies, leading Egyptologist Hawass (Silent Images: Women in Pharaonic Egypt)--director general of the Giza Pyramids and field director of the Bahariya Oasis excavations--offers a richly illustrated chronicle of exploration and discovery at the oasis. It has as its centerpiece 105 highly publicized mummies from the Greco-Roman period, many of them adorned with gilded masks and ornaments. This is the most significant find in Egypt since the mid-1990s revelation of Tomb KV5, the complex burial site of many sons of Ramses II and cultural survey of the site adds depth to the study. Myliwiec (director, Research Ctr. for Mediterranean Archaeology, Polish Academy of Sciences; Egyptian archaeology, Warsaw Univ.) has updated the content and illustrations of the 1998 German edition of his 1993 Polish publication for this English-language version of The Twilight of Ancient Egypt. The coverage, spanning 1069-30 B.C.E., surpasses that of K.A. Kitchen's The Third Intermediate Period in Egypt, 1100-650 BC (Aris & Phillips, 1996) and is more readily accessible to the nonspecialist. During this vibrant period, Egypt was governed by a succession of foreign rulers who adopted Egyptian ways, interrupted by native princes who asserted their claims to be pharaoh. Libyans, Nubians, Persians, and finally the Macedonian Greeks brought new ideas and diversity to a land previously convinced of its cultural superiority. The author includes extensive quotations from contemporary historical texts as part of his narrative, an excellent bibliography, and a comparative chronology of Egypt, Western Asia, Mesopotamia/Persia, and Greece. Both publications are well suited to general readers and will be quality additions to any library's holdings in ancient history and archaeology.--Edward K. Werner, St. Lucie Cty. Lib. Syst., Ft. Pierce, FL Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801486302
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/2000
  • Series: 2/25/2010
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.13 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Table of Contents

Translator's Note
The Dualistic Vision of the World and the Paradox of Ancient Egypt's History
Dualistic Concepts 1
The Uniting of the Two Lands 6
Egypt's Imperialistic Era: The New Kingdom 14
The Decline of the New Kingdom 17
The Report of Wenamun 22
Amun's Two Capitals: Thebes and Tants (Dynasties 21-24)
Dynasty 21 27
Mummy Caches 35
Tanis and Israel 40
Dynasty 22 41
Shoshenq I's Campaign to Israel 44
The Bubastid Portal of Osorkon II 46
Domestic Policy 47
The Chronicle of Prince Osorkon 51
Political Fragmentation and Threat from Abroad 56
Discovery of the Serapeum 58
Preserved Temple Structures 64
Fresh Currents from the African Interior: Kushites in Egypt (Dynasty 25)
Nubia 68
Piye's Campaign to Egypt 73
Piye's Successors 85
Shabaka's Piety 89
The "Kushite Cap" 91
The Reign of Taharqa 93
Assyrians in Egypt 105
The Saite Renaissance (Dynasty 26)
Psammetichus I 110
Artistic Developments 117
Psammetichus II 119
Herodotus on Saite Kings 122
Archaeology and the Saite Period 127
Thebes in the Saite Period 130
The End of the Dynasty 131
Challenges to Art Historians 132
Persians and Greeks on the Throne of the Pharaohs (Dynasty 27-Ptolemaic Period)
Cambyses and Darius 135
The Temple of Hibis 137
The Naos from Tuna el-Gebel 144
The Statue of Darius from Susa 146
Foreigners in Egypt 156
Struggles for Independence 158
Ritual Confirmation of Royal Power 159
The Final Decades of Independence 162
The Art and Architecture of Dynasty 30 169
The Second Persian Occupation 177
Alexander's Conquest 178
The Ptolemaic Dynasty 179
The Divine "Lords of the Two Lands": The Last Thousand Years of Pharaonic Egypt; Polish Archaeology on the Nile
The Tombs of Alexander 185
Egypt and Rome 188
Polish Archaeology in Egypt 191
Athribis 195
Artisans' Workshops 200
A Public Bath 202
A Private Bath 203
The Cultic Aspect of Baths 204
Political Symbolism 207
Bibliography 212
Comparative Chronology 219
Index 225
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