A History of Ancient Egypt

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2010-08-30
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

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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

A History of Ancient Egypt provides a chronological survey of Ancient Egypt from the beginning of the Egyptian state around 3000 B.C. until the time when the Roman Empire banned the writing of hieroglyphs in the late fourth century AD.

This narrative history outlines major political and cultural events, and considers both social and economic life. Written in an authoritative and accessible style, and incorporating the latest scholarship, A History of Ancient Egypt is an invaluable resource for students of ancient Egyptian history.

Author Biography

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).

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
List of Color Photographs
List of Maps
Introductory Concerns
What is ancient Egypt?
Chronological boundaries
Geographical boundaries
What is Ancient Egyptian History?
Who are the Ancient Egyptians?
Egypt's Geography
The Nile River
The Desert
Frontiers and links
The makeup of Egyptian historical sources
Papyri and ostraca
Monumental inscriptions
Historical criticism
The Egyptians and their past
King lists
Egyptian concepts of kingship
The Chronology of Egyptian History
Modern subdivisions of Egyptian history
Absolute chronology
Prehistoric Developments
The Beginning of agriculture
Naqada I and II periods
The five names of the kings of Egypt
Egyptian city names
The formation of the Egyptian state (ca. 3400-2686)
Royal cemeteries and cities
The Late Naqada Culture
Dynasty 0
The first kings
Images of War
The Unification of Egypt
Ideological foundations of the new state
Royal Annals and Year Names
Gods and Cults
The invention of writing
Precursors at Abydos
Hieroglyphic script
Foreign Relations
The Uruk Culture of Mesopotamia
Late Fourth Millennium Nubia
Late Fourth Millennium Palestine
Languages and scripts of ancient Egypt
Canons of Egyptian art
Key Debate: The impetus to state formation in Egypt
The Great Pyramid Builders (ca. 2686-2345)
The evolution of the mortuary complex
Djoser's Step Pyramid at Saqqara
Sneferu's three pyramids
The Great Pyramids at Giza
Solar Temples of the Fifth Dynasty
Administrating the Old Kingdom State
Neferirkara's Archive at Abusir
Ideological debates?
Problems of Royal Succession
The Gods Horus and Ra
Foreign Relations
Contacts with Nubia
Contacts with Asia
Later traditions about the Old Kingdom
Djoser and Imhotep
The Great Pyramid Builders
The afterlife of the mortuary complexes
Egypt's administration
A papyrus from Abusir
A Middle Kingdom Tale about the fifth dynasty
Key Debate: How was the Great Pyramid built?
The End of the Old Kingdom and the First Intermediate Period (ca. 2345-2055 BC)
The rise of the regions and political fragmentation
Nomes and nomarchs
Mortuary Texts
Officials' biographies
Pepy II
Why did the Old Kingdom dissolve?
Foreign Relations
Nubian independence
Beyond the Nile Valley
Competition between Herakleopolis and Thebes
Appraising the First Intermediate Period
Middle Kingdom literary reflections
Historical critique
Box: Pyramid Texts and Coffin Texts
The Inscription of Pepynakht
The Tale of Pepy II and his general
Key Debate: Climate Change and the First Intermediate Period
The Middle Kingdom (ca. 2055-1650 BC)
Sources and chronology
Kings and regional elites
Reunification and the Eleventh Dynasty
The start of the twelfth Dynasty and the foundation of Itj-tawi
Provincial powers in the early Middle Kingdom
Royal interference in the provinces
Administrative centralization
Royal power in the thirteenth dynasty
Kings as warriors
The annexation of Nubia
Egypt in the wider world
The Early Kingdom of Kush
The Eastern Desert and Sinai
Syria and Palestine
The World Beyond
Rhetoric and Practice in Foreign Relations
The cult of Osiris
Middle Kingdom Literature and its impact on Egyptian culture
The Heqanakht papyri
Reading Egyptian literature
Document: The Execration Texts
Key debate: Co-regencies
The Second Intermediate period and the Hyksos (ca. 1700-1550 BC)
Sources and chronology
Avaris: the multiple transformations of a Delta city
A history of Avaris
Cultural hybridity
Other immigrants
The Hyksos
The name Hyksos
Hyksos origins
Egyptian cultural influences
Political history
The fourteenth and sixteenth dynasties
Hyksos rule in Palestine?
Nubia and the Kingdom of Kush
The independence of Lower Nubia
The Kingdom of Kush
The extent of the Kingdom of Kush
Thebes in the Middle
Royal tombs
Seqenenra Taa
Kamose's war
The Hyksos in later perspective
Queen Hatshepsut
The gods Ra and Seth
Manetho and Josephus
Box: Egyptian gods
Document: the Rhind mathematical papyrus
Key debate: Who were the Hyksos?
The Birth of Empire: The early 18th dynasty (ca. 1550-1390)
Egypt in a New World Order
Sources and Chronology
Egypt at War
War and Society in the New Kingdom
The "War of Liberation"
The Annexation of Nubia
Wars in Western Asia
Egypt and the Outside World
Domestic Issues
Royal Succession
Royal Mortuary Customs
New Kingdom Bureaucracy
Building activity in the early 18th dynasty
Box: The Tomb of Rekhmira
The biography of Ahmose, son of Ibana
The Annals of Thutmose III
Key debate: Hatshepsut's proscription
The Amarna Revolution and the late 18th Dynasty (ca. 1390-1295)
An International Age
The Club of the Great Powers
The administration of Syria and Palestine
The rise of the Hittites
A failed marriage alliance
Amenhotep III: the sun king
Amenhotep III's divinity and his building projects
The king's family
The king's court
From Amenhotep III to Amenhotep IV/Akhenaten
Theban years (years 1 to 5)
Akhetaten (years 5 to 12)
Turmoil (years 12 to 17)
Akhenaten's successors
Hymn to Aten
The Restoration Stele of Tutankhamun
Box: The city of Akhetaten
Key debate: The end of the Amarna period
Akhenaten's memory
The Ramessid Empire (ca. 1295-1203)
1) Domestic policy: restoration and renewal
Sety I
Rameses II
International relations: reforming the empire
Wars in Syria
A new imperial structure
Foreigners in Egypt
Rameses's court
The royal family
A community of tomb builders
Rameses defends his account of the battle of Qadesh
Letters from Deir el-Medina
Box: Litigation over real estate
Key debate: Markets in ancient Egypt
The End of Empire (ca. 1213-1070)
Problems at court
Sety II and Amenmessu
Saptah and Tausret
Breakdown of order
Tomb robberies
Workers' strikes
The decline of royal power
Pressures from abroad
Libyans and Sea Peoples
The end of the international system
End of the New Kingdom
Box: The Tale of Wenamun
The "Israel Stele" of Merenptah
Disregard for the king
Key Debate: The Sea Peoples
The Third Intermediate Period (ca. 1069-715)
Sources and Chronology
Twin cities: Thebes and Tanis (the 21st dynasty, 1069-945)
The Concordat
Libyan rule (22nd to 24th dynasties, 945-715)
Centralization and diffusion of power
The God's Wife of Amun
The end of the Third Intermediate Period
Nubian resurgence
Saite Expansion
Sheshonq I's accession to power
Piy's Victory stele
Key Debate: Fortresses in Middle Egypt
Egypt in the Age of Empires (ca. 715-332)
Sources and Chronology
The Eastern Mediterranean in the First Millennium
Egypt, Kush, and Assyria (ca. 715-656)
Military incidents
Egypt, Greeks, and Babylonians (656-525)
Greek-Egyptian relations
Military activity
Recollections of the past under the kings of Kush and Sais
Egypt and Persia (525-332)
Domination and resistance
Mixing Cultures
Box: The Apis bull and other animal cults
Document: The Petition of Petiese
Key Debate: King Cambyses and the Apis bull
Greek and Roman Egypt (332 BC- AD 395)
Sources and Chronology
Alexandria and Philae
Kings, queens, and emperors
The Ptolemies
Queen Cleopatra VII
Roman Egypt
Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians
Culture and Religion
Economic developments: Agriculture, finance, and trade
The African Hinterland
The Christianization of Egypt
Menches, village scribe of Kerkeosiris
Manetho's History of Egypt
Document: The Rosetta Stone
Key Debate: Greeks and Egyptians in Ptolemaic Egypt
Guide to further reading
King list
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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Customer Reviews

Valuable Information March 30, 2011
“Professor Van de Mieroop, an eminent scholar, continues his work of making ancient history accessible to all readers. Impeccably researched and with a clear narrative that flows well, the textbook is as imaginative as it is erudite. It will be invaluable to specialists and non-specialists alike, and will be especially useful to teachers. Highly recommended.”
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A History of Ancient Egypt: 5 out of 5 stars based on 1 user reviews.

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