The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt

The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt

Book - 2011 | 1st U.S. ed.
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An authoritative history of a three-thousand-year period from the birth of the world's first nation-state to its absorption into the Roman Empire includes comprehensive coverage of such topics as its government, the influence of religion, and the roles of women.
Publisher: New York : Random House, [2011].
Edition: 1st U.S. ed.
ISBN: 9780553805536
Branch Call Number: 932 WILKI
Characteristics: xxxvi, 611 p. : ill. (chiefly col.), maps ; 25 cm.


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Jul 09, 2018

This is an excellent, thorough, and highly-readable account of the ancient Egyptian ruling dynasties. I found myself genuinely curious as to what would happen next as the fortunes of the Egyptian ruling class rose and fell and rose and fell. It left me wanting a companion book that described the life and culture of "normal" citizens; this book focuses on the actions of the ruling class. The pharaohs employed hundreds of artisans and I'm curious to their methods now. How did they influence and were influenced by nearby cultures? When were various techniques developed? That said, this book is a great introduction to ancient Egypt and contains an excellent index and bibliography. If you want to learn about ancient Egypt, start here.

Mar 01, 2018

Though I was eagerly anticipating reading this book, I was a bit disappointed (perhaps by expecting too much: 2500 years in 485 pages). The first part, dealing with the Old Kingdom (builders of the great pyramids) was one hundred pages and seemed to zip through the various kings, with relatively little about the religion, how the religion functioned to control society, the economy, the military, or even demographics. And it was fairly dry, with one fact after another. The writing was better for subsequent parts and more aspects of society were discussed, but very briefly. The accounts of monumental battles of Megiddo and Kadesh were assisted with maps (one each). The latter Ramesses and post New Kingdom history (about a thousand years) was rushed through; major developments in agriculture and international affairs were very quickly covered. Most of the book had the flavor of the reader being told, rather than explained. There were several maps, but no graphs; extensive notes (though some entries are silly, like the back cover description/blurb of a popular history book which was quoted), and bibliography, and index.

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