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The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt af Toby…

The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt (udgave 2017)

af Toby Wilkinson (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
8902022,634 (3.96)15
In this magnificent history, Toby Wilkinson combines grand narrative sweep with detailed knowledge of hieroglyphs and the iconography of power, to reveal Ancient Egypt in all its complexity--from the brutality and repression that lay behind the appearance of its unchanging monarchy to its extraordinary architectural and cultural achievements.… (mere)
Titel:The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt
Forfattere:Toby Wilkinson (Forfatter)
Info:Tantor Audio (2017), Edition: MP3 Una
Samlinger:Paul, Nonfiction, Dit bibliotek
Nøgleord:Nonfiction, History, Ancient Egypt, Africa, Greece, Ancient Greece

Work Information

The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt af Toby Wilkinson


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Engelsk (18)  Hollandsk (1)  Spansk (1)  Alle sprog (20)
Viser 1-5 af 20 (næste | vis alle)
I should have known. The title alone, that simplistic ‘The Rise and Fall’, did not bode well. Nevertheless, I was convinced by the rave reviews, also in renowned newspapers. Note: this is written with verve, and so it certainly appeals to those who want a short overview of ancient Egyptian history. But there's the rub: Wilkinson has systematically described all of Egyptian history in 20th-21st century terms, that is, in terms of an anti-statist conservative. Constantly, Wilkinson describes Ancient Egyptian society as dictatorial, authoritarian, and even totalitarian. My suspicion is that he had a current agenda with this book. I don't want to compromise his knowledge and skills, but with this simplistic and anachronistic approach he has done the historiography of ancient Egypt no favors at all. More in my History account on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/5059998714. ( )
  bookomaniac | Jun 1, 2023 |
Toby Wilkinson’s The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt examines the history of pharaonic Egypt from the earliest nomadic herdsmen and their eventual unification under King Narmer all the way down to Cleopatra roughly three thousand years later. He describes how the role of kingship and state religion became intertwined in ancient Egypt, creating a powerful elite who glorified themselves and thus maintained their power over one of the most prosperous empires of the ancient world, though they did so at the expense of workers and farmers. As Wilkinson writes, “in early Egypt, the kings were the gods. Monarchy was not just an integral part of religion; the two were synonymous” (p. 36). Kings used the symbol of the mace both to demonstrate subjugation of foreign adversaries and to command the respect of their own people. Popular art and literature, some of which survives from the Middle and New Kingdoms, directly link obedience to the pharaoh with Egyptian identity. The learned elite were the primary audience for works such as The Tale of Sinuhe, which cautioned them against betraying the power the pharaoh granted them in exchange for loyalty (p. 149).

In the New Kingdom, the cult of the pharaoh eventually broke down due to inept administration at all levels, leading to one of the first recorded strikes when laborers working on the royal tomb did not receive their food and pay (p. 335). Wilkinson demonstrates how this break down in pharaonic power under Ramses III foreshadowed the eventual end of native pharaonic rule, opening Egypt to rulers from Libya, Nubia, Persia, Greece, and Rome. The internecine fighting between various factions with foreign ties laying claim to the throne of Egypt. The last effort of an Egyptian sovereign to reclaim power only doomed the institution further. Wilkinson writes of Amenirdis (404 – 399 BCE), “By seizing power through cunning and brute force, he had stripped away any remaining mystique from the office of pharaoh, revealing the kingship for what it had become (or, behind the heavy veil of decorum and propaganda, had always been) – the preeminent political trophy” (p. 430). This set the stage for pharaonic Egypt’s last gasp under the Ptolemaic dynasty.

Wilkinson’s history boldly recounts over three thousand years of history using a variety of historical, archaeological, climatological, and other sources filtered through a Foucauldian lens of power relationships in order to challenge the traditional top-down history of Egypt often written by the pharaohs – or their inner circles – which took for granted the role of power in their society. Naturally, such a work condenses events, but Wilkinson successfully captures the drama of each pharaoh, pointing the way for future reading while providing an essential introduction for those looking to learn about pharaonic civilization as it continues to capture the modern imagination all these millennia later. ( )
  DarthDeverell | Jan 8, 2023 |
Another great novel by Toby Wilkerson. ( )
  Huba.Library | Oct 25, 2022 |
The Battle of Kadesh was fought in 1274 BC in an strategic location. When that battle was fought the Great Pyramid at Giza was almost 1300 years old.

2500 years after the battle of Kadesh the crusaders, also recognizing the strategic location of the place, built their principal fortress, Krak des Chevaliers, in a near location. The last pharaoh of Egypt was crowned more than 1200 years after this battle.

That gives you an idea that Ancient Egypt was indeed very ancient, and very enduring.
This book is an excellent introduction to this civilization and hence, the 5 stars. ( )
  Pindarix | Jul 15, 2021 |
A thorough and well reasoned travelogue through ancient Egyptian history from the earliest settlements to the death of Cleopatra, focused primarily on the Archaic Period until the close of the New Kingdom.

Much of the work does focus on the "great men" since their records have been preserved, but the author will supplement with what can be known about the lives of "average" Egyptians throughout the period.

The author does well with high quality socio-political and cultural analysis of ancient Egyptian history. From beginning to end Egypt is understood both in its own terms and as part of its greater world: the ancient Near East, the Nubians/Kushites, and the Greeks, and their influences are explained. The author analyzes how the fundamental principles of the civilization developed in the predynastic, Archaic, and early Old Kingdom periods, and how that time was Egypt's most stable even if most autocratic. He explains the crisis that led to the collapse of the Old Kingdom well, and the disaster of the civil war known as the First Intermediate Period. He set forth how the Middle Kingdom established itself in response to these events, and how they succeeded and failed. Much more is made of the Hyksos than anything else in the Second Intermediate Period, and for good reason; the author is fair in regards to his assessment of them and what they attempted to do, and set forth how the descendants of Sequenra Taa proved more successful than he did and defeated both the Kushites and the Hyksos to establish the New Kingdom. Much is made of the New Kingdom, its empire, the building programs, the ideology, the foreign policy, and how it all collapsed under its own weight and emphasis on the army. The author then framed the Third Intermediate Period as first Libyan and then Kushite rule over Egypt; the humiliation of the Kushites by the Assyrians (perhaps being a bit too harsh on the Kushites); and considered the Twenty-Sixth dynasty to be outmatched by the situation in which they found themselves, considering the invasion and defeat at the hands of Cambyses all but inevitable. The last flowering of native rule and its love of animal mummies is described; the Ptolemies are given decent coverage, even though the conclusion with the priesthood of Ptah and the last Cleopatra is a little overdone. The author concludes with the long-term influence Egyptian civilization has provided over the West.

A magisterial and highly recommended history of ancient Egypt. ( )
  deusvitae | Jun 16, 2021 |
Viser 1-5 af 20 (næste | vis alle)
Toby Wilkinson's The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt stands in the great tradition of Breasted but incorporates much new archaeological information. With a literary flair and a sense for a story well told, Mr. Wilkinson offers a highly readable, factually up-to-date account of what we know about Egyptian political history. . . .

Mr. Wilkinson energetically chronicles the deeds of the great kings [and] . . . also brings us, intimately sometimes, into a world of everyday Egyptians, one revealed only in the last century by the work of scholars systemically studying Egyptian material culture. Documents give glimpses, all too occasionally but clearly, of labor camps, workers strikes and — at the end of the New Kingdom — even robbery of the royal tombs. . . .

Mr. Wilkinson puts too much emphasis on the importance of the dynasties. This is still the norm in Egyptian history, but it does not tell us much about the driving forces of historical change, which included climatic crises — manifested in wild Nile flooding — and exogenous shocks such as invasion. . . .

Elsewhere in The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt, Mr. Wilkinson rightly stresses the brutal nature of the Egyptian state. "Autocratic regimes," he says, "live and die by force, and ancient Egypt was no exception." "The most chilling example of this tendency," he suggests, "can be seen in the tombs of Egypt's early rulers . . . where dismembered bodies of several individuals had clearly been interred with the tomb owner." . . .

Mr. Wilkinson's account shares with Breasted's one unfortunate flaw — epitomized by this book's title. Mr. Wilkinson sees the first millennium as one of great decline, a "fall" from a supposed golden age. . . . But in fact this was a crucial period in the evolution of Egyptian civilization. . . . [It] saw the first Greek merchants and soldiers arrive in Egypt, the introduction of coinage and (as Herodotus tells us) the circumnavigation of Africa. A period of change, no doubt. But "change and decay," as Mr. Wilkinson has it? I demur.
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"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my words, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

—Percy Bysshe Shelley, "Ozymandias"
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Two hours before sunset on November 26, 1922, the English Egyptologist Howard Carter and three companions entered a rock-cut corridor dug into the floor of the Valley of the Kings. (Introduction)
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In this magnificent history, Toby Wilkinson combines grand narrative sweep with detailed knowledge of hieroglyphs and the iconography of power, to reveal Ancient Egypt in all its complexity--from the brutality and repression that lay behind the appearance of its unchanging monarchy to its extraordinary architectural and cultural achievements.

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