The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt

The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt

Book - 2010
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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.
Publisher: New York : Random House, c2010
Edition: 1st U.S. ed
ISBN: 9780553805536
Branch Call Number: History 932 Wil


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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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