The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt: The History of a Civilisation from 3000 BC to Cleopatra
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A lot of my extramural reading for the past while has been dedicated to books with an Egyptian theme, including Lawrence Durrell’s Alexandria Qua ...more
While I am familiar with the general outline of Egyptian history, every section had something new to say to me that enriched my understanding or revealed ...more
From first picking it up, it became hard every time I had to put it down. The combination of fluid, easy writing and the fact that this book is packed to the rafters with interesting, engaging material meant it quickly became a page-tur ...more
Schon seit Jahren interessiere ich mich für Ägypten und war daher sehr gespannt, was mich für Informationen erwarten. Und die Informationen sind sehr umfangreich - von der Entstehung des alten Ägyptens bis zu seinem Untergang (wie der Buchtitel schon sagt).
Man wird durch die verschiedenen Dynastien geführt, was in ihnen passiert ist und wie sich Ägypten an sich entwickelt hat.
The sketchy and vague coverage of the predynastic and early dynastic period was particularly disappointing, since this is the area the author is an expert on, and perhaps the one where the most excit ...more
This is a full scale history of Ancient Egypt, starting very early in pre-history and going to the death of Cleopatra. I'm not sure when the last book of this type was written, but I think it might have been before World War I (and that is WW I and not WW II). A lot has changed in what ...more
Covers some 4970 years, from unification of Upper/Lower Egypt to fall of Cleopatra. Does good job of incorporating some new conjectures as well as recent archaeological discoveries. Does tend to focus on dynastic elements a bit much, but does cover a lot of ground and does so very well, so some things may be excused. It may well be all that we know about some eras. Author ch ...more
Mr. Wilkinson has not only attempted, but delivered, a summary history of the Egyptian civilization, from conception to Cleopatra.
Aside from the scope of the work, coupled with actually having achieved it, the most remarkable thing about this book is that Mr. Wilkinson was able to craft such an accessible work.
Even when faced with source material that was both sparse, thousands of years old and almost ...more
I think 3 millennia is simply too much for one book to cover without reading badly. I'm not giving it a star rating, because I don't feel I got far enough into it to really judge it.
Read in laborious Paperback at 646 pages with Index, biblio, maps, Timeline of major events, etc.
In 2014 I read through the Oxford History of Ancient Egypt by Shaw as a group read, I'd suggest this book over Shaw's work. While they both give detailed information and cover the same time period I think Wilkinson has a stronger narrative voice which makes for a much more enriching experience. Sha ...more
"The study of ancient Egyptian civilization," Wilkinson writes, "exposes the devices by which people have been organized, cajoled, dominated, and subjugated down to the present day."
The writer who is although a researcher and a doctor in Egyptology has done a monumental effort in condensing 3000 years in about half a thousand pages.
I found many interesting parts in the book that resonates to 2010s history o ...more
Given current events in Egypt, I found much in this long bu ...more
I have several minor critici ...more
3 1/2 stars.
Comprehensive and capable but ultimately less than inspiring. It held my interest but failed to deliver a broader message. The legacy of Ancient Egypt is wrapped up in a quickie three-page epilogue that emphasizes Pharaonic contributions to pop culture. Surely there are greater lessons to be drawn from three millennia of despotic history?
Perhaps I was spoiled by having just finished Babylon: Mesopotamia and the ...more
In deze meesterlijk geschiedenis van het oude Egypte vertelt Toby Wilkinson het verhaal van een van de grootste beschavingen die ooit hebben bestaan. De geschiedenis van het oude Egypte en de uitzonderlijke beschaving die gedurende drieduizend jaar bloeide langs de oevers van de Nijl, lijkt een spektakelstuk vol bijzondere gebeurtenissen: de bouw van de piramides, de verovering van Nubia, de kracht en schoonheid van Nefertiti, de invasie van Alexander de Grote en Cleopatras fatale relatie met R...more
As a chronological summary of Ancient Egyptian history it necessarily glossess over details. Even so I began to tire on the continuous stream of Pharoahs, civil wars and megalomaniac projects halfway through the book. One can't help but to think how nasty, brutish and short l ...more
I had started reading a book on Hatshepsut, the “female king” of Egypt, when about half way through I realized that I just didn’t know enough about Egypt itself, beyond what I probably knew in third grade: pyramids, the Sphinx, and mummies.
One of the things that the book makes abundantly clear is just how long time is. The pharaonic state, as originally conceived, lasted for three ...more
Whatever the book's faults may be, lack of ambition is not one of them. Even stopping at the Battle of Actium, Egyptian history is longer than that of most nations surviving today. To paraphrase another reviewer here, Egypt has a way of making you think that 800 BC is no longer "ancient". However, the focus is so broad that many important ...more
I had no idea.
When Cleopatra took her own life in 30-something BC, she stood at the end of a 3100 year tradition. So as much time and cultural distance separated Cleopatra from the firs ...more
Wilkinson's prose makes this book far more tolerable than it has any reason to be - I'm interested but not an academic by any means on ancient Egypt, and there is just SO much information, including multiple rulers with the same name, multiple variations on the same name base, multiple locations that get renamed in the span of the book ...more
I do intend to finish this book at some point, it's just a lot to take in
Wilkinson writes in a very accessible style. The book's start is a little dry, because of the lack of written sources, but soon the rulers of Egypt become real people and one gets a sense of both their personalities and the challenges they faced.
Wilkinson challenges some old ideas about ancient Eg ...more