03 History Egypt 3100 1552

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Published on October 12, 2007

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3. History: Egypt From Dynasty 1 to Dynasty 17 (3100-1552 BCE) :  3. History: Egypt From Dynasty 1 to Dynasty 17 (3100-1552 BCE) BOT612: Old Testament Backgrounds Environment:  Environment Geography: "Egypt consists of a long valley never more than a few miles wide which the Nile traverses slowly from south to north over five hundred miles from the first cataract to Memphis. Here near the old capital, approximately where Cairo is located today, the Nile branches forming the fertile Delta which expands into a vast plain as it nears the Mediterranean. Topographically, Egypt is divided into two parts: the long and narrow Upper Egypt, limited on the east and west by mountains bordering on the desert, and the flat Lower Environment:  Environment Egypt occupying the Delta. This dualism imposed by geography deeply influenced Egyptian history, and is reflected in the native designation for Egypt tawy, which means "the two lands." [Schwantes, A Short History of the Ancient Near East, 51] Nile: "The rains in the highlands of Abyssinia and central Africa feed the White and Blue Niles and their tributaries, causing the Nile in Egypt to rise in the summer and crest in September and October." [Hallo & Simpson, The Ancient Near East: A History, 187] Chronology:  Chronology "The basic framework for the study of Egyptian history is the system of dividing its long span into thirty dynasties, or periods, to which a thirty-first was added. The original division is the work of an Egyptian priest named Manetho, who wrote in the early third century B.C., after the conquest by Alexander the Great. Manetho, wishing to stress to his royal patron the antiquity of Egypt, came at an opportune time. Of his history only garbled excerpts and a garbled summary remain." [Hallo & Simpson, The Ancient Near East: A History, 191-2] Chronology:  Chronology "A more general and meaningful patter is that to major ears and intermediate periods: the Early Dynastic Period (Dyns. 1 and 2); the Old Kingdom or Pyramid Age (Dyns. 4 through 8); the First Intermediate Period (Dyns. 9 and 10, and preconquest Dyn. 11); the Middle Kingdom Period (postconquest Dyn. 11 and Dyns. 12 and 13); the Second Intermediate Period (Dyns. 14 through 17); the New Kingdom or Empire Period (Dyns. 18 through 20, of which Dyns. 19 and 20 are designated as the Ramesside Period); the Third Intermediate Period (Dyns 21 through 25); the Saite Period (Dyns. 26); and the Late Dynastic Period (Dyns. 27 through 31)." [Hallo & Simpson, The Ancient Near East: A History, 192] Early Dynastic Period: Dyns. 1 & 2:  Early Dynastic Period: Dyns. 1 & 2 "The two primary developments during the Early Dynastic (ED) period were the country-wide articulation and acceptance of the ideology of the divine monarchy and the development of an administrative hierarchy that effectuated the king’s wishes. The king’s verbal command (hu) gave form to his divine perceptions (sia), always within the constraints of ma’at." [Kadish, "Egypt, History of (Early Dynastic-1st Intermediate Period)," ABD: CD-Rom edition] Early Dynastic Period: Dyns. 1 & 2:  Early Dynastic Period: Dyns. 1 & 2 "During the last centuries of the 4th millennium, a long-term process of political and cultural coalescence resulted in an Egyptian state encompassing much of the Nile Delta (Lower Egypt) and the valley proper, almost as far S as Aswan (Upper Egypt). Later Egyptian tradition, however, held that an Upper Egyptian ruler named Meni (Gk Menes) had conquered Lower Egypt. This unification became for the Egyptians not only the beginning point of their history, but an enduring emblem of the congruence of the social and political order with the cosmic (Eg ma’at), embodied in the divine monarch. Menes—perhaps the King Narmer whose palette appears to lay claim to sovereignty Early Dynastic Period: Dyns. 1 & 2:  Early Dynastic Period: Dyns. 1 & 2 over both parts of the country—stood as the founder and first ruler of a unified Egypt. A new administrative center, later Memphis, was attributed to him." [Kadish, "Egypt, History of (Early Dynastic-1st Intermediate Period)," ABD: CD-Rom edition] Dynasty 1:  Dynasty 1 "The kings of the united Kingdom during the first dynasty are best known through their Horus names, whereby they are identified as the incarnation of the falcon god, Horus. The name, written in a rectangle representing the façade of a building, palace, or temple, is surmounted by a falcon. The Horus names of rulers in the first dynasty are Rosett-Scorpion, Narmer, Aha, Djer, Djet, Anedjib,Semerkhet, and Qa." [Hallo & Simpson, The Ancient Near East: A History, 201-2] Dynasty 1:  Dynasty 1 "A major factor in establishing political power was evidently the organizational ability to distribute irrigation waters." [Hallo & Simpson, The Ancient Near East: A History, 209] Dynasty 1: Narmer:  Dynasty 1: Narmer Dynasty 1: Narmer:  Dynasty 1: Narmer Dynasty 2:  Dynasty 2 "The great tombs of the nobles at North Sakkara end abruptly after the reign of Qa, although there are later tombs of Dyn. 2 to the west. It appears that some of the Dyn. 1 tombs were thoroughly plundered, then set on fire. No royal tombs or funerary palaces at Abydos can be assigned to the first half of Dyn. 2." Dynasty 2:  Dynasty 2 "There seems to be a new emphasis on the sun god Re. without a diminishment of the dynastic god Horus. Later in the dynasty there will be an emphasis on the brother-uncle of Horus, the god Seth." Old Kingdom: Dyns. 3 - 8:  Old Kingdom: Dyns. 3 - 8 "The chief index of royal power in the Old Kingdom (OK; Dyn. 3–8; ca. 2700–2130 b.c.) was the king’s ability to command and organize the country’s human and material resources. The most visible manifestation of his godhead and authority was monumental architecture. Little remains of the royal temples for the cults of the various divinities (notably Ptah of Memphis and Re of Heliopolis), but not so with the massive monuments devoted to the burials and funerary cults of the kings (Edwards 1985)." [Kadish] Old Kingdom: Dyns. 3 - 8:  Old Kingdom: Dyns. 3 - 8 "The core of the Old Kingdom, Dyns. 4 through 6 (2613-2181), was an age in which Egypt became the major civilization of the world, rivaled only by Sargon's kingdom of Akkad on the Tigris and Euphrates. For some 432 years, a long span for a period of prosperity, Egypt was essentially isolated on the international scene, although trade connections were maintained." [Hallo & Simpson] Old Kingdom: Dyns. 3 - 8:  Old Kingdom: Dyns. 3 - 8 Major Figures: King Djoser (Zoser) – First King of 3rd Dyn. which lasted a total of about 55 years. The architect – Imhotep . . . . Considered a saint and patron of the scribes, while the Greeks identified him with Asklepios, the god of medicine. King Snefru – 4th Dyn. – 3 pyramids. King Khufu (Cheops) – largest pyramid at Giza Old Kingdom: Dyns. 3 - 8:  Old Kingdom: Dyns. 3 - 8 Chefren, a son of Cheops built the second largest pyramid. Pepi II of the 7th Dyn. was said to rule 90 years (?), either way the his rule is painted as very old and inactive in whom the political order broke down. Pyramids: see Archimedia I: Architecture in the Ancient Near East (CD: Rom Volume 1) Egypt (CD: Rom Volume 1) Old Kingdom: Dyns. 3 - 8:  Old Kingdom: Dyns. 3 - 8 Religion: "Pyramid Texts portray the pharaohs of the heydays of the OK as departing to heaven where they resume their divine life." Human & Animal forms: "So the sky-godess Nut is depicted both as a woman and as a cow, and the sun-god Horus is represented both by a falcon and by a falcon-headed man wearing the sun disk as a crown. Among the minor deities represented in purely animal form are the following: Sobek as a crocodile; Thot of Hermopolis, the god of wisdom, as an ibis; Khnum in the form of a ram; the bad god Seth as a griffin." Old Kingdom: Dyns. 3 - 8:  Old Kingdom: Dyns. 3 - 8 Heliopolis developed the sun-god Re as the head and represented it as the solar disk. Re is at times associated with the local deity Atum as Re-Atum. . . . Pharaoh was considered the son of Re. (fifth name) Heliopolis develop the "Great Ennead": the nine gods in their pantheon. Memphis places Ptah as the head of the "ennead." Dominate preoccupation with the after-life. First Intermediate Period :  First Intermediate Period Dynasties 9-10 and preconquest 11 (2180-2040) "While it suited the propaganda of the early 12th Dyn. kings to portray the 1st Intermediate period as an age of anarchy during which the lack of a strong central government allowed the release of disruptive social forces, it is more likely that after the confusion of the largely ephemeral Dyns. 7 and 8—a mere 25 years at most—generalized disorder was episodic rather than typical. The emergence of such regional power centers as Herakleopolis (Dyns. 9–10) near the Fayum First Intermediate Period:  First Intermediate Period and Thebes in Upper Egypt (Dyn. 11) yielded considerable stability. Territorial conflicts or attempts to unify the country were the principal causes of conflict. The local officials dealt with the problems of food supply, legal affairs, and the suppression of criminal behavior." First Intermediate Period:  First Intermediate Period Literature of the Period: Lamentation of Ipur-wer Teaching for King Merikare Eloquent Pleasant Dialogue of a man and his soul Song of the Harper Religious Development The cult of Osiris, the god of the dead becomes popular - Judgment Coffin Texts (Pyramid Texts) Middle Kingdom:  Middle Kingdom Dyns. 11-13 (2040-1730 BCE) "Dyn. 11 began soon after the end of Dyn. 8 and particularly in its second part, was contemporaneous with Dyns. 9 and 10." "With his victory over the northern Heracleopolitan kingdom (ca. 2040 b.c.), the Theban Nebhepetre Mentuhotep II brought about the end of the civil war that raged during the First Intermediate Period. This victory inaugurated the period known as the Middle Kingdom (MK) by establishing the 11th Dyn. with Mentuhotep as sole ruler of Egypt." Middle Kingdom:  Middle Kingdom "Dyn. 11 ends with Nebhepetre's two successors, Sankhkare Mentuhotpe (twelve years) and Nebtowyre Mentuhotpe (two years)." "At the beginning of the second millennium, about 1991 BC, the kingship of Upper and Lower Egypt was assumed by Amunemhet I, the founder of Dyn. 12." Moved to Itj-towy rather than Thebes Reorgainized the nomes Established the pattern of coregency Middle Kingdom:  Middle Kingdom Changes overall in the Middle Kingdom: "The nature of the kingship itself changed. . . . The inaccessible god-king of the Old Kingdom became the good shepherd or herdsman of his people by the time the Middle Kingdom." "Egypt's relations with her neighbors also changed during this period of restoration. She exploited the trade to the south for African products, and Nubia itself for gold, copper, semi-precious stones, and quarries. At strategic points, primarily just south of the second cataract in the present Republic of the Sudan, the kings built fortresses to control the movement of the Nubians, and northern Nubia was effectively subjugated." Middle Kingdom:  Middle Kingdom "By the reign of Sesostris III (1878-1843 BC), when Nubia was firmly under Egyptian control, Palestine and Syria had definitely come under Egyptian influence. . . . That there was friction is evidence by references in the execration texts, particularly to the city-states of southern Palestine, and, for the first time the names Jerusalem, Askalon, and Shechem appear in written texts." Middle Kingdom:  Middle Kingdom "The end of the 12th Dyn. brought no immediate change in Egypt’s fortunes. Although the succeeding period is obscured by a lack of sources, it seems clear that the 13th Dyn. (ca. 1786–1633 b.c.) originally ruled from the Memphite area. Many of its kings ruled only briefly and may have been under the influence of a few powerful viziers, but the principle of a single central government continued to be respected for a time. The last kings of the 13th Dyn., however, lost control of Lower Egypt and probably retreated upriver to Thebes, where a new capital was established." Second Intermediate Period:  Second Intermediate Period Dyns. 13-17 (1730-1550) ". . . Egypt was splintered – the western Delta a sort of secessionist state at Xois (Dyn. 14), the eastern Delta in the hands of the Hyksos (Dyn. 15) and lesser Asiatic dynasts (Dyn. 16), and the traditional "legal" kingship first in the north at Itj-towy (Dyn. 13) and later restricted to Thebes (Dyn. 17). In addition, Nubian rulers seized this opportunity to become independent and to conduct their own dealings with all or most of the Egyptian powers." Hyksos:  Hyksos Hyksos: "rulers of foreign lands"; "vile" "The penetration of the Hurrians into northern Mesopotamia during the first half of the second millennium seems to have set into motion older populations which occupied Syria and Palestine. . . . Entered Egypt first peacefully, and later in full force, with the help of superior war equipment including the horse-drawn chariot." Capital was Avaris "The liberation of Egypt under kings Kamose and Ahmose ushered in a new era, the New Kingdom."

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