In 1968 Margaret K. Omar (Nydell) spent four months in a small Egyptian village called Sheikh Mubarak. Located in Middle Egypt near Al-Minya, residents of Sheik Mubarak speak in a dialect closer to Sa'eedi, not the dialect spoken in Cairo. Omar spent time there conducting interviews, examinations, and taping sessions with children and families to study primary language acquisition in non-Western languages.
Based on her fieldwork, Omar describes the physical and social environment in which the native language was learned, the development of early communication and speech, and when and how children learn the phonology, vocabulary, morphology, and syntactical patterns of Egyptian Arabic. Omar makes comparisons with aspects of language acquisition of other languages, primarily English, and explores implications for the theory of language acquisition.
Originally published in 1973, this book is the most thorough and complete analysis of the stages in which children learn Arabic as a first language. The Arabic in this book is presented in transcription, making the information accessible to all linguists interested in language acquisition.
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, during the “protectorate” period of British occupation in Egypt—theaters and other performance sites were vital for imagining, mirroring, debating, and shaping competing conceptions of modern Egyptian identity. Central figures in this diverse spectrum were the effendis, an emerging class of urban, male, anticolonial professionals whose role would ultimately become dominant. Acting Egyptian argues that performance themes, spaces, actors, and audiences allowed pluralism to take center stage while simultaneously consolidating effendi voices.
From the world premiere of Verdi’s Aida at Cairo’s Khedivial Opera House in 1871 to the theatrical rhetoric surrounding the revolution of 1919, which gave women an opportunity to link their visibility to the well-being of the nation, Acting Egyptian examines the ways in which elites and effendis, men and women, used newly built performance spaces to debate morality, politics, and the implications of modernity. Drawing on scripts, playbills, ads, and numerous other sources, the book brings to life provocative debates that fostered a new image of national culture and performances that echoed the events of urban life in the struggle for independence.
Naguib Mahfouz, the Arab world’s only Nobel literature laureate, is best known internationally for his short stories and novels, including The Cairo Trilogy. But in Egypt he was equally familiar to newspaper readers for the column he wrote for many years in the leading daily Al-Ahram, in which he reflected on issues of the day from domestic and international events, politics, and economics to historic anniversaries, inspirational personalities, and questions of cultural freedom. This volume brings together the 285 articles he wrote between January 1989 and the near-fatal knife attack in October 1994.
In carefully crafted short texts, his social conscience is revealed as he highlights political shortcomings, economic injustice, and corruption in Egypt and the wider Arab world. His philosophical sensitivity comes to the fore as he contemplates the meaning of a historic events, contributions of an influential people, and what is required to lead a good life. The collapse of the Soviet Union, the Oslo peace accords, the spread of terrorism, the Cairo earthquake, the passing of Louis Awad, Yusuf Idris, Yahya Hakki, the third term of Hosni Mubarak, climate change, and more come under Naguib Mahfouz’s fine scrutiny. For any fan of Mahfouz’s fiction, this collection opens a window on a different side of his intellect, and it offers insights from one of the region’s greatest modern minds.
Numerous volumes have been written on the heretic pharaoh Akhenaten, from Egypt's Eighteenth Dynasty. No less important a figure was Akhenaten's father, the pharaoh Amenhotep III, who reigned roughly 1391-1353 b.c.e. Among Amenhotep III's undertakings were his roles as leader of numerous campaigns in Syro-Palestine; builder of numerous temples, shrines, and buildings in Thebes and Memphis; and husband to Queen Tiyi and a bevy of lesser wives, including daughters of the kings of Babylon, Hatti and Mitanni. Amenhotep III above all encouraged foreign exploration and trade to regions far beyond the borders of Egypt. This study of Amenhotep III reveals a fascinating and complex individual, responsible in more than one way for the religious and political upheavals that occurred during the reign of his son, Akhenaten. Amenhotep III: Perspectives on His Reign, edited by David O'Connor and Eric H. Cline consists of a series of essays on this complex individual and his reign. In addition to offering several provocative and ground-breaking essays, this volume serves as a compendium and sourcebook for hard-to-obtain details about the reign of Amenhotep III.
The volume begins with an overview of the pharaoh by Larry Berman: his life, his family, and the history of his reign. Betsy Bryan describes the historical antecedents of Amenhotep's reign. Ray Johnson deals first with the building activities of Amen-hotep III and then presents a study of his carved relief decoration, with particular emphasis on the tendencies towards "Atenism." Arielle Kozloff discusses a variety of small objects including cosmetic spoons, glass vessels, jewelry, and funerary equipment. David O'Connor discusses city planning, building functions, and aspects of religion in light of the contemporary Egyptian worldview. Bill Murnane's chapter on government is a fascinating glimpse of the system of government in place at the time. Extensive documentation is provided on the activities of Amenhotep in the Aegean and Anatolia, Mesopotamia, Nubia, and Syro-Palestine. The volume concludes with John Baines's chapter on the Amarna Age. Amenhotep III: Perspectives on His Reign is a valuable contribution to pharaonic studies. It will be of interest to a wide range of scholars interested in Mediterranean literatures and cultures. It draws on literary, archaeological, and historical material to form an interdisciplinary study of a complex figure in pharaonic Egypt.
David O'Connor is Lila Acheson Wallace Professor of Ancient Egyptian Art, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. Eric H. Cline is Assistant Professor of History, Xavier University.
James Henry Breasted (1865–1935) had a career that epitomizes our popular image of the archaeologist. Daring, handsome, and charismatic, he traveled on expeditions to remote and politically unstable corners of the Middle East, helped identify the tomb of King Tut, and was on the cover of Time magazine. But Breasted was more than an Indiana Jones—he was an accomplished scholar, academic entrepreneur, and talented author who brought ancient history to life not just for students but for such notables as Teddy Roosevelt and Sigmund Freud.
In American Egyptologist, Jeffrey Abt weaves together the disparate strands of Breasted’s life, from his small-town origins following the Civil War to his evolution into the father of American Egyptology and the founder of the Oriental Institute in the early years of the University of Chicago. Abt explores the scholarly, philanthropic, diplomatic, and religious contexts of his ideas and projects, providing insight into the origins of America’s most prominent center for Near Eastern archaeology.
An illuminating portrait of the nearly forgotten man who demystified ancient Egypt for the general public, American Egyptologist restores James Henry Breasted to the world and puts forward a brilliant case for his place as one of the most important scholars of modern times.
Traces the sources of the Christian religion to ancient Egypt.
The earliest Christian myths emerged in the melting pot of gnostic Alexandria—not in orthodox Jerusalem, classical Athens, or legalistic Rome. In this book, Tjeu van den Berk traces the sources of the Christian faith to the banks of the river Nile. Focusing on ancient archetypes, van den Berk underscores the striking similarities between the Egyptian and Christian religions. In this fascinating study, he explores the symbolism of the Trinity, the cross, and the myths of a god born of a virgin. He also traces the origins of the stories of Lazarus and Saint George, and he finds stunning parallels between Egyptian mythology and the Book of Revelation.
The first, complete English translation of the ancient Egyptian Netherworld Books
The ancient Egyptian Netherworld Books, important compositions that decorated the New Kingdom royal tombs in the Valley of the Kings, present humanity's oldest surviving attempts to provide a scientific map of the unseen realms beyond the visible cosmos and contain imagery and annotations that represent ancient Egyptian speculation (essentially philosophical and theological) about the events of the solar journey through the twelve hours of the night. The Netherworld Books describe one of the central mysteries of Egyptian religious belief—the union of the solar god Re with the underworldly god Osiris—and provide information on aspects of Egyptian theology and cosmography not present in the now more widely read Book of the Dead. Numerous illustrations provide overview images and individual scenes from each Netherworld Book, emphasizing the unity of text and image within the compositions. The major texts translated include the Book of Adoring Re in the West (the Litany of Re), the Book of the Hidden Chamber (Amduat), the Book of Gates, the Book of Caverns, the Books of the Creation of the Solar Disk, and the Books of the Solar-Osirian Unity.
Accessible presentations of the main concepts of the Netherworld Books and the chief features of each text
Notes and commentary address major theological themes within the texts as well as lexicographic and/or grammatical issues
An overview of later uses of these compositions during the first millennium BCE
The Pyramid Texts are the oldest body of extant literature from ancient Egypt. First carved on the walls of the burial chambers in the pyramids of kings and queens of the Old Kingdom, they provide the earliest comprehensive view of the way in which the ancient Egyptians understood the structure of the universe, the role of the gods, and the fate of human beings after death. Their importance lies in their antiquity and in their endurance throughout the entire intellectual history of ancient Egypt. This volume contains the complete translation of the Pyramid Texts, including new texts recently discovered and published. It incorporates full restorations and readings indicated by post-Old Kingdom copies of the texts and is the first translation that presents the texts in the order in which they were meant to be read in each of the original sources.
James P. Allen provides a translation of the oldest corpus of ancient Egyptian religious texts from the six royal pyramids of the Fifth and Sixth Dynasties (ca. 2350–2150 BCE). Allen’s revisions take into account recent advances in the understanding of Egyptian grammar.
Sequential translations based on all available sources, including texts newly discovered in the last decade
Texts numbered according to the most widely used numbering system with new numbers from the latest 2013 concordance
Translations reflect the primarily atemporal verbal system of Old Egyptian, which conveys the timeless quality that the text’s authors understood the texts to have
Ancient Perspectives encompasses a vast arc of space and time—Western Asia to North Africa and Europe from the third millennium BCE to the fifth century CE—to explore mapmaking and worldviews in the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome. In each society, maps served as critical economic, political, and personal tools, but there was little consistency in how and why they were made. Much like today, maps in antiquity meant very different things to different people.
Ancient Perspectives presents an ambitious, fresh overview of cartography and its uses. The seven chapters range from broad-based analyses of mapping in Mesopotamia and Egypt to a close focus on Ptolemy’s ideas for drawing a world map based on the theories of his Greek predecessors at Alexandria. The remarkable accuracy of Mesopotamian city-plans is revealed, as is the creation of maps by Romans to support the proud claim that their emperor’s rule was global in its reach. By probing the instruments and techniques of both Greek and Roman surveyors, one chapter seeks to uncover how their extraordinary planning of roads, aqueducts, and tunnels was achieved.
Even though none of these civilizations devised the means to measure time or distance with precision, they still conceptualized their surroundings, natural and man-made, near and far, and felt the urge to record them by inventive means that this absorbing volume reinterprets and compares.
Around the turn of the last century, James Henry Breasted took on the challenge of assembling all the available historical documents of ancient Egypt and translating them into English. This prodigious undertaking involved traveling to the monuments extant in the Nile valley and in outlying areas of Egyptian conquest, as well as to museums throughout Europe where Egyptian relics were housed. Breasted made his own copies of hundreds of Egyptian records inscribed on papyrus or leather or carved in stone and engaged in a thorough study of the published records of Egyptian history in conjunction with his own transcription of the documents themselves. This five-volume compendium is the result.
Breasted's monumental work, originally published from 1906 to 1907, encompasses twenty-six dynasties spanning more than three millennia: from ca. 3050 B.C. to 525 B.C. For each document, Breasted provides information on location, condition, historical significance, and content. Beginning with the earliest known official annals of Egypt, the Palermo Stone, Breasted catalogs the realm's official activities, including royal succession, temple construction, property distribution, and foreign conquest. He tracks the careers of scores of kings, queens, government officials, military leaders, powerful statesmen, and influential courtiers, reproducing their autobiographies, letters of favor, paeans, mortuary gifts, and tomb inscriptions. Clearly annotated for the lay reader, the documents provide copious evidence of trade relations, construction activities, diplomatic envoys, foreign expeditions, and other aspects of a vigorous, highly organized, and centrally controlled society.
Breasted's commentary is both rigorously documented and accessible, suffused with a contagious fascination for the events, the personalities, the cultural practices, and the sophistication these records indicate. A herculean assemblage of primary documents, many of which have deteriorated to illegibility in the intervening century, Ancient Records of Egypt illuminates both the incredible complexity of Egyptian society and the almost insuperable difficulties of reconstructing a lost civilization.
This first paperback edition of Ancient Records of Egypt features a new introduction and supplementary bibliographies by Peter A. Piccione. Setting Breasted's work in the context of the development of American Egyptology, Piccione discusses Breasted's establishment of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, with corporate support by John D. Rockefeller and other benefactors, and surveys the ambitious body of publications with which Breasted laid the foundation for future Egyptian studies.
This volume extends Breasted's remarkable documentary history through the reign of King Tutankhamun. By providing the first definitive transcription and the first English version of hundreds of historical records inscribed on papyrus or leather or carved in stone, Breasted gave unprecedented access to details of royal succession, military conquest, religious upheaval, administrative complexity, and other aspects of ancient Egyptian civilization. Originally published in the first decade of the twentieth century, his monumental work appears here in paperback for the first time.
The Eighteenth Dynasty saw the consolidation of the cult of Amun and the expansion of the temple of Amun-Re at Karnak, as well as a religious revolution under King Akhenaten that involved abandoning Thebes as a religious capital and royal residence and founding a new city devoted to the service of the new solar god, Aten. Breasted presents records of the biography and coronation of Queen Hatshepsut, including reliefs that depict the queen's expedition to the land of Punt. Also in this volume are the annals of Thutmose III, providing the most complete account of the military achievements of any Egyptian king; scenes representing the supernatural birth and coronation by the gods of his son, Amenhotep II; and inscriptions from the tomb of Rekhmire, prime minister or vizier under Thutmose III, that include a listing of taxes paid to the temple and foreign tribute proceeding from the king's two decades of military activity in Asia.
A herculean assemblage of primary documents, many of which have deteriorated to illegibility since its original publication, Ancient Records of Egypt illuminates both the incredible complexity of Egyptian society and the almost insuperable difficulties of reconstructing a lost civilization.
Volume 3 of Ancient Records of Egypt opens on the chaotic aftermath of King Akhenaten's religious revolution. Breasted chronicles the precarious reigns of Akhenaten's successors and the political and legal reforms of King Horemheb, who succeeded to the throne after the passing of the last members of the royal family. This volume contains the important edict of Horemheb, intended to prevent the oppressive abuses connected with the collection of taxes from the common people, and the inscriptions of Roy, high priest of Amon, showing the first transmission from father to son of the office of the high priest.
In the context of a long history of mutilating and altering reliefs for political purposes, Breasted discusses the insertion into a relief of the figure of Ramesses II in order to reinforce his claim to the throne. This volume also includes the treaty of alliance that sealed peace with the Hittites under Ramesses II; a series of documents that record the invasion of Libyans and Mediterranean Sea people during the reign of Merneptah; and the Great Temple of Abu Simbel, the most remarkable of the rock-cut temples of Egypt.
This first complete paperback edition of Breasted's five-volume Ancient Records of Egypt makes available to a new audience a milestone in Egyptology and in the compilation of documentary histories. Clearly annotated for the lay reader, the documents provide copious evidence of trade relations, construction activities, diplomatic envoys, foreign expeditions, and other aspects of a vigorous, highly organized, and centrally controlled society. Breasted's commentary is both rigorously documented and accessible, suffused with a contagious fascination for the events, the personalities, the cultural practices, and the sophistication these records indicate
With volume 4 of Ancient Records of Egypt, James Henry Breasted brings us to the end of the self-governed era of ancient Egyptian civilization. Chief among the documents contained in this volume are the inscriptions from the Medinet Habu Temple, one of the most completely preserved temples of Egypt, and the great Papyrus Harris, the largest (133 feet long) and most sumptuous papyrus extant, 95 percent of which Breasted was the first to study closely. Together these documents present a detailed record of the reign and benefactions of Ramesses III, whose reign lasted more than thirty years.
Volume 4 includes intriguing records of the harem conspiracy and legal documents that indicate the extent of robberies of royal tombs. Records of the Nile levels at Karnak provide important chronological landmarks, while the Stela of Piye (Piankhi), which documents the Nubian kingdom already in existence as a full-fledged power, provides information on the internal political climate of Egypt during a time when no aggressive monarch controlled the whole country. Breasted also notes where these ancient Egyptian records intersect with accounts of the same events from other sources, such as the mutiny of Psamtik I's troops as inscribed on the alabaster statue of Nesuhor and as narrated by Herodotus.
In effect, Ancient Records of Egypt offers a valuable dual record. On the one hand, Breasted presents the events and personages of ancient Egypt as recorded in the documents. On the other hand, he presents a history of the documents themselves. Fragmentary or partially destroyed, carved on temple and tomb walls or written on fragile scrolls of leather or papyrus, even inscribed on the coffins and temple linens of the royal and priestly mummy wrappings, these records offer an irreplaceable primary source on a fascinating civilization.
An indispensable companion to any of the other volumes of Ancient Records of Egypt, the Supplementary Bibliographies and Indices facilitates direct access to specific information on the people, places, and inscriptions catalogued by James Henry Breasted. Exhaustively compiled and intelligently arranged, these indices include the kings and queens, temples and geographical locations, divine names, and titles and ranks encompassed by three thousand years of Egyptian history. Also provided are indices of all Egyptian, Hebrew, and Arabic terms mentioned in the texts, as well as a complete listing of the records with their location in Lepsius's Denkmäler.
This first paperback edition of Ancient Records of Egypt features the important addition of bibliographies by Peter A. Piccione, together with an introduction that puts Breasted's historical commentaries into modern perspective. These bibliographies offer valuable guidance on new translations and modern treatments of the inscriptions included in Ancient Records of Egypt. Professor Piccione points the reader toward recent studies of Egyptian chronology and modern scholarship on Egyptian and Nubian history. He also provides information on anthologies of Egyptian texts in translation and topographical bibliographies that suggest further reading on specific ancient Egyptian monuments, texts, and reliefs.
A new movement is emerging in Egyptian literature—urban in its energies; cosmopolitan in its national, Arabic, and western influences; and independent and rowdy in its voice. For centuries, Arabic literature mandated traditional, unchanging, highly structured language and forms. In the 1960s and 1970s, writers rebelled to write in a variety of vernaculars. Now, young Egyptian poets are inventing new ways of writing. Rejecting both traditional Arabic formalism and the vernacular rebellion—and, contradictorily, drawing equally on these traditions and others—they radically combine and recombine influences and bring new experiences into their poetry. They embrace experimentation. Rejected at first by the literary establishment, these poets founded their own magazines, one of which appropriated a derisive term that had been used to dismiss them: Locusts. Now one of Egypt's most honored translators and writers has joined with one of those Locusts to gather a selection of this postmodern writing in one place for the first time. With its edginess and play of styles, this collection showcases a dynamic, emergent scene.
How did Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood win power so quickly after the dramatic “Arab Spring” uprising that ended President Hosni Mubarak’s thirty-year reign in February 2011? And why did the Brotherhood fall from power even more quickly, culminating with the popular “rebellion” and military coup that toppled Egypt’s first elected president, Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi, in July 2013? In Arab Fall, Eric Trager examines the Brotherhood’s decision making throughout this critical period, explaining its reasons for joining the 2011 uprising, running for a majority of the seats in the 2011–2012 parliamentary elections, and nominating a presidential candidate despite its initial promise not to do so. Based on extensive research in Egypt and interviews with dozens of Brotherhood leaders and cadres including Morsi, Trager argues that the very organizational characteristics that helped the Brotherhood win power also contributed to its rapid downfall. The Brotherhood’s intensive process for recruiting members and its rigid nationwide command-chain meant that it possessed unparalleled mobilizing capabilities for winning the first post-Mubarak parliamentary and presidential elections.
Yet the Brotherhood’s hierarchical organizational culture, in which dissenters are banished and critics are viewed as enemies of Islam, bred exclusivism. This alienated many Egyptians, including many within Egypt’s state institutions. The Brotherhood’s insularity also prevented its leaders from recognizing how quickly the country was slipping from their grasp, leaving hundreds of thousands of Muslim Brothers entirely unprepared for the brutal crackdown that followed Morsi’s overthrow. Trager concludes with an assessment of the current state of Egyptian politics and examines the Brotherhood’s prospects for reemerging.
What is an Arab? Though many in the West would answer that question with simplistic stereotypes, the reality is far more complex and interesting. Arabs themselves have been debating Arab identity since pre-Islamic times, coming to a variety of conclusions about the nature and extent of their “Arabness.” Likewise, Westerners and others have attempted to analyze Arab identity, reaching mostly negative conclusions about Arab culture and capacity for self-government. To bring new perspectives to the question of Arab identity, Iraqi-born scholar Nissim Rejwan has assembled this fascinating collection of writings by Arab and Western intellectuals, who try to define what it means to be Arab. He begins with pre-Islamic times and continues to the last decades of the twentieth century, quoting thinkers ranging from Ibn Khaldun to modern writers such as al-Ansari, Haykal, Ahmad Amin, al-'Azm, and Said. Through their works, Rejwan shows how Arabs have grappled with such significant issues as the influence of Islam, the rise of nationalism, the quest for democracy, women's status, the younger generation, Egypt's place in the Arab world, Israel's role in Middle Eastern conflict, and the West's “cultural invasion.” By letting Arabs speak for themselves, Arabs in the Mirror refutes a prominent Western stereotype—that Arabs are incapable of self-reflection or self-government. On the contrary, it reveals a rich tradition of self-criticism and self-knowledge in the Arab world.
Archaic Bookkeeping brings together the most current
scholarship on the earliest true writing system in human
history. Invented by the Babylonians at the end of the
fourth millennium B.C., this script, called proto-cuneiform,
survives in the form of clay tablets that have until now
posed formidable barriers to interpretation. Many tablets,
excavated in fragments from ancient dump sites, lack a clear
context. In addition, the purpose of the earliest tablets
was not to record language but to monitor the administration
of local economies by means of a numerical system.
Using the latest philological research and new methods
of computer analysis, the authors have for the first time
deciphered much of the numerical information. In
reconstructing both the social context and the function of
the notation, they consider how the development of our
earliest written records affected patterns of thought, the
concept of number, and the administration of household
economies. Complete with computer-generated graphics keyed
to the discussion and reproductions of all documents referred
to in the text, Archaic Bookkeeping will interest
specialists in Near Eastern civilizations, ancient history,
the history of science and mathematics, and cognitive
Architecture for the Poor describes Hassan Fathy's plan for building the village of New Gourna, near Luxor, Egypt, without the use of more modern and expensive materials such as steel and concrete. Using mud bricks, the native technique that Fathy learned in Nubia, and such traditional Egyptian architectural designs as enclosed courtyards and vaulted roofing, Fathy worked with the villagers to tailor his designs to their needs. He taught them how to work with the bricks, supervised the erection of the buildings, and encouraged the revival of such ancient crafts as claustra (lattice designs in the mudwork) to adorn the buildings.
In Aseneth of Egypt: The Composition of a Jewish Narrative, Patricia D. Ahearne-Kroll challenges reliance on reconstructed texts in previous scholarship on the book of Joseph and Aseneth. After outlining the problems with previous prototypes of the Hellenistic narrative, she proposes a way to talk about the story in its initial setting without ignoring the manuscript evidence. Her thorough analysis of the evidence reveals how Joseph and Aseneth reflects the literary impulse of Greek-speaking Jewish writers to redescribe their identity in Egypt and Judean connections to the land of Egypt, while incorporating Ptolemaic strategies of legitimation of power. In the end, Ahearne-Kroll concludes that the base storyline preserved in all the copies of this story demonstrates that it was written for Jewish communities living in Hellenistic Egypt.
A focus on Hellenistic stories of heroic ancestors
A discussion of the possible lives of Jews in Hellenistic Egypt drawn from the narrative of Aseneth
An examination of the complexities involved in dating the composition of literary texts