The status of the Sunni Ulama (religious scholars) in modern times has attracted renewed academic interest, in light of their assertiveness regarding moral and sociopolitical issues on the Arab-Muslim agenda. This has led to a reassessment of the narrative of historians and social scientists, who usually depicted the Ulama as marginal players in comparison with the new lay Islamists, and certainly with the Shia Ulama. The Sunni 'Ulama'’s vitality is undoubtedly related to the continuing Islamic resurgence, which since the 1970s has forced the political elites to rely increasingly on the religious establishment in order to neutralize the Islamist challenge, thus allowing the Ulama greater freedom of activity.
Hatina’s study returns to an earlier period and shows that such vitality has its roots in the second half of the nineteenth and the early twentieth centuries. Hatina traces the diverse Ulama reactions to this period of accelerated state building and national cohesion.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Originally published in 1979, this classic reference work presents definitions of grammatical and linguistic terms for spoken Egyptian Arabic in dictionary form from "active participles" through "writing system." Entries feature definitions and examples of all the grammatical features including phonology, morphology, and syntax. Aimed at the intermediate to advanced student of Egyptian Arabic, this volume presupposes a basic knowledge of Egyptian Arabic. Arabic lexical items are presented in romanized transliteration and are therefore accessible to those who are not familiar with Arabic script.
Berossos and Manetho begins with a general introduction to the cultural history of ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt. It then presents a translation of the only known native narratives, written in Greek, of the histories of these two civilizations. The priest Berossos chronicled the past of ancient Babylon from the mythical creation of the world down to Alexander the Great's conquest in the fourth century b.c.e. For Egypt, the scribe Manetho's list of rulers from the reigns of the gods down to Alexander's conquest remains the basis for the dynastic arrangement of the pharaohs that is still used today.
Berossos and Manetho offers particular emphasis on and discussion of the languages and scripts used to preserve the glorious past of these lands. Each author receives his own special introduction, which describes his life, the sources of his History, the nature and content of his writings, and his goals and accomplishments. There follows a translation of all the surviving ancient information about each author, and of all that can be recovered of his writings. For the first time, Berossos and Manetho--priests and contemporaries who write just when their lands had been pushed into Hellenization--have been translated in one volume.
This volume will appeal to all people interested in ancient Israel, Greek history, and ancient history in general.
Gerald P. Verbrugghe is Associate Professor of History, Rutgers University. John M. Wickersham is Professor of Classics and Classics Department Chairperson, Ursinus College.
For several years, the armies of Napoleon III deployed some 450 Muslim Sudanese slave soldiers in Veracruz, the port of Mexico City. As in the other case of Western hemisphere military slavery (the West India Regiments, a British unit in existence 1795-1815), the Sudanese were imported from Africa in the hopes that they would better survive the tropical diseases that so terribly afflicted European soldiers. In both cases, the Africans did indeed fulfill these expectations. The mixture of cultures embodied by this event has piqued the interest of several historians, so it is by no means unknown. Hill and Hogg provide a particularly thorough account of this exotic interlude, explaining its background, looking in detail at the battle record in Mexico, and figuring out who exactly made up the battalion. Much in their account is odd and interesting, for example, the Sudanese superiority to Austrian troops and their festive nine-day spree in Paris on the emperor's tab. The authors also assess the episode's longer-term impact on the Sudan, showing that the veterans of Mexico, having learnt much from their extended exposure to French military practices, rose quickly in the ranks, then taught these methods to others.
Nezar AlSayyad Harvard University Press, 2011 Library of Congress NA1583.A47 2011 | Dewey Decimal 720.96216
Nezar AlSayyad narrates the many Cairos that have existed through time, offering a panorama unmatched in temporal and geographic scope, through an in-depth examination of the city’s architecture and urban form. His narration illuminates how there can be “no one history of the city, but rather multiple, contested, and often invented histories.”
Cairo Pop is the first book to examine the dominant popular music of Egypt, shababiyya. Scorned or ignored by scholars and older Egyptians alike, shababiyya plays incessantly in Cairo, even while Egyptian youth joined in mass protests against their government, which eventually helped oust longtime Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak in early 2011. Living in Cairo at the time of the revolution, Daniel Gilman saw, and more importantly heard, the impact that popular music can have on culture and politics. Here he contributes a richly ethnographic analysis of the relationship between mass-mediated popular music, modernity, and nationalism in the Arab world.
Before Cairo Pop, most scholarship on the popular music of Egypt focused on musiqa al-ṭarab. Immensely popular in the 1950s and ’60s and even into the ’70s, musiqa al-ṭarab adheres to Arabic musical theory, with non-Western scales based on tunings of the strings of the ‘ud—the lute that features prominently, nearly ubiquitously, in Arabic music. However, today one in five Egyptians is between the ages of 15 and 24; half the population is under the age of 25. And shababiyya is their music of choice. By speaking informally with dozens of everyday young people in Cairo, Gilman comes to understand shababiyya as more than just a musical genre: sometimes it is for dancing or seduction, other times it propels social activism, at others it is simply sonic junk food.
In addition to providing a clear Egyptian musical history as well as a succinct modern political history of the nation, Cairo Pop elevates the aural and visual aesthetic of shababiyya—and its role in the lives of a nation’s youth.
The Theban necropolis lies in strange contrast to the bustle of Luxor on the opposite bank of the Nile. Over 450 tombs spanning more than a thousand years, some fully excavated and recorded, others tantalisingly described by travellers but now lost, form a maze-like network of passages and caves. The decoration of many of the tombs, particularly those of the Eighteenth dynasty, provides some outstanding examples of ancient Egyptian painting and relief work and reveals fascinating details about the lives and beliefs of their owners. Some of the tombs were re-used and display contrasting styles of workmanship, while many were colonised in more recent centuries by peoples with scant respect for the tombs of their ancestors: many well-paintings are blackened and burnt beyond redemption.
The author traces the history of the site discussing the more important tombs in some detail, and sheds new light on the symbolism used in painting to help the deceased in the Afterlife. She also surveys the role of the treasure hunters and travellers of the eighteenth and early nineteenth-centuries and the pioneer epigraphers who followed them and paved the way for the archeological investigation and research that continues today.
Cleopatra and Rome
Diana E. E. Kleiner Harvard University Press, 2005 Library of Congress N5763.K58 2005 | Dewey Decimal 932.021092
In this beautifully illustrated book, we experience the synthesis of Cleopatra's and Rome's defining moments through surviving works of art and other remnants of what was once an opulent material culture. This culture best chronicles Cleopatra's legend and suggests her subtle but indelible mark on the art of imperial Rome at the critical moment of its inception.
Soon after the death of Alexander the Great, the priest Berossus wrote the first known narrative and comprehensive history of his native Babylon, and the priest Manetho likewise wrote the first such history of his native Egyptian civilization. Nothing like these histories had been produced before in these cultures. Clio’s Other Sons considers why that is: why were these histories written at this point, and for what purposes?
Berossus and Manetho operated at the crossings of several political, social, and intellectual worlds. They were members of native elites under the domination of Macedonian overlords; in their writings we can see suggestions that they collaborated in the foreign rule of their lands, but at the same time we see them advocating for their cultures. Their histories were written in Greek and betray active engagement with Greek historical writing, but at the same time these texts are clearly composed from native records, are organized along lines determined by local systems of time-reckoning, and articulate views that are deeply informed by regional scholarly and wisdom traditions. In this volume John Dillery charts the interactions of all these features of these historians. An afterword considers Demetrius, the approximate contemporary of Berossus and Manetho in time, if not in culture. While his associates wrote new histories, Demetrius’ project was a rewriting of an existing text, the Bible. This historiographical “corrective” approach sheds light on the novel historiography of Manetho and Berossus.
Conflicted Antiquities is a rich cultural history of European and Egyptian interest in ancient Egypt and its material culture, from the early nineteenth century until the mid-twentieth. Consulting the relevant Arabic archives, Elliott Colla demonstrates that the emergence of Egyptology—the study of ancient Egypt and its material legacy—was as consequential for modern Egyptians as it was for Europeans. The values and practices introduced by the new science of archaeology played a key role in the formation of a new colonial regime in Egypt. This fact was not lost on Egyptian nationalists, who challenged colonial archaeologists with the claim that they were the direct heirs of the Pharaohs, and therefore the rightful owners and administrators of ancient Egypt’s historical sites and artifacts. As this dispute developed, nationalists invented the political and expressive culture of “Pharaonism”—Egypt’s response to Europe’s Egyptomania. In the process, a significant body of modern, Pharaonist poetry, sculpture, architecture, and film was created by artists and authors who looked to the ancient past for inspiration.
Colla draws on medieval and modern Arabic poetry, novels, and travel accounts; British and French travel writing; the history of archaeology; and the history of European and Egyptian museums and exhibits. The struggle over the ownership of Pharaonic Egypt did not simply pit Egyptian nationalists against European colonial administrators. Egyptian elites found arguments about the appreciation and preservation of ancient objects useful for exerting new forms of control over rural populations and for mobilizing new political parties. Finally, just as the political and expressive culture of Pharaonism proved critical to the formation of new concepts of nationalist identity, it also fueled Islamist opposition to the Egyptian state.
The waters of the Nile are fundamental to life in Egypt. In this compelling ethnography, Jessica Barnes explores the everyday politics of water: a politics anchored in the mundane yet vital acts of blocking, releasing, channeling, and diverting water. She examines the quotidian practices of farmers, government engineers, and international donors as they interact with the waters of the Nile flowing into and through Egypt. Situating these local practices in relation to broader processes that affect Nile waters, Barnes moves back and forth from farmer to government ministry, from irrigation canal to international water conference. By showing how the waters of the Nile are constantly made and remade as a resource by people in and outside Egypt, she demonstrates the range of political dynamics, social relations, and technological interventions that must be incorporated into understandings of water and its management.
The story of Egypt is the story of history itself—the endless rise and fall, the life and death and life again of the eternal human effort to endure, enjoy, and understand the mystery of our universe. Emerging from the ancient mists of time, Egypt met the challenge of the mystery in a glorious evolution of religious, intellectual, and political institutions and for two millenniums flourished with all the vigor that the human heart can invest in a social and cultural order. Then Egypt began to crumble into the desert sands and the waters of the Nile, and her remarkable achievements in civilization became her lingering epitaph. John A. Wilson has written a rich and interpretive biography of one of the greatest cultural periods in human experience. He answers—as best the modern Egyptologist can—the questions inevitably asked concerning the dissolution of Egypt's glory. Here is scholarship in its finest form, concerned with the humanity that has preceded us, and finding in man's past grandeur and failure much meaning for men of today.
Of all the ancient peoples, the Egyptians are perhaps best known for the fascinating ways in which they grappled with the mysteries of death and the afterlife. This beautifully illustrated book draws on the British Museum's world-famous collection of mummies and other funerary evidence to offer an accessible account of Egyptian beliefs in an afterlife and examine the ways in which Egyptian society responded materially to the challenges these beliefs imposed.
The author describes in detail the numerous provisions made for the dead and the intricate rituals carried out on their behalf. He considers embalming, coffins and sarcophagi, shabti figures, magic and ritual, and amulets and papyri, as well as the mummification of sacred animals, which were buried by the millions in vast labyrinthine catacombs.
The text also reflects recent developments in the interpretation of Egyptian burial practices, and incorporates the results of much new scientific research. Newly acquired information derives from a range of sophisticated applications, such as the use of noninvasive imaging techniques to look inside the wrappings of a mummy, and the chemical analysis of materials used in the embalming process. Authoritative, concise, and lucidly written, Death and the Afterlife in Ancient Egypt illuminates aspects of this complex, vibrant culture that still perplex us more than 3,000 years later.
As the Egyptian revolution unfolded throughout 2011 and the ensuing years, no one was better positioned to comment on it—and try to push it in productive directions—than best-selling novelist and political commentator Alaa Al-Aswany. For years a leading critic of the Mubarak regime, Al-Aswany used his weekly newspaper column for Al-Masry Al-Youm to propound the revolution’s ideals and to confront the increasingly troubled politics of its aftermath.
This book presents, for the first time in English, all of Al-Aswany’s columns from the period, a comprehensive account of the turmoil of the post-revolutionary years, and a portrait of a country and a people in flux. Each column is presented along with a context-setting introduction, as well as notes and a glossary, all designed to give non-Egyptian readers the background they need to understand the events and figures that Al-Aswany chronicles. The result is a definitive portrait of Egypt today—how it got here, and where it might be headed.
In this finely written study of demonology and Christian spirituality in fourth- and fifth-century Egypt, David Brakke examines how the conception of the monk as a holy and virtuous being was shaped by the combative encounter with demons. Drawing on biographies of exceptional monks, collections of monastic sayings and stories, letters from ascetic teachers to their disciples, sermons, and community rules, Brakke crafts a compelling picture of the embattled religious celibate.
Discarded, Discovered, Collected provides an accessible introduction to the University of Michigan’s collection of papyri and related ancient materials, the widest and deepest resource of its kind in the Western hemisphere. The collection was founded in the early part of the 20th century by University of Michigan Professor of Classics Francis W. Kelsey. His original intention was to create a set of artifacts that would be useful in teaching students more directly about the ancient world, at a time when trips to ancient sites were much harder to arrange.
Jointly administered by Michigan’s Department of Classical Studies and its Library, the collection has garnered significant interest beyond scholarly circles and now sees several hundred visitors each year. Of particular note among its holdings are sixty pages of the earliest known copy of the Epistles of St. Paul, which are often featured on tours of the collection by groups from religious institutions.
Arthur Verhoogt, one of the current stewards of the Papyrology Collection, provides clear, insightful information in an appealing style to engage general readers and scholars alike. Extensively illustrated with some of the collection’s more spectacular pieces, this volume describes what the collection is, what kinds of ancient texts it contains, and how it has developed from Francis Kelsey’s day to the present. Verhoogt describes in detail how people who study papyri carry out their work, and how papyri contribute to our understanding of various aspects of the ancient Greco-Roman world. Translations of the ancient texts are presented so that the reader can experience some of the excitement that comes with reading original documents from many centuries ago.
How do people come to think of themselves as part of a nation? Dramas of Nationhood identifies a fantastic cultural form that binds together the Egyptian nation—television serials. These melodramatic programs—like soap operas but more closely tied to political and social issues than their Western counterparts—have been shown on television in Egypt for more than thirty years. In this book, Lila Abu-Lughod examines the shifting politics of these serials and the way their contents both reflect and seek to direct the changing course of Islam, gender relations, and everyday life in this Middle Eastern nation.
Representing a decade's worth of research, Dramas of Nationhood makes a case for the importance of studying television to answer larger questions about culture, power, and modern self-fashionings. Abu-Lughod explores the elements of developmentalist ideology and the visions of national progress that once dominated Egyptian television—now experiencing a crisis. She discusses the broadcasts in rich detail, from the generic emotional qualities of TV serials and the depictions of authentic national culture, to the debates inflamed by their deliberate strategies for combating religious extremism.
This collection of scholarly essays on Egyptian culture, history, society, archeology, literature, art, and conservation is published in memory of Werner Mark Linz, who spent much of the latter part of his professional life as the Director of the American University in Cairo Press. East-West Divan is the first volume of the Gingko Library, a publishing project that embraces scholarship from both East and West, conceived by Werner Mark Linz to foster greater cross-cultural understanding. Among the contributors to this collection are the Egyptian novelist Alaa Al Aswany, author of The Yacoubian Building; Egyptian archaeologist Zahi Hawass; the renowned Swiss theologian, Hans Küng; the author of the acclaimed A Fort of Nine Towers, Qais Akbar Omar; and Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan.
Egypt beyond Representation develops and applies a new approach to study Aegyptiaca Romana from a bottom-up, Roman perspective. Current approaches to these objects are often still plagued by top-down projections of modern definitions and understandings of Egypt and Egyptian material culture onto the Roman world. This book instead argues that these artifacts should be studied in their own right, without reducing them to fixed Egyptian meanings. This study shows that, while “Egyptianness” may have been among Roman associations, these objects were able to do much more than merely representing notions of Egypt.
Egypt Land is the first comprehensive analysis of the connections between constructions of race and representations of ancient Egypt in nineteenth-century America. Scott Trafton argues that the American mania for Egypt was directly related to anxieties over race and race-based slavery. He shows how the fascination with ancient Egypt among both black and white Americans was manifest in a range of often contradictory ways. Both groups likened the power of the United States to that of the ancient Egyptian empire, yet both also identified with ancient Egypt’s victims. As the land which represented the origins of races and nations, the power and folly of empires, despots holding people in bondage, and the exodus of the saved from the land of slavery, ancient Egypt was a uniquely useful trope for representing America’s own conflicts and anxious aspirations.
Drawing on literary and cultural studies, art and architectural history, political history, religious history, and the histories of archaeology and ethnology, Trafton illuminates anxieties related to race in different manifestations of nineteenth-century American Egyptomania, including the development of American Egyptology, the rise of racialized science, the narrative and literary tradition of the imperialist adventure tale, the cultural politics of the architectural Egyptian Revival, and the dynamics of African American Ethiopianism. He demonstrates how debates over what the United States was and what it could become returned again and again to ancient Egypt. From visions of Cleopatra to the tales of Edgar Allan Poe, from the works of Pauline Hopkins to the construction of the Washington Monument, from the measuring of slaves’ skulls to the singing of slave spirituals—claims about and representations of ancient Egypt served as linchpins for discussions about nineteenth-century American racial and national identity.
From Roman villas to Hollywood films, ancient Egypt has been a source of fascination and inspiration in many other cultures. But why, exactly, has this been the case? In this book, Christina Riggs examines the history, art, and religion of ancient Egypt to illuminate why it has been so influential throughout the centuries. In doing so, she shows how the ancient past has always been used to serve contemporary purposes.
Often characterized as a lost civilization that was discovered by adventurers and archeologists, Egypt has meant many things to many different people. Ancient Greek and Roman writers admired ancient Egyptian philosophy, and this admiration would influence ideas about Egypt in Renaissance Europe as well as the Arabic-speaking world. By the eighteenth century, secret societies like the Freemasons looked to ancient Egypt as a source of wisdom, but as modern Egypt became the focus of Western military strategy and economic exploitation in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, its ancient remains came to be seen as exotic, primitive, or even dangerous, tangled in the politics of racial science and archaeology. The curse of the pharaohs or the seductiveness of Cleopatra were myths that took on new meanings in the colonial era, while ancient Egypt also inspired modernist, anti-colonial movements in the arts, such as in the Harlem Renaissance and Egyptian Pharaonism. Today, ancient Egypt—whether through actual relics or through cultural homage—can be found from museum galleries to tattoo parlors. Riggs helps us understand why this “lost civilization” continues to be a touchpoint for defining—and debating—who we are today.
Edited by Sergio Donadoni University of Chicago Press, 1997 Library of Congress DT61.U6513 1997 | Dewey Decimal 932
The Egyptians is a vibrant, accessible introduction to the people who lived along the Nile for almost thirty-five centuries. In this collection of essays, eleven internationally renowned Egyptologists present studies of ancient Egyptians arranged by social type—slaves, craftsmen, priests, bureaucrats, the pharaoh, peasants, and women, among others. These individual essays are filled with a wealth of historical detail that both informs and fascinates: we learn, for example, that Egyptian peasants could not afford burial (their corpses were abandoned on the desert fringe), and that it was the bureaucrats who made the Egyptian system tick (the pyramids could not have been built without them).
Read consecutively, the portraits merge to create a larger picture of Egyptian culture, state, and society. The framework of the Egyptian state, in particular, is touched upon in each essay, describing the meticulous administration and well-organized hierarchical system that fostered centuries of stability and prosperity.
The land of pyramids and sphinxes, pharaohs and goddesses, Egypt has been a source of awe and fascination from the time of the ancient Greeks to the twenty-first century. In Egyptomania, Ronald H. Fritze takes us on a historical journey to unearth the Egypt of the past, a place inhabited by strange gods, powerful magic, spell-binding hieroglyphs, and the uncanny, mummified remains of ancient people. Walking among monumental obelisks and through the dark corridors of long-sealed tombs, he reveals a long-standing fascination with an Egypt of incredible wonder and mystery.
As Fritze shows, Egypt has exerted a powerful force on our imagination. Medieval Christians considered it a holy land with many connections to biblical lore, while medieval Muslims were intrigued by its towering monuments, esoteric sciences, and hidden treasures. People of the Renaissance sought Hermes Trismegistus as the ancient originator of astrology, alchemy, and magic, and those of the Baroque pondered the ciphers of the hieroglyphs. Even the ever-practical Napoleon was enchanted by it, setting out in a costly campaign to walk in the footsteps of Alexander the Great through its valleys, by then considered the cradle of Western civilization. And of course the modern era is one still susceptible to the lure of undiscovered tombs and the curses of pharaohs cast on covetous archeologists.
Raising ancient Egyptian art and architecture into the light of succeeding history, Fritze offers a portrait of an ancient place and culture that has remained alive through millennia, influencing everything from religion to philosophy to literature to science to popular culture.
Festal Letters 13-30
St. Cyril of Alexandria Catholic University of America Press, 2013 Library of Congress BR65.C952E5 2009 | Dewey Decimal 270.2092
Twenty-nine in all, these letters cover all but three of Cyril's years as a bishop. The first twelve were published in 2009 (Fathers of the Church 118). The present volume completes the set. Festal letters were used in Alexandria primarily to announce the beginning of Lent and the date of Easter. They also served a catechetical purpose, however, allowing the Patriarch an annual opportunity to write pastorally not just about issues facing the entire see, but also about the theological issues of the day.
Folktales of Egypt
Hasan M. El-Shamy University of Chicago Press, 1982 Library of Congress GR355.E47 | Dewey Decimal 398.20962
In this book Hasan M. El-Shamy has gathered the first authentic new collection of modern Egyptian folk narratives to appear in nearly a century. El-Shamy's English translations of these orally presented stories not only preserve their spirit, but give Middle Eastern lore the scholarly attention it has long deserved.
"This collection of seventy recently collected Egyptian tales is a major contribution to African studies and to international distribution studies of folktales. In the face of the recent anthropological trend to use folkloric materials for extra-folkloric purposes, the preeminence of the text must be asserted once more, and these are obviously authentic, straightforwardly translated, fully documented as to date of collection and social category of informant, and for all that . . . readable."—Daniel J. Crowley, Research in African Literatures
"Western knowledge of virtually all facets of contemporary Egyptian culture, much less the roots of that culture, is woefully inadequate. By providing an interesting, varied, and readable collection of Egyptian folktales and offering clear and sensible accounts of their background and meaning, this book renders a valuable service indeed."—Kenneth J. Perkins, International Journal of Oral History
Foreign policy motivation is a complex mix reflecting the fears and aspirations of publics, interest groups, bureaucratic sets, and important individuals. International conflict cannot be resolved without resolving how foreign policy is motivated. This book presents a conceptual framework for identifying and weighing foreign policy motives that shape, direct, and alter foreign policy.
In late 2007, a young Canadian student and three friends plunge themselves into the Middle East, seeking and filming stories that explore the conflict-ridden societies of Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, and Palestine. They meet with refugees fleeing political persecution, hardened Lebanese militia groups, hunted members of the Syrian opposition, Jewish immigrant soldiers, and Palestinian victims of Israeli torture. Even their misadventures - being interrogated by Hezbollah after crossing invisible lines i the suburbs of Beirut, or being shot at and tear-gassed by Israeli troops - serve only to deepen their understanding of the complex rivalries they encounter, and ultimately, upon their return to Egypt, by a powerful revelation about the nature of Islam.
Papyrologists and historians have taken a lively interest in the Apion family (fifth through seventh centuries), who rose from local prominence in rural Middle Egypt to become one of the wealthiest and most powerful families in the Eastern Roman Empire. The focus of most scholarly debate has been whether the Apion estate—and estates like it—aimed for a marketable surplus or for self-sufficiency. Getting Rich in Late Antique Egypt shifts the discussion to precisely how the Apions’ wealth was generated and what role their Egyptian estate played in that growth by engaging directly with broader questions of the relationship between public and private economic actors in Late Antiquity, rational management in ancient economies, the size of estates in Byzantine Egypt, and the role of rural estates in the Byzantine economy.
Ryan E. McConnell connects the family’s rise in wealth and status to its role in tax collection on behalf of the Byzantine state, rather than a reliance on productive surpluses. Close analysis of low- and high-level accounts from the Apion estate, as well as documentation from comparable Roman and Byzantine Egyptian estates, corroborate this conclusion. Additionally, McConnell offers a third way into the ongoing debate over whether the Apions’ relationship with the state was antagonistic or cooperative, concluding that the relationship was that of parties in a negotiation, with each side seeking to maximize its own benefit. The application of modern economic concepts—as well as comparisons to the economies of Athens, Rome, Ptolemaic Egypt, and Early Modern France—further illuminate the structure and function of the estate in Late Antique Egypt.
Getting Rich in Late Antique Egypt will be a valuable resource for philologists, archaeologists, papyrologists, and scholars of Late Antiquity. It will also interest scholars of agricultural, social, and economic history.
The pyramids of Giza have stood for more than four thousand years, fascinating generations around the world. We think of the pyramids as mysteries, but the stones, hieroglyphs, landscape, and even layers of sand and debris around them hold stories. In Giza and the Pyramids: The Definitive History, two of the world’s most eminent Egyptologists, Mark Lehner and Zahi Hawass, provide their unique insights based on more than four decades of excavating and studying the site.
The celebrated Great Pyramid of Khufu, or Cheops, is the only one of the seven wonders of the ancient world still standing, but there is much more to Giza. Though we imagine the pyramids of Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure and the Sphinx rising from the desert, isolated and enigmatic, they were once surrounded by temples, noble tombs, vast cemeteries, and even harbors and teeming towns. This unparalleled account describes that past life in vibrant detail, along with the history of exploration, the religious and social function of the pyramids, how the pyramids were built, and the story of Giza before and after the Old Kingdom. Hundreds of illustrations, including vivid photographs of the monuments, excavations, and objects, as well as plans, reconstructions, and images from remote-controlled cameras and laser scans, help bring these monuments to life.
Through the ages, Giza and the pyramids have inspired extraordinary speculations and wild theories, but here, in this definitive account, is the in-depth story as told by the evidence on the ground and by the leading authorities on the site.
The titulary of the ancient Egyptian king was one of the symbols of authority he assumed at his coronation. At first consisting only of the Horus name, the titulary grew to include other phrases chosen to represent the king’s special relationship with the divine world. By the Middle Kingdom (late twenty-first century B.C.E.), the full fivefold titulary was clearly established, and kings henceforth used all five names regularly. This volume includes all rulers’ names from the so-called Dynasty 0 (ca. 3200 B.C.E.) to the last Ptolemaic ruler in the late first century B.C.E., offered in transliteration and English translation with an introduction and notes.
For more than three thousand years, the mysterious events surrounding the death of Ramesses III have puzzled historians and students of ancient Egypt. Now, archaeologist Susan Redford investigates the circumstances of the ancient pharaoh's death and discovers among the women of his harem the threads of a murder conspiracy.
From new translations of ancient papyri and careful readings of temple carvings, Redford identifies the suspects in the assassination—wives, concubines, and attendants. She evaluates the evidence against them and outlines a possible murder plot that turns upon a shocking revelation about the pharaoh's immediate family. On the basis of new discoveries relating to the identity of Ramesses III's queens and their sons, she uncovers a primary motive for regicide and presents persuasive evidence of a palace revolt. Divisions between clans and rival lineages, she argues, gave rise to a plot to murder the king.
Richly illustrated with thirty photos and diagrams, Redford's groundbreaking investigation of the plot to murder "the last of the great pharaohs" offers an extraordinary vision of the ancient Egyptian world.
Honor Among Thieves examines associations of craftsmen in the framework of ancient economics and transaction costs. Scholars have long viewed such associations primarily as social or religious groups that provided mutual support, proper burial, and sociability, and spaces where nonelite individuals could seek status supposedly denied them in their contemporary society. However, the analysis presented here concentrates on how craftsmen, merchants, and associations interacted with each other and with elite and nonelite constituencies; managed economic, political, social, and legal activities; represented their concerns to the authorities; and acquired and used social capital—a new and important view of these economic engines.
Philip F. Venticinque offers a study of associations from a social, economic, and legal point of view, and in the process examines how they helped their members overcome high transaction costs—the “costs of doing business”—through the development of social capital. He explores associations from the “bottom up,” in order to see how their members create status and reputation outside of an elite framework. He thus explores how occupations regarded as thieves in elite ideology create their own systems of honor.
Honor Among Thieves will be of interest to scholars of the ancient economy, of social groups, and Roman Egypt in all periods.
Until now, the notion of a cross-cultural dialogue has not figured in the analysis of harem paintings, largely because the Western fantasy of the harem has been seen as the archetype for Western appropriation of the Orient. In Intimate Outsiders, the art historian Mary Roberts brings to light a body of harem imagery that was created through a dynamic process of cultural exchange. Roberts focuses on images produced by nineteenth-century European artists and writers who were granted access to harems in the urban centers of Istanbul and Cairo. As invited guests, these Europeans were “intimate outsiders” within the women’s quarters of elite Ottoman households. At the same time, elite Ottoman women were offered intimate access to European culture through their contact with these foreign travelers.
Roberts draws on a range of sources, including paintings, photographs, and travelogues discovered in archives in Britain, Turkey, Egypt, and Denmark. She rethinks the influential harem works of the realist painter John Frederick Lewis, a British artist living in Cairo during the 1840s, whose works were granted an authoritative status by his British public despite the actual limits of his insider knowledge. Unlike Lewis, British women were able to visit Ottoman harems, and from the mid-nineteenth century on they did so in droves. Writing about their experiences in published travelogues, they undermined the idea that harems were the subject only of male fantasies. The elite Ottoman women who orchestrated these visits often challenged their guests’ misapprehensions about harem life, and a number of them exercised power as patrons, commissioning portraits from European artists. Their roles as art patrons defy the Western idea of the harem woman as passive odalisque.
The famous library of Alexandria, founded around 295 BCE by Ptolemaios I, housed the greatest collection of texts in the ancient world and was a fertile site of Hellenistic scholarship. Rudolf Blum’s landmark study, originally published in German in 1977, argues that Kallimachos of Kyrene was not only the second director of the Alexandrian library but also the inventor of two essential scholarly tools still in use to this day: the library catalog and the “biobibliographical” reference work. Kallimachos expanded the library’s inventory lists into volumes called the Pinakes, which extensively described and categorized each work and became in effect a Greek national bibliography and the source and paradigm for most later bibliographic lists of Greek literature. Though the Pinakes have not survived, Blum attempts a detailed reconstruction of Kallimachos’s inventories and catalogs based on a careful analysis of surviving sources, which are presented here in full translation.
This classic study clearly establishes a fundamental difference in viewpoint between the peoples of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. By examining the forms of kingship which evolved in the two countries, Frankfort discovered that beneath resemblances fostered by similar cultural growth and geographical location lay differences based partly upon the natural conditions under which each society developed. The river flood which annually renewed life in the Nile Valley gave Egyptians a cheerful confidence in the permanence of established things and faith in life after death. Their Mesopotamian contemporaries, however, viewed anxiously the harsh, hostile workings of nature.
Frank's superb work, first published in 1948 and now supplemented with a preface by Samuel Noah Kramer, demonstrates how the Egyptian and Mesopotamian attitudes toward nature related to their concept of kingship. In both countries the people regarded the king as their mediator with the gods, but in Mesopotamia the king was only the foremost citizen, while in Egypt the ruler was a divine descendant of the gods and the earthly representative of the God Horus.
The history of Western intervention in the Middle East stretches from the late eighteenth century to the present day. All too often, the Western rationale for invading and occupying a country to liberate its people has produced new forms of domination that have hindered rather than encouraged the emergence of democratic politics. Abdeslam M. Maghraoui advances the understanding of this problematic dynamic through an analysis of efforts to achieve liberal reform in Egypt following its independence from Great Britain in 1922.
In the 1920s and 1930s, Egypt’s reformers equated liberal notions of nationhood and citizenship with European civilization and culture. As Maghraoui demonstrates, in their efforts to achieve liberalization, they sought to align Egypt with the West and to dissociate it from the Arab and Islamic worlds. Egypt’s professionals and leading cultural figures attempted to replace the fez with European-style hats; they discouraged literary critics from studying Arabic poetry, claiming it was alien to Egyptian culture. Why did they feel compelled to degrade local cultures in order to accommodate liberal principles?
Drawing on the thought of Lacan, Fanon, Said, and Bhabha, as well as contemporary political theory, Maghraoui points to liberalism’s inherent contradiction: its simultaneous commitments to individual liberty and colonial conquest. He argues that when Egypt’s reformers embraced the language of liberalism as their own, they adopted social prejudices built into that language. Efforts to achieve liberalization played out—and failed—within the realm of culture, not just within the political arena. Opinions voiced through literary works, cartoons, newspaper articles on controversial social issues, and other forms of cultural expression were ultimately more important to the fate of liberalism in Egypt than were questions of formal political participation and representation. Liberalism without Democracy demonstrates the powerful—and under appreciated—role of language and culture in defining citizenship and political community.
President of the Archaeological Institute of America, professor at the University of Michigan from 1889 to 1927, and president of the American Philological Association, Francis Kelsey was crucially involved in the founding or growth of major educational institutions. He came to maturity in a period of great technological change in communications, transportation, and manufacturing. Kelsey took full advantage of such innovations in his ceaseless drive to promote education for all, to further the expansion of knowledge, and to champion the benefits of the study of antiquity.
A vigorous traveler around the United States, Europe, and the Mediterranean, Kelsey strongly believed in the value of personally viewing sites ancient and modern and collecting artifacts that could be used by the new museums and universities that were springing up in the United States. This collecting habit put him in touch with major financiers of the day, including Charles Freer, Andrew Carnegie, and J. P. Morgan, as he sought their help for important projects.
Drawing heavily on Kelsey's daily diaries now held at the University of Michigan's Bentley Historical Library, John Griffiths Pedley gives us a biography that records the wide-ranging activities of a gifted and energetic scholar whose achievements mirrored the creative and contributive innovations of his contemporary Americans.
About a millennium ago, in Cairo, an unknown author completed a large and richly illustrated book. In the course of thirty-five chapters, this book guided the reader on a journey from the outermost cosmos and planets to Earth and its lands, islands, features, and inhabitants. This treatise, known as The Book of Curiosities, was unknown to modern scholars until a remarkable manuscript copy surfaced in 2000.
Lost Maps of the Caliphs provides the first general overview of The Book of Curiosities and the unique insight it offers into medieval Islamic thought. Opening with an account of the remarkable discovery of the manuscript and its purchase by the Bodleian Library, the authors use The Book of Curiosities to re-evaluate the development of astrology, geography, and cartography in the first four centuries of Islam. Their account assesses the transmission of Late Antique geography to the Islamic world, unearths the logic behind abstract maritime diagrams, and considers the palaces and walls that dominate medieval Islamic plans of towns and ports. Early astronomical maps and drawings demonstrate the medieval understanding of the structure of the cosmos and illustrate the pervasive assumption that almost any visible celestial event had an effect upon life on Earth. Lost Maps of the Caliphs also reconsiders the history of global communication networks at the turn of the previous millennium. It shows the Fatimid Empire, and its capital Cairo, as a global maritime power, with tentacles spanning from the eastern Mediterranean to the Indus Valley and the East African coast.
As Lost Maps of the Caliphs makes clear, not only is The Book of Curiosities one of the greatest achievements of medieval mapmaking, it is also a remarkable contribution to the story of Islamic civilization that opens an unexpected window to the medieval Islamic view of the world.
What happens when the market tries to help the poor? In many parts of the world today, neoliberal development programs are offering ordinary people the tools of free enterprise as the means to well-being and empowerment. Schemes to transform the poor into small-scale entrepreneurs promise them the benefits of the market and access to the rewards of globalization. Markets of Dispossession is a theoretically sophisticated and sobering account of the consequences of these initiatives.
Julia Elyachar studied the efforts of bankers, social scientists, ngo members, development workers, and state officials to turn the craftsmen and unemployed youth of Cairo into the vanguard of a new market society based on microenterprise. She considers these efforts in relation to the alternative notions of economic success held by craftsmen in Cairo, in which short-term financial profit is not always highly valued. Through her careful ethnography of workshop life, Elyachar explains how the traditional market practices of craftsmen are among the most vibrant modes of market life in Egypt. Long condemned as backward, these existing market practices have been seized on by social scientists and development institutions as the raw materials for experiments in “free market” expansion. Elyachar argues that the new economic value accorded to the cultural resources and social networks of the poor has fueled a broader process leading to their economic, social, and cultural dispossession.
This exciting new study draws on objects excavated or discovered in the late nineteenth or early twentieth century at three Mediterranean sites. Through the three case studies, Materia Magica identifies specific forms of magic that may be otherwise unknown. It isolates the practitioners of magic and examines whether magic could be used as a form of countercultural resistance. Andrew T. Wilburn discovers magic in the objects of ancient daily life, suggesting that individuals frequently turned to magic, particularly in crises. Local forms of magic may have differed, and Wilburn proposes that the only way we can find small-town sorcerers is through careful examination of the archaeological evidence.
Studying the remains of spells enacted by practitioners, Wilburn's work unites the analysis of the words written on artifacts and the physical form of these objects. He situates these items within their contexts, to study how and why they were used. Materia Magica approaches magic as a material endeavor, in which spoken spells, ritual actions, and physical objects all played vital roles in the performance of a rite.
Materia Magica develops a new method for identifying and interpreting the material remains of magical practice by assessing artifacts within their archaeological contexts. Wilburn suggests that excavations undertaken in recent centuries can yield important lessons about the past, and he articulates the ways in which we can approach problematic data.
The Mind of Egypt presents an unprecedented account of the mainsprings of Egyptian civilization--the ideals, values, mentalities, belief systems, and aspirations that shaped the first territorial state in human history. Drawing on a range of literary, iconographic, and archaeological sources, the renowned historian Jan Assmann reconstructs a world of unparalleled complexity, a culture that, long before others, possessed an extraordinary degree of awareness and self-reflection.
Reviews of this book: Magnificent' Assmann asks what meaning Egyptians obtained from their own constructions of their history. How did they incorporate the legacy of the past into the present. Using three approaches - archeological, mythic, and epigraphic or iconographic - Assmann takes us a chronological journey, starting with the formation of the unified state in about 3100 BC and going through the three great kingdoms. He ends in the late period with the final whimpers of Egyptian civilization. Assmann has looked closely into the mirror of the ancient intangible with telling effect. Every student of early civilization has something to learn from these pages, which will help cure us of intellectual myopia. --Brian Fagan, The Los Angeles Times
Reviews of this book: Assmann is attempting something far more ambitious than all the conventional books on Egypt. What he attempts to do is pen a psychological portrait of Egyptian culture. He asks questions that are normally avoided by ancient historians: What motivated the culture? How did it view the relationship between the individual and the universe surrounding him or her? What explanations did it provide for worldly events and reversals of fortune? The result is impressive. The Mind of Egypt marks the culmination of years of questioning about the past and the ways it can be conceptualized. Jan Assmann is close in some ways to being the Beethoven of Egyptology. The Mind of Egypt is a singular book that will provoke debate for a generation to come. It is essential reading for those who wish to call themselves Egyptologists, and it is an important intellectual contribution to the whole question of what constitutes history and historiography. --John Ray, The American Scholar
Reviews of this book: [This book's] aim--to examine the mainsprings of Egyptian civilisation and thereby to provide a 'psychological' portrait of Egyptian culture--is truly fascinating. --History Today
The Muslim Brotherhood and the West is the first comprehensive history of the relationship between the world’s largest Islamist movement and the Western powers that have dominated the Middle East for the past century: Britain and the United States.
In the decades since the Brotherhood emerged in Egypt in the 1920s, the movement’s notion of “the West” has remained central to its worldview and a key driver of its behavior. From its founding, the Brotherhood stood opposed to the British Empire and Western cultural influence more broadly. As British power gave way to American, the Brotherhood’s leaders, committed to a vision of more authentic Islamic societies, oscillated between anxiety or paranoia about the West and the need to engage with it. Western officials, for their part, struggled to understand the Brotherhood, unsure whether to shun the movement as one of dangerous “fanatics” or to embrace it as a moderate and inevitable part of the region’s political scene. Too often, diplomats failed to view the movement on its own terms, preferring to impose their own external agendas and obsessions.
Martyn Frampton reveals the history of this complex and charged relationship down to the eve of the Arab Spring. Drawing on extensive archival research in London and Washington and the Brotherhood’s writings in Arabic and English, he provides the most authoritative assessment to date of a relationship that is both vital in itself and crucial to navigating one of the world’s most turbulent regions.
Little is known about Nefertiti, the Egyptian queen whose name means “a beautiful woman has come.” She was the wife of Akhenaten, the pharaoh who ushered in the dramatic Amarna Age, and she bore him at least six children. She played a prominent role in political and religious affairs, but after Akhenaten’s death she apparently vanished and was soon forgotten.
Yet Nefertiti remains one of the most famous and enigmatic women who ever lived. Her instantly recognizable face adorns a variety of modern artifacts, from expensive jewelry to cheap postcards, t-shirts, and bags, all over the world. She has appeared on page, stage, screen, and opera. In Britain, one woman has spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on plastic surgery in hope of resembling the long-dead royal. This enduring obsession is the result of just one object: the lovely and mysterious Nefertiti bust, created by the sculptor Thutmose and housed in Berlin’s Neues Museum since before World War II.
In Nefertiti’s Face, Egyptologist Joyce Tyldesley tells the story of the bust, from its origins in a busy workshop of the late Bronze Age to its rediscovery and controversial removal to Europe in 1912 and its present status as one of the world’s most treasured artifacts. This wide-ranging history takes us from the temples and tombs of ancient Egypt to wartime Berlin and engages the latest in Pharaonic scholarship. Tyldesley sheds light on both Nefertiti’s life and her improbable afterlife, in which she became famous simply for being famous.
New texts from Greek antiquity continue to emerge on scraps of papyrus from the sands of Egypt, not only adding to the surviving corpus of classical and Hellenistic literature, but also occasionally offering a glimpse into how these poems were studied in antiquity. New Literary Papyri from the Michigan Collection: Mythographic Lyric and a Catalogue of Poetic First Lines presents three such new texts: an innovative lyric poem on the Trojan cycle, a scholarly anthology of lyric verses, and a brief but enigmatic third text. Cassandra Borges and C. Michael Sampson offer the original Greek text of these pieces, along with their scholarly commentary, analyzing their features in a variety of contexts—historical, cultural, poetic, mythological, religious, and scholarly.
The fragments collected here are of considerable antiquity (late third to second century BCE) a fact that is significant inasmuch as it places them among the oldest Greek papyri, but all the more so because in this period, a scholarly community was thriving in Ptolemaic Alexandria, the political and cultural capital of Hellenistic Egypt. The fragments bear witness to that scholarly activity: not only is their anthology of poetic verses consistent with other scholarly selections, but the very survival of these texts may well be at least partially indebted to the work of the Alexandrians in studying and propagating Greek literature in Egypt.
This edition supplements the 1970s work of Reinhold Merkelbach and Denys Page. Recent digitizing for the APIS project revealed a previously unsuspected join with other material, however, which alone warrants a new, comprehensive edition and analysis.
For thousands of years, our world has been shaped by biblical monotheism. But its hallmark—a distinction between one true God and many false gods—was once a new and radical idea. Of God and Gods explores the revolutionary newness of biblical theology against a background of the polytheism that was once so commonplace.
Jan Assmann, one of the most distinguished scholars of ancient Egypt working today, traces the concept of a true religion back to its earliest beginnings in Egypt and describes how this new idea took shape in the context of the older polytheistic world that it rejected. He offers readers a deepened understanding of Egyptian polytheism and elaborates on his concept of the “Mosaic distinction,” which conceives an exclusive and emphatic Truth that sets religion apart from beliefs shunned as superstition, paganism, or heresy.
Without a theory of polytheism, Assmann contends, any adequate understanding of monotheism is impossible.
Best Books for General Audiences, selected by the American Association of School Librarians, and Best Books for Special Interests, selected by the Public Library Association
Informal documents and remains of material culture, when analyzed properly, offer a unique window into the daily lives and workings of ancient civilizations. Published here in their archaeological context and with any relevant artifacts, the documents and inscriptions excavated recently in Egypt’s Western Desert represent a valuable addition to our meager documentation of the Bahriya Oasis in the first centuries CE.
This is the first comprehensive treatment of an archaeological dataset from the archaeological exploration of Bir Shawish. Dating to around 400 CE, these primary historical sources include documentary texts written on ostraka, informal inscriptions on various ceramic objects, plus a group of incised lids. The core of the volume consists of an annotated edition and analytical indices. This is prefaced by the historical and archaeological context and is followed by a synthesis of selected issues inherent to the published material. The book includes appendices and pictures of all published objects. Doubling the number of texts and inscriptions published to date from the Small Oasis, this new corpus furthers our understanding of the economic, administrative, and social history of Late Antique Egypt.
Before the time of Napoleon, the most ambitious effort to explore and map the Nile was undertaken by the Ottomans, as attested by two monumental documents: an elaborate map, with 475 rubrics, and a lengthy travel account. Both were achieved at about the same time—c. 1685—and both by the same man.
Evliya Çelebi’s account of his Nile journeys, in the tenth volume of his Book of Travels (Seyahatname), has been known to the scholarly world since 1938, when that volume was first published. The map, held in the Vatican Library, has been studied since at least 1949. Numerous new critical editions of both the map and the text have been published over the years, each expounding upon the last in an attempt to reach a definitive version. The Ottoman Explorations of the Nile provides a more accurate translation of the original travel account. Furthermore, the maps themselves are reproduced in greater detail and vivid color, and there are more cross-references to the text than in any previous edition. This volume gives equal weight and attention to the two parts that make up this extraordinary historical document, allowing readers to study the map or the text independently, while also using each to elucidate and accentuate the details of the other.
Papyri from Karanis: The Granary C123 is the twenty- first volume of University of Michigan papyri and the fourth devoted to texts from the University’s excavations at Karanis. The volume offers a contextualized edition of thirty-seven documents found in a single structure, a large granary (C123) originally built in the first century CE, in addition to an analysis of the archaeology and history of the structure.
The documents are presented with an introduction, transcription of the original Greek or Latin, translation, commentary, and images. A unique community prayer to the emperor and gods (827) is the volume’s most notable contribution. The other papyri are a mix of private and public documents (petitions, declarations, letters, lists, etc.) that date from between the first century BCE and the fourth century CE. The typological and chronological mix of texts shows that they do not form an undisturbed archive but were rather a dump of wastepaper and other household objects.
Michigan’s excavated papyri are here presented for the first time on the basis of their archaeological find spot rather than being organized according to content. The volume’s introduction provides a possible model for analyzing legacy data from the Karanis excavations stored at the University of Michigan. The book will be of interest to papyrologists, ancient historians, and archaeologists of Greco- Roman Egypt.
Photography and Egypt
Maria Golia Reaktion Books, 2010 Library of Congress TR117.G65 2010 | Dewey Decimal 770.962
Egypt immediately conjures images of the pyramids, the temples and the Sphinx in the desert. Early photographs of Egypt took these ancient monuments as their primary subjects, and these have remained hugely influential in constructing our view of the country. But while Egypt and its monuments have been regularly photographed by foreigners, little has been known about the early days of photography among Egyptians. Photography and Egypt examines both, considering images from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day, including studio portraits, landscapes and photojournalism.
Two forces drove photography’s early development in Egypt: its link as an essential tool of archaeology and the accelerating effects of archaeological photographs on the burgeoning tourism industry. In this book, Maria Golia examines these twin drives, through the work of Europeans who travelled to Egypt as well as early Egyptian and Middle Eastern photographers. Golia examines how photography was also employed for propaganda purposes, including depictions of celebrated soldiers, workers and farmers; and how studio-based photography was used to portray the growing Egyptian middle class. Today’s young photographic artists, Golia reveals, use the medium to celebrate everyday life and to indict political and social conditions, with photography bearing witness to history––as well as helping to shape it.
Illustrated with a rich, sometimes surprising variety of images, many published for the first time in the West, Photography and Egypt is the first book to relate the story of Egypt’s rapport with photography in one concise and highly readable account.
The central question of the Arab Spring—what democracies should look like in the deeply religious countries of the Middle East—has developed into a vigorous debate over these nations’ secular identities. But what, exactly, is secularism? What has the West’s long familiarity with it inevitably obscured? In Questioning Secularism, Hussein Ali Agrama tackles these questions. Focusing on the fatwa councils and family law courts of Egypt just prior to the revolution, he delves deeply into the meaning of secularism itself and the ambiguities that lie at its heart.
Drawing on a precedent-setting case arising from the family law courts —the last courts in Egypt to use Shari‘a law—Agrama shows that secularism is a historical phenomenon that works through a series of paradoxes that it creates. Digging beneath the perceived differences between the West and Middle East, he highlights secularism’s dependence on the law and the problems that arise from it: the necessary involvement of state sovereign power in managing the private spiritual lives of citizens and the irreducible set of legal ambiguities such a relationship creates. Navigating a complex landscape between private and public domains, Questioning Secularism lays important groundwork for understanding the real meaning of secularism as it affects the real freedoms of a citizenry, an understanding of the utmost importance for so many countries that are now urgently facing new political possibilities.
In the tumultuous and vivid history of New Kingdom Egypt, Ramesses III's reign was prosperous and culturally rich. He fended off attacks by the "Sea Peoples" and others who threatened the state, he built the great temple of Medinet Habu, and he left wonderfully complete documents describing contemporary social structure and the economy. Amazingly, we even have an account from a contemporary judicial document that describes events leading to Ramesses III's assassination. This edited collection presents a detailed and informative look at the life, career, and world of one of Egypt's most important pharaohs, providing insight both on his reign and its aftermath and on the study of the political and cultural history of ancient Egypt.
This collection offers the best new scholarship on Ramesses III, with contributions from Christopher J. Eyre; Ogden Goelet, Jr.; Peter W. Haider; Carolyn R. Higginbotham; Kenneth A. Kitchen; Bojana Mojsov; Steven R. Snape; Emily Teeter; and James M. Weinstein, as well as from David O'Connor and Eric H. Cline. It will be of interest to those with an informed amateur's interest in Egyptology as well as to scholars of Egyptian and biblical archaeology.
Recording Village Life presents a close study of over 140 Coptic texts written between 724–756 CE by a single scribe, Aristophanes son of Johannes, of the village Djeme in western Thebes. These texts, which focus primarily on taxation and property concerns, yield a wealth of knowledge about social and economic changes happening at both the community and country-wide levels during the early years of Islamic rule in Egypt. Additionally, they offer a fascinating picture of the scribe’s role within this world, illuminating both the practical aspects of his work and the social and professional connections with clients for whom he wrote legal documents.
Papyrological analysis of Aristophanes’ documents, within the context of the textual record of the village, shows a new and divergent scribal practice that reflects broader trends among his contemporaries: Aristophanes was part of a larger, national system of administrative changes, enacted by the country’s Arab rulers in order to better control administrative practices and fiscal policies within the country. Yet Aristophanes’ dossier shows him not just as an administrator, revealing details about his life, his role in the community, and the elite networks within which he operated. This unique perspective provides new insights into both the micro-history of an individual’s experience of eighth-century Theban village life, and its reflection in the macro social, economic, and political trends in Egypt at this time.
This book will prove valuable to scholars of late antique studies, papyrology, philology, early Islamic history, social and economic history, and Egyptology.
The Rosetta Stone is one of the world’s great wonders, attracting awed pilgrims by the tens of thousands each year. This book tells the Stone’s story, from its discovery by Napoleon’s expedition to Egypt to its current—and controversial— status as the single most visited object on display in the British Museum.
John Hanning Speke’s discovery of Lake Victoria in 1858 while on a quest to find the source of the Nile elevated him to the pantheon of heroes of African exploration, alongside David Livingstone and Henry Morton Stanley. But historians have ignored the part played by the Welsh mining engineer John Petherick in the discovery, largely because Speke branded him a slave trader. In this first biography of Petherick, John Humphries explores whether Petherick was truly a rogue, as he is often portrayed, or the victim of a conspiracy that destroyed his reputation and denied him credit for one of the greatest feats in African exploration.
In The Security Archipelago, Paul Amar provides an alternative historical and theoretical framing of the refashioning of free-market states and the rise of humanitarian security regimes in the Global South by examining the pivotal, trendsetting cases of Brazil and Egypt. Addressing gaps in the study of neoliberalism and biopolitics, Amar describes how coercive security operations and cultural rescue campaigns confronting waves of resistance have appropriated progressive, antimarket discourses around morality, sexuality, and labor. The products of these struggles—including powerful new police practices, religious politics, sexuality identifications, and gender normativities—have traveled across an archipelago, a metaphorical island chain of what the global security industry calls "hot spots." Homing in on Cairo and Rio de Janeiro, Amar reveals the innovative resistances and unexpected alliances that have coalesced in new polities emerging from the Arab Spring and South America's Pink Tide. These have generated a shared modern governance model that he terms the "human-security state."
Family squabbles and fights over real estate were no less complex in sixth-century Egypt than they are in the modern world. In this unusual volume Peter van Minnen and Traianos Gagos investigate just such a struggle, as described in a two-part papyrus some five feet long. Composed by the ancient equivalent of a notary public, the papyrus describes the outcome (after mediation) of a family dispute about valuable real estate.
Traianos Gagos and Peter van Minnen offer an English translation and a clear Greek text of the two papyrus fragments, as well as an important discussion of the nature of such mediation, its role in contemporary society, a consideration of the town of Aphrodito and its social and political elite, as well as many other topics that spring from this kind of document.
The use of methodologies from modern jurisprudence and anthropology together with an accessible style of writing mean that Settling a Dispute will be of interest to persons in many fields, including history, Classics, and Near Eastern studies. All Greek is translated, and an extensive commentary offers much helpful information on the text.
Traianos Gagos is Associate Archivist of the University of Michigan's papyri collection. Peter van Minnen is Senior Research Associate in the papyri collection at Duke University.
Arwa Salih was a member of the political bureau of the Egyptian Communist Workers Party, which was founded in the wake of the Arab–Israeli War and the Egyptian student movement of the early 1970s. Written more than a decade after Salih quit the party and left political life—and published shortly after she committed suicide—the book offers a poignant look at, and reckoning with, the Marxism of her generation and the role of militant intellectuals in the tragic failure of both the national liberation project and the communist project in Egypt. The powerful critique in The Stillborn speaks not only to and about Salih’s own generation of left activists but also to broader, still salient dilemmas of revolutionary politics throughout the developing world in the postcolonial era.
Tahrir Suite: Poems
Matthew Shenoda Northwestern University Press, 2014 Library of Congress PS3619.H4538T34 2014 | Dewey Decimal 811.6
Winner, Arab American National Museum's 2015 George Ellenbogen Poetry Award
Tahrir Suite is a book-length poem that contemplates immigration, homeland, and diaspora in the twenty-first century. The poem, inspired by recent events in Egypt, cycles through the journey of two Egyptians moving across borders, languages, cultures, landscapes, and political systems while their life in the U.S. diaspora evolves and their home country undergoes revolutionary change.
Written from a perspective and about a place that is virtually unexplored in contemporary American poetry, Tahrir Suite works to capture the complicated essence of what it means to be from a specific place that is experiencing such radical change and how our understandings of “home” and “place” constantly evolve. Tahrir Suite is a musical meditation on what it means to be a global citizen in contemporary times.
One of the most obvious stylistic features of Athenian black-figure vase painting is the use of color to differentiate women from men. By comparing ancient art in Egypt and Greece, Tan Men/Pale Women uncovers the complex history behind the use of color to distinguish between genders, without focusing on race. Author Mary Ann Eaverly considers the significance of this overlooked aspect of ancient art as an indicator of underlying societal ideals about the role and status of women. Such a commonplace method of gender differentiation proved to be a complex and multivalent method for expressing ideas about the relationship between men and women, a method flexible enough to encompass differing worldviews of Pharaonic Egypt and Archaic Greece. Does the standard indoor/outdoor explanation—women are light because they stay indoors—hold true everywhere, or even, in fact, in Greece? How “natural” is color-based gender differentiation, and, more critically, what relationship does color-based gender differentiation have to views about women and the construction of gender identity in the ancient societies that use it?
The depiction of dark men and light women can, as in Egypt, symbolize reconcilable opposites and, as in Greece, seemingly irreconcilable opposites where women are regarded as a distinct species from men. Eaverly challenges traditional ideas about color and gender in ancient Greek painting, reveals an important strategy used by Egyptian artists to support pharaonic ideology and the role of women as complementary opposites to men, and demonstrates that rather than representing an actual difference, skin color marks a society’s ideological view of the varied roles of male and female.
Ancient Egypt is well known for its towering monuments and magnificent statuary, but other aspects of its civilization are less well known, especially its written texts. Now Texts from the Pyramid Age provides ready access to new translations of a representative selection of texts ranging from the historically significant to the repetitive formulae of the tomb inscriptions from Old Kingdom Egypt (ca. 2700-2170 B.C.). These royal and private inscriptions, coming from both the secular and religious milieus and from all kinds of physical contexts, not only shed light on the administration, foreign expeditions, and funerary beliefs of the period but also bring to life the Egyptians themselves, revealing how they saw the world and how they wanted the world to see them. Strudwick's helpful introduction to the history and literature of this seminal period provides important background for reading and understanding these historical texts.
Thutmose III: A New Biography
Eric H. Cline and David O'Connor, Editors University of Michigan Press, 2006 Library of Congress DT87.2.T48 2006 | Dewey Decimal 932.014092
Thutmose III was without question one of Egypt's greatest pharaohs. His 54-year reign was packed with momentous events as well as being unusually long. Thutmose III includes an overview of his life, and detailed examinations of civil administration, the religion and cults, the monumental architecture and royal building program, royal tombs and iconography, royal portraiture and ideology, the artistic production, the Northern and Southern campaigns, as well as the Aegean and other foreign visitors to Egypt during Thutmose's time. Finally, the book concludes with a look at the end of his reign and the accession of Amenhotep II.
This extensive treatment of a pivotal figure in the ancient Mediterranean world during the Late Bronze Age will provide a uniquely comprehensive view of one of Egypt's greatest pharaohs and will be of interest to a wide audience, including specialists in Egypt and the Near East, graduate and undergraduate students, and those with a general interest in Egypt.
Eric H. Cline is Associate Professor of Ancient History and Archaeology in the Department of Classical and Semitic Languages and Literatures at George Washington University.
David O'Connor is Lila Acheson Wallace Professor of Ancient Egyptian Art and Archaeology at the New York University Institute of Fine Arts.
This collection of twenty stories delves into the lives of Egyptian characters, from those living in Egypt to those who have immigrated to the United States. With subtle and eloquent prose, the complexities of these characters are revealed, opening a door into their intimate struggles with identity and place. We meet people who are tempted by the possibilities of America and others who are tempted by the desire to return home. Some are in the throes of re-creating themselves in the new world while others seem to be embedded in the loss of their homeland. Many of these characters, although physically located in either the United States or Egypt, have lives that embrace both cultures. "A Game of Chance" follows the actions of a young man when he wins the immigration lottery and then must decide whether or not to change his life. "Cumin and Coriander" takes us inside a woman's thoughts as she tries to come to terms with the path her life has taken while working as a cook for American expatriates in Egypt. "The Top" enters the mind of a man whose immigration results in a loss of identity and sanity. These compelling stories pull us into the lives of many different characters and offer us striking insights into the Arab American experience.
"I, without earning a penny, have to be the provider!" Thus Umm Ali sums up the nearly impossible challenge of her daily existence. Living in a poor neighborhood of Cairo, she has raised eight children with almost no help from her husband or the Egyptian government and through hardships from domestic violence to constant quarrels over material possessions.
Umm Ali's story is amazing not only for what it reveals about her resourcefulness but for the light it sheds on the resilience of Cairo's poor in the face of disastrous poverty. Like countless other poor people in Cairo, she has developed a personal buoyancy to cope with relentless economic need. It stems from a belief in the ability of people to shape their own destiny and helps explain why Cairo remains virtually free of the social ills—violent street crime and homelessness—that have eroded the lives of poor people in other major cities.
Unni Wikan first met Umm Ali and her family twenty-five years ago and has returned almost every year. She draws on her firsthand experience of their lives to create an intimate portrait of Cairo's back streets and the people who live there. Wikan's innovative approach to ethnographic writing reads like a novel that presents the experiences of Umm Ali's family and neighbors in their own words.
As Umm Ali recounts triumphs and defeats—from forming a savings club with neighbors to the gradual drifting away and eventual return of her husband—she unveils a deeply reflective attitude and her unwavering belief that she can improve her situation. Showing how Egyptian culture interprets poverty and family, this book attests to the capacity of an individual's self-worth to withstand incredible adversity.
Explore pilgrimage routes, epigraphy, and the history of writing with an expert guide
From the late 1970s through 1982, Michael E. Stone conducted a number of expeditions to the Sinai peninsula, searching for ancient inscriptions. In this book Stone describes his search, crowned by the discovery of the most ancient Armenian inscriptions known. Here Stone describes not only the inscriptions discovered along his journeys but also the Sinai, its past and present, its human inhabitants, its flora and fauna, and its history. Though once common, well-informed travel books to the Middle East with a broad academic interest and a specific focus have become rare. Stone’s diary of his expeditions in the Sinai fill this gap with vivid descriptions, poetry, and illustrations.
Osman, the founder of the Ottoman Empire, had a dream in which a tree sprouted from his navel. As the tree grew, its shade covered the earth; as Osman’s empire grew, it, too, covered the earth. This is the most widely accepted foundation myth of the longest-lasting empire in the history of Islam, and offers a telling clue to its unique legacy. Underlying every aspect of the Ottoman Empire’s epic history—from its founding around 1300 to its end in the twentieth century—is its successful management of natural resources. Under Osman’s Tree analyzes this rich environmental history to understand the most remarkable qualities of the Ottoman Empire—its longevity, politics, economy, and society.
The early modern Middle East was the world’s most crucial zone of connection and interaction. Accordingly, the Ottoman Empire’s many varied environments affected and were affected by global trade, climate, and disease. From down in the mud of Egypt’s canals to up in the treetops of Anatolia, Alan Mikhail tackles major aspects of the Middle East’s environmental history: natural resource management, climate, human and animal labor, energy, water control, disease, and politics. He also points to some of the ways in which the region’s dominant religious tradition, Islam, has understood and related to the natural world. Marrying environmental and Ottoman history, Under Osman’s Tree offers a bold new interpretation of the past five hundred years of Middle Eastern history.
Over the past two decades secular polities across the globe have witnessed an increasing turn to religion-based political movements, such as the rise of political Islam and Hindu nationalism, which have been fueling new and alternative notions of nationhood and national ideologies. The rise of such movements has initiated widespread debates over the meaning, efficacy, and normative worth of secularism. Visualizing Secularism and Religion examines the constitutive role of religion in the formation of secular-national public spheres in the Middle East and South Asia, arguing that in order to establish secularism as the dominant national ideology of countries such as Turkey, Lebanon, and India, the discourses, practices, and institutions of secular nation-building include rather than exclude religion as a presence within the public sphere. The contributors examine three fields---urban space and architecture, media, and public rituals such as parades, processions, and commemorative festivals---with a view to exploring how the relation between secularism, religion, and nationalism is displayed and performed. This approach demands a reconceptualization of secularism as an array of contextually specific practices, ideologies, subjectivities, and "performances" rather than as simply an abstract legal bundle of rights and policies.
Umm Kulthum, the "voice of Egypt," was the most celebrated musical performer of the century in the Arab world. More than twenty years after her death, her devoted audience, drawn from all strata of Arab society, still numbers in the millions. Thanks to her skillful and pioneering use of mass media, her songs still permeate the international airwaves. In the first English-language biography of Umm Kulthum, Virginia Danielson chronicles the life of a major musical figure and the confluence of artistry, society, and creativity that characterized her remarkable career.
Danielson examines the careful construction of Umm Kulthum's phenomenal popularity and success in a society that discouraged women from public performance. From childhood, her mentors honed her exceptional abilities to accord with Arab and Muslim practice, and as her stature grew, she remained attentive to her audience and the public reception of her work. Ultimately, she created from local precendents and traditions her own unique idiom and developed original song styles from both populist and neo-classical inspirations. These were enthusiastically received, heralded as crowning examples of a new, yet authentically Arab-Egyptian, culture. Danielson shows how Umm Kulthum's music and public personality helped form popular culture and contributed to the broader artistic, societal, and political forces that surrounded her.
This richly descriptive account joins biography with social theory to explore the impact of the individual virtuoso on both music and society at large while telling the compelling story of one of the most famous musicians of all time.
"She is born again every morning in the heart of 120 million beings. In the East a day without Umm Kulthum would have no color."—Omar Sharif
Here, adequately presented for the first time in English, is the fascinating story of a splendid culture that flourished thirty-five hundred years ago in the empire on the Nile: kings and conquests, gods and heroes, beautiful art, sculpture, poetry, architecture.
Significant archeological discoveries are constantly being made in Egypt. In this revision Professor Steele has rewritten whole chapters on the basis of these new finds and offers several new conclusions to age-old problems.
When Lincoln Came to Egypt
George W. Smith, with a Foreword by Daniel W. Stowell Southern Illinois University Press, 2016 Library of Congress E457.3.S68 2016 | Dewey Decimal 973.7092
In When Lincoln Came to Egypt, George W. Smith provides a detailed record of Abraham Lincoln’s travel in the southernmost region of Illinois, commonly referred to as Egypt. These visits began in 1830, before Lincoln had held public office, and continued through 1858, when he debated Stephen A. Douglas in Jonesboro and Alton as they ran against each other for a seat in the U.S. Senate. Lincoln found in the southern third of Illinois a political climate very different from that of central Illinois, where his career had begun. Lincoln’s trips to Egypt thus broadened his experience and understanding of the state as well as the nation. Smith discusses the origins of the people of the region and Lincoln’s early public life and provides historical and political background for his detailed discussion of the Lincoln-Douglas debates. The culmination of fifty years of extensive research, When Lincoln Came to Egypt provides a glimpse into an often overlooked part of Lincoln’s development as a politician.
Why did America invade Iraq? Why do nations choose to fight certain wars and not others? How do we bring ourselves to believe that the sacrifice of our troops is acceptable? For most, the answers to these questions are tied to struggles for power or resources and the machinations of particular interest groups. Philip Smith argues that this realist answer to the age-old "why war?" question is insufficient. Instead, Smith suggests that every war has its roots in the ways we tell and interpret stories.
Comprised of case studies of the War in Iraq, the Gulf War, and the Suez Crisis, Why War? decodes the cultural logic of the narratives that justify military action. Each nation, Smith argues, makes use of binary codes—good and evil, sacred and profane, rational and irrational, to name a few. These codes, in the hands of political leaders, activists, and the media, are deployed within four different types of narratives—mundane, tragic, romantic, or apocalyptic. With this cultural system, Smith is able to radically recast our "war stories" and show how nations can have vastly different understandings of crises as each identifies the relevant protagonists and antagonists, objects of struggle, and threats and dangers.
The large-scale sacrifice of human lives necessary in modern war, according to Smith, requires an apocalyptic vision of world events. In the case of the War in Iraq, for example, he argues that the United States and Britain replicated a narrative of impending global doom from the Gulf War. But in their apocalyptic account they mistakenly made the now seemingly toothless Saddam Hussein once again a symbol of evil by writing him into the story alongside al Qaeda, resulting in the war's contestation in the United States, Britain, and abroad.
Offering an innovative approach to understanding how major wars are packaged, sold, and understood, Why War? will be applauded by anyone with an interest in military history, political science, cultural studies, and communication.
The "glorious house" of the senatorial family of the Flavii Apiones is the best documented economic entity of the Roman Empire during the fifth through seventh centuries, that critical period of transition between the classical world and the Middle Ages. For decades, the rich but fragmentary manuscript evidence that this large agricultural estate left behind, preserved for 1,400 years by the desiccating sands of Egypt, has been central to arguments concerning the agrarian and fiscal history of Late Antiquity, including the rise of feudalism.
Wine, Wealth, and the State in Late Antique Egypt is the most authoritative synthesis concerning the economy of the Apion estate to appear to date. T. M. Hickey examines the records of the family's wine production in the sixth century in order to shed light on ancient economic practices and economic theory, as well as on the wine industry and on estate management. Based on careful study of the original manuscripts, including unpublished documents from the estate archive, he presents controversial conclusions, much at odds with the "top down" models currently dominating the scholarship.
Get to know the women of Jeme, a Christian enclave in Egypt that existed from 600 to 800 C.E.Using texts documenting the women's activities, the physical remains of their possessions, and the writings of the local religious leaders, T. G. Wilfong traces the lives and careers of individual women and, through them, arrives at an understanding of the reality of women's lives in this place and time.
Contrary to the submissive, demure ideals for women proposed by the religious writers of Christian Egypt, the evidence from Jeme points to a more complex, dynamic situation. Women were active in the home, but some also played important and visible parts in the religious and economic life of their community. A bishop's attempts to monitor the behavior of the women in his district, the intricate inheritance dispute between an aunt and her niece, one woman's pious donations of murals to a church, three women's agonized decisions to give up their children to the local monastery, and the transactions of a family of women moneylenders--all these episodes paint a vivid picture of life in a Coptic town.
Although the remains of Jeme have long been known to scholars, little synthetic work has been done on this rich source for social history in Egypt before and after the Muslim conquests. The Women of Jeme is the first book-length study of the evidence. It will be of interest to Egyptologists and papyrologists, as well as to scholars of Coptic studies, early Christianity, social history and women's studies. The book assumes no prior knowledge of the subject, and the author has taken care to make it accessible to anyone with an interest in the ancient world.
T. G. Wilfong is Assistant Professor of Egyptology and Assistant Curator for Greco-Roman Egypt, University of Michigan.
More than three hundred letters written in Greek and Egyptian by women in Egypt in the millennium from Alexander the Great to the Arab conquest survive on papyrus and pottery. Written by women from various walks of life, they shed light on critical social aspects of life in Egypt after the pharaohs. Roger S. Bagnall and Raffaella Cribiore collect the best preserved letters in translation and set them in their paleographic, linguistic, social, and economic contexts. The authors' analysis suggests that women's habits, interests, and means of expression were a product more of their social and economic standing than of specifically gender-related concerns or behavior. They present theoretical discussions about the handwriting and language of the letters, the education and culture of the writers' everyday concerns and occupations. Numerous illustrations display the varieties of handwriting.
When the British Museum opened its doors more than two centuries ago, scores of visitors waited eagerly outside for a first glimpse of ancient relics from Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Even today, in this age of satellite television and high-speed Internet access, museums maintain their unique allure, continuing to play a vital role in connecting us with little-known terrains and the deep mysteries of our historical past. That’s because, as Stephanie Moser argues in Wondrous Curiosities, museum displays don’t just transmit knowledge—they actually create it.
Based on her exploration of the British Museum’s world-famous collection of Egyptian antiquities, this pioneering study reveals the powerful role of museums in shaping our understanding of science, culture, and history. Drawing on guidebooks and archival documents, Moser demonstrates that this British exhibition of ancient Egyptian artifacts was central to the way we came to define the remarkable society that produced them. And she also reveals the specific strategies—such as using pattern and symmetry, juxtaposing different types of objects, and singling out particular items—that the British Museum and others used, and still use, in representing the past. With a wealth of illustrations and a detailed account of how the museum acquired and displayed its Egyptian collections, Wondrous Curiosities will fascinate curators and scholars of British history, Egyptology, art history, archaeology, and the history of science.
Working Out Egypt is both a rich cultural history of the formation of an Egyptian national subject in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth and a compelling critique of modern Middle Eastern historiography. Wilson Chacko Jacob describes how Egyptian men of a class akin to the cultural bourgeoisie (the effendiyya) struggled to escape from the long shadow cast by colonial depictions of the East as degenerate, feminine, and temporally behind an active and virile Europe. He argues that during British colonial rule (1882–1936), attempts to create a distinctively modern and Egyptian self free from the colonial gaze led to the formation of an ambivalent, performative subjectivity that he calls “effendi masculinity.” Jacob traces effendi masculinity as it took hold during the interwar years, in realms from scouting and competitive sports to sex talk and fashion, considering its gendered performativity in relation to a late-nineteenth-century British discourse on masculinity and empire and an explicitly nationalist discourse on Egyptian masculinity. He contends that as an assemblage of colonial modernity, effendi masculinity was simultaneously local and global, national and international, and particular and universal. Until recently, modern Egyptian history has not allowed for such paradoxes; instead, Egyptian modernity has been narrated in the temporal and spatial terms of a separate Western modernity.
With increasing interest in early Egyptian (Coptic) Christianity, this volume offers an important collection of essays about Coptic language, literature, and social history by the very finest authors in the field. The essays explore a wide range of topics and offer much to the advancement of Coptic studies