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Ancient Egypt

the Civilization of Ancient Egypt has existed almost 3000 years, having left descendants majestic monuments and fantastic treasures. Egypt became a cradle of the second (after Sumer) a great civilisation in a world history. It has arisen in a valley of Nile several centuries after a Sumer civilisation in Mesopotamia, made doubtless impact on early development of Ancient Egypt.

Gift of Nile

One Greek historian by right named Egypt "фрЁюь -шыр". People here always lodged on narrow strips of the earth on both river banks, bearing the waters through hundreds kilometres of desert to delta where, having divided into set of channels, it runs into Mediterranean sea.


Egypt epoch of Pharaohs Waters of Nile annually rose and fell, leaving in pojme a layer of fertile silt and allowing to build difficult irrigating systems. It has made Ancient Egypt the richest granary feeding the population of the country and making huge surpluses of the foodstuffs on which the difficult public system and unprecedented on scope building projects was based. The documentary history of Ancient Egypt begins approximately from 3000 BC when the tsar of the Top (southern) Egypt Menes, or Narmer, has united the country, having subdued the Bottom Egypt (Delta). It is remarkable that this union remained indestructible on thousand years (short of the short periods of a distemper), and Menes became the founder of the first of 33 Egyptian dynasties. Last dynasty has interrupted in 30 BC When Cleopatra has committed suicide, having allowed to bite itself poisonous aspidu.

To Understand in the history of Ancient Egypt it is the most easier, having divided it into three basic periods of long stability - the Ancient, Average and New kingdoms separated from each other I and II intermediate periods when the traditional order in the country was broken by civil wars and foreign invasions. Different historians name different dates started and the end of each period, and the majority of datings till 2000 BC are rather approximate.

The Epoch of the two first dynasties (3000-2600 BC) name the Early kingdom preceding the Ancient kingdom. But even many not passing lines of the Egyptian civilisation were already inherent in those far times. Already then the tsar was bogoravnym a being, though all a known title "¶рЁрюэ" (literally "тхышъшщ фюь") has entered into the use only at the time of the New kingdom. Difficult on structure the Egyptian religion paid huge attention of afterlife, and Egyptians have invented set of ways of mummification of the pochivshih tsars to provide with it worthy existence in the other world. During the same period have arisen and castes of priests and officials have affirmed.

the Ancient kingdom

width="180" During an epoch of the Ancient kingdom (2600-2150 BC) Egypt has reached "the Ancient kingdom" stability and self-isolation tops, haughty without noticing world around. Almost erection of stone monuments from which grandiose imperial tombs - pyramids are most known at once has begun. Well-known "ё=ѕяхэёр=р  яшЁрьшфр" in Sakkare, in the neighbourhood with ancient capital Memphis, has been erected for the tsar of III dynasty of Dzhosera under the project of its adviser Imhotepa. This semilegendary wise man and the first architect, known to us by name, later became the Egyptian god of doctoring. The largest pyramid has been constructed in Giza for Pharaoh Heopsa (Hufu). Pyramids, it is exact sorientirovannye on parts of the world, were under construction on the basis of the elementary technologies. Their erection was, as a matter of fact, triumph of the organisation of work in unprecedented earlier scales.

By the end of an epoch of the Ancient kingdom ycилилось influence of large aristocracy, the central power has weakened. During I intermediate period (2150-1950 BC) Egypt has broken up on some conflicting dynasties, and pyramids other tombs have undergone to plunder.

the Average kingdom

During an epoch of the Average kingdom (1950-1785 BC) the unity of Egypt has been restored, and its capital is transferred from being hardly above Delta of Memphis to Thebes that in the Top Egypt. The Valley of tsars located nearby became a place of burial of many lords, and in two areas of Thebes - Karnake and Luxor - fine temples and majestic monuments one after another grew.

By then the religion has got rather advanced forms, having opened possibility of afterlife not only for tsars, but - by due preparation - and for any Egyptian. Possibly, to it the new custom speaks to put in burial places wooden figures of soldiers, handicraftsmen or servants that they accompanied the mister in a next world. These figures (ushebti) have in many respects helped us to present an everyday life of ancient Egyptians.

the Average kingdom the Late period of the Average kingdom is noted by board of strong and successful Pharaohs. They have pacified aristocracy, have carried out large irrigational projects and have extended sovereignty of Egypt to the south, having subdued Nubia. However with approach of II intermediate period (1785-1570 BC) the country was included again into a strip of contentions and decline, and capture of Delta of Nile by the Asian nomads, giksosami became top of all troubles.

the New kingdom

The New kingdom (1570-1075 BC) was last great epoch in the history of the Egyptian civilisation. It has given to the country of its most well-known representatives. For Ancient Egypt it still there was also an epoch of continuous conflicts to the Near East - first as great power, and is closer to the end already as a victim. As a push to it in a considerable measure have served giksosy. Egyptians have adopted at them new receptions of conducting war (in particular, fighting chariots) and, having expelled hated strangers, have pushed aside them to limits of Palestin and Syria, having transformed Egypt into the great empire which sizes fluctuated at various times.

All these events have given to the New kingdom special atmosphere. For example, more attention began to give to glorification of the Pharaoh as the terrestrial conqueror and less - to its divine image consecrated with tradition. Judging by written sources, the political life has got more difficult character. Tsarina Hatshepsut who was represented with all imperial attributes, up to the false beard adhered to a chin concerns number of the most outstanding persons of the New kingdom! A number of vigorous governors has expanded borders of the Egyptian empire to a fertile bend of Euphrates. Egypt has reached tops of the power and well-being at Pharaoh-soldier Tutmose III (1479-1426 BC). And from correspondence of Amenhotepa III (1390-1353 BC) with its successor Amenhotepom IV, remained on clay tablets in Amarne, we learn about wide diplomatic communications of Ancient Egypt with lords of all East Mediterranean and the Near East.

Uniform god

However board Amenhotepa IV (1353-1336 BC) has become history unknown religious revolution which was carried out by the Pharaoh. Amenhotep has overthrown an infinite host of Egyptian gods, without having spared even powerful Amona-Ra, whose name joined in a name of the Pharaoh. To Egyptians was veleno to worship to uniform god in an image of a solar disk or Atona. In commemoration of it the Pharaoh has replaced the former name with Ehnaton and has based new capital in Amarne.

The Latent sense of these events remains not clear to this day and if one historians extol Ehnatona as the first the lord, uniform omnipotent god (monotheism) who has founded a cult others condemn him as the intolerant fanatic. The spouse of Pharaoh Nefertiti, apparently, actively participated in this revolution which was carried out by forces of an omnipotent official caste and became famous for uncountable inscriptions and monuments. The religious authority of Ehnatona was so is great that about open resistance there was no also a speech, but in a society discontent coals decayed.

Probably, serious loss to prestige of Ehnatona was put by its neglect empire affairs. While it prosecuted religion subjects, allies and satellites of Egypt have one after another fallen under the impact of enemies. Anyhow, soon after death of the Pharaoh of its revolution the end has come, and his name caused such hatred that has been deleted from all lists of governors of Ancient Egypt of that time. Inscriptions have been erased, and monuments are destroyed forever to destroy memory of it.


All it became on behalf of son-in-law Ehnatona, Pharaoh-boy Tutanhatona. The imperial court yard has returned to Thebes, and the Pharaoh, having cleaned from a name a prefix " Атон" has become history as Tutanhamon.

Having ascended to a throne the boy of years of ten and protsarstvovav some years (1332-1323 BC), Tutanhamon hardly would become an outstanding public figure in the Egyptian history, if not one accident. It has been betrayed to the earth in the Valley of tsars where its small tomb has appeared filled up by a layer of the rubble which has been taken out at building of a tomb of later Pharaoh. As a result all known tombs of Pharaohs have been plundered, and the tomb of Tutanhamona remained almost untouched. After three thousand years, in 1922, it has been found out by the British archeologist Howard Carter and it has appeared up to the top filled by treasures.


Deeply uvjazshy in Near-Eastern wars Egypt again became great empire at Pharaohs-soldiers of the Network I (1290-1279 BC) and Ramzese II (1279-1213 BC). Ramzes has carried out grandiose building projects, having finished a columned hall in Karnake and rocky temples of Abu-Simbela. Its boastful inscriptions and enormous sculptures eloquently speak about boundless megalomania.

However wars of Ramzesa have exhausted forces of Egypt, and soon after his death the period of a long decline has begun. The final stage has come in X century BC when domestic dynasties have started to alternate c foreign - Libyan, nubian, and 660th - Assyrian. Last effort of imperial will Egypt has subdued Syria, but only in order that in 605 BC to suffer shattering defeat about Babylon at Carchemish and to lose all Near-Eastern possession.

Definitive decline

In 525 Egypt became a part of the Persian empire. Then the country was won by Alexander the Great (356-323 BC). One of its military leaders - Ptolemej became its successor, whose dynasty corrected up to 30 BC Ptolemei remained Greeks on language and culture, and this period is noted gradual ellinizatsiej Egypt.

The End of independence of Egypt has come with Cleopatra's death and though some Egyptian cults have made impact considerably on religious fermentation pozdnerimskogo the world, the old Egyptian civilisation has gradually died away, and on change to it the Greek-Roman culture