3. Birth of the City Counterpoint: Ancient Egypt (c. 3100-31 B.C.E.)


I. What Impact Did Geography Have on the Development of Ancient Egypt?  

    A. The Nile River

            1. annual flooding predictable and gradual


            2. some irrigation needed


            3. provided a means of transportation and

                communication > a unifying factor


    B. Favorable Location

            1. natural barriers provided protection


            2. well situated for trade


    C. Contributed to a sense of security and continuity


II. What Are the Origins and Organization of Ancient Egypt?

    A. Conquest of King Namer (c. 3,000 B.C.E.)

            - united Upper and Lower Egypt


    B. Kingship

            1. A Divine Institution


            2. King’s authority

                  - absolute but not arbitrary


            3. Breakdown of royal authority

                  - Old, Middle and New Kingdoms


    C. Social Order

            1. Pharaoh

            2. Upper class of priests and  administrative and

                  military officials

            3. Merchants, artisans, peasants

            4. Slaves


III. Close Up on Egyptian Culture

    A. Religion

            1. Polytheistic:

                  - Creation myths: Ptah; Atum


            2. Sun and Air gods most important:

                  - Sun:

                        Khepra > scarab

                        Re > human body, falcon head

                        Aten > sun disk

                  - Air gods:



            3. Cult of Amon-Re   


            4. Early Monotheism

                  - focusing on the worship of Aten

                  - Amenhotep IV (c. 1363-1347 B.C.E.)

                        > Akhenaten

                  - Tutankhamen (c. 1347-1338 B. C. E.)               


            5. Land gods: Osiris, Isis, Horus

                  a) The Myth


                  b) The Cult of the Dead

                        - Osiris symbol of resurrection and judgment

                        - KA > life force

                        - Pyramids

                        - Mastaba

                        - Book of the Dead


    B. Writing

            - Hieroglyphics

            - Papyrus

            - Hieratic Script

            - Rosetta Stone


    C. Literature

            - included adventure stories about the deeds of kings and

               famous men

            - Wisdom Texts: 

        “If you are a man of standing, you  should found your household and love your wife at home as is fitting. Fill her belly; clothe her back. Ointment is the prescription for her body. Make her heart glad as long as you live. She is a profitable field for her lord. You should not contend with her at law, and keep her far from gaining control.... Let her heart be soothed through what you may accrue to you; it means keeping he long in your house.”


    D. Women

            1. Status

                  - Women had more rights and greater equality

                        than women  in Mesopotamia


            2. Marriages

                  - arranged

                  - monogamy was the ideal


            3. Royal Women

                  - Women of nobility and royalty were

                        influential as priestesses and at court

                  - a few women reigned as Pharaoh: Hatshepsut

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