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The Rise And Fall of Ancient Egypt [Englisch] [Gebundene Ausgabe]

Toby Wilkinson
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2. August 2010
The story of Ancient Egypt and the extraordinary civilisation that flourished along the banks of the River Nile can seem like a gorgeous pageant studded with exceptional events. Among them are the building of the pyramids, the conquest of Nubia, Akhenaten's religious revolution, the power and beauty of Nefertiti, the life and death of Tutankhamun, the ruthlessness of Ramesses, Alexander the Great's invasion, and Cleopatra's fatal entanglement with Rome which led to the fall of Ptolemaic Egypt. But while three thousand years of pharaonic civilisation have all the ingredients of an epic novel - glittering courts, dynastic intrigues, murky assassinations and epic battles; individual stories of heroism and skulduggery, of triumph and tragedy; and, powerful women and tyrannical kings - the real historical story is even more surprising and far more interesting. The Ancient Egyptians were the first group of people to share a common culture, outlook and identity within a defined geographical territory governed by a single political authority - concepts of nationhood that continue to dominate the planet. As the world's first nation-state, the history of Ancient Egypt is above all the story of the attempt to unite a disparate realm and defend it against hostile forces from within and without. In this magnificent history, Toby Wilkinson combines grand narrative sweep with detailed knowledge of hieroglyphs and the iconography of power, to reveal Ancient Egypt in all its complexity. For the first time we see the relentless propaganda, the cut-throat politics, the brutality and repression that lay behind the appearance of unchanging monarchy as well as the extraordinary architectural and cultural achievements for which it is justly famous.

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  • Gebundene Ausgabe: 646 Seiten
  • Verlag: Bloomsbury Publishing (2. August 2010)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0747599491
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747599494
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 16,5 x 24,1 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.7 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (3 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 304.658 in Englische Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Englische Bücher)

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'A sophisticated and complete account of the world's first nation state' The Times Books of the Year 'Wilkinson's stirring and clear sighted account of the ancient world's most enduring civilisation comes as a welcome treat' Sunday Times Books of the Year 'I had always presumed, before I read Wilkinson's book, that it was impossible to write a history of Egypt which combined scholarship, accessibility, and a genuine sense of revelation. I was wrong' Observer 'A comprehensive, illustrated history focusing on the dark side of the Pharaohs and some harsh political realities' The List

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Toby Wilkinson read Egyptology at Cambridge University. Since January 2004 he has been a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge. An acknowledged expert on ancient Egyptian civilisation, he has given lectures around the world and his international reputation has led to invitations to contribute to other major collaborative projects. He is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Egyptian History and has broadcast on radio and tv in the UK and abroad, including BBC's 'Horizon' and Channel 4's 'Private Lives of the Pharaohs', and was the consultant for the BBC's award-winning documentary on the building of the Great Pyramid. His books include the critically acclaimed Dictionary of Ancient Egypt and Genesis of the Pharaohs, and he edited the recent encyclopedia The Egyptian World. He lives in Cambridge.

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen
4.0 von 5 Sternen Ancient Egypt 9. Dezember 2013
Format:Taschenbuch|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
Vor einer Reise nach Ägypten sehr zu empfehlen. Schneller und interessanter Einblick in die Geschichte Ägyptens. Ein leichtes Buch für den Koffer!
War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?
Von Lily P.
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
- interessant geschrieben; liest sich angenehm
- Inhalt optimal strukturiert
- Themen sind sehr ausführlich
- viele anschauliche Bilder und Fotos
War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?
5.0 von 5 Sternen THe rise and fall of ancient Egypt Toby Wilkinson 29. Juli 2013
Format:Taschenbuch|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
Das Buch geht über die populären Geschichtsbücher zur Ägyptologie hinaus, weil es mehr (sorgfältigst recherchiertes) Detail berichtet. Auch das Neue Reich und die Geschichte des Deltas sowie die Gegenung mit den anderen Mittelmeerkulturen kommen nicht zu kurz. Sprachlich auf hohem, unterhaltsamem Niveau. Ich war froh, die engliche Version gewählt zu haben
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.2 von 5 Sternen  35 Rezensionen
104 von 108 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Splendid, quirky, gritty...An altogether fascinating retelling of Egyptian History 21. März 2011
Von Gregory S. King-owen - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
Despite having a doctorate in early American history, I have been fascinated with Ancient Egypt since I can remember. And, having read Toby Wilkinson's earlier works (Early Dynastic Egypt and Genesis of the Pharaohs, in particular), I knew that I would have to read this latest interpretation of the course of ancient Egyptian history. The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt is nothing short of magnificent, with a narrative thread focusing on both the glorious and gritty sides of Egyptian life as fostered by the Egyptian state's exertion of coercive power.

Organized chronologically, The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt returns time and again to the problems of state power. States rise and fall, power ebbs and flows: Egypt's leaders attempted to uphold the forces of truth and order against those of chaos and disarray. To do so required developing state infrastructures and means of coercing the appropriation of both labor and material goods to build the glorious monuments that so capture the public's imagined Egypt. From the pyramids to Abu Simbel, the projection of Egyptian glory depended on breaking the backs of the people who toiled incessantly in service to the state. Indeed, the twin themes of ideology (religion, royal divinity) and administration (bureaucracies, taxation, etc.) repeatedly resurface to highlight just how the state secured support for its regime and managed that support. When both aspects of state control broke down, Egypt entered periodically into times of disorder and chaos.

Readers expecting a romantic view of Ancient Egypt focused on the archaeological treasures will probably be disappointed to be reminded of the costs of Egyptian grandeur. Readers hoping for a more cultural approach to Egyptian history--an extended exploration of religion, art, music, and the like--will probably be less satisfied with Wilkinson's focus upon the state. To be sure, Wilkinson brings these matters up when they are needed but gives them no extended treatment. The excellent bibliography and notes, however, do provide additional resources to investigate topics of interest; moreover, the notes detail Wilkinson's own interpretive engagement with Egyptian historiography, making his book much more valuable to others besides the casual reader.

Despite the book's populist tone, readers may be put off by content density of some chapters. At times, a bewildering array of names and places rush off the page, forcing the reader to consult his handy copies of The Dictionary of Ancient Egypt or the Penguin Atlas of Ancient Egypt. Those without sufficient reference material would perhaps have been well served by a glossary, which, although it does lengthen the book, does provide readers with a handy reference when there are simply too many names to conjure with. The writing style itself is fairly popular, with few words that might trip up readers. Frequent references to British history--especially comparisons to how monarchies have exercised state power across the ages--might be off putting to many American readers, but, it seems to me that the implied arguments by analogy do serve a purpose in highlighting how states have little changed since the Ancient Egyptians invented statehood. Color and black and white illustrations, along with excellent maps, complement the narrative.

Overall, Toby Wilkinson's The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt seems to combine the best features of the histories that I've come to love. Its accessibility and charm reminds me of Barbara Mertz' Temples, Tombs, and Hieroglyphs, while its scholarly insight and argumentation make me think of Barry Kemp's Ancient Egypt: Anatomy of a Civilization. To me, the joy of a book is being able to re-read it and come to new insights and appreciation each time and I am sure that such will be the case with The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt.
26 von 27 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Beautifully written, a joy to read; highly recommended. 1. April 2013
Von Anne Rice - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
Toby Wilkinson is a superbly talented writer. He knows how to tell a story, and how to write history as the exciting series of stories that it is. In this book he delivers the wonders and mysteries of ancient Egypt to the popular reader with depth and grace. This is simply a joy to read. Curl up in a comfortable chair and dig in. ---- I'm so thrilled with this book that I'm devouring it as if I were eating chocolate. It will make a perfect gift for young adults in the family who have not yet discovered the tantalizing beauty of ancient Egyptian culture. And it is a marvelous book for anyone who wants to be up to date on the latest discoveries and revelations. How thrilling to read about the monoliths of Nabta Playa, as well as to revisit the familiar stories of Akhenaten and Tutankhamen, Ramses II and Ramses III and move on to the great and seductive Cleopatra with prose that just rolls so beautifully along. ---- I'm so glad we have a writer of this knowledge and skill to deliver the great story of the Nile valley to new generations. ---- I haven't enjoyed a book on Egypt or archaeology so much since I read "Lost Worlds" when I was a kid. And this is fact filled, accurate, current, comprehensive and rich --- as well as being fun.
26 von 28 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen History as Story 24. April 2011
Von Gridley - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
I remember wondering as a small boy about life in the kingdoms of ancient Egypt. Maybe it was Sunday school lessons, Moses, and all that, but the Egyptian period of human development has always had me in its spell.

And Wilkinson's book makes the spell even deeper. His story begins with Narmer, the first king of a more or less united Egypt and continues through the pyramidal age to the New Kingdom and its fully fleshed art, architecture, literature, government and religion. Wilkinson takes us from there through Egypt's wars with Abyssinia and Persia, Alexander the Great's appearance and ends with the Roman conquest of Egypt and Cleopatra's death. Rather than a dry litany of dates, names and events, the author retells the story of a culture. He has an agenda here, and he doesn't try to hide it, but that's where the story lies.

Wilkinson is looking through time from the vantage of a twenty-first century writer, one who sees the evolution of a culture in which some people become more important than others. These elites use humanity's tendency to fear to subjugate them, to keep them under royal and religious thumb. The four thousand years of Egypt's rise and dominance and its subsequent fall, then, are the product of this abuse of masses of humanity for the benefit of the few.

What's unexamined are the stories buried in the developments Egypt gave birth to: building techniques for its massive structures. A unique written language. An enduring religion that has given subsequent religions many of its tenets, cloaked in newer cultural clothes. A central governmental structure not unlike our modern ones. Art. Medicine.

The lesson drawn from Wilkinson's examination of these four millennia? That even in a culture based on subjugation of the masses, much good arose and endured, and from that good the structure of today's reality has been drawn.

Wilkinson is a gifted writer, despite what appears in the first hundred or so pages to be a political rant disguised as history. I suspect he realized early in the book's development that readers would understand without the editorializing, that there was much more to tell of this culture than the enduring story of man's dominance of man.
10 von 10 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A Complete, Scholarly, And Totally Enjoyable Work 4. Juli 2011
Von Silver Lake Mike - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
Before I visited Egypt in 2010, I looked for books about ancient Egypt. While there were works on portions of ancient Egyptian history and about certain figures like Cleopatra, Akhenaten, and Rameses II, there was no book that covered the whole period. This book came out a year later and was everything that I had been looking for. Wilkinson covers the history of Egypt from prehistoric times until the time of Cleopatra. While other historians focused mainly on the Pharaohs and the nobility (and Wilkinson does not ignore those subjects at all), Wilkinson also takes time to describe the lives of average Egyptians. He also discusses ancient Egyptian literature and poetry; how the Pyramids were built; and how the Egyptian army was maintained, trained, and armed. Wilkinson does an outstanding job of covering all aspects of ancient Egypt. However, not only is the book comprehensive, but it is also well written and enjoyable to read. This book is simply the best of its kind on the subject.
9 von 10 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Good overview of Egyptian history 27. Juni 2011
Von Brandon Scott Pilcher - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
If you're looking for a comprehensive chronicling of ancient Egypt's political developments, beginning with the Predynastic period and ending in the Ptolemaic, I would highly recommend this, but this isn't really for those more interested in Egypt from a cultural perspective. Wilkinson does an excellent job relating to us the political evolution, conflicts, and other struggles faced by the Egyptian state, but he doesn't go into nearly as much depth about the Egyptians' daily life (not that the latter issue is a major flaw, as there is plenty of information about Egyptian culture in other sources).

Nor is this a book for those with an overly sentimental attitude towards ancient Egypt. Wilkinson, who admits near the beginning that he has grown increasingly uneasy about the subject of his research, places heavy emphasis on the Pharaohs' self-serving and tyrannical behavior and the Egyptians' military atrocities. As someone who has been fond of Egypt since learning about it in second grade, I must confess that I found Wilkinson's account a little unsettling but sobering.

My main criticism of "Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt" is how he handles the issue of race. Although Wilkinson never explicitly assigns a particular ethnic classification to the Egyptians (unless you count his statements that the Nile Valley was a crossroads between continents), he does emphasize the "blackness" and Africanity of the Kushites near the end, which gives you the inaccurate impression that the Egyptians themselves were not really African or what we would call "black" today. That is, however, a minor caveat about an otherwise solid book.
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