A History of Ancient Egypt, Vol. 2: From the Great Pyramid to the Fall of the Middle Kingdom

John Romer. St. Martins/Dunne, $32.50 (672p) ISBN 978-1-250-03013-9
Romer (A History of Ancient Egypt, Vol. 1) continues his magisterial re-examination of ancient Egypt, here covering approximately 2550 B.C.E. until 1770 B.C.E. As in the first volume, Romer cautions against viewing the physical evidence and preserved writings through modern understandings of statecraft and their mechanisms. “Egyptology is not a science,” he writes, advising against using “such common Western terms as ‘king’ and ‘nation,’ ‘soldier,’ ‘courtier,’ and ‘priest’ ” to translate ancient texts. Pointing out where such errors in thinking have previously occurred, Romer describes both the current factual understanding of ancient Egypt and the version created by such scholars as Jean François Champollion and Gaston Maspero. This faux Egypt has too often been cast in a European mold, with autocratic rulers in great cities, heavy taxation, and devastating wars. Romer finds that the evidence does not support these images. Instead, he traces a culture whose efforts were bent toward monument building, systematic ritual sacrifice, and redistribution of foodstuffs in a way that defies modern economic concepts. Romer also rhapsodizes about Egypt’s assorted cultural creations, which fulfilled a different role than modern ideas of art. This is an essential re-envisioning of ancient Egypt. Maps & illus. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/16/2017
Release date: 03/07/2017
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 978-1-4668-4959-4
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