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L3 - Egyptian Civilization.docx

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University of Waterloo
HIST 110
David Schweitzer

Day 2 A History of the Western World I Lecture 3: Egyptian Civilization Geography and Climate: - Lower Egypt (last 250km of Nile) before it flows into Mediterranean - Memphis/Thebes were the two capitals of the ancient civilization - 20-30km along Nile is were agriculture was best, it’s where people usually lived - Steady Climate Egypt vs. Mesopotamia o Nile does not flood erratically like Tigris and Euphrates o Soil is richer in Nile Valley o Egypt had natural barriers – deserts in the east and west, equatorial jungles in south, Mediterranean sea in north Periods of Egyptian History: st Archaic (5000-2685 BCE) Old Kingdom (2685-2180 BCE) 1 Intermediate (2180-2040) Archaic Period: 5000-2685 BCE - Copper used, writing invented (hieroglyphics) - Over 40 settlements along the Nile - Narmer (Menes) is the 1 Great Pharaoh o He unified upper and lower Egypt into one great nation Old Kingdon: 2685-2180 BCE - The first six Dynasties (six extended family lines: “within blood line”) - Most Egyptian “Traditions” came about - The King (Pharaoh) was a god, had absolute power (no separation between politics and religion) - In the 3 Dynasty, the capital moved to Memphis - Greatest pyramids built during the 4 Dynasty First Intermediate Period: 2180-2040 BCE - Central government of Old Kingdom Collapsed o State revenues exhausted o Less grain (bad Climate) weakened the state o Nobility grew powerful and Autonomous (had aristocrats) Nobility waged wars - Power returned to homelands (regions) The Middle Kingdom: 2040-1785 BCE - Initially Successful - Land reclaimation, Dams and reservoirs - Resurgence of nobility - Fell to external invaders Second Intermediate Period: 1785-1560 BCE - Invasion of the Hyksos Day 2 o Brought horses, chariots, body armour, bows o Driven out by Egyptian vassal kings from Thebes The New Kingdom: 1560-1085 BCE - Expansion policy into Nubia, Palestine, Syria o New classes: professional soldiers and slaves - Empire reached its height Post Empire: 1085-30 BCE - Egypt invaded by Libyans & Nubians - Becomes part of Assyrian Empire (663-525) - Persians control Egypt (525-325) - Alexander the Great Conquers Egypt (325) - Romans control Egypt (30BCE) Political and Social Life Ma’at: (pharaoh is all knowing) - Pharaoh has all authority and is the living god - Concept of justice, right, truth, law and order Four social Classes: - Royal family, nobles, Middle class (scribes/artisans/rich farmers), Peasants (majority of population) - Agriculture was the basis of life in Egypt Social and Family life:
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