Greek Roman Egypt Papyri Glass Industry 1st Hand Accounts Village-City Life Work

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Vendeur: ancientgifts (4.528) 100%, Lieu où se trouve: Lummi Island, Washington, Lieu de livraison: Worldwide, Numéro de l'objet: 122909943252 "Graeco-Roman Egypt" (Shire Egyptology) by Simon P. Ellis. NOTE: We have 75,000 books in our library, almost 10,000 different titles. Odds are we have other copies of this same title in varying conditions, some less expensive, some better condition. We might also have different editions as well (some paperback, some hardcover, oftentimes international editions). If you don’t see what you want, please contact us and ask. We’re happy to send you a summary of the differing conditions and prices we may have for the same title. DESCRIPTION: Softcover. Publisher: Shire Publications (2008). Pages: 56. Size: 8¼ x 6 inches; ½ pound. Summary: More is known about everyday life in Graeco-Roman Egypt than in any other Greek or Roman territory, largely owing to the thousands of papyri discovered in the rubbish tips of ancient towns at the beginning of the twentieth century. The papyri, which include accounts, personal letters, complaints and legal documents, enable the archaeologist to see the artifacts and monuments in their full social context, in a way that is impossible when examining any other ancient civilization. From the papyri we can tell how everyday objects, which were exceptionally well preserved in the dry sands of Egypt, were used. This book portrays Egyptian society in Greek and Roman times (332 B.C. to A.D. 395), with its concerns about finance, family and friends, to which the modern reader can easily relate. It covers settlements from the great cosmopolitan, if unruly, city of Alexandria, to small villages, while considering social problems such as burglary and technological advances like the development of glass-working. CONDITION: NEW. New oversized softcover. Shire Publications (2008) 56 pages. Unblemished, unmarked, pristine in every respect. Pages are pristine; clean, crisp, unmarked, unmutilated, tightly bound, unambiguously unread. Satisfaction unconditionally guaranteed. In stock, ready to ship. No disappointments, no excuses. PROMPT SHIPPING! HEAVILY PADDED, DAMAGE- FREE PACKAGING! Meticulous and accurate descriptions! Selling rare and out-of-print ancient history books on-line since 1997. We accept returns for any reason within 14 days! #6506a. PLEASE SEE DESCRIPTIONS AND IMAGES BELOW FOR DETAILED REVIEWS AND FOR PAGES OF PICTURES FROM INSIDE OF BOOK. PLEASE SEE PUBLISHER, PROFESSIONAL, AND READER REVIEWS BELOW. PUBLISHER REVIEWS: REVIEW: More is known about everyday life in Graeco-Roman Egypt (332BC to AD395) than in any other Greek or Roman territory, largely owing to the thousands of papyri discovered in the rubbish tips of ancient towns at the beginning of this century. This book looks at the archaeology of this period within the context of this information, and covers settlements from Alexandria to small villages. REVIEW: Osprey Publishing (Shire) has been providing books for enthusiasts since 1968 and since then it has grown, evolved and taken on new challenges until it stands today as one of the most successful examples of niche publishing around. REVIEW: The Shire Egyptology Series is written by experts for the student or interested layman. Each book contains many illustrations and deals concisely with a particular subject of Egyptology. REVIEW: Simon Ellis obtained a doctorate from Lincoln College, Oxford, for research on late Roman and Byzantine houses. From 1976 to 1988 he worked on excavations at Carthage, first with the University of Michigan, and later as director of the British project. REVIEW: Simon P. Ellis was a Director of Excavations at Carthage 1976-88 and now works for UNESCO Institute for Statistics in Montreal. REVIEW: Simon Ellis was educated at Wrekin College, Telford, and studied at Weymouth College of Education. He obtained a doctorate from Lincoln College, Oxford, for research on late Roman and Byzantine houses. He has traveled extensively around the Mediterranean for his research. In 1981 he had a French government scholarship in Paris and in 1982-3 was a Junior Fellow at Dumbarton Oaks Center for Byzantine Studies in Washington, D.C. From 19876 to 1988 he worked on excavations at Carthage, first with the University of Michigan, and later as director of the British project. He has also excavated in Britain, France, and Italy. This work has resulted in several excavation reports and articles in leading academic journals. He now works in the Planning Department of South Tyneside Council. TABLE OF CONTENTS: List of Illustrations. Chronology. Introduction. History and Administration. Settlements. Domestic Life. Economic Life. Religion. Egypt in the Classical World. Further Reading. Museums. Index. PROFESSIONAL REVIEWS: REVIEW: Exceptionally well-written, compact, and very competent description of Roman Egypt. Not a picture book, rather a concise and detailed examination. READER REVIEWS: REVIEW: An excellent and very readable little book on the history of Roman Egypt, its economy, daily life of citizenry of Roman Egypt, and their religious practices. Thoroughly recommend this book to anyone wishing to understand the importance of Roman Egypt. ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND: REVIEW: The rich lands of Egypt became the property of Rome after the death of Cleopatra VII in 30 B.C., which spelled the end of the Ptolemaic dynasty that had ruled Egypt since the death of Alexander the Great in 323 B.C.. After the murder of Gaius Julius Caesar in 44 B.C., the Roman Republic was left in turmoil. Fearing for her life and throne, the young queen joined forces with the Roman commander Mark Antony, but their resounding defeat at the Battle of Actium in 31 B.C. brought the adopted son and heir apparent of Caesar, Gaius Julius Octavius (Octavian), to the Egyptian shores. Desperate, Cleopatra chose suicide rather than face the humiliation of capture. According to one historian, she was simply on the wrong side of a power struggle. Rome’s presence in Egypt actually predated both Julius Caesar and Octavian. The Romans had been involved periodically in Egyptian politics since the days of Ptolemy VI in the 2nd century B.C.. The history of Egypt, dating from the ousting of the Persians under Alexander through the reign of the Ptolemys and the arrival of Julius Caesar, saw a nation suffer through conquest, turmoil, and inner strife. The country had survived for decades under the umbrella of a Greek-speaking ruling family. Although a center of culture and intellect, Alexandria was still a Greek city surrounded by non-Greeks. The Ptolemys, with the exception of Cleopatra VII, never traveled outside the city, let alone learn the native tongue. For generations, they married within the family, brother married sister or uncle married niece. Ptolemy VI served with his mother, Cleopatra I, until her unexpected death in 176 B.C.. Despite having serious troubles with a brother who challenged his right to the throne, he began a chaotic rule of his own. During his reign, Egypt was invaded twice between 169 and 164 B.C. by the Seleucid king Antiochus IV; the invading army even approached the outskirts of the capital city of Alexandria; however, with the assistance of Rome, Ptolemy VI regained token control. While the next few pharaohs made little if any impact on Egypt, in 88 B.C. the young Ptolemy XI succeeded his exiled father, Ptolemy X. After awarding both Egypt and Cyprus to Rome, Ptolemy XI was placed on the throne by the Roman general Cornelius Sulla and ruled with his step-mother Cleopatra Berenice until he murdered her. Ptolemy XI’s ill-advised relationship with Rome caused him to be despised by many Alexandrians, and he was therefore expelled in 58 B.C.. However, he eventually regained the throne but was only able to remain there through kickbacks and his ties to Rome. When the Roman commander Pompey was soundly defeated by Caesar in 48 B.C. at the Battle of Pharsalus, he sought refuge in Egypt; however, to win the favor of Caesar, Ptolemy VIII killed and beheaded Pompey. When Caesar arrived, the young pharaoh presented him with Pompey’s severed head. Caesar reportedly wept, not because he mourned Pompey’s death but supposedly had missed the chance of killing the fallen commander himself. Also, according to some sources, in his eyes, it was a disgraceful way to die. Caesar remained in Egypt to procure the throne for Cleopatra as Ptolemy’s actions had forced him to side with the queen against her brother. With the defeat of the young Ptolemy, the Ptolemaic kingdom became a Roman client state, but immune to any political interference from the Roman Senate. Visiting Romans were treated well, even 'pampered and entertained' with sightseeing tours down the Nile. Unfortunately, there was no saving one Roman who accidentally killed a cat - sacred by tradition to the Egyptians - he was executed by a mob of Alexandrians. History and Shakespeare have recounted ad nauseum the sordid love affair between Caesar and Cleopatra; however, his unexpected assassination forced her to seek help in safeguarding her throne. She chose incorrectly; Anthony was not the one. His arrogance had brought the ire of Rome. Anthony believed Alexandria to be another Rome, even choosing to be buried there next to Cleopatra. Octavian rallied the citizens and Senate against Antony, and when he landed in Egypt, the young commander became the master of the entire Roman army. His victory over Antony and Cleopatra awarded Rome with the richest kingdom along the Mediterranean Sea. His future was guaranteed. The country’s overflowing granaries were now the property of Rome; it became the 'breadbasket' of the empire, the 'jewel of the empire’s crown.' However, according to one historian, Octavian believed that Egypt was now his own private kingdom, he was the heir of the Ptolemaic dynasty, a pharaoh. Senators were even prohibited from visiting Egypt without permission. With the end of a long civil war, Octavian had the loyalty of the army and in 29 B.C. returned to Rome and the admiration of its people. The Republic had died with Caesar. With Octavian - soon to be acclaimed as Augustus - an empire was born. It was an empire that would overcome poor leadership and countless obstacles to rule for almost five centuries. He would restore order to the city, becoming its 'first citizen,' and with the blessing of the Senate, govern without question. Upon his triumphant march into the city, the emperor displayed the spoils of war. The conquering hero adorned in a gold-embroidered toga and flowered tunic rode through the city streets in a chariot drawn by four horses. Although Cleopatra was dead (he had hoped to display and humiliate her in public), an effigy of the late queen, reclining on a couch, was placed on exhibit for all to see. The queen’s surviving children, Alexander Helios, Cleopatra Selene, and Ptolemy Philadelphus (Caesarion had been executed), walked in the procession. Soon afterwards, Augustus ordered the immediate construction of both a temple deifying Caesar (built on the spot where he had been cremated) and a new Senate house, the Curia Julia; the old one had been torched following Caesar’s funeral. Emperor Augustus took absolute control of Egypt. Although Roman law superseded all legal Egyptian traditions and forms, many of the institutions of the old Ptolemaic dynasty remained with a few fundamental changes in its administrative and social structure. The emperor quickly filled the ranks of the administration with members of the equestrian class. With a flotilla on the Nile and a garrison of three legions or 27,000 troops (plus auxiliaries), the province existed under the leadership of a governor or prefect, an appointee (as were all major officials) of the emperor. Later, since the region saw few outside threats, the number of legions was reduced. Strangely, the first governor, Cornelius Gallus, unwisely made 'grandiose claims' about his victorious campaign into the neighboring Sudan. Augustus was not happy, and the governor mysteriously committed suicide - the area’s frontier would thereafter remain fixed. Egyptian temples and priesthoods kept most of their privileges, although the imperial cult did make an appearance. While the mother-city of each region was permitted partial self-government, the status of many of the province’s major towns changed under Roman occupancy with Alexandria (the city’s population would reach 1,000,000) enjoying the greatest concessions. Augustus maintained a registry of the 'Hellenized' residents of each city. Non-Alexandrians were simply referred to as Egyptians. Rome also introduced a new social hierarchy, one with serious cultural overtones. Hellenic residents - those with Greek ancestry - formed the socio-political elite. The citizens of Alexandria, Ptolemais, and Naucratis were exempt from a newly introduced poll-tax while the 'original settlers' of the mother-cities were granted a reduced poll-tax. The main cultural separation was, as always, between the Hellenic life of the cities and the Egyptian-speaking villages; thus, the bulk of the population remained, as it had been, the peasants who worked as tenant farmers. Much of the food produced on these farms was exported to Rome to feed its ever-growing population. As it had for decades, the city needed to import food from its provinces – namely Egypt, Syria, and Carthage - to survive. The food, together with luxury items and spice from the east, ran down the Nile to Alexandria and then to Rome. By the 2nd and 3rd centuries A.D., large private estates emerged operated by the Greek landowning aristocracy. Over time this strict social structure would be questioned as Egypt, Alexandria especially, saw a significant change in its population. As more Jews and Greeks moved into the city, problems arose that challenged the patience of the emperors in Rome. The reign of Emperor Claudius (41-54 A.D.) saw riots emerge between the Jews and the Greek-speaking residents of Alexandria. His predecessor, Caligula, stated that the Jews were to be pitied, not hated. Later, under Emperor Nero (54-68 A.D.) 50,000 were killed when Jews tried to burn down Alexandria’s amphitheater – two legions were necessary to quell the riot. Initially, Egypt was accepting of Roman control. Its capital of Alexandria would even play a major role in the ascendancy of one of the empire’s most famous emperors. After the suicide of Nero in 68 A.D., four men would vie for the throne – Galba, Otho, Vitellius, and Vespasian – in what became known as the Year of the Four Emperors. In the end, the battle fell to Vitellius and Vespasian. With hopes of delaying valuable shipments of grain to Rome, Vespasian traveled to Alexandria. At the same time, Mucianus, a Roman commander and ally of Vespasian, marched into Rome. The defeated Vitellius was captured, and while pleading for his life, dragged through the streets, tortured, and killed. His body was thrown into the Tiber. Still in Alexandria, the armies of Vespasian unanimously declared him emperor. In 115 A.D., however, there were a number of Jewish riots in Cyrenaica, Cyprus, and Egypt, voicing discontent with Roman rule and rampaging against pagan sanctuaries. The riots were eventually suppressed by Roman troops; however, thousands of Romans and Greeks were killed in what became known as the Babylonian Revolt or Kitos War. Dissatisfaction with Roman control become part of the Egyptian psyche. Until the fall of Rome in the west, revolt and chaos would haunt the Egyptian prefects. In the early 150s A.D., the Emperor Antonius Pius quelled rebellions in Mauretania, Dacia, and Egypt. Over a century later, in 273 B.C., Emperor Aurelian suppressed another Egyptian uprising. After the division of the empire under Diocletian, revolts broke out in 295 and 296 A.D.. Two major disasters hit Egypt, disrupting Roman control. The first was the Antonine plague of the 2nd century A.D., but the more serious of the two came in 270 A.D. with an invasion from the unlikely of all invaders, Queen Zenobia of Palmyra, an independent city on the border of Syria. When its king Septimus Odanathus died under suspicious circumstance, his wife took charge as regent, leading an army in the conquest of Egypt (she ousted and beheaded its prefect), Palestine, Syria, and Mesopotamia and proclaiming her young son Septimus Vaballathus emperor. One action that brought the ire of Rome came when she cut off the city’s corn supply. The new emperor of Rome, Aurelian, would finally defeat her in 271 A.D.. Her death, however, is shrouded in mystery. One story had the emperor bringing her to Rome as a prisoner (she was given a private villa) while another has her dying on route to the city. When emperor Diocletian came to power in the late 3rd century A.D., he realized that the empire was far too big to be ruled efficiently, so he divided the empire into a tetrarchy with one capital, Rome, in the west and another, Nicomedia, in the east. While it would continue supplying grain to Rome (most resources were diverted to Syria), Egypt was placed in the eastern half of the empire. Unfortunately, a new capital in the east, Constantinople, became the cultural and economic center of the Mediterranean. Over time the city of Rome fell into disarray and susceptible to invasion, eventually falling in 476 A.D.. The province of Egypt remained part of the Roman/Byzantine Empire until the 7th century when it came under Arab control. [Ancient History Encylopedia]. REVIEW: The Roman province of Egypt was established in 30 B.C. after Octavian (the future emperor Augustus) defeated his rival Mark Antony, deposed Queen Cleopatra VII, and annexed the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt to the Roman Empire. The province encompassed most of modern-day Egypt except for the Sinai Peninsula (which would later be conquered by Trajan). Aegyptus was bordered by the provinces of Creta et Cyrenaica to the West and Iudaea (later Arabia Petraea) to the East. The province came to serve as a major producer of grain for the empire and had a highly developed urban economy. Aegyptus was by far the wealthiest Eastern Roman province, and by far the wealthiest Roman province outside of Italia. In Alexandria, its capital, it possessed the largest port, and the second largest city of the Roman Empire. Two legions were deployed in the imperial province of Ægyptus (Egypt) in the year 125 A.D. As a key province, but also the 'crown domain' where the emperors succeeded the divine Pharaohs, Egypt was ruled by a uniquely styled Praefectus augustalis ('Augustal prefect'), instead of the traditional senatorial governor of other Roman provinces. The prefect was a man of equestrian rank and was appointed by the Emperor. The first prefect of Aegyptus, Gaius Cornelius Gallus, brought Upper Egypt under Roman control by force of arms, and established a protectorate over the southern frontier district, which had been abandoned by the later Ptolemies. The second prefect, Aelius Gallus, made an unsuccessful expedition to conquer Arabia Petraea and even Arabia Felix. The Red Sea coast of Aegyptus was not brought under Roman control until the reign of Claudius. The third prefect, Gaius Petronius, cleared the neglected canals for irrigation, stimulating a revival of agriculture. Petronius even led a campaign into present-day central Sudan against the Kingdom of Kush at Meroe, whose queen Imanarenat had previously attacked Roman Egypt. Failing to acquire permanent gains, in 22 B.C. he razed the city of Napata to the ground and retreated to the north. From the reign of Nero onward, Aegyptus enjoyed an era of prosperity which lasted a century. Much trouble was caused by religious conflicts between the Greeks and the Jews, particularly in Alexandria, which after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 became the world centre of Jewish religion and culture. Under Trajan a Jewish revolt occurred, resulting in the suppression of the Jews of Alexandria and the loss of all their privileges, although they soon returned. Hadrian, who twice visited Aegyptus, founded Antinoöpolis in memory of his drowned lover Antinous. From his reign onward buildings in the Greco-Roman style were erected throughout the country. Under Antoninus Pius oppressive taxation led to a revolt in 139, of the native Egyptians, which was suppressed only after several years of fighting. This Bucolic War, led by one Isidorus, caused great damage to the economy and marked the beginning of Egypt's economic decline. Avidius Cassius, who led the Roman forces in the war, declared himself emperor in 175, and was acknowledged by the armies of Syria and Aegyptus. On the approach of Marcus Aurelius, Cassius was deposed and killed and the clemency of the emperor restored peace. A similar revolt broke out in 193, when Pescennius Niger was proclaimed emperor on the death of Pertinax. The Emperor Septimius Severus gave a constitution to Alexandria and the provincial capitals in 202. Caracalla (211–217) granted Roman citizenship to all Egyptians, in common with the other provincials, but this was mainly to extort more taxes, which grew increasingly onerous as the needs of the emperors for more revenue grew more desperate. There was a series of revolts, both military and civilian, through the 3rd century. Under Decius, in 250, the Christians again suffered from persecution, but their religion continued to spread. The prefect of Aegyptus in 260, Mussius Aemilianus, first supported the Macriani, usurpers during the rule of Gallienus, and later, in 261, became a usurper himself, but was defeated by Gallienus. Zenobia, queen of Palmyra, took the country away from the Romans when she conquered Aegyptus in 269, declaring herself the Queen of Egypt also. This warrior queen claimed that Egypt was an ancestral home of hers through a familial tie to Cleopatra VII. She was well educated and familiar with the culture of Egypt, its religion, and its language. She lost it later when the Roman emperor, Aurelian, severed amicable relations between the two countries and retook Egypt in 274—following an unsuccessful four-month siege of the defenses of Zenobia—and only by waiting until her food supplies became exhausted. Two generals based in Aegyptus, Probus and Domitius Domitianus, led successful revolts and made themselves emperors. Diocletian captured Alexandria from Domitius in 298 and reorganised the whole province. His edict of 303 against the Christians began a new era of persecution. This was the last serious attempt to stem the steady growth of Christianity in Egypt, however. As Rome overtook the Ptolemaic system in place for areas of Egypt, they made many changes. The effect of the Roman conquest was at first to strengthen the position of the Greeks and of Hellenism against Egyptian influences. Some of the previous offices and names of offices under the Hellenistic Ptolemaic rule were kept, some were changed, and some names would have remained but the function and administration would have changed. The Romans introduced important changes in the administrative system, aimed at achieving a high level of efficiency and maximizing revenue. The duties of the prefect of Aegyptus combined responsibility for military security through command of the legions and cohorts, for the organization of finance and taxation, and for the administration of justice. The reforms of the early 4th century had established the basis for another 250 years of comparative prosperity in Aegyptus, at a cost of perhaps greater rigidity and more oppressive state control. Aegyptus was subdivided for administrative purposes into a number of smaller provinces, and separate civil and military officials were established; the praeses and the dux. The province was under the supervision of the count of the Orient (i.e. the vicar) of the diocese headquartered in Antioch in Syria. Emperor Justinian abolished the diocese of Egypt in 538 and re-combined civil and military power in the hands of the dux with a civil deputy (the praeses) as a counterweight to the power of the church authorities. All pretense of local autonomy had by then vanished. The presence of the soldiery was more noticeable, its power and influence more pervasive in the routine of town and village life. Roman trade with India started from Aegyptus according to the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea (1st century). The economic resources that this imperial government existed to exploit had not changed since the Ptolemaic period, but the development of a much more complex and sophisticated taxation system was a hallmark of Roman rule. Taxes in both cash and kind were assessed on land, and a bewildering variety of small taxes in cash, as well as customs dues and the like, was collected by appointed officials. A massive amount of Aegyptus's grain was shipped downriver (north) both to feed the population of Alexandria and for export to the Roman capital. There were frequent complaints of oppression and extortion from the taxpayers. The Roman government had actively encouraged the privatization of land and the increase of private enterprise in manufacture, commerce, and trade, and low tax rates favored private owners and entrepreneurs. The poorer people gained their livelihood as tenants of state-owned land or of property belonging to the emperor or to wealthy private landlords, and they were relatively much more heavily burdened by rentals, which tended to remain at a fairly high level. Overall, the degree of monetization and complexity in the economy, even at the village level, was intense. Goods were moved around and exchanged through the medium of coin on a large scale and, in the towns and the larger villages, a high level of industrial and commercial activity developed in close conjunction with the exploitation of the predominant agricultural base. The volume of trade, both internal and external, reached its peak in the 1st and 2nd centuries. By the end of the 3rd century, major problems were evident. A series of debasements of the imperial currency had undermined confidence in the coinage, and even the government itself was contributing to this by demanding more and more irregular tax payments in kind, which it channeled directly to the main consumers, the army personnel. Local administration by the councils was careless, recalcitrant, and inefficient; the evident need for firm and purposeful reform had to be squarely faced in the reigns of Diocletian and Constantine I. This wealthiest of provinces could be held militarily by a very small force; and the threat implicit in an embargo on the export of grain supplies, vital to the provisioning of the city of Rome and its populace, was obvious. Internal security was guaranteed by the presence of three Roman legions (later reduced to two, then one Legio II Traiana) stationed at the grand capital Alexandria. Each of these numbered around 5000 strong, and several units of auxiliaries. In the first decade of Roman rule the spirit of Augustan imperialism looked farther afield, attempting expansion to the east and to the south. Most of the early Roman troops stationed there were Greco-Macedonians and native Egyptians once part of the dissolved Ptolemaic army finding service for Rome. Eventually Romans or Romanized people were a majority. Possible depiction of the province of Egypt from the Hadrianeum in Rome The social structure in Aegyptus under the Romans was both unique and complicated. On the one hand, the Romans continued to use many of the same organizational tactics that were in place under the leaders of the Ptolemaic period. At the same time, the Romans saw the Greeks in Aegyptus as “Egyptians”, an idea that both the native Egyptians and Greeks would have rejected. To further compound the whole situation, Jews, who themselves were very Hellenized overall, had their own communities, separate from both Greeks and native Egyptians. The Romans began a system of social hierarchy that revolved around ethnicity and place of residence. Other than Roman citizens, a Greek citizen of one of the Greek cities had the highest status, and a rural Egyptian would be in the lowest class. In between those classes was the metropolite, who was almost certainly of Hellenic origin. Gaining citizenship and moving up in ranks was very difficult and there were not many available options for ascendancy. One of the routes that many followed to ascend to another caste was through enlistment in the army. Although only Roman citizens could serve in the legions, many Greeks found their way in. The native Egyptians could join the auxiliary forces and attain citizenship upon discharge. The different groups had different rates of taxation based on their social class. The Greeks were exempt from the poll tax, while Hellenized inhabitants of the nome capitals were taxed at a lower rate than the native Egyptians, who could not enter the army, and paid the full poll tax. The social structure in Aegyptus is very closely linked to the governing administration. Elements of centralized rule that were derived from the Ptolemaic period lasted into the 4th century. One element in particular was the appointment of strategoi to govern the ‘nomes’, the traditional administrative divisions of Egypt. Boulai, or town councils, in Egypt were only formally constituted by Septimius Severus. It was only under Diocletian later in the 3rd century that these boulai and their officers acquired important administrative responsibilities for their nomes. The Augustan takeover introduced a system of compulsory public service, which was based on poros (property or income qualification), which was wholly based on social status and power. The Romans also introduced the poll tax which was similar to tax rates that the Ptolemies levied, but the Romans gave special low rates to citizens of metropolises. The city of Oxyrhynchus had many papyri remains that contain much information on the subject of social structure in these cities. This city, along with Alexandria, shows the diverse set-up of various institutions that the Romans continued to use after their takeover of Egypt. Just as under the Ptolemies, Alexandria and its citizens had their own special designations. The capital city enjoyed a higher status and more privileges than the rest of Egypt. Just as it was under the Ptolemies, the primary way of becoming a citizen of Roman Alexandria was through showing when registering for a deme that both parents were Alexandrian citizens. Alexandrians were the only Egyptians that could obtain Roman citizenship. If a common Egyptian wanted to become a Roman citizen he would first have to become an Alexandrian citizen. The Augustan period in Egypt saw the creation of urban communities with “Hellenic” landowning elites. These landowning elites were put in a position of privilege and power and had more self-administration than the Egyptian population. Within the citizenry, there were gymnasiums that Greek citizens could enter if they showed that both parents were members of the gymnasium based on a list that was compiled by the government in 4–5 A.D. The candidate for the gymnasium would then be let into the ephebus. There was also the council of elders known as the gerousia. This council of elders did not have a boulai to answer to. All of this Greek organization was a vital part of the metropolis and the Greek institutions provided an elite group of citizens. The Romans looked to these elites to provide municipal officers and well-educated administrators. These elites also paid lower poll-taxes than the local native Egyptians, fellahin. It is well documented that Alexandrians in particular were able to enjoy lower tax-rates on land. These privileges even extended to corporal punishments. Romans were protected from this type of punishment while native Egyptians were whipped. Alexandrians, on the other hand, had the privilege of merely being beaten with a rod. Although Alexandria enjoyed the greatest status of the Greek cities in Egypt, it is clear that the other Greek cities, such as Antinoopolis, enjoyed privileges very similar to the ones seen in Alexandria. All of these changes amounted to the Greeks being treated as an ally in Egypt and the native Egyptians were treated as a conquered race. The Gnomon of the Idios Logos shows the connection between law and status. It lays out the revenues it deals with, mainly fines and confiscation of property, to which only a few groups were apt. The Gnomon also confirms that a freed slave takes his former master’s social status. The Gnomon demonstrates the social controls that the Romans had in place through monetary means based on status and property. The Patriarchate of Alexandria is held to be founded by Mark the Evangelist around 42. The ancient religion of Egypt put up surprisingly little resistance to the spread of Christianity. Possibly its long history of collaboration with the Greek and Roman rulers of Egypt had robbed its religious leaders of authority. Alternatively, the life-affirming native religion may have begun to lose its appeal among the lower classes as a burden of taxation and liturgic services instituted by the Roman emperors reduced the quality of life. In a religious system which views earthly life as eternal, when earthly life becomes strained and miserable, the desire for such an everlasting life loses its appeal. Thus, the focus on poverty and meekness found a vacuum among the Egyptian population. In addition, many Christian tenets such as the concept of the trinity, a resurrection of deity and union with the deity after death had close similarities with the native religion of ancient Egypt. Or it may simply have been because branches of the native religion and Christianity had converged to a point where their similarities made the change a minor one. By 200 it is clear that Alexandria was one of the great Christian centres. The Christian apologists Clement of Alexandria and Origen both lived part or all of their lives in that city, where they wrote, taught, and debated. With the Edict of Milan in 313, Constantine I ended the persecution of Christians. Over the course of the 5th century, paganism was suppressed and lost its following, as the poet Palladius bitterly noted. It lingered underground for many decades: the final edict against paganism was issued in 435, but graffiti at Philae in Upper Egypt proves worship of Isis persisted at its temples into the 6th century. Many Egyptian Jews also became Christians, but many others refused to do so, leaving them as the only sizable religious minority in a Christian country. No sooner had the Egyptian Church achieved freedom and supremacy than it became subject to a schism and prolonged conflict which at times descended into civil war. Alexandria became the centre of the first great split in the Christian world, between the Arians, named for the Alexandrian priest Arius, and their opponents, represented by Athanasius, who became Archbishop of Alexandria in 326 after the First Council of Nicaea rejected Arius's views. The Arian controversy caused years of riots and rebellions throughout most of the 4th century. In the course of one of these, the great temple of Serapis, the stronghold of paganism, was destroyed. Athanasius was alternately expelled from Alexandria and reinstated as its Archbishop between five and seven times. Egypt had an ancient tradition of religious speculation, enabling a variety of controversial religious views to thrive there. Not only did Arianism flourish, but other doctrines, such as Gnosticism and Manichaeism, either native or imported, found many followers. Another religious development in Egypt was the monasticism of the Desert Fathers, who renounced the material world in order to live a life of poverty in devotion to the Church. Egyptian Christians took up monasticism with such enthusiasm that the Emperor Valens had to restrict the number of men who could become monks. Egypt exported monasticism to the rest of the Christian world. Another development of this period was the development of Coptic, a form of the Ancient Egyptian language written with the Greek alphabet supplemented by several signs to represent sounds present in Egyptian which were not present in Greek. It was invented to ensure the correct pronunciation of magical words and names in pagan texts, the so-called Greek Magical Papyri. Coptic was soon adopted by early Christians to spread the word of the gospel to native Egyptians and it became the liturgical language of Egyptian Christianity and remains so to this day. The reign of Constantine also saw the founding of Constantinople as a new capital for the Roman Empire, and in the course of the 4th century the Empire was divided in two, with Egypt finding itself in the Eastern Empire with its capital at Constantinople. Latin, never well established in Egypt, would play a declining role with Greek continuing to be the dominant language of government and scholarship. During the 5th and 6th centuries the Eastern Roman Empire, today known as the Byzantine Empire, gradually transformed itself into a thoroughly Christian state whose culture differed significantly from its pagan past. The fall of the Western Empire in the 5th century further isolated the Egyptian Romans from Rome's culture and hastened the growth of Christianity. The triumph of Christianity led to a virtual abandonment of pharaonic traditions: with the disappearance of the Egyptian priests and priestesses who officiated at the temples, no-one could read the hieroglyphs of Pharaonic Egypt, and its temples were converted to churches or abandoned to the desert. The Eastern Empire became increasingly "oriental" in style as its links with the old Græco-Roman world faded. The Greek system of local government by citizens had now entirely disappeared. Offices, with new Byzantine names, were almost hereditary in the wealthy land-owning families. Alexandria, the second city of the empire, continued to be a centre of religious controversy and violence. Cyril, the patriarch of Alexandria, convinced the city's governor to expel the Jews from the city in 415 with the aid of the mob, in response to the Jews' alleged nighttime massacre of many Christians. The murder of the philosopher Hypatia in March 415 marked the final end of classical Hellenic culture in Egypt. Another schism in the Church produced a prolonged civil war and alienated Egypt from the Empire. The new religious controversy was over the nature of Jesus of Nazareth. The issue was whether he had two natures, human and divine, or a combined one (hypostatic union from His humanity and divinity). This may seem an arcane distinction, but in an intensely religious age it was enough to divide an empire. The Miaphysite controversy arose after the First Council of Constantinople in 381 and continued until the Council of Chalcedon in 451, which ruled in favour of the position that Jesus was "In two natures" due to confusing Miaphytism (combined) with Monophystism (single). The Monophysite belief was not held by the miaphysites as they stated that Jesus was out of two natures in one nature called, the "Incarnate Logos of God". Many of the miaphysites claimed that they were misunderstood, that there was really no difference between their position and the Chalcedonian position, and that the Council of Chalcedon ruled against them because of political motivations alone. The Church of Alexandria split from the Churches of Rome and Constantinople over this issue, creating what would become the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, which remains a major force in Egyptian religious life today. Egypt and Syria remained hotbeds of Miaphysite sentiment, and organised resistance to the Chalcedonian view was not suppressed until the 570s. Egypt nevertheless continued to be an important economic center for the Empire supplying much of its agriculture and manufacturing needs as well as continuing to be an important center of scholarship. It would supply the needs of the Byzantine Empire and the Mediterranean as a whole. The reign of Justinian (527–565) saw the Empire recapture Rome and much of Italy from the barbarians, but these successes left the empire's eastern flank exposed. The Empire's "bread basket" now lacked for protection. [Wikipedia]. REVIEW: Construction of a massive waterway across Egypt's northern Sinai Desert threatens numerous archaeological sites. Known as the Peace Canal, the project aims to bring fresh water from the Nile to the city of El Arish, 40 miles west of the Israeli border, making the region fertile. In 1991 archaeologists launched the North Sinai Salvage Project to survey the canal's path for sites, recover data from sites that would be destroyed, and suggest where the canal might be rerouted to avoid particularly important remains. Among many sites on the canal's route, the largest and most important is Tell el-Farama, ancient Pelusium. Almost four miles long, the site is enveloped by soft, salt-covered mud and wetlands, the remains of two branches of the Nile that once surrounded the city. The ancient name of the city, from the Greek pelos, mud or silt, reflects its location. On Egypt's eastern boundary, the city was of immense strategic importance. It was both a departure point for Egyptian expeditions to Asia and an entry point for foreign invaders attempting to conquer Egypt. During peacetime it was an important trading post, and in the Graeco-Roman period it became one of Egypt's busiest ports, second only to Alexandria. Ships from the eastern Mediterranean and caravans from Syria-Palestine came here to exchange goods, such as wine, oil, and honey, which were transported to Egypt and the Red Sea by Nile barge and overland roads. In 1910 French Egyptologist Jean Cledat excavated at Pelusium and produced a sketch map of the site. After Israel returned the Sinai to Egypt in 1982, chief inspector for the North Sinai Mohammed Abd El-Maksoud began excavating here. Perhaps his most spectacular find was a Roman bath with polychrome mosaic floors in geometric designs dating to the third century A.D. At the same time French philologist and historian Jean-Yves Carrez-Maratray was studying Greek and Roman textual and iconographical references to the city. When the salvage project began in 1991, Tell el-Farama and neighboring sites such as Tell el-Makhzan and Kanais, which probably formed parts of "Greater Pelusium," were divided into concessions allocated to teams from Egypt, Canada, Switzerland, and Britain. Egyptian archaeologists excavated in many parts of Pelusium; Ahmed el-Tabai discovered an amphitheater, and Mohammed Abd el-Samie excavated a Byzantine church at Tell el-Makhzan. The Swiss mission, including archaeologists Horst Jaritz, Sebastien Favre, and Giorgio Nogara, surveyed around Kanais, and a British team directed by Steven Snape explored the southern part of the site. Along with Abd el-Samia, el-Tabai, Osama Hamza, Julie Anderson, and John Hayes, I directed a joint Canadian-Egyptian effort to explore and preserve the western part of Pelusium. Despite Pelusium's size and importance in antiquity and the many references to it in written accounts--including those of Herodotus, Strabo, and Greek papyri from Egypt--we know very little about the city. Ancient historians describe a bustling port with quays, magazines, and customs offices; industrial areas with salt vats, textile workshops, pottery kilns, and fish tanks; military installations; temples and later churches and mosques; and public facilities such as baths, theaters, and racetracks. For the better part of the last millennium all these structures, except a temple to Zeus Kassios (a conflation of the Greek god Zeus and the oriental mountain- or weather-god Kassios) and the walls of a fortress, were hidden by sand from the eyes of the site's rare visitors. According to Herodotus, the pharaoh Psammetichus I (664-610 B.C.) granted his Ionian and Carian mercenaries land lying near the sea below the city of Bubastis on the Pelusiac branch of the Nile. Whether this settlement was Pelusium, however, remains to be seen, as no seventh-century remains have so far been discovered there. During the sixth century B.C. the Persians expanded throughout the Near East, eventually threatening Egypt. Herodotus reports that in 525 B.C. an army led by the Persian king Cambyses trounced the forces of Psammetichus III at Pelusium, but so far no sixth-century remains have been uncovered. In 373 B.C. the Persian satraps Pharnabazos and Tithrantes attacked Pelusium only to be driven off by the pharaoh Nectanebo I, but 30 years later another Persian king, Artaxerxes III, destroyed an Egyptian army led by Nectanebo II, the last native pharaoh. In 331 B.C., after several years of war, the Persian empire was conquered by Alexander the Great, who was seen by Pelusians as a liberator of Egypt. After Alexander's death in 323 B.C. his general Ptolemy seized Egypt. Kidnapped by Ptolemy, Alexander's body was brought to Pelusium in 321 B.C., inaugurating almost three centuries of Ptolemaic rule. For Pelusium this was a period of prosperity and expansion, but also of war with the Seleucid dynasty, Alexander's successors in Syria. At Pelusium in 48 B.C. Cleopatra VII, the last Ptolemaic queen of Egypt, led an army of Syrian and Arab mercenaries against her brother and husband, Ptolemy XIII. At the same time the civil war between Caesar and Pompey was consuming Rome. Losing at Pharsalos, Pompey fled to Pelusium to seek refuge with the pharaoh. But on September 28 Ptolemy had Pompey murdered and decapitated, then sent the embalmed head to Julius Caesar, who landed at Alexandria in October. In 30 B.C. Augustus defeated Cleopatra's armies in Egypt, ending the Ptolemaic dynasty and effectively incorporating Egypt into the Roman Empire. That summer he entered Pelusium. The Pax Romana and occasional visits by such emperors as Titus (A.D. 70), Hadrian (130-131), and Septimius Severus (199-200) brought more prosperity to Pelusium. After a great plague in A.D. 524 the city was better known under its Coptic name, Peremoun. In its Arabic version the name is preserved today in the name of the archaeological site, Tell el-Farama, while the nearby village of Balouza retains the ancient name Pelusium. In 619 Pelusium was attacked and conquered by a Persian army under Khuzran, and in 640 it fell into the hands of Amr Ibn al-As, an Arab soldier who had fought with Muhammed in the conquest of Palestine and, in 642, would become the first Muslim governor of Egypt. In the twelfth century the city was attacked by Crusaders, first by King Baldwin of Flanders who died at or near Pelusium in 1118, and later by King Amalric of Jerusalem who led an invasion against Saladin in 1169. After that the city sank into obscurity. Our team has been working in the western part of the site, a flat area of almost 75 acres less than seven feet above the nearby plain. Groundwater from the surrounding marshes prevents us from digging deep trenches, and winter rains mean that we can only work between late March and October. We have made a surface survey to identify different activity areas and excavated some areas to test our hypotheses about how they were used. The most common surface find was slag of different colors, most of which seems to be waste from pottery and brick making (black and brownish slag) and glass production (green). In 1992 Ahmed el-Tabai excavated pottery kilns at Pelusium. Bricks were probably made in surface-built structures that only survive today as burnt patches, brick wasters, and slag lying on the ground. We found two clusters of green slag from glass manufacturing and a significant number of glass fragments, almost all of molded bowls. Based on their typology John Hayes has dated them to the late second and first centuries B.C. We excavated near one of the slag clusters, finding not the workshop that we expected, but only a rubbish heap containing mainly potsherds of late Ptolemaic date (ca. 150-50 B.C.), some animal bones, and little else. Elsewhere we excavated near two brick pillars unearthed in 1993 by el-Tabai and tentatively identified as remains of a hippodrome. Since only one hippodrome--that at Antinoe in Middle Egypt--survives in all of Egypt, the discovery of another would be very important. Although we have not been able to verify that the two pillars belong to a hippodrome, potsherds found along with the structure suggest that it dates to the first or second century A.D. We also found a cemetery of densely packed skeletons dating to the third and second centuries B.C. During the Roman period this area was taken over for industrial installations, as indicated by surface deposits of slag and shells. Other burial grounds were found by Abd el Maksoud near and beneath a Late Roman bath and by the British expedition immediately south of Pelusium. The Swiss-Egyptian team has found what looks like the largest cluster of cemeteries east of Pelusium, near Kanais and Tell el-Makhzan. We know from papyri that during the Graeco-Roman period Pelusium was a major center for the production and export of salted fish and fish sauce, or garum. Egyptian and British expeditions unearthed several tanks, some round and others square, that might have served this purpose. Pelusium was also famed in antiquity for its textiles, particularly its dyed linens. Recently we found several clusters of murex shells, the shells of a kind of snail that was commonly used for purple dye. One of the most famous documents of Graeco-Roman Egypt, Papyrus Zenon I 59012, dated May-June 259 B.C., contains a list of imported goods presented to customs authorities in Pelusium. We learn from this account that wine, oil, honey, and other items were imported from various eastern Mediterranean islands. Indeed 20 percent of the nearly 600 pounds of fragmentary vessels found in the Late Ptolemaic layers of our first test-pit were amphorae from Rhodes, Kos, and Knidos. Sixty percent were of local, Nile Valley manufacture, and some were of Sinai and Palestinian types. In Roman layers Aegean types were replaced by Sinai types, perhaps indicating that Sinai and Palestine replaced the eastern Mediterranean islands as Pelusium's main trade partners. The most impressive monument at Pelusium is a 20-acre fortress with 36 towers, three gates, and seven-foot-thick walls. It has recently been studied by Egyptian and German experts, who have dated it to the late sixth century A.D. based on its architectural style. Traces of destruction by fire are still visible and may have been caused during the Persian invasion of A.D. 619. Where were earlier fortresses, such as the one defended by a cavalry unit stationed at Pelusium during the reign of Diocletian (A.D. 284-305)? Perhaps earlier remains visible below one of the gates date to that period. More research is also needed on Pelusiac religion, its curious onion taboo, and sacred architecture. The cult of Zeus Kassios, Pelusium's main deity, seems to have originated in Syria as a Graeco-Roman adaptation of the Semitic god Baal Zephon. St. Jerome and the second-century B.C. Greek philosopher and physician made disparaging remarks about Pelusiac priests of Kassios, who refused to eat onions and garlic, which were known to cause flatulence and thus were associated with demons. A fragment of a dedicatory inscription naming Emperor Hadrian, discovered by Jean Cledat, suggests that the temple of Zeus Kassios at Pelusium was erected in the second century A.D. Today Pelusium is no longer a forgotten city in a far corner of Egypt. There is a good chance that much of it will be saved and studied, perhaps even becoming a tourist attraction. [Archaeological Institute of America]. REVIEW: Ahram Online reports that five Roman-era tombs were discovered at the Beir Al-Shaghala necropolis in Egypt’s Western Desert. All of the tombs were constructed of mud-brick, but in different architectural styles, according to Ayma Ashmawi of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities department. The first tomb has two burial chambers accessed by a rectangular hall. The second has a vaulted ceiling. The upper part of a third, pyramid-shaped tomb has been uncovered. The fourth and fifth tombs also have vaulted ceilings and share an entrance. A funerary mask, pottery, an incense burner, and a small sandstone sphinx have been recovered from the tombs, in addition to two ostracons, or inscribed pieces of pottery. One of the texts was written in hieroglyphs, the other in hieratic, a cursive form of hieroglyphs often used by priests. [Archaeological Institute of America]. REVIEW: Ahram Online reports that three Roman shipwrecks and an ancient Egyptian barque dedicated to Osiris were discovered in ancient Alexandria’s eastern harbor in the Mediterranean Sea. Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, said the joint team of researchers, made up of scientists from the ministry’s department of underwater archaeology and the European Institute of Underwater Archaeology, recovered a crystal head thought to represent Marc Antony, and gold coins dating to the reign of Emperor Augustus. Wooden beams and pottery may represent the site of a fourth shipwreck. [Archaeological Institute of America]. REVIEW: Deep in the Libyan Desert, 125 miles west of Luxor, lies Kharga, Egypt's largest oasis. The North Kharga Oasis Survey (NKOS), of which I am co-director, has established that this remote area--more than 100 miles long and from 12 to 60 miles wide--was continuously occupied throughout Egyptian history. We now know that it is home to an extraordinary variety of sites, including prehistoric rock art, Neolithic encampments, pharaonic monuments and burials, Roman settlements and water-supply systems, and the stars of the oasis--five unique Roman forts that guarded this part of the empire's southernmost frontier. Newly discovered ancient graffiti has even provided the name of a previously unknown ruler, King Aa, in power around 3000 B.C., who sent an expedition to this remote area. The NKOS's results are also changing our understanding of ancient Egypt's connections with its neighbors. We can now show that Kharga played an important role in trade between Egypt and other parts of Africa, from the Old Kingdom up through the modern period. Until recently, archaeologists have paid little attention to the Kharga Oasis, a depression in the desert that in the distant past was a large body of water that shrank over time, leaving smaller lakes and an easily tapped underground water supply. While a French team has been investigating the oasis's southern part for the past 20 years, the north remained an enigma. Then, in the winter of 1998 Corinna Rossi, of the College of Milan, went to Kharga on vacation and saw several astonishing Roman forts, which were, for the most part, undocumented. The following year, she and I met in Cairo and, over coffee, discussed the use of aerial photography and balloons to explore the vast area. We soon became friends and in 2000 established the NKOS. The project's goal is to survey the entire northern part of the oasis--close to 2,000 square miles--and locate new archaeological sites. Because of the area's enormous size, we use a variety of methods such as kite aerial photography, satellite imagery, and field-walking. Once we discover a site, we plot its location using GPS, map and photograph it, draw the buildings, gather and study the pottery and small finds, and collect archaeobotanical and archaeozoological samples for later study. Frequent sandstorms, high winds, extreme temperatures, and poisonous snakes make working in Kharga challenging. But I never know what is behind the next sand dune. The third- to fourth-century A.D. Roman fort at Umm el-Dabadib, for example, is likely built over an earlier pharaonic one. The oasis's Roman forts are found at the north, south, east, and west limits of the oasis, often near water supplies. Unlike others in the Roman world, they are made of mud brick, not stone. A walkway on top allowed soldiers to survey the surrounding area. The primary function of the forts was probably not defense as their walls are, for the most part, only one brick thick. However, especially from a distance, their massive appearance conjures up the might of the Roman Empire, so the facades must have deterred nomadic attackers while the forts performed their real function--administration of the empire's southern limits. I have a passion for animal mummies, so I was excited to discover that the nearby temple of Ain Dabashiya was associated with animal cults, particularly that of the canine-headed god Anubis. In a cemetery about 80 feet from the first- to second-century A temple, we found a tomb containing a group of dog mummies, and a similar deposit less than half-a-mile away. Here Corinna and I examine some of the dog mummy skeletons that have sustained wind and sand erosion, causing the loss of their mummy wrappings. The deposit contains the remains of several hundred dogs, ranging from few-week-old puppies to adults, possibly bred in the area. [Archaeological Institute of America]. REVIEW: According to a report in Ahram Online, Mahmoud Afifi of Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities announced that a collection of artifacts dating to the Hellenistic and Byzantine eras has been unearthed in the Babour El-Maya area of Alexandria. The artifacts include pots, coins, ovens, bones, and lamps. Excavators also found ruined buildings with black granite floors and plaster-covered limestone walls. The area had been slated for the construction of a residential building. [Archaeological Institute of America]. REVIEW: The cargo of a mid-first-century B.C. vessel lying under 30 feet of water about one-half mile off the coast of Alexandria has allowed researchers to reconstruct the ship's trade route. A team of six divers led by Jean-Yves Empereur, director of the Centre d'Études Alexandrines, found a mass of amphoras but no sign of the ship's hull, which was probably destroyed on the rocky seabed. Examination of the amphoras revealed three different varieties. The majority, some 495 examples, bore stamps on their rims and handles, and a number still had their stoppers, made of fired clay sealed with pozzolana, a kind of mortar. These were manufactured on the southeastern coast of Italy, possibly in Apulia or the neighboring regions along the Tyrrhenian Sea. The contents of the vessels have not been studied and none has been raised to the surface, but traces of resin on the interior of some broken amphoras indicate they were used to transport wine. The two other types of amphoras, roughly a dozen of each, were of Cretan and Rhodian manufacture. The Cretan and Rhodian vessels were found on the surface of the deposit, an indication of loading order and, consequently, the probable itinerary of the ship carrying them. In all likelihood, the vessel set off from southeastern Italy after loading the largest part of its cargo. It then made a stop on Crete; study of the amphoras should determine where, since a fair number of the island's ancient amphora-production workshops are known. The ship then sailed for Rhodes, where it added a small complement to its cargo and headed for Alexandria. The team suspects the ship took a direct route rather than following the Levantine coast; fourth-century B.C. literary sources attest that ships were then making direct crossings. Whatever its adventures at sea, the unfortunate vessel was in sight of Alexandria when it must have struck a rocky outcrop, almost certainly the one at the foot of which lie the amphoras. Without enough sand to envelop and protect the ship, its wood eroded from exposure to salt water and the sea's turbulence. [Archaeological Institute of America]. REVIEW: A burial dating to A.D. 200 has been found in a field in southern England by a metal detectorist, who alerted the authorities after recovering three Roman jugs and a bronze dish. Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews, North Hertfordshire District Council’s Archaeology and Outreach Officer, announced that glass bottles, an iron lamp, a wall mounting bracket, two layers of hobnails from a pair of shoes, and a box with bronze corner bindings were also found. The largest of the bottles was hexagonal in shape, and contained cremated bone and a worn bronze coin dating from A.D. 174 or 175. Next to it, the team uncovered a rare octagonal-shaped bottle. Two mosaic glass dishes, probably made in Alexandria, Egypt, were found on top of a decayed wooden box that had held two clear glass cups and a pair of blue glass handles. “After 1,800 years, finds like these still impress us with their workmanship. Working together with the metal detectorist, NHDC’s archaeologist and the Finds Liaison Officer were able to uncover the past and find out and understand so much more about the lives of people in Roman North Herts,” Fitzpatrick-Matthews said in a press release. [Archaeological Institute of America]. REVIEW: The pigment Egyptian blue has been found hidden in Roman-era Egyptian mummy portraits by a team of scientists from Northwestern University and the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley. In visible light, only the colors yellow, white, black, and red can be seen by the naked eye in the paintings, which were discovered at the turn of the twentieth century at the site of Tebtunis in the Fayum region of Egypt. “But when we started doing our analysis, all of a sudden we started to see strange occurrences of this blue pigment, which luminesces. We concluded that although the painters were trying hard not to show they were using this color, they were definitely using blue,” Marc Walton of Northwestern University said in a press release. Roman-era painters emulated Greek art by using the Greek palette of yellow, white, black, and red, and not the man-made blue pigment. “We are speculating that the blue has a shiny quality to it, that it glistens a little when the light hits the pigment in certain ways. The artists could be exploiting these other properties of the blue color that might not necessarily be intuitive to us at first glance,” he said. [Archaeological Institute of America]. REVIEW: A Northwestern University team led by archaeological scientist Marc Walton has carried out a cutting-edge study of 15 Romano-Egyptian mummy portraits from the site of Tebtunis in Egypt. Using imaging technologies and pigment analysis, the group made a number of discoveries, including the fact that three of the portraits probably came from the same workshop and were possibly done by the same artist. They were also able to pinpoint the sources for the pigments used in the portraits. “Our materials analysis provides a fresh and rich archaeological context for the Tebtunis portraits, reflecting the international perspective of these ancient Egyptians,” Walton said in a Northwestern University press release. “For example, we found that the iron-earth pigments most likely came from Keos in Greece, the red lead from Spain, and the wood substrate on which the portraits are painted came from central Europe. We also know the painters used Egyptian blue in an unusual way to broaden their spectrum of hues.” [Archaeological Institute of America]. REVIEW: Mummy portraits or Fayum mummy portraits (also Faiyum mummy portraits) is the modern term given to a type of naturalistic painted portrait on wooden boards attached to Egyptian mummies from the Coptic period. They belong to the tradition of panel painting, one of the most highly regarded forms of art in the Classical world. In fact, the Fayum portraits are the only large body of art from that tradition to have survived. Mummy portraits have been found across Egypt, but are most common in the Faiyum Basin, particularly from Hawara in the Fayum Basin (hence the common name) and the Hadrianic Roman city Antinoopolis. "Faiyum Portraits" is generally thought of as a stylistic, rather than a geographic, description. While painted cartonnage mummy cases date back to pharaonic times, the Faiyum mummy portraits were an innovation dating to the Coptic period at the time of the Roman occupation of Egypt. The portraits date to the Imperial Roman era, from the late 1st century BC or the early 1st century AD onwards. It is not clear when their production ended, but recent research suggests the middle of the 3rd century. They are among the largest groups among the very few survivors of the highly prestigious panel painting tradition of the classical world, which was continued into Byzantine and Western traditions in the post-classical world, including the local tradition of Coptic iconography in Egypt. The portraits covered the faces of bodies that were mummified for burial. Extant examples indicate that they were mounted into the bands of cloth that were used to wrap the bodies. Almost all have now been detached from the mummies. They usually depict a single person, showing the head, or head and upper chest, viewed frontally. In terms of artistic tradition, the images clearly derive more from Greco-Roman artistic traditions than Egyptian ones. Two groups of portraits can be distinguished by technique: one of encaustic (wax) paintings, the other in tempera. The former are usually of higher quality. About 900 mummy portraits are known at present. The majority were found in the necropoleis of Faiyum. Due to the hot dry Egyptian climate, the paintings are frequently very well preserved, often retaining their brilliant colors seemingly unfaded by time. The Italian explorer Pietro della Valle, on a visit to Saqqara-Memphis in 1615, was the first European to discover and describe mummy portraits. He transported some mummies with portraits to Europe, which are now in the Albertinum (Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden). Although interest in Ancient Egypt steadily increased after that period, further finds of mummy portraits did not become known before the early 19th century. The provenance of these first new finds is unclear; they may come from Saqqara as well, or perhaps from Thebes. In 1820, the Baron of Minotuli acquired several mummy portraits for a German collector, but they became part of a whole shipload of Egyptian artifacts lost in the North Sea. In 1827, Léon de Laborde brought two portraits, supposedly found in Memphis, to Europe, one of which can today be seen at the Louvre, the other in the British Museum. Ippolito Rosellini, a member of Jean-François Champollion's 1828/29 expedition to Egypt, brought a further portrait back to Florence. It is so similar to de Laborde's specimens that it is thought to be from the same source. During the 1820s, the British Consul General to Egypt, Henry Salt, sent several further portraits to Paris and London. Some of them were long considered portraits of the family of the Theban Archon Pollios Soter, a historical character known from written sources, but this has turned out to be incorrect. Once again, a long period elapsed before more mummy portraits came to light. In 1887, Daniel Marie Fouquet heard of the discovery of numerous portrait mummies in a cave. He set off to inspect them some days later, but arrived too late, as the finders had used the painted plaques for firewood during the three previous cold desert nights. Fouquet acquired the remaining two of what had originally been fifty portraits. While the exact location of this find is unclear, the likely source is from er-Rubayat. At that location, not long after Fouquet's visit, the Viennese art trader Theodor Graf found several further images, which he tried to sell as profitably as possible. He engaged the famous Leipzig-based Egyptologist Georg Ebers to publish his finds. He produced presentation folders to advertise his individual finds throughout Europe. Although little was known about their archaeological find contexts, Graf went as far as to ascribe the portraits to known Ptolemaic pharaohs by analogy with other works of art, mainly coin portraits. None of these associations were particularly well argued or convincing, but they gained him much attention, not least because he gained the support of well-known scholars like Rudolf Virchow. As a result, mummy portraits became the centre of much attention. By the late 19th century, their very specific aesthetic made them sought-after collection pieces, distributed by the global arts trade. In parallel, more scientific engagement with the portraits was beginning. In 1887, the British archaeologist Flinders Petrie started excavations at Hawara. He discovered a Roman necropolis which yielded 81 portrait mummies in the first year of excavation. At an exhibition in London, these portraits drew large crowds. In the following year, Petrie continued excavations at the same location but now suffered from the competition of a German and an Egyptian art dealer. Petrie returned in the winter of 1910/11 and excavated a further 70 portrait mummies, some of them quite badly preserved. With very few exceptions, Petrie's studies still provide the only examples of mummy portraits so far found as the result of systematic excavation and published properly. Although the published studies are not entirely up to modern standards, they remain the most important source for the find contexts of portrait mummies. In 1892, the German archaeologist von Kaufmann discovered the so-called "Tomb of Aline", which held three mummy portraits; among the most famous today. Other important sources of such finds are at Antinopolis and Akhmim. The French archaeologist Albert Gayet worked at Antinoopolis and found much relevant material, but his work, like that of many of his contemporaries, does not satisfy modern standards. His documentation is incomplete, many of his finds remain without context. Today, mummy portraits are represented in all important archaeological museums of the world. Many have fine examples on display, notably the British Museum, the Royal Museum of Scotland, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Louvre in Paris. Because they were mostly recovered through inappropriate and unprofessional means, virtually all are without archaeological context, a fact which consistently lowers the quality of archaeological and culture-historical information they provide. As a result, their overall significance as well as their specific interpretations remain controversial. A majority of images show a formal portrait of a single figure, facing and looking toward the viewer, from an angle that is usually slightly turned from full face. The figures are presented as busts against a monochrome background which in some instances are decorated. The individuals are both male and female and range in age from childhood to old age. The majority of preserved mummy portraits were painted on boards or panels, made from different imported hardwoods, including oak, lime, sycamore, cedar, cypress, fig, and citrus. The wood was cut into thin rectangular panels and made smooth. The finished panels were set into layers of wrapping that enclosed the body and were surrounded by bands of cloth, giving the effect of a window-like opening through which the face of the deceased could be seen. Portraits were sometimes painted directly onto the canvas or rags of the mummy wrapping (cartonnage painting). The wooden surface was sometimes primed for painting with a layer of plaster. In some cases the primed layer reveals a preparatory drawing. Two painting techniques were employed: encaustic (wax) painting and egg-based tempera. The encaustic images are striking because of the contrast between vivid and rich colours, and comparatively large brush-strokes, producing an "Impressionistic" effect. The tempera paintings have a finer gradation of tones and chalkier colours, giving a more restrained appearance. In some cases, gold leaf was used to depict jewellery and wreaths. There also are examples of hybrid techniques or of variations from the main techniques. The Fayum portraits reveal a wide range of painterly expertise and skill in presenting a lifelike appearance. The naturalism of the portraits is often revealed in knowledge of anatomic structure and in skilled modelling of the form by the use of light and shade, which gives an appearance of three-dimensionality to most of the figures. The graded flesh tones are enhanced with shadows and highlights indicative of directional lighting. Under Greco-Roman rule, Egypt hosted several Greek settlements, mostly concentrated in Alexandria, but also in a few other cities, where Greek settlers lived alongside some seven to ten million native Egyptians. Faiyum's earliest Greek inhabitants were soldier-veterans and cleruchs (elite military officials) who were settled by the Ptolemaic kings on reclaimed lands. Native Egyptians also came to settle in Faiyum from all over the country, notably the Nile Delta, Upper Egypt, Oxyrhynchus and Memphis, to undertake the labor involved in the land reclamation process, as attested by personal names, local cults and recovered papyri. It is estimated that as much as 30 percent of the population of Faiyum was Greek during the Ptolemaic period, with the rest being native Egyptians. The portraits represent native Egyptians, some of whom had adopted Greek or Latin names, then seen as ‘status symbols’. Victor J. Katz notes that "most modern studies conclude that the Greek & Egyptian communities coexisted with little mutual influence". Anthony Lowsted has written extensively on the scope of Apartheid that separated the two communities during the Hellenistic, Roman & Byzantine period. Most of the portraits depict the deceased at a relatively young age, and many show children. According to Walker, C.A.T. scans reveal a correspondence of age and sex between mummy and image. He concludes that the age distribution reflects the low life expectancy at the time. It was often believed that the wax portraits were completed during the life of the individual and displayed in their home, a custom that belonged to the traditions of Greek art, but this view is no longer widely held given the evidence suggested by the C.A.T. scans of the Faiyum mummies, as well as Roman census returns. In addition, some portraits were painted directly onto the coffin; for example, on a shroud or another part. The patrons of the portraits apparently belonged to the affluent upper class of military personnel, civil servants and religious dignitaries. Not everyone could afford a mummy portrait; many mummies were found without one. Flinders Petrie states that only one or two per cent of the mummies he excavated were embellished with portraits. The rates for mummy portraits do not survive, but it can be assumed that the material caused higher costs than the labour, since in antiquity, painters were appreciated as craftsmen rather than as artists. The situation from the "Tomb of Aline" is interesting in this regard. It contained four mummies: those of Aline, of two children and of her husband. Unlike his wife and children, the latter was not equipped with a portrait but with a gilt three-dimensional mask. Perhaps plaster masks were preferred if they could be afforded. Based on literary, archaeological and genetic studies, it appears that those depicted were native Egyptians, who had adopted the dominant Greco-Roman culture. The name of some of those portrayed are known from inscriptions, they are predominantly Greek. Hairstyles and clothing are always influenced by Roman fashion. Women and children are often depicted wearing valuable ornaments and fine garments, men often wearing specific and elaborate outfits. Greek inscriptions of names are relatively common, sometimes they include professions. It is not known whether such inscriptions always reflect reality, or whether they may state ideal conditions or aspirations rather than true conditions. One single inscription is known to definitely indicate the deceased's profession (a shipowner) correctly. The mummy of a woman named Hermione also included the term grammatike (γραμματική). For a long time, it was assumed that this indicated that she was a teacher by profession (for this reason, Flinders Petrie donated the portrait to Girton College, Cambridge, the first residential college for women in Britain), but today, it is assumed that the term indicates her level of education. Some portraits of men show sword-belts or even pommels, suggesting that they were members of the Roman military. The burial habits of Ptolemaic Egyptians mostly followed ancient traditions. The bodies of members of the upper classes were mummified, equipped with a decorated coffin and a mummy mask to cover the head. The Greeks who entered Egypt at that time mostly followed their own habits. There is evidence from Alexandria and other sites indicating that they practised the Greek tradition of cremation. This broadly reflects the general situation in Hellenistic Egypt, its rulers proclaiming themselves to be pharaohs but otherwise living in an entirely Hellenistic world, incorporating only very few local elements. Conversely, the Egyptians only slowly developed an interest in the Greek-Hellenic culture that dominated the East Mediterranean since the conquests of Alexander. This situation changed substantially with the arrival of the Romans. Within a few generations, all Egyptian elements disappeared from everyday life. Cities like Karanis or Oxyrhynchus are largely Graeco-Roman places. There is clear evidence that this resulted from a mixing of different ethnicities in the ruling classes of Roman Egypt. Only in the sphere of religion is there evidence for a continuation of Egyptian traditions. Egyptian temples were erected as late as the 2nd century. In terms of burial habits, Egyptian and Hellenistic elements now mixed. Coffins became increasingly unpopular and went entirely out of use by the 2nd century. In contrast, mummification appears to have been practised by large parts of the population. The mummy mask, originally an Egyptian concept, grew more and more Graeco-Roman in style, Egyptian motifs became ever rarer. The adoption of Roman portrait painting into Egyptian burial cult belongs into this general context. Some authors suggest that the idea of such portraits may be related to the custom among the Roman nobility of displaying imagines, images of their ancestors, in the atrium of their house. In funeral processions, these wax masks were worn by professional mourners to emphasize the continuity of an illustrious family line, but originally perhaps to represent a deeper evocation of the presence of the dead. Roman festivals such as the Parentalia as well as everyday domestic rituals cultivated ancestral spirits (see also veneration of the dead). The development of mummy portraiture may represent a combination of Egyptian and Roman funerary tradition, since it appears only after Egypt was established as a Roman province. The images depict the heads or busts of men, women and children. They probably date from circa 30 BC to the 3rd century. To the modern eye, the portraits appear highly individualistic. Therefore, it has been assumed for a long time that they were produced during the lifetime of their subjects and displayed as "salon paintings" within their houses, to be added to their mummy wrapping after their death. Newer research rather suggests that they were only painted after death, an idea perhaps contradicted by the multiple paintings on some specimens and the (suggested) change of specific details on others. The individualism of those depicted was actually created by variations in some specific details, within a largely unvaried general scheme. The habit of depicting the deceased was not a new one, but the painted images gradually replaced the earlier Egyptian masks, although the latter continued in use for some time, often occurring directly adjacent to portrait mummies, sometimes even in the same graves. Together with the painted Etruscan tombs, the Lucanian tombs and the Tomb of the Diver in Paestum, the frescoes from Pompeii and Herculaneum and the Greek vases, they are the best preserved paintings from ancient times and are renowned for their remarkable naturalism. It is, however, debatable whether the portraits depict the subjects as they really were. Analyses have shown that the painters depicted faces according to conventions in a repetitive and formulaic way, albeit with a variety of hairstyles and beards. They appear to have worked from a number of standard types without making detailed observations of the unique facial proportions of specific individuals which give each face its own personality. The religious meaning of mummy portraits has not, so far, been fully explained, nor have associated grave rites. There is some indication that it developed from genuine Egyptian funerary rites, adapted by a multi-cultural ruling class. The tradition of mummy portraits occurred from the Delta to Nubia, but it is striking that other funerary habits prevailed over portrait mummies at all sites except those in the Faiyum (and there especially Hawara and Achmim) and Antinoopolis. In most sites, different forms of burial coexisted. The choice of grave type may have been determined to a large extent by the financial means and status of the deceased, modified by local customs. Portrait mummies have been found both in rock-cut tombs and in freestanding built grave complexes, but also in shallow pits. It is striking that they are virtually never accompanied by any grave offerings, with the exception of occasional pots or sprays of flowers. For a long time, it was assumed that the latest portraits belong to the end of the 4th century, but recent research has modified this view considerably, suggesting that the last wooden portraits belong to the middle, the last directly painted mummy wrappings to the second half of the 3rd century. It is commonly accepted that production reduced considerably since the beginning of the 3rd century. Several reasons for the decline of the mummy portrait have been suggested; no single reason should probably be isolated, rather, they should be seen as operating together. In the 3rd century the Roman Empire underwent a severe economic crisis, severely limiting the financial abilities of the upper classes. Although they continued to lavishly spend money on representation, they favoured public appearances, like games and festivals, over the production of portraits. However, other elements of sepulchral representation, like sarcophagi, did continue. There is evidence of a religious crisis at the same time. This may not be as closely connected with the rise of Christianity as previously assumed. (The earlier suggestion of a 4th-century end to the portraits would coincide with the widespread distribution of Christianity in Egypt. Christianity also never banned mummification.) An increasing neglect of Egyptian temples is noticeable during the Roman imperial period, leading to a general drop in interest in all ancient religions. The Constitutio Antoniniana, i.e. the granting of Roman citizenship to all free subjects changed the social structures of Egypt. For the first time, the individual cities gained a degree of self-administration. At the same time, the provincial upper classes changed in terms of both composition and inter-relations. Thus, a combination of several factors appears to have led to changes of fashion and ritual. No clear causality can be asserted. Considering the limited nature of the current understanding of portrait mummies, it remains distinctly possible that future research will considerably modify the image presented here. For example, some scholars suspect that the centre of production of such finds, and thus the centre of the distinctive funerary tradition they represent, may have been located at Alexandria. New finds from Marina el-Alamein strongly support such a view. In view of the near-total loss of Greek and Roman paintings, mummy portraits are today considered to be among the very rare examples of ancient art that can be seen to reflect "Great paintings" and especially Roman portrait painting. Mummy portraits depict a variety of different hairstyles. They are one of the main aids in dating the paintings. The majority of the deceased were depicted with hairstyles then in fashion. They are frequently similar to those depicted in sculpture. As part of Roman propaganda, such sculptures, especially those depicting the imperial family, were often displayed throughout the empire. Thus, they had a direct influence on the development of fashion. Nevertheless, the mummy portraits, as well as other finds, suggest that fashions lasted longer in the provinces than in the imperial court, or at least that diverse styles might coexist. Since Roman men tended to wear short-cropped hair, female hairstyles are a better source of evidence for changes in fashion. The female portraits suggest a coarse chronological scheme: Simple hairstyles with a central parting in the Tiberian period are followed by more complex ringlet hairstyles, nested plaits and curly toupées over the forehead in the late 1st century. Small oval nested plaits dominate the time of the Antonines, simple central-parting hairstyles with a hairknot in the neck occur in the second half of the 2nd century. The time of Septimius Severus was characterised by toupée-like fluffy as well as strict, straight styles, followed by looped plaits on the crown of the head. The latter belong to the very final phase of mummy portraits, and have only been noted on a few mummy wrappings. It seems to be the case that curly hairstyles were especially popular in Egypt. Like the hairstyles, the clothing depicted also follows the general fashions of the Roman Empire, as known from statues and busts. Both men and women tend to wear a thin chiton as an undergarment. Above it, both sexes tend to wear a cloak, laid across the shoulders or wound around the torso. The males wear virtually exclusively white, while female clothing is often red or pink, but can also be yellow, white, blue or purple. The chiton often bears a decorative line (clavus), occasionally light red or light green, also sometimes gold, but normally in dark colours. Some painted mummy wrappings from Antinoopolis depict garments with long sleeves and very wide clavi. So far, not a single portrait has been definitely shown to depict the toga, a key symbol of Roman citizenship. It should, however, be kept in mind that Greek cloaks and togas are draped very similarly on depictions of the 1st and early 2nd centuries. In the late 2nd and 3rd centuries, togas should be distinguishable, but fail to occur.\ Apart from the gold wreaths worn by many men, with very few exceptions, only women are depicted with jewellery. This generally accords with the common jewellery types of the Graeco-Roman East. Especially the Antinoopolis portraits depict simple gold link chains and massive gold rings. There are also depictions of precious or semi-precious stones like emerald, carnelian, garnet, agate or amethyst, rarely also of pearls. The stones were normally ground into cylindrical or spherical beads. Some portraits depict elaborate colliers, with precious stones set in gold. The gold wreath was apparently rarely, if ever, worn in life, but a number have been found in graves from much earlier periods. Based on the plant wreaths given as prizes in contests, the idea was apparently to celebrate the achievements of the deceased in life. There are three basic shapes of ear ornaments: Especially common in the 1st century are circular or drop-shaped pendants. Archaeological finds indicate that these were fully or semi-spherical. Later tastes favoured S-shaped hooks of gold wire, on which up to five beads of different colours and materials could be strung. The third shape are elaborate pendants with a horizontal bar from which two or three, occasionally four, vertical rods are suspended, usually each decorated with a white bead or pearl at the bottom. Other common ornaments include gold hairpins, often decorated with pearls, fine diadems, and, especially at Antinoopolis, gold hairnets. Many portraits also depict amulets and pendants, perhaps with magical functions. The mummy portraits have immense art-historical importance. Ancient sources indicate that panel painting (rather than wall painting), i.e. painting on wood or other mobile surfaces was held in high regard. But very few ancient panel paintings survive. One of the few examples besides the mummy portraits is the Severan Tondo, also from Egypt (around 200), which, like the mummy portraits, is believed to represent a provincial version of contemporary style. Some aspects of the mummy portraits, especially their frontal perspective and their concentration on key facial features, strongly resemble later icon painting. A direct link has been suggested, but it should be kept in mind that the mummy portraits represent only a small part of a much wider Graeco-Roman tradition, the whole of which later bore an influence on Late Antique and Byzantine Art. A pair of panel "icons" of Serapis and Isis of comparable date (3rd century) and style are in the Getty Museum at Malibu; as with the cult of Mithras, earlier examples of cult images were sculptures or pottery figurines, but from the 3rd century reliefs and then painted images are found. REVIEW: A portrait shows what an individual would have looked like. Ancient Egyptian art did not make much use of portraits, relying on an inscription containing the name and titles of an individual for identification. It was, however, important in Roman art. Portraits were placed in tombs as a memorial of family members. This type of portrait appeared in Egypt in the first century C.E., and remained popular for around 200 years. Egyptian mummy portraits were placed on the outside of the cartonnage coffin over the head of the individual or were carefully wrapped into the mummy bandages. They were painted on a wooden board at a roughly lifelike scale. It is possible to date some mummies on the basis of the hairstyles, jewelry and clothes worn in the portrait, and to identify members of a family by their physical similarities. The accuracy of these portraits has often been questioned. Techniques employed by doctors to plan delicate facial surgery have been used to compare the actual appearance of several mummies with their portraits. This has proved that the portrait did indeed show the person as they appeared during life. However, there was some element of artistic license: for example, the mummy of Artimedorus appeared to be much more heavily built than he seemed in his portrait. REVIEW: While mummification and traditional Egyptian religious customs remained in fashion even after the Roman conquest of Egypt in 31 BCE, funerary art forms such as this painted mummy portrait began to display an increased interest in Graeco-Roman artistic traditions. Though such mummy portraits have been found throughout Egypt, most have come from the Fayum Basin in Lower Egypt, hence the moniker “Fayum Portraits.” Many examples of this type of mummy portrait use the Greek encaustic technique, in which pigment is dissolved in hot or cold wax and then used to paint. The naturalism of these works and the interest in realistically depicting a specific individual also stem from Greek conceptions of painting. The subjects of the majority of the Fayum Portraits are styled and clothed according to contemporary Roman fashions, most likely those made popular by the current ruling imperial family. The portrait of the bearded man, for example, is reminiscent of images of the emperor Hadrian (ruled 117–138 AD), who popularized the fashion of wearing a thick beard as symbol of his philhellenism. In their function, these mummy portraits are entirely Egyptian and reflect religious traditions surrounding the preservation of the body of the deceased that span back thousands of years. In form, these works are uniquely multicultural and display the intersection of Roman and provincial customs. [Dartmouth College]. REVIEW: Sarcophagi in human form were created as a means not only of protecting the actual body, but also as an alternate anchor for the life force, or ka, in the event that the corpse was damaged. An early development in anthropoid coffins during Egypt’s First Intermediate Period (circa 2160–2025 BC) was the introduction of face masks, placed over the heads of mummies. Images like the one seen here continue this tradition. Painted on wooden panels or linen shrouds, they were affixed over the mummy’s wrappings. Rooted in Egyptian practices and beliefs, mummy portraits from the Fayum region of Egypt are also indebted to art of the Classical world. Created from the first through the third century CE, during Egypt’s Roman period, the images draw stylistically on Graeco-Roman models. Although they appear to be naturalistic likenesses, there is debate over whether these “portraits” are actually drawn from life. Some believe they were painted and first displayed in the home during the subject’s lifetime, while others suggest that they were produced at the time of death to be carried with the body in a procession known as the ekphora, a tradition originating in Greece. REVIEW: Hawara became especially important in the Roman period and seems to have functioned as the elite burial ground for people of the Fayum, an area between the main Nile Valley and the desert oases. These painted panels are an important historical and artistic record. They illustrate the application of Greco-Roman art to Egyptian burial customs at the beginning of the first millennium. They appear to be naturalistic in style and be a portrait of an individual, while acting as part of the funerary equipment needed for entry into the afterlife. The panels would have covered the face of a mummy. The image of a young man on UC19610 dates to AD 140-160 – the style of the hair and beard indicates this period – and was nicknamed by Petrie the 'Red Youth' due to the reddish-brown skin tones of the sitter. Petrie often named the images of the panels he found and wrote short character sketches. The portrait panels have been cut out of their wrappings and are displayed here separately from the physical context in which they were found. When Petrie first exhibited these panels in London in 1889, he framed many like a European art work. This may affect how we look at these objects today. Not all panels were removed from their wrappings or mummies. The British Museum and Manchester Museum, for example, display mummies which still have these panels over their face. REVIEW: Between 1887 and 1889, the British archaeologist W.M. Flinders Petrie turned his attention to the Fayum, a sprawling oasis region 150 miles south of Alexandria. Excavating a vast cemetery from the first and second centuries A.D., when imperial Rome ruled Egypt, he found scores of exquisite portraits executed on wood panels by anonymous artists, each one associated with a mummified body. Petrie eventually uncovered 150. The images seem to allow us to gaze directly into the ancient world. “The Fayum portraits have an almost disturbing lifelike quality and intensity,” says Euphrosyne Doxiadis, an artist who lives in Athens and Paris and is the author of The Mysterious Fayum Portraits. “The illusion, when standing in front of them, is that of coming face to face with someone one has to answer to—someone real.” By now, nearly 1,000 Fayum paintings exist in collections in Egypt and at the Louvre, the British and Petrie museums in London, the Metropolitan and Brooklyn museums, the Getty in California and elsewhere. For decades, the portraits lingered in a sort of classification limbo, considered Egyptian by Greco-Roman scholars and Greco-Roman by Egyptians. But scholars increasingly appreciate the startlingly penetrating works, and are even studying them with noninvasive high-tech tools. At the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek museum in Copenhagen, scientists recently used luminescence digital imaging to analyze one portrait of a woman. They documented extensive use of Egyptian blue, a copper-containing synthetic pigment, around the eyes, nose and mouth, perhaps to create shading, and mixed with red elsewhere on the skin, perhaps to enhance the illusion of flesh. “The effect of realism is crucial,” says the museum’s Rikke Therkildsen. Stephen Quirke, an Egyptologist at the Petrie museum and a contributor to the museum’s 2007 catalog Living Images, says the Fayum paintings may be equated with those of an old master—only they’re about 1,500 years older. Doxiadis has a similar view, saying the works’ artistic merit suggests that “the greats of the Renaissance and post-Renaissance, such as Titian and Rembrandt, had great predecessors in the ancient world. [Smithsonian]. REVIEW: History of Rome. According to legend, Ancient Rome was founded by the two brothers, and demi-gods, Romulus and Remus, on 21 April 753 B.C. The legend claims that, in an argument over who would rule the city (or, in another version, where the city would be located) Romulus killed Remus and named the city after himself. This story of the founding of Rome is the best known but it is not the only one. Other legends claim the city was named after a woman, Roma, who traveled with Aeneas and the other survivors from Troy after that city fell. Upon landing on the banks of the Tiber River, Roma and the other women objected when the men wanted to move on. She led the women in the burning of the Trojan ships and so effectively stranded the Trojan survivors at the site which would eventually become Rome. Aeneas of Troy is featured in this legend and also, famously, in Virgil's Aeneid, as a founder of Rome and the ancestor of Romulus and Remus, thus linking Rome with the grandeur and might which was once Troy. Still other theories concerning the name of the famous city suggest it came from Rumon, the ancient name for the Tiber River, and was simply a place-name given to the small trading centre established on its banks or that the name derived from an Etruscan word which could have designated one of their settlements. Originally a small town on the banks of the Tiber, Rome grew in size and strength, early on, through trade. The location of the city provided merchants with an easily navigable waterway on which to traffic their goods. The city was ruled by seven kings, from Romulus to Tarquin, as it grew in size and power. Greek culture and civilization, which came to Rome via Greek colonies to the south, provided the early Romans with a model on which to build their own culture. From the Greeks they borrowed literacy and religion as well as the fundamentals of architecture. The Etruscans, to the north, provided a model for trade and urban luxury. Etruria was also well situated for trade and the early Romans either learned the skills of trade from Etruscan example or were taught directly by the Etruscans who made incursions into the area around Rome sometime between 650 and 600 B.C. (although their influence was felt much earlier). The extent of the role the Etruscans played in the development of Roman culture and society is debated but there seems little doubt they had a significant impact at an early stage. From the start, the Romans showed a talent for borrowing and improving upon the skills and concepts of other cultures. The Kingdom of Rome grew rapidly from a trading town to a prosperous city between the 8th and 6th centuries B.C. When the last of the seven kings of Rome, Tarquin the Proud, was deposed in 509 B.C., his rival for power, Lucius Junius Brutus, reformed the system of government and established the Roman Republic. Though Rome owed its prosperity to trade in the early years, it was war which would make the city a powerful force in the ancient world. The wars with the North African city of Carthage (known as the Punic Wars, 264-146 B.C.) consolidated Rome's power and helped the city grow in wealth and prestige. Rome and Carthage were rivals in trade in the Western Mediterranean and, with Carthage defeated, Rome held almost absolute dominance over the region; though there were still incursions by pirates which prevented complete Roman control of the sea. As the Republic of Rome grew in power and prestige, the city of Rome began to suffer from the effects of corruption, greed and the over-reliance on foreign slave labor. Gangs of unemployed Romans, put out of work by the influx of slaves brought in through territorial conquests, hired themselves out as thugs to do the bidding of whatever wealthy Senator would pay them. The wealthy elite of the city, the Patricians, became ever richer at the expense of the working lower class, the Plebeians. In the 2nd century B.C., the Gracchi brothers, Tiberius and Gaius, two Roman tribunes, led a movement for land reform and political reform in general. Though the brothers were both killed in this cause, their efforts did spur legislative reforms and the rampant corruption of the Senate was curtailed (or, at least, the Senators became more discreet in their corrupt activities). By the time of the First Triumvirate, both the city and the Republic of Rome were in full flourish. Even so, Rome found itself divided across class lines. The ruling class called themselves Optimates (the best men) while the lower classes, or those who sympathized with them, were known as the Populares (the people). These names were applied simply to those who held a certain political ideology; they were not strict political parties nor were all of the ruling class Optimates nor all of the lower classes Populares. In general, the Optimates held with traditional political and social values which favored the power of the Senate of Rome and the prestige and superiority of the ruling class. The Populares, again generally speaking, favored reform and democratization of the Roman Republic. These opposing ideologies would famously clash in the form of three men who would, unwittingly, bring about the end of the Roman Republic. Marcus Licinius Crassus and his political rival, Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus (Pompey the Great) joined with another, younger, politician, Gaius Julius Caesar, to form what modern historians call the First Triumvirate of Rome (though the Romans of the time never used that term, nor did the three men who comprised the triumvirate). Crassus and Pompey both held the Optimate political line while Caesar was a Populare. The three men were equally ambitious and, vying for power, were able to keep each other in check while helping to make Rome prosper. Crassus was the richest man in Rome and was corrupt to the point of forcing wealthy citizens to pay him `safety' money. If the citizen paid, Crassus would not burn down that person's house but, if no money was forthcoming, the fire would be lighted and Crassus would then charge a fee to send men to put the fire out. Although the motive behind the origin of these fire brigades was far from noble, Crassus did effectively create the first fire department which would, later, prove of great value to the city. Both Pompey and Caesar were great generals who, through their respective conquests, made Rome wealthy. Though the richest man in Rome (and, it has been argued, the richest in all of Roman history) Crassus longed for the same respect people accorded Pompey and Caesar for their military successes. In 53 B.C. he lead a sizeable force against the Parthians at Carrhae, in modern day Turkey, where he was killed when truce negotiations broke down. With Crassus gone, the First Triumvirate disintegrated and Pompey and Caesar declared war on each other. Pompey tried to eliminate his rival through legal means and had the Senate order Caesar to Rome to stand trial on assorted charges. Instead of returning to the city in humility to face these charges, Caesar crossed the Rubicon River with his army in 49 B.C. and entered Rome at the head of it. He refused to answer the charges and directed his focus toward eliminating Pompey as a rival. Pompey and Caesar met in battle at Pharsalus in Greece in 48 B.C. where Caesar's numerically inferior force defeated Pompey's greater one. Pompey himself fled to Egypt, expecting to find sanctuary there, but was assassinated upon his arrival. News of Caesar's great victory against overwhelming numbers at Pharsalus had spread quickly and many former friends and allies of Pompey swiftly sided with Caesar, believing he was favored by the gods. Julius Caesar was now the most powerful man in Rome. He effectively ended the period of the Republic by having the Senate proclaim him dictator. His popularity among the people was enormous and his efforts to create a strong and stable central government meant increased prosperity for the city of Rome. He was assassinated by a group of Roman Senators in 44 B.C., however, precisely because of these achievements. The conspirators, Brutus and Cassius among them, seemed to fear that Caesar was becoming too powerful and that he might eventually abolish the Senate. Following his death, his right-hand man, and cousin, Marcus Antonius (Mark Antony) joined forces with Caesar's nephew and heir, Gaius Octavius Thurinus (Octavian) and Caesar's friend, Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, to defeat the forces of Brutus and Cassius at the Battle of Phillippi in 42 B.C. Octavian, Antony and Lepidus formed the Second Triumvirate of Rome but, as with the first, these men were also equally ambitious. Lepidus was effectively neutralized when Antony and Octavian agreed that he should have Hispania and Africa to rule over and thereby kept him from any power play in Rome. It was agreed that Octavian would rule Roman lands in the west and Antony in the east. Antony's involvement with the Egyptian queen Cleopatra VII, however, upset the balance Octavian had hoped to maintain and the two went to war. Antony and Cleopatra's combined forces were defeated at the Battle of Actium in 31 B.C. and both later took their own lives. Octavian emerged as the sole power in Rome. In 27 B.C. he was granted extraordinary powers by the Senate and took the name of Augustus, the first Emperor of Rome. Historians are in agreement that this is the point at which the history of Rome ends and the history of the Roman Empire begins. History of Roman Republic. In the late 6th century B.C., the small city-state of Rome overthrew the shackles of monarchy and created a republican government that, in theory if not always in practice, represented the wishes of its citizens. From this basis the city would go on to conquer all of the Italian peninsula and large parts of the Mediterraean world and beyond. The Republic and its insitutions of government would endure for five centuries, until, wrecked by civil wars, it would transform into a Principate ruled by emperors. Even then many of the politcal bodies, notably the Senate, created in the Republican period would endure, albeit with a reduction in power. The years prior to the rise of the Republic are lost to myth and legend. No contemporary written history of this period has survived. Although much of this history had been lost, the Roman historian Livy (59 B.C. – 17 A.D.) was still able to write a remarkable History of Rome - 142 volumes - recounting the years of the monarchy through the fall of the Republic. Much of his history, however, especially the early years, was based purely on myth and oral accounts. Contrary to some interpretations, the fall of the monarchy and birth of the republic did not happen overnight. Some even claim it was far from bloodless. Historian Mary Beard in her SPQR wrote that the transformation from monarchy to republic was “borne over a period of decades, if not, centuries.” Prior to the overthrow of the last king, Tarquinius Superbus or Tarquin the Proud in 510 B.C., the history of the city is mired in stories of valor and war. Even the founding of the city is mostly legend and many people have preferred the myth over fact anyway. For years Rome had admired the Hellenistic culture of the Greeks, and so it easily embraced the story of Aeneas and the founding of Rome as penned by Roman author Virgil in his heroic saga The Aeneid. This story gave the Romans a link to an ancient, albeit Greek, culture. This mythical tale is about Aeneas and his followers who, with the assistance of the goddess Venus, escaped the city of Troy as it fell to the Greeks in the Trojan War. Jupiter’s wife Juno constantly interfered with the story's hero Aeneas throughout the tale. After a brief stay in Carthage, Aeneas eventually made his way to Italy and Latium, finally fulfilling his destiny. His descendants were the twins Romulus and Remus - the illegitimate sons of Mars, the god of war, and the princess Rhea Silvia, the daughter of the true king of Alba Longa. Rescued from drowning by a she-wolf and raised by a shepherd, Romulus eventually defeated his brother in battle and founded the city of Rome, becoming its first king. So the legend goes. After Tarquin’s exit, Rome suffered from both external and internal conflict. Much of the 5th century B.C. was spent struggling, not thriving. From 510 B.C. to 275 B.C., while the government grappled with a number of internal political issues, the city grew to become the prevailing power over the entire Italian peninsula. From the Battle of Regallus (496 B.C.), where Rome was victorious over the Latins, to the Pyrrhic Wars (280 – 275 B.C.) against Pyrrhus of Epirus, Rome emerged as a dominant, warring superpower in the west. Through this expansion, the social and political structure of the Republic gradually evolved. From this simple beginning, the city would create a new government, a government that would one day dominate an area from the North Sea southward through Gaul and Germania, westward to Hispania, and eastward to Greece, Syria and North Africa. The great Mediterranean became a Roman lake. These lands would remain under the control of Rome throughout the Republic and well into the formative years of the Roman Empire. However, before it could become this dominant military force, the city had to have a stable government, and it was paramount that they avoid the possibility of one individual seizing control. In the end they would create a system exhibiting a true balance of power. Initially, after the fall of the monarchy, the Republic fell under the control of the great families - the patricians, coming from the word patres or fathers. Only these great families could hold political or religious offices. The remaining citizens or plebians had no political authority although many of them were as wealthy as the patricians. However, much to the dismay of the patricians, this arrangement could not and would not last. Tensions between the two classes continued to grow, especially since the poorer residents of the city provided the bulk of the army. They asked themselves why they should fight in a war if all of the profits go to the wealthy. Finally, in 494 B.C. the plebians went on strike, gathering outside Rome and refusing to move until they were granted representation; this was the famed Conflict of Orders or the First Succession of the Plebs. The strike worked, and the plebians would be rewarded with an assembly of their own - the Concilium Plebis or Council of the Plebs. Although the government of Rome could never be considered a true democracy, it did provide many of its citizens (women excluded) with a say in how their city was ruled. Through their rebellion, the plebians had entered into a system where power lay in a number of magistrates (the cursus honorum) and various assemblies. This executive power or imperium resided in two consuls. Elected by the Comitia Centuriata, a consul ruled for only one year, presiding over the Senate, proposing laws, and commanding the armies. Uniquely, each consul could veto the decision of the other. After his term was completed, he could become a pro-consul, governing one of the republic’s many territories, which was an appointment that could make him quite wealthy. There were several lesser magistrates: a praetor (the only other official with imperium power) who served as a judicial officer with civic and provincial jurisdiction, a quaestor who functioned as the financial administrator, and the aedile who supervised urban maintenance such as roads, water and food supplies, and the annual games and festivals. Lastly, there was the highly coveted position of censor, who held office for only 18 months. Elected every five years, he was the census taker, reviewing the list of citizens and their property. He could even remove members of the Senate for improper behavior. There was, however, one final position - the unique office of dictator. He was granted complete authority and was only named in times of emergency, usually serving for only six months. The most famous one, of course, was Julius Caesar; who was named dictator for life. Aside from the magistrates there were also a number of assemblies. These assemblies were the voice of the people (male citizens only), thereby allowing for the opinions of some to be heard. Foremost of all the assemblies was the Roman Senate (a remnant of the old monarchy). Although unpaid, Senators served for life unless they were removed by a censor for public or private misconduct. While this body had no true legislative power, serving only as advisors to the consul and later the emperor, they still wielded considerable authority. They could propose laws as well as oversee foreign policy, civic administration, and finances. Power to enact laws, however, was given to a number of popular assemblies. All of the Senate’s proposals had to be approved by either of two popular assemblies: the Comitia Centuriata, who not only enacted laws but also elected consuls and declared war, and the Concilium Plebis, who conveyed the wishes of the plebians via their elected tribunes. These assemblies were divided into blocks and each of these blocks voted as a unit. Aside from these two major legislative bodies, there were also a number of smaller tribal assemblies. The Concilium Plebis came into existence as a result of the Conflict of Orders - a conflict between the plebians and patricians for political power. In the Concilium Plebis, aside from passing laws pertinent to the wishes of the plebians, the members elected a number of tribunes who spoke on their behalf. Although this “Council of the Plebs” initially gave the plebians some voice in government, it did not prove to be sufficient. In 450 B.C. the Twelve Tables were enacted in order to appease a number of plebian concerns. It became the first recorded Roman law code. The Tables tackled domestic problems with an emphasis on both family life and private property. For instance, plebians were not only prohibited from imprisonment for debt but also granted the right to appeal a magistrate’s decision. Later, plebians were even allowed to marry patricians and become consuls. Over time the rights of the plebians continued to increase. In 287 B.C. the Lex Hortensia declared that all laws passed by the Concilium Plebis were binding to both plebians and patricians. This unique government allowed the Republic to grow far beyond the city’s walls. Victory in the three Punic Wars (264 – 146 B.C.) waged against Carthage was the first step of Rome growing beyond the confines of the peninsula. After years of war and the embarrassment of defeat at the hands of Hannibal, the Senate finally followed the advice of the outspoken Cato the Elder who said “Carthago delenda est!” or “Carthage must be destroyed!” Rome’s destruction of the city after the Battle of Zama in 146 B.C. and the defeat of the Greeks in the four Macedonian Wars established the Republic as a true Mediterranean power. The submission of the Greeks brought the rich Hellenistic culture to Rome, that is its art, philosophy and literature. Unfortunately, despite the growth of the Republic, the Roman government was never meant to run an empire. According to historian Tom Holland in his Rubicon, the Republic always seemed to be on the brink of political collapse. The old agrarian economy could not and would not be successfully transferred and only further broadened the gap between the rich and poor. Rome, however, was more than just a warrior state. At home Romans believed in the importance of the family and the value of religion. They also believed that citizenship or civitas defined what it meant to be truly civilized. This concept of citizenship would soon be put to the test when the Roman territories began to challenge Roman authority. However, this constant state of war had not only made the Republic wealthy but it also helped mold its society. After the Macedonian Wars, the influence of the Greeks affected both Roman culture and religion. Under this Greek influence, the traditional Roman gods transformed. In Rome an individual’s personal expression of belief was unimportant, only a strict adherence to a rigid set of rituals, avoiding the dangers of religious fervor. Temples honoring these gods would be built throughout the empire. Elsewhere in Rome the division of the classes could best be seen within the city walls in the tenements. Rome was a refuge to many people who left the surrounding towns and farms seeking a better way of life. However, an unfulfilled promise of jobs forced many people to live in the poorer parts of the city. The jobs they sought were often not there, resulting in an epidemic of homeless inhabitants. While many of the wealthier citizens resided on Palatine Hill, others lived in ramshackle apartments that were over-crowded and extremely dangerous - many lived in constant fear of fire and collapse. Although the lower floors of these buildings contained shops and more suitable housing, the upper floors were for the poorer residents, there was no access for natural light, no running water, and no toilets. The streets were poorly lit and since there was no police force, crime was rampant. Refuse, even human waste, was routinely dumped onto the streets, not only causing a terrible stench but served as a breeding ground for disease. All of this added to an already disgruntled populace. This continuing struggle between the have and have nots would remain until the Republic finally collapsed. owever, there were those in power who tried to find a solution to the existing problems. In the 2nd century B.C., two brothers, both tribunes, tried but failed to make the necessary changes. Among a number of reform proposals, Tiberius Gracchus suggested to give land to both the unemployed and small farmers. Of course, the Senate, many of whom were large landowners, vehemently objected. Even the Concilium Plebis rejected the idea. Although his suggestion eventually became law, it could not be enforced. Riots soon followed and 300 people, including Tiberius, were killed. Unfortunately, a similar destiny awaited his brother. While Gaius Gracchus also supported the land distribution idea, his fate was sealed when he proposed to give citizenship to all Roman allies. Like his big brother, his proposals met with considerable resistance. 3,000 of his supporters were killed and he chose suicide. The failure of the brothers to achieve some balance in Rome would be one of a number of indicators that the Republic was doomed to fall. Later, another Roman would rise to initiate a series of reforms. Sulla and his army marched on Rome and seized power, defeating his enemy Gaius Marius. Assuming power in 88 B.C., Sulla quickly defeated King Mithridates of Pontus in the East, crushed the Samnites with the help of the generals Pompey and Crassus, purged the Roman Senate (80 were killed or exiled), reorganized the law courts, and enacted a number of reforms. He retired peacefully in 79 B.C. Unlike the Empire, the Republic would not collapse due to any external threat but instead fell to an internal menace. It came from the inability of the Republic to adjust to a constantly expanding empire. Even the ancient Sibylline prophecies predicted that failure would come internally, not by foreign invaders. There were a number of these internal warnings. The demand of the Roman allies for citizenship was one sign of this unrest - the so-called Social Wars of the 1st century B.C. (90 – 88 B.C.). For years the Roman allies had paid tribute and provided soldiers for war but were not considered citizens. Like their plebian kindred years earlier, they wanted representation. It took a rebellion for things to change. Although the Senate had warned the Roman citizens that awarding these people citizenship would be dangerous, full citizenship was finally granted to all people (slaves excluded) in the entire Italian peninsula. Later, Julius Caesar would extend citizenship beyond Italy and grant it to the people of Spain and Gaul. About this time the city witnessed a serious threat to its very survival when Marcus Tillius Cicero, the Roman statesman and poet, uncovered a conspiracy led by the Roman senator Lucius Sergius Catiline to overthrow the Roman government. Cicero also believed that the Republic was declining due to moral decay. Problems such as this together with fear and unrest came to the attention of three men in 60 B.C.: Julius Caesar, Gnaeus Pompey and Marcus Licinius Crassus. Crassus had gained fame by his defeat of Spartacus and his followers in 71 B.C. Pompey had distinguished himself in Spain as well as in the East. Caesar had proven himself as an able commander. Together, the three men formed what historians have named the First Triumvirate or Gang of Three. For almost a decade they controlled both consulships and military commands. After Caesar left the office of consul in 59 B.C., he and his army moved northward into Gaul and Germania. Pompey became the governor of Spain (although he ruled from Rome) while Crassus sought fame in the east where, unfortunately for him, he was eventually defeated and killed at the Battle of Carrhae. Growing tension between Pompey and Caesar escalated. Pompey was jealous of Caesar’s success and fame while Caesar wanted a return to politics. Eventually these differences brought them to battle, and in 48 B.C. they met at Pharsalus. Pompey was defeated, escaping to Egypt where he was killed by Ptolemy XIII. Caesar fulfilled his destiny by securing both the eastern provinces and northern Africa, returning to Rome a hero only to be declared dictator for life. Many of his enemies, as well as several allies, saw his new position as a serious threat to the foundation of the Republic, and despite a number of popular reforms, his assassination on the Ides of March in 44 B.C. brought the Republic to its knees. His heir and step-son Octavian subdued Mark Antony, eventually becoming the first emperor of Rome as Augustus. The Republic was gone and in its ashes rose the Roman Empire. History of Roman Empire: The Roman Empire, at its height (circa 117 A.D.), was the most extensive political and social structure in western civilization. By 285 A.D. the empire had grown too vast to be ruled from the central government at Rome and so was divided by Emperor Diocletian (284-305 A.D.) into a Western and an Eastern Empire. The Roman Empire began when Augustus Caesar (27 B.C.-14 A.D.) became the first emperor of Rome and ended, in the West, when the last Roman emperor, Romulus Augustulus, was deposed by the Germanic King Odoacer (476 A.D.). In the East, it continued as the Byzantine Empire until the death of Constantine XI and the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks in 1453 A.D. The influence of the Roman Empire on western civilization was profound in its lasting contributions to virtually every aspect of western culture. Following the Battle of Actium in 31 B.C., Gaius Octavian Thurinus, Julius Caesar's nephew and heir, became the first emperor of Rome and took the name Augustus Caesar. Although Julius Caesar is often regarded as the first emperor of Rome, this is incorrect; he never held the title "Emperor" but, rather, "Dictator", a title the senate could not help but grant him, as Caesar held supreme military and political power at the time. In contrast, the senate willingly granted Augustus the title of emperor, lavishing praise and power on him because he had destroyed Rome's enemies and brought much needed stability. Augustus ruled the empire from 31 B.C. until 14 A.D. when he died. In that time, as he said himself, he "found Rome a city of clay but left it a city of marble." Augustus reformed the laws of the city and, by extension, the empire’s, secured Rome's borders, initiated vast building projects (carried out largely by his faithful general Agrippa, who built the first Pantheon), and secured the empire a lasting name as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, political and cultural powers in history. The Pax Romana (Roman Peace), also known as the Pax Augusta, which he initiated, was a time of peace and prosperity hitherto unknown and would last over 200 years. Following Augustus’ death, power passed to his heir, Tiberius, who continued many of the emperor’s policies but lacked the strength of character and vision which so defined Augustus. This trend would continue, more or less steadily, with the emperors who followed: Caligula, Claudius, and Nero. These first five rulers of the empire are referred to as the Julio-Claudian Dynasty for the two family names they descended from (either by birth or through adoption), Julius and Claudius. Although Caligula has become notorious for his depravity and apparent insanity, his early rule was commendable as was that of his successor, Claudius, who expanded Rome’s power and territory in Britain; less so was that of Nero. Caligula and Claudius were both assassinated in office (Caligula by his Praetorian Guard and Claudius, apparently, by his wife). Nero’s suicide ended the Julio-Claudian Dynasty and initiated the period of social unrest known as The Year of the Four Emperors. These four rulers were Galba, Otho, Vitellius, and Vespasian. Following Nero’s suicide in 68 A.D., Galba assumed rule (69 A.D.) and almost instantly proved unfit for the responsibility. He was assassinated by the Praetorian Guard. Otho succeeded him swiftly on the very day of his death, and ancient records indicate he was expected to make a good emperor. General Vitellius, however, sought power for himself and so initiated the brief civil war which ended in Otho’s suicide and Vitellius’ ascent to the throne. Vitellius proved no more fit to rule than Galba had been, as he almost instantly engaged in luxurious entertainments and feasts at the expense of his duties. The legions declared for General Vespasian as emperor and marched on Rome. Vitellius was murdered by Vespasian’s men, and Vespasian took power exactly one year from the day Galba had first ascended to the throne. Vespasian founded the Flavian Dynasty which was characterized by massive building projects, economic prosperity, and expansion of the empire. Vespasian ruled from 69-79 A.D., and in that time, initiated the building of the Flavian Amphitheatre (the famous Coliseum of Rome) which his son Titus (ruled 79-81 A.D.) would complete. Titus’ early reign saw the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. which buried the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Ancient sources are universal in their praise for his handling of this disaster as well as the great fire of Rome in 80 A.D. Titus died of a fever in 81 A.D. and was succeeded by his brother Domitian who ruled from 81-96 A.D. Domitian expanded and secured the boundaries of Rome, repaired the damage to the city caused by the great fire, continued the building projects initiated by his brother, and improved the economy of the empire. Even so, his autocratic methods and policies made him unpopular with the Roman Senate, and he was assassinated in 96 A.D. Domitian's successor was his advisor Nerva who founded the Nervan-Antonin Dynasty which ruled Rome 96-192 A.D. This period is marked by increased prosperity owing to the rulers known as The Five Good Emperors of Rome. Between 96 and 180 A.D., five exceptional men ruled in sequence and brought the Roman Empire to its height: Nerva (96-98), Trajan (98-117), Hadrian (117-138), Antoninus Pius (138-161), and Marcus Aurelius (161-180). Under their leadership, the Roman Empire grew stronger, more stable, and expanded in size and scope. Lucius Verus and Commodus are the last two of the Nervan-Antonin Dynasty. Verus was co-emperor with Marcus Aurelius until his death in 169 A.D. and seems to have been fairly ineffective. Commodus, Aurelius’ son and successor, was one of the most disgraceful emperors Rome ever saw and is universally depicted as indulging himself and his whims at the expense of the empire. He was strangled by his wrestling partner in his bath in 192 A.D., ending the Nervan-Antonin Dynasty and raising the prefect Pertinax (who most likely engineered Commodus’ assassination) to power. Pertinax governed for only three months before he was assassinated. He was followed, in rapid succession, by four others in the period known as The Year of the Five Emperors, which culminated in the rise of Septimus Severus to power. Severus ruled Rome from 193-211 A.D., founded the Severan Dynasty, defeated the Parthians, and expanded the empire. His campaigns in Africa and Britain were extensive and costly and would contribute to Rome’s later financial difficulties. He was succeeded by his sons Caracalla and Geta, until Caracalla had his brother murdered. Caracalla ruled until 217 A.D., when he was assassinated by his bodyguard. It was under Caracalla’s reign that Roman citizenship was expanded to include all free men within the empire. This law was said to have been enacted as a means of raising tax revenue, simply because, after its passage, there were more people the central government could tax. The Severan Dynasty continued, largely under the guidance and manipulation of Julia Maesa (referred to as `empress’), until the assassination of Alexander Severus in 235 A.D. which plunged the empire into the chaos known as The Crisis of the Third Century (lasting from 235-284 A.D.). This period, also known as The Imperial Crisis, was characterized by constant civil war, as various military leaders fought for control of the empire. The crisis has been further noted by historians for widespread social unrest, economic instability (fostered, in part, by the devaluation of Roman currency by the Severans), and, finally, the dissolution of the empire which broke into three separate regions. The empire was reunited by Aurelian (270-275 A.D.) whose policies were further developed and improved upon by Diocletian who established the Tetrarchy (the rule of four) to maintain order throughout the empire. Even so, the empire was still so vast that Diocletian divided it in half in 285 A.D. to facilitate more efficient administration. In so doing, he created the Western Roman Empire and the Eastern Roman Empire (also known as the Byzantine Empire). Since a leading cause of the Imperial Crisis was a lack of clarity in succession, Diocletian decreed that successors must be chosen and approved from the outset of an individual’s rule. Two of these successors were the generals Maxentius and Constantine. Diocletian voluntarily retired from rule in 305 A.D., and the tetrarchy dissolved as rival regions of the empire vied with each other for dominance. Following Diocletian’s death in 311 A.D., Maxentius and Constantine plunged the empire again into civil war. In 312 A.D. Constantine defeated Maxentius at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge and became sole emperor of both the Western and Eastern Empires (ruling from 306-337 A.D.). Believing that Jesus Christ was responsible for his victory, Constantine initiated a series of laws such as the Edict of Milan (317 A.D.) which mandated religious tolerance throughout the empire and, specifically, tolerance for the faith which came to known as Christianity. In the same way that earlier Roman emperors had claimed a special relationship with a deity to augment their authority and standing (Caracalla with Serapis, for example, or Diocletian with Jupiter), Constantine chose the figure of Jesus Christ. At the First Council of Nicea (325 A.D.), he presided over the gathering to codify the faith and decide on important issues such as the divinity of Jesus and which manuscripts would be collected to form the book known today as The Bible. He stabilized the empire, revalued the currency, and reformed the military, as well as founding the city he called New Rome on the site of the former city of Byzantium (modern day Istanbul) which came to be known as Constantinople. He is known as Constantine the Great owing to later Christian writers who saw him as a mighty champion of their faith but, as has been noted by many historians, the honorific could as easily be attributed to his religious, cultural, and political reforms, as well as his skill in battle and his large-scale building projects. After his death, his sons inherited the empire and, fairly quickly, embarked on a series of conflicts with each other which threatened to undo all that Constantine had accomplished. His three sons, Constantine II, Constantius II, and Constans divided the Roman Empire between them but soon fell to fighting over which of them deserved more. In these conflicts, Constantine II and Constans were killed. Constantius II died later after naming his cousin Julian his successor and heir. Emperor Julian ruled for only two years (361-363 A.D.) and, in that time, tried to return Rome to her former glory through a series of reforms aimed at increasing efficiency in government. As a Neo-Platonic philosopher, Julian rejected Christianity and blamed the faith; and Constantine’s adherence to it, for the decline of the empire. While officially proclaiming a policy of religious tolerance, Julian systematically removed Christians from influential government positions, banned the teaching and spread of the religion, and barred Christians from military service. His death, while on campaign against the Persians, ended the dynasty Constantine had begun. He was the last pagan emperor of Rome and came to be known as "Julian the Apostate" for his opposition to Christianity. After the brief rule of Jovian, who re-established Christianity as the dominant faith of the empire and repealed Julian’s various edicts, the responsibility of emperor fell to Theodosius I. Theodosius I (379-395 A.D.) took Constantine’s and Jovian’s religious reforms to their natural ends, outlawed pagan worship throughout the empire, closed the schools and universities, and converted pagan temples into Christian churches. It was during this time that Plato’s famous Academy was closed by Theodosius’ decree. Many of his reforms were unpopular with both the Roman aristocracy and the common people who held to the traditional values of pagan practice. The unity of social duties and religious belief which paganism provided was severed by the institution of a religion which removed the gods from the earth and human society and proclaimed only one God who ruled from the heavens. Theodosius I devoted so much effort to promoting Christianity that he seems to have neglected other duties as emperor and would be the last to rule both Eastern and Western Empires. From 376-382 A.D., Rome fought a series of battles against invading Goths known today as the Gothic Wars. At the Battle of Adrianople, 9 August 378 A.D., the Roman Emperor Valens was defeated, and historians mark this event as pivotal in the decline of the Western Roman Empire. Various theories have been suggested as to the cause of the empire’s fall but, even today, there is no universal agreement on what those specific factors were. Edward Gibbon has famously argued in his The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire that Christianity played a pivotal role, in that the new religion undermined the social mores of the empire which paganism provided. The theory that Christianity was a root cause in the empire’s fall was debated long before Gibbon, however, as Orosius argued Christianity’s innocence in Rome’s decline as early as 418 A.D. Orosius claimed it was primarily paganism itself and pagan practices which brought about the fall of Rome. Other influences which have been noted range from the corruption of the governing elite to the ungovernable vastness of the empire to the growing strength of the Germanic tribes and their constant incursions into Rome. The Roman military could no longer safeguard the borders as efficiently as they once had nor could the government as easily collect taxes in the provinces. The arrival of the Visigoths in the empire in the third century A.D. and their subsequent rebellions has also been cited a contributing factor in the decline. The Western Roman Empire officially ended 4 September 476 A.D., when Emperor Romulus Augustus was deposed by the Germanic King Odoacer (though some historians date the end as 480 A.D. with the death of Julius Nepos). The Eastern Roman Empire continued on as the Byzantine Empire until 1453 A.D., and though known early on as simply `the Roman Empire’, it did not much resemble that entity at all. The Western Roman Empire would become re-invented later as The Holy Roman Empire, but that construct, also, was far removed from the Roman Empire of antiquity and was an `empire’ in name only. The inventions and innovations which were generated by the Roman Empire profoundly altered the lives of the ancient people and continue to be used in cultures around the world today. Advancements in the construction of roads and buildings, indoor plumbing, aqueducts, and even fast-drying cement were either invented or improved upon by the Romans. The calendar used in the West derives from the one created by Julius Caesar, and the names of the days of the week (in the romance languages) and months of the year also come from Rome. Apartment complexes (known as `insula), public toilets, locks and keys, newspapers, even socks all were developed by the Romans as were shoes, a postal system (modeled after the Persians), cosmetics, the magnifying glass, and the concept of satire in literature. During the time of the empire, significant developments were also advanced in the fields of medicine, law, religion, government, and warfare. The Romans were adept at borrowing from, and improving upon, those inventions or concepts they found among the indigenous populace of the regions they conquered. It is therefore difficult to say what is an `original’ Roman invention and what is an innovation on a pre-existing concept, technique, or tool. It can safely be said, however, that the Roman Empire left an enduring legacy which continues to affect the way in which people live even today. [Ancient History Encyclopedia]. REVIEW: Ancient Egypt was a civilization of ancient Northeastern Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in the place that is now the country Egypt. It is one of six historic civilizations to arise independently. Egyptian civilization followed prehistoric Egypt and coalesced around 3150 B.C. (according to conventional Egyptian chronology) with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under Menes (often identified with Narmer). The history of ancient Egypt occurred as a series of stable kingdoms, separated by periods of relative instability known as Intermediate Periods: the Old Kingdom of the Early Bronze Age, the Middle Kingdom of the Middle Bronze Age and the New Kingdom of the Late Bronze Age. Egypt reached the pinnacle of its power in the New Kingdom, during the Ramesside period, where it rivalled the Hittite Empire, Assyrian Empire and Mitanni Empire, after which it entered a period of slow decline. Egypt was invaded or conquered by a succession of foreign powers, such as the Canaanites/Hyksos, Libyans, the Nubians, the Assyrians, Babylonians, the Achaemenid Persians, and the Macedonians in the Third Intermediate Period and the Late Period of Egypt. In the aftermath of Alexander the Great's death, one of his generals, Ptolemy Soter, established himself as the new ruler of Egypt. This Greek Ptolemaic Kingdom ruled Egypt until 30 B.C., when, under Cleopatra, it fell to the Roman Empire and became a Roman province. The success of ancient Egyptian civilization came partly from its ability to adapt to the conditions of the Nile River valley for agriculture. The predictable flooding and controlled irrigation of the fertile valley produced surplus crops, which supported a more dense population, and social development and culture. With resources to spare, the administration sponsored mineral exploitation of the valley and surrounding desert regions, the early development of an independent writing system, the organization of collective construction and agricultural projects, trade with surrounding regions, and a military intended to defeat foreign enemies and assert Egyptian dominance. Motivating and organizing these activities was a bureaucracy of elite scribes, religious leaders, and administrators under the control of a pharaoh, who ensured the cooperation and unity of the Egyptian people in the context of an elaborate system of religious beliefs. The many achievements of the ancient Egyptians include the quarrying, surveying and construction techniques that supported the building of monumental pyramids, temples, and obelisks; a system of mathematics, a practical and effective system of medicine, irrigation systems and agricultural production techniques, the first known planked boats, Egyptian faience and glass technology, new forms of literature, and the earliest known peace treaty, made with the Hittites. Egypt left a lasting legacy. Its art and architecture were widely copied, and its antiquities carried off to far corners of the world. Its monumental ruins have inspired the imaginations of travelers and writers for centuries. A new-found respect for antiquities and excavations in the early modern period by Europeans and Egyptians led to the scientific investigation of Egyptian civilization and a greater appreciation of its cultural legacy. The Nile has been the lifeline of its region for much of human history. The fertile floodplain of the Nile gave humans the opportunity to develop a settled agricultural economy and a more sophisticated, centralized society that became a cornerstone in the history of human civilization. Nomadic modern human hunter-gatherers began living in the Nile valley through the end of the Middle Pleistocene some 120,000 years ago. By the late Paleolithic period, the arid climate of Northern Africa became increasingly hot and dry, forcing the populations of the area to concentrate along the river region. In Predynastic and Early Dynastic times, the Egyptian climate was much less arid than it is today. Large regions of Egypt were covered in treed savanna and traversed by herds of grazing ungulates. Foliage and fauna were far more prolific in all environs and the Nile region supported large populations of waterfowl. Hunting would have been common for Egyptians, and this is also the period when many animals were first domesticated. By about 5500 B.C., small tribes living in the Nile valley had developed into a series of cultures demonstrating firm control of agriculture and animal husbandry, and identifiable by their pottery and personal items, such as combs, bracelets, and beads. The largest of these early cultures in upper (Southern) Egypt was the Badari, which probably originated in the Western Desert; it was known for its high quality ceramics, stone tools, and its use of copper. The Badari was followed by the Amratian (Naqada I) and Gerzeh (Naqada II) cultures, which brought a number of technological improvements. As early as the Naqada I Period, predynastic Egyptians imported obsidian from Ethiopia, used to shape blades and other objects from flakes. In Naqada II times, early evidence exists of contact with the Near East, particularly Canaan and the Byblos coast. Over a period of about 1,000 years, the Naqada culture developed from a few small farming communities into a powerful civilization whose leaders were in complete control of the people and resources of the Nile valley. Establishing a power center at Hierakonpolis, and later at Abydos, Naqada III leaders expanded their control of Egypt northwards along the Nile. They also traded with Nubia to the south, the oases of the western desert to the west, and the cultures of the eastern Mediterranean and Near East to the east. Royal Nubian burials at Qustul produced artifacts bearing the oldest-known examples of Egyptian dynastic symbols, such as the white crown of Egypt and falcon. The Naqada culture manufactured a diverse selection of material goods, reflective of the increasing power and wealth of the elite, as well as societal personal-use items, which included combs, small statuary, painted pottery, high quality decorative stone vases, cosmetic palettes, and jewelry made of gold, lapis, and ivory. They also developed a ceramic glaze known as faience, which was used well into the Roman Period to decorate cups, amulets, and figurines. During the last predynastic phase, the Naqada culture began using written symbols that eventually were developed into a full system of hieroglyphs for writing the ancient Egyptian language. The Early Dynastic Period was approximately contemporary to the early Sumerian-Akkadian civilisation of Mesopotamia and of ancient Elam. The third-century B.C. Egyptian priest Manetho grouped the long line of pharaohs from Menes to his own time into 30 dynasties, a system still used today. He chose to begin his official history with the king named "Meni" (or Menes in Greek) who was believed to have united the two kingdoms of Upper and Lower Egypt (around 3100 B.C.). The transition to a unified state happened more gradually than ancient Egyptian writers represented, and there is no contemporary record of Menes. Some scholars now believe, however, that the mythical Menes may have been the pharaoh Narmer, who is depicted wearing royal regalia on the ceremonial Narmer Palette, in a symbolic act of unification. In the Early Dynastic Period about 3150 B.C., the first of the Dynastic pharaohs solidified control over lower Egypt by establishing a capital at Memphis, from which he could control the labour force and agriculture of the fertile delta region, as well as the lucrative and critical trade routes to the Levant. The increasing power and wealth of the pharaohs during the early dynastic period was reflected in their elaborate mastaba tombs and mortuary cult structures at Abydos, which were used to celebrate the deified pharaoh after his death. The strong institution of kingship developed by the pharaohs served to legitimize state control over the land, labour, and resources that were essential to the survival and growth of ancient Egyptian civilization. Major advances in architecture, art, and technology were made during the Old Kingdom, fueled by the increased agricultural productivity and resulting population, made possible by a well-developed central administration. Some of ancient Egypt's crowning achievements, the Giza pyramids and Great Sphinx, were constructed during the Old Kingdom. Under the direction of the vizier, state officials collected taxes, coordinated irrigation projects to improve crop yield, drafted peasants to work on construction projects, and established a justice system to maintain peace and order. Along with the rising importance of a central administration arose a new class of educated scribes and officials who were granted estates by the pharaoh in payment for their services. Pharaohs also made land grants to their mortuary cults and local temples, to ensure that these institutions had the resources to worship the pharaoh after his death. Scholars believe that five centuries of these practices slowly eroded the economic power of the pharaoh, and that the economy could no longer afford to support a large centralized administration. As the power of the pharaoh diminished, regional governors called nomarchs began to challenge the supremacy of the pharaoh. This, coupled with severe droughts between 2200 and 2150 B.C., is assumed to have caused the country to enter the 140-year period of famine and strife known as the First Intermediate Period. After Egypt's central government collapsed at the end of the Old Kingdom, the administration could no longer support or stabilize the country's economy. Regional governors could not rely on the king for help in times of crisis, and the ensuing food shortages and political disputes escalated into famines and small-scale civil wars. Yet despite difficult problems, local leaders, owing no tribute to the pharaoh, used their new-found independence to establish a thriving culture in the provinces. Once in control of their own resources, the provinces became economically richer—which was demonstrated by larger and better burials among all social classes. In bursts of creativity, provincial artisans adopted and adapted cultural motifs formerly restricted to the royalty of the Old Kingdom, and scribes developed literary styles that expressed the optimism and originality of the period. Free from their loyalties to the pharaoh, local rulers began competing with each other for territorial control and political power. By 2160 B.C., rulers in Herakleopolis controlled Lower Egypt in the north, while a rival clan based in Thebes, the Intef family, took control of Upper Egypt in the south. As the Intefs grew in power and expanded their control northward, a clash between the two rival dynasties became inevitable. Around 2055 B.C. the northern Theban forces under Nebhepetre Mentuhotep II finally defeated the Herakleopolitan rulers, reuniting the Two Lands. They inaugurated a period of economic and cultural renaissance known as the Middle Kingdom. The pharaohs of the Middle Kingdom restored the country's prosperity and stability, thereby stimulating a resurgence of art, literature, and monumental building projects. Mentuhotep II and his Eleventh Dynasty successors ruled from Thebes, but the vizier Amenemhat I, upon assuming kingship at the beginning of the Twelfth Dynasty around 1985 B.C., shifted the nation's capital to the city of Itjtawy, located in Faiyum. From Itjtawy, the pharaohs of the Twelfth Dynasty undertook a far-sighted land reclamation and irrigation scheme to increase agricultural output in the region. Moreover, the military reconquered territory in Nubia that was rich in quarries and gold mines, while laborers built a defensive structure in the Eastern Delta, called the "Walls-of-the-Ruler", to defend against foreign attack. With the pharaohs' having secured military and political security and vast agricultural and mineral wealth, the nation's population, arts, and religion flourished. In contrast to elitist Old Kingdom attitudes towards the gods, the Middle Kingdom experienced an increase in expressions of personal piety and what could be called a democratization of the afterlife, in which all people possessed a soul and could be welcomed into the company of the gods after death. Middle Kingdom literature featured sophisticated themes and characters written in a confident, eloquent style. The relief and portrait sculpture of the period captured subtle, individual details that reached new heights of technical perfection. The last great ruler of the Middle Kingdom, Amenemhat III, allowed Semitic-speaking Canaanite settlers from the Near East into the delta region to provide a sufficient labour force for his especially active mining and building campaigns. These ambitious building and mining activities, however, combined with severe Nile floods later in his reign, strained the economy and precipitated the slow decline into the Second Intermediate Period during the later Thirteenth and Fourteenth dynasties. During this decline, the Canaanite settlers began to seize control of the delta region, eventually coming to power in Egypt as the Hyksos. Around 1785 B.C., as the power of the Middle Kingdom pharaohs weakened, a Western Asian people called the Hyksos had already settled in the Eastern Delta town of Avaris, seized control of Egypt, and forced the central government to retreat to Thebes. The pharaoh was treated as a vassal and expected to pay tribute. The Hyksos ("foreign rulers") retained Egyptian models of government and identified as pharaohs, thus integrating Egyptian elements into their culture. They and other invaders introduced new tools of warfare into Egypt, most notably the composite bow and the horse-drawn chariot. After their retreat, the native Theban kings found themselves trapped between the Canaanite Hyksos ruling the north and the Hyksos' Nubian allies, the Kushites, to the south of Egypt. After years of vassalage, Thebes gathered enough strength to challenge the Hyksos in a conflict that lasted more than 30 years, until 1555 B.C. The pharaohs Seqenenre Tao II and Kamose were ultimately able to defeat the Nubians to the south of Egypt, but failed to defeat the Hyksos. That task fell to Kamose's successor, Ahmose I, who successfully waged a series of campaigns that permanently eradicated the Hyksos' presence in Egypt. He established a new dynasty. In the New Kingdom that followed, the military became a central priority for the pharaohs seeking to expand Egypt's borders and attempting to gain mastery of the Near East. The New Kingdom pharaohs established a period of unprecedented prosperity by securing their borders and strengthening diplomatic ties with their neighbours, including the Mitanni Empire, Assyria, and Canaan. Military campaigns waged under Tuthmosis I and his grandson Tuthmosis III extended the influence of the pharaohs to the largest empire Egypt had ever seen. Between their reigns, Hatshepsut generally promoted peace and restored trade routes lost during the Hyksos occupation, as well as expanding to new regions. When Tuthmosis III died in 1425 B.C., Egypt had an empire extending from Niya in north west Syria to the fourth waterfall of the Nile in Nubia, cementing loyalties and opening access to critical imports such as bronze and wood. The New Kingdom pharaohs began a large-scale building campaign to promote the god Amun, whose growing cult was based in Karnak. They also constructed monuments to glorify their own achievements, both real and imagined. The Karnak temple is the largest Egyptian temple ever built. The pharaoh Hatshepsut used such hyperbole and grandeur during her reign of almost twenty-two years. Her reign was very successful, marked by an extended period of peace and wealth-building, trading expeditions to Punt, restoration of foreign trade networks, and great building projects, including an elegant mortuary temple that rivaled the Greek architecture of a thousand years later, a colossal pair of obelisks, and a chapel at Karnak. Despite her achievements, Amenhotep II, the heir to Hatshepsut's nephew-stepson Tuthmosis III, sought to erase her legacy near the end of his father's reign and throughout his, touting many of her accomplishments as his. He also tried to change many established traditions that had developed over the centuries, which some suggest was a futile attempt to prevent other women from becoming pharaoh and to curb their influence in the kingdom. Around 1350 B.C., the stability of the New Kingdom seemed threatened further when Amenhotep IV ascended the throne and instituted a series of radical and chaotic reforms. Changing his name to Akhenaten, he touted the previously obscure sun deity Aten as the supreme deity, suppressed the worship of most other deities, and attacked the power of the temple that had become dominated by the priests of Amun in Thebes, whom he saw as corrupt. Moving the capital to the new city of Akhetaten (modern-day Amarna), Akhenaten turned a deaf ear to events in the Near East (where the Hittites, Mitanni, and Assyrians were vying for control). He was devoted to his new religion and artistic style. After his death, the cult of the Aten was quickly abandoned, the priests of Amun soon regained power and returned the capital to Thebes. Under their influence the subsequent pharaohs Tutankhamun, Ay, and Horemheb worked to erase all mention of Akhenaten's heresy, now known as the Amarna Period. Around 1279 B.C., Ramesses II, also known as Ramesses the Great, ascended the throne, and went on to build more temples, erect more statues and obelisks, and sire more children than any other pharaoh in history. A bold military leader, Ramesses II led his army against the Hittites in the Battle of Kadesh (in modern Syria) and, after fighting to a stalemate, finally agreed to the first recorded peace treaty, around 1258 B.C. With both the Egyptians and Hittite Empire proving unable to gain the upper hand over one another, and both powers also fearful of the expanding Middle Assyrian Empire, Egypt withdrew from much of the Near East. The Hittites were thus left to compete unsuccessfully with the powerful Assyrians and the newly arrived Phrygians. Egypt's wealth, however, made it a tempting target for invasion, particularly by the Libyan Berbers to the west, and the Sea Peoples, a conjectured confederation of seafarers from the Aegean Sea. Initially, the military was able to repel these invasions, but Egypt eventually lost control of its remaining territories in southern Canaan, much of it falling to the Assyrians. The effects of external threats were exacerbated by internal problems such as corruption, tomb robbery, and civil unrest. After regaining their power, the high priests at the temple of Amun in Thebes accumulated vast tracts of land and wealth, and their expanded power splintered the country during the Third Intermediate Period. Following the death of Ramesses XI in 1078 B.C., Smendes assumed authority over the northern part of Egypt, ruling from the city of Tanis. The south was effectively controlled by the High Priests of Amun at Thebes, who recognized Smendes in name only. During this time, Berber tribes from what was later to be called Libya had been settling in the western delta, and the chieftains of these settlers began increasing their autonomy. Libyan princes took control of the delta under Shoshenq I in 945 B.C., founding the Libyan Berber, or Bubastite, dynasty that ruled for some 200 years. Shoshenq also gained control of southern Egypt by placing his family members in important priestly positions. In the mid-ninth century B.C., Egypt made a failed attempt to once more gain a foothold in Western Asia. Osorkon II of Egypt, along with a large alliance of nations and peoples, including Persia, Israel, Hamath, Phoenicia/Canaan, the Arabs, Arameans, and neo Hittites among others, engaged in the Battle of Karkar against the powerful Assyrian king Shalmaneser III in 853 B.C. However, this coalition of powers failed and the Neo Assyrian Empire continued to dominate Western Asia. Libyan Berber control began to erode as a rival native dynasty in the delta arose under Leontopolis. Also, the Nubians of the Kushites threatened Egypt from the lands to the south. Around 730 B.C. Libyans from the west fractured the political unity of the country Drawing on millennia of interaction (trade, acculturation, occupation, assimilation, and war) with Egypt, the Kushite king Piye left his Nubian capital of Napata and invaded Egypt around 727 B.C. Piye easily seized control of Thebes and eventually the Nile Delta. He recorded the episode on his stela of victory. Piye set the stage for subsequent Twenty-fifth dynasty pharaohs, such as Taharqa, to reunite the "Two lands" of Northern and Southern Egypt. The Nile valley empire was as large as it had been since the New Kingdom. The Twenty-fifth dynasty ushered in a renaissance period for ancient Egypt. Religion, the arts, and architecture were restored to their glorious Old, Middle, and New Kingdom forms. Pharaohs, such as Taharqa, built or restored temples and monuments throughout the Nile valley, including at Memphis, Karnak, Kawa, Jebel Barkal, etc. It was during the Twenty-fifth dynasty that there was the first widespread construction of pyramids (many in modern Sudan) in the Nile Valley since the Middle Kingdom. Piye made various unsuccessful attempts to extend Egyptian influence in the Near East, then controlled by Assyria. In 720 B.C., he sent an army in support of a rebellion against Assyria, which was taking place in Philistia and Gaza. However, Piye was defeated by Sargon II and the rebellion failed. In 711 B.C., Piye again supported a revolt against Assyria by the Israelites of Ashdod and was once again defeated by the Assyrian king Sargon II. Subsequently, Piye was forced from the Near East. From the 10th century B.C. onwards, Assyria fought for control of the southern Levant. Frequently, cities and kingdoms of the southern Levant appealed to Egypt for aid in their struggles against the powerful Assyrian army. Taharqa enjoyed some initial success in his attempts to regain a foothold in the Near East. Taharqa aided the Judean King Hezekiah when Hezekiah and Jerusalem was besieged by the Assyrian king, Sennacherib. Scholars disagree on the primary reason for Assyria's abandonment of their siege on Jerusalem. Reasons for the Assyrian withdrawal range from conflict with the Egyptian/Kushite army to divine intervention to surrender to disease. Henry Aubin argues that the Kushite/Egyptian army saved Jerusalem from the Assyrians and prevented the Assyrians from returning to capture Jerusalem for the remainder of Sennacherib's life (20 years). Some argue that disease was the primary reason for failing to actually take the city; however, Senacherib's annals claim Judah was forced into tribute regardless. Sennacherib had been murdered by his own sons for destroying the rebellious city of Babylon, a city sacred to all Mesopotamians, the Assyrians included. In 674 B.C. Esarhaddon launched a preliminary incursion into Egypt; however, this attempt was repelled by Taharqa. However, in 671 B.C., Esarhaddon launched a full-scale invasion. Part of his army stayed behind to deal with rebellions in Phoenicia, and Israel. The remainder went south to Rapihu, then crossed the Sinai, and entered Egypt. Esarhaddon decisively defeated Taharqa, took Memphis, Thebes and all the major cities of Egypt, and Taharqa was chased back to his Nubian homeland. Esarhaddon now called himself "king of Egypt, Patros, and Kush", and returned with rich booty from the cities of the delta; he erected a victory stele at this time, and paraded the captive Prince Ushankhuru, the son of Taharqa in Nineveh. Esarhaddon stationed a small army in northern Egypt and describes how "All Ethiopians (read Nubians/Kushites) I deported from Egypt, leaving not one left to do homage to me". He installed native Egyptian princes throughout the land to rule on his behalf. The conquest by Esarhaddon effectively marked the end of the short lived Kushite Empire. However, the native Egyptian rulers installed by Esarhaddon were unable to retain full control of the whole country for long. Two years later, Taharqa returned from Nubia and seized control of a section of southern Egypt as far north as Memphis. Esarhaddon prepared to return to Egypt and once more eject Taharqa; however, he fell ill and died in his capital, Nineveh, before he left Assyria. His successor, Ashurbanipal, sent an Assyrian general named Sha-Nabu-shu with a small, but well trained army, which conclusively defeated Taharqa at Memphis and once more drove him from Egypt. Taharqa died in Nubia two years later. His successor, Tanutamun, also made a failed attempt to regain Egypt for Nubia. He successfully defeated Necho, the native Egyptian puppet ruler installed by Ashurbanipal, taking Thebes in the process. The Assyrians then sent a large army southwards. Tantamani (Tanutamun) was heavily routed and fled back to Nubia. The Assyrian army sacked Thebes to such an extent it never truly recovered. A native ruler, Psammetichus I was placed on the throne, as a vassal of Ashurbanipal, and the Nubians were never again to pose a threat to either Assyria or Egypt. With no permanent plans for conquest, the Assyrians left control of Egypt to a series of vassals who became known as the Saite kings of the Twenty-sixth Dynasty. By 653 B.C., the Saite king Psamtik I (taking advantage of the fact that Assyria was involved in a fierce war conquering Elam and that few Assyrian troops were stationed in Egypt) was able to free Egypt relatively peacefully from Assyrian vassalage with the help of Lydian and Greek mercenaries, the latter of whom were recruited to form Egypt's first navy. Psamtik and his successors however were careful to maintain peaceful relations with Assyria. Greek influence expanded greatly as the city of Naukratis became the home of Greeks in the delta. In 609 B.C. Necho II went to war with Babylonia, the Chaldeans, the Medians and the Scythians in an attempt to save Assyria, which after a brutal civil war was being overrun by this coalition of powers. However, the attempt to save Egypt's former masters failed. The Egyptians delayed intervening too long, and Nineveh had already fallen and King Sin-shar-ishkun was dead by the time Necho II sent his armies northwards. However, Necho easily brushed aside the Israelite army under King Josiah but he and the Assyrians then lost a battle at Harran to the Babylonians, Medes and Scythians. Necho II and Ashur-uballit II of Assyria were finally defeated at Carchemish in Aramea (modern Syria) in 605 B.C. The Egyptians remained in the area for some decades, struggling with the Babylonian kings Nabopolassar and Nebuchadnezzar II for control of portions of the former Assyrian Empire in The Levant. However, they were eventually driven back into Egypt, and Nebuchadnezzar II even briefly invaded Egypt itself in 567 B.C. The Saite kings based in the new capital of Sais witnessed a brief but spirited resurgence in the economy and culture, but in 525 B.C., the powerful Persians, led by Cambyses II, began their conquest of Egypt, eventually capturing the pharaoh Psamtik III at the battle of Pelusium. Cambyses II then assumed the formal title of pharaoh, but ruled Egypt from his home of Susa in Persia (modern Iran), leaving Egypt under the control of a satrapy. A few temporarily successful revolts against the Persians marked the fifth century B.C., but Egypt was never able to permanently overthrow the Persians. Following its annexation by Persia, Egypt was joined with Cyprus and Phoenicia (modern Lebanon) in the sixth satrapy of the Achaemenid Persian Empire. This first period of Persian rule over Egypt, also known as the Twenty-seventh dynasty, ended after more than one-hundred years in 402 B.C., and from 380 to 343 B.C. the Thirtieth Dynasty ruled as the last native royal house of dynastic Egypt, which ended with the kingship of Nectanebo II. A brief restoration of Persian rule, sometimes known as the Thirty-first Dynasty, began in 343 B.C., but shortly after, in 332 B.C., the Persian ruler Mazaces handed Egypt over to the Macedonian ruler Alexander the Great without a fight. In 332 B.C., Alexander the Great conquered Egypt with little resistance from the Persians and was welcomed by the Egyptians as a deliverer. The administration established by Alexander's successors, the Macedonian Ptolemaic Kingdom, was based on an Egyptian model and based in the new capital city of Alexandria. The city showcased the power and prestige of Hellenistic rule, and became a seat of learning and culture, centered at the famous Library of Alexandria. The Lighthouse of Alexandria lit the way for the many ships that kept trade flowing through the city—as the Ptolemies made commerce and revenue-generating enterprises, such as papyrus manufacturing, their top priority. Hellenistic culture did not supplant native Egyptian culture, as the Ptolemies supported time-honored traditions in an effort to secure the loyalty of the populace. They built new temples in Egyptian style, supported traditional cults, and portrayed themselves as pharaohs. Some traditions merged, as Greek and Egyptian gods were syncretized into composite deities, such as Serapis, and classical Greek forms of sculpture influenced traditional Egyptian motifs. Despite their efforts to appease the Egyptians, the Ptolemies were challenged by native rebellion, bitter family rivalries, and the powerful mob of Alexandria that formed after the death of Ptolemy IV. In addition, as Rome relied more heavily on imports of grain from Egypt, the Romans took great interest in the political situation in the country. Continued Egyptian revolts, ambitious politicians, and powerful Syriac opponents from the Near East made this situation unstable, leading Rome to send forces to secure the country as a province of its empire. The Fayum mummy portraits epitomize the meeting of Egyptian and Roman cultures. Egypt became a province of the Roman Empire in 30 B.C., following the defeat of Marc Antony and Ptolemaic Queen Cleopatra VII by Octavian (later Emperor Augustus) in the Battle of Actium. The Romans relied heavily on grain shipments from Egypt, and the Roman army, under the control of a prefect appointed by the Emperor, quelled rebellions, strictly enforced the collection of heavy taxes, and prevented attacks by bandits, which had become a notorious problem during the period. Alexandria became an increasingly important center on the trade route with the orient, as exotic luxuries were in high demand in Rome. Although the Romans had a more hostile attitude than the Greeks towards the Egyptians, some traditions such as mummification and worship of the traditional gods continued. The art of mummy portraiture flourished, and some Roman emperors had themselves depicted as pharaohs, though not to the extent that the Ptolemies had. The former lived outside Egypt and did not perform the ceremonial functions of Egyptian kingship. Local administration became Roman in style and closed to native Egyptians. From the mid-first century AD, Christianity took root in Egypt and it was originally seen as another cult that could be accepted. However, it was an uncompromising religion that sought to win converts from Egyptian Religion and Greco-Roman religion and threatened popular religious traditions. This led to the persecution of converts to Christianity, culminating in the great purges of Diocletian starting in 303, but eventually Christianity won out. In 391 the Christian Emperor Theodosius introduced legislation that banned pagan rites and closed temples. Alexandria became the scene of great anti-pagan riots with public and private religious imagery destroyed. As a consequence, Egypt's native religious culture was continually in decline. While the native population certainly continued to speak their language, the ability to read hieroglyphic writing slowly disappeared as the role of the Egyptian temple priests and priestesses diminished. The temples themselves were sometimes converted to churches or abandoned to the desert. The pharaoh was the absolute monarch of the country and, at least in theory, wielded complete control of the land and its resources. The king was the supreme military commander and head of the government, who relied on a bureaucracy of officials to manage his affairs. In charge of the administration was his second in command, the vizier, who acted as the king's representative and coordinated land surveys, the treasury, building projects, the legal system, and the archives. At a regional level, the country was divided into as many as 42 administrative regions called nomes each governed by a nomarch, who was accountable to the vizier for his jurisdiction. The temples formed the backbone of the economy. Not only were they houses of worship, but were also responsible for collecting and storing the nation's wealth in a system of granaries and treasuries administered by overseers, who redistributed grain and goods. Much of the economy was centrally organized and strictly controlled. Although the ancient Egyptians did not use coinage until the Late period, they did use a type of money-barter system, with standard sacks of grain and the deben, a weight of roughly 91 grams (3 oz) of copper or silver, forming a common denominator. Workers were paid in grain; a simple laborer might earn 5½ sacks (200 kg or 400 lb) of grain per month, while a foreman might earn 7½ sacks (250 kg or 550 lb). Prices were fixed across the country and recorded in lists to facilitate trading; for example a shirt cost five copper deben, while a cow cost 140 deben. Grain could be traded for other goods, according to the fixed price list. During the fifth century B.C. coined money was introduced into Egypt from abroad. At first the coins were used as standardized pieces of precious metal rather than true money, but in the following centuries international traders came to rely on coinage. Egyptian society was highly stratified, and social status was expressly displayed. Farmers made up the bulk of the population, but agricultural produce was owned directly by the state, temple, or noble family that owned the land. Farmers were also subject to a labor tax and were required to work on irrigation or construction projects in a corvée system. Artists and craftsmen were of higher status than farmers, but they were also under state control, working in the shops attached to the temples and paid directly from the state treasury. Scribes and officials formed the upper class in ancient Egypt, known as the "white kilt class" in reference to the bleached linen garments that served as a mark of their rank. The upper class prominently displayed their social status in art and literature. Below the nobility were the priests, physicians, and engineers with specialized training in their field. Slavery was known in ancient Egypt, but the extent and prevalence of its practice are unclear. The ancient Egyptians viewed men and women, including people from all social classes except slaves, as essentially equal under the law, and even the lowliest peasant was entitled to petition the vizier and his court for redress. Although slaves were mostly used as indentured servants, they were able to buy and sell their servitude, work their way to freedom or nobility, and were usually treated by doctors in the workplace. Both men and women had the right to own and sell property, make contracts, marry and divorce, receive inheritance, and pursue legal disputes in court. Married couples could own property jointly and protect themselves from divorce by agreeing to marriage contracts, which stipulated the financial obligations of the husband to his wife and children should the marriage end. Compared with their counterparts in ancient Greece, Rome, and even more modern places around the world, ancient Egyptian women had a greater range of personal choices and opportunities for achievement. Women such as Hatshepsut and Cleopatra VII even became pharaohs, while others wielded power as Divine Wives of Amun. Despite these freedoms, ancient Egyptian women did not often take part in official roles in the administration, served only secondary roles in the temples, and were not as likely to be as educated as men. The head of the legal system was officially the pharaoh, who was responsible for enacting laws, delivering justice, and maintaining law and order, a concept the ancient Egyptians referred to as Ma'at. Although no legal codes from ancient Egypt survive, court documents show that Egyptian law was based on a common-sense view of right and wrong that emphasized reaching agreements and resolving conflicts rather than strictly adhering to a complicated set of statutes. Local councils of elders, known as Kenbet in the New Kingdom, were responsible for ruling in court cases involving small claims and minor disputes. More serious cases involving murder, major land transactions, and tomb robbery were referred to the Great Kenbet, over which the vizier or pharaoh presided. Plaintiffs and defendants were expected to represent themselves and were required to swear an oath that they had told the truth. In some cases, the state took on both the role of prosecutor and judge, and it could torture the accused with beatings to obtain a confession and the names of any co-conspirators. Whether the charges were trivial or serious, court scribes documented the complaint, testimony, and verdict of the case for future reference. Punishment for minor crimes involved either imposition of fines, beatings, facial mutilation, or exile, depending on the severity of the offense. Serious crimes such as murder and tomb robbery were punished by execution, carried out by decapitation, drowning, or impaling the criminal on a stake. Punishment could also be extended to the criminal's family. Beginning in the New Kingdom, oracles played a major role in the legal system, dispensing justice in both civil and criminal cases. The procedure was to ask the god a "yes" or "no" question concerning the right or wrong of an issue. The god, carried by a number of priests, rendered judgment by choosing one or the other, moving forward or backward, or pointing to one of the answers written on a piece of papyrus or an ostracon. A combination of favorable geographical features contributed to the success of ancient Egyptian culture, the most important of which was the rich fertile soil resulting from annual inundations of the Nile River. The ancient Egyptians were thus able to produce an abundance of food, allowing the population to devote more time and resources to cultural, technological, and artistic pursuits. Land management was crucial in ancient Egypt because taxes were assessed based on the amount of land a person owned. Farming in Egypt was dependent on the cycle of the Nile River. The Egyptians recognized three seasons: Akhet (flooding), Peret (planting), and Shemu (harvesting). The flooding season lasted from June to September, depositing on the river's banks a layer of mineral-rich silt ideal for growing crops. After the floodwaters had receded, the growing season lasted from October to February. Farmers plowed and planted seeds in the fields, which were irrigated with ditches and canals. Egypt received little rainfall, so farmers relied on the Nile to water their crops. From March to May, farmers used sickles to harvest their crops, which were then threshed with a flail to separate the straw from the grain. Winnowing removed the chaff from the grain, and the grain was then ground into flour, brewed to make beer, or stored for later use. The ancient Egyptians cultivated emmer and barley, and several other cereal grains, all of which were used to make the two main food staples of bread and beer. Flax plants, uprooted before they started flowering, were grown for the fibers of their stems. These fibers were split along their length and spun into thread, which was used to weave sheets of linen and to make clothing. Papyrus growing on the banks of the Nile River was used to make paper. Vegetables and fruits were grown in garden plots, close to habitations and on higher ground, and had to be watered by hand. Vegetables included leeks, garlic, melons, squashes, pulses, lettuce, and other crops, in addition to grapes that were made into wine. The Egyptians believed that a balanced relationship between people and animals was an essential element of the cosmic order; thus humans, animals and plants were believed to be members of a single whole. Animals, both domesticated and wild, were therefore a critical source of spirituality, companionship, and sustenance to the ancient Egyptians. Cattle were the most important livestock; the administration collected taxes on livestock in regular censuses, and the size of a herd reflected the prestige and importance of the estate or temple that owned them. In addition to cattle, the ancient Egyptians kept sheep, goats, and pigs. Poultry, such as ducks, geese, and pigeons, were captured in nets and bred on farms, where they were force-fed with dough to fatten them. The Nile provided a plentiful source of fish. Bees were also domesticated from at least the Old Kingdom, and provided both honey and wax. The ancient Egyptians used donkeys and oxen as beasts of burden, and they were responsible for plowing the fields and trampling seed into the soil. The slaughter of a fattened ox was also a central part of an offering ritual. Horses were introduced by the Hyksos in the Second Intermediate Period. Camels, although known from the New Kingdom, were not used as beasts of burden until the Late Period. There is also evidence to suggest that elephants were briefly utilized in the Late Period but largely abandoned due to lack of grazing land. Dogs, cats, and monkeys were common family pets, while more exotic pets imported from the heart of Africa, such as Sub-Saharan African lions, were reserved for royalty. Herodotus observed that the Egyptians were the only people to keep their animals with them in their houses. During the Predynastic and Late periods, the worship of the gods in their animal form was extremely popular, such as the cat goddess Bastet and the ibis god Thoth, and these animals were bred in large numbers on farms for the purpose of ritual sacrifice. Egypt is rich in building and decorative stone, copper and lead ores, gold, and semiprecious stones. These natural resources allowed the ancient Egyptians to build monuments, sculpt statues, make tools, and fashion jewelry. Embalmers used salts from the Wadi Natrun for mummification, which also provided the gypsum needed to make plaster. Ore-bearing rock formations were found in distant, inhospitable wadis in the eastern desert and the Sinai, requiring large, state-controlled expeditions to obtain natural resources found there. There were extensive gold mines in Nubia, and one of the first maps known is of a gold mine in this region. The Wadi Hammamat was a notable source of granite, greywacke, and gold. Flint was the first mineral collected and used to make tools, and flint handaxes are the earliest pieces of evidence of habitation in the Nile valley. Nodules of the mineral were carefully flaked to make blades and arrowheads of moderate hardness and durability even after copper was adopted for this purpose. Ancient Egyptians were among the first to use minerals such as sulfur as cosmetic substances. The Egyptians worked deposits of the lead ore galena at Gebel Rosas to make net sinkers, plumb bobs, and small figurines. Copper was the most important metal for toolmaking in ancient Egypt and was smelted in furnaces from malachite ore mined in the Sinai. Workers collected gold by washing the nuggets out of sediment in alluvial deposits, or by the more labor-intensive process of grinding and washing gold-bearing quartzite. Iron deposits found in upper Egypt were utilized in the Late Period. High-quality building stones were abundant in Egypt; the ancient Egyptians quarried limestone all along the Nile valley, granite from Aswan, and basalt and sandstone from the wadis of the eastern desert. Deposits of decorative stones such as porphyry, greywacke, alabaster, and carnelian dotted the eastern desert and were collected even before the First Dynasty. In the Ptolemaic and Roman Periods, miners worked deposits of emeralds in Wadi Sikait and amethyst in Wadi el-Hudi. The ancient Egyptians engaged in trade with their foreign neighbors to obtain rare, exotic goods not found in Egypt. In the Predynastic Period, they established trade with Nubia to obtain gold and incense. They also established trade with Palestine, as evidenced by Palestinian-style oil jugs found in the burials of the First Dynasty pharaohs. An Egyptian colony stationed in southern Canaan dates to slightly before the First Dynasty. Narmer had Egyptian pottery produced in Canaan and exported back to Egypt. By the Second Dynasty at latest, ancient Egyptian trade with Byblos yielded a critical source of quality timber not found in Egypt. By the Fifth Dynasty, trade with Punt provided gold, aromatic resins, ebony, ivory, and wild animals such as monkeys and baboons. Egypt relied on trade with Anatolia for essential quantities of tin as well as supplementary supplies of copper, both metals being necessary for the manufacture of bronze. The ancient Egyptians prized the blue stone lapis lazuli, which had to be imported from far-away Afghanistan. Egypt's Mediterranean trade partners also included Greece and Crete, which provided, among other goods, supplies of olive oil. In exchange for its luxury imports and raw materials, Egypt mainly exported grain, gold, linen, and papyrus, in addition to other finished goods including glass and stone objects. The Egyptian language is a northern Afro-Asiatic language closely related to the Berber and Semitic languages. It has the second longest history of any language (after Sumerian), having been written from circa 3200 B.C. to the Middle Ages and remaining as a spoken language for longer. The phases of ancient Egyptian are Old Egyptian, Middle Egyptian (Classical Egyptian), Late Egyptian, Demotic and Coptic. Egyptian writings do not show dialect differences before Coptic, but it was probably spoken in regional dialects around Memphis and later Thebes. Ancient Egyptian was a synthetic language, but it became more analytic later on. Late Egyptian developed prefixal definite and indefinite articles, which replaced the older inflectional suffixes. There was a change from the older verb–subject–object word order to subject–verb–object. The Egyptian hieroglyphic, hieratic, and demotic scripts were eventually replaced by the more phonetic Coptic alphabet. Coptic is still used in the liturgy of the Egyptian Orthodox Church, and traces of it are found in modern Egyptian Arabic. Hieroglyphic writing dates from circa 3000 B.C., and is composed of hundreds of symbols. A hieroglyph can represent a word, a sound, or a silent determinative; and the same symbol can serve different purposes in different contexts. Hieroglyphs were a formal script, used on stone monuments and in tombs, that could be as detailed as individual works of art. In day-to-day writing, scribes used a cursive form of writing, called hieratic, which was quicker and easier. While formal hieroglyphs may be read in rows or columns in either direction (though typically written from right to left), hieratic was always written from right to left, usually in horizontal rows. A new form of writing, Demotic, became the prevalent writing style, and it is this form of writing—along with formal hieroglyphs—that accompany the Greek text on the Rosetta Stone. Around the first century AD, the Coptic alphabet started to be used alongside the Demotic script. Coptic is a modified Greek alphabet with the addition of some Demotic signs. Although formal hieroglyphs were used in a ceremonial role until the fourth century, towards the end only a small handful of priests could still read them. As the traditional religious establishments were disbanded, knowledge of hieroglyphic writing was mostly lost. Attempts to decipher them date to the Byzantine and Islamic periods in Egypt, but only in 1822, after the discovery of the Rosetta stone and years of research by Thomas Young and Jean-François Champollion, were hieroglyphs almost fully deciphered. Writing first appeared in association with kingship on labels and tags for items found in royal tombs. It was primarily an occupation of the scribes, who worked out of the Per Ankh institution or the House of Life. The latter comprised offices, libraries (called House of Books), laboratories and observatories. Some of the best-known pieces of ancient Egyptian literature, such as the Pyramid and Coffin Texts, were written in Classical Egyptian, which continued to be the language of writing until about 1300 B.C. Later Egyptian was spoken from the New Kingdom onward and is represented in Ramesside administrative documents, love poetry and tales, as well as in Demotic and Coptic texts. During this period, the tradition of writing had evolved into the tomb autobiography, such as those of Harkhuf and Weni. The genre known as Sebayt ("instructions") was developed to communicate teachings and guidance from famous nobles; the Ipuwer papyrus, a poem of lamentations describing natural disasters and social upheaval, is a famous example. The Story of Sinuhe, written in Middle Egyptian, might be the classic of Egyptian literature. Also written at this time was the Westcar Papyrus, a set of stories told to Khufu by his sons relating the marvels performed by priests. The Instruction of Amenemope is considered a masterpiece of near-eastern literature. Towards the end of the New Kingdom, the vernacular language was more often employed to write popular pieces like the Story of Wenamun and the Instruction of Any. The former tells the story of a noble who is robbed on his way to buy cedar from Lebanon and of his struggle to return to Egypt. From about 700 B.C., narrative stories and instructions, such as the popular Instructions of Onchsheshonqy, as well as personal and business documents were written in the demotic script and phase of Egyptian. Many stories written in demotic during the Greco-Roman period were set in previous historical eras, when Egypt was an independent nation ruled by great pharaohs such as Ramesses II. Most ancient Egyptians were farmers tied to the land. Their dwellings were restricted to immediate family members, and were constructed of mud-brick designed to remain cool in the heat of the day. Each home had a kitchen with an open roof, which contained a grindstone for milling grain and a small oven for baking the bread. Walls were painted white and could be covered with dyed linen wall hangings. Floors were covered with reed mats, while wooden stools, beds raised from the floor and individual tables comprised the furniture. The ancient Egyptians placed a great value on hygiene and appearance. Most bathed in the Nile and used a pasty soap made from animal fat and chalk. Men shaved their entire bodies for cleanliness; perfumes and aromatic ointments covered bad odors and soothed skin. Clothing was made from simple linen sheets that were bleached white, and both men and women of the upper classes wore wigs, jewelry, and cosmetics. Children went without clothing until maturity, at about age 12, and at this age males were circumcised and had their heads shaved. Mothers were responsible for taking care of the children, while the father provided the family's income. Music and dance were popular entertainments for those who could afford them. Early instruments included flutes and harps, while instruments similar to trumpets, oboes, and pipes developed later and became popular. In the New Kingdom, the Egyptians played on bells, cymbals, tambourines, drums, and imported lutes and lyres from Asia. The sistrum was a rattle-like musical instrument that was especially important in religious ceremonies. The ancient Egyptians enjoyed a variety of leisure activities, including games and music. Senet, a board game where pieces moved according to random chance, was particularly popular from the earliest times; another similar game was mehen, which had a circular gaming board. Juggling and ball games were popular with children, and wrestling is also documented in a tomb at Beni Hasan. The wealthy members of ancient Egyptian society enjoyed hunting and boating as well. The excavation of the workers' village of Deir el-Madinah has resulted in one of the most thoroughly documented accounts of community life in the ancient world that spans almost four hundred years. There is no comparable site in which the organization, social interactions, working and living conditions of a community were studied in such detail. Egyptian cuisine remained remarkably stable over time; indeed, the cuisine of modern Egypt retains some striking similarities to the cuisine of the ancients. The staple diet consisted of bread and beer, supplemented with vegetables such as onions and garlic, and fruit such as dates and figs. Wine and meat were enjoyed by all on feast days while the upper classes indulged on a more regular basis. Fish, meat, and fowl could be salted or dried, and could be cooked in stews or roasted on a grill. The architecture of ancient Egypt includes some of the most famous structures in the world: the Great Pyramids of Giza and the temples at Thebes. Building projects were organized and funded by the state for religious and commemorative purposes, but also to reinforce the wide-ranging power of the pharaoh. The ancient Egyptians were skilled builders; using only simple but effective tools and sighting instruments, architects could build large stone structures with great accuracy and precision that is still envied today. The domestic dwellings of elite and ordinary Egyptians alike were constructed from perishable materials such as mud bricks and wood, and have not survived. Peasants lived in simple homes, while the palaces of the elite and the pharaoh were more elaborate structures. A few surviving New Kingdom palaces, such as those in Malkata and Amarna, show richly decorated walls and floors with scenes of people, birds, water pools, deities and geometric designs. Important structures such as temples and tombs that were intended to last forever were constructed of stone instead of mud bricks. The architectural elements used in the world's first large-scale stone building, Djoser's mortuary complex, include post and lintel supports in the papyrus and lotus motif. The earliest preserved ancient Egyptian temples, such as those at Giza, consist of single, enclosed halls with roof slabs supported by columns. In the New Kingdom, architects added the pylon, the open courtyard, and the enclosed hypostyle hall to the front of the temple's sanctuary, a style that was standard until the Greco-Roman period. The earliest and most popular tomb architecture in the Old Kingdom was the mastaba, a flat-roofed rectangular structure of mudbrick or stone built over an underground burial chamber. The step pyramid of Djoser is a series of stone mastabas stacked on top of each other. Pyramids were built during the Old and Middle Kingdoms, but most later rulers abandoned them in favor of less conspicuous rock-cut tombs. The Twenty-fifth dynasty was a notable exception, as all Twenty-fifth dynasty pharaohs constructed pyramids. The ancient Egyptians produced art to serve functional purposes. For over 3500 years, artists adhered to artistic forms and iconography that were developed during the Old Kingdom, following a strict set of principles that resisted foreign influence and internal change. These artistic standards—simple lines, shapes, and flat areas of color combined with the characteristic flat projection of figures with no indication of spatial depth—created a sense of order and balance within a composition. Images and text were intimately interwoven on tomb and temple walls, coffins, stelae, and even statues. The Narmer Palette, for example, displays figures that can also be read as hieroglyphs. Because of the rigid rules that governed its highly stylized and symbolic appearance, ancient Egyptian art served its political and religious purposes with precision and clarity. Ancient Egyptian artisans used stone to carve statues and fine reliefs, but used wood as a cheap and easily carved substitute. Paints were obtained from minerals such as iron ores (red and yellow ochres), copper ores (blue and green), soot or charcoal (black), and limestone (white). Paints could be mixed with gum arabic as a binder and pressed into cakes, which could be moistened with water when needed. Pharaohs used reliefs to record victories in battle, royal decrees, and religious scenes. Common citizens had access to pieces of funerary art, such as shabti statues and books of the dead, which they believed would protect them in the afterlife. During the Middle Kingdom, wooden or clay models depicting scenes from everyday life became popular additions to the tomb. In an attempt to duplicate the activities of the living in the afterlife, these models show laborers, houses, boats, and even military formations that are scale representations of the ideal ancient Egyptian afterlife. Despite the homogeneity of ancient Egyptian art, the styles of particular times and places sometimes reflected changing cultural or political attitudes. After the invasion of the Hyksos in the Second Intermediate Period, Minoan-style frescoes were found in Avaris. The most striking example of a politically driven change in artistic forms comes from the Amarna period, where figures were radically altered to conform to Akhenaten's revolutionary religious ideas. This style, known as Amarna art, was quickly and thoroughly erased after Akhenaten's death and replaced by the traditional forms. Beliefs in the divine and in the afterlife were ingrained in ancient Egyptian civilization from its inception; pharaonic rule was based on the divine right of kings. The Egyptian pantheon was populated by gods who had supernatural powers and were called on for help or protection. However, the gods were not always viewed as benevolent, and Egyptians believed they had to be appeased with offerings and prayers. The structure of this pantheon changed continually as new deities were promoted in the hierarchy, but priests made no effort to organize the diverse and sometimes conflicting myths and stories into a coherent system. These various conceptions of divinity were not considered contradictory but rather layers in the multiple facets of reality. Gods were worshiped in cult temples administered by priests acting on the king's behalf. At the center of the temple was the cult statue in a shrine. Temples were not places of public worship or congregation, and only on select feast days and celebrations was a shrine carrying the statue of the god brought out for public worship. Normally, the god's domain was sealed off from the outside world and was only accessible to temple officials. Common citizens could worship private statues in their homes, and amulets offered protection against the forces of chaos. After the New Kingdom, the pharaoh's role as a spiritual intermediary was de-emphasized as religious customs shifted to direct worship of the gods. As a result, priests developed a system of oracles to communicate the will of the gods directly to the people. The Egyptians believed that every human being was composed of physical and spiritual parts or aspects. In addition to the body, each person had a šwt (shadow), a ba (personality or soul), a ka (life-force), and a name. The heart, rather than the brain, was considered the seat of thoughts and emotions. After death, the spiritual aspects were released from the body and could move at will, but they required the physical remains (or a substitute, such as a statue) as a permanent home. The ultimate goal of the deceased was to rejoin his ka and ba and become one of the "blessed dead", living on as an akh, or "effective one". For this to happen, the deceased had to be judged worthy in a trial, in which the heart was weighed against a "feather of truth". If deemed worthy, the deceased could continue their existence on earth in spiritual form. The ancient Egyptians maintained an elaborate set of burial customs that they believed were necessary to ensure immortality after death. These customs involved preserving the body by mummification, performing burial ceremonies, and interring with the body goods the deceased would use in the afterlife. Before the Old Kingdom, bodies buried in desert pits were naturally preserved by desiccation. The arid, desert conditions were a boon throughout the history of ancient Egypt for burials of the poor, who could not afford the elaborate burial preparations available to the elite. Wealthier Egyptians began to bury their dead in stone tombs and use artificial mummification, which involved removing the internal organs, wrapping the body in linen, and burying it in a rectangular stone sarcophagus or wooden coffin. Beginning in the Fourth Dynasty, some parts were preserved separately in canopic jars. By the New Kingdom, the ancient Egyptians had perfected the art of mummification; the best technique took 70 days and involved removing the internal organs, removing the brain through the nose, and desiccating the body in a mixture of salts called natron. The body was then wrapped in linen with protective amulets inserted between layers and placed in a decorated anthropoid coffin. Mummies of the Late Period were also placed in painted cartonnage mummy cases. Actual preservation practices declined during the Ptolemaic and Roman eras, while greater emphasis was placed on the outer appearance of the mummy, which was decorated. Wealthy Egyptians were buried with larger quantities of luxury items, but all burials, regardless of social status, included goods for the deceased. Beginning in the New Kingdom, books of the dead were included in the grave, along with shabti statues that were believed to perform manual labor for them in the afterlife. Rituals in which the deceased was magically re-animated accompanied burials. After burial, living relatives were expected to occasionally bring food to the tomb and recite prayers on behalf of the deceased. The ancient Egyptian military was responsible for defending Egypt against foreign invasion, and for maintaining Egypt's domination in the ancient Near East. The military protected mining expeditions to the Sinai during the Old Kingdom and fought civil wars during the First and Second Intermediate Periods. The military was responsible for maintaining fortifications along important trade routes, such as those found at the city of Buhen on the way to Nubia. Forts also were constructed to serve as military bases, such as the fortress at Sile, which was a base of operations for expeditions to the Levant. In the New Kingdom, a series of pharaohs used the standing Egyptian army to attack and conquer Kush and parts of the Levant. Typical military equipment included bows and arrows, spears, and round-topped shields made by stretching animal skin over a wooden frame. In the New Kingdom, the military began using chariots that had earlier been introduced by the Hyksos invaders. Weapons and armor continued to improve after the adoption of bronze: shields were now made from solid wood with a bronze buckle, spears were tipped with a bronze point, and the Khopesh was adopted from Asiatic soldiers. The pharaoh was usually depicted in art and literature riding at the head of the army; it has been suggested that at least a few pharaohs, such as Seqenenre Tao II and his sons, did do so. However, it has also been argued that "kings of this period did not personally act as frontline war leaders, fighting alongside their troops." Soldiers were recruited from the general population, but during, and especially after, the New Kingdom, mercenaries from Nubia, Kush, and Libya were hired to fight for Egypt. In technology, medicine, and mathematics, ancient Egypt achieved a relatively high standard of productivity and sophistication. Traditional empiricism, as evidenced by the Edwin Smith and Ebers papyri (circa 1600 B.C.), is first credited to Egypt. The Egyptians created their own alphabet and decimal system. Even before the Old Kingdom, the ancient Egyptians had developed a glassy material known as faience, which they treated as a type of artificial semi-precious stone. Faience is a non-clay ceramic made of silica, small amounts of lime and soda, and a colorant, typically copper. The material was used to make beads, tiles, figurines, and small wares. Several methods can be used to create faience, but typically production involved application of the powdered materials in the form of a paste over a clay core, which was then fired. By a related technique, the ancient Egyptians produced a pigment known as Egyptian Blue, also called blue frit, which is produced by fusing (or sintering) silica, copper, lime, and an alkali such as natron. The product can be ground up and used as a pigment. The ancient Egyptians could fabricate a wide variety of objects from glass with great skill, but it is not clear whether they developed the process independently. It is also unclear whether they made their own raw glass or merely imported pre-made ingots, which they melted and finished. However, they did have technical expertise in making objects, as well as adding trace elements to control the color of the finished glass. A range of colors could be produced, including yellow, red, green, blue, purple, and white, and the glass could be made either transparent or opaque. The medical problems of the ancient Egyptians stemmed directly from their environment. Living and working close to the Nile brought hazards from malaria and debilitating schistosomiasis parasites, which caused liver and intestinal damage. Dangerous wildlife such as crocodiles and hippos were also a common threat. The lifelong labors of farming and building put stress on the spine and joints, and traumatic injuries from construction and warfare all took a significant toll on the body. The grit and sand from stone-ground flour abraded teeth, leaving them susceptible to abscesses. The diets of the wealthy were rich in sugars, which promoted periodontal disease. Despite the flattering physiques portrayed on tomb walls, the overweight mummies of many of the upper class show the effects of a life of overindulgence. Adult life expectancy was about 35 for men and 30 for women, but reaching adulthood was difficult as about one-third of the population died in infancy. Ancient Egyptian physicians were renowned in the ancient Near East for their healing skills, and some, such as Imhotep, remained famous long after their deaths. Herodotus remarked that there was a high degree of specialization among Egyptian physicians, with some treating only the head or the stomach, while others were eye-doctors and dentists. Training of physicians took place at the Per Ankh or "House of Life" institution, most notably those headquartered in Per-Bastet during the New Kingdom and at Abydos and Saïs in the Late period. Medical papyri show empirical knowledge of anatomy, injuries, and practical treatments. Wounds were treated by bandaging with raw meat, white linen, sutures, nets, pads, and swabs soaked with honey to prevent infection, while opium thyme and belladona were used to relieve pain. The earliest records of burn treatment describe burn dressings that use the milk from mothers of male babies. Prayers were made to the goddess Isis. Moldy bread, honey and copper salts were also used to prevent infection from dirt in burns. Garlic and onions were used regularly to promote good health and were thought to relieve asthma symptoms. Ancient Egyptian surgeons stitched wounds, set broken bones, and amputated diseased limbs, but they recognized that some injuries were so serious that they could only make the patient comfortable until death occurred. Early Egyptians knew how to assemble planks of wood into a ship hull and had mastered advanced forms of shipbuilding as early as 3000 B.C. The Archaeological Institute of America reports that the oldest planked ships known are the Abydos boats. A group of 14 discovered ships in Abydos were constructed of wooden planks "sewn" together. Discovered by Egyptologist David O'Connor of New York University, woven straps were found to have been used to lash the planks together, and reeds or grass stuffed between the planks helped to seal the seams. Because the ships are all buried together and near a mortuary belonging to Pharaoh Khasekhemwy, originally they were all thought to have belonged to him, but one of the 14 ships dates to 3000 B.C., and the associated pottery jars buried with the vessels also suggest earlier dating. The ship dating to 3000 B.C. was 75 feet long and is now thought to perhaps have belonged to an earlier pharaoh. According to professor O'Connor, the 5,000-year-old ship may have even belonged to Pharaoh Aha. Early Egyptians also knew how to assemble planks of wood with treenails to fasten them together, using pitch for caulking the seams. The "Khufu ship", a 143 foot vessel sealed into a pit in the Giza pyramid complex at the foot of the Great Pyramid of Giza in the Fourth Dynasty around 2500 B.C., is a full-size surviving example that may have filled the symbolic function of a solar barque. Early Egyptians also knew how to fasten the planks of this ship together with mortise and tenon joints. Large seagoing ships are known to have been heavily used by the Egyptians in their trade with the city states of the eastern Mediterranean, especially Byblos (on the coast of modern-day Lebanon), and in several expeditions down the Red Sea to the Land of Punt. In fact one of the earliest Egyptian words for a seagoing ship is a "Byblos Ship", which originally defined a class of Egyptian seagoing ships used on the Byblos run; however, by the end of the Old Kingdom, the term had come to include large seagoing ships, whatever their destination. In 2011 archaeologists from Italy, the United States, and Egypt excavating a dried-up lagoon known as Mersa Gawasis have unearthed traces of an ancient harbor that once launched early voyages like Hatshepsut's Punt expedition onto the open ocean. Some of the site's most evocative evidence for the ancient Egyptians' seafaring prowess include large ship timbers and hundreds of feet of ropes, made from papyrus, coiled in huge bundles. And in 2013 a team of Franco-Egyptian archaeologists discovered what is believed to be the world's oldest port, dating back about 4500 years, from the time of King Cheops on the Red Sea coast near Wadi el-Jarf (about 110 miles south of Suez). In 1977, an ancient north-south canal dating to the Middle Kingdom of Egypt was discovered extending from Lake Timsah to the Ballah Lakes. It was dated to the Middle Kingdom of Egypt by extrapolating dates of ancient sites constructed along its course. The earliest attested examples of mathematical calculations date to the predynastic Naqada period, and show a fully developed numeral system. The importance of mathematics to an educated Egyptian is suggested by a New Kingdom fictional letter in which the writer proposes a scholarly competition between himself and another scribe regarding everyday calculation tasks such as accounting of land, labor, and grain. Texts such as the Rhind Mathematical Papyrus and the Moscow Mathematical Papyrus show that the ancient Egyptians could perform the four basic mathematical operations—addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division—use fractions, compute the volumes of boxes and pyramids, and calculate the surface areas of rectangles, triangles, and circles. They understood basic concepts of algebra and geometry, and could solve simple sets of simultaneous equations. Mathematical notation was decimal, and based on hieroglyphic signs for each power of ten up to one million. Each of these could be written as many times as necessary to add up to the desired number; so to write the number eighty or eight hundred, the symbol for ten or one hundred was written eight times respectively. Because their methods of calculation could not handle most fractions with a numerator greater than one, they had to write fractions as the sum of several fractions. For example, they resolved the fraction two-fifths into the sum of one-third + one-fifteenth. Standard tables of values facilitated this. Some common fractions, however, were written with a special glyph—the equivalent of the modern two-thirds is shown on the right. Ancient Egyptian mathematicians had a grasp of the principles underlying the Pythagorean theorem, knowing, for example, that a triangle had a right angle opposite the hypotenuse when its sides were in a 3–4–5 ratio. They were able to estimate the area of a circle by subtracting one-ninth from its diameter and squaring the result. The golden ratio seems to be reflected in many Egyptian constructions, including the pyramids, but its use may have been an unintended consequence of the ancient Egyptian practice of combining the use of knotted ropes with an intuitive sense of proportion and harmony. A team lead by Johannes Krause managed the first reliable sequencing of the genomes of 90 mummified individuals in 2017. Whilst not conclusive, because of the non-exhaustive time frame and restricted location that the mummies represent, their study nevertheless showed that these Ancient Egyptians "closely resembled ancient and modern Near Eastern populations, especially those in the Levant, and had almost no DNA from sub-Saharan Africa. What's more, the genetics of the mummies remained remarkably consistent even as different powers—including Nubians, Greeks, and Romans—conquered the empire." Later, however, something did alter the genomes of Egyptians. Although the mummies contain almost no DNA from sub-Saharan Africa, some 15% to 20% of modern Egyptians’ DNA reflects sub-Saharan ancestry. The culture and monuments of ancient Egypt have left a lasting legacy on the world. The cult of the goddess Isis, for example, became popular in the Roman Empire, as obelisks and other relics were transported back to Rome. The Romans also imported building materials from Egypt to erect Egyptian-style structures. Early historians such as Herodotus, Strabo, and Diodorus Siculus studied and wrote about the land, which Romans came to view as a place of mystery. During the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, Egyptian pagan culture was in decline after the rise of Christianity and later Islam, but interest in Egyptian antiquity continued in the writings of medieval scholars such as Dhul-Nun al-Misri and al-Maqrizi. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, European travelers and tourists brought back antiquities and wrote stories of their journeys, leading to a wave of Egyptomania across Europe. This renewed interest sent collectors to Egypt, who took, purchased, or were given many important antiquities. Although the European colonial occupation of Egypt destroyed a significant portion of the country's historical legacy, some foreigners left more positive marks. Napoleon, for example, arranged the first studies in Egyptology when he brought some 150 scientists and artists to study and document Egypt's natural history, which was published in the Description de l'Égypte. In the 20th century, the Egyptian Government and archaeologists alike recognized the importance of cultural respect and integrity in excavations. The Supreme Council of Antiquities now approves and oversees all excavations, which are aimed at finding information rather than treasure. The council also supervises museums and monument reconstruction programs designed to preserve the historical legacy of Egypt. [Wikipedia]. REVIEW: Ancient Egyptian culture flourished between circa 5500 B.C. with the rise of technology (as evidenced in the glass-work of faience) and 30 B.C. with the death of Cleopatra VII, the last Ptolemaic ruler of Egypt. It is famous today for the great monuments which celebrated the triumphs of the rulers and honored the gods of the land. The culture is often misunderstood as having been obsessed with death but, had this been so, it is unlikely it would have made the significant impression it did on other ancient cultures such as Greece and Rome. The Egyptian culture was, in fact, life affirming, as the scholar Salima Ikram writes: "Judging by the numbers of tombs and mummies that the ancient Egyptians left behind, one can be forgiven for thinking that they were obsessed by death. However, this is not so. The Egyptians were obsessed by life and its continuation rather than by a morbid fascination with death. The tombs, mortuary temples and mummies that they produced were a celebration of life and a means of continuing it for eternity…For the Egyptians, as for other cultures, death was part of the journey of life, with death marking a transition or transformation after which life continued in another form, the spiritual rather than the corporeal." This passion for life imbued in the ancient Egyptians a great love for their land as it was thought that there could be no better place on earth in which to enjoy existence. While the lower classes in Egypt, as elsewhere, subsisted on much less than the more affluent, they still seem to have appreciated life in the same way as the wealthier citizens. This is exemplified in the concept of gratitude and the ritual known as The Five Gifts of Hathor in which the poor labourers were encouraged to regard the fingers of their left hand (the hand they reached with daily to harvest field crops) and to consider the five things they were most grateful for in their lives. Ingratitude was considered a `gateway sin’ as it led to all other types of negative thinking and resultant behaviour. Once one felt ungrateful, it was observed, one then was apt to indulge oneself further in bad behaviour. The Cult of Hathor was very popular in Egypt, among all classes, and epitomizes the prime importance of gratitude in Egyptian culture. Religion was an integral part of the daily life of every Egyptian. As with the people of Mesopotamia, the Egyptians considered themselves co-labourers with the gods but with an important distinction: whereas the Mesopotamian peoples believed they needed to work with their gods to prevent the recurrence of the original state of chaos, the Egyptians understood their gods to have already completed that purpose and a human’s duty was to celebrate that fact and give thanks for it. So-called `Egyptian mythology’ was, in ancient times, as valid a belief structure as any accepted religion in the modern day. Egyptian religion taught the people that, in the beginning, there was nothing but chaotic swirling waters out of which rose a small hill known as the Ben-Ben. Atop this hill stood the great god Atum who spoke creation into being by drawing on the power of Heka, the god of magic. Heka was thought to pre-date creation and was the energy which allowed the gods to perform their duties. Magic informed the entire civilization and Heka was the source of this creative, sustaining, eternal power. In another version of the myth, Atum creates the world by first fashioning Ptah, the creator god who then does the actual work. Another variant on this story is that Ptah first appeared and created Atum. Another, more elaborate, version of the creation story has Atum mating with his shadow to create Shu (air) and Tefnut (moisture) who then go on to give birth to the world and the other gods. From this original act of creative energy came all of the known world and the universe. It was understood that human beings were an important aspect of the creation of the gods and that each human soul was as eternal as that of the deities they revered. Death was not an end to life but a re-joining of the individual soul with the eternal realm from which it had come. The Egyptian concept of the soul regarded it as being comprised of nine parts: the Khat was the physical body; the Ka one’s double-form; the Ba a human-headed bird aspect which could speed between earth and the heavens; Shuyet was the shadow self; Akh the immortal, transformed self, Sahu and Sechem aspects of the Akh; Ab was the heart, the source of good and evil; Ren was one’s secret name. An individual’s name was considered of such importance that an Egyptian’s true name was kept secret throughout life and one was known by a nickname. Knowledge of a person’s true name gave one magical powers over that individual and this is among the reasons why the rulers of Egypt took another name upon ascending the throne; it was not only to link oneself symbolically to another successful pharaoh but also a form of protection to ensure one’s safety and help guarantee a trouble-free journey to eternity when one’s life on earth was completed. According to the historian Margaret Bunson: "Eternity was an endless period of existence that was not to be feared by any Egyptian. The term `Going to One’s Ka’ (astral being) was used in each age to express dying. The hieroglyph for a corpse was translated as `participating in eternal life’. The tomb was the `Mansion of Eternity’ and the dead was an Akh, a transformed spirit. The famous Egyptian mummy (whose name comes from the Persian and Arabic words for `wax’ and `bitumen’, muum and mumia) was created to preserve the individual’s physical body (Khat) without which the soul could not achieve immortality. As the Khat and the Ka were created at the same time, the Ka would be unable to journey to The Field of Reeds if it lacked the physical component on earth. The gods who had fashioned the soul and created the world consistently watched over the people of Egypt and heard and responded to, their petitions. A famous example of this is when Ramesses II was surrounded by his enemies at the Battle of Kadesh (1274 B.C.) and, calling upon the god Amun for aid, found the strength to fight his way through to safety. There are many far less dramatic examples, however, recorded on temple walls, stele, and on papyrus fragments. Papyrus (from which comes the English word `paper’) was only one of the technological advances of the ancient Egyptian culture. The Egyptians were also responsible for developing the ramp and lever and geometry for purposes of construction, advances in mathematics and astronomy (also used in construction as exemplified in the positions and locations of the pyramids and certain temples, such as Abu Simbel), improvements in irrigation and agriculture (perhaps learned from the Mesopotamians), ship building and aerodynamics (possibly introduced by the Phoenicians) the wheel (brought to Egypt by the Hyksos) and medicine. The Kahun Gynaecological Papyrus (circa 1800 B.C.) is an early treatise on women’s health issues and contraception and the Edwin Smith Papyrus (circa 1600 B.C.) is the oldest work on surgical techniques. Dentistry was widely practised and the Egyptians are credited with inventing toothpaste, toothbrushes, the toothpick, and even breath mints. They created the sport of bowling and improved upon the brewing of beer as first practised in Mesopotamia. The Egyptians did not, however, invent beer. This popular fiction of Egyptians as the first brewers stems from the fact that Egyptian beer more closely resembled modern-day beer than that of the Mesopotamians. Glass working, metallurgy in both bronze and gold, and furniture were other advancements of Egyptian culture and their art and architecture are famous world-wide for precision and beauty. Personal hygiene and appearance was valued highly and the Egyptians bathed regularly, scented themselves with perfume and incense, and created cosmetics used by both men and women. The practice of shaving was invented by the Egyptians as was the wig and the hairbrush. By 1600 B.C. the water clock was in use in Egypt, as was the calendar. Some have even suggested that they understood the principle of electricity as evidenced in the famous Dendera Light engraving on the wall of the Hathor Temple at Dendera. The images on the wall have been interpreted by some to represent a light bulb and figures attaching said bulb to an energy source. This interpretation, however, has been largely discredited by the academic community. In daily life, the Egyptians seem little different from other ancient cultures. Like the people of Mesopotamia, India, China, and Greece, they lived, mostly, in modest homes, raised families, and enjoyed their leisure time. A significant difference between Egyptian culture and that of other lands, however, was that the Egyptians believed the land was intimately tied to their personal salvation and they had a deep fear of dying beyond the borders of Egypt. Those who served their country in the army, or those who travelled for their living, made provision for their bodies to be returned to Egypt should they be killed. It was thought that the fertile, dark earth of the Nile River Delta was the only area sanctified by the gods for the re-birth of the soul in the afterlife and to be buried anywhere else was to be condemned to non-existence. Because of this devotion to the homeland, Egyptians were not great world-travellers and there is no `Egyptian Herodotus’ to leave behind impressions of the ancient world beyond Egyptian borders. Even in negotiations and treaties with other countries, Egyptian preference for remaining in Egypt was dominant. The historian Nardo writes, "Though Amenophis III had joyfully added two Mitanni princesses to his harem, he refused to send an Egyptian princess to the sovereign of Mitanni, because, `from time immemorial a royal daughter from Egypt has been given to no one.’ This is not only an expression of the feeling of superiority of the Egyptians over the foreigners but at the same time and indication of the solicitude accorded female relatives, who could not be inconvenienced by living among `barbarians’." Further, within the confines of the country people did not travel far from their places of birth and most, except for times of war, famine or other upheaval, lived their lives and died in the same locale. As it was believed that one’s afterlife would be a continuation of one’s present (only better in that there was no sickness, disappointment or, of course, death), the place in which one spent one’s life would constitute one’s eternal landscape. The yard and tree and stream one saw every day outside one’s window would be replicated in the afterlife exactly. This being so, Egyptians were encouraged to rejoice in and deeply appreciate their immediate surroundings and to live gratefully within their means. The concept of ma’at (harmony and balance) governed Egyptian culture and, whether of upper or lower class, Egyptians endeavoured to live in peace with their surroundings and with each other. Among the lower classes, homes were built of mud bricks baked in the sun. The more affluent a citizen, the thicker the home; wealthier people had homes constructed of a double layer, or more, of brick while poorer people’s houses were only one brick wide. Wood was scarce and was only used for doorways and window sills (again, in wealthier homes) and the roof was considered another room in the house where gatherings were routinely held as the interior of the homes were often dimly lighted. Clothing was simple linen, un-dyed, with the men wearing a knee-length skirt (or loincloth) and the women in light, ankle-length dresses or robes which concealed or exposed their breasts depending on the fashion at a particular time. It would seem that a woman’s level of undress, however, was indicative of her social status throughout much of Egyptian history. Dancing girls, female musicians, and servants and slaves are routinely shown as naked or nearly naked while a lady of the house is fully clothed, even during those times when exposed breasts were a fashion statement. Even so, women were free to dress as they pleased and there was never a prohibition, at any time in Egyptian history, on female fashion. A woman’s exposed breasts were considered a natural, normal, fashion choice and was in no way deemed immodest or provocative. It was understood that the goddess Isis had given equal rights to both men and women and, therefore, men had no right to dictate how a woman, even one’s own wife, should attire herself. Children wore little or no clothing until puberty. Marriages were not arranged among the lower classes and there seems to have been no formal marriage ceremony. A man would carry gifts to the house of his intended bride and, if the gifts were accepted, she would take up residence with him. The average age of a bride was 13 and that of a groom 18-21. A contract would be drawn up portioning a man’s assets to his wife and children and this allotment could not be rescinded except on grounds of adultery (defined as sex with a married woman, not a married man). Egyptian women could own land, homes, run businesses, and preside over temples and could even be pharaohs (as in the example of Queen Hatshepsut, 1479-1458 B.C.) or, earlier, Queen Sobeknofru, circa 1767-1759 B.C.). The historian Thompson writes, "Egypt treated its women better than any of the other major civilizations of the ancient world. The Egyptians believed that joy and happiness were legitimate goals of life and regarded home and family as the major source of delight.” Because of this belief, women enjoyed a higher prestige in Egypt than in any other culture of the ancient world. While the man was considered the head of the house, the woman was head of the home. She raised the children of both sexes until, at the age or four or five, boys were taken under the care and tutelage of their fathers to learn their profession (or attend school if the father’s profession was that of a scribe, priest, or doctor). Girls remained under the care of their mothers, learning how to run a household, until they were married. Women could also be scribes, priests, or doctors but this was unusual because education was expensive and tradition held that the son should follow the father's profession, not the daughter. Marriage was the common state of Egyptians after puberty and a single man or woman was considered abnormal. The higher classes, or nobility, lived in more ornate homes with greater material wealth but seem to have followed the same precepts as those lower on the social hierarchy. All Egyptians enjoyed playing games, such as the game of Senet (a board game popular since the Pre-Dynastic Period, circa 5500-3150 B.C.) but only those of means could afford a quality playing board. This did not seem to stop poorer people from playing the game, however; they merely played with a less ornate set. Watching wrestling matches and races and engaging in other sporting events, such as hunting, archery, and sailing, were popular among the nobility and upper class but, again, were enjoyed by all Egyptians in as much as they could be afforded (save for large animal hunting which was the sole provenance of the ruler and those he designated). Feasting at banquets was a leisure activity only of the upper class although the lower classes were able to enjoy themselves in a similar (though less lavish) way at the many religious festivals held throughout the year. Swimming and rowing were extremely popular among all classes. The Roman writer Seneca observed common Egyptians at sport the Nile River and described the scene: "The people embark on small boats, two to a boat, and one rows while the other bails out water. Then they are violently tossed about in the raging rapids. At length, they reach the narrowest channels…and, swept along by the whole force of the river, they control the rushing boat by hand and plunge head downward to the great terror of the onlookers. You would believe sorrowfully that by now they were drowned and overwhelmed by such a mass of water when, far from the place where they fell, they shoot out as from a catapult, still sailing, and the subsiding wave does not submerge them, but carries them on to smooth waters." Swimming was an important part of Egyptian culture and children were taught to swim when very young. Water sports played a significant role in Egyptian entertainment as the Nile River was such a major aspect of their daily lives. The sport of water-jousting, in which two small boats, each with one or two rowers and one jouster, fought each other, seems to have been very popular. The rower (or rowers) in the boat sought to strategically maneuver while the fighter tried to knock his opponent out of the craft. They also enjoyed games having nothing to do with the river, however, which were similar to modern-day games of catch and handball. Gardens and simple home adornments were highly prized by the Egyptians. A home garden was important for sustenance but also provided pleasure in tending to one’s own crop. The labourers in the fields never worked their own crop and so their individual garden was a place of pride in producing something of their own, grown from their own soil. This soil, again, would be their eternal home after they left their bodies and so was greatly valued. A tomb inscription from 1400 B.C. reads, “May I walk every day on the banks of the water, may my soul rest on the branches of the trees which I planted, may I refresh myself under the shadow of my sycamore” in referencing the eternal aspect of the daily surroundings of every Egyptian. After death, one would still enjoy one’s own particular sycamore tree, one’s own daily walk by the water, in an eternal land of peace granted to those of Egypt by the gods they gratefully revered. [Ancient History Encyclopedia]. REVIEW: Ancient Egyptian Cosmetic Arts: It's clear from wall-paintings that 4,000 years ago make-up was worn in the upper Nile. Now we find that skilled chemists created cosmetics for men, women and children - for health reasons. When Cleopatra seduced Mark Antony, she wielded powers subtler than piling stones into pyramids. Chief among the Queen's feminine wiles would have been the cosmetic arts. Now scientists are also being attracted to the strong, dark lines of ancient Egyptian eye make-up. Studies are showing that the ancient Egyptians may have possessed a knowledge of complicated chemistry that was far further advanced than anyone previously suspected. "For us it was very surprising that the Egyptians could create such complex chemical reactions without knowing the laws of chemistry," says Patricia Pineau, director of research communication for the cosmetics giant L'Oreal, which has spent two years analyzing 4,000-year-old Egyptian cosmetics with scientists from the Louvre. The 49 alabaster, wood and reed jars of make-up that form the focus of the study were brought back to France by Napoleon as part of the loot from his invasion of Egypt. Eventually the containers ended up in the subterranean storage vaults of the Louvre's laboratories. What has baffled scientists is that the ancient Egyptians were using "wet" chemistry: chemical reactions involving moist, typically watery ingredients. It is commonly thought that most of wet chemistry's rules were not fully understood prior to the last few hundred years. Pauline Martinetto, a student with the research laboratory of the Museums of France, says that we knew about ancient Egyptians using "fire" chemistry, employing heat and fire to manipulate materials, but the discovery of their use of wet chemistry was totally unexpected. In an elementary way, most cooking involves wet chemistry. Mix eggs, flour, milk, cocoa and sugar, and you end up with a chocolate cake. Because the chemical reactions are quick, wet chemistry in cooking is easy to work out. The astonishing thing about the Egyptian wet chemistry is the long time it took to get a result, and the complex procedures necessary for success. The Egyptians mixed salt water, lead oxide and sodium chloride to produce lead chloride crystals for eye make-up. The process took several weeks of filtering water and maintaining chemical balances. "Without knowing much chemistry, how did they have the foresight to know that a chemical reaction started on one day would produce such and such a result after several weeks?" Ms. Pineau wonders. "And everything had to be the same each day. Change one factor, and the product would have been ruined." The compounds are far too rare in Egypt to have been supplied naturally over the eight centuries they were in use. Pauline Martinetto works among the hieroglyphs and microscopes in the maze of research labs beneath the Louvre. She says it was only recently that scientists had the time and tools to take a new look at these very old cosmetics. They also turned to a 2,000-year-old recipe from Greco-Roman texts, to re-create compounds similar to those found in Egyptian cosmetics. From this they speculate that the Romans may have been drawing on Egyptian knowledge. The research team was also surprised to see how well-preserved the cosmetics were. As Marie Verdiere, a cosmetician working in a perfumery on the Champs- Elysees, explains, modern make-up is good only for about a year. "After that, many lipsticks or creams will start to smell bad and will burn your skin if you try to use them," she says. Eventually the animal fats and other oils in make-up start to break down. Part of the reason why the dry powders of the Egyptians' cosmetics have lasted as long as 40 centuries is that they were buried in the dry, dark air of ancient Egyptian tombs. Ms. Pineau says that this highlights the importance of make-up for the ancient Egyptian woman - and indeed man. The tomb was meant to contain things needed to live well in the afterlife. And people didn't take cosmetics to the grave just to look good in the world beyond. The make-up was used for its therapeutic value. Medical instructions on papyrus tell how the products were used for eye problems. This burgeoning ancient Egyptian pharmaceutical industry had more than a hundred prescriptions for the eyes alone. Ms. Pineau says that the medicinal value of cosmetics meant that men and children used the green, white or black make-up as well as women. Make- up was far from being just a female preserve. [Independent (UK)]. REVIEW: According to Dr. Janet Davey from the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine in Australia, some ancient Egyptians were naturally blonde or red haired. Her research has brought an answer to an intriguing question connected with Egyptian mummies and the effects of the mummification process. An article published recently by The Sydney Morning Herald says that the mystery of the red and blonde hair discovered on some ancient Egyptian mummies may finally be solved. The new research was necessary to check the common perception that no ancient Egyptians had hair that wasn’t colored dark brown or black. Until now, most researchers had claimed that the different colors of the mummy hair were a result of the mummification process itself. Dr. Davey decided to do innovative experiments, which she accomplished with the support of her friend, a retired industrial chemist named Alan Elliot. They prepared a quantity of synthetic natron, and used it on 16 hair samples. Natron was a kind of a salt that was used during the process of mummification to dry out the remains and has often been linked to a supposed hair color “change.” Davey and Elliot covered samples in the salty powder for 40 days. It is believed that this was the same amount of time that was needed in ancient times to dry out the bodies. The donors of the hair were men and women aged from 4 to 92 years old. Most of the samples were dark hair, with one grey, one fair, and one with henna on it for comparison. After 40 days, all the hair was removed from the salty powder and they appeared unchanged. Microscopic analysis also showed no change in the hair. Dr. Davey is convinced that there were fair-haired Egyptians, but believes that the fair-haired mummies are just very rare. This is why Egyptologists used to believe that lighter hair color was created during the mummification process. Moreover, Davey suggests that there were blondes living in Egypt during the Graeco-Roman Period (332 B.C. – 395 A.D.). "Some ancient Egyptians could have been blue-eyed blondes or brown-eyed blondes. I wouldn't say ancient Egypt was multi-cultural like Australia today but certainly there were various mixes". The secret of mummies with differently colored hair is as old as the Egyptian civilization itself. For example, the oldest known mummy with dyed hair is dated back to 3400 B.C. It was the Late Pre-dynastic period of Egypt, a very mysterious time in the history of the country. The well-preserved mummy of a man was excavated by Wallis Budge in the end of the 19th century. Nowadays, it is exhibited in the British Museum. The mummy was nicknamed "The Ginger" due to the color of its hair. The man was mummified naturally, without the use of natron. He was buried at the desert necropolis in Gebelein, Egypt. The mummy of “The Ginger” sheds light on the very early history of Egypt, and suggests that people who created the Egyptian civilizations could have been blonde or red haired too. Moreover, one of the greatest pharaohs in history, Ramesses II, had red hair. For many decades, researchers believed that his color was caused by natron applied to the mummy. Another theory said that fair hair in Egyptian mummies was a result of marriages with women from Anatolia. The Hittite prince Zannanza, who was sent from Hattusha to Thebes to marry princess Ankhesenamun, had light skin and hair. The father of the powerful queen Tiye (wife of Amenhotep III), Yuya was blonde as well. On December 14, 2014 Ancient Origins reported on a remarkable discovery in Fag el-Gamous necropolis, which lies along the eastern edge of the Fayum depression near Seila in Egypt and dates to the time when the Roman or Byzantine Empire controlled Egypt, from the 1st to the 7th century A.D. It is an enormous cemetery that is believed to contain over one million burials of ordinary Egyptian citizens that were naturally mummified by the hot and dry desert sands over 1,500 years ago. Over three decades of excavations by Brigham Young University in Utah revealed some incredible finds, such as the remains of large male over 7 feet (2.13 meters) tall, an infant child that was discovered wearing a tunic and jewelry, and unique groupings of burials clustered according to hair color, including blond and redheaded mummies. [AncientOrigins]. I always ship books Media Mail in a padded mailer. This book is shipped FOR FREE via USPS INSURED media mail (“book rate”). All domestic shipments and most international shipments will include free USPS Delivery Confirmation (you might be able to update the status of your shipment on-line at the USPS Web Site) and free insurance coverage. A small percentage of international shipments may require an additional fee for tracking and/or delivery confirmation. If you are concerned about a little wear and tear to the book in transit, I would suggest a boxed shipment - it is an extra $1.00. Whether via padded mailer or box, we will give discounts for multiple purchases. International orders are welcome, but shipping costs are substantially higher. Most international orders cost an additional $12.99 to $33.99 for an insured shipment in a heavily padded mailer, and typically includes some form of rudimentary tracking and/or delivery confirmation (though for some countries, this is only available at additional cost). There is also a discount program which can cut postage costs by 50% to 75% if you’re buying about half-a-dozen books or more (5 kilos+). Rates and available services vary a bit from country to country. You can email or message me for a shipping cost quote, but I assure you they are as reasonable as USPS rates allow, and if it turns out the rate is too high for your pocketbook, we will cancel the sale at your request. ADDITIONAL PURCHASES do receive a VERY LARGE discount, typically about $5 per book (for each additional book after the first) so as to reward you for the economies of combined shipping/insurance costs. Your purchase will ordinarily be shipped within 48 hours of payment. We package as well as anyone in the business, with lots of protective padding and containers. All of our shipments are sent via insured mail so as to comply with PayPal requirements. We do NOT recommend uninsured shipments, and expressly disclaim any responsibility for the loss of an uninsured shipment. Unfortunately the contents of parcels are easily “lost” or misdelivered by postal employees – even in the USA. That’s why all of our domestic shipments (and most international) shipments include a USPS delivery confirmation tag; or are trackable or traceable, and all shipments (international and domestic) are insured. We do offer U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail, Registered Mail, and Express Mail for both international and domestic shipments, as well United Parcel Service (UPS) and Federal Express (Fed-Ex). Please ask for a rate quotation. We will accept whatever payment method you are most comfortable with. If upon receipt of the item you are disappointed for any reason whatever, I offer a no questions asked return policy. Send it back, I will give you a complete refund of the purchase price (less our original shipping costs). Most of the items I offer come from the collection of a family friend who was active in the field of Archaeology for over forty years. However many of the items also come from purchases I make in Eastern Europe, India, and from the Levant (Eastern Mediterranean/Near East) from various institutions and dealers. Though I have always had an interest in archaeology, my own academic background was in sociology and cultural anthropology. After my retirement however, I found myself drawn to archaeology as well. Aside from my own personal collection, I have made extensive and frequent additions of my own via purchases on Ebay (of course), as well as many purchases from both dealers and institutions throughout the world - but especially in the Near East and in Eastern Europe. I spend over half of my year out of the United States, and have spent much of my life either in India or Eastern Europe. In fact much of what we generate on Yahoo, Amazon and Ebay goes to support The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, as well as some other worthy institutions in Europe connected with Anthropology and Archaeology. I acquire some small but interesting collections overseas from time-to-time, and have as well some duplicate items within my own collection which I occasionally decide to part with. Though I have a collection of ancient coins numbering in the tens of thousands, my primary interest is in ancient jewelry. My wife also is an active participant in the "business" of antique and ancient jewelry, and is from Russia. I would be happy to provide you with a certificate/guarantee of authenticity for any item you purchase from me. There is a $2 fee for mailing under separate cover. Whenever I am overseas I have made arrangements for purchases to be shipped out via domestic mail. If I am in the field, you may have to wait for a week or two for a COA to arrive via international air mail. But you can be sure your purchase will arrive properly packaged and promptly - even if I am absent. And when I am in a remote field location with merely a notebook computer, at times I am not able to access my email for a day or two, so be patient, I will always respond to every email. Please see our "ADDITIONAL TERMS OF SALE." Condition: See detailed condition description below., Material: Paper, Title: Graeco-Roman Egypt

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