The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt

Author(s): Toby Wilkinson


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


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The first major history of Ancient Egypt to marshal the detail of the lives of the pharaohs and of the ordinary citizens, to reveal the harsh political realities behind the 3000-year civilisation. Illustrated on the page with many of the author's own photographs in black and white, and with three stunning colour inserts Major publicity by expert author, who is an experienced and energetic speaker, at festivals and other public events at time of publication

Praise for Early Dynastic Egypt 'The extraordinary scope and outstanding quality of this synthesis makes it a work of scholarship of the highest quality and a major contribution to Egyptology' Chronique d'Egypte 'A reliable and essential book which Egyptologists will consult regularly and rewardingly' Antiquity 'This volume will be a standard reference for years to come' Journal of African History

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

General Fields

  • : 9780747599494
  • : Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • : Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • : August 2010
  • : 234mm X 153mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : October 2010
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Toby Wilkinson
  • : Hardback
  • : 1
  • : 932
  • : From
  • : 672
  • : Colour Inserts