Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Week One Essay: The Ancient Egypt Civilization

 Lesson 5 Essay

      Rule of Egypt: Ancient Africa had several civilizations, some of them strong and some of them weak, but the strongest and most well known of them was Ancient Egypt. The pyramids of Giza and the Great Sphinx of Giza are Egypt's most notable structures. For most of its existence pharaohs ruled over Egypt. The country was formed as an agricultural society based around the Nile River. The Nile is really unique because it is the longest river in the world and it runs from south to north.

     The history of Egypt is divided into a series of stable kingdoms, separated by periods of instability known as Intermediate Periods, because their power fluctuated from strong, to weak, to strong again. The Middle Kingdom, one of these periods, marked the point where Egypt was reunited and became strong again. The Israelites were enslaved by the Egyptians at this time.

     Nearing the end of the Middle Kingdom the Hyksos, another civilization, invaded Egypt. However, the Hyksos were easily defeated and the New Kingdom began. This was Egypt's Golden Age, the pinnacle of Egypt's power. With their new-found glory, the Egyptians expanded their territory. But as soon as the strong line of pharaohs died off, Egypt slowly fell into an enormous decline in power that it never recovered from. Assyria, another civilization, eventually took over Egypt and then later the Persians ruled.

     A man known as Alexander the Great, king of Macedon in northern Greece, came to Egypt and conquered one of its cities. He named the city Alexandria, after himself. One of Alexander's generals, Ptolemy Soter, established himself as the new pharaoh of Egypt. This Greek Ptolemaic Dynasty ruled Egypt for nearly 300 years until 30 BC, when, under the pharaoh Cleopatra VII, it fell to the Roman Empire and became a Roman province.

                                                             The Pyramid and Sphinx of Giza
    Egyptian Culture: There was a huge contrast in the rich and poor citizens of Egypt. The poor had to work for their food and housing. Food was probably very scarce for most people in the lower parts of Egypt. While the poor were busy with their own lives, they also had to serve the upper class which included the nobles and the pharaohs, which were worshiped as gods . Egypt invented "papyrus" as an early form of paper for writing scrolls. They also invented "hieroglyphics", a complete form of writing.
                                                                  Egyptian hieroglyphs