Egypt History Part 1

The splendor manifested in the pyramids extended to numerous fields of knowledge, such as architecture, sculpture, painting, navigation, minor arts, astronomy (the astronomers of Memphis established a 365-day calendar) and medicine. The VII Dynasty marked the beginning of the First Intermediate Period. As a result of internal dissensions, the news about the VII and VIII Dynasties is quite obscure. It seems clear, however, that both ruled from Memphis and lasted only 25 years. At this time, powerful provincial governors had complete control of their districts and factions in the south and north vied for power. The governors of Thebes managed to establish the 11th Dynasty, which controlled the area from Abidos to Elephantine, near Siene (today Aswan). The Middle Empire (2134-1784 BC ) begins with the reunification of the territory carried out by Mentuhotep II (reigned in 2061-2010 BC). The first rulers of the Dynasty tried to extend their control of Thebes to the north and south, initiating a process of reunification that Mentuhotep completed after 2047 BC, limiting the power of the provinces.

According to LOCALBUSINESSEXPLORER, Thebes was its capital. With Amenemés I, the first pharaoh of the XII Dynasty, the capital was moved to nearby Memphis. Theban god Amon acquired more importance at that time than the other deities, and was associated with the solar disk (Amon-Ra). The Hyksos invaded Egypt from western Asia, settling in the north. Its presence enabled the massive entry of peoples from the Phoenician and Palestinian coast, and the establishment of the Hyksa dynasty, which initiated the Second Intermediate Period. The Hyksos of the 15th Dynasty reigned from their capital, located in the eastern part of the delta, which allowed them to maintain control over the middle and upper parts of the country. Theban sovereign Ahmosis I defeated the Hyksos, reuniting Egypt and creating the New Empire (1570-1070 BC). Amenhotep I (1551-1524 BC

With a large construction in Karnak, he separated his tomb from his funerary temple and started the habit of hiding his last home. Tutmés I continued the expansion of the New Empire and reinforced the preeminence of the god Amon; his tomb was the first to be built in the Valley of the Kings. Tutmosis III regained Syria and Palestine, which had previously separated, and continued the territorial expansion of the Empire. Amunhotep IV was a religious reformer who fought the power of the priests of Ammon.

He left Thebes for a new capital, Aketaton (the modern Tell el-Amarna), which was built in honor of Aton, on which the new monotheistic religion was centered. However, the religious revolution was abandoned at the end of his reign. His successor Tutankhamen is known today, above all, for the sumptuousness of his tomb, found practically intact in the Valley of the Kings, in 1922. The founder of the 19th Dynasty was Ramses I (he reigned in 1293-1291 BC), who was succeeded by his son Seti I (reigned in 1291-1279 BC); he organized military campaigns against Syria, Palestine, the Libyans and the Hittites. He was succeeded by Ramses II, who made most of the buildings in Luxor and Karnak, when he built the Ramesseum (his funerary temple) in Thebes, the rock-carved temples in Abu Simbel and the shrines in Abidos and Memphis. His son Meneptá (1212-1202 BC ) defeated the invaders from the Aegean Sea, deeds narrated in a text carved on the mat in which appears the first written mention known to the people of Israel. The Third Intermediate Period comprises the XXI to XXIV Dynasties.

The pharaohs who ruled from Tanis, in the north, clashed with the high priests of Thebes. Libyan leaders gave rise to the 21st Dynasty. When Libyan governors entered a period of decline, several rivals armed themselves to gain power. In fact, the XXIII and XXIV Dynasties reigned at the same time as the XXII, as well as the XXV (Cousite), which effectively controlled most of Egypt when the XXIII and XXIV Dynasties were still ruling, at the end of their mandate. Pharaohs included from the XXV to the XXXI Dynasties ruled the Low Season. The Cushites ruled from 767 BC until they were defeated by the Assyrians in 671 BC When the last Egyptian pharaoh was defeated by Cambyses II, in 525 BC, the country fell under Persian rule (during the XXVII Dynasty). The occupation of Egypt by Alexander the Great’s troops in 332 BC, put an end to Persian rule. Alexander appointed Macedonian general Ptolemy, later known as Ptolemy I Sóter, to rule the country. Most of the period that followed the death of Alexander the Great, in 323 BC, was characterized by conflicts with other generals, who had taken over the different parts of the empire. In 305 BC, he assumed the royal title and founded the Ptolemaic dynasty. Cleopatra VII was the last sovereign of that Dynasty.

Trying to remain in power, he allied himself with Caio Júlio César and, later, with Marco Antônio. After Cleopatra’s death in 30 BC, Egypt was controlled by the Roman Empire for seven centuries. At that time, the Coptic language began to be used independently of the Egyptian language. In order to control the population and limit the power of the priests, the Roman emperors protected the traditional religion. Egyptian cults to Isis and Serapis spread throughout the Greco-Roman world. Egypt was also an important center of early Christianity. The Coptic Church, which adhered to monophysitism, separated from the mainstream of Christianity in the 5th century. During the 7th century, the power of the Byzantine Empire was challenged by the Sassanid dynasty from Persia, who invaded Egypt in 616. In 642, the country fell under the rule of the Arabs, who introduced Islam.

Egypt History 1