“Magisterial . . . [A] rich portrait of ancient Egypt’s complex evolution over the course of three millenniums.”—Los Angeles Times
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post • Publishers Weekly
In this landmark volume, one of the world’s most renowned Egyptologists tells the epic story of this great civilization, from its birth as the first nation-state to its absorption into the Roman Empire. Drawing upon forty years of archaeological research, award-winning scholar Toby Wilkinson takes us inside a tribal society with a pre-monetary economy and decadent, divine kings who ruled with all-too-recognizable human emotions. Here are the legendary leaders: Akhenaten, the “heretic king,” who with his wife Nefertiti brought about a revolution with a bold new religion; Tutankhamun, whose dazzling tomb would remain hidden for three millennia; and eleven pharaohs called Ramesses, the last of whom presided over the militarism, lawlessness, and corruption that caused a political and societal decline. Filled with new information and unique interpretations, The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt is a riveting and revelatory work of wild drama, bold spectacle, unforgettable characters, and sweeping history.
“With a literary flair and a sense for a story well told, Mr. Wilkinson offers a highly readable, factually up-to-date account.”—The Wall Street Journal
“[Wilkinson] writes with considerable verve. . . . [He] is nimble at conveying the sumptuous pageantry and cultural sophistication of pharaonic Egypt.”—The New York Times