|Publication Date||May 1, 2003|
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An award-winning writer and international journalist leads the general reader through ancient Egypt, exploring the maze of facts and fantasies, and examines Egypt's place in the history of religion and monotheism in particular. He shows how Egypt both influenced and mystified other civilizations for centuries.
Writing in an easy to read narrative literary style while respecting the norms of Egyptological scholarship, the author examines the contradictory opinions of major Egyptologists (and the major loonies), and brings us closer to Egypt's core meaning and influence. Along the way, he illuminates the enchanting, imaginative beauty of the Egyptian saga. Ancient Egypt built a society on a remarkable mixture of the new, the useful and the beautiful, while retaining primitive magic, obscurantism, and the infantile but extraordinarily poetic. Egypt was also one of the most optimistic nations ever founded, inventing optimistic answers to many of man's fundamental questions.
This, Volume I, situates the Egyptian religion, political system and society within the contexts some of them stretching back as far as before c. 4000 BC of the early history of religion, mythology, technology, art, psychology, sociology, geography and migrations of peoples. It surveys the religious underpinnings of the society, including the founding of the first nation - and the first nation to proclaim its sacred nature. Divine kingship, the holy city and capital city were invented here.
(Volume II discusses the major consequences that arose from Egypt's system. The religious, funerary, afterlife and societal views of Egyptians are compared to the other major religions and societies. Their probable influence on Greek religion and on Hebrew and Christian monotheisms is carefully traced, as are Egypto-Hebrew relations. The highlights of Egypt's religious, political, colonial, artistic and literary life are examined as well as the subsequent decline of Egypt.)