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Culture and Mythology

  • Egyptian Myth
    From Bloomsbury Dictionary of Myth
    The cycle centred on nine gods, the Ennead: Ra the Sun (in his manifestation as Atum the creator) and four pairs of his descendants: Shu and Tefnut; Geb and Nut; Aset (Isis) and Osiris; Set and Nebthet.
  • Mummification: Topic Page
    Dead human or animal body preserved by embalming or by unusual natural conditions. Refers primarily to the burials found in Egypt, where the practice of mummification was perfected over the centuries to an extreme of elaboration.
  • Osiris: Topic Page
    Ancient Egyptian god, the embodiment of goodness, who ruled the underworld after being killed by Set. The pharaohs were believed to be his incarnation.
  • Sphinx: Topic Page
    Mythological creature, depicted in Egyptian, Assyrian, and Greek art as a lion with a human head. One of the oldest monuments is the Great Sphinx at El Gîza, Egypt, which was probably built about 2900-2750 BC.

General History

  • Ancient Egypt: Topic Page
    Ancient civilization, based around the River Nile in Egypt, which emerged 5,000 years ago and reached its peak in the 16th century BC.
  • Ancient Egyptian Civilization
    From Chambers Dictionary of World History
    Predynastic Period; Early Dynastic Period; Old Kingdom; First Intermediate Period; Middle Kingdom; Second Intermediate Period; New Kingdom; Third Intermediate Period; Late Period.
  • Carthage: Topic Page
    Ancient Phoenician port in North Africa founded by colonists from Tyre in the late 9th century BC. A leading trading centre, it was in conflict with Greece from the 6th century BC, and then with Rome, and was destroyed by Roman forces in 146 BC at the end of the Punic Wars.
  • North Africa: Roman Occupation
    From Encyclopedia of African History
    Roman rule in North Africa was based on a system of land appropriation.


Cover Art
Who's Who in Ancient Egypt, Routledge
The whole arena of Egyptian life is expressed in this work. Not only are there nearly a thousand biographies, there's also a chapter on "Encountering the Ancient Egyptians", sections on kingship and on religion, a chronology, and explanation of key terms such as calendars and pyramid texts.

Cover Art
Encyclopedia of African History
Covering the entire continent from Morocco, Libya, and Egypt in the north to the Cape of Good Hope in the south, and the surrounding islands from Cape Verde in the west to Madagascar, Mauritius, and Seychelles in the east, the Encyclopedia is an A-Z reference resource on the history of the entire African continent.

Cover Art
A Guide to the Ancient World, H.W. Wilson
This useful companion to classical history reveals the ancient world - from Scotland to India and from Spain to the Black Sea - through the numerous sites of its history and legends.


  • Egyptian language: Topic Page
    Extinct language of ancient Egypt. Developed during four periods: (1) Old Egyptian (3d millennium B.C.); (2) Middle Egyptian (2134 - 1354 B.C.) (3) Late Egyptian (to 12th cent. B.C.); and (4) demotic (8th cent. B.C. - 5th cent. A.D.).
  • Ethiopic: Topic Page
    Extinct language of Ethiopia belonging to the North Ethiopic group of the South Semitic (or Ethiopic) languages, which, in turn, belong to the Semitic subfamily of the Afroasiatic family of languages.
  • Hieroglyphics: Topic Page
    Egyptian hieroglyphics appear in several stages: the first dynasty (3110–2884 B.C.), when they were already perfected; the Old Kingdom; the Middle Kingdom, when they were beginning to go out of use; the New Empire, when they were no longer well understood by the scribes; and the late hieroglyphics (from 500 B.C.), when the use of them was a tour de force.
  • Rosetta Stone
    From Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable
    A stone found in 1799 by a French officer of engineers named Bouchard or Boussard in an excavation made near Rosetta (Rashid), in the Nile delta northeast of Alexandria.


  • Akhenaten
    From Encyclopedia of African History
    King of the Eighteenth Egyptian Dynasty, Akhenaten reigned from approximately 1360 to 1343bce. Akhenaten is notable for having briefly replaced the entire Egyptian pantheon with a single deity, the Aten, the physical manifestation of the sun.
  • Cleopatra (69 BC-30 BC): Topic Page
    Queen of Egypt, one of the great romantic heroines of all time.
  • Hamilcar Barca
    From The Columbia Encyclopedia
    D. 229 or 228 B.C., Carthaginian general. Father of Hannibal.
  • Hannibal
    From Philip's Encyclopedia 2008
    Carthaginian general in the second of the Punic Wars, son of Hamilcar Barca. One of the greatest generals of ancient times, in 218 bc he invaded N Italy after crossing the Alps with 40,000 troops and a force of elephants.
  • Nefertiti
    From The Penguin Biographical Dictionary of Women
    Probably born in Mitanni, an empire based in what is now northern Iraq, Nefertiti became the chief wife of the intellectual Egyptian ruler Amenhotep IV (reigned about 1379–1362 BC).
  • Origen: Topic Page
    185?–254?, Christian philosopher and scholar.
  • Ptolemy: Topic Page
    (Claudius Ptolemaeus), fl. 2d cent. A.D., celebrated Greco-Egyptian mathematician, astronomer, and geographer.
  • Ramses II, King of Egypt: Topic Page
    Summary Article: Ramses II from The Columbia Encyclopedia
    răm'sēz, Rameses II, or Ramesses IIboth: răm'əsēz´´, d. 1225 B.C., king of ancient Egypt, of the XIX dynasty. The son of Seti I, Ramses was not the heir to the throne but usurped it from his brother. He reigned for 67 years (1292–1225 B.C.). Under him Egypt acquired unprecedented splendor. His empire extended from S Syria to near the Fourth Cataract of the Nile. The most notable incident of his reign was the battle near Kadesh on the Orontes, where the Egyptians were ambushed by the Hittites. Ramses, claiming to have saved his forces single-handed, had vast texts written about his personal valor. War continued with the Hittites for about 15 years until Ramses concluded a treaty of friendship (1280) with the Hittite king and married (1267) a Hittite princess.
  • Saint Augustine of Hippo (354-430): Topic Page
    The greatest of the Latin Fathers of the Church, born in Tagaste, Numidia (modern Algeria).
  • Tutankhamun
    From The Bloomsbury Guide to Art
    Eighteenth Dynasty king of Egypt who came to the throne aged nine and reigned from 1334 bc to 1325 bc. The outstandingly preserved treasures of his tomb were discovered in 1922.


  • Ethiopia: Topic Page
    The first kingdom for which there is documentary evidence is that of Aksum (Axum), a kingdom which probably emerged in the 2d cent. A.D., thus making Ethiopia the oldest independent country in Africa and one of the most ancient in the world.
  • Nile River: Topic Page
    Considering the great importance of the Nile to Egypt, it is not surprising that in ancient times it was deified, and it has always been regarded with the utmost reverence. Each year the Nile floods its banks and the height of the flood has been recorded annually since at least 3600 BC.
  • Nubia
    From The Columbia Encyclopedia
    Ancient state of NE Africa. At the height of its political power Nubia extended, from north to south, from the First Cataract of the Nile (near Aswan, Egypt) to Khartoum, in Sudan.
  • Sahara: Topic Page
    It was not until c.3000 B.C. that the Sahara transformed into its present arid state. The camel was introduced probably in the 1st cent. A.D. and facilitated occupation by nomads.
  • Thebes
    From A Guide to the Ancient World, H.W. Wilson
    A city on the Nile in Upper Egypt, four hundred and forty-six miles south of Cairo. The capital of the Pharaonic empire in the second millennium BC—replacing Memphis—Thebes was later praised for its wealth in Homer's Iliad.

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