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Never Had the Like Occurred: Egypt's View of Its Past (Encounters with Ancient Egypt) Paperback – November 4, 2003

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Editorial Reviews


'the series is well organized, informative and comprehensive. Through careful analysis of a multiplicity of sources at hand, the authors, who come from a great variety of disciplines, have presented us with a series that is at once substantial as well as engaging and innovative. An extraordinary work of synthesis, the series promises to endure as an important contribution to the study of Ancient Egypt. - Professor Ronald J Leprohon, Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilisation, University of Toronto. '<"Never Had the Like Occurred" examines how the Egyptians viewed their won past and used it to inspire and inform their present at different stages in their history. There are relatively few publications dealing with Egypt's view of her own past or indeed material culture. Jan Assman's The Mind of Egypt (2002) is one of the few to examine such territory, and the present volume will forma welcome addition to that body of work. A paper by David O'Connor on "Egypt's view of 'Other"', which could almost equally well have been part of Mysterious Lands, serves only to emphasis the relatedness of these volumes.'- Times Higher Educational Supplement, 17 December 2004

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Never Had the Like Occurred' examines Ancient Egypt's own multifaceted encounters with its past. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Series: Encounters with Ancient Egypt
  • Paperback: 278 pages
  • Publisher: UCL Press (November 4, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844720071
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844720071
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,233,126 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
People tend to think of ancient Egypt as unchanging through its 3,000-year history, but of course that isn't true. Through their fascination with their own past, the Egyptians deliberately made their civilization look more changeless than it actually was (a point made especially in Barry Kemp's Anatomy of a Civilization). This book, part of the Encounters with Ancient Egypt series, looks at the Egyptians' treatment of the past in detail, examining the Egyptian treatment of time just as one of the other volumes, Mysterious Lands, examines their treatment of space.

The first chapter after the introduction looks at the Egyptian perception of remote mythic history, when various gods were said to have ruled for thousands upon thousands of years before being succeeded by human kings, and the distant future. The next few chapters focus on Egyptian art, in which the style of past eras was often imitated or adapted to create a sense of a return to the past. Two more discuss a similar phenomenon in Egyptian literature. The next chapter looks at the first millennium BC, when Egypt's weakened position in the world made it increasingly conscious of its own Bronze Age past—at the same time that the Greeks and the Jews were mythologizing their own Bronze Age backgrounds, ultimately giving us the Greek hero myths and the early books of the Bible. The last few chapters look at the Ptolemaic period, with an odd but somewhat interesting digression on heirlooms—any object passed down for more than one generation—and what role they might have played in Egyptian society.
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