on 3 June 2012
Jan Assmann delves beyond Egyptian history into the history of how the Egyptians thought about themselves and viewed the world and their own history. Assmann supports his points with plenty of examples from Egyptian literature and art, and presents a rather convincing case. At times he can get rather into the technical theory side of things, however for the most part his explanations are surprisingly clear - he takes the time to explain what can sometimes initially seem pretty alien concepts and thought processes, and can present elucidating comparisons and examples to familiar modes of thought - although one of his favourite comparisons was to biblical tradition and ancient Judeo-Christian perspective, and I didn't always agree with the comparison. Also, upon finishing the book, I felt that Assmann's final section was too short, cramming in the last 1000 years of pharaonic Egyptian history into a mere 40 pages or so - I definitely felt that the examination of the Late Period and Ptolemaic rule was too brief and didn't cover enough. Overall however, full of insight and well-executed.