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Ancient Egyptian Literature: Volume I: The Old and Middle Kingdoms: Old and the Middle Kingdoms v. 1 Paperback – 10 Mar 2006

4.2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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  • Ancient Egyptian Literature: Volume I: The Old and Middle Kingdoms: Old and the Middle Kingdoms v. 1
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  • Ancient Egyptian Literature: Late Period v. 3
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  • Ancient Egyptian Literature: Volume II: The New Kingdom: New Kingdom v. 2
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Product details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; 2nd Revised edition edition (10 Mar. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520248422
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520248427
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.8 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 92,741 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Concise, lucid, and altogether interesting.... The notes on the individual texts are unfailingly illuminating." - Books Abroad (now World Literature Today)"

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"Praise for the first editions: "
Concise, lucid, and altogether interesting .The notes on the individual texts are unfailingly illuminating. "Books Abroad" (now "World Literature Today")"

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4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book is really for your student of the ancient egyptian language. Filled as it is with detailed linguistic notes and comments, this book does not read as a book of egyptian 'stories' as such. Indeed, the literature is largely confined to material of an autobiographical nature. But if you enjoy reading the works of different cultures throughout history, then there is no better window than the simple letters and life stories which appear in this work. I cannot comment on the quality of the translation, I am merely an interested layperson, but I felt a closer connection to the lives of the people who lived 3000-5000 years ago. Most touching of all is the letter to Harkhuf from his eight year old pharoah, the boy king eager to see the dancing pygmy found on a trip to the south.
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Format: Paperback
It is an essential book, There is very much effort necesary to gather all this material. Egypt is a fascinating experience for anybody and can not be told, you must see it and just one travel is not enough.
Who developed this civilization is unclear, some civilization from Sudan and East Africa are older.
The writing is the oldest, older than the Babylonian.
But this is not the oldest civilization, but the most complex from the oldest. Including art and literature, amazing organization and architecture.
The oldest is the south Danube civilization, with a proto-writing from 5300 BC and metallurgy 4500 BC. More than a millenium before the Babylon and Egypt. But this civilization had no real writing, no cities and no centralized statal structures. There were only large settlements with no or only primitive hierarchic structures.
The discussion about eurocentrism is absurd. The truth is that humans developed civilizations when they found durable ( more than one century )
life conditions, and could organize big enough settlements to allow specialization, from China to Peru.
The development of the egyptian civilization can be followed from the beginning to its apogee, from 4500 BC to the beginning of last millenium, under roman rule. Knowing their spiritual world allows us to understand better another civilizations which did not left written testimonies.
Therefore I can only recommend this work as indispensable for anybody who is interested in the history of the civilization.
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By Ludovico Sforza TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 23 Feb. 2011
Format: Paperback
Volume 1 : The Old and Middle Kingdom

For what it is this is an excellent introduction I believe. Clearly written with large tracts of original (translated into English, unfortunately I am not in a position to vouch for the accuracy of the translations) material.

Of necessity there are far more examples of Middle Kingdom texts compared to Old Kingdom, but all the important ones are there as far as I can tell. The work starts with an introduction covering Literary genres and styles, it moves on to the Old Kingdom material, starting with monumental inscriptions from private tombs. Followed by royal decree's and the pyramid texts as well as some examples of didactic literature (e.g. the instruction of Prince Hardjedef). This is followed with a chapter headed `the transition to the Middle Kingdom' which contains The first part of the autobiography of Ankhtifi (a cracking read) among other, transitional texts.

The Middle Kingdom section follows the same steps, though it includes a chapter on songs and hymns and finishes with one covering prose tales, i.e. the tale of the shipwrecked sailor, the story of Sinuhe and three tales of wonder.

The linking narrative is useful though quite personal to the author in some of her conclusions.

The book is some 9"x6" and just under an inch thick, some 240 pages long, there are no illustrations or photographs.
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