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Egypt.

Egypt History

As you’re probably more than aware, Egypt’s history dates back thousands upon thousands of years. Egyptians divide their history into five eras, beginning with the Pharaonic Era.

The Pharaonic Era dates all the way back to 3000 years B.C. and stretches to 323 B.C., when Alexander the Great conquered Egypt. In 3200 B.C., the north and south of Egypt were unified by the first ruling

dynasty.

As the years passed, Egyptians enjoyed stability and peace, pushing forth economic and cultural progress. So much so, in fact, that this period—known as the Old Kingdom—ushered forth great architectural accomplishments, including the building of the Giza Pyramids. The economy remained strong but truly began to flourish when the Prince of Thebes rose to throne and founded a powerful government. Subsequent kings and queens ventured further out in the world, receiving acclaim for its great technological and cultural advancements. In 1725 B.C., Egypt was attacked and occupied, and while the princes of Thebes managed to push the invaders out of the country, it was occupied once again by the Assyrians and the Persians Alexander. But the Pharaohs’ rule didn’t end, officially, until Alexander the Great appeared and conquered Egypt. Still, he came well after the Egyptians had already invented writing, or the “hieroglyphic alphabet,” and mastered the art of storytelling.

The Greek Era began as Alexander the Great expelled the once-ruling Persians into Asia and founded a new capital for Egypt (yes, Alexandria). Upon Alexander’s death, Egypt was ruled by his general and the Ptolemic Dynasty, which reigned from 323 B.C. to 30 B.C. Egyptians, however, revolted and eventually cleared a path for the Romans to step in during the reign of Cleopatra in 30 B.C. There were great accomplishments made during the Greek Era, including the building of the Lighthouse at the Mediterranean Sea, considered by the Greeks as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The great library of that era was also housed in Alexandria, with more than half a million papyrus rolls stored on shelves. The Roman Era began in 30 B.C., when the Roman Empire declared Egypt its most precious property because of its fertile land and cultural development. Certain industries flourished in Egypt during this time, including glass manufacturing and blowing, perfume manufacturing and the production of fine linens.

The Coptic Era, the fourth era, began when Christianity penetrated Egypt in the first half of the first century A.D. In 65 A.D., the first Coptic Church was established in the country until a Roman emperor suppressed the Copts at the end of the third century. Nevertheless, Coptic architecture spread throughout the country and its followers were similarly influenced by Egyptian culture (that’s why, even today, the Coptic Church still has Pharaonic names for certain church melodies). But the golden age of Egypt arguably arose when the Islamic Era began. Mosques, fortresses, monuments and decorative arts blossomed throughout the country. Other notable arts ushered in during this period include wood engraving, Islamic style textiles, porcelain production and stained glass.

The Modern Era, which has been credited as being ushered in by Muhammad Ali during the first half of the 19th Century, began with economic revival. The agriculture industry boomed, with special attention given to irrigation systems and the building of dams and canals. Factories were erected and trade partnerships strengthened around the globe. Other, subsequent, advancements included the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869. But a dark shadow fell over the country when Britain occupied Egypt in 1914, until five years later, the 1919 Revolution called for independence. It happened—on February 28, 1922 (now known as Independence Day)—and the first Egyptian Constitution was issued a year later. The country still struggled, though, until there was a socio-economic turnaround following the 1952 Revolution, which is celebrated every July 23 as the country’s national holiday.

More Information
 www.state.gov

 


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