Berenice II Euergetis: Ancient Alexandrian Queen from Libya

Although Ptolemy III and Berenice II were cousins, they proclaimed themselves siblings as children of Ptolemy II and Arsinoe II. Introduction Berenice (c. 267-221 BCE), the daughter of the Macedonian dynast Magas and his Seleucid wife Apame, was born in Cyrene, a Greek city in Libya. Ptolemy I had installed Magas, a son of his fourth wife Berenice I by a previous marriage,[…]

Meritamun: Brought to Life 2,000 Years Later

Modern technology and research restores an ancient Egyptian woman, Meritamun, creating a unique teaching tool for medicine and health science. Introduction Reconstructed from a mummified head dating back at least two millennia, the fine-featured ancient Egyptian face looks out from an artist’s studio in the forested hills of rural Victoria. Ancient Egypt has fascinated everyone[…]

Cambyses II of Persia and the Battle of Pelusium: A Victory Won by Cats

The battle was won through a very unusual strategy on Cambyses II’s part: the use of animals as hostages and, especially, cats. Introduction The ancient Egyptians had a great reverence for life in all its forms. Life had been given by the gods and reverence for it extended beyond human beings to all living things.[…]

How the Ancient Egyptian Economy Laid the Groundwork for Building the Pyramids

In the shadow of the pyramids of Giza lie the tombs of the courtiers and officials who built these vast structures. In the shadow of the pyramids of Giza, lie the tombs of the courtiers and officials of the kings buried in the far greater structures. These men and women were the ones responsible for[…]

The Economy of Ptolemaic Egypt

The wealth of Egypt was owed in large part to the unrivaled fertility of the Nile. By Arienne KingHistorian Introduction Ptolemaic Egypt rapidly established itself as an economic powerhouse of the ancient world at the end of the 4th century BCE. The wealth of Egypt was owed in large part to the unrivalled fertility of[…]

Symbols in Ancient Egypt

Symbols in a largely illiterate society serve the vital purpose of relaying the most important values of the culture to the people generation after generation, often changing in form and function. Introduction Religion in ancient Egypt was fully integrated into the people’s daily lives. The gods were present at one’s birth, throughout one’s life, in the transition from[…]

Medical Treatments in Ancient Egypt

The ancient Egyptians experienced the same wide array of disease that people do in the present day. Introduction The ancient Egyptians experienced the same wide array of disease that people do in the present day, but unlike most people in the modern era, they attributed the experience to supernatural causes. The common cold, for example,[…]

In King Tut’s Shadow: The Story of Theodore Davis

In a single stroke, Davis and his legacy were all but buried. What was it like to discover an ancient Egyptian tomb? If the breathless records from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries are to be believed, it was an experience almost too marvelous to be grasped. Having cleared a portal back through the[…]

The Rise and Decline of Pharaohnic Power in Ancient Egypt

Examining the emergence and decline of the pharaoh in ancient Egypt from the Old to New Kingdoms. Introduction The Pharaoh in ancient Egypt was the political and religious leader of the people and held the titles ‘Lord of the Two Lands’ and ‘High Priest of Every Temple’. The word ‘pharaoh’ is the Greek form of the Egyptian pero or per-a-a, which was the designation for[…]

Menes: Legendary First King of Egypt

In the early days of Egyptology, Menes was accepted as the first historical king based upon the written records. Introduction Menes (c. 3150 BCE) is the legendary first king of Egypt who is thought to have united Upper and Lower Egypt through conquest and founded both the First Dynasty and the great city of Memphis. His name is known from sources such[…]

Ptolemy I Soter: Greek Founder of Egypt’s Ptolemaic Dynasty

The synthesis of Greek and Egyptian customs, beliefs and practices created by Ptolemy I and his heirs remains a subject for study and research. Introduction Ptolemy I Soter (Greek: Πτολεμαῖος Σωτήρ, Ptolemaĩos Sōtḗr, i.e., Ptolemy the Savior, (ca. 367 B.C.E. — ca. 283 B.C.E.) was a Macedoniaian general under Alexander the Great who became ruler of Egypt (323 B.C.E. — 283 B.C.E.) and founder of Ptolemaic dynasty which ruled Egypt until the Roman conquest in 30 C.E. In[…]