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Grecian Egypt

The thread about the Netflix Cleopatra pseudo-documentary is caught in a feedback loop and it aborts every time I post, and so I am starting a new thread.

Here's my question: I was taught a lot about Egypt in school, including of course the pyramids and sphinxes, the pantheon, the upper and lower kingdoms, the flooding of the Nile, hieroglyphs, Akenahten, Nefertiti, Tutankhamen, Ramses and Cleopatra—yet somehow never really learned that Egypt was taken over by Greece before Cleo came along.

It was just '5,000 years of Egyptian rule, and then Egypt was snatched away from Cleo and she was bitten by an asp and it was all over.'

Now, I've looked it up and had an 'oh, yeah, right' recognition when reading that Alexander the Great took over, but I really don't remember detail about that involving Egypt.

I'm sure I never was taught about any Egyptian wars for their own land, or about when indigenous Egyptian rulers lost their power and it was taken by Macedonian rulers. Who was the first Egyptian pharaoh in Cleopatra's Macedonian heritage? How long did they rule?

Growing up, I just assumed Cleo was the end of the indigenous Egyptian ruling line that lasted 5,000+ years. And as such, I wouldn't have imagined her as sub-Saharan African but certainly as locally Egyptian and not European.

And finally, to the point of 'wokeness' supposedly rewriting the complexions of ancient Egyptians, I spent a lot of time looking at the Egyptian artifacts in the Louvre and I was surprised that a lot of small statues of rulers featured people with drastically different skin values, from almost coal black to very pale (and also coppery blue-green, which descriptions said were meant to signify divinity). So I assume based on those depictions that there really was a great diversity of phenotypes in ancient Egypt regardless of Cleopatra's own ancestry.

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by Anonymousreply 23May 24, 2023 3:29 AM

Some examples showing the varied complexions in ancient Egyptian depictions.

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by Anonymousreply 1May 23, 2023 10:41 AM

Human: “ChatGPT, write a forum post about Egypt, Cleopatra and Grecian rule”

ChatGPT: (Long winded gobbledygook)

by Anonymousreply 2May 23, 2023 10:50 AM

Egypt was ruled by the Macedonian Greeks for about 250 years. The first Greek pharaoh was Ptolemy I. Before that, Egypt was under Persian rule.

by Anonymousreply 3May 23, 2023 11:14 AM

R3 I wonder why I just learned that there was ancient Egypt for thousands of years and then there was Cleo and then there was no more ancient Egypt. I don't remember learning anything at all about foreign takeovers until Mark Anthony and Cleopatra.

I always hated learning about battles in history class, but I also always wondered how Egypt existed for so long without having battles and wars over its land as every other civilization seems to have had perpetually. We never learned about Egyptian wars.

by Anonymousreply 4May 23, 2023 11:26 AM

R1, Egyptians, Nubians, Asians

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by Anonymousreply 5May 23, 2023 11:35 AM

Some DNA tests have been done. In this case mummies shared kore DNA with Mediterraneans and Middle Easterners than modern Egyptians. There could be variety. DNA will probably continue to chip away at the mysteries.

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by Anonymousreply 6May 23, 2023 12:11 PM

Even the Liz Taylor film mentions her being Greek. People got vastly stupider since then and feuding Americans simply repainted Egypt in their own colours and fought over it, rather than letting the truth speak for itself.

by Anonymousreply 7May 23, 2023 12:11 PM

Do some reading about how the Greeks reinterpreted and reshaped Egyptian religion to make it more marketable for the settlers, and the Greek and Roman worlds at large. Look into Isis (the goddess) and Serapis. It's interesting. Isis worship then spread all throughout Europe.

by Anonymousreply 8May 23, 2023 12:15 PM

Read this.

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by Anonymousreply 9May 23, 2023 12:16 PM

The 25th Dynasty of Egypt (744 to 656 BC), aka the Nubian Dynasty, the Kushite Empire, the Black Pharaohs, was an era when the Nubians of Kush invaded and took control of Egypt.

We hear terms like Sub-Saharan Africa and think this region is where darker skin Africans are, but Lower Nubia was above the Saharan Desert, and its dark skin inhabitants mixed with their neighbors to the north for centuries.

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by Anonymousreply 10May 23, 2023 12:19 PM

R10, that’s like saying that southern Italy is Scandinavian because it was ruled by Normans for a hundred years or more.

By the way, it’s not “Grecian Egypt,” it’s “Hellenistic Egypt.”

by Anonymousreply 11May 23, 2023 12:31 PM

[quote] I also always wondered how Egypt existed for so long without having battles and wars over its land as every other civilization seems to have had perpetually.

Because nobody wants a pile of sand that’s difficult to farm and inhabit? Particularly in a blazing hot climate? By a giant river full of hungry crocodiles?

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by Anonymousreply 12May 23, 2023 12:50 PM


[quote] Not all of Egypt, ancient or modern, qualifies as a desert. Areas near the Nile River tend to be lusher, and Egyptians — in both ancient and modern times — have had a thriving system of agriculture. However, the environment has changed over Egypt's history, and the construction of the Aswan High Dam across the Nile between 1960 and 1970 altered the landscape substantially.

[quote] Some areas of Egypt that are now desert were wetter in the past. One famous example is the "Cave of Swimmers" on the Gilf Kebir plateau in southwestern Egypt. Today, the area is very arid, but thousands of years ago, it was moister, and some of the rock art found in caves in the area appears to show people swimming, according to the British Museum.

[quote] One effect of the generally higher Nile River levels during the Bronze Age is that around 2500 B.C., when the pyramids at Giza were constructed, the "Khufu branch," a vanished arm of the Nile River, came right next to the pyramids. This branch allowed for materials to be transported to the site by boat, aiding in pyramid construction.

[quote] The ancient Egyptians who lived by the Nile in some ways viewed themselves as living on an island in the Nile Valley, with the deserts as a sort of great sea, Pearce Paul Creasman, director of the American Center of Oriental Research, told Live Science in an email.

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by Anonymousreply 13May 23, 2023 1:02 PM

Egypt was the “bread basket” of the Roman Empire.

by Anonymousreply 14May 23, 2023 1:06 PM

[quote] I also always wondered how Egypt existed for so long without having battles and wars over its land as every other civilization seems to have had perpetually.

This is nonsense, of course. Egypt was fought over constantly, MORE so than most other lands, for millennia.

Don’t they teach history in schools anymore?

by Anonymousreply 15May 23, 2023 1:13 PM

R15 I didn't mean to say that Egypt didn't have wars, but that we were taught about Egyptian culture and mythology with no mentions of wars. It always seemed like an isolated early utopian society that just suddenly ended with Cleo.

by Anonymousreply 16May 23, 2023 1:19 PM

I wasn't aware that public and private schools did deep dives into ancient Egypt. Seems more like a subject one would need to pursue on one's own, through library research or special courses, rather than expecting education systems to spoonfeed it.

by Anonymousreply 17May 23, 2023 2:55 PM

[quote]I wouldn't have imagined her as sub-Saharan African but certainly as locally Egyptian and not European.

Egyptians are far closer to Europeans than Non-north Africans genetically.

by Anonymousreply 18May 24, 2023 12:34 AM

People have no idea just how cosmopolitan Alexandria was. And for those who are at entry level on this subject, this city was founded by Alexander the Great (the Macedonian Greek conquerer of Egypt) to connect Egypt with the rest of the world as a major sea port and centre of learning. The city was vastly European in population, and not just Greeks, also loads of people from as far afield as Gaul (France). Also an enormous Jewish population and plenty of native Egyptians. Some say it was about equally split between the three groups.

by Anonymousreply 19May 24, 2023 1:34 AM

My bimbo gymbunny stoner BIL is from Cairo and insists he has Nubian blood. His mother is Syrian-Lebanese and pale as papyrus. I don’t know where he gets this dumb shit, Joe Rogan probably.

by Anonymousreply 20May 24, 2023 2:00 AM

The reason you don't really hear much of Alexander conquering Egypt is because he essentially just wandered in and proclaimed himself Pharaoh and the locals were generally pretty onboard because there was a already a large Greek presence in Egypt, he made sure to get the local priesthood onboard by declaring and probably believing he was the son of Amun their chief god, they despised the Persians (the previous owners) because they had just had failed to do the previous things for the last few decades and there had just been a serious uprising against them.

Cleos family descended from Ptolemy one of the greatest of the Diadochi (Alexanders successors) and who in my favourite description was called "a cunning old shit" he was one of Alexanders bodyguards, close friends from childhood and maybe his half brother, and was the only one in power after Alexanders death to realise the empire couldn't be maintained and after the partition of Babylon had a single minded dedication to holding his position and not over extending himself and holding onto what he could, he stole Alexanders body and encouraged the god cult around him to better his own position and at the same time fostered Alexandria into a beacon of learning in the ancient world despite the fact he doesn't seem to have been overly bright himself asking Euclid if there was an easier way to learn geometry.

Anyway he and his first 2 successors also called Ptolemy were brilliant at the job. But from Ptolemy IV onwards the rampant inbreeding and infighting in the dynasty led to their and Egypt's decline so by the time of Cleopatra herselfs time Egypt is a barely functioning client state of the Roman republic. Cleopatra is counted as the last pharaoh but she's from a Greek imported dynasty and was probably the first ruler in 300 years to actually speak Egyptian, and this was long past ancient Egypt's golden age. Hell in the timeline she's closer to us than the building of the pyramids

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by Anonymousreply 21May 24, 2023 2:25 AM

r12 loved that game growing up

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by Anonymousreply 22May 24, 2023 2:26 AM

*SIGH* Leave it to DL to bring Miss Cleo into a discussion about ancient Egypt.

by Anonymousreply 23May 24, 2023 3:29 AM
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