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The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt (Anglais) Broché – 19 février 2004

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Broché, 19 février 2004
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Revue de presse

Review from previous edition The approach combines traditional chronological history with cultural and social historical material to produce a well rounded picture ... chapters covering prehistory and the intermediate periods are particularly good, with Seidlmayer on the First Intermediate Period and Bourriau on the Second Intermediate Period outstanding. Bryan's chapter on the 18th Dynasty before the Amarna Period is also particularly good. (Antiquity)

If you only want to read one book on Egypt, then read this one ... even people who consider themselves as experts on Ancient Egypt will find much to set them thinking: And while such Egyptologists will have a field day, the casual reader will find plenty to arouse their interest, ranging from the story of the world's first strike ... to the revelation that Scotland Yard possesses a print taken from the hand of a mummy. (The Northern Echo)

splendid, lavishly illustrated book ... the only single-volume work to cover 700,000 years of Ancient Egypt from the stone age to Roman conquest ... Lucidly edited by Ian Shaw ... you get the facts without the dust. An excellent choice for enthusiasts and novices alike; even better if you can persuade someone to buy for you as a present. (Roddy Phillips, Aberdeen Press and Journal)

From the Stone Age to the Roman occupation in the fourth centry AD, the mighty Egyptian dynasties are brought to life in almost 450 pages ... never anything but deeply informative, without losing sight of the essential attribute of any book - readability ... both stimulating to the casual reader or keen-to-learn holiday maker and the serious student alike. (Peter Leach, North West Evening Mail)

brimming with ... intriguing facts ... also provides a first-rate overview of - le progrès Egyptien - from the period when Homo erectus first stalked the land right up to Octavian's triumphant entry into Egypt in 30 BC. (Douglas Kennedy, The Times)

Présentation de l'éditeur

The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt uniquely covers 700,000 years of ancient Egypt from the stone age to the Roman conquest. The story of the ancient Egyptians, from their prehistoric origins to their conquest by the Persians, Greeks, and Romans makes for fascinating reading, with subjects ranging from the changing nature of life and death in the Nile valley to some of the earliest masterpieces of art, architecture, and literature in the ancient world. An international team of experts in the field address the issues surrounding this distinctive culture, vividly relating the rise and fall of ruling dynasties, exploring colourful personalities, and uncovering surprising facts, such as the revelation that Scotland Yard possesses a print taken from the hand of a mummy. A well-rounded picture of an intriguing civilization emerges.

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Format: Broché
Very detailed and hard to get into, but at the same time very informative. I would not recommend for the casual reader.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) HASH(0x9ec10b1c) étoiles sur 5 57 commentaires
228 internautes sur 235 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9ef7b198) étoiles sur 5 A Phenomenal Introduction to Egyptology 5 janvier 2001
Par Jonathan Bailey - Publié sur
Format: Relié
I cannot praise this book enough. Unfortunately in academic areas, introductions and overviews to various fields, particularly broad histories, tend to reflect the opinions and suppositions of the authors much more than render the actual environment they are working in. This book proves to be a rare exception to this sad fact and sets a standard of scholarship to be emulated by all researchers of the ancient world. Never in egyptology, assyriology, or biblical studies have I found a history that did such a wonderful job of laying out the textual and archaeological finds that scholars base their judgments upon. This is important to me, as I am in disagreement with many scholarly communities about issues of chronology. This book, rather than simply laying out tables and dates, supplements those tables with actual references to the texts and archaeological items that have lead scholars to date things the way they have, pointing out inconsistancies and uncertainties along the way.
After reading this book, I have become convinced that the history of Egypt is not as well known as most books on Egypt would have us believe.
The book is a mammoth undertaking, attempting to chronicle the history of Egypt from prehistory until 311 BC. Introductory sections on the state of research and certainty of chronolology are extremely enlightening. I was particularly impressed with the chapters on prehistory and the naqada culture, in which the archeological evidence and its interpretation were expressely explained to the reader, allowing the reader to agree or disagree with the authors as they wish. My only complaint is that the book, being an anthology of essays by a variety of scholars, shows some inconsistancy in its thoroughness. The chapter on the 18th dynasty reads a little like standard books on the subject, that is, the reader is kept from the evidence to support the author's view and the author seems to have trouble distinguishing his own suppositions from the facts of history, at times appearing a little tendentious.
Overall, this book is the best history of an ancient culture that I have yet read.
81 internautes sur 85 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9ecaad50) étoiles sur 5 If you read one book about Ancient Egypt, read this one. 3 février 2003
Par Nom de Guerre - Publié sur
Format: Broché
As a quote expresses on the back of this book, "If you only want to read one book on Egypt, then read this one." Ian Shaw's history of ancient Egypt is a beautifully constructed volume that is at once densely packed with information and high in its level of scholarship, and aesthetically appealing and fairly accessible. The book surveys Egyptian history from 700,000 years before the present through the Roman period (ending in AD 395). This is an enormous task, and one might assume that the book could only be very summary and superficial in its treatment of each period. However, every member of Shaw's team of scholars manages to describe his or her period of expertise in a good amount of detail, discussing not only historical events but also art, religion, economics, and material culture. The book thus very successfully follows current trends in history of approaching periods from myriad points of view. Equally importantly, each author discusses the current problems and debates in the scholarship of his or her field. The multi-author approach allows the reader insight into the nature of research for each stage of Egyptian history: the reader gets a sense of the way in which research is conducted, the modes of analysis applied, and the style and terms of discussion. This book serves as an introduction to Egyptian historiography and to the nature of the study of ancient history almost as much as it serves as an introduction to ancient Egypt itself. Thus, The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt manages a high level of scholarship while remaining a useful survey of a huge span of time and culture. Readers who are unfamiliar with archaeological language might find some of the articles in this volume slightly more difficult than others, but there is a decent glossary in the back, and it is more the scholarly tone than the actual material that needs getting used to. Any reader who is genuinely interested in the topic will be able to read through this entire book without much trouble. My only reservation is this: the highly dense nature of the text means that it is occasionally a bit of a slow read. I read the book for a graduate class with Egyptologist David O'Connor (excavator of Abydos; you will see him mentioned several times in the book) and it took me about a week of constant focus. On the whole, though, this is a remarkable book and probably the best existing introduction to ancient Egypt. With a publication date of 2002, it is also the most up-to-date.
46 internautes sur 49 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9e729b34) étoiles sur 5 Encyclopedic work 18 avril 2006
Par Neutiquam Erro - Publié sur
Format: Relié
The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt is really more of an encyclopedia than a narrative history. Each of its 15 chapters is written by a different author, presumably an expert in the particular time period under study. This lends itself to a disjointed style as each author presents an overwhelming welter of archeological facts in an effort to deal with their own view of the controversies in the assigned area. While no doubt providing the experienced Egyptologist with fine details is important, the casual reader will find the book a dense and confusing read. The details of stone-age arrowhead manufacture or the various types of thrown pottery in the First Intermediate Period tend to obscure the bigger picture. As a prerequisite for reading this book I would recommend something lighter and more cohesive such as "A History of Ancient Egypt" by Grimal.

That said, the book is definitely a significant resource for anyone interested in Egyptian history. It covers the Egyptian state from prehistory through its incorporation into the Roman empire. Three chapters cover the pre-dynastic period including one on the Paleolithic period, one on the Naqada period and one entitled "Emergence of the Egyptian State" (Dynasties 0-2). Subsequent chapters for the Old, Middle and New Kingdoms (2 chapters for the last of these) and the Intermediate Periods follow. A rather strange and slightly redundant chapter, entitled "Egypt and the Outside World" is located just prior to the article on the Third Intermediate period. Its insertion here seems an afterthought as it covers the material of several preceding chapters using a topical, rather than chronologic, approach. Finally, several shorter chapters cover the Late Period, the Ptolemaic Period and the Roman Period. The book has a substantial further reading list and glossary as well as a tabular chronology, and index. It is well illustrated, with many black and white pictures, extensive maps and approximately 40 colour plates. Unfortunately, there is often a disconnect between the written material and the plates and pictures, leaving the reader confused as to their purpose.

I would definitely recommend this book as a scholarly or reference resource due to its detailed approach but I would suggest it not be the first book you read if you are a casual reader, interested in understanding the sweep of Egyptian history.
24 internautes sur 26 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9ed4584c) étoiles sur 5 Good but Very Dense 10 octobre 2009
Par John Fischer - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
This book is a collection of essays by various authors, and the quality of them varies tremendously from chapter to chapter. While it covers all of Egyptian history from prehistoric times to the Roman era, this book is not a particularly good introduction. Here's a typical sentence from the first chapter: "The Nubian Middle Paleolithic is characterized by the Nubian Levallois technique and by bifacial foliates and pendunculates." If you know what the Levallois technique and pendunculates are, great. If, like me, you have no idea what this means, you have a problem because there is a maddening lack of definition throughout. For me, the book's major drawback is that it fails to balance the larger picutre of historical development with this kind of astonishingly particular language. The main problem is that the editor has not sought any consistency among the various contributions. For example, the chapter on the Ptolemeic period spends an inordinate amount of time examinging the Egyptian military, a topic only fleetingly touched on in earlier chapters and ignored completely in the following chapter on the Roman period. The final Roman essay almost completely ignores the political structure of Egypt, even though that topic is central to almost all earlier contributors. Finally, anyone interested in Egyptian religion will find little information in this book. Some chapters touch on the topic, often pointing out that religious ideas evolved significantly over long periods of time. Other chapters ignore it altogether or merely present religious ideas as if the reader fully understood them. There is, however, an excellent array of maps and high quality pictures of art and architecture.
31 internautes sur 36 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9e7f0030) étoiles sur 5 Thorough but unbelievably dry. 10 septembre 2005
Par Real Raleigh Reviewer - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
I am admittedly not a specialist in Egyptology; a fairly thorough survey is all I was looking for. However, I do read a lot of history (as well as law, philosophy, literature), so it is not out of lacking experience that I say this book fell a little flat. It does its job well, but as a narrative, it is about as boring as one can imagine. It is a dry read even compared to the typical college textbook. In fact, there is nothing approaching a "narrative" in this book; it is more of a concatenation of descripitive facts with no concomitant analysis, little or no derivation of the many contentious claims made, and no continuity whatsoever from section to section. Even the writing style varies by section. As a somewhat avid linguist, I also observed with dismay quite a number of grammatical errors that are not normally befitting of an academic text.

Again, I must emphasize that I am not writing this review within a relative context that includes other history books specifically on Egyptology; rather, it is in a much broader context covering a rather broad swath of academic disciplines. It may be the case that this is a very good book in its specific field. I merely observe that other respected surveys I have read that touch upon Ancient Egypt seem to do a far better job illuminating the actual cultural and material experience of various parts of this history. One gets very little sense of daily life and cultural evolutions / revolutions from the many general, high-level, descriptive statements offered here.

In the final analysis, this book is sufficient for ascertaining some generally-accepted facts about Ancient Egypt, but it would not appear to be excellent.
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