Egypt History in Brief

The Pre-dynastic Era

Egypt’s people had started farming by 5,000 BC. They also manufactured earthenware and woven linen. They eventually learned to use bronze. The Egyptians invented writing around 3,200 BC. King Menes, also known as Narmer, was the first Egyptian in history, reigning around 3,100 BC. Egypt was split at the time into northern (lower) Egypt and southern (upper) Egypt (upper Egypt). 3118 Menes was able to bring the two together. Memphis became his capital. Egypt had a very well-organized society. Nomes were created to partition the country into 42 distinct sections. Nomarch ruled over each of them. Farmers had to pay taxes on a portion of their harvest. Keep reading we give here a good idea about the history of Egypt in brief.

Pyramid of Chefren

Giza Pyramids & Sphinx – Egypt
by Arch_Sam

The Old Kingdom

The Old Kingdom is the initial period of Egyptian history, which lasted until 2181 BC. Pyramids were erected by the pharaohs during this time. Zoser created the first pyramid, the step pyramid, around 2665 BC. Sneferu and Khufu were the pharaohs who erected the others.

However, Egypt’s central authority deteriorated over time. After 1281 BC, Egypt was divided into two sections, with civil wars erupting between the warring regions. The First Intermediate Period, which lasted until 2055 BC, was characterized by civil unrest. Mentuhotep II eventually succeeded in unifying Egypt and establishing the Middle Kingdom.

The Middle Kingdom

The Middle Kingdom reigned from 1650 BC to 1650 BC. Egypt experienced a golden age of art and literature at this time. In addition, the pharaohs conducted successful military expeditions and erected more pyramids. The Second Intermediate Period, on the other hand, came after the Middle Kingdom.

The Hyksos, a Palestinian tribe, acquired dominance in northern Egypt around 1650 BC. They were based in Avaris and reigned from there. Native Egyptians, on the other hand, remained to control southern Egypt and, in 1550 BC, pushed the Hyksos out and reunited Egypt. So started the reign of the New Kingdom. From 1550 to 1070 BC, it lasted.

The New Kingdom

Egypt was once again wealthy and powerful throughout this period. Egypt ruled over Nubia and the lands to the south, as well as invading Palestine and Syria. Meanwhile, pharaohs were buried in the Valley of the Kings and vast new temples were built at Thebes. Then, in 1364 BC, Akhenaten was crowned king. He solely prayed to Aten, the solar deity. Tutankhamen, on the other hand, was a devout follower of the old gods.

Karnak Temple

In 1070, the New Kingdom fell apart, ushering in a new period of discord. Egypt began to deteriorate after this time, and it never regained its former greatness.

Egypt was divided into two sections during the Third Intermediate Period, north and south. In 747 BC, however, monarchs from Nubia (a kingdom south of Egypt) conquered Egypt and reunited the country. Nonetheless, Egypt was conquered by the Persians in 525 BC. Then it was taken by Alexander the Great in 332.

Greek Reign in Egypt History

Alexander’s dominion was divided after his death. Ptolemy, a Greek general, eventually conquered Egypt, and his Greek successors controlled Egypt for approximately 300 years. Egypt, on the other hand, ceased to be an independent kingdom in 30 BC when it became a territory of the Roman Empire.

Around 1800 BC, a lady named Sobekneferu governed Egypt. Hatshepsut, a woman, governed Egypt from 1479 to 1458 BC. Twosret, another woman, governed Egypt from 1191 until 1189 BC.

The true end of Ancient Egypt, however, occurred with the arrival of Christianity. By 70 AD, it had reached Alexandria and had expanded south by 180 AD. The collapse of the old religion, and thus the ending of Ancient Egyptian culture, was marked by the arrival of Christianity.

Modern Egypt History

The Roman Empire was divided in two in the fourth century. Egypt was a part of the Byzantine Empire, which we know as the eastern half. The Arabs, however, seized it in the 7th century. In 639, the Arabs conquered Egypt, and by 642, they had conquered the entire country. Baghdad reigned over it as part of the Islamic Empire. In 868, however, a governor named Ahmed Ibn Tulun pronounced Egypt independent, although the freedom was short-lived. His son, and successor, were assassinated, and Baghdad’s sovereignty was restored.

Cairo Tower

The Fatimids of Tunisia then conquered Egypt in 969. Egypt was controlled by the Fatimids until 1171, during which time they built Cairo, which became the capital.

However, in 1171, a Syrian called Salah-ad-Din, also known as Saladin in the West, became Egypt’s monarch. He founded the Ayyubid dynasty, which governed Egypt for nearly 80 years. Then, in 1250, a man named Beybars ascended to Egypt’s throne. The Mamluks controlled Egypt until 1517, and he and his successors were known as the Mamluks.

Ottomans Reign in the History of Egypt

Egypt was wealthy and powerful at the time. On the other hand, it was captured by the Ottoman Turks in 1517.

Egypt was given some autonomy by the Ottomans. The Ottomans were prepared to let Egypt run itself as long as Egypt paid taxes. Nonetheless, Egypt’s economy declined throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, and the country was devastated by a plague epidemic in 1719.

Then, in 1798, Napoleon’s French army arrived in Egypt. (Napoleon hoped that occupying Egypt would impair British connections to India.) The Combat of the Pyramids saw Napoleon overcome the Egyptians on land, but he was thoroughly crushed at sea by the British navy. As a result, Napoleon disbanded his army and fled Egypt. Following that, the French army was crushed and forced to surrender by British and Ottoman forces. The French mission, on the other hand, reignited European interest in Ancient Egypt.

Egypt saw a political battle after the French left. Albanian soldiers headed by Mohammed Ali, who later became Viceroy of Egypt, effectively won the battle. (He was officially under the Ottoman Sultan’s jurisdiction, but in fact, he was more or less independent.) Ali established industries and ships in an attempt to modernize Egypt. He died, though, in 1849. Egypt is currently dealing with issues such as a fast-growing population and a scarcity of agricultural land. The tourist sector, on the other hand, is booming, and Egypt’s natural gas export potential is enormous.

Egypt Nowadays

Following uprisings in Egypt in 2011, Hosni Mubarak was forced to step down, and a new chapter in Egypt’s history started. In 2014, Egypt adopted a new constitution. Egypt’s population is expected to reach 100 million by 2020.