Ancient Egypt

The book is Toby Wilkinson, The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt, 2010; and William Simpson, The Literature of Ancient Egypt, 3rd edition, 2003.

Essays: Choose any TWO from the topics below (15 points each)

For EACH answer must be at least 1 and ½ pages (typewritten) 11 pt. font. – Use both lecture and text in your response.

  1. Discuss the intellectual developments in Ancient Egypt that led to advances in writing, medicine, astronomy and architecture.
  2. Discuss the transition to the coffin texts in relationship to changes in access to the afterlife and political structure from the First Intermediate Period to the Middle Kingdom. How does this reflect social changes in your opinion?
  3. What is the significance of the tale of Osiris, Isis and Horus? How do they rise to be among the most powerful, and popular deities among all classes in Egypt?
  4. Discuss the role of magic in Egyptian daily life and in the afterlife. How important was Heka in magic practices and expression and how does that change from the Old Kingdom the Middle Kingdom?  What do you find most interesting about magic in Ancient Egypt and why?
  5. What is the source of Heka’s power?  How does the change in magic practices and expression change from the Old Kingdom, First Intermediate Period and on into the Middle Kingdom?
  6. Considering that maintaining Ma’at, or balance, is crucial to Egyptian society, how did the rulers and the people of Egypt view such balance and the response of their rulers to the climatic changes, stability, and lawlessness?
  7. What factors led to the decline of the Old Kingdom in your opinion? How important was the severe social gap between the classes a major factor? What do you see as advances or changes brought about from social advancement to access to the afterlife in the Middle Kingdom?


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