Home |Index of Reviews | What's New | Links | Bookstore

History in Review

Egypt From Alexander to the Early Christians. An Archaeological and Historical Guide

buy at Amazon.com

Egypt From Alexander to the Early Christians. An Archaeological and Historical Guide
Edited by Roger S. Bagnall and Dominic W. Rathbone. (Los Angeles, The J. Paul Getty Museum: 2005. Pg. 319. 184 illustrations.) ISBN: 0-89236-796-2.

Reviewed by Sheldon Ztvordokov - April 21, 2005

Egyptian history has fascinated historians and archaeologist, both professional and amateur, for hundreds of years and interest in this fascinating region shows no sign of tapering off. One of Egypt's enthralling periods of history is found within the parameters of Alexander the Great's conquest of Egypt in 332 B.C. through the Arab conquest of Egypt in A.D. 641. Those interested in this period will find the book, Egypt From Alexander to the Early Christians to be of an invaluable aid in exploring this rich historical period.

Edited by Roger S. Bagnall and Dominic W. Rathbone, this book is essentially a guidebook to the archaeological and historical sites in Egypt related to this period. It is a book that you should carry with you should you be fortunate enough to visit Egypt. It is also a book that provides readers the opportunity to take a 'virtual' tour of these sites from the comfort of their own homes. The text is well illustrated and includes site and building plans, and maps. In addition, this text provides an informative overview on the history of the period, both social and political. This background information serves as a firm basis by which to put the archeological and historical sites described in the text into perspective, both in terms of similar sites and Egyptian history as a whole.

The text is divided into ten main sections:
  1. General Information
  2. Alexandria, the Delta, and Northern Sinai
  3. Memphite Region
  4. Christian Monasticism and Pilgrimage in Northern Egypt
  5. The Fayyum
  6. Middle Egypt
  7. Theban Region
  8. Upper Egypt
  9. The Western Oases
  10. The Eastern Desert
Each main section includes detailed descriptions of sites found in that region along with tips on how best to view or find a given site, historical or anecdotal information about the site, and other useful information that will enhance your exploration of this period and region. A practical bibliography is also included, as is as chronological outline of Egyptian history from 3000 B.C. - A.D. 868. This is an all-around superb guidebook, and the first I've come across that covers this intriguing period in Egyptian history. It is a definite must have for anyone touring the region and for armchair travelers. It will also serve well as a supplemental text in college classes on this period.

Related Reviews:

Hellenistic Egypt: Monarchy, Society, Economy, Culture, by Jean Bingen.
A collection of essays that present a detailed overview of Egyptian history, culture, politics and economy under the Ptolemaic monarchy.

Egyptian Mythology, by W. Max Müller.
A comprehensive and mesmerizing overview of Egyptian mythology ranging from origin myths to cultic practices.

Back to top

Questions or Comments? Send an email to:

Copyright © History in Review 2001 - 2017 All Rights Reserved