British Museum - Greek–Egyptian relations in the 7th to 6th centuries BC
Egyptian–Greek relations refer to bilateral relations between Egypt and Greece. Due to the Due to the strong cultural and historical ties between the two nations , from ancient to modern times (especially since the creation of the city of. In Egypt the Greeks were not dealing with a primitive people, but with an advanced influence of the more ancient civilisations with which they were in contact. The ancient civilisations that flourished on Greek and Egyptian soil, though separated In the Bronze Age relations between Minoan Crete and Egypt are amply.
A lot of Greek centres emerged, but the best-documented trading centre was Naukratis on the Canopic branch of the Nile not far from Sais and with excellent communications.
The travels of individual Greeks to Egypt for the purpose of their education, as well as Greek immigration to Kemet, the "black" land, is usually dated at the time of the Persian invasion BCE.
However, it can not be excluded that Pharaoh Psammetichus I allowed Greek intelligentsia to study in Memphis. Pharaoh Psammetichus I initiated the study of Greek, employed Greek mercenaries against the Assyrians, set up a camp that stayed in the western Delta and allowed the Miletians to found Neukratis ; He cultivated close relations with Greek states to help him against the impending Persian onslaught ; Egypt a satrapy of the Persia empire, start of a more pronounced Greek immigration to Egypt ; Egypt ruled by Greek Pharaohs ; The earliest traces of habitation on Crete belong to the 7th millenium BCE.
Continuous Neolithic habitation have been noted at Knossos from the middle of the fifth millenium BCE. Towards the middle of the 3th millenium BCE ca. Before establishing a list of historical parallels, let us summarize the evolution of Ancient Greek culture as follows all dates BCE: This period is subdivided on the basis of the pottery or the rebuilding of the palaces.
The Palatial Chronology is: Centralization of power in the hands of kings, and the first large palace centres with wide cultural influence: This period is preceded by the Neolithical Period. The earliest settlers reached Greece from Anatolia during the 7th millenium.
Good pasturage drew them to the plains of Thessaly or Boeotia and the land round the gulf or Argos. They did not know the plough. The transition from this Neolithic communites to a metal-working culture first half of the 3th millenium was not always peacefully accomplished.
Early Helladic I ca. Greece inhabited by these so-called "pre-Helladics" who did not speak Greek. At first, they lacked farming expertise. They worshipped the Mother Goddess. Stone houses replaced mud-bricks. The Stone Age sites they erected provided collective defence against some external threat.
Trade, especially by sea, began to flourish. Political and economical agricultural urbanism. Local barons ruled an area of up to ten miles' radius round a walled hilltop site. Early Helladic II ca. They eventually capitalized and developed this progress and formed a civilized society. The arrival, in and later between andof marauding barbarians who burnt and destroyed the fortified towns.
Nevertheless, the arrival of the Greeks in Greece, or, more precisely, the immigration of a people bearing a language derived from Indo-European and known to us as the language of the Hellenes, as Greek, is a question scarcely less controversial, even if somewhat more defined.
The Greek language is first encountered in the fourtheenth century in the Linear B texts. These newcomers formed the spearhead of a vast collective migrant movement originating somewhere in the great plateau of central Asia, sweeping West and South from Russia across the Danube and penetrating the Balkans from the North. The Greek language they spoke was a branch of the Indo-European group as is Vedic Sanskrit and they are regarded as the first, true "archaic" Greeks.
The female fertility images vanished and were replaced by a male sky-god cult and a feudal, palace-based society akin to that of Homer's Olympians. These warrior-aristocrats were totally unaware of seafaring and became Mediterranean traders once the slow process of acclimatization was on its way.
The mythical Danaus ca. New were the "tholos" burials, with their domeshaped burial-chambers. Their palaces followed the architectural style of Crete, although their structure was more straightforward and simple. Linear B texts reveal the names of certain gods of the later Greek pantheon: Hera, Poseidon, Zeus, Ares and perhaps Dionysius. There are no extant theological treatises, hymns or short texts on ritual objects as was the case in Crete.
Their impressive tombs indicate that their funerary cult was more developed than the Minoan. During the mid thirteenth century ca. Indeed, a vast, anonymous horde with horned helmets and ox-driven covered wagons had made its way, locust-like, across the Hellespont, through the Hittite Empire, by way of Cilicia and the Phoenician coast to the gates of Egypt, to be defeated by Pharaoh Ramesses III ca.
These nomadic "Dorians" destroyed what came in touch with them, and after their defeat, they vanished amid the wreckage of their own making. Over a period of nearly two centuries, beginning soon afterwe find eastward migrations, from mainland Greece to the coast of Asia Minor. The rich central strip of Ionia was colonized after a bitter struggle after the Dorians overran mainland Greece.
Aboutthe Dorians themselves spread out eastward from the Peloponnese. Aeolic, Ionic and Doric elements intermingled. When Homer wrote his Illiad and Odyssey ca. The Dark Age practice of relying on a local chieftain for protection was encouraged. Greece was a series of small, isolated communities, clustering round a hilltop "big house". This period has also been called the "Age of Revolution", because after the slow recovery of the Dark Age, there came a sudden spurt or accelerated intellectual, cultural, economical and political efflorescence.
The alphabet was derived from Phoenician, but scholars differ as to when this has happened. Some say shortly before the earliest inscriptions -found on pottery ca. The latter do not accept an illiterate Dark Age. Phoenician attained its classical form ca. However, by there was unity in language and, to some extent, a culture throughout the Aegean world.
And in the same period as seagoing trade resurged ca. Thanks to the use of a viable, fully vowelized, Phoenician-derived alphabet rather than a restricted syllabary Linear Bliteracy became a fact. This paved the way for the "Greek Miracle" in sixth-century Ionia.
Government was based -through hereditary aristocracy- on landownership. He saw the world as a muddled, chaotic place where the only hope lay in working out man's right relations with the gods, his fellow men and his natural, barely controllable environment. Although Hesiod betrays nostalgia for the good old days, he knows that they are over.
Those who have no power to implement their wishes, must appeal to general principles.
Egypt and Greece Before Alexander
Hence, his morality is that of the underprivileged and his emphasis on the omnipotent Zeus, who bestows the gift of justice "dike". Shortly after Hesiod, we see the rise of lyric poetry which -in the fifth century- gave way to drama in choral form and to prose.
The idea of the polis emerged, but was characterized by the tension between rational progressivism and emotional conservatism, between civic ideals and ties of consanguinity, between blood-guilt and jury justice, between old religion and the new secularizing philosophy. Between - we also witness the rapidly developing emphasis on human concerns: From about onwards, the "tyrannoi" began to seize power in the city-states all over the Aegean world: They were an urban-based phenomenon and were eager to promote fresh colonizing ventures.
During this period, Greece's great revolution was brought to completion. The stiff, Egyptian stance of the male statues "kouroi" began to lose its hieratic formality.
Politically, the slow evolution of democratic government at Athens and the rise of Persia have to be noticed. The predominantly "scientific" interests associated with Miletus, gave way between and to a more mystically oriented movement, to which Pythagoras, Heracleitus and Xenophanes each contributed.
Between and all Greek history is dominated by the shadow of Persia, which contributed to finally establish the right of mainland Greece to persue its own way of life.
A mere handful of Greek states did stand out against the gigantism of the Persian Empire and the palace absolutism of the Near East. During this Archaic period, pre-Socratic philosophy developed. Athenian Imperialism - With the formation of the "Delian League", Athens broke away from the "Hellenic League", which had fought against Xerxes. InCimon took a large fleet to the eastern Mediterranean and routed Persia's forces.
The drift of new learning, both in the speculative as in other fields, was firmly anthropocentric. The gods were left out or replaced by exotic, enthusiastic and uncivic foreign cults. The Eleusinian Mysteries were an attempt to provide this trend with some official outlook. The Sophists emerged and pioneered the great liberal movement, criticized by Plato. InAthens at last surrendered to Sparta, and exchanged one despotism by another.
Decline of the polis - The next three decades, the isolationist, old-fashioned and autocratic Spartan government ruled, triggering the formation of an anti-Spartan coalition and Persia playing each side off against the other. Thebes and Athens were thrown into alliance, the latter breaking Sparta's hold on Greece.
This proved a mere repetition, but under a better leadership, of the Spartan experience. With the rise of Philip II of Macedoniathe whole picture changed, and in all organized resistance to Macedonia ceased.
With the death of his son, Alexander the Great a new era began namely Hellenism. The city-states vanished and became part of the new imperial rule. Chronological Table of the Aegean Bronze Age compared with Ancient Egypt This historical sketch of Ancient Greece presents us with a lot of dynamic players and is characterized by a lot of inner tensions and interactions with the environment invasions, migrations, colonizations.
Natural disasters, immigration, "Doric" invasions, Persian Wars, the Peloponnesian War and the Macedonian rule were primordial in the formation of the Greek mentality. This conflictual interpretation of the complexity of Greek culture explains the extraordinary cognitive reequilibrations which happened, before but especially after the Dark Age. This catastrophic evolution being the outer side of an inner, mental state of discontent.
Egypt–Greece relations - Wikipedia
It also shows the importance of cosmopolitanism, individualism, anthropocentrism and adaptability in the formation of the Greek cultural form and its rationality. Using another chronological order, five fundamental stages may be discerned Neolithic Age - BCE: This culture was palace-based. The Minoans reached their zenith between ca. Two scripts are attested: It was strongly influenced by Minoan protopalatial ending with the destruction of ca.
Eventually they conquered Crete ca. Dark Age - BCE: What happened with literacy during the Dark Age? It is more likely though their culture was oral. During these obscure centuries, Greek culture, as a form shared by all the inhabitants of Greece, was nonexistent. Fact is the Dorians had no written language of their own and did not use Linear B. Isolation and loss of skills characterized the period. About the religious practices, Snodgrass says that: We should not therefore doubt the possibility of their transmission through the dark age, simply because we cannot find proof of it in the material evidence.
Before the reemergence of writing in Ancient Greece at the end of the Dark Age ca. Hieroglyphic script on seals - Crete Lyttos A pictogram is the representation of a complete word not individual letters of phonemes directly by a picture of the object actually denoted.
This hieroglyphic script developed ca. It is called "hieroglyphic", because it resembles the signary of Old Egyptian. Vowels would be absent and the artistic, contextual placing of the signs would have played an important role.
The Minoans had no "cursive" form of hieroglyphic, mostly used for secular purposes in Egypt, this "hieratic" developed alongside hieroglyphic, starting ca. No linear B literature has yet been found The shape of these signs suggests an earlier development, but nothing can be said for sure. Most inscriptions were found in the south of Crete.
Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures
The script was primarily used -unlike the sacred Egyptian hieroglyphs- for administrative purposes. Linear A was in use when Egyptian had already entered its classical, so-called "Middle Egyptian" format. Linear A is not a Greek language.
Although phonograms may occur, Linear A is like the hieroglyphic script picture-based. It also appeared in religious contexts. A series of 87 signs are used. The basic syllabary consists of 60 biliteral signs. With these the phonetic value of words are written down. The basic syllabary is the combination of 5 vowels with 12 consonants. Linear B adds 16 optional signs and 11 signs are not yet identified. The optional signs are used to allow one to identify words more precisely or to represent two basic signs.
It is read from left to right. Archaeological evidence showed that Linear B was not used a lot in mainland Greece. No private use of the language has been discovered. It was deciphered by Ventris in Its inhabitants, the Phoenicians, were notable merchants, traders, and colonizers of the Mediterranean in the 1st millennium BCE. Its chief cities were Sidon, Tyre, and Berot modern Beirut. It is not certain what the Phoenicians called themselves in their own language.
It appears to have been "Kena'ani" Akkadian: The Phoenicians probably arrived in the area about BCE. Nothing is known of their original homeland, though some traditions place it in the region of the Persian Gulf. Extensive trade was certainly carried on by the 16th century, and the Egyptians soon established suzerainty over much of Phoenicia. The 14th century, however, was one of much political unrest, and Egypt eventually lost its hold over the area. Beginning in the 9th century, the independence of Phoenicia was increasingly threatened by the advance of Assyria, the kings of which several times exacted tribute and took control of parts or all of Phoenicia.
Aradus, Sidon, and Tyre, however, retained self-government. The oldest form of government in the Phoenician cities seems to have been kingship limited by the power of the wealthy merchant families. Federation of the cities on a large scale never seems to have occurred. The Phoenicians were well known to their contemporaries as sea traders and colonizers, and by the 2nd millennium they had already extended their influence along the coast of the Levant by a series of settlements, including Joppa Jaffa, modern YafoDor, Acre, and Ugarit.
Colonization of areas in North Africa like CarthageAnatolia, and Cyprus also occurred at an early date.Greek Philosophy is Stolen Egyptian Philosophy -- Space Baby Minute
Carthage became the chief maritime and commercial power in the western Mediterranean. Several smaller Phoenician settlements were planted as stepping stones along the route to Spain and its mineral wealth. Phoenician exports included cedar and pine wood, fine linen from Tyre, Byblos, and Berytos, cloths dyed with the famous Tyrian purple made from the snail Murexembroideries from Sidon, wine, metalwork and glass, glazed faience, salt, and dried fish.
In addition, the Phoenicians conducted an important transit trade. In the artistic products of Phoenicia, Egyptian motifs and ideas were mingled with those of Mesopotamia, the Aegean, and Syria. Though little survives of Phoenician sculpture, the round, relief sculpture is much more abundant. The earliest major work of Phoenician sculpture to survive was found at Byblos: Ivory and wood carving became Phoenician specialties, and Phoenician goldsmiths' and metalsmiths' work was also well known.
Although the Phoenicians used cuneiform Mesopotamian writingthey also produced a script of their own. The Phoenician alphabetic script of 22 letters appeared at Byblos ca. The inscription on the sarcophagus of Ahiram ca. This method of writing, later adopted by the Greeks, is the ancestor of the modern Roman alphabet.
It was the Phoenicians' most remarkable and distinctive contribution to arts and civilization. This writing system developed out of the North Semitic alphabet and was spread over the Mediterranean area by Phoenician traders.
It is the ancestor of the Greek alphabet and, hence, of all Western alphabets. The Phoenician alphabet gradually developed from this North Semitic prototype and was in use until about the 1st century BCE in Phoenicia proper, when the language was already being superceded by Aramaic. Phoenician colonial scripts, variants of the mainland Phoenician alphabet, are classified as Cypro-Phoenician 10th - 2nd century BCE and Sardinian ca. A third variety of the colonial Phoenician script evolved into the Punic and neo-Punic alphabets of Carthage, which continued to be written until about the 3rd century CE.
Punic was a monumental script and neo-Punic a cursive form. Punic was influenced throughout its history by the language of the Berbers and continued to be used by North African peasants until the 6th century CE. The Phoenician alphabet in all its variants changed from its North Semitic ancestor only in external form. The shapes of the letters varied a little in mainland Phoenician and a good deal in Punic and neo-Punic. The alphabet remained, however, essentially a Semitic alphabet of 22 letters, written from right to left, with only consonants represented and phonetic values unchanged from the North Semitic script.
Phoenician is very close to Hebrew and Moabite, with which it forms a Canaanite subgroup of the Northern Central Semitic languages. Phoenician words are found in Greek and Latin classical literature as well as in Egyptian, Akkadian, and Hebrew writings. Phoenician and Hebrew scripts, both monumental and cursive, were closely akin and developed along parallel lines.
Phoenician epigraphic material is far from impressive. Indeed, Phoenician, like Aramaic and Hebrew, was essentially a Semitic alphabet. It consisted of 22 letters, written from right to left, with only consonants. Semitic languages remained written from right to left, while archaic Greek inscription had both directions before fixating the opposite direction from left to right.
Moreover, the order of the letters was also fundamentally Phoenician, and the Hebrew meaning given to the individual letters corresponded with the Greek name for the letter: These unnecessary consonants were used to represent the vowels and two consonants, "tzaddi" and "qoph", were dropped. The "vau" was taken out of the Phoenician alphabetical order and added as "upsilon" at the end of the new Greek alphabet, together with four typical Greek sounds. This alphabetic system provided the Greeks ca.
The complete alphabet ensued: In all Ancient Semitic languages vowels were omitted. Map of the Eastern Mediterranean. This exchange left a visible mark particularly on Greek culture. Greek art, technology, religious ritual and also burial customs all now incorporated, to varying degrees, Egyptian elements; while some may have come to Greece through Phoenician mediation, others were occasioned by direct contact.
First-hand experience is most likely responsible notably for the creative adoption of Egyptian architectural and sculptural schemes and perhaps techniquessome of which became integral to local discourses of elite and civic competition: But in Egypt itself also, the time from the 7th century BC onwards is characterized by profound change, occasioned to a large degree by the growing contact with — and intermittent rule by — foreigners.
Contact and exchange between Egypt, Greece and other civilisations involved a range of different people and was played out on a variety of platforms. Military pacts, gift-giving and guest-friendships, immigration and migrant work, translocal elites, traders, aristocratic travellers, mercenaries, sailors, craftsmen, wives and courtesans, translators and administrators — all played their part in Eastern Mediterranean networks of contact and exchange.
On the Greek side, Aigina and Athens, Sparta, but especially and particularly at the beginning the Eastern Aegean cities — such as Miletos, Samos, Phokaia and the cities on the island of Rhodes — were heavily involved, along with the Carians.
So, too, were the major powers in their hinterland, Lydia and later Persia, as well as the cities of Cyprus and the Phoenician and Levantine coastland. All this was played out against, and ultimately depended on, the larger historical and economic constellations and events of the time — from the reshaping of the political map of the Eastern Mediterranean following the collapse of the Assyrian kingdom in the late 7th century BCto the Persian conquest of much of East Greece and Egypt in the later 6th to early 5th centuries BC, the rise of Macedon, the creation of the Ptolemaic dynasty and the formation and ultimate collapse of the Roman empire.
Samian transport amphora, 6th century BC, found at Naukratis. British Museum, GRHence we find Egyptian products and trinkets — present already in small numbers since the 9th century BC — increasingly infiltrating Greece and the wider Mediterranean world, notably in the shape of the small amulets mentioned above. Within Egypt, the most prominent archaeological traces of contact are Greek, Phoenician and Cypriot trade amphorae — imported wine being a commodity much appreciated by Egyptians.
They are found throughout the Nile Delta and Upper Egypt, from the mid to late 7th century onwards, and go together well with a note in Diodorus 1.
Many came to Egypt for war: Archaeologically, we can sometimes catch a glimpse of them in Egypt through their burials, the votives they dedicate inscribed with their names in sanctuaries of Egyptian gods in Egypt, or, following their return, the Egyptian objects they offered to the Greek gods in Greece Vittmann ; U.