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Encyclopedia > Egypt in the European imagination

Egypt in the European imagination has loomed large from the very first written texts in the Greek and Hebrew traditions. Egypt was already immemorially ancient to outsiders, and the idea of Egypt as a figment of the European imagination has continued to be at least as influential in the history of ideas as the actual historical Egypt itself. All Egyptian culture was transmitted through the lens of Hellenistic conceptions of it, until the decipherment of Egyptian hieroglyphics by Champollion in the 1820s. 11th century manuscript of the Hebrew Bible with Targum Hebrew Bible refers to the common portions of the Jewish and Christian canons. ... The history of ideas is a field of research in history and related fields dealing with the expression, preservation, and change of human ideas over time. ... The term Hellenistic (established by the German historian Johann Gustav Droysen) in the history of the ancient world is used to refer to the shift from a culture dominated by ethnic Greeks, however scattered geographically, to a culture dominated by Greek-speakers of whatever ethnicity, and from the political dominance... Jean_François Champollion For the comet rendezvous spacecraft, see Champollion (spacecraft). ...


After Late Antiquity, Egypt became purely the land of a royal individual named "Pharaoh" who oppressed the Hebrews. Pharaoh (פַּרְעֹה, Standard Hebrew Parʿo, Tiberian Hebrew Parʿōh) is a title used to refer to the kings (of godly status) in ancient Egypt. ...


The revival of curiosity about the Antique world, seen through written documents, spurred the publication of a collection of Greek texts that had been assembled in Late Antiquity, which were published as the corpus of works of Hermes Trismegistus. But the broken ruins that appeared in settings of the newly prominent iconic episode of the "Rest on the Flight into Egypt" were always of Roman character. Hermes Trismegistus (Latin for Hermes the thrice-greatest, Greek: Ερμης ο Τρισμεγιστος) is the syncretism of the Greek god Hermes and the Egyptian Thoth. ...

Contents


18th century

The 18th century witnessed the rise of a first authentically historicist imagination, one that attempted to picture the cultures of the distant past as truly different in kind, not merely in curious detail and superstitious idolatry. In an atmosphere of antiquarian interest, a sense arose that ancient knowledge was somehow embodied in Egyptian monuments and lore, an Egyptian imagery pervaded the Freemasonry and its imagery, such as they eye of the pyramid, still depicted, with the masonic "Novus Ordo Seclorum", on the Great Seal of the United States (1782), represented on the American dollar bill, and the solemn Egyptianizing flimflam of Mozart's The Magic Flute (1791). Historicism has developed different and divergent, though loosely related, meanings. ... the Square and Compasses Freemasonry is a worldwide fraternal organization. ... The phrase Novus Ordo Seclorum (Latin for New Order of the Ages or New Order for the Ages) was originally a motto of the Freemasonry, appears on the reverse of the Great Seal of the United States, first publicly revealed in 1782 and printed on the back of the American... Obverse The Great Seal of the United States is used to authenticate certain documents issued by the United States government. ... Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (January 27, 1756 – December 5, 1791) was one of the most significant and influential of all composers of Western classical music. ... Die Zauberflöte (English title: The Magic Flute) is an opera in two acts by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, with libretto in German by Emanuel Schikaneder. ...


With historicism came the first fictions set in the Egypt of the imagination. Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra had been set partly in Alexandria, but its protagonists were noble and universal, and Shakespeare had not been concerned to evoke local color. Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... Antony and Cleopatra is a historical tragedy by William Shakespeare, first performed in 1607 or 1608 and printed in the First Folio, 1623. ...

The American John Martin's "Seventh Plague of Egypt" (1828) sets the Biblical plague in the Hellenistic harbor of Alexandria, in a widely popular engraving
The American John Martin's "Seventh Plague of Egypt" (1828) sets the Biblical plague in the Hellenistic harbor of Alexandria, in a widely popular engraving

The culture of Romanticism embraced every exotic locale, and its rise in the popular imagination happened to coincide with Napoleon's failed Egyptian campaign. A modern "Battle of the Nile" could hardly fail to stire renewed curiosity about Egypt beyond the figure of Cleopatra. At virtually the same moment the Tarot captured the imagination of the Frenchman Antoine Court de Gebelin who brought them to European attention, giving them occult and mystical qualities, which could best be expressed by attributing to them the keys of the occult knowledge of Egypt. John Martin, engraving The Seventh Plague of Egypt (1828) The two-dimensional work of art depicted in this image is in the public domain in the United States and in those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years. ... John Martin, engraving The Seventh Plague of Egypt (1828) The two-dimensional work of art depicted in this image is in the public domain in the United States and in those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years. ... Several people have the name John Martin: John Martin, English painter of the early 19th century. ... Romanticism - Wikipedia /**/ @import /skins/monobook/IE50Fixes. ... Bonaparte as general Napoleon Bonaparte ( 15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a general of the French Revolution and was the ruler of France as First Consul (Premier Consul) of the French Republic from November 11, 1799 to May 18, 1804, then as Emperor of the French (Empereur des Français... The Battle of the Nile, also known as the Battle of Aboukir Bay, was an important naval battle of the French Revolutionary Wars between a British fleet commanded by Rear-Admiral Horatio Nelson and a French fleet under Vice-Admiral François-Paul Brueys DAigalliers. ... Cleopatra Cleopatra VII Philopator (December, 70 BC or January, 69 BC–August 12?, 30 BC) was queen of ancient Egypt. ... This is about the system of images on cards and the associated divination procedures; see Tarot (game) for the traditional French card game. ... Antoine Court who named himself Antoine Court de Gébelin ( ca. ...


19th century

On the most popular 19th century level, all of ancient Egypt was reduced in the European imagination to the Nile, the Pyramids and The Sphinx in a setting of sand, characterized on a more literary level in Shelley's "Ozymandias" (1818): The Nile in Egypt Length 6 695 km Elevation of the source 1 134 m Average discharge 2 830 m³/s Area watershed 3 400 000 km² Origin Africa Mouth the Mediterranean Basin countries Uganda - Sudan - Egypt The Nile (Arabic: النيل an-nīl), in Africa, is one of the two... The pyramids of Egypt, some of which are among the largest man-made constructions ever conceived [1], constitute one of the most potent and enduring symbols of Ancient Egyptian civilisation. ... The Great Sphinx of Giza, with the Pyramid of Khafre in the background. ... Percy Bysshe Shelley Percy Bysshe Shelley (August 4, 1792 – July 8, 1822) was one of the major English Romantic poets. ... OZYMANDIAS of EGYPT I met a traveller from an antique land Who said:—Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert. ...

round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Ancient Egypt provided the setting for Verdi's stately tragedy Aida, commissioned by the Europeanized Khedive for premiere in Cairo. Giuseppe Verdi, by Giovanni Boldini, 1886 (National Gallery of Modern Art, Rome) Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi (October 10, 1813 – January 27, 1901) was one of the great composers of Italian opera. ... Aida is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Antonio Ghislanzoni, based on a story by Auguste Mariette. ... Khedive (from Persian for lord) was a title created in 1867 by the Ottoman Sultan Abd-ul-Aziz for the then-governor of Egypt, Ismail Pasha. ...


Near the end of the century Pharaoh was published, a historical novel by Bolesław Prus, relating to the fall of the Twentieth Dynasty and the New Kingdom). Pharaoh (Polish: Faraon) is the fourth and last of the major novels by Bolesław Prus. ... An historical novel is a novel in which the story is set among historical events, or more generally, where the time the action takes place in predates the lifetime of the author -- distinguish and contrast the alternate history genre. ... Bolesław Prus. ... History of Ancient Egypt, Twentieth Dynasty The Twentieth Dynasty was founded by Setnakhte, but its only important member was Rameses III, who modelled his career after Rameses II the Great. ... The New Kingdom period of Egyptian history is the period between the 16th century BC and the 11th century BC, covering the Eighteenth, Nineteenth, and Twentieth dynasty of Egypt. ...


20th century

Nefertiti (Egyptian Museum, Berlin)
Nefertiti (Egyptian Museum, Berlin)

In 1912, the discovery of an exquisite painted limestone bust of Nefertiti, unearthed from its sculptor's workshop near the royal retreat of Amarna, added the first new celebrity of Egypt. The bust, now in Berlin's Egyptian Museum became so famous through the medium of photography that it became the most familiar, most copied work of ancient Egyptian sculpture; Nefertiti's strong-featured profile was a major influence on the new ideals of feminine beauty of the 20th century. Download high resolution version (503x747, 95 KB)Bust of Nefertiti from Egyptian Museum Berlin File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Download high resolution version (503x747, 95 KB)Bust of Nefertiti from Egyptian Museum Berlin File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Nefertiti was the wife of the Egyptian Pharaoh Amenhotep IV (later Akhenaten), and mother-in-law of the Pharaoh Tutankhamun. ... Nefertiti was the wife of the Egyptian Pharaoh Amenhotep IV (later Akhenaten), and mother-in-law of the Pharaoh Tutankhamun. ... A bust is bust: a sculpture depicting a persons chest, shoulders, and head, usually supported by a stand. ... Bust of Nefertiti, Ägyptisches Museum The Egyptian Museum of Berlin (German: Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung) is home to one of the worlds most important collections of Ancient Egyptian artefacts. ...


The discovery of the unlooted tomb of Tutankhamun in 1922 introduced a new Ancient Egyptian celebrity to join Nefertiti, as "King Tut". Aside from its spectacular treasures, which influenced the design vocabulary of Art Deco, for many years, popular rumors of a "curse", probably fueled by tabloid newspapers at the time of the discovery, have persisted, selecting the early death of some of those who had first entered the tomb. However, a recent study of journals and death records indicates no statistical difference between the age of death of those who entered the tomb and those on the expedition who did not. Indeed, most lived past 70. Gold burial mask of Tutankhamun found in the young kings tomb, excavated by Howard Carter in 1922. ... Nefertiti was the wife of the Egyptian Pharaoh Amenhotep IV (later Akhenaten), and mother-in-law of the Pharaoh Tutankhamun. ... Asheville City Hall. ... If you say so, King Tut The Curse of the Pharaohs refers to the belief that any person who disturbs the mummy of an Ancient Egyptian pharaoh is placed under a curse whereby they will shortly die. ... Statistics, or data analysis, is the science and practice of developing knowledge through the use of empirical data expressed in quantitative form. ...


Hollywood's Egypt is America's second contribution to the Egypt of the imagination (see the Book of Abraham); the spectacle of Egypt climaxed in sequences of Cecil B. deMille's The Ten Commandments (1956) and Jeanne Crain as Nefertiti in the Cinecittà 1961 Italian motion picture production of Queen of the Nile but collapsed with the failure of Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra (1963), the last serious cinematic Egyptian extravaganza. The Book of Abraham is a text originally published by Joseph Smith, Jr. ... Cecil Blount DeMille (August 12, 1881 - January 21, 1959) was one of the most successful filmmakers during the first half of the 20th century. ... This article is about the list of religious and moral imperatives. ... Jeanne Crain Jeanne Crain (May 25, 1925 - December 14, 2003) was an American actress. ... Cinecittà is a large film studio in Rome in Italy. ... For other uses see film (disambiguation) Film refers to the celluliod media on which movies are printed Film — also called movies, the cinema, the silver screen, moving pictures, photoplays, picture shows, flicks, or motion pictures, — is a field that encompasses motion pictures as an art form or as part of... This article is about the 20th-century actor. ... Elizabeth Taylor Elizabeth Taylor (born February 27, 1932) is an English-born Academy Award winning actress. ... Cleopatra is the name of several movies about the last Egyptian queen of the same name. ...


Tutankhamun has also been commemorated in the whimsical song "King Tut" by comedian Steve Martin. A comedian (also comedienne, female) is a person who attempts to make people laugh through a variety of methods, normally through joke telling, or a stream of funny banter. ... Steve Martin (right) with Scooter, on The Muppet Show Stephen Glenn Martin (born August 14, 1945) is an American comedian, writer, producer, actor, musician and composer born in Waco, Texas and raised in Orange County, California. ...


A best-selling series of novels by Christian Jacq is inspired by the life of pharaoh Ramses II. Christian Jacq (born 1947) is a French author and Egyptologist. ... Ramesses II, Abu Simbel Ramesses II (also known as Ramesses the Great and alternatively transcribed as Ramses and Rameses) was an Egyptian pharaoh. ...


21th century

See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
European Religions (1795 words)
Jewish communities in Egypt were Hellenized under Alexander the Great in the 4th Century BCE, Greek replacing Aramaic as their language, and some Jews formed communities in Greece.
Egypt fell soon after, and the first Muslim incursions into Europe began with the invasions of Spain in 711 and the establishment of an independent Muslim state there in 750.
Though the classical religions of the Mediterranean - Egypt, Greece and Rome - had been well documented, with written records from ancient times and temples being self-evident, this was not the case in Northern Europe; written documentation is rare and places of worship seem to have been in natural surroundings rather than buildings.
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