History of Ancient Egypt. George Rawlinson

1883 The Old Testament Student  
All publications received, which relate directly or indirectly to the Old Testament, will be promptly noticed under this head. Attention will not be confined to new books; but notices will be given, so far as possible, of such old books, in this department of study, as may be of general interest to pastors and students.] HISTORY OF ANCIENT EGYPT.* The modest preface with which the distinguished author introduces these handsome volumes to the reader, almost disarms the critic in advance. He
more » ... s for his work not the palm of original investigations into the sources of Egyptian history but only the merit of a careful collation of the most reliable translations of original documents with the latest monographs and general works relating to this subject. But such a service as this in a field as recondite as it is interesting, which is continually unfolding new treasures, is by no means of slight value. While the work on account of the progressive state of our knowledge of Egyptian antiquity will have to be continually undergoing revision, it may be confidently recommended as the best manual attainable in the English tongue at the present day. In the words of the author the work is "designed to supply an account of Ancient Egypt, combining its antiquities with its history, addressed partly to the eye, and presenting to the reader, within a reasonable compass, the chief points of Egyptian life, together with a tolerably full statement of the general course of historical events, whereof Egypt was the scene, from the foundation of the monarchy to the loss of independence." According to this plan, there are considered in the first volume such general topics as the Land, Climate and Productions, the People, their Language and Literature, their Art, Architecture, Science, Religion, Manners and Customs. The second volume, after an introductory chapter on Chronology, is entirely occupied with the history proper, closing with the Persian conquest. It may be remarked that, 1. While many ideas are conveyed to the reader, a general impression of unity of plan and treatment is wanting. It may be too early for us to expect a philosophical treatment of Egyptian life and history. Yet no historian should fail to bring out the essential meaning which lies in the history of any nation. The relation of Egypt to the ancient world, a topic of the greatest interest and importance, fails in these volumes to obtain anything like an adequate treatment. 2. Professor Rawlinson has confined himself strictly to the narration of the facts of the history and life of ancient Egypt. With this feature of his work, as might be expected, little fault can be found. The text is amply illustrated by a map of Egypt, nine full-page plates and two hundred fifty-three wood-cuts, most of which are excellently executed. Hardly any aspect of the life, manners and customs, or religion, remains unillustrated. A list of authors quoted and a copious index will be of value to students. 3. Those who come to these volumes with the expectation of finding discussions of the relations between Israel and Egypt will be disappointed. The author * History of Ancient Egypt. By GEORGE RAWLINSON, M. A., Camden Professor of Ancient History in the University of Oxford. In two volumes, pp. 550, 567, with maps, plates and wood-cuts.
doi:10.1086/469358 fatcat:cyuxrrvcuzgqfol2ksthwphccu