(p.207) Guide to Further Reading
(p.207) Guide to Further Reading
The literature on ancient Egypt is manifold—and of distinctly mixed quality. In particular, most ‘popular’ works lag a long way behind current research, and often state as ‘fact’ theories that have been discredited since the 1960s, or even earlier. There are also reprints of very old works that are of only antiquarian interest—although dressed up in smart new covers giving little indication of their vintage. That is not to say that all modern scholarly books and articles are significantly better! The international nature of the subject also means that many fundamental works are only available in non-English languages and/or difficult-to-find periodicals.
For more or less exhaustive digests of information there are two relatively modern encyclopedias: K.A. Bard, ed., Encyclopedia of the Archaeology of Ancient Egypt (London: Routledge, 1999), in one volume; and D.B. Redford, ed., Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), in three. Much more concise is I. Shaw and P. Nicholson, British Museum Dictionary of Ancient Egypt, 2nd edition (London: British Museum Press, 2008). Rather more detailed, with a rather different scope, is A.B. Lloyd, ed., Companion to Ancient Egypt (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010). Among the vast number of ‘coffee table’ books on ancient Egypt, by far one of the best is R. Schulz and M. Seidel, eds., Egypt: World of the Pharaohs (Cologne: Könemann, 1998).
The guide below focuses almost exclusively on book-length publications in English that are primarily concerned with on Egyptian history, which should be at worst orderable from public libraries. Most contain bibliographies that will allow the interested person to follow up the more specialist literature.
There remains a dearth of good, up-to-date general histories of Egypt. Two of the better ones are I. Shaw, ed., The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), and B.G. Trigger, B.J. Kemp, D. O’Connor, and A.B. Lloyd, Ancient Egypt: A Social History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983), which, although rather old, takes a rather different approach from most such works. There are many much older books which, while still having some value, should be approached with care, given the massive changes seen in some areas of our understanding of the detail of Egyptian history; this also applies to much of the Cambridge Ancient History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1970–2005). A genealogical history of the royal families is A. Dodson and D. Hilton, Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt (London: Thames and Hudson, 2004, corrected reprint 2010).
There are a number of digests that include the most important historical texts; J.H. Breasted, Ancient Records of Egypt, 5 vols. (1905; reprinted Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2001) is outdated, but is the only generally available comprehensive source in English. A selection of texts is, however, included in M. Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature, 3 vols. (Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 1975–80), and W.K. Simpson, ed., The Literature of Ancient Egypt (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1973).
A view of developments in Egyptological research, aimed at the non-specialist, is available in the quarterly magazine Kmt: A Modern Journal of Egyptology. There is also Egyptian Archaeology, published by London’s Egypt Exploration Society, which covers the most recent events in the subject. The same organization also publishes the much ‘heavier’ Journal of Egyptian Archaeology. In the United States, the latter’s approximate equivalent is the Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt, based in New York and Cairo while more specialised is the Journal of Egyptian History (Leiden: Brill). There is also a wide range of specialist journals in the various European languages, in particular French and German, although most are now to a greater or lesser degree multilingual in their selection of articles.
Frequent mentions are made in the text to the burial places of the kings of Egypt. An overall summary is provided by A. Dodson, The Royal Tombs of Ancient Egypt (Barnsley: Pen and Sword, 2016), with more detailed basic sources for the pyramids of the Old and Middle Kingdoms (and the Twenty-fifth Dynasty) given under chapters 4 and 5; New Kingdom and later sepulchers are covered in, among others, (p.209) E. Hornung, The Valley of the Kings: Horizon of Eternity (New York, NY: Timken, 1990); C.N. Reeves and R.H. Wilkinson, Complete Valley of the Kings (London: Thames & Hudson, 1996); K. Weeks and R.H. Wilkinson, eds., Oxford Handbook of the Valley of the Kings (New York: Oxford University Press, 2015).
For basic information on the archaeological sites of Egypt, one still cannot better J. Baines and J. Malek, (Cultural) Atlas of Ancient Egypt (various publishers, 1980 onwards).
Chapters 1 and 2
The geography, culture, and ‘daily life’ of ancient Egypt have been covered by many books. Probably the best generally available book on life in the Nile Valley in pharaonic times remains T.G.H. James, Pharaoh’s People (London: Bodley Head/Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984), but B. Merz, Red Land, Black Land, 2nd edition (New York, NY: William Morrow, 2008) is both informative and highly entertaining. On pharaonic titulary and related matters, see S. Quirke, Who Were the Pharaohs? (London: British Museum Press, 1990) and R. Leprohon, The Great Name: Ancient Egyptian Royal Titulary (Atlanta, GA: Society of Biblical Literature, 2013).
Going into more detail, for an analysis of what made ancient Egypt ‘tick,’ one cannot do better than read B.J. Kemp, Ancient Egypt: Anatomy of a Civilization, both first and second editions—the latter complements, rather than supersedes, the former (London: Routledge, 1989, 2005). Aspects of agriculture, irrigation, and the like are covered by K.W. Butzer, Early Hydraulic Civilization in Egypt: A Study in Cultural Ecology (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1976).
Two of the best works on Egyptian religion remain S. Quirke, Ancient Egyptian Religion (London: British Museum Press, 1992) and E. Hornung, Conceptions of God in Ancient Egypt (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1983), the latter being a real attempt to understand the true meaning of some of the Egyptians’ beliefs.
The earliest years of Egypt are covered conveniently by B. Midant-Reynes, The Prehistory of Egypt (Oxford: Blackwell, 2000); M.A. Hoffman, Egypt before the Pharaohs (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1979)—now becoming obsolete; and T.A.H. Wilkinson, Early Dynastic Egypt (London: Routledge, 1999).
(p.210) Chapters 4 and 5
The era of the pyramid builders is usually approached from the point of view of their funerary monuments—inevitably, given the paucity of other sources of information. Basic works are: I.E.S. Edwards, The Pyramids of Egypt, 3rd edition (London: Penguin, 1985); A. Fakhry, The Pyramids, 2nd edition (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1969); M. Lehner, The Complete Pyramids (London: Thames & Hudson, 1997); M. Verner, The Pyramids: The Mystery, Culture, and Science of Egypt’s Great Monuments (New York, NY: Grove/Atlantic, 2001); A. Dodson, The Pyramids of Ancient Egypt (London: New Holland, 2003).
A pioneering history of the fall of the Fourth Dynasty and of the succeeding Fifth Dynasty is M. Verner’s Sons of the Sun: Rise and Decline of the Fifth Dynasty (Prague: Czech Institute of Egyptology, 2015). The material culture of the time as a whole is covered by the exhibition catalogue, Egyptian Art in the Age of the Pyramids (New York, NY: Abrams, 1999), with J. Malek and W. Forman’sIn the Shadow of the Pyramids (Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 1986) a good general work. The nobility and bureaucracy of the Old Kingdom are covered by N. Strudwick, The Administration of the Old Kingdom (London: Kegan Paul International, 1985), with the Fifth/Sixth Dynasty troubles covered in N. Kanawati, Conspiracies in the Egyptian Palace: Unis to Pepy I (London: Routledge, 2002). Original texts are translated in N. Strudwick, Texts from the Pyramid Age (Atlanta, GA: Society of Biblical Literature, 2005).
Chapters 6 and 7
The First Intermediate Period and the Middle Kingdom are poorly served by readily accessible literature, although two good sources by W. Grajetzki are The Middle Kingdom of Ancient Egypt: History, Archaeology and Society (London: Duckworth, 2006) and Court Officials of the Egyptian Middle Kingdom (London: Duckworth, 2009). Also useful are the exhibition catalogues, J.D. Bourriau, Pharaohs and Mortals: Egyptian Art in the Middle Kingdom (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988) and G. Robins, ed., Beyond the Pyramids: Egyptian Regional Art from the Museo Egizio, Turin (Atlanta, GA: Emory University Museum, 1991). A collection of papers covering certain aspects of the period is to be found in S. Quirke, ed., Middle Kingdom Studies (New Malden: Sia Publications, 1991), with foreign connections of the First Intermediate Period covered by W.A. Ward, Egypt and the East Mediterranean World 2200–1900 bc (Beirut: American University of Beirut, 1971). H.E. Winlock’sRise and Fall of the Middle (p.211) Kingdom at Thebes (New York, NY: Macmillan, 1947) remains good for the first part of the period. Absolutely fundamental for the Thirteenth Dynasty and the following period are K. Ryholt’sThe Political Situation in Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period (Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press, 1997) and M. Marée, ed., The Second Intermediate Period (Thirteenth–Seventeenth Dynasties): Current Research, Future Prospects (Leuven: Peeters, 2010).
The background to, and aftermath of, the wars against the Hyksos are best given (with differing interpretations) by Ryholt, just above, and D.B. Redford, Egypt, Canaan and Israel in Ancient Times (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1992), while Ahmose I’s campaigns are covered by Cl. Vandersleyen, Les guerres d’Amosis (Brussels: Fondation Égyptologique Reine Élisabeth, 1971). A new study on the Seventeenth/Eighteenth Dynasty transition is in preparation by D. Polz for the American University in Cairo Press.
Thutmose III and Hatshepsut’s period of joint reign and the various problems associated with it are fully covered by P.F. Dorman, The Monuments of Senenmut (London: Kegan Paul International, 1988); a popular biography of the female king is K.A. Cooney’sThe Woman Who Would Be King: Hatshepsut’s Rise to Power in Ancient Egypt (London: Crown, 2014). More factually grounded is J. Tyldesley’sHatchepsut: The Female Pharaoh (London: Penguin, 1998).
The career of Thutmose III himself is covered by E.H. Cline and D. O’Connor, eds., Thutmose III: A New Biography (Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2006), his wars in D.B. Redford, The Asiatic Wars of Thutmose III (Leiden: Brill, 2003), while the reigns of his immediate successors are covered by A. Dodson, Amarna Sunrise (Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2014). Original texts are translated in B. Cumming and B.G. Davies, Egyptian Historical Records of the Later Eighteenth Dynasty (Warminster: Aris and Phillips, 1982–84, 1992–95).
The Amarna Period is replete with problems, and almost every writer has produced different conclusions concerning each of them. Key areas of dispute remain as to whether or not Amenhotep III and Akhenaten (p.212) ruled together, the identity and dating of the reigns of Smenkhkare and Neferneferuaten, and broader family relationships, to name but three. The overall period down to the middle of the reign of Akhenaten is covered in A. Dodson, Amarna Sunrise, above (including an assessment of reported DNA analyses), with the remainder of his reign down to the end of the Eighteenth Dynasty in Dodson, Amarna Sunset (Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2009). Older studies on Amenhotep III’s reign are the exhibition catalogue, A.P. Kozloff and B.M. Bryan, Egypt’s Dazzling Sun: Amenhotep III and His World (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1992), and D.B. O’Connor and E.H. Cline, eds., Amenhotep III: Perspectives on His Reign (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1998). Two older views of Akhenaten’s reign, pro- and anti-coregency, are given by C. Aldred, Akhenaten, King of Egypt (London: Thames & Hudson, 1988), and D.B. Redford, Akhenaten, the Heretic King (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1984). The exhibition catalogues R. Freed et al., eds., Pharaohs of the Sun: Akhenaten, Nefertiti and Tutankhamen (Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 1999) and F. Seyfried, ed., In the Light of Amarna: 100 Years of the Nefertiti Discovery (Berlin: Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussamlung, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, 2012) are also useful. For many years, the easiest accessible work on Tutankhamun has been the much-reprinted C. Desroches-Noblecourt, Tutankhamen (London: Rainbird, 1963); this is, however, now sadly dated; a new study by N. Kawai is in preparation for the American University in Cairo Press; the king’s tomb and his reign are summarized by N. Reeves’sComplete Tutankhamun (London: Thames & Hudson, 1990).
Chapters 11 and 12
Fundamental for the early Nineteenth Dynasty is P. Brand, The Monuments of Seti I (Leiden: Brill, 2000), while K.A. Kitchen, Pharaoh Triumphant (Warminster: Aris and Phillips, 1982) is old, but still the best overall treatment of the reign of Rameses II; useful for the background to Rameses II’s wars is W.J. Murnane, The Road to Kadesh, 2nd edition (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1990). The troubles surrounding the end of the Nineteenth Dynasty are covered by A. Dodson, Poisoned Legacy (Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2010). Original ancient texts of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Dynasty are comprehensively published in English in K.A. Kitchen, Ramesside Inscriptions Translated and Annotated (Oxford: Blackwell, 1993–2014).
(p.213) Chapters 13, 14, and 15
Rameses III is the subject of P. Grandet, Ramsès III: histoire d’un règne (Paris: Pygmalion/Gérard Watelet, 1993), E.H. Cline and D. O’Connor, eds., Ramesses III: The Life and Times of Egypt’s Last Hero (Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2010), and S. Redford, The Harem Conspiracy: The Murder of Ramesses III (DeKalb, IL: Northern Illinois University Press, 2002); while the events surrounding the Sea Peoples’ invasion are treated in E.H. Cline, 1177 b.c.: The Year Civilization Collapsed (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2014).
Rameses IV is the subject of A.J. Peden, The Reign of Ramesses IV (Warminster: Aris & Phillips, 1994). For the later Ramesides and all kings of the Third Intermediate Period, the classic study remains K.A. Kitchen,The Third Intermediate Period in Egypt, 3rd edition (Warminster: Aris and Phillips, 1996); however, many of its conclusions have been challenged by more recent scholarship, with A. Dodson, Afterglow of Empire (Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2012) representing a digest of current views and areas of debate. The key original texts of the Third Intermediate Period are translated, with notes as to their historical context, in R.A. Ritner, The Libyan Anarchy: Inscriptions from Egypt’s Third Intermediate Period (Atlanta, GA: Society of Biblical Literature, 2009).
The Nubian kings and their origins are dealt with by R. Morkot, The Black Pharaohs (London: Rubicon, 2000), with a number of new interpretations; they are also extensively discussed by Kitchen, Third Intermediate Period, and Dodson, Afterglow of Empire. A large-scale work on the whole of Nubian history is W.Y. Adams, Nubia: Corridor to Africa (London: Allen Lane, 1984)—old but still useful.
Chapters 17 and 18
The last native rulers of Egypt, and the interposing Persian rulers, are covered in English by A.B. Lloyd’s chapter of Ancient Egypt: A Social History, his Herodotus Book II, Commentary 1–98 (Leiden: Brill, 1976), and in the Cambridge Ancient History. On the military side of the Twenty-sixth Dynasty, see K. Smoláriková, Saite Forts in Egypt (Prague: Czech Institute of Egyptology, 2008). For a new study on the Saite and Late Periods, see D. Klotz, From Ashurbanipal to Alexander: Ancient Egypt during the Late Period (c. 672–342 BC) (Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2016).
The Ptolemaic Period is covered by G. Höbl, A History of the Ptolemaic Empire (London: Routledge, 2001), while the later history of ancient Egypt, as part of the Roman world, may be traced from that direction in many works, in particular the Cambridge Ancient History; a good bibliography is included in A.K. Bowman’s cultural survey, Egypt after the Pharaohs (London: British Museum Publications, 1986). Byzantine (Coptic) and later Egypt are covered by a vast range of publications, beyond the scope of this book.