Friday, June 26, 2009

New Book: The Pharaohs

The University of Manchester
The Pharaohs by Dr Joyce Tyldesley, Quercus History

Egypt was the best place to live in the ancient world, according to ‘The Pharaohs’, a new book that gives a full but straightforward and colourful account of life there from 3100 BC to 30 BC.
Isis, Queen of the Gods

“The River Nile flooded every year, making the land very fertile, so there was always food,” author Dr Joyce Tyldesley explains.

“The peasants were worked hard but they didn’t have a bad life. Women had better rights than other civilizations – they could own property, live alone, raise children by themselves. The elite lived luxurious lives; they had country estates complete with bathrooms, and well-decorated tombs.

“The ancient Egyptians pitied people who lived in other lands.”

They had some problems – low level diseases such as bilharzia (a worm that lives in the gut, making the host feel unwell if not seriously ill) and respiratory problems from breathing in sand and fire smoke from cooking and lighting were common. Many women died in childbirth.

And the Pharaohs themselves, despite being semi divine, the country’s high priest, leader of the army and head of the civil service, faced many thorny political battles to lead or even just survive. At least two were murdered by ambitious wives and sons, one prostituted his daughter and another was proclaimed a heretic and his reign erased from official history.

See the above page for the full story.

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