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Upper Egypt--Lower Egypt

 
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Osiris II
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Joined: 13 Mar 2004
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Location: Long Beach, CA

PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2004 8:10 pm    Post subject: Upper Egypt--Lower Egypt Reply with quote

I found the following on another board I visit, and thought the KTO members might be interested in reading it.
Upper Egypt, Lower Egypt
Greater Egypt, Lesser Egypt

The kingdom of Upper Egypt was and remains to this day more distinctively Egyptian than that of Lower Egypt (the Delta). In fact, Lower Egypt never really mattered in Egyptian history until the low period, when Egyptian civilization was in decline.

The attitude of Upper Egyptians towards Lower Egypt can best be illustrated in the Story of Sinuhe ("Son of the sycamore tree), thought by many to be history's first novel. http://www.geocities.com/wally_mo/sinuhe.html

When Sinuhe reflects on two occasions as to why he fled Kemet, he says,
"As for this flight made by this servant, it was not planned, it was not in my heart, I did not plot it. I do not know what separated me from my place, it was like a dream. It is as if a Delta-man saw himself in Abu ("The Elephant"; Elephantine/Upper Egypt), a marsh-man in the Land of the Bow(Nubia)."
It is in Upper Egypt, from the beginning, that the successive stages of Ancient Egyptian civilization took place.
It is also from Upper Egypt, from Nekhen, that the process of political unification was begun and ultimately achieved by the Pharaoh Narmer.
More remarkably, after centuries of foreign domination and invasions, the Egyptian population of Upper Egypt has essentially remained ethnically the same as it was during the days of Pharaonic Egypt, especially among the Upper Egyptian fellaheen. Unlike the Delta, where the influx of Asiatics, from the time that the Delta became inhabitable to the present day, has constantly and consistently changed the ethnic makeup of the Egyptians of this region.
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Si-amun
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Joined: 02 Jul 2004
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2004 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Delta did not matter? What about Pi-Ramsses, in the Delta. Or Bubastis, in the Delta. Or Tanis, in the Delta. The Delta was equally important to the Egyptians to Upper Egypt. Egypt was ruled from the Delta for literally hundreds of years. (Hyksos in Avaris, Ramsses in Pi-Ramsses and the later Rammsides in Tanis). Not to mention the fact that the Ptolemaic capital, centre of Egyptian government for over three centuries was on the northern coastline, in Lower Egypt. The Delta was symbolicaly half of Egypt, without the Delta then the King was not Lord of the Two lands, he could not properly wear his double crown. I always thought that the Delta was just as important as the South. In fact it was the Southern capital of Thebes that rose out of troubled times, (second intermediate period), when the Delta was occupied by the Hyksos. The Delta provided a hell of a lot a grain to the South, as well as having many many important cities such as Bubastis, Sais, Tanis, Pi-Ramsses, Avaris and Alexandria. To say that the Delta was unimportant is to neglect history almost completely.
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Sekhmet
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Joined: 20 Feb 2004
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Location: Rome, Georgia USA

PostPosted: Sun Jul 11, 2004 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi again Si-Amun, and to you Orisis II,

I happen to agree with your sources Orisis II. i have mine own that indicate more or the less the same about Lower Egypt.

Toby A.H. Wilkinson in his book Early Dynastic Egypt writes that Upper Egypt provided its inhabitants with plenty enough grain in ancient times. What was the true importance of Lower Egypt to the traditional ruling class from Upper Egypt from the Predynastic to the late periods? The ease of trade routes to Asia and their control. This is the reason Wilkinson pegs as the major reason that caused the Upper Egyptians of the Predynastic period to unite the Two Lands. Oxford's Ancient Egypt, edited by Ian Shaw supports this as well.

Si-Amun places a lot of importance on Pi-Ramesse, Avaris, Tanis, Bubastis, and Alexandria.

Pi-Ramesse was accorded great power when Ramesses II made it his capital city. First off it was his non royal ancestor's homeland. Second, it was much closer to Egypt's border with those troublsome Asians than Memphis or Thebes. Who by the way Ramesses II's father Seti I, did much to bring back under control of Egypt.

Avaris, first off wasn't an Egyptian town, it was originally a Canaanite town grafted onto Egypt. It dates back, far earlier than the Hyksos reign, it was a booming town as early as the 12th Dynasty. i add, it and its area, lost all pretense of power during the 18th Dynasty until Ramesses II found his own capital Pi-Ramesse nearby in the 19th Dynasty.

Where do you Si-Amun, get that the Rammsides were in Tanis???? It was the royal seat of the Pharaohs of the 21st Dynasty Si-Amun not the Rammsides of the 20th or even the 19th. (See The Cultural Atlas of the World; Ancient Egypt by Baines and Malek, pgs 176-177 and or The Twilight of Ancient Egypt First Millennium BCE by Karol Mysliwiec translated by David Lorton, pg 220 not to mention Redford, Grimal, and the Oxford History of Ancient Egypt)

Tanis, Bubastis, and Salis recieved most of their late historical importance because they were the few still vital towns in a dying ancient nation greatly helped out by foreigners. Tanis (Libyans), Bubastis, (Libyans) Salis (Greeks). They were each the hometown seat of a "Pharaoh of Egypt" more a hometown boy with a pretence of grandure than reality.

By the way, Thebes in Upper Egypt was still an extremely important city, and it was to Thebes that the Kings of Tanis, Bubastis, and Salis sent their daughters to rule as the Divine Adoratrixs of Amun to maintain the fiction that they were Pharaoh of the Two Lands. Thebes itself never lost its importance until the Persian Period. Even after being sacked by the Assyrians in ca. 663 BCE, it was Thebes in Upper Egypt that the "Pharaoh of the Two Land" sought for their daughters to rule.

And i love to remind folks of the importance of Alexandria to Egypt. But you are right Si-Amun it did rule Egypt for 300 years, as a leech. To be a legal resident of Alexandria you had to be Macedonian, native Egyptians, half-breeds and or other folks could live, work and die there but were not ever citizens. Native Egyptians hated it and the Ptolomies who ruled from its safety. It did not grow its own food supply so it took the food of the natives, in times of plenty or famine. The Egyptian gods were not worshipped in Alexandria did you know that? Their temples in Memphis and the rest of Egypt served Egypt's most ancient God's. Most of the Ptolomies were not even considered Pharaoh, but only as King of Egypt. Cleopatra VII is the only Ptolomy i am able to find listed as Pharaoh and Queen of Egypt. See, for most of the Ptolomies, learning Egyptian, and worshipping Egypt's ancient gods/goddess' was just to much for them to handle. And one had to do both to be crowned Pharaoh and King. Leave it to a woman to be able to handle it Smile

Are you right in that without the Delta, Pharaoh couldn't have worn his double crown? According to Early Dynastic Egypt both the Red Crown and White Crown are found in Predynastic Upper Egypt. Surprisingly Si-Amun, the Red Crown historcially considered the Crown of Lower Egypt is the earliest known crown, known in Upper Egypt. It is first found at the Upper Egyptian site known as Naqada and dates there to the period called Naqada I. While the White Crown historically considered to be the Crown of Upper Egypt also traces its origin to an Upper Egyptian site known as Hierakonpolis dating to the period known as Nagada III. Wilkinson ends his discourse on the history of both crowns with this line... "The white crown retained this superiority throughout Egyptian history." (See Early Dynastic Egypt by Toby A.H. Wilkinson pgs 192- 195.)
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Si-amun
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Joined: 02 Jul 2004
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Location: London, England

PostPosted: Sun Jul 11, 2004 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is very interesting about the crowns, thankyou. i am sorry about the information on the Rammeside kings at Tanis. I was mistaken, getting my dynasties mixed up! Although I agree the south had the most dominance for most of Egyptian history I was just stressing that the north was not "unimportant" as a previous poster was implying. Although the Alexandrians were leeches they were still the most important leeches in Egyptian history at the time and shaped the entire future of the realm. Also in nearly all maps there are temples to Isis on the Pharos island and close to the Palace. Here is a link to a map:

http://ce.eng.usf.edu/pharos/alexandria/Gallery/old_map.gif

Zoom in on the Pharos and on the Area close to the Great Harbour. So there was some egyptian religous activity in Alexandria, even if the Ptolemies were a group of ignorant, arrogant, pleasure seeking fools. At least the later ones were, the early ones are quite admirable in some respects.
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Sekhmet
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Joined: 20 Feb 2004
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Location: Rome, Georgia USA

PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2004 3:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your welcome Si-Amun on the information about the crowns. It isn't a very well known fact. i am glad i got the chance to spead the knowledge around. Thank you for the opportunity Smile

It is rather easy to get the dynasties mix-up, don't sweat the small stuff. You're knowledge of Ancient Egypt is very good. And i am honestly impressed with much of what you have posted.

You're right about the Isis temple although to be honest with you. i don't believe that the Isis the Ptolomies worshipped had that much in common with ancient Aset. Certainly the Isis the Romans adopted from the Ptolomy Egypt had little in common with Aset. Hence, my belief about the Ptolomies worship of Isis.

You are also right in your assessment of the earlier Ptolomies... intially the family did appear to care about Egypt. The Ptolomies are my least favored foreign rulers of Egypt. So, without a doubt i am biased against them. I particularly appreciated your assessment of the later Ptolomies Smile thank you for it.

Right the Ptolomies shaped Egypt's future right into the hands of Rome. Then into Christianity, and then Islam. Poor Egypt. i have often wondered? What would have happened if Alexander III, aka the Great, had lived? What would have happened to Egypt, and Rome? Did you know that Alexander's brother-in-law died fighting against the young city Rome? It was these battles against him, that lead Rome on its path to Imperialism. Experts on Alexander believe that had he lived he would have taken on Rome. A totally diffferent kind of army he would have faced had he. Would have been extremely interesting to study. Oh, well he didn't and i can't.
Rolling Eyes

You have a nice day. And keep studing... like i will Smile
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Si-amun
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2004 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I adore hypothesisng about the "what ifs" in history. What if Cleopatra had won the battle of Actium? What if Tutankhamun had lived to old age? What if Akhenaten's elder brother Tuthmosis had suceeded to the throne?
It is so interesting to wonder how much different history might have been, you never know we may have been sitting here in linen, writing in a modernised demotic script and saying prayers to Isis!

In enjoy the Ptolomaic line as they have distinct personalities, most of which were quite debauched and evil. In hindsight I think many of them are actually quite comedic, so weak and incompetant but yet still some of the most powerful men in the world. I would love to do an indepth study on the Ptolomaic women - they were the real vultures!
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Sekhmet
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Location: Rome, Georgia USA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2004 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, i am glad some folks enjoy the Ptolomies Smile Kiya claims a special interest in them as well. Oh, well i like the other spectum of Egyptian history:) To each their own !
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