Egypt and Darwin

Michael Totten wrote quite an article “7 000 years of oppression” about Egypt for Pajamas Media

 Am I the only one seeing the lark?

 If you lived and went to school in Africa way back sixty years ago history lessons were obligatory, and a real joy it was.  Most lessons were about Egypt and its special relationship with Israel and Moses; the Bible was the only handbook most of the time.

 But reading Michael I could not recall who lived in Egypt before the oppression started.  Who were the oppressors and who were the oppressed?  I had to know which of the ten guys [or was it only six} that lived along the Nile at the time or say, the day before the oppression started; who were the baddies and who were the victims?

 I started with Google and this is what I found.

 The Land of Ancient Egypt and its Rulers

The land we call Ancient Egypt was the narrow strip of fertile land on each side of the River Nile. Where the Nile flows into the Mediterranean Sea it forms a marshy area called the delta, which in Ancient Egyptian times was full of wildlife. This was the Northern boundary of Ancient Egypt. Much further South, upstream, the River Nile flowed through six cataracts, areas of rocks and waterfalls, which made it difficult or impossible to use a boat. The First Cataract was at Aswan, and this formed the Southern boundary of Egypt. The Eastern and Western boundaries of Ancient Egypt were the desert.

From the delta to the First Cataract was more than 1000km but the fertile strip of land on each side of the river was seldom more than a few kilometers wide and all the towns and villages were on the river, so the main way of getting from one town or village to another in Ancient Egypt was by boat. It took about three weeks to travel by boat from one end of Egypt to the other.

The area between the First and Fifth Cataracts is now usually called Nubia, although the Ancient Egyptians called it, among other titles, the Kingdom of Kush. Today Nubia is partly in Egypt and partly in the Republic of the Sudan. Nubia contained lots of gold mines and quarries for the stone needed for building temples, and so the Egyptians tried to conquer or control it, and there were often wars between Egypt and Nubia – sometimes the Egyptians won and sometimes the Nubians won. The Nubians were much darker skinned than the Egyptians which makes it easy to tell the difference between Egyptians and Nubians on Egyptian wall paintings.

Ancient Egypt was divided into two parts: the Southern part was called Upper Egypt and the Northern part, including the delta, Lower Egypt. These names come from the direction in which the River Nile flows, from South to North. The names can be confusing to us because we are used to seeing maps with North at the top, but the Egyptians drew maps to show their country as they would see it looking upstream, with South at the top. So the east bank was on the left and the west bank was on the right. They even used one word to mean both east and left, and of course another word to mean both west and right.

Originally Upper and Lower Egypt had their own Kings. The King of Upper Egypt wore a white crown and the King of Lower Egypt wore a red crown. Then one King of Upper Egypt, whose name was Narmer, became King of both lands. From then onwards the King of Egypt was known as the Ruler of the Two Lands, and often wore a double crown, red and white. When Narmer became Ruler of the Two Lands he took the new name Menes. Menes was the first King of all Egypt and became Ruler of The Two Lands about 2920. Remember that in Ancient Egypt all dates are BCE, so we do not usually need to say so. Remember also that the year 2919 (BCE) comes after the year 2920!

The King of Egypt was an absolute ruler, that is, he had total power over everybody and everything. During the New Kingdom the King of Egypt took the title of Pharaoh (which means Great House in Ancient Egyptian), but today we usually call all the Kings of Ancient Egypt Pharaohs.

We divide what is to many children the most interesting part of Ancient Egyptian history into three Kingdoms, separated by two Intermediate Periods. During the Old, Middle and New Kingdoms most Kings of Egypt ruled in a way which kept stability and order (what the Ancient Egyptians called Ma’at) in the land, but during the First and Second Intermediate Periods the central government was very weak or foreigners ruled the land and Ma’at was absent. Ma’at was very important to the Ancient Egyptians and the female Pharaoh Hatshepsut was accepted as King (she never used the title Queen) because during her reign Ma’at was present.

In 332 Alexander the Great conquered Egypt and Egypt became just a part of the Empire of the Greeks

Founders of Modern Egypt


Don’t mess with Egypt


Muhammad Ali Pasha was born in a town called Kavala in 1769 (currently in modern Greece) in an Albanian family. He was a tobacco merchant before he joined the Ottoman army. After the French occupation of Egypt ended in 1801 he took power to fill the political vacuum and then Ottomans appointed him viceroy of Egypt.

Muhammad Ali spent the first years of his rule fighting attempts to unseat him. In one of the bloodiest events he massacred over 500 Mamluks in the Citadel after inviting them to a celebration where they were trapped and killed by Ali’s soldiers.

Mohammad Ali is seen as the founder of modern Egypt. He modernized the army, built military needed factories and ship yards, monopolized Egyptian cotton and used its revenue to finance his projects.

He made a deal with the Ottoman sultan that Egypt became independent stays under the rule Muhammad Ali’s family members.

Muhammad Ali died in 1849.

  Founders of Ancient Egypt

 The more than 3000 year long history of Ancient Egypt has been divided into 8 or 9 periods, sometimes called Kingdoms. This modern-day division is somewhat arbitrarily based on the country’s unity and wealth and the power of the central government. The Ancient Egyptians themselves did not group their rulers according to such criteria. They rather seem to have developed the notion of dynasties throughout their history. The Palermo Stone simply lists the kings one after the other, without any apparent need of grouping them. The Turin Kinglist, which is more recent, has grouped the kings according to their descendance or origin. Thus, Amenemhat I and his descendants, are described as the kings of Itj-Tawi, the capital whence they ruled. We owe the division into 30 dynasties as we use it now to Manetho, an Egyptian priest who lived at the beginning of the Ptolemaic Era. In many cases, however, it is not clear why Manetho has grouped some kings into one dynasty and other kings into another. The 18th Dynasty, for instance, starts with Ahmose, a brother of the last king in Manetho’s 17th Dynasty. Theoritically, Ahmose and Kamose should thus have been grouped in the same dynasty. Thutmosis I, on the other hand, does not appear to have been related to his predecessor, Amenhotep I, but still both kings are grouped in the 18th Dynasty.

Some Egyptologists have attempted to abandon the notions of Kingdoms and dynasties, but for the sake of conformity with most publications dealing with Ancient Egypt, this site will continue using both notions. Visitors may, however, notice that the timeline below and the timescale used throughout The Ancient Egypt Site may be somewhat different from some of the other books or web-sites they have consulted.

Visitors should also be aware that, as is the case with any publication dealing with Ancient Egypt, dates are approximations and should not be taken literally. In many cases it is not known just how long a king may have ruled. Comparing different publications on the hisory and chronology of Ancient Egypt, visitors may notice that one king may be credited with a fairly short reign in one publication and a fairly long in another. This impacts the absolute chronology, that is to say, Egyptian history using our year numbering.

In The Ancient Egypt Site, some dates will be proposed but again, they should only be seen as approximations and not as absolutes. A discussion on the length of the reign of a king may follow and this discussion may show the likelihood that this king reigned longer or shorter than the dates linked to his reign.

It can thus not be stressed enough that the provided dates are just a frame of reference helping readers to gain insight in the sequence of events and occurences and to have an approximate idea of the age of certain monuments and artefacts.

I have not edited any of the aforementioned; it’s a copy and paste job.  But I am as baffled as before; reading and understanding Darwinism has never been one of my strong points.

Michael does state it clearly the “days of revolution are not over in Egypt” and that does make sense to me because it is like Rick Perry about Texas, and you all know the Texan saying “Don’t mess with Texas.”  Well, leave Egypt alone; it is like Texas a fine old country.  “Don’t mess with Egypt” would be a good policy.

3 Responses to “Egypt and Darwin”

  1. nolanimrod Says:


    This is very interesting. Reading it I thought of one thing which I might add which would contribute to the discussion.

    When Alexander the Great died the regions he had conquered were divided up among his generals. General Ptolemy got Egypt. At first the Egyptians didn’t see much difference. One divine, untouchable, unquestionable ruler is much like another. Though they did see one change almost immediately. In addition to the usual peasant diet of sand, papyrus scrapings, and crocodile toes was added a much desired new item: gyros.

    One thing about the new rulers that the Egyptians noticed right away was that they couldn’t understand anything the new rulers said. This is the original source of the phrase, “That’s Greek to me.”

    Since the Egyptians couldn’t understand anything the new rulers said they just got used to having their rulers say a lot of things that didn’t make any sense to them but which were, they were assured, very wise sayings and so accepted them as fact.

    This situation has persisted to the present day. One example of this was when a former president of the U.S. told the country with a straight face that an American warship was attacked in the Gulf of Tonkin by a flotilla of armed Vietnamese sampans and that if we didn’t respond right away it was only a matter of time before there were armed sampans patrolling on the Great Lakes and threatening to turn the Great City of Detroit into an empty wasteland where bears and dogs roamed around in the ruins of formerly great municipal buildings.

    That this came to pass proves that Lyndon Johnson was telling the truth all along.

    So you can see that our political culture owes a lot to those long-ago Greek Egyptians.

  2. Ike Jakson Says:

    Well, well Nolanimrod

    At last I got a comment; and one done in great style as only you can.

    The bit on the ‘Nam Sampan threat is a gem. You know what and no tongue in cheek at all the greatest risks to America after the voters are the American CIA and Foreign Affairs as under all the lefty Administrations.

    Why do I say this?

    It’s very simple. The Internet apart from many old writings is full of Egypt and any logical mind would have said “let’s find the truth” when O Bum A started his African invasion through Egypt; nobody bothered because I think that 53% of Americans [note that percentage, please] won’t know where to start to find Egypt on a World Map.

    American Military Intelligence has been wrong so many times; just a few names like Noriega, old Saddam way back, Robbies Mugabe, Sloban Milosevic and, well let’s throw in Nelson Mandela suffice for now. One would think that they should have learned something of World Affairs by now.

    But …. OK let’s back to Darwin ….

  3. Ike Jakson Says:

    Dedicated to my old Blogging Buddy and Friend Nolanimrod who passed away earlier this year. Rest well John. We shall not forget!

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