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Thread: Writing a novel with alternate Ancient Egypt

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    Default Writing a novel with alternate Ancient Egypt

    So I am thinking of writing a alternate novel in which Ancient Egypt rivals the world, and rules a pretty large chunk of the world.

    Religion wise - It is a Polytheistic world - so its the faiths of the Ancients that survive to this day.

    What do I have to do to make my timeline consistent? And how do I keep it to make accurate?

    And I am thinking Ramses II timeline.

    In this supposed world - technology stagnates a lot - its pretty much except the same combat - triremes and all but that's it. Gunpowder is never used.

    How much research is needed - one, and two, how the heck do I create a new timeline?

    How do I even start?

    Moved to the Alternate History sub-forum. ~Abdülmecid I
    Last edited by Abdülmecid I; August 31, 2018 at 09:05 AM. Reason: Explanation added.





















































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    Spear Dog's Avatar Primicerius
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    Default Re: Experimenting

    You'd have to deal with the emergence of first the Persians and then Alexander the Great and get ahead of the Hittites (Hyksos) technologically. Difficult as I don't think conditions exist for Egypt to spontaneously develop and kick off the Iron Age (lack of both easy access to ore and smelting fuel in quantity).

    On the plus side Ramses II is early enough to possibly do this, but you would have to shift focus (geographically) significantly away from the Egypt of the current time line and solve the "tyranny of distance" issue to maintain an Egyptian identity.


    **just a suggestion, but change the title of this thread to something like: "Alternate history; Egyptian Empire". Mods will also move this thread to a more appropriate forum/subforum.
    Last edited by Spear Dog; August 26, 2018 at 05:39 AM.






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    Default Re: Experimenting

    Quote Originally Posted by Spear Dog View Post
    You'd have to deal with the emergence of first the Persians and then Alexander the Great and get ahead of the Hittites (Hyksos) technologically. Difficult as I don't think conditions exist for Egypt to spontaneously develop and kick off the Iron Age (lack of both easy access to ore and smelting fuel in quantity).

    On the plus side Ramses II is early enough to possibly do this, but you would have to shift focus (geographically) significantly away from the Egypt of the current time line and solve the "tyranny of distance" issue to maintain an Egyptian identity.


    **just a suggestion, but change the title of this thread to something like: "Alternate history; Egyptian Empire". Mods will also move this thread to a more appropriate forum/subforum.
    Will change as of now.
    And with technology, am I saying that the Egyptians in this timeline would be inspired by plate armour and take it on-board? If the Egyptians went onto colonise the New World - it'd be a fight between the emerging cultures.

    This is no Western orientated world mind you. Eventually the Greeks seeing the Egyptians huge power rivalling everyone else - just join with them. Or do an Egyptian invasion of Greece. It's still impossible to think that.

    One fascinating chapter I'd like to write is Egyptians meeting the Chinese. Awesome.

    But at the time of Ramses - I am not sure who is ruling Meso-America.
    I read that the Ancient Egyptians weren't interested in going and conquering the world. My aim is to change that. Say if you made someone time travel and tell Ramses about the world - wouldn't that happen?

    The Ming Chinese ministers destroyed the blue print for their huge ships. This is the most mysterious event in human history when a Chinese Colonisation of the world would have been dramatically changed forever.

    Both had one unique trait - they weren't interested in going outside.

    But how do I change that unique trait? There must have been a general or some ambitious minister that knew off the outside world.

    With Ramses II - Changing the timeline of Egypt during the collapse of the Bronze Age is hard. This as you say would then become a 'tyranny of distance'. - But how do you solve it really?
    Last edited by The Wandering Storyteller; August 26, 2018 at 06:20 AM.





















































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    Spear Dog's Avatar Primicerius
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    Default Re: Writing a novel with alternate Ancient Egypt

    one phrase: Deus ex machina. In 'Days of Salt and Rice' Kim Stanley used a 14th century Bubonic plague introduced by the invasions of Timur, having it affect both the Mongols severely and practically wiping out the population of Europe. In this way Islam moves into Europe unopposed and the 'Western' world becomes fundamentally Moslem, and China, India and Central Asia all develop along different lines without the European Empirical expansionist era.

    Plague is obviously no longer an option (at least not so simply), but it could give you the seed of an idea on how to deal with the big problems of Greece and Persia. You can't skip the Iron Age or you don't get an industrial revolution. If you don't have an industrial revolution you never conquer the problems of distance.

    For expansion you need to solve the ever present problem of line of supply.






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    Default Re: Writing a novel with alternate Ancient Egypt

    Quote Originally Posted by San Felipe View Post
    What do I have to do to make my timeline consistent? And how do I keep it to make accurate? ... how the heck do I create a new timeline?

    How do I even start?
    I can't tell you about ancient Egypt. I can tell you about how I wrote an alternative history story and see if this helps to answer some of your questions.

    When I wrote Éirí Amach: Irish Rising, an alternative history Ireland AAR using Empire Total War, I thought about the exact moment in history when the universe in which my story was set diverged from our universe. (In our universe, King William was wounded by a cannon-ball at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. My story explored what might have happened if he had been killed by that cannon-ball instead of being wounded.)

    You asked where to start. I suggest starting by creating your own timeline of key events in the period of Egyptian history before your story begins. You could think about various possible ways in which Egypt's history (or the history of Egypt's enemies and friends) might have happened differently. You could think about the consequences of those possibilities - which of them would lead to Egypt becoming more successful than they were?

    You could then consider how, if Egypt had been set on the path to greater power, they would have remained on that path. For example, you could explore how Mark Anthony and Cleopatra might have won the Battle of Actium (different tactics? More ships? Could they have persuaded one of Octavian's commanders to betray Octavian and command their forces to support the fleet of Anthony and Cleopatra)? Of course, winning a battle doesn't mean that the war is won, or that the enemy won't return in future wanting a re-match. Having worked out the immediate consequences of an Egyptian victory at Actium, you could then consider how Egypt would defeated Rome. (This could be explored by playing Egypt in an Imperator Augustus campaign using Rome II, as well as through historical research). Of course, a change in Egypt's history doesn't necessarily mean that Egypt's leaders or people made different choices. You might be exploring a world in which Rome didn't decisively defeat Carthage and in which Egypt took advantage of an ongoing war of attrition between Rome and Carthage to become the dominant power in the Mediterranean, for example.

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    Default Re: Writing a novel with alternate Ancient Egypt

    Quote Originally Posted by Spear Dog View Post
    one phrase: Deus ex machina. In 'Days of Salt and Rice' Kim Stanley used a 14th century Bubonic plague introduced by the invasions of Timur, having it affect both the Mongols severely and practically wiping out the population of Europe. In this way Islam moves into Europe unopposed and the 'Western' world becomes fundamentally Moslem, and China, India and Central Asia all develop along different lines without the European Empirical expansionist era.

    Plague is obviously no longer an option (at least not so simply), but it could give you the seed of an idea on how to deal with the big problems of Greece and Persia. You can't skip the Iron Age or you don't get an industrial revolution. If you don't have an industrial revolution you never conquer the problems of distance.

    For expansion you need to solve the ever present problem of line of supply.
    Well plagues have been done as a cliche. However there were constant famines and the Bronze Age was collapsing.

    Fitting the iron age is complex. My aim is to bascially show it as Ramses deciding to conquer all of Mesopatamia and Asia Minor, before conquering Africa as a whole. Now would this appear silly if it wasn't researched properly?

    When you mean industrial revolution - I am not sure how to fit this in.

    What good books can you rec me?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alwyn View Post
    I can't tell you about ancient Egypt. I can tell you about how I wrote an alternative history story and see if this helps to answer some of your questions.

    When I wrote Éirí Amach: Irish Rising, an alternative history Ireland AAR using Empire Total War, I thought about the exact moment in history when the universe in which my story was set diverged from our universe. (In our universe, King William was wounded by a cannon-ball at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. My story explored what might have happened if he had been killed by that cannon-ball instead of being wounded.)

    You asked where to start. I suggest starting by creating your own timeline of key events in the period of Egyptian history before your story begins. You could think about various possible ways in which Egypt's history (or the history of Egypt's enemies and friends) might have happened differently. You could think about the consequences of those possibilities - which of them would lead to Egypt becoming more successful than they were?

    You could then consider how, if Egypt had been set on the path to greater power, they would have remained on that path. For example, you could explore how Mark Anthony and Cleopatra might have won the Battle of Actium (different tactics? More ships? Could they have persuaded one of Octavian's commanders to betray Octavian and command their forces to support the fleet of Anthony and Cleopatra)? Of course, winning a battle doesn't mean that the war is won, or that the enemy won't return in future wanting a re-match. Having worked out the immediate consequences of an Egyptian victory at Actium, you could then consider how Egypt would defeated Rome. (This could be explored by playing Egypt in an Imperator Augustus campaign using Rome II, as well as through historical research). Of course, a change in Egypt's history doesn't necessarily mean that Egypt's leaders or people made different choices. You might be exploring a world in which Rome didn't decisively defeat Carthage and in which Egypt took advantage of an ongoing war of attrition between Rome and Carthage to become the dominant power in the Mediterranean, for example.
    Thanks for this helpful advice.

    With this new timeline - wouldn't I be changing history then?

    Pharoah X declares war on Babyon.
    Wins
    Negoitated treaty.

    I would think at the height of the Egyptian Empire would be a good start. Egypt by the time of Ramses would be completely changed - for example.

    The Hitties are already conquered, Egyptian empire expands

    Till present day Ramses. Would that work?





















































  7. #7
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Default Re: Writing a novel with alternate Ancient Egypt

    Quote Originally Posted by San Felipe View Post
    With this new timeline - wouldn't I be changing history then?
    Yes. That's what I thought you wanted to do, when you wrote:

    Quote Originally Posted by San Felipe View Post
    So I am thinking of writing a alternate novel in which Ancient Egypt rivals the world, and rules a pretty large chunk of the world.
    The word 'alternate' and the line about ancient Egypt ruling 'a pretty large chunk of the world' made me think that you wanted to change history. You asked where to start, so I suggested considering when specifically your time-line could be different from actual history, and why and how it would be different, and whether that difference would produce the outcome (a more powerful Egypt) which you wanted to see.

    Quote Originally Posted by San Felipe View Post
    I would think at the height of the Egyptian Empire would be a good start. Egypt by the time of Ramses would be completely changed - for example.

    The Hitties are already conquered, Egyptian empire expands

    Till present day Ramses. Would that work?
    You're considering writing about when ancient Egypt was at the height of its power. That sounds like around the 15th century BC, in the New Kingdom period.

    You wrote the 'Hittites are already conquered'. I'm nore sure if you're indicating the time when you'd like to write your story (if this refers to the story being set after the war of Ramasses II against the Hittites, that would suggest a date after 1258 BC) or if you are saying that this could be how your history differs from actual history. Are you saying that, in your ancient Egypt, another pharaoah fought the Hittites at an earlier date and more successfully than Ramasses II? If so, you could think about how that pharoah would have succeeded where Ramasses II failed. For example, historically Ramasses II failed to exploit his victory in the Battle of Kadesh. You could work out how a pharoah could have succeeded where he failed.

    Obviously, in the history of our world, ancient Egypt declined after reaching the height of its power. I wonder what you see as the causes of that decline and how your ancient Egypt will avoid that (if it will)?
    Last edited by Alwyn; August 27, 2018 at 04:17 AM.

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    Default Re: Writing a novel with alternate Ancient Egypt

    Quote Originally Posted by Alwyn View Post
    Yes. That's what I thought you wanted to do, when you wrote:



    The word 'alternate' and the line about ancient Egypt ruling 'a pretty large chunk of the world' made me think that you wanted to change history. You asked where to start, so I suggested considering when specifically your time-line could be different from actual history, and why and how it would be different, and whether that difference would produce the outcome (a more powerful Egypt) which you wanted to see.



    You're considering writing about when ancient Egypt was at the height of its power. That sounds like around the 15th century BC, in the New Kingdom period.

    You wrote the 'Hittites are already conquered'. I'm nore sure if you're indicating the time when you'd like to write your story (if this refers to the story being set after the war of Ramasses II against the Hittites, that would suggest a date after 1258 BC) or if you are saying that this could be how your history differs from actual history. Are you saying that, in your ancient Egypt, another pharaoah fought the Hittites at an earlier date and more successfully than Ramasses II? If so, you could think about how that pharoah would have succeeded where Ramasses II failed. For example, historically Ramasses II failed to exploit his victory in the Battle of Kadesh. You could work out how a pharoah could have succeeded where he failed.

    Obviously, in the history of our world, ancient Egypt declined after reaching the height of its power. I wonder what you see as the causes of that decline and how your ancient Egypt will avoid that (if it will)?
    Wow!

    Wow!

    Thank you so much!

    You gave me ideas a lot!

    The suggestion that a new Pharoah is always a good idea. Would I then be saying that a different Pharoah is born instead of Ramesses? Is that accuracte to write?

    Three possible scenarios;

    Ramesses II wins the Battle of Kadesh and conquers Mesopotamia. He then conquers a lot of Persia in order to make sure he has no revolts. Or Ramesses dies at the Battle and his son succeeds him.

    Ten years pass by - before he decides to conquer Asia Minor and then expand into Africa. By this time Greece is isolated and the Italian city-states never rise up to glory.

    Another 5 years and Egyptian rule is dominiant in Gaul and Spain. It is in that quake, that Chinese merchants start to visit Egypt - biggest culture shock ever - and so The Pharoah sends two agents to investigate the new world. India is known to them, but beyond is a mystery. The two agents go to China and then somehow end up in the New World. One of them survives and the other never returns. In this time, Egypt and China begin to meet each other the Silk Road quite often.

    Then Egyptian Pharoah X decides to settle colonies in the New World. The Egyptian conquest of North America is successful, and the native tribes are kind of not sure what to do. On the one hand - the Egyptians care only about building their grand cities - they see the tribes of native Americans like the Libyans, granting them positions in their government to ensure a smooth functioning service. It's not all roses - as there was conflict when they first landed. How did the Egyptians rise up through naval navigation? They sent agents all across the world to study the art of sea-man ship. The Greeks gave the blueprints, while the Phonecians trained an entire navy of Egyptians. The Egyptians like staying put in their own towns and cities. Until they meet the people of Mexico and the Maya.

    The Egyptian Pharoah visits the cities of the Meso-Americans. (I tried to search who was in 1274 BC in Meso-America - but all I got was Olmecs and Maya - so I would say they are city-states of the Mayan Confederation.) And sees their religion for first hand. He is drawn to the tale of Quaztecotal and sacrifice - for he would compare it to Ra going down to the Duat to defeat Apep before rising again - but with differences. The Egyptians have no taste for sacrifice - they prefer using animals instead.

    Over time, the world doesn't change but Egypt begans expanding more into Southern Africa, and makes a drive towards colonizing the Hindu Empries of South-East Asia. Fierce sea battles are fought - before the Empires agree to allow an Egyptian settlement. Over time Egyptian influence and Hindu influence merge together - the two cultures are similar - while Greek scholars travel through the Egyptian world to see the marvels.

    The Chinese don't like this and while their history doesn't change much, one particular Empire, the Han Empire decides to rid rule of Egyptian influence. A fierce sea battle is fought before a land battle is fought. War rages but there is no decisive outcome.

    I mean this is a rough idea. Not accurate. But I want a living breathing Egyptian world - the amount of research is going to be needed a lot. I'd rather forget accuracy - and just write it like an entertainment series like Kirk Mitchell did.

    War also resumes with the Mayans and the Aztecs - the Aztecs desire the Egyptian colonies in America - before massive land battles are fought but with no winner. During this time the Aztecs establish their own colonies in Gaul - having made contact with the Han Envoys. The Han Empire - desperate in its influence to make sure that it is THE world power of its time, sends envoys and military advisors to the Mayans and Aztecs, giving them complete knowledge of how to fight naval battles and helping to upgrade their military tactics.

    The Aztecs keep battling it out before there is no conclusive win. The Egyptians have the power and resources. They keep mining the Alps and take wealth from their Mesopamtaian satapries. For many generations it rules before in the year 1880 the Empire falls into chaos and civil war. The Princes start fighting and there is one man who aids all of them. Let us call him Cyrus. Cryus was a student of the previous Pharoah that had trained him, and basically decided enough was enough. After reading the glories of his ancestors, he decided he was going to destroy Egypt. He can speak Egyptian, he's literally the Egyptian version of Arminius. And he is Persian. Sooner or later he becomes the Vizier and causes the destruction - he's like Sima Yi - after reading the exploits of him in the Three Kingdoms era, he becomes influenced by him.

    Cryus destroys Egypt - leaving it's colonies left unchecked and causing chaos. At the end, the Aztec and the Mayans conquer the American colonies while the Ming(In this timeline the Ming defeated the Qing) Emperor starts to procede to conquer the American colonies. America is split between the Ming, Aztecs and the former Egyptian colonies. The African tribes - revolt and the Mesopatamians clamour for independence. It is then that Cryus kills the last Pharoah of Egypt and declares him the ruler of the new Persian Empire. This brings shockwaves into the world - the Mesopatamians had long been put down. Cryus is no fool. He knows that despite wrecking the Egyptian Empire financially, the armies of Egypt are strong and vast. Cryus declares a vast conscription drafted - he will create an Empire which is tolerant of each other and everyone can have their fair share. Cryus sends his new Persian armies to reinforce the Egyptian colonies. Cryus creates the Persian Empire as we know it and Greece is morphed into so-called Egyptian-Persian rule. Cryus still maintains the Egyptian Empire, he just combines the Persian system and the Egyptian system together.

    Cryus rules the former Egyptian Empire for twenty years before the Empire descends into chaos with civil war in Mesopatamia. Eventually his long lost son Darius restores balance, and with a procession of 55 Kings, the Persian Empire rules for more than maybe 100-600 years. After that, the Egyptians declare their own independence, seeing that their colonies have declared independence, and start to conquer which ends in failure. The world is now fully Polythesitic and Zorostrainisn. The Persians continue to keep ruling for decades and decades until a new power emerges. The Hindu Empires - led by Gupta I start conquering the world. They invade Mesopatamia, Asia, and Africa. The Hindu influence is enormous. It isn't after a hundred years the Chinese, Aztecs and Mayans make their mark on the old world and soon it morphs into a world that resembles Atlantis.

    Okay that's a lot of weird and inaccuracte stuff. But I'd rather have that as a starting line. Things change. And so none of this can be accuracte.

    I want technology to stagnate after the Iron Age - Though I am not sure. I just want it to be Bronze Age warfare and Greek Trieme ships and that's it. The rest I don't bother with.

    That's only the crazy stuff.

    I'm thinking novels similar into the vein of Roman fiction. Only this time it's Ancient Egyptian historical fiction

    Egypt will rule for a thousand plus years before the Persians or Mesopotamians rise up and eventually eat it inside out.
    Last edited by The Wandering Storyteller; August 27, 2018 at 03:46 PM.





















































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    Default Re: Writing a novel with alternate Ancient Egypt

    Ramesses II wins the Battle of Kadesh and conquers Mesopotamia. He then conquers a lot of Persia in order to make sure he has no revolts. Or Ramesses dies at the Battle and his son succeeds him.
    Umm sorry that seems outlandish without Alien Space Bats.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Look at the map. The thing is that's not Empire (ala Rome) as in lots Happy Egyptians, that is outside of the Nile just nominally loyal client states. Egypt had no great cultural offer to make, not Christianity, or Islam, not Democracy, not Egyptian citizenship. Not even the kind of population shifting of Persia (that being just and offer you can't refuse).

    Even an Epic victory at Kadesh just more less moves Egypt's safety zone to be more defensible. Also the EGyptians were not all good on the briny how you going to alter that.

    Perhaps you are looking in the wrong direction. Push down the Nile away from peer competition. More gold, more people who Egypt can win by cultural conversion. I just don't think until true riding is developed you can have a military that fight anywhere. A richer stronger Egypt that can defeat Assyria in that era is better for your expansion. And seeing has they have followed the Nile down to lake Victoria they got Elephants.

    I think you also need to fundamentally change the insular and conservative nature of Egypt. At the time of your starting point logistics and fragility of of the state simply don't really support the kind expansion you are looking for as fast - especially out of Egypt.
    Last edited by conon394; August 27, 2018 at 04:55 PM.
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    Default Re: Writing a novel with alternate Ancient Egypt

    Quote Originally Posted by conon394 View Post
    Umm sorry that seems outlandish without Alien Space Bats.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Look at the map. The thing is that's not Empire (ala Rome) as in lots Happy Egyptians, that is outside of the Nile just nominally loyal client states. Egypt had no great cultural offer to make, not Christianity, or Islam, not Democracy, not Egyptian citizenship. Not even the kind of population shifting of Persia (that being just and offer you can't refuse).

    Even an Epic victory at Kadesh just more less moves Egypt's safety zone to be more defensible. Also the EGyptians were not all good on the briny how you going to alter that.

    Perhaps you are looking in the wrong direction. Push down the Nile away from peer competition. More gold, more people who Egypt can win by cultural conversion. I just don't think until true riding is developed you can have a military that fight anywhere. A richer stronger Egypt that can defeat Assyria in that era is better for your expansion. And seeing has they have followed the Nile down to lake Victoria they got Elephants.

    I think you also need to fundamentally change the insular and conservative nature of Egypt. At the time of your starting point logistics and fragility of of the state simply don't really support the kind expansion you are looking for as fast - especially out of Egypt.
    It does seem like an wild outlandish plot.

    Probably true - but what did Rome offer then? Synthetic inclusion? Egyptians or by this supposed timeline are insular people - they prefer to stay in Egypt as its the centre of the world for them. Unless some magical God called Ra enters into the Pharoah's dream - the Pharaoh decrees a world wide conquest - that could work?

    Okay so I think that is more plausible - with the era - So Egypt vs Assyria then?

    No the logistics certainly won't support fast rapid expansion. The Egyptians have to do a lot of conquering by then.

    Can you clarify - what do you mean by cultural conversion? I'm not sure on this.

    And are you saying to move away from the Nile - and focus on Mesopatamia if I am right?

    I mean I will have to research every single thing of Egyptian culture to make sure I get this right?

    There has to be an ambitious Egyptian General or Pharoah that desires more control over the world. Simply write a scene showing a mythological aspect of ruling the world.

    I mean James Lovegrove did a Egyptian book - with the Gods ruling then.

    The Egyptians - briny - simply employ Phoenician and Greek advisers to help them run their ships - and get Phonecian crews to train the native ones. An ambitious person would have to do this.

    Do I focus on researching the culture first?

    Or do I build a timeline?
    Last edited by The Wandering Storyteller; August 27, 2018 at 05:43 PM.





















































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    Default Re: Writing a novel with alternate Ancient Egypt

    Quote Originally Posted by conon394 View Post
    ...
    I think you also need to fundamentally change the insular and conservative nature of Egypt. At the time of your starting point logistics and fragility of of the state simply don't really support the kind expansion you are looking for as fast - especially out of Egypt.
    Indeed, Egypt enjoyed an enormous population advantage over most neighbours down to the Roman era (I think Italy finally surpassed Egypt for population under the Caesars) but generally expressed "soft" power, with trade relationships for status goods across the Eastern Med. They seem to have been a bit like an earlier version of China, you could beat them, conquer them even, but they absorbed or threw off conquerors by sheer numbers and weight of entrenched culture.

    They had a mid Bronze Age temple economy they persisted into the classical period, the Egyptian way of life was obviously ancient and deeply entrenched, but it didn't export that well. Its clear they threw a light across the eastern med into Cyprus, the Levant and Minoan Crete, and even dominated their neighbours militarily from time to time (often playing technological catch up), but they couldn't export the geography of the Nile, which is the underpinning reality of their religion, culture and economy.

    Egyptian traditionalism is quite stunning. I know they did adopt new ideas, but its worth contemplating the longevity of their civilisation. They had a Temple dominated economy (such as we see in Minoan Crete or Sumeria) from around 2500 BC. Fast forward to 323 BC, across the eastern Med the Temple landlord economy is long vanished, replaced by royal government (such as the Hittite or Assyrian kingdoms) as well as tribal republics with elective leadership (magistrates or kings) and the city state so familiar from Greece. But not in Egypt.

    The Egyptian system functioned well enough to sustain political independence for periods right down to the Macedonian conquest, and the Lagids saw fit to install themselves at the top of this existing system, merely adding a few modern trappings like their Hellenistic capital at Alexandria and systems like klerouchies. I can't really think of a gap in development between conqueror and conquered like that where the system was retained: the conquistadors did not retain the Aztecs Neolithic/Chalcolithic systems, the Williamites did not retain the Gaelic Iron Age Cheiftancies.

    Of course I'm assuming the "progress" model of thinking, where older ideas are superseded by newer better ones, and clearly this can be debated. I do think the Temple economy was superseded because of its reliance on less developed ways of thinking, "the land belongs to the God/s, we obey their spokesmen". Iron Age/Dark Age systems of thought (like those we see described in Homer) which emphasise personal glory and allow for people to defy some of the Gods at least (eg Ulysses escapes Poseidon's wrath, with aid from Athena and Zeus) clearly proved more attractive in Hellas than the older Temple obedience model that failed after 1200 BC or so.

    I get the impression Egypt's great agricultural wealth meant the Temple System made sense: the rhythm of the river and the richness of the soil which rewarded organised toil meant the Egyptian farmer obeyed his temple masters because in the end it usually paid off, and he got to be part of something big. Elsewhere less monolithic and more diverse approaches probably gave smaller groups opportunities in changing circumstances, so there was more stimulus for change.
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