What would you do if you lived for 3000 years? If someone sat down and wrote a biography of your life, how long would it be? Now take that and apply it to an entire civilisation. That should give you a rough image of how much history there is for Ancient Egypt.
Preferring to listen to something in audio format, I went in search of an audiobook that would allow me to learn more about this vast period of history. On Audible I quickly came across The History of Ancient Egypt by the Teaching Company and narrated by Bob Brier, a well known Egyptologist.
The history of Ancient Egypt is such a vast topic that it can be very difficult to get a concise overview. Now, 24 hours isn’t exactly short, but when you consider that that on average, the pace is about 125 years an hour, it doesn’t seem so long after all.
Bob Brier does a spectacular job at keeping you hooked for the full length of the audiobook; his speaking skill, expert knowledge and pure passion for Egypt makes the entire listen extremely entertaining. The course (that’s how it’s structured, as a course) takes you through the history of Egypt in chronological fashion, from nomads in the desert, to the death of Cleopatra and the end of 3000 years of fascinating history. There’s a few stops along the way, including an almost unbelievable part on Bob Brier’s own experience attempting to mummify an actual human cadaver in the Ancient Egyptian style.
My personal favourite section is the history of the Rosetta Stone and Napoleon’s expedition in Egypt, a wonderful example of interlocking history, one of the main reasons for my love of history. Essentially, Napoleon a naval battle in Egypt called the Battle of the Nile and so spends a large amount of time in Egypt finding many artefacts including the Rosetta Stone. The British take position of the stone in a peace deal, but not before the French make rubbings that are eventually translated by Jean-François Champollion. It’s truly a story that could not have been created as fiction.
Audiobooks are fantastic for your daily commute or to listen to whilst drifting off to sleep. If you have any interest in Egypt at all, the History of Egypt is a spectacular listen.