Voices of Ancient Egypt: Contemporary Accounts of Daily Life, 1st Edition

  • Editor: Rosalie David
  • Published By:
  • ISBN-10: 031339783X
  • ISBN-13: 9780313397837
  • DDC: 932.01
  • Grade Level Range: 9th Grade - College Senior
  • 200 Pages | eBook
  • Original Copyright 2015 | Published/Released January 2015
  • This publication's content originally published in print form: 2015

  • Price:  Sign in for price



A wealth of evidence survives to tell the stories of ancient Egypt, including monuments, artifacts, paintings, sculptures, human remains, and literature. But there is yet another way to access this fascinating culture-through original writings that span the period from circa 3100 BCE to 400 CE. This book's 51 documents include schoolboys' letters and exercises, prayers, hymns, love poems, narratives, historical inscriptions, medical and mathematical texts, and religious and funerary inscriptions. Most of the texts are penned by Egyptians, but another perspective is added through the inclusion of commentary about Egypt by the Greek historian Herodotus. The documents are divided into sections to shed light on numerous aspects of Egyptian life including domestic values and household provision, economics, intellectual concerns, government and warfare, recreational life, and religious beliefs and practices. Each section provides historical context and discusses the meaning and significance of the individual excerpt. The work highlights related themes and ideas to encourage students to explore the legacy of ancient Egypt in an essay, paper, drama production, or class presentation.



  • Rosalie David

Table of Contents

Front Cover.
Half Title Page.
Other Frontmatter.
Title Page.
Copyright Page.
Dedication Page.
Introduction: The Background of Ancient Egyptian Civilization.
1: Evaluating and Interpreting Primary Documents.
2: Chronology of Egypt from the Predynastic Period to the Arab Conquest.
3: Domestic Life and Personal Beliefs.
4: Training Children.
5: Advice on Marriage.
6: Family Values.
7: How a Man Should Treat His Wife.
8: The Status of Royal Women.
9: Love Songs.
10: The Contendings of Horus and Seth.
11: Offerings for the Tomb Owner.
12: A Skeptical View of the Afterlife.
13: Economic Life.
14: Justice for Everyone.
15: A New Royal Residence.
16: A Response to Social Upheaval.
17: A Trading Venture.
18: The Advantages of the Scribal Profession.
19: Financial Transactions.
20: Slavery and Servitude.
21: Expeditions to Nubia.
22: Craftsmen’s Tools and Working Conditions.
23: Intellectual Life.
24: Educating Boys.
25: Health and Medicine.
26: Personal Piety.
27: Praising the Role of a Scribe.
28: Writing as a Means of Communication.
29: Mathematics.
30: Calendar of a Military Expedition.
31: Material Life.
32: An Agricultural Disaster.
33: An Offering Which the King Gives.
34: A New House for the Teacher.
35: An Adventure at Sea.
36: Political Life.
37: Advice on Government.
38: Behavior Toward Superiors, Equals, and Inferiors.
39: The Strategy of Warfare.
40: Weapons of Warfare.
41: Taking Booty at the Siege of Megiddo.
42: Recreational Life.
43: Advice to Artists and Intellectuals.
44: Worship Through Dancing.
45: The Role of Music in Divine Worship.
46: Sacred Drama at the Temple of Edfu.
47: The New Year Festival.
48: The Dangers of Drinking Beer.
49: A Sporting Pharaoh.
50: Religious Life.
51: Creation Mythology.
52: Atenism, Monotheism, and a Religious Revolution.
53: The Ritual Use of the Egyptian Temple.
54: Political Propaganda.
55: Magical Treatment of Disease.
56: A Sacred Space.
57: Preparing the Burial.
58: The Day of Judgment.
59: The King’s Relationship with the Gods.
60: Advocating Suicide?.
Appendix 1: Biographical Sketches of Important Individuals Mentioned in the Text.
Appendix 2: Glossary of Terms Mentioned in Text.
Selected Bibliography.
About the Editor.