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Ancient Egypt – First Imbeerialist Power?

April 25th, 2010 by admin | No Comments | Filed in Ancient History

By UAI1

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Beertheostorian A raises some interesting points in relation to the Beer Theory of History in his series Sumeria – Civilization Superior? It is interesting that his title posits the question of whether or not Sumeria was a superior civilization. They were largely peaceful and recruited people out of barbarism and into civilization through beer and sex. Compared to modern standards of international discourse, the AIF agrees that Sumeria was a superior civilization. We just find it shocking that Beertheostorian A would agree. Sumeria only changed and became war-like once it was no longer truly Sumerian, i.e., it was Babylonian, Assyrian, Persian, Alexandrian Greek or even Roman. In other words the original civilization was subsumed and re-invented by neighboring barbarian invaders.
I raise this issue to compare and contrast the developmental trajectory of Ancient Egypt with that of Sumeria. Much like Sumeria, Egyptian civilization also centered around beer. Ancient Egyptians not only brewed and enjoyed beer, but they, like the Sumerians, considered it an integral part of their religion. A Pharoah’s Charter of 2300 B. C. states, “That Osiris founded there, the Dynasty of the Beer Kings.” 2 This reverence for beer in the ancient world is logical when we consider that not only is it an intoxicate it provides a broad array of nourishment as well.3
Yet, for the first nearly 3000 years of its existence, Ancient Egypt did not have anything that could by modern standards be remotely considered a professional army.4 Yet, from their earliest existence they invaded Nubia to the south and utilized foreign mercenaries to protect their borders as well as local militia.5 Yet, one event, the invasion of the Hyksos, seems to have turned them from a fairly insular empire to an outward facing empire, trying to keep the barbarians at bay by occupying barbarian lands. The term Hyksos appears to come from an Egyptian term meaning Shepard Kings. There is also plague associated with this invasion. Could this invasion have coincided with the biblical escape of the Hebrews? 6 Were the Hebrews maybe invaders, ultimately defeated by the Egyptians, as were the Hyksos? Some Eyptologists believe that with the removal of Hyksos rule over Egypt, Egypt became more aggressive in projecting power to the region, especially the Arabian Peninsula and more particularly the Levant.
When looking at the Egyptian beer creation myth of Hathor its similarities to the description of the Hyksos actions by Aegyptiaca Manetho.
In the Hathor myth, Re, the sun god and the creator of heaven and earth, wishes to punish the Egyptian people for their vicious undisciplined behavior towards one another as well as their failure to demonstrate appropriate ritual fealty to the gods.7 He conscripts his stunningly beautiful daughter, who also doubles as his incestuous lover.8 , Hathor to carry out the task of punishment because he fears the other male gods and maybe even himself will be too lenient in meting it out. He grants Hathor three days in which to inflict her retribution upon the derelict Egyptians.
Hathor, transforming herself into a Leopardess.9 to carry out this task, unleashes a torrent of rage so violent and unrestrained that after only one day nearly two thirds of Egypt is destroyed: the Nile runs with blood, the cities have lost not only their men but their women and children too, and the possibility of Egypt’s extinction appears very real.10 Re recognizing that his favorite people could be lost if Hathor continues on this path, cooks up a plan to slow her down the next two days, as Hathor sleeps on the firstnight. He sprinkles the blood with a magic dust and then boils the blood in the morning sun, encouraging the date trees to drop their fruit in the mixture.11
As Hathor awakes the blood has fermented and it fragrance fills the air. Hathor being hungry from the hard days work the day before lowers her head and laps up some of the fermented blood. At first it tastes funny, but she tries a little more. The more she drinks the more she likes it. Hathor drinks for hour, imbibing so much that she becomes thouroughly enebriated. She is no longer interested in tracking down Egyptians and the sun is getting rather irritating. Instead she seeks shade inside one of the buildings in an Egyptian city. Here she passes out and does not awake for the next two days. When Hathor awakes all three days have passed Re recalls her to the realm of the gods, Hathor’s time being up and Re not wanting her to inflict more damage upon the nearly irreparably damaged Egyptians.
In analyzing the related hagiography of this myth we can see strands of apologia for Egyptian Imperialism. It reflects a martial shift by Egyptian Society to the near pacifism of Sumerian society. Hathor reflects a symbolic double entendre symbolizing both the unrestrained violence of barbarians and the irrational rage of women. Re to reflects double meaning symbolizing both civilized thought and cunning, as well as, male rationality and ultimate physical superiority. The Egyptian people are both victims of Hathor and creators of their own demise. By acting in such undisciplined fashion they opened themselves up to attack from lesser people, the barbarians. Rather than publicly acknowledge that barbarians could have done this to them, the Egyptians replace the barbarians with Hathor. The myth helps ensure that the people will engage in rituals, or routines, in the service of society at large, in particular military service for young men. It goes far in explaining how the Egyptians were able to motivate there sons to sacrifice themselves on behalf of the empire where the perils of being buried outside of your homeland represented a huge spiritual problem.
The myth also justified the use of military power to pre-emptively short circuit any attempt to conquer or destroy Egyptian civilization by the barbarians. In a sense this was the original version of the Bush Doctrine of pre-emptive war. Beer was so important to Egyptians and so tempting to the barbarians, that they would send their young men deep into barbarian territory to ensure that these foreigners could not ever again unleash the rage of Hathor. For nearly 2500 years this formula worked. The only question that we can not answer is, did the Hathor myth get written as a response to the Hyksos, occuring much later than the invention of beer in Ancient Egypt or was it tied to an earlier sacking by barbarians, maybe the Nubians?12
In our next installment we study more deeply the importance of beer rituals and the fall of the Egyptian Empire.

1. (Beertheostorian A) UAI unidentified anonymous individuals, one person by the way, is an oxymoronic redundancy. It is insipidly inane idiomatic idiocy. The name is as unglued from a proper sense of English as the AIF’s agenda is from a proper sense of reality. (AIF – Anti Imbeerialist Front see definitions http://tavernator.com/beertheoryofhistory/?page_id=337.)

2. Eames, Alan, The Secret Life of Beer: Legends, Lore and Little Known Facts, Storey Publishing Pownal, VT 1995 Pg. 8

3.Eames, Alan, The Secret Life of Beer: Legends, Lore and Little Known Facts, Storey Publishing Pownal, VT 1995 Pg. 38 “The process of fermentation increases fourfold the vitamin and mineral content of plain seeds or grain. Ambient Yeast adds additional and substantial levels of protein and vitamins B and C.”

4. http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/war.htm – Stratos, Anita, The Evolution of Warfare Part I “Egypt was considered to be the most peaceful country in the ancient world. Its natural boundaries (the First Cataract on the Nile at Aswan, the deserts east and west of the Nile Valley, and the Mediterranean coast to the north) provided plenty of protection from outsiders, and Egyptians themselves were not a society of invaders or conquerors. Therefore, the country didn’t consider the need for a professional army – until the invasion of the Hyksos during the 15th Dynasty in the Second Intermediate Period. . .
Of course, there were some military campaigns carried out in early times, such as those of King Scorpion and King Menes (Narmer or Aha), whose military force enabled him to establish a united Egypt. From Menes’s time (circa 3100 BC), Egyptian kings headed the army under the guidance of war gods such as Seth, Sekhmet, and Montu, who led them to victory. In fact, a warring king was considered to be acting on behalf of the gods in an effort to bring order to the chaos caused by Egypt’s enemies. Temple scenes depict pharaohs leading their armies into battle and some ancient records, such as that of Ramesses II at the Battle of Kadesh, give the pharaoh credit for winning the battle single-handedly.”

http://www.egyptologyonline.com/chronology.htm

The chronology of Ancient Egypt . . .
The following list gives details of the current accepted chronology of Ancient Egypt from the pre-dynastic period up until the Roman period. . .. “Kingdoms” refer to periods of political unity and strong centralised government. “Intermediate Periods” are characterised by rival and often simultaneous dynasties. . .
Predynastic Period: c5500-3100 BC.
Very little is known about this time and of the pharaohs of these early dynasties. Egyptian civilisation as we understand it, begins with the unification of the two lands of Upper and Lower Egypt by Menes (Hor-Aha).
First Dynasty 3050 – 2890 BC
Second Dynasty 2890 – 2686 BC
THE OLD KINGDOM: c2686-2181 BC.
The “coming of age” of Egyptian civilisation, and the age of the pyramid. 3rd Dynasty pharaoh Djoser builds the very first pyramid, The Step Pyramid at Saqqara. 4th Dynasty pharaohs Khufu, Khafre and Menkaure build the Great Pyramids of Giza. 5th Dynasty pharaohs build the smaller pyramid complexes at Abu Sir and Saqqara.
Third Dynasty 2686 – 2613 BC
Fourth Dynasty 2613 – 2498 BC
Fifth Dynasty 2498 – 2345 BC
Sixth Dynasty 2345 – 2181 BC
First Intermediate Period: 7th-11th Dynasties c2181- 055 BC.
Disorder, social and political decline and dissolution. A very unsettled time. Breakdown of centralised government, with many kings having overlapping reigns. Finally brought under control by a strong line of Theban princes, and the reunification of Egypt by Mentuhotep I.
MIDDLE KINGDOM: c2055-1650 BC.
A time of foreign trade and enormous building projects, marking a long, successful and prosperous period. Elegant and sophisticated craftsmanship, and a feeling of “renaissance”, followed by gradual decline.
Mid-Eleventh Dynasty (Mentuhotep I) 2060 – 1991 BC
Twelfth Dynasty 1991 – 1782 BC
Thirteenth Dynasty 1782 – 1650 BC (first half only)
Second Intermediate Period: 13th (latter)-17th Dynasties c1650-1570 BC.
The Hyksos invade and conquer. Ahmose I defeats the Hyksos and the Theban princes eventually regain power.
NEW KINGDOM: c1570-1070 BC.
Probably the best known period of Egyptian antiquity. A very successful and prosperous time, with a “renaissance” in art and monumental building projects. Unfortunately by the end of the 19th Dynasty, the increasing power of the priesthood corrupts the central government. The 20th Dynasty sees many tombs robbed by officials, and the priesthood becomes hereditary and assumes secular power. The government finally breaks down.
Eighteenth Dynasty 1570 – 1293 BC
Nineteenth Dynasty 1293 – 1185 BC
Twentieth Dynasty 1185 – 1070 BC
Third Intermediate Period: 21st – 24th Dynasties c1070-664 BC.
The T.I.P represents a distinct cycle defined by loss of unity at the end of the New Kingdom to the restoration of unified authority under Psamtek I. Although the power structure of the T.I.P was now very different from that of the New Kingdom, towns and cities still continued to flourish and the economy was generally healthy. The 21st – 24th Dynasties is known as the Libyan Period, and the system adopted by the Libyan rulers and modified by the later 25th Dynasty Kushites was generally effective.
THE LATE PERIOD: c664-332 BC.
The country is reunified under the Saite ruler Psamtek I. The Late Period generally covers the following four clearly defined phases:
Twenty Sixth Dynasty (Saite) 664 – 525 BC
First Persian Period: 27th Dynasty c525-404 BC.
Twenty Eighth Dynasty 404 – 399 BC. A period of independent rule:
Twenty Ninth Dynasty 399 – 380 BC
Thirtieth Dynasty 380 – 343 BC
Second Persian Period: 31st Dynasty c343-332 BC.
The 31st Dynasty is also known as the Second Persian Period. This second occupation was a period of suppression and rebellion resulting in the Egyptians welcoming the rule of the Macedonian leader Alexander.
THE MACEDONIAN AND PTOLEMAIC PERIOD: 332-3O BC.
The Mediterranean city of Alexandria was established by Alexander the Great, who “conquered” Egypt in 332 BC. After the death of his half brother and son, Alexander’s general Ptolemy I became pharaoh. A somewhat confusing time due to many co-regencies. Scholars are not always in agreement on the order of reigns, and in some instances, of the reigns themselves from Ptolemy VI through to Ptolemy XI. Egypt’s authority was intact until the death of the infamous Cleopatra, after which Egypt was inaugurated into the Roman Empire.

5. See Generally: http://www.reshafim.org.il/ad/egypt/nubia.htm

6. See footnote 2 above and http://www.touregypt.net/manethohyksos.htm
An ancient writer Aegyptiaca Manetho wrote the following regarding the on the Hyksos
“In his reign, for what cause I know not, a blast of God smote us; and unexpectedly, from the regions of the East, invaders of obscure race marched in confidence of victory against our land. By main force they easily overpowered the rulers of the land, they then burned our cities ruthlessly, razed to the ground the temples of the gods, and treated all the natives with a cruel hostility, massacring some and leading into slavery the wives and children of others. Finally, they appointed as king one of their number whose name was Salitis. He had his seat at Memphis, levying tribute from Upper and Lower Egypt, and leaving garrisons behind in the most advantageous positions. Above all, he fortified the district to the east, foreseeing that the Assyrians, as they grew stronger, would one day covet and attack his kingdom.
It was also reported that the priest, who ordained their polity and their laws, was by birth of Heliopolis, and his name Osarsiph, from Osyris, who was the god of Heliopolis; but that when he was gone over to these people, his name was changed, and he was called Moses.”

7. (The Editors) – We think UAI is trying to say the Egyptians were not worshiping their gods enough.

8. (The Editors) – Morgan Freeman and Woody Allen take note, only ancient mythological gods who nobody worships anymore should be schtuping their daughters/granddaughters with or without a blood relationship.

9.(The Editors) – The African equivalent of a Cougar.

10. (The Editors) – And a Dominatrix too!!

11. (Beertheostorian A) – UAI added the date tree bit, no legitimate telling of this story includes the date reference. After all who would want dates with their beer.
(The Editors) – We would want a date and a beer, especially with someone like the goddess Ninkasi.(See footnote 11) That whole incest thing kind of skeeves us off Hathor. That and her rather violent temper kind of puts her on par with a Nazi Dominatrix with her Jewish lover, your chances of survival, over the long term, are slim to nil.
(UAI) Regarding the dates, the A in Beertheostorian A must stand for ahistorical, because even thre briefest exposure to the Bible establishes dates historical significance as a food product in the ancient world. See also Eames, Alan, The Secret Life of Beer: Legends, Lore and Little Known Facts, Storey Publishing Pownal, VT 1995 Pg. 71 and pgs. 69-71 for a more complete reading of the Hathor myth.

12. During this 2500 year period Barbarians, such as the Nubians and the Greeks did successfully conquer Egypt, only to be assimilated as dynastic rulers into the Egyptian milieu.

(Beertheostorian A) UAI unidentified anonymous individuals, one person by the way, is an oxymoronic redundancy. It is insipidly inane idiomatic idiocy. The name is as unglued from a proper sense of English as the AIF’s agenda is from a proper sense of reality. (AIF – Anti Imbeerialist Front see definitions.)
Eames, Alan, The Secret Life of Beer: Legends, Lore and Little Known Facts, Storey Publishing Pownal, VT 1995 Pg. 8
Eames, Alan, The Secret Life of Beer: Legends, Lore and Little Known Facts, Storey Publishing Pownal, VT 1995 Pg. 38 “The process of fermentation increases fourfold the vitamin and mineral content of plain seeds or grain. Ambient Yeast adds additional and substantial levels of protein and vitamins B and C.”
http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/war.htm – Stratos, Anita, The Evolution of Warfare Part I “Egypt was considered to be the most peaceful country in the ancient world. Its natural boundaries (the First Cataract on the Nile at Aswan, the deserts east and west of the Nile Valley, and the Mediterranean coast to the north) provided plenty of protection from outsiders, and Egyptians themselves were not a society of invaders or conquerors. Therefore, the country didn’t consider the need for a professional army – until the invasion of the Hyksos during the 15th Dynasty in the Second Intermediate Period. . .
Of course, there were some military campaigns carried out in early times, such as those of King Scorpion and King Menes (Narmer or Aha), whose military force enabled him to establish a united Egypt. From Menes’s time (circa 3100 BC), Egyptian kings headed the army under the guidance of war gods such as Seth, Sekhmet, and Montu, who led them to victory. In fact, a warring king was considered to be acting on behalf of the gods in an effort to bring order to the chaos caused by Egypt’s enemies. Temple scenes depict pharaohs leading their armies into battle and some ancient records, such as that of Ramesses II at the Battle of Kadesh, give the pharaoh credit for winning the battle single-handedly.”

http://www.egyptologyonline.com/chronology.htm

The chronology of Ancient Egypt . . .
The following list gives details of the current accepted chronology of Ancient Egypt from the pre-dynastic period up until the Roman period. . .. “Kingdoms” refer to periods of political unity and strong centralised government. “Intermediate Periods” are characterised by rival and often simultaneous dynasties. . .
Predynastic Period: c5500-3100 BC.
Very little is known about this time and of the pharaohs of these early dynasties. Egyptian civilisation as we understand it, begins with the unification of the two lands of Upper and Lower Egypt by Menes (Hor-Aha).
First Dynasty 3050 – 2890 BC
Second Dynasty 2890 – 2686 BC
THE OLD KINGDOM: c2686-2181 BC.
The “coming of age” of Egyptian civilisation, and the age of the pyramid. 3rd Dynasty pharaoh Djoser builds the very first pyramid, The Step Pyramid at Saqqara. 4th Dynasty pharaohs Khufu, Khafre and Menkaure build the Great Pyramids of Giza. 5th Dynasty pharaohs build the smaller pyramid complexes at Abu Sir and Saqqara.
Third Dynasty 2686 – 2613 BC
Fourth Dynasty 2613 – 2498 BC
Fifth Dynasty 2498 – 2345 BC
Sixth Dynasty 2345 – 2181 BC
First Intermediate Period: 7th-11th Dynasties c2181- 055 BC.
Disorder, social and political decline and dissolution. A very unsettled time. Breakdown of centralised government, with many kings having overlapping reigns. Finally brought under control by a strong line of Theban princes, and the reunification of Egypt by Mentuhotep I.
MIDDLE KINGDOM: c2055-1650 BC.
A time of foreign trade and enormous building projects, marking a long, successful and prosperous period. Elegant and sophisticated craftsmanship, and a feeling of “renaissance”, followed by gradual decline.
Mid-Eleventh Dynasty (Mentuhotep I) 2060 – 1991 BC
Twelfth Dynasty 1991 – 1782 BC
Thirteenth Dynasty 1782 – 1650 BC (first half only)
Second Intermediate Period: 13th (latter)-17th Dynasties c1650-1570 BC.
The Hyksos invade and conquer. Ahmose I defeats the Hyksos and the Theban princes eventually regain power.
NEW KINGDOM: c1570-1070 BC.
Probably the best known period of Egyptian antiquity. A very successful and prosperous time, with a “renaissance” in art and monumental building projects. Unfortunately by the end of the 19th Dynasty, the increasing power of the priesthood corrupts the central government. The 20th Dynasty sees many tombs robbed by officials, and the priesthood becomes hereditary and assumes secular power. The government finally breaks down.
Eighteenth Dynasty 1570 – 1293 BC
Nineteenth Dynasty 1293 – 1185 BC
Twentieth Dynasty 1185 – 1070 BC
Third Intermediate Period: 21st – 24th Dynasties c1070-664 BC.
The T.I.P represents a distinct cycle defined by loss of unity at the end of the New Kingdom to the restoration of unified authority under Psamtek I. Although the power structure of the T.I.P was now very different from that of the New Kingdom, towns and cities still continued to flourish and the economy was generally healthy. The 21st – 24th Dynasties is known as the Libyan Period, and the system adopted by the Libyan rulers and modified by the later 25th Dynasty Kushites was generally effective.
THE LATE PERIOD: c664-332 BC.
The country is reunified under the Saite ruler Psamtek I. The Late Period generally covers the following four clearly defined phases:
Twenty Sixth Dynasty (Saite) 664 – 525 BC
First Persian Period: 27th Dynasty c525-404 BC.
Twenty Eighth Dynasty 404 – 399 BC. A period of independent rule:
Twenty Ninth Dynasty 399 – 380 BC
Thirtieth Dynasty 380 – 343 BC
Second Persian Period: 31st Dynasty c343-332 BC.
The 31st Dynasty is also known as the Second Persian Period. This second occupation was a period of suppression and rebellion resulting in the Egyptians welcoming the rule of the Macedonian leader Alexander.
THE MACEDONIAN AND PTOLEMAIC PERIOD: 332-3O BC.
The Mediterranean city of Alexandria was established by Alexander the Great, who “conquered” Egypt in 332 BC. After the death of his half brother and son, Alexander’s general Ptolemy I became pharaoh. A somewhat confusing time due to many co-regencies. Scholars are not always in agreement on the order of reigns, and in some instances, of the reigns themselves from Ptolemy VI through to Ptolemy XI. Egypt’s authority was intact until the death of the infamous Cleopatra, after which Egypt was inaugurated into the Roman Empire.

See Generally: http://www.reshafim.org.il/ad/egypt/nubia.htm
See footnote 2 above and http://www.touregypt.net/manethohyksos.htm
An ancient writer Aegyptiaca Manetho wrote the following regarding the on the Hyksos
“In his reign, for what cause I know not, a blast of God smote us; and unexpectedly, from the regions of the East, invaders of obscure race marched in confidence of victory against our land. By main force they easily overpowered the rulers of the land, they then burned our cities ruthlessly, razed to the ground the temples of the gods, and treated all the natives with a cruel hostility, massacring some and leading into slavery the wives and children of others. Finally, they appointed as king one of their number whose name was Salitis. He had his seat at Memphis, levying tribute from Upper and Lower Egypt, and leaving garrisons behind in the most advantageous positions. Above all, he fortified the district to the east, foreseeing that the Assyrians, as they grew stronger, would one day covet and attack his kingdom.
It was also reported that the priest, who ordained their polity and their laws, was by birth of Heliopolis, and his name Osarsiph, from Osyris, who was the god of Heliopolis; but that when he was gone over to these people, his name was changed, and he was called Moses.”
(The Editors) – We think UAI is trying to say the Egyptians were not worshiping their gods enough.
(The Editors) – Morgan Freeman and Woody Allen take note, only ancient mythological gods who nobody worships anymore should be schtuping their daughters/granddaughters with or without a blood relationship.
(The Editors) – The African equivalent of a Cougar.
(The Editors) – And a Dominatrix too!!
(Beertheostorian A) – UAI added the date tree bit, no legitimate telling of this story includes the date reference. After all who would want dates with their beer.
(The Editors) – We would want a date and a beer, especially with someone like the goddess Ninkasi.(See footnote 11) That whole incest thing kind of skeeves us off Hathor. That and her rather violent temper kind of puts her on par with a Nazi Dominatrix with her Jewish lover, your chances of survival, over the long term, are slim to nil.
(UAI) Regarding the dates, the A in Beertheostorian A must stand for ahistorical, because even thre briefest exposure to the Bible establishes dates historical significance as a food product in the ancient world. See also Eames, Alan, The Secret Life of Beer: Legends, Lore and Little Known Facts, Storey Publishing Pownal, VT 1995 Pg. 71 and pgs. 69-71 for a more complete reading of the Hathor myth.
During this 2500 year period Barbarians, such as the Nubians and the Greeks did successfully conquer Egypt, only to be assimilated as dynastic rulers into the Egyptian milieu.

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