this period is 500 years long, the only well-known name is Ashurbanipal: familiar from the Bible and part of an Assyrian occupation of Egypt from 671 to 664 . 8. Late Period: Includes the twenty-seventh, twenty-eighth, twenty-ninth, and thirtieth dynasties from 525 BC to 332 BC. Some of the familiar names from these dynasties are not Egyptians but Persians and Greeks, like Darius the Great and Xerxes. 9. Alexander the Great: He gets a dynasty designation of his own even though he is the only member of it. This thirty-first dynasty lasted from 331to 323 BC and though short and surviving only one ruler's lifetime, there are many evidences of Alexander's presence in Egypt. 10. Ptolemaic Kings: Though they could legitimately constitute a 32nd dynasty, for some reason (unknown to me) they are not so labeled. At any rate, their rule runs from Ptolemy I in 323 to the Cleopatra with whom we feel well-acquainted. She finished out the Ptolemaic hegemony in 30 BC. After this period, Egypt's history is dominated by Romans, Arabs, Turks, French and even the British for about 70 years. Even when other peoples ruled them, the Egyptian people maintained their ethnicity and their character. The biggest change for them came with two religious “invasions” when the Romans brought Christianity in 41 AD with the arrival of St. Mark the Apostle and when the Arabs brought Islam into Egypt through their conquest of the Byzantines in 640 AD. Since l952, the Egyptians have again been an independent nation as they were under their own ancient Pharaohs Though much diminished in numbers and percentage of the population, Coptic Christians continue to live in relative peace with the Muslim majority. R ELIGIONS OF E GYPT For a full day, we participated in a Spiritual Tour of Cairo which included visits to Jewish, Christian and Islamic places of worship. Judaism Our young guide, Hany, told us with very little obvious discomfiture that at present only 55 Jews live in Egypt: 35 in Alexandria and 20 in Cairo. We visited the Ben Ezra Synagogue during our Spiritual Tour of the city. It functions today only as an historical monument and the most-visited Jewish site in Cairo.
Made with FlippingBook flipbook maker