History of Ancient Egypt

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Lots of History in easy bits I have always been interested in Egyptology. Took several courses in college in Art History, and Archaeology, that covered parts of this material. Prof. Bier (sp?) lecture was well structured, engaging while being educational. I enjoyed being reminded of my joy of Archaeology & Art History. Fleshing out the bones of Egypt.
Date published: 2020-11-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Lots of Information, Verbal Quirks, Very Engaging If you know people from the Bronx, the verbal mannerisms of this instructor will feel familiar. Bob Brier lectures like he's walking down the street with a friend, telling a story with immediacy as if it all happened just today and he's still processing it all in his head. Hence, all the feints into digressions but he cuts himself off with, "But I'll get to that later." Plus he has his biases and prejudices. In his view, Egyptian religion is mythology whereas the Bible is not, for example. But, except for that subject, he's upfront about his biases. All in all, he's unfailingly engaging. In many ways, he reminds me of the wonderful ancient Egyptian documentaries created in the '80s by John Romer (Romer's Egypt, Ancient Lives) who also never lost his original lower class dialect - more striking in Romer's case as he's English. Romer's work was more focused on the daily lives of people, and less on the elites, but both don't merely know their subject, they inhabit it.
Date published: 2020-11-09
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Don't buy this course! I found this course to be exasperating and frustrating due to the presentation of Dr. Brier. First of all, he is very, VERY slow. He repeats himself constantly. He is forever saying, "I want to tell you about..." or "Let me tell you about..." until I want to scream, "Just tell me!". He reviews ad infinitum. The final impression I had was that he thought he was presenting to grade schoolers not too interested in the topic. There was so little of facts, dates, or really basic historical information that I felt this course needed an accompanying course to flesh it out. I did hear a lot of information about mummies which left me feeling that it would be too soon if I heard any more.
Date published: 2020-10-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great professor! I really enjoy this professor. He's knowledgeable and easy to listen to as well as pay attention to. The course is well planned and highly informative. This is my favorite course on here. Excited to see if he may have other courses eventually.
Date published: 2020-10-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautifully executed by masterful teacher I would NEVER have imagined that anyone could THRILL mevwith a course on Egypt. Nothing against Egypt, just massively UNinformed. Thd man couldvteach me anyyhing! That, combined with his,sillful weaving ovvghe saga of 3 millennia, full of lifegiving details. I heard/read fromother skillful writers, but this man is the very best!
Date published: 2020-09-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent course given by a great story-teller Dr. Brier brings 3000 year of Egyptian history to life in this course. Even though it was 24 hours long, I enjoyed every minute! I admit I was already very interested in the subject, but if you have any interested in Egyptian history at all, this is a must see.
Date published: 2020-09-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved the course and professor I came back from Egypt wanting to know more about ancient Egypt. I read three books, and took another online course at UPenn, but this course by Prof. Bob Brier was the best and most enjoyable source. He covered 300 years of pharaohonic(?) history but with delightful tangents on such topics as Egyptian magic, and (his own speciality) mummification. I found his everyday explanations for a pharaoh's behavior on point and hilarious. I felt so bummed when the course ended that I signed up for his course on Egyptian hieroglyphs. (Needless to say, it's a lot harder! )
Date published: 2020-09-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful series, great speaker Looking forward to viewing this series of lectures
Date published: 2020-08-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Exceptional Course & Teacher, Bob Brier is Awesome As someone who is just learning about Egypt this class was exceptional and the teacher Bob Brier is one of the best teachers I have ever had the pleasure of listening to, even after experiencing 4 years of University and Honors in History and Classics. Bob Brier is a gifted teacher and story teller, I could listen to him all day and while 48 Lectures seems like a huge task, the time flies right by and he really brings Egypt to life and I really hope he has won awards. Would recommend this course to anyone and everyone as not only is he a natural born storyteller and extremely knowledgeable, he makes the enormous and difficult history of Egypt not only digestible and manageable but also fun! I will be looking out for him in the future for more courses, cannot recommend enough and was so disappointed when it was all done, I gave out a laudable sigh. Everyone interested in history should take this course, you will only do yourself a disservice if you don't.
Date published: 2020-07-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful course This is a superb overview of Ancient Egyptian history by a brilliant lecturer
Date published: 2020-07-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Looking forward to going to Eygpt! Professor Brier's delivery is unusual but once you get use to it this course is great. He is more of a storyteller then a professor which makes the course more personal rather then just dictating facts. I've watch documentaries on Egypt and they give you a high level look at it's history. Professor Brier's fills in the details. I have a trip planned to Egypt in 2022 and I would highly recommend anyone planning to go to take this course first. You'll have a much better appreciation of the country and it's history.
Date published: 2020-07-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fascinating history, great presenter I'm only half way through the lectures but am enjoying them very much. The subject is fascinating- thousands of years of significant history and pretty good records of what happened. I love Dr. Brier's style. He has favorites, and he tells why. He has a sense of humor. He describes people in a down home New York style (I can say this having grown up on Long Island).
Date published: 2020-06-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Lessons about mummification alone is already 5star Professor Brier is simply awesome. Very engaging, his enthusiasm contagious. Knows his stuff by heart. His teaching second to none. He is a man who really knows Egypt inside out. With each lesson upto 30mins in length it is understandable that you can only pack as much information in every topic and Professor Brier made use of it well and he makes each of them flow seamlessly from one to the other. Having said that, this is a high level course with plenty of gems of information scattered throughout. Highlight for me are lessons about mummies - it is where Professor Brier showed his unparalleled experience in the field of mummification. Armchair pundits in mummification are welcome to present their theories but this man has done it all! The first man in probably 2000+ years to do so since the Egyptians. His side trips regarding Exodus and Joseph are also enjoyable regardless whether you believe his hypothesis or not. I hope Professor Brier makes a course like John Romer's Ancient Lives.
Date published: 2020-06-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from wonderful introduction to The Great Courses This is my overall review of the courses offered by the Great Courses rather than a specific course. I was depressed and in a wheelchair at home whilst recuperating after major spinal surgery (2014). Out of the blue someone left a catalogue of The Great Courses in my post box. I was suddenly attracted to the very wide range of courses on offer. The History of Ancient Egypt was the very first course I happened to subscribed to. What a stroke of luck! Prof Bob Brier was such a terrific lecturer, deeply knowledgeable, humorous and engaging. He was instrumental in getting me hooked onto subsequent courses on diverse topics. I have now about 50 courses in my digital library and growing. It is my habit to go through the various reviews before I commit to a purchase, starting with the 5 stars and 1 star to get the range of views of previous subscribers. In my experience the highly detailed and negative reviews are usually quite an unfair assessment in that the reviewer already has prior and often significant expertise on the subject and is expecting more highly technical expertise or indepth but narrow treatment of the subject by the lecturer (which can be accessed through specialised sources eg libraries). Personally I do these courses as a prelude to cessation of my professional life (I am a lifetime Anatomical Pathologist) and I find them mostly very enjoyable and highly educational. I agree wholeheartedly the enjoyment factor depends as much on the delivery by the lecturer as on the subject matter.
Date published: 2020-05-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Professor Brier is a fabulous lecturer!!! Have loved every minute of it!! Professor Brier brings ancient Egypt to life!!!
Date published: 2020-05-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fascinating information & a great speaker! I have always had an interest in Egypt. What a thrill it was to go on a trip to Egypt last year! I am just starting Lesson 7 of 48. Dr. Brier is such an engaging speaker. He really brings history to life. I am very much enjoying the series & learning so much. Can't wait to learn more with each lesson. Looking forward to starting the series on the Egyptian Pharoahs!
Date published: 2020-05-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I’m delighted with this course! I’m still ongoing and it’s truly wonderful to be able to have access to this course that is my passion!
Date published: 2020-05-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Phenomenal series of lectures! Theseseries of 48 lectures was fascinating. The professor communicated his enthusiasm for his subject, carefully selected visuals as appropriate, and was a delight to listen to. If I could give him six stars, I would.
Date published: 2020-04-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best course yet I find myself breaking my general rule of not evaluating something until I have completed it. This is by far the best of The Great Courses that I have experienced to date. The instructor is informative, authoritative, and most of all, interesting. At all times, I have the feeling that he is speaking to me, not at me. I just wish that my passed wife could have shared the experience. I strongly recommend this course.
Date published: 2020-04-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An absolute delight! We just finished this course a few minutes ago and are so sad It's over. Professor Brier has deep knowledge of the subject and does an excellent job of conveying his enthusiasm to the students. Even facts we knew before were given a whole new life. And there was so much detail we didn't know. One of the finest courses by one of the finest lecturers we've encountered.
Date published: 2020-04-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Production Dr. Bob Brier is one of the foremost authorities on Ancient Egypt. He is an excellent lecturer. All of his courses are entertaining, stimulating and enjoyable. I had the privilege of attending one of his lectures in person. If one is interested in Egypt then his courses are for you!
Date published: 2020-03-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good thoughtful approach to ancient Egypt Like many other people, ancient Egypt has always held attraction for me. One outstanding memory for me was visiting the Oriental Institute in the early 1960's, when I went for an admission interview for the College of the University of Chicago; what an eye-opening experience (even to see what is reported as the third largest sphynx in the world). During my undergraduate days at Chicago I was able to revisit the museum. Professor Brier has deep and wide knowledge of Egyptology which he can present in concise, graphic details which also are entertaining. His lectures include "side trips" to expand our knowledge beyond the kings, pyramids, stellae, temples, etc. He is not afraid to tell us what is NOT known, but is willing to give some alternative, logical explanations (as someone trained in science, I do have problems wit his calling them "theories", but ok) for scenarios not well-supported (or even given no good evidence) but help show how archaeologists must work to "fill the gaps". You cannot go wrong taking this course.
Date published: 2020-03-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Highly recommended - thank you Professor Bob An excellent, thoroughly enjoyable and enlightening series of lectures. Prof Bob is a really good presenter/lecturer, wears his learning lightly, and as a consequence makes learning fun for others. From knowing very little about Ancient Egypt, I now have a really good overview, and was sorry when the course ended. Was tempted to start at the beginning, but am instead moving on to his history of the pharaohs. A big thank you to Prof Bob.
Date published: 2020-03-06
Rated 3 out of 5 by from I learned, but it was biased, annoying. Professor Brier has a one-sided positive view of ancient Egypt and minimizes any negatives. It is difficult to put my own feelings into words, but he just seems biased. His presentation style is annoying. He uses many pauses for emphasis and he repeats himself frequently ... frequently. Often multiple times ... multiple times... in the same sentence... the same sentence. As a result his presentation is slow. I think he could go into more depth, and give a broader perspective if he used this wasted time better. He uses hand gestures and pauses to show that his opinion is self evident, even when it is not. It is as if he is using social pressure to make you agree and accept him as the expert. Did I learn from the class? Yes, but I agree with the previous reviewer that the course should be updated.
Date published: 2020-02-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great overview of Egyptian history I purchased this course prior to taking an archeology tour of Egypt. It provided a wonderful overview and Dr. Brier is an excellent speaker. While I cannot recite the names of all the pharaohs (!), I feel like I understand the historical flow. I recommend, however, that Great Courses consider having Dr. Brier update the course. It was produced in 1999 - there have been a number of discoveries since then. In addition, video has come a long way.
Date published: 2020-01-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful enthusiasm and depth on knowledge My very first Great Curse was an introductory offer on Prof Bob Brier's "Great Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt". I have been hooked on Great Courses ever since. I have now completed this wonderful course "The History of Ancient Egypt" and it is excellent. I have come away with a far greater understanding about the history of Egypt and her role in the ancient world right up to the Roman period. The enthusiasm that Bob Brier has is infectious and I can not recommend this highly enough. Many thanks indeed!
Date published: 2020-01-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from wonderful speaker that makes Egyptian history understandable andinformative
Date published: 2020-01-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very Good I have really enjoyed this course however it is around twenty years old and needs updating.
Date published: 2020-01-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Great Overview of 3,000 Years of Egyptian Histor Having visited Egypt some ten years ago, my great regret is that I did not take this course before going. I cannot say enough good things about Professor Brier and the excellent content of his lectures. When I started and realized there were 48 lectures, I felt a bit overwhelmed by the prospect. But because of Professor Brier's excellent manner of presenting so much material covering such a long period of time, the time flew by. By the time I finished lecture 48, I was sad that I had completed the course. So many fascinating aspects of Egyptology were opened up to me by this course. To say that I learned a lot would be a gross understatement. Even things that I had a passing knowledge of were so enhanced by Professor Brier. He loves mummification and there may have been a tad bit of overkill on that subject, but what the heck; it's his specialty so why not? One of the things I especially appreciated about the course was learning where certain events fit into Egyptian history. I had no idea that the great pyramids were built thousands of years before The Valley of the Kings was even started. Understanding the role of foreign powers that at point ruled Egypt was also most interesting. I mean, did I know that Cleopatra was a Greek (Ptolemy)? Nope. I cannot recommend this course strong enough.
Date published: 2019-12-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent professor It's so neat to watch someone get so excited about their subject.
Date published: 2019-12-22
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History of Ancient Egypt
Course Trailer
1: Introduction

What makes ancient Egypt so interesting? How do we know what we know about it? What can you, as a student, expect from these lectures?...

32 min
Prehistoric Egypt
2: Prehistoric Egypt

In this lesson, we will see just how old "old" is. The basic divisions of prehistory will be discussed, and each category will be defined and its specific characteristics delineated. Once these categories are clear, we will discuss the difficulties of studying a prehistoric civilization....

31 min
Ancient Egyptian Thought
3: Ancient Egyptian Thought

What distinguishes mythology, religion, and philosophy from one another? What role did each play in the lives of the ancient Egyptians?...

30 min
Napoleon and the Beginnings of Egyptology
4: Napoleon and the Beginnings of Egyptology

Why does modern Egyptology begin with Napoleon? How was Egypt studied before he and his army arrived with 150 scientists in tow in 1798? How did the monumental Description de l'Egypte that Bonaparte's savants produced become the benchmark for all future publications in the field?...

30 min
The Rosetta Stone, and Much More
5: The Rosetta Stone, and Much More

The Rosetta Stone is a large granite stela, carved under Ptolemy V and unearthed by French troops in 1799. With inscriptions of the same text in Greek and Egyptian, it provided the key to deciphering the ancient Egyptian language. Learn the four scripts in which ancient Egyptian can be written, as well as the three ways hieroglyphic signs can be used....

30 min
The First Nation in History
6: The First Nation in History

How did Egypt become history's first nation? Once King Narmer unified Upper and Lower Egypt, it took only a few hundred years to build a power that would dominate the Near East for millennia. Learn why the political structure of ancient Egypt made this possible and how the "Narmer Palette" tells this story....

30 min
The Rise of the Old Kingdom
7: The Rise of the Old Kingdom

As Egypt becomes a great nation led by a single all-powerful ruler, traditions arise that will last for millennia: a capital city, separate burial places (and eventually mighty pyramids) for the kings, solar boats for the trip to the next world, and more....

30 min
Sneferu, the Pyramid Builder
8: Sneferu, the Pyramid Builder

This lecture will present a portrait of the founder of the "Fabulous Fourth" Dynasty, Sneferu. Using trial and error, he figured out how to build a true pyramid. His reign also saw Egypt's blossoming as an international power and the setting of artistic standards that would last for thousands of years....

30 min
The Great Pyramid of Giza
9: The Great Pyramid of Giza

From leveling the foundation to setting the capstone, here are-as best as we can make out-the "nuts and bolts" of the Egyptians' most literally "monumental" feat: pyramid building. This lecture also discusses the 144-foot solar boat that was found in 1954, buried near the Great Pyramid....

30 min
The End of the Old Kingdom
10: The End of the Old Kingdom

After the fantastic achievements of Dynasty IV, something-no one knows what-changed. Pharaohs stopped building pyramids and seem to have adopted sun worship. Dynasty VI resumed pyramid building on a small scale, but the death of its last king plunged Egypt into chaos....

30 min
The First Intermediate Period
11: The First Intermediate Period

After centuries of power, pyramids, and prosperity, Egypt totally collapsed. Why? A look at this period also shows the methods that Egyptologists use to reconstruct history where the resources are scant....

30 min
The Middle Kingdom-Dynasty XI
12: The Middle Kingdom-Dynasty XI

The Middle Kingdom is the story of Egypt's resurrection. Dynasty XI is the dynasty of reunification, slowly bringing Egypt back to unity and greatness....

30 min
The Middle Kingdom-Dynasty XII
13: The Middle Kingdom-Dynasty XII

The seven kings of Dynasty XII built pyramids, fostered great literature (often for political purposes), and consolidated power once again in the center....

31 min
The Second Intermediate Period
14: The Second Intermediate Period

Ancient Egypt is the only civilization in history to have been eclipsed twice and bounced back to prominence on both occasions. Dynasties XIII through XVII saw the Middle Kingdom's decline, the advent of foreign rule, and finally, the expulsion of the Hyksos by a heroic prince of Thebes and his two sons at the end of Dynasty XVII....

30 min
Joseph in Egypt
15: Joseph in Egypt

The Bible describes a lengthy sojourn of the Israelites in Egypt. We examine the Joseph story in the Book of Genesis to see what light Egyptology might shed on its authenticity....

30 min
The Beginning of the New Kingdom-The Fabulous XVIIIth Dynasty
16: The Beginning of the New Kingdom-The Fabulous XVIIIth Dynasty

Practices we think of as defining ancient Egypt-including the use of a standing army to exact foreign tribute and the burial of the pharaohs in the Valley of the Kings-have their origins in this seminal period. We will also take a detailed look at what warfare was like in the ancient world....

30 min
Queen Hatshepsut
17: Queen Hatshepsut

One of the greatest individuals in Egyptian history, Hatshepsut appears in no official Egyptian record. When she died, she was "King of Upper and Lower Egypt." How did she handle the three core activities of kingship-building, warfare, and trading expeditions? Why was her name later systematically expunged?...

30 min
18: Obelisks

Obelisks are a purely Egyptian invention. Quarrying, transporting, and erecting one is perhaps an even greater engineering feat than the building of a pyramid. Learn the origins and religious significance of obelisks....

30 min
Tuthmosis III-King At Last
19: Tuthmosis III-King At Last

For 22 years, Tuthmosis III was second fiddle to his aunt Hatshepsut, who ruled as a king although she was a woman. When she died and he ruled by himself, he became one of the greatest military pharaohs Egypt had ever known. Learn what it meant to be a great king by tracing the epic events of his reign....

30 min
The Fabulous XVIIIth Dynasty Rolls On
20: The Fabulous XVIIIth Dynasty Rolls On

Witness this glorious dynasty continue through two superior pharaohs and then one great one, Amenhotep III, "The Sun King."...

30 min
Akhenaten the Heretic Pharaoh
21: Akhenaten the Heretic Pharaoh

The most enigmatic and controversial pharaoh in Egypt's history, Akhenaten rocked the pillars of Egyptian society. He may have been the first monotheist and the first "individual" in history....

30 min
The Discovery of Tutankhamen's Tomb
22: The Discovery of Tutankhamen's Tomb

Unearthed by Howard Carter in 1922, the burial place of this young son of Akhenaten is the only royal tomb to have been found substantially intact. Follow the careful research and planning that led up to Carter's discovery, and learn the significance of the thousands of artifacts found....

30 min
The Murder of Tutankhamen-A Theory
23: The Murder of Tutankhamen-A Theory

Was Tutankhamen the victim of foul play? Do his mummified remains hold clues? Who might have wanted him dead, and why? Sift the physical and circumstantial evidence for this intriguing hypothesis and form your own conclusion....

30 min
Medicine-The Necessary Art
24: Medicine-The Necessary Art

The physicians of Egypt were famous throughout the ancient world. Probe the justification for this fame by examining medical papyri. We will see that there were really two approaches to medicine: clinical and magical....

30 min
The End of Dynasty XVIII
25: The End of Dynasty XVIII

What happened when a pharaoh died without issue? Find out by looking at three such cases that arose toward the end of Dynasty XVIII. Tutankhamen, Aye, and Horemheb, the last king of the dynasty, left no children....

31 min
Mummification-How We Know What We Know
26: Mummification-How We Know What We Know

Mummification was a trade secret. The Egyptians left no records of how they did it. Detective work is needed, and fortunately, there are four papyri that offer some clues....

30 min
What Mummies Tell Us
27: What Mummies Tell Us

The primary source for figuring out how the Egyptians mummified their dead is the mummies themselves. What distinguishes mummies from the Old Kingdom, the New Kingdom, and the Late Period, respectively? How have Egyptologists reconstructed this ancient art? By the end of this lecture, you will be able to look at a mummy and tell how old it is....

30 min
Making a Modern Mummy
28: Making a Modern Mummy

Here you'll learn how Professor Brier mummified a human cadaver in the ancient Egyptian manner to determine how the Egyptian embalmers did it. The purpose of the project was not to make a mummy, but to gain knowledge of the instruments, substances, and surgical procedures used during the process....

30 min
Dynasty XIX Begins
29: Dynasty XIX Begins

After three childless pharaohs in a row, Egypt desperately needed stability. Thus, the first pharaoh of Dynasty XIX may have been selected not for his ability, but because of his heirs!...

30 min
Ramses the Great-The Early Years
30: Ramses the Great-The Early Years

Ramses the Great ruled for 67 years and was considered one of Egypt's greatest pharaohs. The pillars of his reputation were classic: warfare and building....

30 min
Ramses the Great-The Later Years
31: Ramses the Great-The Later Years

There is a bit of a mystery about Ramses's reign. Its last 40 years were rather sedentary. In considering what might have happened, you will see how a pharaoh with the resources of Ramses prepared himself and his family for the next world....

31 min
The Exodus-Did It Happen?
32: The Exodus-Did It Happen?

The Book of Exodus, so fundamental to the history of the Jewish people, is the section of the Old Testament most closely tied to Egypt. What light can Egyptology shed on the biblical account?...

30 min
The Decline of Dynasty XIX
33: The Decline of Dynasty XIX

Short reigns and a lack of major building projects betray the beginnings of Egypt's long slide from greatness....

30 min
Dynasty XX-The Decline Continues
34: Dynasty XX-The Decline Continues

After Ramses III's brief attempt to restore Egypt's stability, the downward slide continued. Who were the mysterious Sea Peoples? How did they contribute to the weakening of Egypt?...

30 min
Ancient Egyptian Magic
35: Ancient Egyptian Magic

Magic was a central concern of the ancient Egyptians. What were its basic elements and practices?...

31 min
Dynasty XXI-Egypt Divided
36: Dynasty XXI-Egypt Divided

Egypt's long slide continued as rival dynasties ruled from Thebes and the Delta. Egyptian history had become "a tale of two cities."...

31 min
Dynasty XXII-Egypt United
37: Dynasty XXII-Egypt United

Libyans ruled from the Delta city of Bubastis for 200 years and fought to restore Egypt's greatness. During this time, Egypt became involved with the biblical kingdoms of Judah and Israel. In the end, Egypt suffered division once more, but this time the two halves did not fight one another....

30 min
Dynasty XXV-The Nubians Have Their Day
38: Dynasty XXV-The Nubians Have Their Day

Nubians had been permitted to grow independent, with their leaders taking the title of pharaoh. They were also devoted to Amun, so in a sense, Egypt was their spiritual home. We will see a warrior from the south (Kush) battling a confederation of Egyptian "kings" and unifying Egypt once again....

30 min
Dynasty XXVI-The Saite Period
39: Dynasty XXVI-The Saite Period

Egypt fell under and then escaped Assyrian control only to face a new menace in the form of Babylon. As if they knew it was the last gasp, the pharaohs of Dynasty XXVI looked back to the Old Kingdom for inspiration....

29 min
Dynasty XXVII-The Persians
40: Dynasty XXVII-The Persians

The Greek traveler Herodotus gives three different reasons Persia invaded Egypt. How do his accounts compare with Egyptian records? How did Egypt express its unbending will to be free under this latest group of foreign rulers?...

30 min
Dynasties XXVIII to XXXI-The Beginning of the End
41: Dynasties XXVIII to XXXI-The Beginning of the End

Four very brief dynasties ruled in succession. When the last native-born ruler, Nectanebo II, was forced to flee into Nubia, Egypt's glory was over....

30 min
Alexander the Great
42: Alexander the Great

Alexander the Great began 300 years of Greek control of Egypt. We will trace his extraordinary career as a young general, as pharaoh, and as legendary conqueror....

30 min
The First Ptolemies
43: The First Ptolemies

The Greek kings known as the Ptolemies ran Egypt like a business. Taxes were heavy; government was oppressive. There are two great Hellenistic achievements, however: the Pharos Lighthouse and the famed Library of Alexandria....

31 min
The Middle Ptolemies-The Decline
44: The Middle Ptolemies-The Decline

A TV show about the Middle Ptolemies might well be called "Lifestyles of the Rich and Murderous." With few exceptions, the members of this dysfunctional dynasty were violent, debauched, and generally neglectful of the country they ruled. The Egyptians hated them and frequently rebelled, forcing some to flee for their lives. With each Ptolemy, Egypt sank deeper, making a return to greatne...

30 min
Animal Mummies
45: Animal Mummies

The Ptolemies had a fascination with mummies, especially animal mummies. We will take an in-depth look at the practice of animal mummification, which became a major industry during the Ptolemaic period....

30 min
Cleopatra's Family
46: Cleopatra's Family

For a Ptolemy, dodging assassination by one's own kin was often the hardest part of ruling. Learn how Cleopatra's father managed this task, and trace the course of Egypt's growing-and ultimately fatal-interaction with the rising power of Rome....

30 min
Cleopatra-The Last Ptolemy
47: Cleopatra-The Last Ptolemy

Although Cleopatra is one of the most famous women who ever lived, she remains an enigma-we don't even know her mother's name. History is written by the victors, and Cleopatra lost. Can ancient records help fill out her story?...

31 min
The Grand Finale
48: The Grand Finale

This last lecture crowns the course by briefly summarizing 3,000 years of Egyptian history; outlining Egypt's legacy to us; surveying images of Egypt in film and literature; and listing ways you can pursue your interest in this remarkable civilization. Your learning needn't stop here!...

31 min
Bob Brier

To a great extent, the fun of history is in the details. Knowing what kind of wine Tutankhamen preferred makes him come alive.


The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill


Long Island University

About Bob Brier

Dr. Bob Brier is an Egyptologist and Senior Research Fellow at the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University. He earned his bachelor's degree from Hunter College and Ph.D. in Philosophy from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Professor Brier has twice been selected as a Fulbright Scholar and has received Long Island University's David Newton Award for Teaching Excellence in recognition of his achievements as a lecturer. He has served as Director of the National Endowment for the Humanities' Egyptology Today program. In 1994, Dr. Brier became the first person in 2,000 years to mummify a human cadaver in the ancient Egyptian style. This research was the subject of a National Geographic television special, Mr. Mummy. Dr. Brier is also the host of The Learning Channel's series The Great Egyptians. Professor Brier is the author of Ancient Egyptian Magic (1980), Egyptian Mummies (1994), Encyclopedia of Mummies (1998), The Murder of Tutankhamen: A True Story (1998), Daily Life in Ancient Egypt (1999), and numerous scholarly articles.

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