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Egyptians ( arz, المصريين, ; cop, ⲣⲉⲙⲛ̀ⲭⲏⲙⲓ, remenkhēmi) are an ethnic group of people originating from the country of
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a spanning the and the of . It is bordered by the to , the () and to , the to the east, to , and to . In the northeast, the , which is the northern arm of the R ...

Egypt
. Egyptian identity is closely tied to
geography Geography (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10. ...
. The population is concentrated in the
Nile Valley The Nile, , Bohairic , lg, Kiira , Nobiin Nobiin, or Mahas, is a Northern Nubian languages, Nubian language of the Nilo-Saharan languages, Nilo-Saharan language family. "Nobiin" is the genitive case, genitive form of ''Nòòbíí'' ("Nubi ...

Nile Valley
, a small strip of cultivable land stretching from the
First Cataract The Cataracts of the Nile are shallow lengths (or whitewater ( French Alps) , Central Finland between Sweden and Finland. Whitewater forms in a rapid context, in particular, when a river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, ...
to the
Mediterranean The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Western Europe, Western and Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa ...
and enclosed by
desert upright=1.5, alt=see caption, Sand dunes in the Rub' al Khali ("Empty quarter") in the United Arab Emirates">Rub'_al_Khali.html" ;"title="Sand dunes in the Rub' al Khali">Sand dunes in the Rub' al Khali ("Empty quarter") in the United Arab ...

desert
both to the east and to the
west 250px, A compass rose with west highlighted in black West or Occident is one of the four cardinal directions or points of the compass The points of the compass are the vectors by which planet-based directions are conventionally defined. A co ...
. This unique geography has been the basis of the development of Egyptian society since
antiquity Antiquity or Antiquities may refer to Historical objects or periods Artifacts * Antiquities, objects or artifacts surviving from ancient cultures Eras Any period before the European Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages ...

antiquity
. The daily language of the Egyptians is a continuum of the local
varieties of Arabic The varieties Variety may refer to: Science and technology Mathematics * Algebraic variety, the set of solutions of a system of polynomial equations * Variety (universal algebra), classes of algebraic structures defined by equations in univer ...
; the most famous dialect is known as
Egyptian Arabic Egyptian Arabic, locally known as Colloquial Egyptian ( ar, العامية المصرية, ), or simply ''Masri'' (), is the spoken vernacular A vernacular or vernacular language refers to the language or dialect that is spoken by people tha ...
or ''Masri''. Additionally, a sizable minority of Egyptians living in Upper Egypt speak
Sa'idi Arabic A Ṣa‘īdī (, Coptic: ⲣⲉⲙⲣⲏⲥ ''Remris'') is a person from Upper Egypt Upper Egypt ( ar, صعيد مصر ', shortened to , , locally: ; ) is the southern portion of Egypt and is composed of the lands on both sides of the Nile tha ...
, a mix between the Sahidic Coptic dialect and Arabic. Egyptians are predominantly adherents of
Sunni Islam Sunni Islam () is by far the largest Islamic schools and branches, branch of Islam, followed by 85–90% of the world's Muslims. Its name comes from the word ''Sunnah'', referring to the behaviour of Muhammad. The differences between Sunni ...
with a
Shia Shia Islam or Shi'ism is the second largest Islamic schools and branches, branch of Islam. It holds that the Prophets and messengers in Islam, Islamic prophet Muhammad in Islam, Muhammad designated Ali, Ali ibn Abi Talib as his Succession to Mu ...
minority and a significant proportion who follow native
Sufi Sufism ( ar, ٱلصُّوفِيَّة), also known as Tasawwuf (), is mysticism in Islam, "characterized ... y particularvalues, ritual practices, doctrines and institutions". It is variously defined as "Islamic mysticism",Martin Lings, ...

Sufi
orders Orders is a surname In some cultures, a surname, family name, or last name is the portion of one's personal name that indicates their family, tribe or community. Practices vary by culture. The family name may be placed at either the start of ...
.Hoffman, Valerie J. ''Sufism, Mystics, and Saints in Modern Egypt''. University of South Carolina Press, 1995

A considerable percentage of Egyptians are Coptic Christians who belong to the
Coptic Orthodox Church The Coptic Orthodox Church ( cop, Ϯⲉⲕ̀ⲕⲗⲏⲥⲓⲁ ⲛ̀ⲣⲉⲙⲛ̀ⲭⲏⲙⲓ ⲛ̀ⲟⲣⲑⲟⲇⲟⲝⲟⲥ, translit=Ti.eklyseya en.remenkimi en.orthodoxos, lit=the Egyptian Orthodox Church; ar, الكنيسة القبطية ...

Coptic Orthodox Church
, whose
liturgical language A sacred language, holy language or liturgical language is any language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most lang ...
, Coptic, is the most recent stage of the ancient
Egyptian language The Egyptian language or Ancient Egyptian ( egy, 𓂋𓏺𓈖 𓆎𓅓𓏏𓊖, , cop, ϯⲙⲉⲧⲣⲉⲙⲛ̀ⲭⲏⲙⲓ) is an Afro-Asiatic language Afroasiatic (Afro-Asiatic), also known as Afrasian or Hamito-Semitic or Semito-Hamiti ...
and is still used in
prayer Prayer is an invocation An invocation (from the Latin verb ''invocare'' "to call on, invoke, to give") may take the form of: * Supplication, prayer Prayer is an invocation or act that seeks to activate a rapport with an object of wo ...

prayer
s along with Egyptian Arabic.


Terminology

Egyptians have received several names: * 𓂋𓍿𓀂𓁐𓏥𓈖𓆎𓅓𓏏𓊖 / ''rmṯ n Km.t'', the native
Egyptian Egyptian describes something of, from, or related to Egypt. Egyptian or Egyptians may refer to: Nations and ethnic groups * Egyptians, a national group in North Africa ** Egyptian culture, a complex and stable culture with thousands of years of r ...
name of the people of the Nile Valley, literally 'People of Kemet' (i.e., Egypt). In
antiquity Antiquity or Antiquities may refer to Historical objects or periods Artifacts * Antiquities, objects or artifacts surviving from ancient cultures Eras Any period before the European Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages ...

antiquity
, it was often shortened to simply ' or "the people". The name is vocalized as in the (Bohairic)
Coptic Coptic may refer to: Afro-Asia * Copts, an ethnoreligious group mainly in the area of modern Egypt but also in Sudan and Libya * Coptic language, a Northern Afro-Asiatic language spoken in Egypt until at least the 17th century * Coptic alphabet, th ...
stage of the language, meaning "Egyptian" (' with the plural definite article, "the Egyptians"). * Egyptians, from
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
, ', from , ' "Egypt". The Greek name is derived from
Late Egyptian Late Egyptian is the stage of the Egyptian language The Egyptian language or Ancient Egyptian ( egy, 𓂋𓏺𓈖 𓆎𓅓𓏏𓊖, , cop, ϯⲙⲉⲧⲣⲉⲙⲛ̀ⲭⲏⲙⲓ) is an Afro-Asiatic language Afroasiatic (Afro-Asiatic), als ...
''Hikuptah'' "
Memphis Memphis is the name of: *Memphis, Egypt , alternate_name = , image = , alt = , caption = Ruins of the pillared hall of Ramesses IIat Mit Rahina , map_type = Egypt , map_alt = , map_size = , reli ...
", a corruption of the earlier
Egyptian Egyptian describes something of, from, or related to Egypt. Egyptian or Egyptians may refer to: Nations and ethnic groups * Egyptians, a national group in North Africa ** Egyptian culture, a complex and stable culture with thousands of years of r ...
name ''Hat-ka-Ptah'' (), meaning "home of the ka (soul) of Ptah", the name of a temple to the god
Ptah Ptah ( egy, ptḥ, reconstructed ; grc, Φθά; cop, ⲡⲧⲁϩ) is an ancient Egyptian deity Ancient Egyptian deities are the gods A deity or god is a supernatural being considered divinity, divine or sacred. The ''Oxford Dictiona ...

Ptah
at Memphis.
Strabo Strabo''Strabo'' (meaning "squinty", as in strabismus Strabismus is a condition in which the eyes do not properly align with each other when looking at an object. The eye that is focused on an object can alternate. The condition may be pre ...

Strabo
provided a
folk etymology Folk etymology (also known as popular etymology, analogical reformation, reanalysis, morphological reanalysis or etymological reinterpretation) is a change in a word or phrase resulting from the replacement of an unfamiliar form by a more familia ...
according to which had evolved as a compound from ', meaning "below the Aegean". In English, the noun "Egyptians" appears in the 14th century, in Wycliff's Bible, as ''Egipcions''. *
Copts The Copts ( cop, ⲛⲓⲣⲉⲙⲛ̀ⲭⲏⲙⲓ, translit=niremənkhēmi; ar, الْقِبْط, ) are an ethnoreligious group An ethnoreligious group (or an ethno-religious group), or simply an ethnoreligion, is a grouping of people who a ...

Copts
(قبط, '), also a derivative of the Greek word , ''Aiguptios'' ("Egypt, Egyptian"), that appeared under Muslim rule when it overtook
Roman rule
Roman rule
in Egypt. The term referred to the Egyptian locals, to distinguish them from the Arab rulers.
Coptic Coptic may refer to: Afro-Asia * Copts, an ethnoreligious group mainly in the area of modern Egypt but also in Sudan and Libya * Coptic language, a Northern Afro-Asiatic language spoken in Egypt until at least the 17th century * Coptic alphabet, th ...
was the language of the state, Christian church and people but was replaced by
Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countries, transcontinental region ...

Arabic
after the Muslim conquest. Islam became the dominant religion centuries after the Muslim conquest in Egypt. This is due to centuries of conversion from Christianity to Islam. The modern term then became exclusively associated with
Egyptian Christianity
Egyptian Christianity
and Coptic Christians who are members of the Coptic Orthodox Church or Coptic Catholic Church. References to native Muslims as Copts are attested until the
Mamluk Mamluk ( ar, مملوك, mamlūk (singular), , ''mamālīk'' (plural), translated as "one who is owned", meaning "", also as ''Mameluke'', ''mamluq'', ''mamluke'', ''mameluk'', ''mameluke'', ''mamaluke'', or ''marmeluke'') is a term most commo ...

Mamluk
period.C. Petry. "Copts in Late Medieval Egypt." ''Coptic Encyclopaedia''. 2:618 (1991). * Masryeen (مَصريين, Masryyeen), the modern
Egyptian Arabic Egyptian Arabic, locally known as Colloquial Egyptian ( ar, العامية المصرية, ), or simply ''Masri'' (), is the spoken vernacular A vernacular or vernacular language refers to the language or dialect that is spoken by people tha ...
name, which comes from the ancient
Semitic Semitic most commonly refers to the Semitic languages, a name used since the 1770s to refer to the language family currently present in West Asia, North and East Africa, and Malta. Semitic may also refer to: Religions * Abrahamic religions ** ...

Semitic
name for Egypt. The term originally connoted "Civilization" or "Metropolis".
Classical Arabic Classical Arabic ( ar, links=no, ٱلْعَرَبِيَّةُ ٱلْفُصْحَىٰ, al-ʿarabīyah al-fuṣḥā) or Quranic Arabic is the standardized literary form of the Arabic language Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic languages, ...
' (Egyptian Arabic ') is directly cognate with the
Biblical Hebrew Biblical Hebrew ( ''Ivrit Miqra'it'' or ''Leshon ha-Miqra''), also called Classical Hebrew, is an archaic form of Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroas ...
''Mitsráyīm'' (מִצְרַיִם / מִצְרָיִם), meaning "the two straits", a reference to the predynastic separation of
Upper and Lower Egypt In Egyptian history The history of Egypt has been long and wealthy, due to the flow of the Nile River The Nile ( ar, النيل, an-Nīl, , Bohairic , lg, Kiira , Nobiin: Áman Dawū) is a major north-flowing river A river is a na ...
. Also mentioned in several Semitic languages as ''Mesru'', ''Misir'' and ''Masar''. The term "Misr" in Arabic refers to Egypt, but sometimes also to the Cairo area, as a consequence, and because of the habit of identifying people with cities rather than countries (i.e. Tunis (capital of Tunisia), Tunsi). The term Masreyeen originally referred only to the native inhabitants of Cairo or "City of Misr" before its meaning expanded to encompass all Egyptians.
Edward William Lane Edward William Lane (17 September 1801 – 10 August 1876) was a British orientalist Orientalist may refer to: *A scholar of Oriental studies *A person or thing relating to the Western intellectual or artistic paradigm known as Orientalism (as in ...

Edward William Lane
, writing in the 1820s, said that the native Muslim inhabitants of Cairo commonly call themselves ', ' (lit. ''Children of Masr'') and ' (lit. ''The People of Masr''). He also added that the
Turks
Turks
"stigmatized" the people of Egypt with the name ' or the 'People of the Pharaoh'.


Demographics

There are an estimated 92.1 million Egyptians. Most are native to Egypt, where Egyptians constitute around 99.6% of the population. Approximately 84–90% of the population of Egypt are
Muslim Muslims () are people who follow or practice Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", ...

Muslim
adherents and 10–15% are
Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' and ''Christian'' derive from the Koi ...

Christian
adherents (10–15%
Coptic Christian The Copts ( cop, ⲛⲓⲣⲉⲙⲛ̀ⲭⲏⲙⲓ, translit=niremenkhemi; ar, الْقِبْط, ) are an ethnoreligious group An ethnoreligious group (or ethno-religious group) is an ethnic group whose members are also unified by a common Rel ...

Coptic Christian
, 1% other Christian Sects (mainly
Greek Orthodox The name Greek Orthodox Church ( Greek: Ἑλληνορθόδοξη Ἐκκλησία, ''Ellinorthódoxi Ekklisía'', ), or Greek Orthodoxy, is a term referring to the body of several churches within the larger communion of Eastern Orthodox ...

Greek Orthodox
)) according to estimates.Egypt
The CIA World Factbook
2006.
Most of Egypt’s people live along the banks of the
Nile River The Nile, , Bohairic , lg, Kiira , Nobiin Nobiin, or Mahas, is a Northern Nubian languages, Nubian language of the Nilo-Saharan languages, Nilo-Saharan language family. "Nobiin" is the genitive case, genitive form of ''Nòòbíí'' ("Nub ...
, and more than two-fifths of the population lives in urban areas. Along the Nile, the population density is one of the highest in the world, in excess of 5,000 persons per square mile (2,000 per square km) in a number of riverine governorates. The rapidly growing population is young, with roughly one-third of the total under age 15 and about three-fifths under 30. In response to the strain put on Egypt’s economy by the country’s burgeoning population, a national family planning program was initiated in 1964, and by the 1990s it had succeeded in lowering the birth rate. Improvements in health care also brought the infant mortality rate well below the world average by the turn of the 21st century. Life expectancy averages about 72 years for men and 74 years for women. Egyptians also form smaller minorities in neighboring countries, North America, Europe and Australia. Egyptians also tend to be provincial, meaning their attachment extends not only to Egypt but to the specific
provinces A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, are g ...

provinces
, towns and villages from which they hail. Therefore, return migrants, such as temporary workers abroad, come back to their region of origin in Egypt. According to the
International Organization for Migration The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is an intergovernmental organization An intergovernmental organization (IGO) or international organization is an organization composed primarily of sovereign states (referred to as ''member sta ...
, an estimated 2.7 million Egyptians live abroad and contribute actively to the development of their country through remittances (US$7.8 billion in 2009), circulation of human and social capital, as well as investment. Approximately 70% of Egyptian migrants live in Arab countries (923,600 in
Saudi Arabia (''Shahada'') , national_anthem = "National Anthem of Saudi Arabia, " "National Anthem of Saudi Arabia" , image_map = Saudi Arabia (orthographic projection).svg , capital = Riyadh , coordinates ...

Saudi Arabia
, 332,600 in
Libya Libya (; ar, ليبيا, Lībiyā), officially the State of Libya ( ar, دولة ليبيا, Dawlat Lībiyā), is a country in the Maghreb region in North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to Egypt–Libya border, th ...

Libya
, 226,850 in
Jordan Jordan ( ar, الأردن; tr. ' ), officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan,; tr. ') is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, also West Asia, is the westernmost subregion of Asia. It is entirely a part of the Greater Middle East. It in ...

Jordan
, 190,550 in
Kuwait Kuwait (; ar, الكويت ', or ), officially the State of Kuwait ( ar, دولة الكويت '), is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregion is a part of a larger regi ...

Kuwait
with the rest elsewhere in the region) and the remaining 30% are living mostly in Europe and North America (318,000 in the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
, 110,000 in
Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its Provinces and territories of Canada, ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, Pacific and northward into the Arctic Oce ...

Canada
and 90,000 in
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of Italian Peninsula, a peninsula delimited by the Alps and List of islands of Italy, several islands surrounding it, whose ...

Italy
). A sizable
Egyptian diaspora Egyptian diaspora consists of citizens of Egypt abroad sharing a common culture and Egyptian Arabic language. The phenomenon of Egyptians emigrating from Egypt was rare until Gamal Abdel Nasser came to power after Egyptian revolution of 1952, over ...
did not begin to form until well into the 1980s, when political and economic conditions began driving Egyptians out of the country in significant numbers. Today, the diaspora numbers nearly 4 million (2006 est).of which c. 4 million in the
Egyptian diaspora Egyptian diaspora consists of citizens of Egypt abroad sharing a common culture and Egyptian Arabic language. The phenomenon of Egyptians emigrating from Egypt was rare until Gamal Abdel Nasser came to power after Egyptian revolution of 1952, over ...
. Newsreel
Egyptians count
. 2007, ''Ahram Weekly''. 5–11 April
Generally, those who emigrate to the United States and western European countries tend to do so permanently, with 93% and 55.5% of Egyptians (respectively) settling in the new country. On the other hand, Egyptians migrating to Arab countries almost always only go there with the intention of returning to Egypt; virtually none settle in the new country on a permanent basis.Talani, Leila S
Out of Egypt.
University of California, Los Angeles. 2005.
Prior to 1974, only few Egyptian professionals had left the country in search for employment. Political, demographic and economic pressures led to the first wave of emigration after 1952. Later more Egyptians left their homeland first after the 1973 boom in oil prices and again in 1979, but it was only in the second half of the 1980s that Egyptian migration became prominent. Egyptian emigration today is motivated by even higher rates of unemployment, population growth and increasing prices. Political repression and human rights violations by Egypt's ruling régime are other contributing factors (see ). Egyptians have also been impacted by the wars between Egypt and
Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, translit=Yīsrāʾēl; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, translit=ʾIsrāʾīl), officially the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, label=none, translit=Medīnat Yīsrāʾēl; ), is a ...

Israel
, particularly after the
Six-Day War The Six-Day War (; ar, النكسة, translit=an-Naksah, lit=The Setback or ), also known as the June War, the 1967 Arab–Israeli War or the Third Arab–Israeli War, was an armed conflict fought from 5 to 10 June 1967 between Israel and a ...
in 1967, when migration rates began to rise. In August 2006, Egyptians made headlines when 11 students from
Mansoura University Mansoura University was founded in 1972 in Mansoura city, Egypt Egypt ( ; ar, مِصر ), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country spanning the North Africa, northeast corner of Africa and Western Asia, south ...

Mansoura University
failed to show up at their American host institutions for a cultural exchange program in the hope of finding employment. Egyptians in neighboring countries face additional challenges. Over the years, abuse, exploitation and/or ill-treatment of Egyptian workers and professionals in the Arab states of the Persian Gulf,
Iraq Iraq ( ar, الْعِرَاق, translit=al-ʿIrāq; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق '; ku, کۆماری عێراق, translit=Komarî Êraq), is a country i ...

Iraq
and
Libya Libya (; ar, ليبيا, Lībiyā), officially the State of Libya ( ar, دولة ليبيا, Dawlat Lībiyā), is a country in the Maghreb region in North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to Egypt–Libya border, th ...

Libya
have been reported by the Egyptian Human Rights Organization and different media outlets. Arab nationals have in the past expressed fear over an "'Egyptianization' of the local dialects and culture that were believed to have resulted from the predominance of Egyptians in the field of education"Kapiszewski, Andrzej
United Nations Report on International Migration and Development
May 22, 2006.
(see also Egyptian Arabic – Geographics). The Egyptians for their part object to what they call the "" of their culture due to Saudi Arabian petrodollar-flush investment in the Egyptian
entertainment industry Entertainment is a form of activity that holds the attention and interest In and , interest is payment from a or deposit-taking financial institution to a or depositor of an amount above repayment of the (that is, the amount borrowed ...
. Twice Libya was on the brink of war with Egypt due to mistreatment of Egyptian workers and after the signing of the
peace treaty A peace treaty is an agreement Agreement may refer to: Agreements between people and organizations * Gentlemen's agreement, not enforceable by law * Trade agreement, between countries * Consensus, a decision-making process * Contract, enforceab ...

peace treaty
with Israel. When the
Gulf War The Gulf War was a war waged by coalition forces The term "coalition" is the denotation for a group formed when two or more people, factions, states, political parties, militaries etc. agree to work together temporarily in a partnership t ...
ended, Egyptian workers in Iraq were subjected to harsh measures and expulsion by the Iraqi government and to violent attacks by Iraqis returning from the war to fill the workforce.


History


Ancient Egypt

Ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization  A civilization (or civilisation) is a that is characterized by , , a form of government, and systems of communication (such as ). Civilizations are intimately associated with additional char ...

Ancient Egypt
saw a succession of thirty
dynasties A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family In human society, family (from la, familia) is a group of people related either by consanguinity (by recognized birth) or affinity (by marriage or other relationship). Th ...
spanning three millennia. During this period, Egyptian culture underwent significant development in terms of
religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and whether the exchange is voluntary/involuntary. Etymology ...
,
arts The arts refers to the theory, human application and physical expression of creativity Creativity is a phenomenon whereby something somehow new and somehow valuable is formed. The created item may be intangible (such as an idea, a scienti ...
,
language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the ...
and customs. Egypt fell under
Hyksos Hyksos (; Egyptian Egyptian describes something of, from, or related to Egypt. Egyptian or Egyptians may refer to: Nations and ethnic groups * Egyptians, a national group in North Africa ** Egyptian culture, a complex and stable culture with th ...
rule in the Middle
Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the second principal period of the Three-age sys ...
. The native nobility managed to expel the conquerors by the
Late Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the second principal period of the Three-age sys ...
, thereby initiating the
New Kingdom New is an adjective referring to something recently made, discovered, or created. New or NEW may refer to: Music * New, singer of K-pop group The Boyz Boyz or The Boyz may refer to: Music Bands *The Boyz (German band), a German boy band of t ...
. During this period, the Egyptian civilization rose to the status of an empire under Pharaoh
Thutmose III Thutmose III (variously also spelt Tuthmosis or Thothmes) was the sixth pharaoh Pharaoh ( , ; cop, , Pǝrro) is the common title now used for the monarch A monarch is a head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is ...

Thutmose III
of the
18th Dynasty The Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt (notated Dynasty XVIII, alternatively 18th Dynasty or Dynasty 18) is classified as the first dynasty of the New Kingdom of Egypt New is an adjective referring to something recently made, discovered, or created. New ...
. It remained a super-regional power throughout the
Amarna Period The Amarna Period was an era of History of Ancient Egypt, Egyptian history during the later half of the Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt, Eighteenth Dynasty when the royal residence of the pharaoh and his queen was shifted to Akhetaten ('Horizon of the A ...
as well as during the
19th 19 (nineteen) is the natural number File:Three Baskets.svg, Natural numbers can be used for counting (one apple, two apples, three apples, ...) In mathematics, the natural numbers are those numbers used for counting (as in "there are ''six'' ...
and
20th 20 (twenty; Roman numeral XX) is the natural number following 19 (number), 19 and preceding 21 (number), 21. A group of twenty units may also be referred to as a score. In mathematics *20 is a pronic number. *20 is a tetrahedral number as 1, ...
dynasties (the Ramesside Period), lasting into the Early
Iron Age The Iron Age is the final epoch of the three-age division of the prehistory Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, or world history, is the narrative of Human, humanity's pa ...
. The
Bronze Age collapse The Late Bronze Age collapse was a transition period in a large area covering much of Southeast Europe, West Asia and North Africa North Africa is a region encompassing the northern portion of the African continent. There is no singularly ac ...
that had afflicted the Mesopotamian empires reached Egypt with some delay, and it was only in the 11th century BC that the Empire declined, falling into the comparative obscurity of the
Third Intermediate Period of Egypt The Third Intermediate Period of ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization of Ancient history, ancient North Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile, Nile River, situated in the place that is now the country Egypt. ...
. The
25th Dynasty The Twenty-fifth Dynasty of Egypt (notated Dynasty XXV, alternatively 25th Dynasty or Dynasty 25), also known as the Nubian Dynasty, the Kushite Empire and the Black Pharaohs, was the last dynasty of the Third Intermediate Period of Egypt T ...
of Nubian rulers was again briefly replaced by native nobility in the 7th century BC, and in 525 BC, Egypt fell under Persian rule.
Alexander the Great Alexander III of Macedon ( grc-gre, Αλέξανδρος}, ; 20/21 July 356 BC – 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king (''basileus ''Basileus'' ( el, βασιλεύς) is a Greek term and title A title ...

Alexander the Great
was greeted as a liberator when he conquered Egypt in 332 BC. The
Late Period of ancient Egypt The Late Period of ancient Egypt refers to the last flowering of native Egyptian rulers after the Third Intermediate Period in the Twenty-sixth dynasty of Egypt, 26th Saite Dynasty founded by Psamtik I, but includes the time of Achaemenid Empire, ...
is taken to end with his death in 323 BC. The
Ptolemaic dynasty The Ptolemaic dynasty (; grc, Πτολεμαῖοι, ''Ptolemaioi''), the Thirty-third dynasty of Egypt, sometimes referred to as the Lagid dynasty (Λαγίδαι, ''Lagidae;'' after Ptolemy I Soter, Ptolemy I's father, Lagus), was a Ancient ...
ruled Egypt from 305 BC to 30 BC and introduced Hellenic culture to Egyptians. 4,000
Celtic The words Celt and Celtic (also Keltic) may refer to: Ethno-linguistics *Celts The Celts (, see pronunciation of ''Celt'' for different usages) are. "CELTS location: Greater Europe time period: Second millennium B.C.E. to present ancestry: ...

Celtic
mercenaries under Ptolemy II had even attempted an ambitious but doomed coup d'état around the year 270 BC. Throughout the Pharaonic epoch (viz., from 2920 BC to 525 BC in
conventional Egyptian chronology The majority of Egyptologists agree on the outline and many details of the chronology of Ancient Egypt. This scholarly consensus is the so-called Conventional Egyptian chronology, which places the beginning of the Old Kingdom in the 27th century B ...
),
divine kingship 200px, Figure of Christ from the Ghent Altarpiece (1432). In many historical societies, the position of kingship carries a Sacred, sacral meaning, that is, it is identical with that of a high priest and judge. The concept of theocracy is related, ...
was the glue which held Egyptian society together. It was especially pronounced in the
Old Kingdom In ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization  A civilization (or civilisation) is a that is characterized by , , a form of government, and systems of communication (such as ). Civilizations are intimately associate ...
and Middle Kingdom and continued until the Roman conquest. The societal structure created by this system of government remained virtually unchanged up to modern times. The role of the king was considerably weakened after the
20th Dynasty #REDIRECT Twentieth Dynasty of Egypt#REDIRECT Twentieth Dynasty of Egypt 20 (twenty; Roman numeral XX) is the natural number In mathematics, the natural numbers are those used for counting (as in "there are ''six'' coins on the table") and ...
. The king in his role as Son of Ra was entrusted to maintain
Ma'at Maat or Maʽat ( Egyptian: mꜣꜥt /ˈmuʀʕat/, Coptic: ⲙⲉⲓ) refers to the ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization of Ancient history, ancient North Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile, Nile River, ...
, the principle of truth, justice, and order, and to enhance the country's agricultural economy by ensuring regular Nile floods. Ascendancy to the Egyptian throne reflected the myth of Horus who assumed kingship after he buried his murdered father
Osiris Osiris (, from Egyptian ''wsjr'', Coptic ) is the god In monotheism, monotheistic thought, God is conceived of as the supreme being, creator deity, creator, and principal object of Faith#Religious views, faith.Richard Swinburne, Swinburne ...

Osiris
. The king of Egypt, as a living personification of Horus, could claim the throne after burying his predecessor, who was typically his father. When the role of the king waned, the country became more susceptible to foreign influence and invasion. The attention paid to the dead, and the veneration with which they were held, were one of the hallmarks of . Egyptians built tombs for their dead that were meant to last for eternity. This was most prominently expressed by the
Great Pyramids The Giza Pyramid Complex, also called the Giza Necropolis, is the site on the Giza Plateau in Greater Cairo, Egypt that includes the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Pyramid of Khafre, and the Pyramid of Menkaure, along with their associated pyramid co ...
. The ancient
Egyptian Egyptian describes something of, from, or related to Egypt. Egyptian or Egyptians may refer to: Nations and ethnic groups * Egyptians, a national group in North Africa ** Egyptian culture, a complex and stable culture with thousands of years of r ...
word for tomb ' means ' House of Eternity'. The Egyptians also celebrated life, as is shown by tomb reliefs and inscriptions, papyri and other sources depicting Egyptians farming, conducting trade expeditions, hunting, holding festivals, attending parties and receptions with their pet dogs, cats and monkeys, dancing and singing, enjoying food and drink, and playing games. The ancient Egyptians were also known for their engaging sense of humor, much like their modern descendants. Another important continuity during this period is the Egyptian attitude toward foreigners—those they considered not fortunate enough to be part of the community of ''rmṯ'' or "the people" (i.e., Egyptians.) This attitude was facilitated by the Egyptians' more frequent contact with other peoples during the New Kingdom when Egypt expanded to an empire that also encompassed
Nubia Nubia () (Nobiin Nobiin, or Mahas, is a Northern Nubian languages, Nubian language of the Nilo-Saharan languages, Nilo-Saharan language family. "Nobiin" is the genitive case, genitive form of ''Nòòbíí'' ("Nubian") and literally means "(lan ...

Nubia
through
Jebel Barkal Jebel Barkal or Gebel Barkal ( ar, جبل بركل) is a very small mountain A mountain is an elevated portion of the Earth's crust, generally with steep sides that show significant exposed bedrock. A mountain differs from a plateau in havin ...

Jebel Barkal
and parts of the
Levant The Levant () is an term referring to a large area in the region of . In its narrowest sense, it is equivalent to the , which included present-day , , , , and most of southwest of the middle . In its widest historical sense, the Levant ...

Levant
. The Egyptian sense of superiority was given religious validation, as foreigners in the land of ''Ta-Meri'' (Egypt) were anathema to the maintenance of Maat—a view most clearly expressed by the in reaction to the chaotic events of the
Second Intermediate Period The Second Intermediate Period marks a period when ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization of Ancient history, ancient North Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile, Nile River, situated in the place that is now th ...
. Foreigners in Egyptian texts were described in derogatory terms, e.g., 'wretched Asiatics' (Semites), 'vile Kushites' (Nubians), and 'Ionian dogs' (Greeks). Egyptian beliefs remained unchallenged when Egypt fell to the Hyksos,
Assyria Assyria (), also called the Assyrian Empire, was a Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of We ...

Assyria
ns, Libyans, Persians and Greeks—their rulers assumed the role of the Egyptian Pharaoh and were often depicted praying to Egyptian gods. The ancient Egyptians used a solar calendar that divided the year into 12 months of 30 days each, with five extra days added. The calendar revolved around the annual
Nile The Nile, , Bohairic , lg, Kiira , Nobiin Nobiin, or Mahas, is a Northern Nubian languages, Nubian language of the Nilo-Saharan languages, Nilo-Saharan language family. "Nobiin" is the genitive case, genitive form of ''Nòòbíí'' ("Nub ...

Nile
Inundation (''akh.t''), the first of three seasons into which the year was divided. The other two were Winter and Summer, each lasting for four months. The modern Egyptian ''
fellah Fellah ( ar, فلاح ; feminine ; plural ''fellaheen'' or ''fellahin'', , ) is a peasant, usually a farmer A farmer is a person engaged in agriculture Agriculture is the science, art and practice of cultivating plants and livestock ...

fellah
in'' calculate the agricultural seasons, with the months still bearing their ancient names, in much the same manner. The importance of the Nile in Egyptian life, ancient and modern, cannot be overemphasized. The rich alluvium carried by the Nile inundation was the basis of Egypt's formation as a society and a state. Regular inundations were a cause for celebration; low waters often meant famine and starvation. The ancient Egyptians personified the river flood as the god
Hapy Hapi (Ancient Egyptian Ancient Egypt was a civilization A civilization (or civilisation) is any complex society that is characterized by urban development, social stratification, a form of government, and symbol A symbol ...

Hapy
and dedicated a ''Hymn to the Nile'' to celebrate it. ''km.t'', the Black Land, was as
Herodotus Herodotus ( ; grc, Ἡρόδοτος, Hēródotos, ; BC) was an Classical Greece, ancient Greek writer, geographer, and historian born in the Greek city of Halicarnassus, part of the Achaemenid Empire, Persian Empire (now Bodrum, Turkey). He ...
observed, "the gift of the river."


Graeco-Roman period

When Alexander died, a story began to circulate that
Nectanebo II Nectanebo II (Manetho Manetho (; grc-koi, Μανέθων ''Manéthōn'', ''gen''.: Μανέθωνος) is believed to have been an Ancient Egyptian religion, Egyptian priest from Sebennytos ( cop, Ϫⲉⲙⲛⲟⲩϯ, translit=Čemnouti) who li ...

Nectanebo II
was Alexander's father. This made Alexander in the eyes of the Egyptians a legitimate heir to the native pharaohs. The new Ptolemaic rulers, however, exploited Egypt for their own benefit and a great social divide was created between Egyptians and Greeks. The local priesthood continued to wield power as they had during the Dynastic age. Egyptians continued to practice their religion undisturbed and largely maintained their own separate communities from their foreign conquerors. The language of administration became
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
, but the mass of the Egyptian population was
Egyptian Egyptian describes something of, from, or related to Egypt. Egyptian or Egyptians may refer to: Nations and ethnic groups * Egyptians, a national group in North Africa ** Egyptian culture, a complex and stable culture with thousands of years of r ...
-speaking and concentrated in the countryside, while most Greeks lived in Alexandria and only few had any knowledge of Egyptian. The Ptolemaic rulers all retained their Greek names and titles, but projected a public image of being Egyptian pharaohs. Much of this period's vernacular literature was composed in the demotic phase and script of the Egyptian language. It was focused on earlier stages of Egyptian history when Egyptians were independent and ruled by great native pharaohs such as
Ramesses II Ramesses II ( egy, rꜥ-ms-sw meaning "Ra is the one who bore him", ''Rīʿa-məsī-sū'', ; ) was the third pharaoh Pharaoh ( , ; cop, , Pǝrro) is the common title now used for the monarch A monarch is a head of state ...
. Prophetic writings circulated among Egyptians promising expulsion of the Greeks, and frequent revolts by the Egyptians took place throughout the Ptolemaic period. A revival in animal cults, the hallmark of the Predyanstic and Early Dyanstic periods, is said to have come about to fill a spiritual void as Egyptians became increasingly disillusioned and weary due to successive waves of foreign invasions. When the
Romans Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, ...

Romans
annexed Egypt in 30 BC, the social structure created by the Greeks was largely retained, though the power of the Egyptian priesthood diminished. The Roman emperors lived abroad and did not perform the ceremonial functions of Egyptian kingship as the Ptolemies had. The art of mummy portraiture flourished, but Egypt became further stratified with Romans at the apex of the social pyramid, Greeks and
Jews Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 ISO The International Organization for Standardization (ISO ) is an international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), ...

Jews
occupied the middle stratum, while Egyptians, who constituted the vast majority, were at the bottom. Egyptians paid a poll tax at full rate, Greeks paid at half-rate and Roman citizens were exempt. The Roman emperor
Caracalla Caracalla ( ; 4 April 188 – 8 April 217), formally known as Antoninus (Marcus Aurelius Antoninus), was Roman emperor from 198 to 217. He was a member of the Severan dynasty, the elder son of Septimius Severus and Julia Domna. Co-ruler ...

Caracalla
advocated the expulsion of all ethnic Egyptians from the city of Alexandria, saying "genuine Egyptians can easily be recognized among the linen-weavers by their speech." This attitude lasted until AD 212 when Roman citizenship was finally granted to all the inhabitants of Egypt, though ethnic divisions remained largely entrenched. The Romans, like the Ptolemies, treated Egypt like their own private property, a land exploited for the benefit of a small foreign elite. The Egyptian peasants, pressed for maximum production to meet Roman quotas, suffered and fled to the desert. The cult of
Isis Isis (; ''Ēse''; ; Meroitic language, Meroitic: ''Wos'' 'a''or ''Wusa'') was a major ancient Egyptian deities, goddess in ancient Egyptian religion whose worship spread throughout the Greco-Roman world. Isis was first mentioned in the Ol ...

Isis
, like those of
Osiris Osiris (, from Egyptian ''wsjr'', Coptic ) is the god In monotheism, monotheistic thought, God is conceived of as the supreme being, creator deity, creator, and principal object of Faith#Religious views, faith.Richard Swinburne, Swinburne ...

Osiris
and
Serapis Serapis ( grc-koi, Σέραπις, later form) or Sarapis (, earlier form, originally Demotic: ''wsjr-ḥp,'' "Osiris Osiris (, from Egyptian ''wsjr'', Coptic ) is the ancient Egyptian deities, god of fertility, agriculture, the Egyptian ...

Serapis
, had been popular in Egypt and throughout the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of governme ...

Roman Empire
at the coming of Christianity, and continued to be the main competitor with Christianity in its early years. The main temple of Isis remained a major center of worship in Egypt until the reign of the
Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It survi ...

Byzantine
emperor
Justinian I Justinian I (; la, Flavius Petrus Sabbatius Iustinianus; grc-gre, Ἰουστινιανός ; 48214 November 565), also known as Justinian the Great, was the Byzantine emperor This is a list of the Byzantine emperors from the foundation o ...
in the 6th century, when it was finally closed down. Egyptians, disaffected and weary after a series of foreign occupations, identified the story of the mother-goddess Isis protecting her child
Horus Horus or Her, Heru, Hor, Har in Ancient Egyptian, is one of the most significant ancient Egyptian deities Ancient Egyptian deities are the God (male deity), gods and goddesses worshipped in ancient Egypt. The beliefs and rituals surrounding ...

Horus
with that of the
Virgin Mary According to the gospels Gospel originally meant the Christian message, but in the 2nd century it came to be used also for the books in which the message was set out; in this sense a gospel can be defined as a loose-knit, episodic narrat ...
and her son
Jesus Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label=Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it ...

Jesus
escaping the emperor Herod. Consequently, many sites believed to have been the resting places of the holy family during their sojourn in Egypt became sacred to the Egyptians. The visit of the holy family later circulated among Egyptian Christians as fulfillment of the Biblical prophecy "When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt" (Hosea 11:1). The feast of the coming of the Lord of Egypt on June 1 became an important part of Christian Egyptian tradition. According to tradition, Christianity was brought to Egypt by Saint Mark the Evangelist in the early 40s of the 1st century, under the reign of the Roman emperor
Nero Nero ( ; full name: Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus; 15 December AD 37 – 9 June AD 68) was the fifth emperor of Rome. He was Adoption in Ancient Rome, adopted by the Roman emperor Claudius at the age of 13 and s ...

Nero
. The earliest converts were Jews residing in
Alexandria Alexandria ( or ; ar, الإسكندرية ; arz, اسكندرية ; Coptic language, Coptic: Rakodī; el, Αλεξάνδρεια ''Alexandria'') is the List of cities and towns in Egypt, third-largest city in Egypt after Cairo and Giza, ...

Alexandria
, a city which had by then become a center of culture and learning in the entire Mediterranean ''
oikoumene The ecumene ( US spelling) or oecumene ( UK spelling; grc-gre, οἰκουμένη, oikouménē, inhabited) is an ancient Greek term for the known, the inhabited, or the habitable world. In Greek antiquity, it referred to the portions of the world ...
''. St. Mark is said to have founded the Holy Apostolic See of Alexandria and to have become its first
Patriarch The highest-ranking bishop A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Or ...
. Within 50 years of St. Mark's arrival in Alexandria, a fragment of
New Testament The New Testament grc, Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Transliteration, transl. ; la, Novum Testamentum. (NT) is the second division of the Christian biblical canon. It discusses the teachings and person of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus, as ...

New Testament
writings appeared in
Oxyrhynchus Oxyrhynchus (; grc-gre, Ὀξύρρυγχος, Oxýrrhynchos, sharp-nosed; ancient Egyptian language, Egyptian ''Pr-Medjed''; cop, or , ''Pemdje''; ar, البهنسا, ''Al-Bahnasa'') is a city in Middle Egypt located about 160 km sou ...

Oxyrhynchus
(Bahnasa), which suggests that Christianity already began to spread south of Alexandria at an early date. By the mid-third century, a sizable number of Egyptians were persecuted by the Romans on account of having adopted the new Christian faith, beginning with the Edict of
Decius Gaius Messius Quintus Traianus Decius (c. 201 ADJune 251 AD), sometimes translated as Trajan Decius or Decius, was the emperor An emperor (from la, imperator, via fro, empereor) is a monarch, and usually the sovereignty, sovereign ruler ...

Decius
. Christianity was tolerated in the Roman Empire until AD 284, when the Emperor
Diocletian Diocletian (; la, Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus; born Diocles; 22 December c. 244 – 3 December 311) was from 284 to 305. Born to a family of low status in , Diocletian rose through the ranks of the military to become a commander of ...
persecuted and put to death a great number of Christian Egyptians.Jankowski, p. 32 This event became a watershed in the history of Egyptian Christianity, marking the beginning of a distinct Egyptian or
Coptic Church Coptic may refer to: Afro-Asia * Copts, an ethnoreligious group mainly in the area of modern Egypt but also in Sudan and Libya * Coptic language, a Northern Afro-Asiatic language spoken in Egypt until at least the 17th century * Coptic alphabet, th ...

Coptic Church
. It became known as the 'Era of the Martyrs' and is commemorated in the
Coptic calendar The Coptic calendar, also called the Alexandrian calendar, is a liturgical calendar The liturgical year, also known as the church year or Christian year, as well as the kalendar, consists of the cycle of liturgy, liturgical seasons in Christ ...
in which dating of the years began with the start of Diocletian's reign. When Egyptians were persecuted by Diocletian, many retreated to the desert to seek relief. The practice precipitated the rise of
monasticism Monasticism (from Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the used in and the from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following periods: (), Dark Ages (), the period (), and the period (). An ...
, for which the Egyptians, namely St. Antony, St. Bakhum, St. Shenouda and St. Amun, are credited as pioneers. By the end of the 4th century, it is estimated that the mass of the Egyptians had either embraced Christianity or were nominally Christian. The Catachetical School of Alexandria was founded in the 3rd century by
Pantaenus Saint Pantaenus the Philosopher ( el, Πάνταινος; died c. 200) was a Greeks, Greek theologian and a significant figure in the Catechetical School of Alexandria from around AD 180. This school was the earliest catechism, catechetical school ...
, becoming a major school of Christian learning as well as science, mathematics and the humanities. The
Psalms The Book of Psalms ( or ; he, תְּהִלִּים, , lit. "praises"), commonly referred to simply as Psalms, the Psalter or "the Psalms", is the first book of the ("Writings"), the third section of the Tanakh The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh ...

Psalms
and part of the New Testament were translated at the school from Greek to Egyptian, which had already begun to be written in Greek letters with the addition of a number of demotic characters. This stage of the Egyptian language would later come to be known as
Coptic Coptic may refer to: Afro-Asia * Copts, an ethnoreligious group mainly in the area of modern Egypt but also in Sudan and Libya * Coptic language, a Northern Afro-Asiatic language spoken in Egypt until at least the 17th century * Coptic alphabet, th ...
along with its
alphabet An alphabet is a standardized set of basic written symbols A symbol is a mark, sign, or word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semanti ...

alphabet
. The third theologian to head the Catachetical School was a native Egyptian by the name of
Origen Origen of Alexandria, ''Ōrigénēs''; Coptic language, Coptic: Ϩⲱⲣⲓⲕⲉⲛ Origen's Greek name ''Ōrigénēs'' () probably means "child of Horus" (from , "Horus", and , "born"). ( 184 – 253), also known as Origen Adamantius, was an ...

Origen
. Origen was an outstanding theologian and one of the most influential
Church Fathers The Church Fathers, Early Church Fathers, Christian Fathers, or Fathers of the Church were ancient and influential Christian theologians Christian theology is the theology Theology is the systematic study of the nature of the Divinity, di ...
. He traveled extensively to lecture in various churches around the world and has many important texts to his credit including the ''
Hexapla ''Hexapla'' ( grc, Ἑξαπλᾶ, "sixfold") is the term for a Textual criticism, critical edition of the Hebrew Bible in six versions, four of them translated into Ancient Greek, Greek, preserved only in fragments. It was an immense and complex ...
'', an
exegesis Exegesis (; from the Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is app ...
of various translations of the
Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regarded as the language of the Israelites ...
. At the threshold of the
Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It survi ...

Byzantine
period, the New Testament had been entirely translated into Coptic. But while Christianity continued to thrive in Egypt, the old pagan beliefs which had survived the test of time were facing mounting pressure. The Byzantine period was particularly brutal in its zeal to erase any traces of ancient Egyptian religion. Under emperor
Theodosius I Theodosius I ( grc-gre, Θεοδόσιος ; 11 January 347 – 17 January 395), also called Theodosius the Great, was Roman emperor from 379 to 395. During his reign, he faced and overcame a war against the Goths and two civil wars, and ...

Theodosius I
, Christianity had already been proclaimed the religion of the Empire and all pagan cults were forbidden. When Egypt fell under the jurisdiction of
Constantinople la, Constantinopolis ota, قسطنطينيه , alternate_name = Byzantion (earlier Greek name), Nova Roma ("New Rome"), Miklagard/Miklagarth (Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian is a stage of development of North Germa ...

Constantinople
after the split of the Roman Empire, many ancient Egyptian temples were either destroyed or converted into monasteries. One of the defining moments in the history of the Church in Egypt is a controversy that ensued over the nature of Jesus Christ which culminated in the final split of the Coptic Church from both the Byzantine and Roman Catholic Churches. The
Council of Chalcedon The Council of Chalcedon (; la, Concilium Chalcedonense; grc-gre, Σύνοδος τῆς Χαλκηδόνος, ''Synodos tēs Chalkēdonos'') was the fourth ecumenical council The Council of Chalcedon (; la, Concilium Chalcedonense; ...
convened in AD 451, signaling the Byzantine Empire's determination to assert its hegemony over Egypt. When it declared that Jesus Christ was of two natures embodied in Christ's person, the Egyptian reaction was swift, rejecting the decrees of the Council as incompatible with the
Miaphysite Miaphysitism is the Christological doctrine upheld by the Oriental Orthodox Churches, which include the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church The Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church is an Oriental Orthodox ch ...
doctrine of Coptic Orthodoxy. The Copts' upholding of the Miaphysite doctrine against the pro-Chalcedonian Greek
Melkite The term Melkite (), also written Melchite, refers to various Eastern Christianity, Eastern Christian churches of the Byzantine Rite and their members originating in the Middle East. The term comes from the common Central Semitic Semitic root, roo ...
s had both theological and national implications. As Coptologist Jill Kamil notes, the position taken by the Egyptians "paved he wayfor the Coptic church to establish itself as a separate entity...No longer even spiritually linked with Constantinople, theologians began to write more in Coptic and less in Greek. Coptic art developed its own national character, and the Copts stood united against the imperial power."


Islamic period from Late antiquity to Middle Ages

Before the Muslim conquest of Egypt, the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius was able to reclaim the country after a brief Sasanian conquest of Egypt, Persian invasion in AD 616, and subsequently appointed Cyrus of Alexandria, a Chalcedonian, as Patriarch. Cyrus was determined to convert the Egyptian Miaphysites by any means. He expelled Coptic monks and bishops from their monasteries and sees. Many died in the chaos, and the resentment of the Egyptians against their Byzantine conquerors reached a peak. Meanwhile, the new religion of Islam was making headway in Arabia, culminating in the Muslim conquests that took place following Muhammad's death. In AD 639, the Arab general 'Amr ibn al-'As marched into Egypt, facing off with the Byzantines in the Battle of Heliopolis that ended with the Byzantines' defeat. The relationship between the Greek Melkites and the Egyptian Copts had grown so bitter that most Egyptians did not put up heavy resistance against the Arabs. The new Muslim rulers moved the capital to Fustat and, through the 7th century, retained the existing Byzantine administrative structure with
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
as its language. Native Egyptians filled administrative ranks and continued to worship freely so long as they paid the jizya poll tax, in addition to a kharaj, land tax that all Egyptians irrespective of religion also had to pay. The authority of the Miaphysite doctrine of the Coptic Church was for the first time nationally recognized.Watterson, p. 268 According to Ya'qubi, al-Ya'qubi, repeated revolts by Egyptian Christians against the Muslim Arabs took place in the 8th and 9th centuries under the reign of the Umayyads and Abbasids. The greatest was one in which disaffected Muslim Egyptians joined their Christian compatriots around AD 830 in an unsuccessful attempt to repel the Arabs. The Egyptian Muslim historian Ibn Abd al-Hakam spoke harshly of the Abbasids—a reaction that according to Egyptologist Okasha El-Daly can be seen "within the context of the struggle between proud native Egyptians and the central Abbasid caliphate in Iraq." The form of Islam that eventually took hold in Egypt was Sunni, though very early in this period Egyptians began to blend their new faith with indigenous beliefs and practices that had survived through Coptic Christianity. Just as Egyptians had been pioneers in early
monasticism Monasticism (from Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the used in and the from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following periods: (), Dark Ages (), the period (), and the period (). An ...
so they were in the development of the mystical form of Islam, Sufism. Various Sufi tariqa, orders were founded in the 8th century and flourished until the present day. One of the earliest Egyptian Sufis was Dhul-Nun al-Misri (i.e., Dhul-Nun the Egyptian). He was born in Akhmim in AD 796 and achieved political and social leadership over the Egyptian people. Dhul-Nun was regarded as the Patron Saint of the Physicians and is credited with having introduced the concept of Gnosis into Islam, as well as of being able to decipher a number of hieroglyphic characters due to his knowledge of
Coptic Coptic may refer to: Afro-Asia * Copts, an ethnoreligious group mainly in the area of modern Egypt but also in Sudan and Libya * Coptic language, a Northern Afro-Asiatic language spoken in Egypt until at least the 17th century * Coptic alphabet, th ...
. He was keenly interested in ancient Egyptian sciences, and claimed to have received his knowledge of alchemy from Egyptian sources. In the years to follow the Arab occupation of Egypt, a social hierarchy was created whereby Egyptians who converted to Islam acquired the status of mawali or "clients" to the ruling Arab elite, while those who remained Christian, the Copts, became dhimmis, but the Egyptians who converted to Islam were also called Copts until the Mamluk period. In time the power of the Arabs waned throughout the Islamic Caliphate, Islamic Empire so that in the 10th century, the Turkish Ikhshidid dynasty, Ikhshids were able to take control of Egypt and made it an independent political unit from the rest of the empire. Egyptians continued to live socially and politically separate from their foreign conquerors, but their rulers like the Ptolemies before them were able to stabilize the country and bring renewed economic prosperity. It was under the Shi'a Islam, Shiite Fatimids from the 10th to the 12th centuries that Muslim Egyptian institutions began to take form along with the Egyptian Arabic, Egyptian dialect of Arabic, which was to eventually slowly supplant native Egyptian or Coptic as the spoken language. Al-Azhar was founded in AD 970 in the new capital Cairo, not very far from its ancient predecessor in Memphis. It became the preeminent Muslim center of learning in Egypt and by the Ayyubid dynasty, Ayyubid period it had acquired a Sunni orientation. The Fatimids with some exceptions were known for their religious tolerance and their observance of local Muslim, Coptic and indigenous Egyptian festivals and customs. Under the Ayyubids, the country for the most part continued to prosper. The Mamluks of Egypt (AD 1258–1517) as a whole were, some of the most enlightened rulers of Egypt, not only in the arts and in providing for the welfare of their subjects, but also in many other ways, such as efficient organisation of law and order and postal services, and the building of canals, roads, bridges and aqueducts. Though turbulent, often treacherous and brutal in their feuds, and politically and economically inept, the later Mameluks maintained the splendour and artistic traditions of their predecessors. The reign of Kait Bey (1468-1496) was one of high achievement in architecture, showing great refinement of taste in the building of elegant tombs, mosques and palaces. It was a period in which learning flourished. By the 15th century most Egyptians had already been converted to Islam, while Coptic Christians were reduced to a minority. The Mamluks were mainly ethnic Circassians and Turkish people, Turks who had been captured as slaves then recruited into the army fighting on behalf of the Islamic empire. Native Egyptians were not allowed to serve in the army until the reign of Muhammad Ali of Egypt, Mohamed Ali. Historian James Jankwoski writes:


Ottoman period

Egyptians under the Ottoman Turks from the 16th to the 18th centuries lived within a social hierarchy similar to that of the Mamluks, Arabs, Romans, Greeks and Persians before them. Native Egyptians applied the term ''atrak'' (Turks) indiscriminately to the Ottomans and Mamluks, who were at the top of the social pyramid, while Egyptians, most of whom were farmers, were at the bottom. Frequent revolts by the Egyptian peasantry against the Ottoman-Mamluk Beys took place throughout the 18th century, particularly in Upper Egypt where the peasants at one point wrested control of the region and declared a separatist government. The only segment of Egyptian society which appears to have retained a degree of power during this period were the Muslim ulama'' or religious scholars, who directed the religious and social affairs of the native Egyptian population and interceded on their behalf when dealing with the Turko-Circassian elite. It is also believed that during the late periods of the Ottoman era of Egypt, native Egyptians were allowed and required to join the army for the first time since the Roman period of Egypt, including Coptic Christians who were civil servants at the time of Mohammed Ali Pasha.


Modern history

Modern Egyptian history is generally believed to begin with the Napoleon I of France#The Egyptian expedition of 1798–99, French expedition in Egypt led by Napoleon I of France, Napoleon Bonaparte in 1798. The French people, French defeated a Mamluk era army at the Battle of the Pyramids, and soon they were able to seize control of the country. The French occupation was short-lived, ending when British Empire, British troops drove out the French in 1801. Its impact on the social and cultural fabric of Egyptian society, however, was tremendous. The Egyptians were deeply hostile to the French, whom they viewed as yet another foreign occupation to be resisted. At the same time, the French expedition introduced Egyptians to the ideals of the French Revolution which were to have a significant influence on their own self-perception and realization of modern independence. When Napoleon invited the Egyptian ''ulama'' to head a French-supervised government in Egypt, for some, it awakened a sense of nationalism and a patriotic desire for national independence from the Ottoman Turks, Ottomans. In addition, the French introduced the printing press in Egypt and published its first newspaper. The monumental catalogue of Egypt's ecology, society and economy, ''Description de l'Egypte (1809), Description de l'Égypte'', was written by scholars and scientists who accompanied the French army on their expedition. The withdrawal of French forces from Egypt left a power vacuum that was filled after a period of political turmoil by Muhammad Ali of Egypt, Mohammed Ali, an Ottoman officer of Albanians, Albanian ethnicity. He rallied support among the Egyptians until he was elected by the native Muslim ''ulama'' as governor of Egypt. Mohammed Ali is credited for having undertaken a massive campaign of public works, including irrigation projects, agricultural reforms and the cultivation of cash crops (notably cotton, rice and sugarcane, sugar-cane), increased industrialization, and a new educational system—the results of which are felt to this day.Jankowskil, p. 74 In order to consolidate his power in Egypt, Mohammed Ali worked to eliminate the Turko-Circassian domination of administrative and army posts. For the first time since the Roman period, native Egyptians filled the junior ranks of the country's army. The army would later conduct military expeditions in the
Levant The Levant () is an term referring to a large area in the region of . In its narrowest sense, it is equivalent to the , which included present-day , , , , and most of southwest of the middle . In its widest historical sense, the Levant ...

Levant
, Sudan, and against the Wahhabism, Wahabis in Arabia. Many Egyptians student missions were sent to Europe in the early 19th century to study at European universities and acquire technical skills such as printing, shipbuilding, and modern military techniques. One of these students, whose name was Rifa'a al-Tahtawi, Rifa'a et-Tahtawi (1801–1873), was the first in a long line of Egyptian intellectuals that started the modern Egyptian Renaissance.


Nationalism

The period between 1860–1940 was characterized by an Egyptian ''nahda'', renaissance or rebirth. It is best known for the renewed interest in Ancient Egypt, Egyptian antiquity and the cultural achievements that were inspired by it. Along with this interest came an indigenous, Egypt-centered orientation, particularly among the Egyptian intelligentsia that would affect Egypt's autonomous development as a sovereign and independent nation-state.Vatikiotis, p. 115–16 The first Egyptian renaissance intellectual was Rifa'a el-Tahtawi, who was born in the village of Tahta in upper Egypt. In 1831, Tahtawi undertook a career in journalism, education and translation. Three of his published volumes were works of political and moral philosophy. In them he introduces his students to Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment ideas such as secularism, secular authority and political rights and liberty; his ideas regarding how a modern civilized society ought to be and what constituted by extension a civilized or "good Egyptian"; and his ideas on public interest and public good. Tahtawi was instrumental in sparking indigenous interest in Egypt's ancient heritage. He composed a number of poems in praise of Egypt and wrote two other general histories of the country. He also co-founded with his contemporary Ali Pasha Mubarak, Ali Mubarak, the architect of the modern Egyptian school system, a native Egyptology school that looked for inspiration to medieval Egyptian scholars like Suyuti and Al-Maqrizi, Maqrizi, who studied ancient Egyptian history, language and antiquities. Tahtawi encouraged his compatriots to invite Europeans to come and teach the modern sciences in Egypt, drawing on the example of Pharaoh Psammetichus I, Psamtek I who had enlisted the Greeks' help in organizing the Egyptian army. Among Mohammed Ali's successors, the most influential was Isma'il Pasha who became khedive in 1863. Ismail's reign witnessed the growth of the army, major education reforms, the founding of the Egyptian Museum and the Khedivial Opera House, Royal Opera House, the rise of an independent political press, a flourishing of the arts, and the inauguration of the Suez Canal. In 1866, the Assembly of Delegates was founded to serve as an advisory body for the government. Its members were elected from across Egypt, including villages, which meant that native Egyptians came to exert increasing political and economic influence over their country. Several generations of Egyptians exposed to the ideas of constitutionalism made up the emerging intellectual and political milieu that slowly filled the ranks of the government, the army and institutions which had long been dominated by an aristocracy of Turks, Greeks, Circassians and Armenians. Ismail's massive modernization campaign, however, left Egypt indebted to European powers, leading to increased European meddling in local affairs. This led to the formation of secret groups made up of Egyptian notables, ministers, journalists and army officers organized across the country to oppose the increasing European influence. When the British deposed Ismail and installed his son Tewfik Pasha, Tawfik, the now Egyptian-dominated army reacted violently, staging a Urabi Revolt, revolt led by Minister of War Ahmed Urabi, Ahmed Orabi, who was a rural Egyptian born in a village in Zagazig, self-styled el-Masri ('the Egyptian'), against the Khedive, the Turko-Circassian elite, and the European stronghold. The revolt was a Battle of Tel el-Kebir, military failure and British Empire, British forces occupied Egypt in 1882. Technically, Egypt was still part of the Ottoman Empire with the Muhammad Ali Dynasty, Mohammed Ali family ruling the country, though now with British supervision and according to British directives. The Egyptian army was disbanded and a smaller army commanded by British officers was installed in its place.


Liberal age

Egyptian self-government, education, and the continued plight of Egypt's peasant majority deteriorated most significantly under British occupation. Slowly, an organized national movement for independence began to form. In its beginnings, it took the form of an Azhar-led religious reform movement that was more concerned with the social conditions of Egyptian society. It gathered momentum between 1882 and 1906, ultimately leading to a resentment against European occupation. Sheikh Muhammad Abduh, the son of a Delta farmer who was briefly exiled for his participation in the Orabi revolt and a future Azhar Mufti, was its most notable advocate. Abduh called for a reform of Egyptian Muslim society and formulated the modernism, modernist interpretations of Islam that took hold among younger generations of Egyptians. Among these were Mustafa Kamil Pasha, Mustafa Kamil and Ahmed Lutfi el-Sayed, the architects of modern Egyptian nationalism. Mustafa Kamil had been a student activist in the 1890s involved in the creation of a secret nationalist society that called for British evacuation from Egypt. He was famous for coining the popular expression, "If I had not been an Egyptian, I would have wished to become one." Egyptian nationalist sentiment reached a high point after the 1906 Dinshaway Incident, when following an altercation between a group of British soldiers and Egyptian farmers, four of the farmers were hanged while others were condemned to public flogging. Dinshaway, a watershed in the history of Egyptian anti-colonialism, colonial resistance, galvanized Egyptian opposition against the British, culminating in the founding of the first two political parties in Egypt: the secular, liberal ''Umma'' (the Nation, 1907) headed by Ahmed Lutfi el-Sayed, and the more radical, pro-Islamic ''Watani'' Party (National Party, 1908) headed by Mustafa Kamil. Lutfi was born to a family of farmers in a village in the Delta province of Ad Daqahliyah, Daqahliya in 1872. He was educated at al-Azhar where he attended lectures by Mohammed Abduh. Abduh came to have a profound influence on Lutfi's reformist thinking in later years. In 1907, he founded the Umma Party newspaper, el-Garida, whose statement of purpose read: "El-Garida is a purely Egyptian party which aims to defend Egyptian interests of all kinds." Both the People and National parties came to dominate Egyptian politics until World War I, but the new leaders of the national movement for independence following four arduous years of war (in which Great Britain declared Egypt a British protectorate) were closer to the secular, liberal principles of Ahmed Lutfi el-Sayed and the People's Party. Prominent among these was Saad Zaghlul, Saad Zaghloul who led the new movement through the Wafd Party. Saad Zaghloul was born in a small Egyptian village, he held several ministerial positions before he was elected to the Legislative Assembly and organized a mass movement demanding an end to the British Protectorate. He garnered such massive popularity among the Egyptian people that he came to be known as 'Father of the Egyptians'. When on March 8, 1919 the British arrested Zaghloul and his associates and exiled them to Malta, the Egyptian people staged their Egyptian Revolution of 1919, first modern revolution. Demonstrations and strikes across Egypt became such a daily occurrence that normal life was brought to a halt. The Wafd Party drafted a 1923 Constitution of Egypt, new Constitution in 1923 based on a parliamentary system, parliamentary representative system. Saad Zaghloul became the first popularly elected Prime Minister of Egypt in 1924. Egyptian independence at this stage was provisional, as British forces continued to be physically present on Egyptian soil. In 1936, the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of 1936, Anglo-Egyptian Treaty was concluded. New forces that came to prominence were the Muslim Brotherhood and the radical Misr El-Fatah (Young Egypt) Party, Young Egypt Party. In 1920, Banque Misr (Bank of Egypt) was founded by Talaat Pasha Harb as "an Egyptian bank for Egyptians only", which restricted shareholding to native Egyptians and helped finance various new Egyptian-owned businesses. Under the parliamentary monarchy, Egypt reached the peak of its modern intellectual Renaissance that was started by Rifa'a el-Tahtawi nearly a century earlier. Among those who set the intellectual tone of a newly independent Egypt, in addition to Muhammad Abduh and Ahmed Lutfi el-Sayed, were Qasim Amin, Muhammad Husayn Haykal, Taha Hussein, Abbas Al-Akkad, Abbas el-'Akkad, Tawfiq al-Hakeem, Tawfiq el-Hakeem, and Salama Moussa. They delineated a liberal outlook for their country expressed as a commitment to individual freedom, secularism, an evolutionary view of the world and faith in science to bring progress to human society. This period was looked upon with fondness by future generations of Egyptians as a Golden Age of Egyptian liberalism, openness, and an Egypt-centered attitude that put the country's interests center stage. When Egyptian novelist and Nobel Prize laureate Naguib Mahfouz died in 2006, many Egyptians felt that perhaps the last of the Greats of Egypt's golden age had died. In his dialogues with close associate and journalist Mohamed Salmawy, published as ''Mon Égypte'', Mahfouz had this to say:


Republic

Increased involvement by Farouk of Egypt, King Farouk in parliamentary affairs, government corruption, and the widening gap between the country's rich and poor led to the eventual toppling of the monarchy and the dissolution of the parliament through a ''coup d'état'' by a group of Free Officers Movement (Egypt), army officers in 1952. The Egyptian Republic was declared on June 18, 1953 with General Muhammad Naguib as the first President of the Republic. After Naguib was forced to resign in 1954 and later put under house arrest by Gamal Abdel Nasser, the real architect of the 1952 movement, mass protests by Egyptians erupted against the forced resignation of what became a popular symbol of the new regime. Nasser assumed Political power, power as President and began a nationalization process that initially had profound effects on the socioeconomic strata of Egyptian society. According to one historian, "Egypt had, for the first time since 343 BC, been ruled not by a Macedonian Greek, nor a Roman, nor an Arab, nor a Turk, but by an Egyptian." Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal leading to the 1956 Suez Crisis. Egypt became increasingly involved in regional affairs until three years after the 1967
Six-Day War The Six-Day War (; ar, النكسة, translit=an-Naksah, lit=The Setback or ), also known as the June War, the 1967 Arab–Israeli War or the Third Arab–Israeli War, was an armed conflict fought from 5 to 10 June 1967 between Israel and a ...
, in which Egypt lost the Sinai peninsula, Sinai to
Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, translit=Yīsrāʾēl; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, translit=ʾIsrāʾīl), officially the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, label=none, translit=Medīnat Yīsrāʾēl; ), is a ...

Israel
, Nasser died and was succeeded by Anwar Sadat. Sadat revived an ''Egypt Above All'' orientation, switched Egypt's Cold War allegiance from the Soviet Union to the United States, expelling Soviet advisors in 1972, and launched the Infitah economic reform policy. Like his predecessor, he also clamped down on religious and leftist opposition alike. Egyptians fought one last time in the 1973 Yom Kippur War, October War in an attempt to liberate Egyptian territories captured by Israel six years earlier. The October War presented Sadat with a political victory that later allowed him to regain the Sinai. In 1977, Sadat made a historic visit to Israel leading to the signing of the 1978 Camp David Accords, peace treaty, which was supported by the vast majority of Egyptians, in exchange for the complete Israeli withdrawal from Sinai. Sadat was Assassination of Anwar Sadat, assassinated in Cairo by members of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad in 1981, and was succeeded by Hosni Mubarak. Hosni Mubarak was the president from 14 October 1981 to 11 February 2011, when he resigned under pressure of 2011 Egyptian protests, popular protest. Although power was ostensibly organized under a Multi-party system, multi-party semi-presidential system, in practice it rested almost solely with the president. In late February 2005, for the first time since the 1952 coup d'état, the Egyptian people had an apparent chance to elect a leader from a list of various candidates, most prominently Ayman Nour. Most Egyptians were skeptical about the process of democratization and feared that power might ultimately be transferred to the president's first son, Gamal Mubarak. After the resignation of Hosni Mubarak presidential powers were transferred to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, who relinquished power on 30 June 2012 when Islamist candidate Mohamed Morsi became the first democratically elected head of state in Egyptian history. He was ousted in the June 2013 Egyptian protests, June 2013 revolution and a 2013 Egyptian coup d'état, military coup, a year after he came to power, he was jailed by the government, sentenced to death (later overturned), and died in prison six years later, the Muslim Brotherhood (which Egypt has officially listed as a terrorist group) claimed, without providing any evidence, that his death was due to "prevented medicine and poor food". Morsi was also charged with leading an outlawed group, detention and torture of anti-government protesters, and committing treason by leaking state secrets. In the 26–28 May 2014 Egyptian presidential election, former General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi won in a landslide, capturing 97% of the vote according to the government. Some regarded the election as undemocratic claiming that several political opponents were being detained or banned from running,, but: "The European Union's Election Observation Mission (EOM) released a preliminary statement on Thursday after voting commenced, stating that 'the Presidential Elections Commission (PEC) administered the election professionally and overall in line with the law'." In 2018 el-Sisi was 2018 Egyptian presidential election, re-elected with 97% of the vote, in an election denounced by human rights groups as unfair and "farcical". A BBC article mentioned that "Three potential candidates dropped out of the race, while a fourth - a former military chief - was arrested and accused of running for office without permission."


Languages

In the Early Dynastic Period (Egypt), Early Dynastic Period, Nile Valley Egyptians spoke the Archaic Egyptian language. In antiquity, Egyptians spoke the
Egyptian language The Egyptian language or Ancient Egyptian ( egy, 𓂋𓏺𓈖 𓆎𓅓𓏏𓊖, , cop, ϯⲙⲉⲧⲣⲉⲙⲛ̀ⲭⲏⲙⲓ) is an Afro-Asiatic language Afroasiatic (Afro-Asiatic), also known as Afrasian or Hamito-Semitic or Semito-Hamiti ...
. It constitutes its own branch of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic family. The Coptic language is the last form of the Egyptian language, written in Coptic alphabet which is based on the Greek alphabet. It is worth noting that other languages, such as Nubian, Arabic, and other Libyan languages also existed in Egypt outside of the Nile valley and in the mountains surrounding it since at least the time of Herodotus, with Arabic being used mainly in the Eastern Desert and Sinai (peninsula), Sinai,The History of Herodotus By GEORGE RAWLINSON, Page 9 Nubian (referred to as Ethiopian By Herodotus) South of the first cataract of the Nile, and other Libyan Languages in the Libyan Desert Although Arabic was spoken in parts of Egypt in the pre-islamic era such as the Eastern Desert and Sinai, Coptic was the Language of the majority of Egyptians residing in the Nile Valley.
Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countries, transcontinental region ...

Arabic
was adopted by the rulers of Egypt after the Islamic invasion as an official language. Gradually, Egyptian Arabic came to replace
Coptic Coptic may refer to: Afro-Asia * Copts, an ethnoreligious group mainly in the area of modern Egypt but also in Sudan and Libya * Coptic language, a Northern Afro-Asiatic language spoken in Egypt until at least the 17th century * Coptic alphabet, th ...
as the spoken language. Spoken Coptic was mostly extinct by the 17th century but may have survived in isolated pockets in Upper Egypt as late as the 19th century.The language may have survived in isolated pockets in Upper Egypt as late as the 19th century, according to James Edward Quibell, "When did Coptic become extinct?" in ''Zeitschrift für ägyptische Sprache und Altertumskunde'', 39 (1901), p. 87. The official language of Egypt today is
Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countries, transcontinental region ...

Arabic
, but it is not a spoken language. The spoken vernaculars are
Egyptian Arabic Egyptian Arabic, locally known as Colloquial Egyptian ( ar, العامية المصرية, ), or simply ''Masri'' (), is the spoken vernacular A vernacular or vernacular language refers to the language or dialect that is spoken by people tha ...
, Saʽidi Arabic, and their variants; and also Bedawi Arabic in the Sinai, and Western Egyptian Arabic in the Western desert. The most prestigious and widely spread vernacular is known as Cairene Arabic, being spoken by about 50% of the population, and the second, less prestigious, being Saidi Arabic, spoken by about 35-40% of the population. Modern Standard Arabic is reserved only for official documents, written educational material, and more formal contexts, and is not a naturally spoken language. The recorded history of Egyptian Arabic as a dialect begins in Ottoman Egypt with a document by the 17th-century Moroccan author Yusuf Al-Maghribi during after his travels to Egypt writing about the peculiarities of the speech of the Egyptian people ''دفع الإصر عن كلام أهل مصر'' ' (lit. "The Removal of the Burden from the Language of the People of Egypt") This suggests the language that by then was spoken in the majority of Miṣr (Egypt/Cairo). It's also worth noting that the Egyptians commonly referred to the modern day area of Greater Cairo (Cairo, Fustat, Giza, and their surroundings) by the name of "Miṣr",Al Khutat Al Maqrizia, An Account of The City of Fustat Misr, الخطط المقريزية، ذكر ما قيل في مدينة فسطاط مصر which was also the name used to refer to the entire land of Egypt. As a consequence, and because of the Egyptian habit of identifying people in the capital with the entire country's name, the word Miṣriyeen (Egyptian Arabic: Masreyeen) which is derived from the Quranic term ''Miṣr'', the Hebrew Bible term Mitzrayim, and the Ancient Amarna letters, Amarna tablets term ''Misri'' (lit. Land of Egypt) and Assyrian records called Egypt ''Mu-ṣur.'', commonly referred to the people of Egypt's Capital city, Capital City, the greater Cairo area.An Account of the Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians, P 2.LONDON & TORONTO PUBLISHED BY J·M·DENT &SONS IN NEWYORK BY E·P ·DUTTON & CO. It is represented in a body of vernacular literature comprising novels, plays and poetry published over the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Classical Arabic Classical Arabic ( ar, links=no, ٱلْعَرَبِيَّةُ ٱلْفُصْحَىٰ, al-ʿarabīyah al-fuṣḥā) or Quranic Arabic is the standardized literary form of the Arabic language Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic languages, ...
is also significant in Egyptian literary works, as Egyptian novelists and poets were among the first to experiment with modern styles of Arabic literature, and the forms they developed have been widely imitated. While Egyptian Arabic is considered derived from the formal Arabic language, it has also been influenced by many other languages such as French language, French, Turkish language, Turkish, and Italian language, Italian. This is widely thought to be the effects of being the victim of several invasions, including that of the Ottoman Empire as well as the French invasion. As each invasion came and went, the Egyptians kept the few words and phrases that made the language seem easier. Egyptian Arabic is also influenced by
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
, and its grammar structure is influenced by the Coptic stage of the Egyptian language, ancient Egyptian language. It is also noteworthy that the Egyptian dialect is the most understood throughout the Arab world, Arabic-speaking countries. This is because Egyptian movies and Egyptian music have been the most influential in the region and are therefore the most widespread, and also because of the political and cultural influence Egypt has on the region. As a result, most of the countries in the region have grown up listening to Egyptian Arabic and therefore have no trouble understanding it, even though they actually speak their own, but they tend to adopt many elements of Egyptian Arabic. This situation is not reciprocal, however, meaning that the Egyptians do not understand any of the dialects of the region. Originally the Egyptians wrote in hieroglyphics. At first the meaning of the hieroglyphics was unknown, until in the year 1799 Napoleón Bonaparte's soldiers dug up the Rosetta stone. The Rosetta Stone was found broken and incomplete. It features 14 lines in the hieroglyphic script, 32 lines in Demotic (Egyptian), Demotic, and 53 lines in Ancient Greek. Its decipherment lead to the understanding of the ancient Egyptian language.


Identity


Ancient Egypt

The categorization of people as ''Egyptians'', ''Asiatics'', ''Libyans'' and ''Nubians'' occurred in Egyptian documents of state ideology and were contingent on Sociocultural system, Social and Culture, Cultural factors among the ancient populations themselves.


Egypt and Africa

Even though Egypt is mostly located in North Africa, Egypt and the Egyptian people do not generally assert an Culture of Africa, African identity. In 2017, the National Geographic Genographic Project published a 10 years study on several nations where it revealed that Egypt is indeed a North African population, but African identity is not that common in Egypt and not many identify as African.


Ottoman Rule

Before the birth of Contemporary Egyptian Nationalism, which emerged in the period between 1860-1940, and throughout the Ottoman Empire, Ottoman rule,
Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countries, transcontinental region ...

Arabic
-speaking nations under Ottoman rule were all referred to by Ottomans and Europeans as "Arabs", whether Egyptians, Sudanese, ..etc. During her stay in Upper Egypt, Lady Duff Gordon mentions the opinion of an Upper Egyptian man on the Ahmad Al Tayeb Uprising that happened during her stay. She puts what he said thus: "Truly in all the world none are miserable like us Arabs. The Turks beat us, and the Europeans hate us and say quite right. By God, we had better lay down our heads in the dust (die) and let the strangers take our land and grow cotton for themselves". However, as mentioned, there was a tendency in most European writings of that period to indiscriminately refer to Egyptians, Sudanese, and all Arabic-speaking nations, especially Muslims, as "Arabs", which is prevalent throughout the Letters of Lady Duff Gorden in which she reported the above, so it should be of note that this is her own translation of whatever the man said. After Muhammed Ali of Egypt, Muhammed Ali Pasha took control of Egypt, along with Sudan and, briefly, parts of Arabia and the
Levant The Levant () is an term referring to a large area in the region of . In its narrowest sense, it is equivalent to the , which included present-day , , , , and most of southwest of the middle . In its widest historical sense, the Levant ...

Levant
, he enforced mandatory military service. The Egyptians were discriminated against in the military where they weren't allowed to hold any important positions. Throughout the Ottoman Empire, all Arabic speakers, especially Muslims, were called "Arabs". As a consequence, being called "Arab", as used by Ottomans and Europeans, was equivalent to being called Egyptian, Sudanese, ..etc, in modern day. In an attempt to prove to his soldiers that he is one of them, Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt, Ibrahim Pasha, the son of Mohammed Ali Pasha, who was an Albanians, Albanian, told one of his soldiers after criticizing Turks: "I am not a Turk, I came to Egypt when I was a child, and since that time, its sun has changed my blood, and I became fully Arab".


Modern period

Beginning 1860, the state started making efforts to shape a collective Egyptian Identity and Egyptian nationalism in face of the British rule. However, the revolution of Ahmed Orabi is considered to be a turning point in Egyptian History, as it fought for the Egyptian identity, where Egyptians rejected any other identity, and identified only as Egyptians (Masreyeen). It is worth noting that in the past, Egyptians sometimes also used to refer to the area of Greater Cairo by the name of "Masr", which was also the name used to refer to the entire land of Egypt. As a consequence, and because of the Egyptian habit of identifying people with their city names, the word Misreyeen/Masreyeen sometimes referred to the people of the greater Cairo area. The Orabi movement in the 1870s and 1880s was the first major Egyptian nationalist movement that demanded an end to the alleged despotism of the Muhammad Ali family and demanded curbing the growth of European influence in Egypt, it campaigned under the nationalist slogan of "''Egypt for Egyptians''". The Orabi revolt is referred to in Egypt as the revolt of the fellahin (rural Egyptians), Ahmed Orabi himself was a rural Egyptian from a village in Zagazig. Following the French campaign in Egypt, western ideas started becoming prevalent among Egyptian intellectuals , which continued after the British occupation of Egypt. Among the western ideas, the French Enlightenment notion of reviving Pre-Christian civilizations and cultures found a special place among Egyptian Nationalists , who sought to revive the Pharaonic culture as the main pre-Islamic/pre-Christian civilization of Egypt. Questions of identity came to fore in the late 19th century and in the 20th century as Egyptians sought to free themselves from British occupation, leading to the rise of ethno-territorial secular Egyptian nationalism (also known as "Pharaonism"). After Egyptians gained their independence from Great Britain, other political ideologies that were rejected earlier by the Egyptians, such as pan-Arabism, were adopted by the political leadership, there was also a rise of Islamism. "Pharaoh, Pharaonism" rose to political prominence in the 1920s and 1930s as an Egyptian movement resisting the British occupation, as Egypt developed separately from the Arab world. A segment of Egyptian intellectuals argued that Egypt was part of a Mediterranean culture, Mediterranean civilization. This ideology largely developed out of the country's lengthy pre-Islamic pre-Arabism history, the relative isolation of the
Nile Valley The Nile, , Bohairic , lg, Kiira , Nobiin Nobiin, or Mahas, is a Northern Nubian languages, Nubian language of the Nilo-Saharan languages, Nilo-Saharan language family. "Nobiin" is the genitive case, genitive form of ''Nòòbíí'' ("Nubi ...

Nile Valley
and the mostly homogeneous indigenous non-Arab genetic ancestry/ethnicity of the inhabitants,Hinnesbusch, p. 93. regardless of current religious identity. One of Pharaonism's most notable advocates was Taha Hussein who remarked: Pharaonism became the dominant mode of expression of Egyptian anti-colonial activists of the pre-war and inter-war periods. In 1931, following a visit to Egypt, Syrian Arab nationalist Sati' al-Husri remarked that: The later 1930s would become a formative period for Arab nationalism without the involvement of Egypt. Arab nationalism developed as a regional nationalism initially based on the efforts of Syrian, Palestinian, and Lebanese political intellectuals. Arab-Islamic political sentiment was fueled by the solidarity felt between, on the one hand, Egyptians struggling for independence from Britain and, on the other hand, those across the Arab world engaged in similar anti-imperialist struggles. In particular, the growth of Zionism in neighboring Palestine was seen as a threat by many Egyptians, and the cause of resistance there was adopted by rising Islamic movements such as the Muslim Brotherhood as well as the political leadership including Faruq I, King Faruq I and the Egyptian Prime Minister Mustafa el-Nahhas. Historian H. S. Deighton wrote: Until the 1940s, Egypt was more in favour of territorial Egyptian nationalism and distant from the pan-Arabism ideology. Egyptians generally did not identify themselves as Arabs, and it is revealing that when the Egyptian nationalist leader Saad Zaghlul, Saad Zaghloul met the Arab delegates at Versailles in 1918, he insisted that their struggles for statehood were not connected, maintaining that the problem of Egypt was an Egyptian problem and not an Arab one.


Nasserism

It was not until the Nasser era more than a decade later that Arab nationalism, and by extension Arab socialism, became a state policy and a means with which to define Egypt's position in the Middle East and the world, usually articulated vis-à-vis Zionism in the neighboring new state of
Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, translit=Yīsrāʾēl; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, translit=ʾIsrāʾīl), officially the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, label=none, translit=Medīnat Yīsrāʾēl; ), is a ...

Israel
. Nasser's politics was shaped by his conviction that all the Arab states were contending with anti-imperialist struggles and thus solidarity between them was imperative for independence. He viewed the earlier Egyptian nationalism of Saad Zaghlul, Saad Zaghloul as too inward-looking and saw no conflict between Egyptian patriotism (''wataniyya'') and Arab nationalism (''qawmiyya'').Hinnesbusch, p. 94. For a while Egypt and Syria formed the United Arab Republic (UAR), which lasted for about 3 years. When the union was dissolved, Egypt continued to be known as the UAR until 1971, when Egypt adopted the current official name, the Arab Republic of Egypt. The Egyptians' attachment to Arabism was particularly questioned after the 1967
Six-Day War The Six-Day War (; ar, النكسة, translit=an-Naksah, lit=The Setback or ), also known as the June War, the 1967 Arab–Israeli War or the Third Arab–Israeli War, was an armed conflict fought from 5 to 10 June 1967 between Israel and a ...
. Thousands of Egyptians had lost their lives, and the country became disillusioned with Arab politics. Although the Arabism instilled in the country by Nasser was not deeply embedded in society, a certain kinship with the rest of the Arab world was firmly established and Egypt saw itself as the leader of this larger cultural entity. Nasser's version of pan-Arabism stressed Egyptian sovereignty and leadership of Arab unity instead of the eastern Arab states. Nasser's successor Anwar el-Sadat, both through public policy and his peace initiative with Israel, revived an uncontested Egyptian orientation, unequivocally asserting that only Egypt and Egyptians were his responsibility. According to Dawisha, the terms "Arab", "Arabism" and "Arab unity", save for the new official name, became conspicuously absent. (See also #Liberal age, Liberal age and #Republic, Republic sections.) However, despite Sadat's systematic attempts to root out Arab sentiment, Arab nationalism in Egypt remained a potent force. During this era, in 1978, Egyptian-American sociologist Saad Eddin Ibrahim studied the national discourse between 17 Egyptian intellectuals relating to Egypt's identity and peace with Israel. He noted that in 18 articles Arab identity was acknowledged and neutrality in the Arab–Israeli conflict, conflict opposed, while in eight articles Arab identity was acknowledged and neutrality supported and only in three articles written by author Louis Awad was Arab identity rejected and neutrality supported. Egyptian scholar Gamal Hamdan stressed that Egyptian identity was unique, but that Egypt was the center and "cultural hub" of the Arab world, arguing that "Egypt in the Arab world is like Cairo in Egypt." Hamdan further contended "We do not see the Egyptian personality, no matter how distinct it may be, as anything other than a part of the personality of the greater Arab homeland."Barakat, p. 4. Many Egyptians today feel that Egyptian and Arab identities are inextricably linked, and emphasize the central role that Egypt plays in the Arab world. Others continue to believe that Egypt and Egyptians are simply not Arab, emphasizing indigenous Egyptian heritage, culture and independent polity, pointing to the perceived failures of Arab and pan-Arab nationalist policies. Egyptian anthropologist Laila el-Hamamsy illustrates the modern-day relationship between the two trends, stating: "in light of their history, Egyptians ... should be conscious of their national identity and consider themselves, above all, Egyptians. How is the Egyptian, with this strong sense of Egyptian identity, able to look himself as an Arab too?" Her explanation is that Egyptianization translated as Arabization with the result being "an increased tempo of Arabization, for facility in the Arabic language opened the windows into the rich legacy of Arabic culture. ... Thus in seeking a cultural identity, Egypt has revived its Arab cultural heritage."Barakat, p. 5.


Culture

Egyptian culture boasts five millennia of recorded history. Ancient Egypt was among the earliest and greatest civilizations during which the Egyptians maintained a strikingly complex and stable culture that influenced later cultures of Europe, the Near East and Africa. After the Pharaonic era, the Egyptians themselves came under the influence of Hellenistic civilization, Hellenism, Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, Christianity and Muslim culture, Islamic culture. Today, many aspects of ancient Egyptian culture exist in interaction with newer elements, including the influence of modern Western culture, itself influenced by Ancient Egypt.


Surnames

Today, Egyptians carry names that have Ancient Egyptian, Arabic, Turkish, Greek and Western meanings (especially Coptic ones) among others. The concept of a surname is lacking in Egypt. Rather, Egyptians tend to carry their father's name as their first middle name, and stop at the 2nd or 3rd first name, which thus becomes one's surname. In this manner, surnames continuously change with generations, as first names of 4th or 5th generations get dropped. Some Egyptians tend to have Surnames based on their cities, like ''Monoufi'' (from Monufia), ''Banhawy'' (from Benha), ''Aswany'' (from Aswan), ''Tahtawy'' (from Tahta), ''Fayoumi'' (from Fayoum), ''Eskandarani / Eskandar'' (from
Alexandria Alexandria ( or ; ar, الإسكندرية ; arz, اسكندرية ; Coptic language, Coptic: Rakodī; el, Αλεξάνδρεια ''Alexandria'') is the List of cities and towns in Egypt, third-largest city in Egypt after Cairo and Giza, ...

Alexandria
) and so on. As a result of the Islamic history of Egypt, and as a result of the subsequent Arabization, some Egyptians adopted historical Berber, Arabic, and Iranian names. For example, the surname "Al Juhaini", from the Arabic Juhainah, which is very rare, except from a few instances in North Egypt, the surname "Al Hawary", from the Berber Hawara. The concept of surname, however, is extremely rare in Egypt, and the mentioned surnames are extremely rare. Historical Arabic names in general are most likely just historically adopted as status names, which is something that happened with Greek names as well in Greek-Roman times where Egyptians would adopt Greek names as status names. Some Egyptians have their family names based on their traditional crafts, like ''El Nagar'' (Carpenter), ''El Fawal'' (the one who sells Ful medames, Foul), ''El Hadad'' (Blacksmith), ''El Khayat'' (Tailor), and so on. The majority of Egyptians, however, have last names that are their great-grandparents' first names, this habit is especially dominant among the fellahin (rural Egyptians), where the concept of surnames isn't really a strong tradition. For example, if a person named "Khaled Emad Salama Ali" has a son named "Ashraf", his son's full name may become "Ashraf Khaled Emad Salama". Thus, a son may have a last name that is different from his father's last name. However, it is not unusual for many Egyptian families to adopt Ancient Egyptian based names (especially Coptic ones) and have their first names or surnames beginning with the Egyptian language, Ancient Egyptian masculine possessive pronoun ''pa'' (generally ''ba'' in
Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countries, transcontinental region ...

Arabic
, which lost the phoneme in the course of developing from Proto-Semitic, but the Egyptians still have the phoneme /p/ in their spoken language). For example, Bashandy ( "the one of acacia"), Bakhoum ( "the one of eagle"), Bekhit ( "the one of the north"), Bahur ( "the one of
Horus Horus or Her, Heru, Hor, Har in Ancient Egyptian, is one of the most significant ancient Egyptian deities Ancient Egyptian deities are the God (male deity), gods and goddesses worshipped in ancient Egypt. The beliefs and rituals surrounding ...

Horus
") and Banoub ( "the one of Anubis"). The name Shenouda (), which is very common among Copt, Copts, means "child of God". Hence, names and many toponyms may end with ''-nouda'', ''-noudi'' or ''-nuti'', which means ''Of God'' in
Egyptian Egyptian describes something of, from, or related to Egypt. Egyptian or Egyptians may refer to: Nations and ethnic groups * Egyptians, a national group in North Africa ** Egyptian culture, a complex and stable culture with thousands of years of r ...
and
Coptic Coptic may refer to: Afro-Asia * Copts, an ethnoreligious group mainly in the area of modern Egypt but also in Sudan and Libya * Coptic language, a Northern Afro-Asiatic language spoken in Egypt until at least the 17th century * Coptic alphabet, th ...
. In addition, Egyptian families often derive their name from places in Egypt, such as Minyawi from Minya, Egypt, Minya and Suyuti from Asyut; or from one of the local
Sufi Sufism ( ar, ٱلصُّوفِيَّة), also known as Tasawwuf (), is mysticism in Islam, "characterized ... y particularvalues, ritual practices, doctrines and institutions". It is variously defined as "Islamic mysticism",Martin Lings, ...

Sufi
orders such as el-Shazli and el-Sawy. More examples of prominent surnames are Qozman and Habib. With the adoption of Christianity and eventually Islam, Egyptians began to take on names associated with these religions. Many Egyptian surnames also became Hellenization, Hellenized and Arabization, Arabized, meaning they were altered to sound
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
or
Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countries, transcontinental region ...

Arabic
. This was done by the addition of the Greek suffix ''-ios'' to Egyptian names such as, for example, Pakhom to Pakhomios; or by adding the Egyptian Arabic definite article ''el'' to Egyptian names such as, for example, Baymoui to el-Bayoumi; Bayoumi, without the article, is even more common. Names starting with the Ancient Egyptian affix ''pu'' ("of the place of") were sometimes Arabized to ''abu'' ("father of"); for example, Busiri ("of the place of
Osiris Osiris (, from Egyptian ''wsjr'', Coptic ) is the god In monotheism, monotheistic thought, God is conceived of as the supreme being, creator deity, creator, and principal object of Faith#Religious views, faith.Richard Swinburne, Swinburne ...

Osiris
") occasionally became Abusir and el-Busiri. Few people might also have surnames like el-Shamy ("the Levantine"), suggesting a possible Levantine origin, or, in the upper classes, Dewidar, suggesting a possible Ottoman-Mamluk remnant, but these names are very rare and could also be just historically adopted as status names. Conversely, some Levantines might carry the surname el-Masri ("the Egyptian") suggesting a possible Egyptian extraction. The Egyptian peasantry, the fellahin (rural Egyptians), are more likely to retain indigenous names given their relative isolation throughout the Egyptian people's history. With French people, French influence, names like Mounier, Pierre, and many others became common, more so in the Christian community.


Genetic history

Beginning in the Predynastic Egypt, predynastic period, some differences between the populations of Upper and Lower Egypt were ascertained through their skeletal remains, suggesting a gradual Cline (population genetics), clinal pattern north to south. When Lower and Upper Egypt were unified ''c''. 3200 BC, the distinction began to blur, resulting in a more homogeneous population in Egypt, though the distinction remains true to some degree to this day. Some biological anthropologists such as Shomarka Keita believe the range of variability to be primarily indigenous and not necessarily the result of significant intermingling of widely Genetic divergence, divergent peoples. Keita describes the northern and southern patterns of the early Predynastic Egypt, predynastic period as "northern-Egyptian-Maghreb" and "tropical African variant" (overlapping with
Nubia Nubia () (Nobiin Nobiin, or Mahas, is a Northern Nubian languages, Nubian language of the Nilo-Saharan languages, Nilo-Saharan language family. "Nobiin" is the genitive case, genitive form of ''Nòòbíí'' ("Nubian") and literally means "(lan ...

Nubia
/Kingdom of Kush, Kush) respectively. He shows that a progressive change in Upper Egypt toward the northern Egyptian pattern takes place through the predynastic period. The southern pattern continues to predominate in Abydos, Egypt, Abydos, Upper Egypt by the First Dynasty of Egypt, First Dynasty, but "lower Egyptian, Maghrebian, and Genetic history of Europe, European patterns are observed also, thus making for great diversity."A group of noted physical anthropologists conducted craniofacial studies of Egyptian skeletal remains and concluded similarly that
''"the Egyptians have been in place since back in the Pleistocene and have been largely unaffected by either invasions or migrations. As others have noted, Egyptians are Egyptians, and they were so in the past as well."''
genetic genealogy, Genetic analysis of modern Egyptians reveals that they have Haplogroup#Y chromosome DNA haplogroups, paternal Lineage (anthropology), lineages common to indigenous North-East African populations primarily and to Near Eastern peoples to a lesser extent—these lineages would have spread during the Neolithic and were maintained by the Predynastic Egypt, predynastic period. University of Chicago Egyptologist Frank Yurco suggested a historical, regional and ethnolinguistic continuity, asserting that "the mummies and skeletons of ancient Egyptians indicate they were similar to the modern Egyptians and other people of the Afroasiatic languages, Afro-Asiatic ethnic grouping". Another study found that the average Egyptian male has 85% Native North African ancestry, Both Egyptian Christians and Muslim were found to be closely related and stem from the same grandparents according to a 2020 study by Forensic science international 313, adding a quote
"''Therefore, from these results we conclude that Egyptians Muslims and Egyptian Christians genetically originate from the same ancestors"''
A 2006 bioarchaeology, bioarchaeological study on the dental morphology (biology), morphology of ancient Egyptians by Prof. Joel Irish shows dental traits characteristic of indigenous North Africans and to a lesser extent Southwest Asian and European populations. Among the samples included in the study is skeletal material from the commons:Fayum mummy portraits, Hawara tombs of Fayum, which clustered very closely with the Badarian series of the Predynastic Egypt, predynastic period. All the samples, particularly those of the Dynastic period, were significantly divergent from a neolithic West Saharan sample from Lower Nubia. Biological continuity was also found intact from the dynastic to the post-pharaonic periods. According to Irish:
[The Egyptian] samples [996 mummies] exhibit morphologically simple, mass-reduced dentitions that are similar to those in populations from greater North Africa (Irish, 1993, 1998a–c, 2000) and, to a lesser extent, western Asia and Europe (Turner, 1985a; Turner and Markowitz, 1990; Roler, 1992; Lipschultz, 1996; Irish, 1998a). Similar craniofacial measurements among samples from these regions were reported as well (Brace et al., 1993)... an inspection of MMD values reveals no evidence of increasing phenetic distance between samples from the first and second halves of this almost 3,000-year-long period. For example, phenetic distances between First-Second Dynasty Abydos and samples from Fourth Dynasty Saqqara (MMD ¼ 0.050), 11–12th Dynasty Thebes (0.000), 12th Dynasty Lisht (0.072), 19th Dynasty Qurneh (0.053), and 26th–30th Dynasty Giza (0.027) do not exhibit a directional increase through time... Thus, despite increasing foreign influence after the Second Intermediate Period, not only did Egyptian culture remain intact (Lloyd, 2000a), but the people themselves, as represented by the dental samples, appear biologically constant as well... Gebel Ramlah [Neolithic Nubian/Western Desert sample] is, in fact, significantly different from Badari based on the 22-trait MMD (Table 4). For that matter, the Neolithic Western Desert sample is significantly different from all others [but] is closest to predynastic and early dynastic samples.Irish pp. 10–11
A study by Schuenemann et al. (2017) described the extraction and analysis of DNA from 151 mummified ancient Egyptian individuals, whose remains were recovered from Abusir, Abusir el-Meleq in Middle Egypt. The specimens were living in a period stretching from the late
New Kingdom New is an adjective referring to something recently made, discovered, or created. New or NEW may refer to: Music * New, singer of K-pop group The Boyz Boyz or The Boyz may refer to: Music Bands *The Boyz (German band), a German boy band of t ...
to the Egypt (Roman province), Roman era (1388 BCE–426 CE). Complete mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences were obtained for 90 of the mummies and were compared with each other and with several other ancient and modern datasets. The scientists found that the ancient Egyptian individuals in their own dataset possessed highly similar mitochondrial profiles throughout the examined period. Modern Egyptians generally shared this maternal haplogroup pattern. The study was able to measure the mitochondrial DNA of 90 individuals, and it showed that the mitochondrial DNA composition of Egyptian mummies has shown a high level of affinity with the DNA of the populations of the Near East and North Africa, North African populations and had significantly more affinity with south-eastern Europeans than with sub-Saharan Africans. Genome-wide data could only be successfully extracted from three of these individuals. Of these three, the Y-chromosome haplogroups of two individuals could be assigned to the Middle-Eastern haplogroup J, and one to haplogroup E1b1b1 common in North Africa. The absolute estimates of sub-Saharan African ancestry in these three individuals ranged from 6 to 15%, which is slightly less than the level of sub-Saharan African ancestry in modern Egyptians (the modern Egyptian samples were taken from Cairo and the Bahariya Oasis), which ranged from 14 to 21%. The ranges depend on the method and choice of reference populations. The study's authors cautioned that the mummies may not be representative of the ancient Egyptian population as a whole, since they were recovered from the northern part of middle Egypt. Professor Stephen Quirke, an Egyptologist at University College London, expressed caution about the paper by Schuenemann et al. (2017), saying that “There has been this very strong attempt throughout the history of Egyptology to disassociate ancient Egyptians from the modern [Egyptian] population.” He added that he was “particularly suspicious of any statement that may have the unintended consequences of asserting—yet again from a northern European or North American perspective—that there’s a discontinuity there [between ancient and modern Egyptians]".


See also

*Sa'idi people *Religion in Egypt *List of Egyptians *Egyptian Americans *Egyptians in the United Kingdom *
Egyptian diaspora Egyptian diaspora consists of citizens of Egypt abroad sharing a common culture and Egyptian Arabic language. The phenomenon of Egyptians emigrating from Egypt was rare until Gamal Abdel Nasser came to power after Egyptian revolution of 1952, over ...


References


Bibliography

* *


Further reading

* {{authority control Egyptian people Ethnic groups in Egypt Ethnic groups in the Middle East North African people Indigenous peoples of North Africa