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Egypt On The Eve Of Arab Conquest

 
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Rudra
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 9:55 pm    Post subject: Egypt On The Eve Of Arab Conquest Reply with quote

I have always wondered what was Egypt like a day before the Arab conquest in the 7th CE. We know that by that time hieroglyphics and Egyptian language had been dead for like 400 years. Were Christians the dominant religious group during that time? Were there any last remaining remnants of the old religion and its practitioners? What was the Arab reaction, when they saw the Pyramids, Sphinx, the ruined temples? Did Arabs indulge in religious vandalism, like their Christian predecessors?

Also, is there any record of Alexander visiting the Sphinx and the Great Pyramid? It has been known that he did make a trip to the Siwa oasis.
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Lutz
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2015 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harald Suermann : Koptische Texte zur Arabischen Eroberung Ägyptens und der Umayyadenherrschaft. - In: Journal of Coptic Studies 4. - 2002. - pp. 167 - 186 :
Quote:
"This article addresses the question of how the Copts have the Islamic conquest and the time of the Umayyad rule perceived and evaluated. The state of research allowed here still no comprehensive and final judgment. It can be made in the article only comments on some Coptic texts that are for a full investigation of the subject matter and should stimulate further research. The list of coptic texts does not claim to be complete."


Quote:
"... is there any record of Alexander visiting the Sphinx and the Great Pyramid ..."

Alexander was crowned in Memphis for Pharaoh. That's why I think it is very likely that he also knew the pyramids. Whether the Sphinx was at this time visible or again buried below the sands of the desert I do not know at the moment. In the describing of the stay of Caesar in Egypt, the statue is probably not mentioned if I remember right...

Greetings, Lutz.
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Rudra
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2015 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

Alexander was crowned in Memphis for Pharaoh. That's why I think it is very likely that he also knew the pyramids. Whether the Sphinx was at this time visible or again buried below the sands of the desert I do not know at the moment. In the describing of the stay of Caesar in Egypt, the statue is probably not mentioned if I remember right...

Greetings, Lutz.


Thank you again Lutz. I think the Arabs were as much in awe of Egypt's legacy as we are today. When Alexander and later the Romans came to Egypt the ancient Egyptian culture was very much alive and Hieroglyphics were very much in use during their times, so they always had information available. When Arabs came they saw the Pyramids, Sphinx and the temples, the Egyptian culture and language was already dead for several centuries. It is also possible that Arabs treated the Egyptian legacy with a sort of religious contempt or neglect (with the exception of Abdullah Al Mamoom and a handful of scholars from Baghdad who did their bit to study ancient monuments of Egypt).
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