Warrior Pharaohs: The Rise and Fall of the Egyptian Empire
Under the pharaohs of the New Kingdom, Ancient Egypt reached the zenith of its power and cultural achievement. After centuries of comparative security and isolation, a successful war of liberation against the alien Hyksos released the aggressiveness and national fervour that had long been dormant. Under the banner of their god Amon warriors like Tuthmosis III and Ramesses II pushed the borders of their empire deep into Nubia to the south, and successfully challenged the Mitannians and Hittites for control of the Near East.
The wealth of these new territories enabled them to build some of the most grandiose monuments ever erected, and to develop a vigorous and cosmopolitan civilization which has fascinated people for centuries, and is reflected in the splendour of the treasure of even a relatively minor pharaoh – Tutankhamon
However, this imperial splendour only concealed the growth of fatal problems such as excessive luxury and rampart bureaucracy, while the ever-increasing power of the priesthood of Amon ate away the vitality of the empire. Under Ramesses III the Egyptians were once more mobilized successfully to repel another invasion – by the Libyans and mysterious "Sea Peoples" – but their empire was in decline and finally withdrew into cultural and political impotence.
P.H. Newby tells the story of the rise and fall of one of the greatest empires of the Ancient World. His recreation of the individuals, events and splendours of an extraordinary period is accompanied by more than 90 illustrations.