Egyptian, Greek, Roman Empire... a little confused...

Jun 2013
22
UK
#1
Hi guys,

I have become very deeply interested in history and was hoping some of you can help me out with some information. I search around for a few hours every few days for weeks now but have not been able to find what I'm looking for.

There is something I'm really confused about and maybe it is my weak understanding which is in the way.

As far as I'm aware, after the Egyptian civilisation (Pharaohs etc) came to an end, there started the Greek civilisation, and after that, the Roman civilisation, correct?

I've been reading so much that all the information I'm taking in has confused me. I don't know if some of these civilisations existed at the same time? Such as the Roman Empire and the Greeks? I've also read that Alexander the Great conquered Egypt and married Cleopatra? Maybe a lot of what I'm saying is wrong.

I appreciate and thank you for the help.
 

Salah

Forum Staff
Oct 2009
23,284
Maryland
#2
I'm not an expert on ancient Egypt by any means, but it ranks as one of the world's oldest civilizations. It was ruled by native pharaohs of various dynasties, but then became a province of other empires - variously the Assyrians, Persians, Greeks, and Romans.

Greek civilization essentially begins with the Mycenaean and Minoan cultures. Greece was a collection of city-states (Athens and Sparta being the most famous) that tended to look out for their own interests. It was only under Philip and his son Alexander, rulers of Macedonia, that Greece was first politically united.

It was Alexander who conquered the sprawling Persian Empire - essentially, the Middle East and Central Asia as we modernly know them. With his death, however, his empire fragmented between his generals. This marked the beginning of the 'Hellenistic' period, when Greek culture was spread throughout the ancient world - from Spain to India - but there was constant warfare between bickering warlords, kingdoms, and leagues.

In the meantime, the Romans had started off as just one of many peoples on the Italian peninsula. By the time of Alexander, however, they were already well on their way to conquering their neighbors. In a series of three wars with Carthage, as well as almost constant violence with Celtic tribes and other Italian peoples, the Romans began to forge an empire. Originally their government was a Republic, that was controlled by dictators in times of military crisis. Gradually over the course of the 1st Century BC, the Republic failed, and was eventually turned into an empire.

Octavian, the nephew and adoptive son of Julius Caesar, took the name Caesar Augustus and became the first Roman Emperor. Greece and most of the Greek Middle East had been conquered by Roman in the previous century and a half. It was Octavian/Augustus who brought Egypt into the Roman Empire. Until now, it had been ruled by the Ptolemies, a family descended from one of Alexander's generals. The famous Cleopatra was the last member of this family to rule Egypt, but with her suicide it became just another province of Rome.
 
Feb 2013
4,303
Coastal Florida
#3
Hi guys,

I have become very deeply interested in history and was hoping some of you can help me out with some information. I search around for a few hours every few days for weeks now but have not been able to find what I'm looking for.

There is something I'm really confused about and maybe it is my weak understanding which is in the way.

As far as I'm aware, after the Egyptian civilisation (Pharaohs etc) came to an end, there started the Greek civilisation, and after that, the Roman civilisation, correct?

I've been reading so much that all the information I'm taking in has confused me. I don't know if some of these civilisations existed at the same time? Such as the Roman Empire and the Greeks? I've also read that Alexander the Great conquered Egypt and married Cleopatra? Maybe a lot of what I'm saying is wrong.

I appreciate and thank you for the help.
Hmmm... I don't think we can help you sort all of that out in a single thread. It's way too broad. There are significant overlaps between all of that. I'm not sure of the names of all of Alexander the Great's wives but he definitely did not marry the Cleopatra you're thinking of. My suggestion would be to pick a specific area to focus on first and take this in smaller bites.

P.S. If the later periods of antiquity are your primary concern, I'd pay very careful attention to Salah as he pretty much knows everything. :D
 
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Zeno

Ad Honoris
Jan 2010
13,691
♪♬ ♫♪♩
#4
Hi guys,

I have become very deeply interested in history and was hoping some of you can help me out with some information. I search around for a few hours every few days for weeks now but have not been able to find what I'm looking for.

There is something I'm really confused about and maybe it is my weak understanding which is in the way.

As far as I'm aware, after the Egyptian civilisation (Pharaohs etc) came to an end, there started the Greek civilisation, and after that, the Roman civilisation, correct?

I've been reading so much that all the information I'm taking in has confused me. I don't know if some of these civilisations existed at the same time? Such as the Roman Empire and the Greeks? I've also read that Alexander the Great conquered Egypt and married Cleopatra? Maybe a lot of what I'm saying is wrong.

I appreciate and thank you for the help.
Alexander didn't marry Cleopatra... He had a sister called Cleopatra and one of his 6 stepmothers was called Cleopatra as well. Both ladies are nowhere nearly as famous as the Cleopatra who lived roughly 300 years later who Salah referred to.
 
Aug 2011
263
Montreal, Canada
#5
Hi guys,

I have become very deeply interested in history and was hoping some of you can help me out with some information. I search around for a few hours every few days for weeks now but have not been able to find what I'm looking for.

There is something I'm really confused about and maybe it is my weak understanding which is in the way.

As far as I'm aware, after the Egyptian civilisation (Pharaohs etc) came to an end, there started the Greek civilisation, and after that, the Roman civilisation, correct?

I've been reading so much that all the information I'm taking in has confused me. I don't know if some of these civilisations existed at the same time? Such as the Roman Empire and the Greeks? I've also read that Alexander the Great conquered Egypt and married Cleopatra? Maybe a lot of what I'm saying is wrong.

I appreciate and thank you for the help.
Historians divide eras into "Egyptian," "Greek," and "Roman" as a way to distinguish periods of time from each other. The Egyptian era refers to the time that Egypt was the dominant civilization in the Mediterranean, the Greek era as the time of Greek dominance, and the same idea for the Roman era. All three civilizations co-existed at different points in time, but their power and influence relative to each other waxed and waned (ex. Alexander conquering Egypt, then Rome conquering Greece, etc.)

I hope that helps. If you have more questions, feel free to ask me.
 
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Jun 2010
401
Rhondda, South Wales
#6
The infamous Queen Cleopatra of Anthony & Cleopatra fame was in reality Cleopatra VII, and was a member of the Ptolemaic Dynasty...descended from Alexander's general, Ptolemy, who assumed the throne of Egypt following Alexander's death.
The history of Egypt is, though, a complicated one, and it's not as simple as "Egypt fell to the Macedonians, and they then fell to Rome". Egyptian culture survived in parts right up until the time of Christianity, albeit with the nationstate of Egypt (for want of a better term) having been conquered over and over again since the fall of the New Kingdom around 1069BC (firstly by a Libyan family, then by Nubia, then Persia, then Macedonia, then Rome). The Egyptians had been a conquered people for centuries by the time of Alexander, but Egyptian culture and religion by no-means ended with that. If anything I'd say history is better classified by the polytheistic period and the monotheistic period, as it wasn't until the time of Christianity that the last vestiges of the Pharaohnic culture were abandoned.
 
Jun 2013
7
Leeds
#7
To give you an idea of how long ago the egyption civlisation was at its most powerful; When Alexander the great first visited the Pyramids they were already ancient by about 2000 years. That's the same time frame as between us and The Romans.
 
#8
While ancient Egyptian civilization is of an older caliber than the other two, Roman civilization is in many ways the same as the later stage of the Greek- the "Hellenistic".

What we're addressing here is basically a large chunk of history and civilized man. As otbers have said, it will take several threads to discern all of it properly.
 
Mar 2012
1,171
Magdeburg
#9
Greek copied and was influenced by Egyptian Civ.

Roman copied and was influenced by Greek Civ.

Western Europe is a continuation of Roman Civ. and a little Greek Civ.

Eastern Europe ( including Orthodox states) is a contination of Greek Civ. and a little Greek Civ.

Germany and other Northern European countries are the contination of Barbaric Tribes and influenced by both of these at similar percentages.

Note that Byzantine Greek Civ. was also influenced by pre Islamic Persian Civ.(main Sassanids and a little Parthians)

Hope this helps
 
Jun 2013
22
UK
#10
Thanks for the replies guys, learned a lot! I've been caught up with some stuff so apologies if my post is a little late.

Greek copied and was influenced by Egyptian Civ.

Roman copied and was influenced by Greek Civ.

Western Europe is a continuation of Roman Civ. and a little Greek Civ.

Eastern Europe ( including Orthodox states) is a contination of Greek Civ. and a little Greek Civ.

Germany and other Northern European countries are the contination of Barbaric Tribes and influenced by both of these at similar percentages.

Note that Byzantine Greek Civ. was also influenced by pre Islamic Persian Civ.(main Sassanids and a little Parthians)

Hope this helps
You say that the Greek Civilisation was influenced by the Egyptian Civ and Roman influenced by Greek Civ, but how did this happen? I mean, there is no doubt that much of the beliefs of the Romans can be traced back to ancient Egypt and even some of the Egyptian monuments were taken by them, and their beliefs are very similar to the Greeks, but how did this influence come about? It's almost as if certain families migrated and spread their religious beliefs in other Civs. What would you say?


Also just to be sure the Egyptian Civ is one of the oldest? Some of the Egyptian beliefs can be traced back to Babylon, Mesopotamia?
 
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