When did Ancient Egypt transition into a Mediterranean Civilization

jehosafats

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
2,088
...
Some say the Ptolemies and Alexandria singlehandedly made Egypt a Mediterranean power, but these changes began taking place under the Saites of the 26th dynasty. After Psamtik I wrested the country from Assyrian control, he began the difficult process of uniting the two lands. He favored Grecian traders and soldiers and settled them in Lower Egypt. Ionian expertise on the high seas greatly aided him. There is now solid evidence the port city of Rhakotis preceded Alexandria by some seven centuries. Psamtik made the town cosmopolitan and attracted foreign sailors and soldiers as a means to control the Mediterranean and Red Sea.
 
Apr 2015
11
America
Some say the Ptolemies and Alexandria singlehandedly made Egypt a Mediterranean power, but these changes began taking place under the Saites of the 26th dynasty. After Psamtik I wrested the country from Assyrian control, he began the difficult process of uniting the two lands. He favored Grecian traders and soldiers and settled them in Lower Egypt. Ionian expertise on the high seas greatly aided him. There is now solid evidence the port city of Rhakotis preceded Alexandria by some seven centuries. Psamtik made the town cosmopolitan and attracted foreign sailors and soldiers as a means to control the Mediterranean and Red Sea.
I agree that Ptolemy and Saite dynasties were partially responsible for the orientation of AE toward the Mediterranean. I believe that this process begin much early during the Thutmosid(1500-1300 B.C) and Ramasid(1300-1200 B.C) dynasties. During these era, Egypt shared the near east with Mittani and Hittites. These 300 year were relatively stable . although they fought over territory, there was also extensive trade and military alliances. trade was conducted through both land and sea route to the Levant, Cyrus, Crete and Mycenae. these civilizations spoken different language, write in different script but they were a part of regional system or civilization, just as we are so fond of our "global civilization" today. this system was disrupt by the bronze age collapse (1206 and 1150 BC). every civilization from Mycenae to Canaan was destroyed Egypt held for while but it to collapsed. its Libyan mercenary overturn the Delta. in time they reconstituted Egypt but Egypt's power had waned forever. in the recent past it dominated the Levant now it used proxy to act as a buffer between itself and the rise powers in the east and north.
 
Jun 2013
865
Universe
I would say when they conquered the Levant. But I would really say during the Greek period. This is just my opinion.

But the civilization of Ancient Kemet was first and foremost a Nile Valley/Saharen civilization.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,050
Italy, Lago Maggiore
I would say when they conquered the Levant. But I would really say during the Greek period. This is just my opinion.

But the civilization of Ancient Kemet was first and foremost a Nile Valley/Saharen civilization.
Yes, KmT actually knew the Mediterranean environment since a far past [when they had trade connections with "Keftiu", identified with Crete or for extension with Eastern Mediterranean regions], but ancient Egyptian civilization was continental, when it became something else, it was no more the Egyptian civilization. In fact when the Romans conquered it, they took substantially nothing from Egypt ... simply it was a Greek colony, no more KmT.
 

jehosafats

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
2,088
...
I agree that Ptolemy and Saite dynasties were partially responsible for the orientation of AE toward the Mediterranean. I believe that this process begin much early during the Thutmosid(1500-1300 B.C) and Ramasid(1300-1200 B.C) dynasties. During these era, Egypt shared the near east with Mittani and Hittites. These 300 year were relatively stable . although they fought over territory, there was also extensive trade and military alliances. trade was conducted through both land and sea route to the Levant, Cyrus, Crete and Mycenae. these civilizations spoken different language, write in different script but they were a part of regional system or civilization, just as we are so fond of our "global civilization" today. this system was disrupt by the bronze age collapse (1206 and 1150 BC). every civilization from Mycenae to Canaan was destroyed Egypt held for while but it to collapsed. its Libyan mercenary overturn the Delta. in time they reconstituted Egypt but Egypt's power had waned forever. in the recent past it dominated the Levant now it used proxy to act as a buffer between itself and the rise powers in the east and north.
New Kingdom Egypt can definitely be a catalyst as well. These were formidable dynasties. The question is was Egypt a conventional power on the Mediterranean? Did these Mediterranean affairs surpass the Nile in importance? I get the sense after the Third Intermediate period, once the Assyrians and Kushites were defeated, the Mediterranean was more clearly important than the Nile, perhaps for the first time in Egyptian history.
 

dreamregent

Ad Honorem
Feb 2013
4,342
Coastal Florida
New Kingdom Egypt can definitely be a catalyst as well. These were formidable dynasties. The question is was Egypt a conventional power on the Mediterranean? Did these Mediterranean affairs surpass the Nile in importance? I get the sense after the Third Intermediate period, once the Assyrians and Kushites were defeated, the Mediterranean was more clearly important than the Nile, perhaps for the first time in Egyptian history.
I would tend to agree. Aside from the Nile delta which is Mediterranean, by definition, and was always important for Dynastic Egypt, it seems to me there was a generally linear progression from less importance to more importance for external Mediterranean regions. There were apparent Egyptian colonies in the southern Levant very early on. Then there was a great deal of economic interaction during the Middle Kingdom as well as absolute political hegemony over the Levant during the New Kingdom imperial period. There were certainly ebbs and flows in importance throughout the millennia but the northerly connections and influences generally grew over time until Egypt's homeland was eventually taken over by external Mediterranean political entities late in the Dynastic period.
 
Apr 2015
11
America
Psamtik made the town cosmopolitan and attracted foreign sailors and soldiers as a means to control the Mediterranean and Red Sea.
From 664-332, all the threats to Egypt came in the form continental states the Assyrian, Babylons, Persians and even the Macedonians. Egypt was not threaten by a maritime power. Ionians, Lydians, Carians, Phoenicians and mainland Greeks were no threat to Egypt. Egypt need Hoplites Infantry the tanks of classical warfare to reinforce it armies in exchange the Greek were allow to settle and do business in Egypt. I would be interesting to learn exactly how Egypt manage Greek settlement like Naucratis. did it have full administrative/judicial control or was it like extra-judicial territories where Egypt had not authority: was Naucratis a complete Greek polis. do you have any evidence that Egypt required Greek sailors and shipping expertise to exercise control over the mid and the red sea. from what i can remember, a canal was dug by the Saite dynasty which the Persians expand. yet trade on the red sea was not much of factor in this period since the Sabeans monopolies trade on the indian ocean and most of their trade was through Arabia.

The question is was Egypt a conventional power on the Mediterranean? Did these Mediterranean affairs surpass the Nile in importance? I get the sense after the Third Intermediate period, once the Assyrians and Kushites were defeated, the Mediterranean was more clearly important than the Nile, perhaps for the first time in Egyptian history.
how do you define a conventional power, if you mean sea power. the Persians pressed the Phoenician and Ionians Greek to fight as their navy. the Athenians at the high of their empire didn't control the Aegean. Alexander need Cilicians and Cypriots to blockade Tyre and none of his successor completely control the eastern mid. it was only the Romans who were able to extend their hegemony over both land and sea.
 
Apr 2015
11
America
I would say when they conquered the Levant. But I would really say during the Greek period. This is just my opinion.

But the civilization of Ancient Kemet was first and foremost a Nile Valley/Saharen civilization.
I wonder by no one every considers the western oasis and Libyan desert are these land less on the Mediterranean. at the battle of Megiddo 1500 B.C. the pharaoh's army included large contingents of Nubian by 20th dynasty Libyan mercenaries become the ubiquitous.
 
Apr 2015
11
America
Yes, KmT actually knew the Mediterranean environment since a far past [when they had trade connections with "Keftiu", identified with Crete or for extension with Eastern Mediterranean regions], but ancient Egyptian civilization was continental, when it became something else, it was no more the Egyptian civilization. In fact when the Romans conquered it, they took substantially nothing from Egypt ... simply it was a Greek colony, no more KmT.
it depend on the criteria you are using, when i think of Egypt. i see Egypt as the eternal land. throughout history, there has always exist a land and people call Egyptian since time immortal. i also see Egypt as a melting pot and both ideal are not mutually exclusive. through the Ptolemaic period Egypt remain predominantly continental it control territory from Judea to Cyrene, it also controlled a few Aegean islands. if you use the materials culture as a criteria then you might be misled to think that a drastic shift had occurred because much of material culture of the elite was Hellenistic, yet the material culture of Egyptians farmers probably change very little. i am interesting to know what effect Greek culture had on Egyptians though and religion. Egypt worship gods that were an expression of the natural environment while the Greek worships gods exact like themselves more human. the Ptolemies tried to amalgamate the gods of both cultures hence the cult of amun-zeus and the creation of new cult in the worship of serapis and the cult of the apis bull. there were no more royal cities of the dead yet wealthy individual were still buried in mummified and buried sarcophagi with hieroglyphics.