Why did ancient egypt leave so little impact on the west?

Nov 2016
44
Australia
Compared with the Sumerians, Babylonians, cretans, myceneans, Greeks, Romans, Phoenecians, Persians... in terms of their impact on “the west”... religion, culture, science, mathematics, language... why does Ancient Egypt seem to be a cultural dead-end?
Considering that civilization arose here contemporaneously along with china, mesopotamia, indian (harappan) etc. there would have been ample time for cultural diffusion north throughout the mediterranean sea into europe?
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
6,000
Portugal
Compared with the Sumerians, Babylonians, cretans, myceneans, Greeks, Romans, Phoenecians, Persians... in terms of their impact on “the west”... religion, culture, science, mathematics, language... why does Ancient Egypt seem to be a cultural dead-end?
Considering that civilization arose here contemporaneously along with china, mesopotamia, indian (harappan) etc. there would have been ample time for cultural diffusion north throughout the mediterranean sea into europe?
It is concerning that we seem to have in the forum an increasing number of threads that begin with a wrong premise, or a not proven premise and try to develop a discussion from there. This is a case.

Can you prove that your premise is correct, plant?

Can you at least present us studies that point that the premise is correct?
 
Mar 2018
851
UK
It is concerning that we seem to have in the forum an increasing number of threads that begin with a wrong premise, or a not proven premise and try to develop a discussion from there. This is a case.

Can you prove that your premise is correct, plant?

Can you at least present us studies that point that the premise is correct?
So much this. It makes no sense to say "Why did X happen?" before you have even established that X happened in the first place.

For what it's worth, the Greeks were in love with Egypt and considered Egyptian writings to be full of ancient wisdom and that they were the first philosophers. Greek historians (can't remember which ones) use Egyptian annals to write their own histories. The Egyptians were also probably the first to really push Monotheism (albeit, only briefly), which then spread to the Jews and then Christianity and Islam. There's also some evidence that a lot of early mathematics was done by the Egyptian.

So off the top of my head, and as someone who knows rather little about Egypt, there are some huge ways Egypt influenced the west. What's your evidence/argument that they didn't influence it?
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,815
Actually part of the Bible, Proverbs, is a direct lift from an ancient Egyptian text, "The Teachings of Amenmope", one of these "books of wisdom" that was an entire genre of literature with the ancient Egyptians.

Also, the entire concept of a happy afterlife, of a paradise after death, is Egyptian. No other ancient civilization and religion had that. It's fundamentally Egyptian, passed on to successor religions.

Alphabetic writing is also down to the Egyptians originally.
How the Alphabet Was Born from Hieroglyphs

It seems not so much that the Egyptians didn't make an impression, but rather that modern times are fairly bad at recalling it.
 
Mar 2019
1,963
Kansas
It seems not so much that the Egyptians didn't make an impression, but rather that modern times are fairly bad at recalling it.
Oh I don't know. There seems to be a pretty sustainable industry surrounding the mysteries of how the Egyptians created giant piles of rocks :)
 
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Oct 2016
139
Ashland
I think the premise of this Thread is self-explanatory and valid. The answer to the question seems to be a simple one: the West(Alexander, then Caesar, then Augustus...) conquered Egypt and, after a few centuries, the Islamics did the same.
Naturally these folks were more interested in transforming Egypt into a profitable possession than in preserving its past (including even the spectacular monuments., which over the course of time were repeatedly robbed, denuded of their surfaces , etc.) Same as in Mexico or Peru, wherever colonialism was imposed. The Egyptian natives themselves forgot their own hieroglyphic language , til the Rosetta Stone was deciphered, and with it King Scorpion and many details of their mythology, funereal rites and so on.
Modern Western Europeans(and their former colonies) were responsible in Egypt for restoring its ancient, forgotten language and, in essence, its History. No Egyptian could read the inscriptions in the tomb of Tut, or for that matter even look inside it, until the Europeans taught them how in the process of satisfying their own curiosity or ambitions. Similarly, no Mayan could read the inscribed history of Tikal (Yax Mutul) until shown how by foreigners.
On the other hand, there were the Mexica, who managed to retain most of their history in the various Codices that the Spanish commissioned and collected and the 'Inca.' This may be attributable to the fact that their empires were at their zeniths, while Egypt and the Maya were in a 'Dark Ages' at the times of their Conquests.
IMO; as always.
Thanx for stimulating me to think about the subject.
 
Mar 2018
851
UK
I think the premise of this Thread is self-explanatory and valid. The answer to the question seems to be a simple one: the West(Alexander, then Caesar, then Augustus...) conquered Egypt and, after a few centuries, the Islamics did the same.
Naturally these folks were more interested in transforming Egypt into a profitable possession than in preserving its past (including even the spectacular monuments., which over the course of time were repeatedly robbed, denuded of their surfaces , etc.) Same as in Mexico or Peru, wherever colonialism was imposed. The Egyptian natives themselves forgot their own hieroglyphic language , til the Rosetta Stone was deciphered, and with it King Scorpion and many details of their mythology, funereal rites and so on.
Modern Western Europeans(and their former colonies) were responsible in Egypt for restoring its ancient, forgotten language and, in essence, its History. No Egyptian could read the inscriptions in the tomb of Tut, or for that matter even look inside it, until the Europeans taught them how in the process of satisfying their own curiosity or ambitions. Similarly, no Mayan could read the inscribed history of Tikal (Yax Mutul) until shown how by foreigners.
On the other hand, there were the Mexica, who managed to retain most of their history in the various Codices that the Spanish commissioned and collected and the 'Inca.' This may be attributable to the fact that their empires were at their zeniths, while Egypt and the Maya were in a 'Dark Ages' at the times of their Conquests.
IMO; as always.
Thanx for stimulating me to think about the subject.
What point are you trying to make? I genuinely can't tell.

Is it that Egyptian ancient history was progressively lost from 500BC until 1800AD? That statement is probably true, but a completely different question to what the OP raised. This makes me thing that the premise of this Thread is far from self-explanatory and valid.
 
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Nov 2016
44
Australia
It is concerning that we seem to have in the forum an increasing number of threads that begin with a wrong premise, or a not proven premise and try to develop a discussion from there. This is a case.

Can you prove that your premise is correct, plant?

Can you at least present us studies that point that the premise is correct?
Apologies for sounding dogmatic! I did say “seem”. Happy to be shot down in flames! What is the legacy of this ancient culture in the West? It seems one can study a history of western civ without knowing much about China due to geography/distance other than the mongols. Not much conribution by Indian civs but still be have numerals, mathematics. So to paraphrase Monty Python “what did rhe Egyptians ever give us???”
 
Nov 2016
44
Australia
So much this. It makes no sense to say "Why did X happen?" before you have even established that X happened in the first place.

For what it's worth, the Greeks were in love with Egypt and considered Egyptian writings to be full of ancient wisdom and that they were the first philosophers. Greek historians (can't remember which ones) use Egyptian annals to write their own histories. The Egyptians were also probably the first to really push Monotheism (albeit, only briefly), which then spread to the Jews and then Christianity and Islam. There's also some evidence that a lot of early mathematics was done by the Egyptian.

So off the top of my head, and as someone who knows rather little about Egypt, there are some huge ways Egypt influenced the west. What's your evidence/argument that they didn't influence it?
I'm not sure you can trace Israelite monotheism back to the heretical Akhenaten.. who anyway seemed a tiny blip in the broad scope of Egyptian reigion anyway. I think "moses and monotheism" has been roundly discredited.. as has most of Sigmund's pseudoscience.

Moses and Monotheism - Wikipedia

yes egypt has been an object of fascination from long ago.. and certainly on the "Art Deco" movement, modern conspiracy theories etc etc but ..... as a major contribution to the 'west'???