“Napoleonic Egyptology”: The Progression of Views Held by Europe about Egyptian Culture during the Early 19th Century Cover Image

"Наполеоновская египтология": специфика формирования представлений о египетской культуре в Европе начала XIX века
“Napoleonic Egyptology”: The Progression of Views Held by Europe about Egyptian Culture during the Early 19th Century

Author(s): Evgenii Aleksandrovich Chiglintsev, Natalja Anatolevna Shadrina, G. Yu. Artyukh
Subject(s): Architecture, Ancient World, Middle Ages, Islam studies, 19th Century
Published by: Казанский (Приволжский) федеральный университет
Keywords: Egyptology; Napoleon Bonaparte; Egyptian campaign; ancient Egyptian culture; Arab-Islamic culture of Egypt;

Summary/Abstract: This article discusses how the views about the heritage of Egyptian culture were shaped in the minds of the European participants of Napoleon’s Egyptian campaign. The origins of European Egyptology are considered. The extensive contribution of the Arab-Islamic culture of Egypt, which retained both the archaic traces of ancient Egypt and the traditions of Hellenistic and Christian Egypt, into this process is analyzed. The term “Napoleonic Egyptology” is introduced. We defined it as a system of authentic written and visual sources that had a major influence on the initial perception of the ancient Egyptian culture and became the basis of subsequent Egyptological studies carried out by special institutions and destined to help Europeans to have a better understanding of the value of the ancient Egyptian civilization. Of particular interest is how the cultural layers of Egyptian culture of that time either stood out or merged in the image of the East that was developed by the Europeans who took part in the Egyptian campaign. It is emphasized that scholars who accompanied Napoleon’s troops had no idea of any connection between the ancient (Egyptian) and modern (Islamic) components of the regional culture. This hypothesis is substantiated by the structure of the book “Description of Egypt” with its separate volumes devoted to Egyptian antiquities and the Islamic Egypt. In this work, the images of ancient Egypt and modern East are parallel. The idea largely underpinned the evolution of European studies of the ancient Egyptian civilization.

  • Issue Year: 164/2022
  • Issue No: 3
  • Page Range: 161-171
  • Page Count: 11
  • Language: Russian