Perception of Egypt in Modern Era Europe Cover Image

Percepcija starog Egipta u Evropi novog veka
Perception of Egypt in Modern Era Europe

Author(s): Tamara Babić (Micković)
Subject(s): Archaeology, Cultural history, History of ideas, Social history, Ancient World, Modern Age, Recent History (1900 till today)
Published by: Centar za alternativno društveno i kulturno delovanje
Keywords: ancient Egypt;art;cultural heritage of Europe;

Summary/Abstract: History of contacts between societies of European continent and ancient Egypt that is relevant for our understanding of perception of Egyptian civilisation begins with ancient Greek travelers, historians and scientists. They made the first steps in painting picture of Egypt like an ‘other’ and that picture was extremely important in modern times, when Europe’s nation states were born, hungry for stories about long tradition that began nowhere else than in cradle of European civilisation: ancient Greece. That view was constantly changing by the passing of time and emergence of ‘new’ viewers: ancient Roman Empire, societies of European middle ages, renaissance and later writers. This work is focused on the last chapters of that history: on the period from the end of the middle ages to the point of the time where we are standing today. We began our journey with renaissance’s interest in the meaning of hieroglyphs, functiona of pyramids and so on; through Napoleon’s conquest of Egypt and work of his savantes (scientiests in different fields that were studying Egyptian artefacts) with crown of that quest that embodied Description de l’ Egypte; and ended with the questions like orientalism, afrocentrism, egyptomania, cultural imperialism. Political and cultural trends in Europe changed the ideas of Egypt, so that way Egypt had influence on self-identity of his viewers and vice versa. Ancient Egypt played an important role in Europian imagination because it is not a part of history of European states but double ‘other’: civilisation from distant past and exotic, oriental, mystic and different world.

  • Issue Year: 1/2012
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 96-128
  • Page Count: 33
  • Language: Serbian