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Publisher's Summary

What is it about ancient Egypt that still captures our imaginations? How did it grow from a few villages along the Nile into the greatest power the world had ever seen? Explore these questions and more in these 12 entertaining lectures that tell the stories of the great pharaohs and the daily realities of Egyptian life.

By recounting the lives and accomplishments of the men and women who made Egypt such a captivating civilization, Professor Brier presents a history of ancient Egypt that spans more than 30 centuries and introduces you to the personalities who made Egypt the greatest nation of the ancient world. Among other things, you'll study: The "Narmer Palette," the first historical document, whose images of Narmer's traditions would endure for 3,000 years; Sneferu, who taught Egypt how to perfect the pyramid, a structure whose origins lay in the need to protect desert graves from exposure by the wind; the discovery of Tutankhamen's tomb, which is the most scrutinized episode in the history of Egyptology; and Cleopatra, the enigmatic Grecian ruler who learned Egypt's language and tried to resurrect both the nation's religion and greatness.

Cleopatra's valiant efforts to save Egypt, with the aid of Julius Caesar and, afterward, with Marc Antony, were doomed. Egypt, no longer a nation, would become a Roman province. But the civilization's fascinating story would live on for thousands of years.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2004 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2004 The Great Courses

What listeners say about Great Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt

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It's just an excerpt of History of Ancient Egypt

The entire material is an excerpt from professor's other audible book on History of Ancient Egypt. If you buy the latter, a longer listens indeed, you'll enjoy more and won't miss a single word out of this book.

51 people found this helpful

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Bob Brier all day every day...

If you could sum up Great Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt in three words, what would they be?

Bob Brier's got an affable manner and he really knows his stuff, he's a great tale teller, lecturer this is basic introductory material, and should be pretty much de rigueur for anyone who's interested in the Pharaonic timeline. This is a great place to start.

Great narration, one small complaint, the awful trumpeting fanfare they play at the beginning of every 35 minute lecture. Too loud and too raucous, overwrought. I'm laying in bed, not attending a Jousting match.

Otherwise this series is fine.

21 people found this helpful

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The Pharaoh All-Star Team

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

In this lecture series Professor Bob Brier gives us a history of Egypt by focusing on the life and rule of its rulers. The Pharaohs in this course are the best of the best; a true All-Star Team. Here's the roster:

King Narmer—The Unification of Egypt
Sneferu—The Pyramid Builder
Hatshepsut—Female Pharaoh
Akhenaten—Heretic Pharaoh
Tutankhamen—The Lost Pharaoh
Tutankhamen—A Murder Theory
Ramses the Great—The Early Years
Ramses the Great—The Twilight Years
The Great Nubians—Egypt Restored
Alexander the Great—Anatomy of a Legend
The First Ptolemies—Greek Greatness
Cleopatra—The Last Pharaoh

This one's for the fans!

9 people found this helpful

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Wonderful Series

I really enjoyed this short series on the Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt. Great lecturer. I am going to go right now and download his larger series on the History of Egypt.

4 people found this helpful

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Taking a Stroll Down the Bank of the Nile

This is a different kind of history, jumping from one Pharaoh to another and skipping decades or centuries in between each one. It is still highly educational if you listen to complement the other Great Courses lectures on Ancient Egypt.

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great summary of egyptian succession

a great use of the old practice of simplifying the vast landscape of history through the focused lens of the succession of her icons

(a redundant but useful companion to brier's longer course that explores the subject through a wider lens)

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Must it end?

Brier knows his subject thoroughly and has the ability to engage the listener with these ancient times in history with fresh vitality. I was left with a sense of kinship to these Egyptian key players and felt only regret that there was no more!?

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One of the best Great Courses lecturers

Prof. Brier is one of the best of the Great Courses' profs, and this one is true to form. Would be a wonderful introduction to Ancient Egypt for a homeschooler or anyone with even a slight interest.

This is not a comprehensive history - see his History of Ancient Egypt for that - but an engaging look at Ancient Egypt through the lens of its most compelling rulers. Although the "great man" view of history is out of vogue, this is a fun romp through the past, and shouldn't be overlooked for that reason.

I enjoyed listening on my own before bed but am now planning on playing for the whole family on a road trip; good for both types of listening.

1 person found this helpful

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Interesting, Informative

The Professor provided 12 Lessons with historial details , facts and his personal opinion and theories

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Frighteningly Authoritarian

His view of leadership and greatness is frighteningly authoritarian.

His scholarship is competent but occasionally simplistic.

While an interesting listen, comparing it a course like The Other Side of History and its depth I have to say that I'm not entirely impressed.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Caro
  • 02-08-14

Very enjoyable except....

I so enjoyed this, apart from the dreadful fake clapping at the end of each segment and then a chunk of Brandenburg Concerto for no reason. I would buy many of these Great Courses but I have to grit my teeth for the clapping and music or fast forward, and I find myself sort of dreading that bit. Infuriating when it's such a good listen apart from that.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Mario Bernacelli
  • 05-28-20

Brier is just one of my favourite people ever!

You must check out his lectures if you're even a little interested in ancient Egypt! I can't thank him enough.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-04-18

Brilliant

This is a perfect way to learn more about Egypt bob brier is brilliant just wish he would do more series

3 people found this helpful

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  • Naomi Skilling
  • 10-10-17

Excellent Series of Lectures

If you want a whistle-stop tour of the most famous figures in Egypt then this is perfect, an excellent way of learning some ancient history. The professor is so enthusiastic and it makes it all the more engaging.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Keith Powell
  • 10-23-20

"Bob Brier." *pause* "Bob Brier."

Wouldn't be my favourite narrator ever from the Great Courses catalogue.
If every second sentence wasn't repeated twice, there'd be room for twice as much content, in 1/2 the time!

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  • Tim Dubber
  • 08-12-16

excellent introduction to ancient Egypt

good course. I would recommend doing this one before the longer Egyptian history course by the same lecturer so as to get an overview before diving in.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Toni E. Hoffman
  • 04-11-21

Fantastic book

I love listening to Bob Briers books, the way he explains Egyptian History is superb, I will be upset when I have finished all of his books