chapter  1
14 Pages

INTRODUCTION - '... SINCE THE TIME OF THE GODS'

ByJohn Tait

This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book focuses on the Egyptians' view - down to the end of the first millennium BC - of their own. It discusses the time-range covered is vast, and some contributors are chiefly concerned with texts, while others concentrate upon material culture. The book suggests as a starting-point for discussion the apparent 'brutality' that Egyptians considered as appropriate behaviour towards those who patently were not Egyptian. It looks at a problematic group of material, perhaps all from Memphis, which nevertheless has implications for the Egyptians' relationship with foreigners. The book suggests how the Egyptians approached talking about the very remote past. Egyptian priests in the temples of the traditional gods on the one hand laboured to maintain Egyptian religion and general culture, with a strong interest in the past, but on the other could switch to a degree of Greek identity.