Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Confessions of an Egytophile and Why You Should Also Be One
I have a deep love for Ancient Egypt or Kemet as it was called by its olden inhabitants. Now this is not an obsession that is akin to a four olds obsession with dinosaurs that shall wither away; rather it is more of a fascination with a magnificent civilization that is so exotic and strange but yet so familiar.
While I feel that western society suffers from Egytomania, I think it also has refused to incorporate the wisdom that this ancient civilizations possess in our culture. Although the common man is familiar with some of the information about Egyptian civilization such as Tutankhamun; he most likely has not heard of the Egyptian philosophical concept of Maat or the fact that the pyramids were not built by slaves but by free peasants. What even ticks me off more is the fact that Egyptian civilization has acted as the cradle for Western Civilization. Yet for reasons that escape me, we refuse to put them in our canon of classical civilizations alongside Greece and Rome. Do scholars really believe that only two civilizations are the only pillars of modern heritage from antiquity? Are Rome and Greece not tremendously different from one another or are they just in a larger zeitgeist category ?
Now by no means am I trying to disrespect or disregarded these civilizations that I myself have admire, I'm arguing for my firm although some what unorthodox belief that today's Academia should allow Ancient Egypt to join the Western Classical canon. Now many scoff at this idea arguing that the only way to impose a certain Culture upon the other is through brute force like the Hellenistic Greeks and Imperial Romans. This argument is horribly flawed because the reason why the Legacy of Greece and Rome lives on today is due to the persistence of Renaissance era Romantics to bring back the splendors Classical Civilization in their own present and for all coming prosperity. If it were not for men like Michelangelo, Da Vinci and Countless others, Greece and Rome may have become cultural eye candy and its wisdom would have never become solidified in western ( which is similar to Ancient Egypt's status today). Furthermore, as the inhabitants of World become increasingly more connected due to Globalization, Countries far and wide are aligning themselves western sphere of influence at a unprecedented number. The influx of hundreds of different cultures and their subsequent liquefaction in great "melting pot" has led to the diverse restaurants, language, religions and entertainment we interact with on a day to day basis. However our discipline of Historiography is extremely elitist in comparison because of the unwavering dogma of how only two European countries created a system of beliefs and values to spans over all seven continents today.
So what should we do? As Egytophile, I will continue to Fight for the glory that this lost world deserves. This could be another of my futile Crusades if you Don't join without your help! Yes! I want you to help me incorporate Eygptian culture into Todays World. More Posts on subject are upcoming! Untill next time; Ankh wedja seneb!!!