Empire and the Zenith of Egypt

Ancient Egypt History


Ancient Egypt History, The Empire and the Zenith of Egypt

After Thutmose III came another conqueror, Amenhotep II. Subdued again certain idolaters of liberty in Syria, and returned to Thebes with seven captive kings, still alive, hanging head downward from the prow of the imperial galley; six of them he sacrificed to Amon with his own hand.

Then another Thutmose, who does not count.

In 1412 Amenhotep III began a long reign in which the accumulated wealth of a century of mastery brought Egypt to the acme of her splendor and the age of the empire.

A fine bust in the British Museum shows him as a man at once of refinement and of strength, able to hold firmly together the empire bequeathed to him, and yet living in an atmosphere of comfort and elegance that might have been envied by Petronius or the Medici.

Only the exhuming of Tutenkhamon's relics could make us credit the traditions and records of Amenhotep's riches and luxury.

In his reign Thebes was as majestic as any city in history.

Her streets crowded with merchants, her markets filled with the goods of the world, her buildings "surpassing in magnificence all those of ancient or modern capitals,"

Her imposing palaces receiving tribute from an endless chain of vassal states, her massive temples "enriched all over with gold" and adorned with every art, her spacious villas and costly chateaux, her shaded promenades and artificial lakes providing the scene for sumptuous displays of fashion that anticipated Imperial Rome such was Egypt's capital in the days of her glory, in the reign before her fall.

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