Arab Republic of Egypt, country in northern Africa
Egyptian pound (EGP)
river of egypt egypt herring
(land of the Copts), a country occupying the northeast angle of Africa. Its limits appear always to have been very nearly the same. It is bounded on the north by the Mediterranean Sea, on the east by Palestine, Arabia and the Red Sea, on the south by Nubia, and on the west by the Great Desert. It is divided into upper Egypt-the valley of the Nile-and lower Egypt, the plain of the Delta, from the Greek letter; it is formed by the branching mouths of the Nile, and the Mediterranean Sea. The portions made fertile by the Nile comprise about 9582 square geographical miles, of which only about 5600 is under cultivation.-Encyc. Brit. The Delta extends about 200 miles along the Mediterranean, and Egypt is 520 miles long from north to south from the sea to the First Cataract. Names.-The common name of Egypt in the Bible is "Mizraim." It is in the dual number, which indicates the two natural divisions of the country into an upper and a lower region. The Arabic name of Egypt-Mizr- signifies "red mud." Egypt is also called in the Bible "the land of Ham," (Psalms 105:23,27) comp. Psalms 78:51-a name most probably referring to Ham the son of Noah-and "Rahab," the proud or insolent: these appear to be poetical appellations. The common ancient Egyptian name of the country is written in hieroglyphics Kem, which was perhaps pronounced Chem. This name signifies, in the ancient language and in Coptic, "black," on account of the blackness of its alluvial soil. We may reasonably conjecture that Kem is the Egyptian equivalent of Ham. GENERAL APPEARANCE, CLIMATE, ETC.-The general appearance of the country cannot have greatly changed since the days of Moses. The whole country is remarkable for its extreme fertility, which especially strikes the beholder when the rich green of the fields is contrasted with the utterly bare, yellow mountains or the sand-strewn rocky desert on either side. The climate is equable and healthy. Rain is not very unfrequent on the northern coast, but inland is very rare. Cultivation nowhere depends upon it. The inundation of the Nile fertilizes and sustains the country, and makes the river its chief blessing. The Nile was on this account anciently worshipped. The rise begins in Egypt about the summer solstice, and the inundation commences about two months later. The greatest height is attained about or somewhat after the autumnal equinox. The inundation lasts about three months. The atmosphere, except on the seacoast, is remarkably dry and clear, which accounts for the so perfect preservation of the monuments, with their pictures and inscriptions. The heat is extreme during a large part of the year. The winters are mild,-from 50
Egypt ( ), is a transcontinental country spanning the northeast corner of Africa and southwest corner of Asia, via a land bridge formed by the Sinai Peninsula. Most of its territory of lies within the Nile Valley of North Africa and is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, the Gulf of Aqaba to the east, the Red Sea to the east and south, Sudan to the south and Libya to the west.
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1. a republic in northeastern Africa known as the United Arab Republic until 1971; site of an ancient civilization that flourished from 2600 to 30 BC
(synonym) Arab Republic of Egypt, United Arab Republic
(hypernym) African country, African nation
(member-holonym) Organization of Petroleum-Exporting Countries, OPEC
(part-holonym) Middle East, Mideast, Near East
(part-meronym) Aswan High Dam, Aswan Dam, High Dam
(class) El Alamein, Al Alamayn, Battle of El Alamein
2. an ancient empire west of Israel; centered on the Nile River and ruled by a Pharaoh; figured in many events described in the Old Testament
(synonym) Egyptian Empire
Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, "Arise and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and stay there until I tell you, for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him."
Illustration by Gustave Doré
that troubles or oppresses; anguish
EG (ISO 3166),
EGY (ISO 3166),
EG (FIPS 10-4)
Flag of Egypt
The regularity and richness of the annual Nile River flood, coupled with semi-isolation provided by deserts to the east and west, allowed for the development of one of the world's great civilizations. A unified kingdom arose circa 3200 B.C. and a series of dynasties ruled in Egypt for the next three millennia. The last native dynasty fell to the Persians in 341 B.C., who in turn were replaced by the Greeks, Romans, and Byzantines. It was the Arabs who introduced Islam and the Arabic language in the 7th century and who ruled for the next six centuries. A local military caste, the Mamluks took control about 1250 and continued to govern after the conquest of Egypt by the Ottoman Turks in 1517. Following the completion of the Suez Canal in 1869, Egypt became an important world transportation hub, but also fell heavily into debt. Ostensibly to protect its investments, Britain seized control of Egypt's government in 1882, but nominal allegiance to the Ottoman Empire continued until 1914. Partially independent from the UK in 1922, Egypt acquired full sovereignty following World War II. The completion of the Aswan High Dam in 1971 and the resultant Lake Nasser have altered the time-honored place of the Nile River in the agriculture and ecology of Egypt. A rapidly growing population (the largest in the Arab world), limited arable land, and dependence on the Nile all continue to overtax resources and stress society. The government has struggled to ready the economy for the new millennium through economic reform and massive investment in communications and physical infrastructure.
Map of Egypt
More about Egypt:
Country where Bill Weasley works for Gringotts.
the land of the Nile and the pyramids, the oldest kingdom of which we have any record, holds a place of great significance in Scripture. The Egyptians belonged to the white race, and their original home is still a matter of dispute. Many scholars believe that it was in Southern Arabia, and recent excavations have shown that the valley of the Nile was originally inhabited by a low-class population, perhaps belonging to the Nigritian stock, before the Egyptians of history entered it. The ancient Egyptian language, of which the latest form is Coptic, is distantly connected with the Semitic family of speech. Egypt consists geographically of two halves, the northern being the Delta, and the southern Upper Egypt, between Cairo and the First Cataract. In the Old Testament, Northern or Lower Egypt is called Mazor, "the fortified land" (Isa. 19:6; 37: 25, where the A.V. mistranslates "defence" and "besieged places"); while Southern or Upper Egypt is Pathros, the Egyptian Pa-to-Res, or "the land of the south" (Isa. 11:11). But the whole country is generally mentioned under the dual name of Mizraim, "the two Mazors." The civilization of Egypt goes back to a very remote antiquity. The two kingdoms of the north and south were united by Menes, the founder of the first historical dynasty of kings. The first six dynasties constitute what is known as the Old Empire, which had its capital at Memphis, south of Cairo, called in the Old Testament Moph (Hos. 9:6) and Noph. The native name was Mennofer, "the good place." The Pyramids were tombs of the monarchs of the Old Empire, those of Gizeh being erected in the time of the Fourth Dynasty. After the fall of the Old Empire came a period of decline and obscurity. This was followed by the Middle Empire, the most powerful dynasty of which was the Twelfth. The Fayyum was rescued for agriculture by the kings of the Twelfth Dynasty; and two obelisks were erected in front of the temple of the sun-god at On or Heliopolis (near Cairo), one of which is still standing. The capital of the Middle Empire was Thebes, in Upper Egypt. The Middle Empire was overthrown by the invasion of the Hyksos, or shepherd princes from Asia, who ruled over Egypt, more especially in the north, for several centuries, and of whom there were three dynasties of kings. They had their capital at Zoan or Tanis (now San), in the north-eastern part of the Delta. It was in the time of the Hyksos that Abraham, Jacob, and Joseph entered Egypt. The Hyksos were finally expelled about B.C. 1600, by the hereditary princes of Thebes, who founded the Eighteenth Dynasty, and carried the war into Asia. Canaan and Syria were subdued, as well as Cyprus, and the boundaries of the Egyptian Empire were fixed at the Euphrates. The Soudan, which had been conquered by the kings of the Twelfth Dynasty, was again annexed to Egypt, and the eldest son of the Pharaoh took the title of "Prince of Cush." One of the later kings of the dynasty, Amenophis IV., or Khu-n-Aten, endeavoured to supplant the ancient state religion of Egypt by a new faith derived from Asia, which was a sort of pantheistic monotheism, the one supreme god being adored under the image of the solar disk. The attempt led to religious and civil war, and the Pharaoh retreated from Thebes to Central Egypt, where he built a new capital, on the site of the present Tell-el-Amarna. The cuneiform tablets that have been found there represent his foreign correspondence (about B.C. 1400). He surrounded himself with officials and courtiers of Asiatic, and more especially Canaanitish, extraction; but the native party succeeded eventually in overthrowing the government, the capital of Khu-n-Aten was destroyed, and the foreigners were driven out of the country, those that remained being reduced to serfdom. The national triumph was marked by the rise of the Nineteenth Dynasty, in the founder of which, Rameses I., we must see the "new king, who knew not Joseph." His grandson, Rameses II., reigned sixty-se (1.) Heb. nahar mitsraim, denotes in Gen. 15:18 the Nile, or its eastern branch (2 Chr. 9:26). (2.) In Num. 34:5 (R.V., "brook of Egypt") the Hebrew word is nahal, denoting a stream flowing rapidly in winter, or in the rainy season. This is a desert stream on the borders of Egypt. It is now called the Wady el-'Arish. The present boundary between Egypt and Palestine is about midway between this wady and Gaza. (See Num. 34:5; Josh. 15:4, 47; 1 Kings 8:65; 2 Kings 24:7; Isa. 27:12; Ezek. 47:19. In all these passages the R.V. has "brook" and the A.V. "river.") (Isa. 27:12), the Wady el-'Arish, called also "the river of Egypt," R.V., "brook of Egypt" (Num. 34:5; Josh. 15:4; 2 Kings 24:7). It is the natural boundary of Egypt. Occasionally in winter, when heavy rains have fallen among the mountains inland, it becomes a turbulent rushing torrent. The present boundary between Egypt and Palestine is about midway between el-'Arish and Gaza.
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