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Egypt and Greece Before Alexander


Egypto-Hellenic contacts, here defined as contacts between the ancient Egyptians and the“haunebut”—the peoples of the Aegean—can be observed since the beginning of Greekcivilization. Both the Minoans and the Mycenaeans had intensive trade relations with Egypt andused Egyptian prototypes to craft their own objects, adapting the original Egyptian meanings intotheir own cultural contexts. In Egypt, Minoan and Mycenaean influence can be traced in thecraftsmanship of pottery and textiles. The relations between Greece and Egypt in the Archaic andClassical Periods were based mainly on trade, but Greek mercenaries gained special importance forEgypt during the Egypto-Persian struggles of the fifth and fourth centuries BCE. While Egyptprofited from these contacts, Hellenic culture seems nevertheless to have had little influence onEgypt. Greece, in contrast, profited from Egyptian goods such as papyrus and grain. Moreover,Egyptian wisdom was held in high esteem in Greece.

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