Prime Video
  1. Your account
Channel logo
Season 1 leaves Prime in 3 days

The History of Ancient Egypt

Season 1
Ancient Egyptian civilization is so grand that our minds sometimes have difficulty adjusting to it. Now, get a comprehensive and spellbinding introduction to one of the greatest civilizations of all time. In this course, famed Egyptologist Bob Brier takes you on a 3,000-year tour of pyramids, pharaohs, mummies, sphinxes, and much more.
202348 episodes
TV-PG
Watch with a free Prime trial

Episodes

  1. S1 E1 - Introduction
    July 19, 2023
    32min
    TV-PG
    What makes ancient Egypt so interesting? How do we know what we know about it? What can you, as a student, expect from these episodes?
    Watch with a free Prime trial
  2. S1 E2 - Prehistoric Egypt
    July 19, 2023
    31min
    TV-PG
    In this lesson, we will see just how old "old" is. The basic divisions of prehistory will be discussed, and each category will be defined and its specific characteristics delineated. Once these categories are clear, we will discuss the difficulties of studying a prehistoric civilization.
    Watch with a free Prime trial
  3. S1 E3 - Ancient Egyptian Thought
    July 19, 2023
    30min
    TV-PG
    What distinguishes mythology, religion, and philosophy from one another? What role did each play in the lives of the ancient Egyptians?
    Watch with a free Prime trial
  4. S1 E4 - Napoleon and the Beginnings of Egyptology
    July 19, 2023
    30min
    TV-PG
    Why does modern Egyptology begin with Napoleon? How was Egypt studied before he and his army arrived with 150 scientists in tow in 1798? How did the monumental "Description de l'Egypte" that Bonaparte's savants produced become the benchmark for all future publications in the field?
    Watch with a free Prime trial
  5. S1 E5 - The Rosetta Stone, and Much More
    July 19, 2023
    30min
    TV-PG
    The Rosetta Stone is a large granite stela, carved under Ptolemy V and unearthed by French troops in 1799. With inscriptions of the same text in Greek and Egyptian, it provided the key to deciphering the ancient Egyptian language. Learn the four scripts in which ancient Egyptian can be written, as well as the three ways hieroglyphic signs can be used.
    Watch with a free Prime trial
  6. S1 E6 - The First Nation in History
    July 19, 2023
    30min
    TV-PG
    How did Egypt become history's first nation? Once King Narmer unified Upper and Lower Egypt, it took only a few hundred years to build a power that would dominate the Near East for millennia. Learn why the political structure of ancient Egypt made this possible and how the "Narmer Palette" tells this story.
    Watch with a free Prime trial
  7. S1 E7 - The Rise of the Old Kingdom
    July 19, 2023
    30min
    TV-PG
    As Egypt becomes a great nation led by a single all-powerful ruler, traditions arise that will last for millennia: a capital city, separate burial places (and eventually mighty pyramids) for the kings, solar boats for the trip to the next world, and more.
    Watch with a free Prime trial
  8. S1 E8 - Sneferu, the Pyramid Builder
    July 19, 2023
    30min
    TV-PG
    This lecture will present a portrait of the founder of the "Fabulous Fourth" Dynasty, Sneferu. Using trial and error, he figured out how to build a true pyramid. His reign also saw Egypt's blossoming as an international power and the setting of artistic standards that would last for thousands of years.
    Watch with a free Prime trial
  9. S1 E9 - The Great Pyramid of Giza
    July 19, 2023
    30min
    TV-PG
    From leveling the foundation to setting the capstone, here are - as best as we can make out - the "nuts and bolts" of the Egyptians' most literally "monumental" feat: pyramid building. This lecture also discusses the 144-foot solar boat that was found in 1954, buried near the Great Pyramid.
    Watch with a free Prime trial
  10. S1 E10 - The End of the Old Kingdom
    July 19, 2023
    30min
    TV-PG
    After the fantastic achievements of Dynasty IV, something - no one knows what - changed. Pharaohs stopped building pyramids and seem to have adopted sun worship. Dynasty VI resumed pyramid building on a small scale, but the death of its last king plunged Egypt into chaos.
    Watch with a free Prime trial
  11. S1 E11 - The First Intermediate Period
    July 19, 2023
    30min
    TV-PG
    After centuries of power, pyramids, and prosperity, Egypt totally collapsed. Why? A look at this period also shows the methods that Egyptologists use to reconstruct history where the resources are scant.
    Watch with a free Prime trial
  12. S1 E12 - The Middle Kingdom - Dynasty XI
    July 19, 2023
    30min
    TV-PG
    The Middle Kingdom is the story of Egypt's resurrection. Dynasty XI is the dynasty of reunification, slowly bringing Egypt back to unity and greatness.
    Watch with a free Prime trial
  13. S1 E13 - The Middle Kingdom - Dynasty XII
    July 19, 2023
    31min
    TV-PG
    The seven kings of Dynasty XII built pyramids, fostered great literature (often for political purposes), and consolidated power once again in the center.
    Watch with a free Prime trial
  14. S1 E14 - The Second Intermediate Period
    July 19, 2023
    30min
    TV-PG
    Ancient Egypt is the only civilization in history to have been eclipsed twice and bounced back to prominence on both occasions. Dynasties XIII through XVII saw the Middle Kingdom's decline, the advent of foreign rule, and finally, the expulsion of the Hyksos by a heroic prince of Thebes and his two sons at the end of Dynasty XVII.
    Watch with a free Prime trial
  15. S1 E15 - Joseph in Egypt
    July 19, 2023
    30min
    TV-PG
    The Bible describes a lengthy sojourn of the Israelites in Egypt. We examine the Joseph story in the Book of Genesis to see what light Egyptology might shed on its authenticity.
    Watch with a free Prime trial
  16. S1 E16 - The Beginning of the New Kingdom - The Fabulous XVIIIth Dynasty
    July 19, 2023
    30min
    TV-PG
    Practices we think of as defining ancient Egypt - including the use of a standing army to exact foreign tribute and the burial of the pharaohs in the Valley of the Kings - have their origins in this seminal period. We will also take a detailed look at what warfare was like in the ancient world.
    Watch with a free Prime trial
  17. S1 E17 - Queen Hatshepsut
    July 19, 2023
    30min
    TV-PG
    One of the greatest individuals in Egyptian history, Hatshepsut appears in no official Egyptian record. When she died, she was "King of Upper and Lower Egypt." How did she handle the three core activities of kingship - building, warfare, and trading expeditions? Why was her name later systematically expunged?
    Watch with a free Prime trial
  18. S1 E18 - Obelisks
    July 19, 2023
    30min
    TV-PG
    Obelisks are a purely Egyptian invention. Quarrying, transporting, and erecting one is perhaps an even greater engineering feat than the building of a pyramid. Learn the origins and religious significance of obelisks.
    Watch with a free Prime trial
  19. S1 E19 - Tuthmosis III - King At Last
    July 19, 2023
    30min
    TV-PG
    For 22 years, Tuthmosis III was second fiddle to his aunt Hatshepsut, who ruled as a king although she was a woman. When she died and he ruled by himself, he became one of the greatest military pharaohs Egypt had ever known. Learn what it meant to be a great king by tracing the epic events of his reign.
    Watch with a free Prime trial
  20. S1 E20 - The Fabulous XVIIIth Dynasty Rolls On
    July 19, 2023
    30min
    TV-PG
    Witness this glorious dynasty continue through two superior pharaohs and then one great one, Amenhotep III, "The Sun King."
    Watch with a free Prime trial
  21. S1 E21 - Akhenaten the Heretic Pharaoh
    July 19, 2023
    30min
    TV-PG
    The most enigmatic and controversial pharaoh in Egypt's history, Akhenaten rocked the pillars of Egyptian society. He may have been the first monotheist and the first "individual" in history.
    Watch with a free Prime trial
  22. S1 E22 - The Discovery of Tutankhamen's Tomb
    July 19, 2023
    30min
    TV-PG
    Unearthed by Howard Carter in 1922, the burial place of this young son of Akhenaten is the only royal tomb to have been found substantially intact. Follow the careful research and planning that led up to Carter's discovery, and learn the significance of the thousands of artifacts found.
    Watch with a free Prime trial
  23. S1 E23 - The Murder of Tutankhamen - A Theory
    July 19, 2023
    30min
    TV-PG
    Was Tutankhamen the victim of foul play? Do his mummified remains hold clues? Who might have wanted him dead, and why? Sift the physical and circumstantial evidence for this intriguing hypothesis and form your own conclusion.
    Watch with a free Prime trial
  24. S1 E24 - Medicine - The Necessary Art
    July 19, 2023
    30min
    TV-PG
    The physicians of Egypt were famous throughout the ancient world. Probe the justification for this fame by examining medical papyri. We will see that there were really two approaches to medicine: clinical and magical.
    Watch with a free Prime trial
  25. S1 E25 - The End of Dynasty XVIII
    July 19, 2023
    31min
    TV-PG
    What happened when a pharaoh died without issue? Find out by looking at three such cases that arose toward the end of Dynasty XVIII: Tutankhamen, Aye, and Horemheb, the last king of the dynasty, left no children.
    Watch with a free Prime trial
Show all 48 episodes

Details

More info

Audio languages
EnglishEnglish Dialogue Boost: MediumEnglish Dialogue Boost: High
Subtitles
English [CC]
Producers
The Great Courses
Starring
Bob Brier
Studio
The Great Courses
By clicking play, you agree to our Terms of Use.