Review: The History of Ancient Egypt by Bob Brier

Title:  The History of Ancient Egypt

Author: Bob Brier

Series: The Great Courses

Genre: Nonfiction

Format: Audiobook 

Length: 24 hours  25 min.

Date Read: May 26, 2020

3.5 stars
3.5 stars

This audiobook consists of 48 lectures discussing the history of Ancient Egypt.  It starts with prehistoric Egypt and goes through to the end of the Egyptian empire with Cleopatra. 

This audiobook covers a little bit of the whole history of Egypt, which is great for those who have little knowledge of Egypt or who only know parts of the history. Or if you are like me and are a fan of anything involving Ancient Egypt and just want to learn more. The lectures were very easy to understand and followed a linear timeline so it was easy to keep up with the progressing history. The audiobook also came with a supplemental PDF document of the lectures that you can reference while listening to the audiobook. Also it has pictures. 

The narrator, Bob Brier, is an experienced Egyptologist. You can clearly tell he knows his history. I really loved how he breaks down the Egyptian names and what the parts of the name meant. It also made it easier to pronounce them. I did have a few issues with him though. My biggest issue was that he biased and frequently gave his opinion on things instead of just sticking to the facts. He also repeated himself a lot which got old after listening for a few hours. Also at one point he uses the word retarded to describe Alexander the Great’s halfbrother which I did not like at all. 

Another thing that should be noted is that these lectures are now dated. This was published in 2013 and new discoveries and facts have changed some things, but like he states at the end if you are interested in any of these topics do further research and reading. It should also be noted that since these are lecture formats that they are not edited. A few times Brier misspoke and corrected himself. This became confusing during the discussion about the Ramses line of kings (Lecture 34) because he said Ramses the Great a few times instead of the correct Ramses (there were 11 I believe). I actually went back and read this section in the PDF to get a better picture of which Ramses did what. 

Overall, this was a fascinating lecture series and I learned a lot. I recommend this audiobook for anyone interested in Ancient Egyptian history. Just remember that it is dated now and he is biased.


Goodreads / Amazon



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