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Anthony J. Spalingers book, War in Ancient Egypt is an introduction to the Egyptian war machine during the era of the New Kingdom. Spalinger, a well respected Egyptologist, mainly discusses Dynasty XVIII and the era of the Ramesside period.

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Alex Johnson 11/3/11 Hist 318 War in Egypt Anthony J. Spalinger's book, War in Ancient Egypt is an introduction to the Egyptian war machine during the era of the New Kingdom. Spalinger, a well respected Egyptologist, mainly discusses Dynasty XVIII and the era of the Ramesside period. Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed his analysis, and particularly enjoyed learning about the XVIIIth Dynasty and the beginnings of the Egyptian war machine. During this time, Egyptians were able to build one of the strongest and most professional armies in the world. Spalinger concentrates his attention on the social and political aspects of war within Egypt. He discusses the structure of the Egyptian military, along with its classes and logistics. By showing how the military was organized, fed, and equipped, Spalinger is able to point out what made the Egyptian war machine so effective and powerful. The title of Spalinger's first chapter is "Prelude to New Kingdom Warfare". He begins this chapter by discussing the early beginnings of the XVIIIth Dynasty in Egypt. Spalinger proclaims that the actual Egyptian Empire was founded at the beginning of the XVIIIth Dynasty. During this time in Egyptian history, Egypt had just witnessed the end of the Second Intermediate Period as well as the XVIIth Dynasty. ...read more.


The Egyptians had used their navy primarily for these purposes. They would send soldiers to areas throughout Egypt whose jobs it was to quell rebellions or to repel attackers. This is very evident in the use of the ships to transport food and supplies to the forts that were stationed in the south near Nubia. These forts often were placed in difficult areas. The ancient Egyptian navy proved to be a reliable component to their military. It was used in the transportation of both soldiers and supplies and provided needed aid to soldiers fighting in areas that were hard to get to by foot. They Egyptian army relied heavily on the rations that they received from cities such as Thebes and Karnak. In chapter three, Spalinger discusses Egyptian army's advance into the Sudan and Asia and its' "Southern and Northern Expansion". The Egyptian kings moved south towards Nubia in a concerted and well planned effort. The first point to be taken was to be that of Buhen, the strong fortress of the Middle Kingdom. Buhen was located on the Nile River around the Second Cataract. Spalinger draws attention to the use of the royal fleet of ships in this effort. ...read more.


(111) Spalinger then begins to analyze the definition of the term "inu". This term is ambiguous and is commonly translated as plunder. However, in a more native context, it refers to an exceptional delivery of goods. Also discussed is the advancements in weaponry in both the bow and chariot. These advancements are depicted in Egyptian artwork. In chapters eight through eleven, Spalinger discusses the end of the XVIIIth Dynasty. Egyptian imperialism in Asia under Thutmose III, following the successful Egyptian military campaigns is reviewed in chapter eight. Spalinger devotes special attention to the Egyptian geographical terms for their newly conquered lands. The supplies and valuables captured in obtaining these lands were used to help equip the Egyptian army. The following chapter mainly focuses on the economic welfare of Egypt and begins to talk about the reign of Amunhotep II. Spalinger notes the growing size of the population in Egypt and its' occupied territories gained in Asia. Difficulty arose in controlling a larger empire with greater amounts of people. "The Egyptian Empire can thus be considered to have been a loosely held zone of warring city-states that was kept under control through a rather thin series of garrisons and not too many troops." (145) Spalinger discusses the Amarna Letters throughout his book, but he discusses them in great detail in chapter ten. ...read more.

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