Ancient Egypt has been a focus of awe and fascination from the age of the Pyramids to the present day. In Egyptomania Ronald H. Fritze takes us on a historical journey to unearth the Egypt of the imagination, a land of weird gods, murky magic, secret knowledge, marvellous pyramids, enigmatic sphinxes, monumental obelisks, immense wealth and mystifying mummies.Egypt has always exerted a powerful attraction in popular and high culture, and an array of personalities have been attracted to and repelled by the idea of Egypt. Medieval Christians considered Egypt a land with many connections to the Bible, while medieval Muslims were intrigued by its massive monuments, esoteric learning and hidden treasures. Scholars of the Renaissance, the Baroque and the Enlightenment pondered the mysteries of hieroglyphs and Hermes Trismegistus. Even the practical-minded Napoleon dreamed of Egyptian glory and helped open that antique land to the West. Fritze goes beyond the examination of Egyptomania in art and architecture to reveal its impact on religion, philosophy, historical study, literature, travel, science and popular culture.
All those who remain captivated by the ongoing phenomenon of Egyptomania will revel in the mysteries uncovered in this book.
Ronald H. Fritze is Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and Professor of History at Athens State University and the author of many books, including Invented Knowledge: False History, Fake Science, and Pseudo-religions (Reaktion, 2009).