As one of the earliest societies to develop wide-scale agriculture and a written script, Egypt clearly has an important place in the history of Western civilization and remains a source of fascination even in the modern era. From 3000 BCE up to 1100 BCE, Egypt developed into one of the most powerful states in the Near Eastern and Mediterranean world, that power reflected in the massive monuments that were built to house Egypt’s rulers, the pharaohs, in their life after death. During this early period in its history, Egypt centralized under its pharaohs and engaged in imperialism in the Near East, dominating much of what is now Israel, Jordan and Syria. The period from 1100-1000 BCE, however, began a period of decline for Egypt, as a series of mysterious attacks by “Sea Peoples” in the eastern Mediterranean forced Egypt back within its original borders. Following those attacks, Egypt’s political centralization fragmented, and Egypt consequently fell prey to dominance by non-Egyptian groups, including Assyrians, Persians, and finally Macedonians. Egypt’s final pharaonic dynasty, the Ptolemaic dynasty, was of Macedonian origin, and it was the Ptolemies who would rule Egypt until its conquest by Rome in 31 BCE, leaving Egypt to become just another province in the Roman Empire. In this class, we’ll examine the scope of Egyptian history in two sections, the first focused on Egypt’s early and independent history and the second focused on Egypt’s transformation into a province in a series of non-Egyptian empires.