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History of Egypt From 330 B.C. To the Present Time, Volume 10 (of 12) by S. Rappoport
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PREFACE

Professor Maspero closes his History of Egypt with the conquest of
Alexander the Great. There is a sense of dramatic fitness in this
selection, for, with the coming of the Macedonians, the sceptre of
authority passed for ever out of the hand of the Egyptian. For several
centuries the power of the race had been declining, and foreign nations
had contended for the vast treasure-house of Egypt. Alexander found the
Persians virtually rulers of the land. The ancient people whose fame
has come down to us through centuries untarnished had been forced to
bow beneath the yoke of foreign masters, and nations of alien blood were
henceforth to dominate its history.

The first Ptolemy founded a Macedonian or Greek dynasty that maintained
supremacy in Egypt until the year 30 B.C. His successors were his lineal
descendants, and to the very last they prided themselves on their
Greek origin; but the government which they established was essentially
Oriental in character. The names of Ptolemy and Cleopatra convey an
Egyptian rather than a Greek significance; and the later rulers of
the dynasty were true Egyptians, since their ancestors had lived in
Alexandria for three full centuries.

In the year 30 B.C. Augustus C├Žsar conquered the last of the Ptolemies,
the famous Cleopatra. Augustus made Egypt virtually his private
province, and drew from it resources that were among the chief elements
of his power. After Augustus, the Romans continued in control until
the coming of the Saracens under Amr, in the seventh century. Various
dynasties of Mohammedans, covering a period of several centuries,
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