Egypt

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By Michael Rice

Experiences the magesty and beauty of the heritage of historic Egypt. Drawing on Jungian analytic psychology, Rice elucidates the ongoing attract of this attention-grabbing civilization, and indicates why Egypt has been so very important within the heritage of the West.

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Additional info for Egypt's Legacy: The Archetypes of Western Civilization: 3000 to 30 BC

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19 Gradually the basic design was modified with successive steps being added on to the considerably extended base of the structure, in which the original mastaba was embedded. The development of the Step Pyramid is thus quite different from the ziggurat, which achieved general acceptance in the Sumerian cities, several hundred years later. The appearance is uncannily similar nonetheless and, again, as in the case of the First Dynasty tombs, it is difficult to believe that there is no connection between the two architectural forms, were it not for the problem of chronology.

Thus it must be with the Golden Section, whose frequency of exploitation in many cultures and as many different periods suggests that it is locked into the human unconscious, ensuring an appropriate aesthetic response to the choices which need to be made to provide an aesthetically satisfying result. If this presumption is accepted, then the implications for much, perhaps all, human creative endeavour are very great. It would be wholly consonant with the underlying theme of this book that the unique Egyptian contribution to civilisation was to be the first in which all these elements were articulated and, being so articulated, were liberated, to take their place amongst the acknowledged archetypes which determine human behaviour.

To understand the extraordinary quality of Egypt’s achievement in the first phase of its existence and the influence which that achievement had on its subsequent history, it is necessary to consider the work of the builders of the great monuments which express so much of the essential Egyptian genius. That genius expressed itself most dramatically in the ability to plan and build monumental buildings, of enduring presence and power. No people before their time and few since have been able to manipulate structures in space with such assurance and elegance, on so great a scale.

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