Egyptian literature

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Egyptian literature is some of the earliest known literature. The Egyptians were the first culture to develop the book.[1]

Ancient Egyptian literature[change | edit source]

Plates vi & vii of the Edwin Smith papyrus at the Rare Book Room, New York Academy of Medicine

The ancient Egyptians wrote on papyrus. They also wrote on walls, tombs, pyramids, obelisks, and more. A well-known example of ancient Egyptian literature is the Story of Sinuhe;[2]

Christian Egyptian literature[change | edit source]

Alexandria became an important center of early Christianity from around the 1st to 4th century CE. Writing by Coptic Christians was important to Christian literature at that time.The Nag Hammadi library protected some books from being lost or destroyed.

Islamic Egyptian literature[change | edit source]

Muslim Arabs controlled Egypt by the eighth century. Libraries and literature were important in Arab Egypt.[3] Several important changes for writers happened at this time. Cloth paper replaced papyrus. Writers began using calligraphy. Also, writers began to write mostly about Islam. The earliest novel written in Egypt was Ibn al-Nafis' Theologus Autodidactus. It was an early science fiction and religious novel.[4]

Modern Egyptian literature[change | edit source]

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the Arab world experienced a cultural change like the Renaissance. This was called al-Nahda movement. It touched nearly all areas of life, including literature.[5] One of the most important people from this time was Naguib Mahfouz. He was first Egyptian to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. Another important modern writer was Muhammad Husayn Haykal. He wrote Zaynab in 1914. It is an Islamic novel and is called the first modern Egyptian novel.


Notable Egyptian writers[change | edit source]

Other pages[change | edit source]

References[change | edit source]

  1. Edwards, Amelia, THE LITERATURE AND RELIGION OF ANCIENT EGYPT., http://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/edwards/pharaohs/pharaohs-6.html, retrieved 2007-09-30
  2. Lichtheim, Miriam (1975), Ancient Egyptian Literature, vol 1, London, England: University of California Press, pp. 11, ISBN 0-520-02899-6
  3. Groups of books and book production in Islamic Egypt, http://www.digitalegypt.ucl.ac.uk/writing/library/islamic.html, retrieved 2007-09-30
  4. Dr. Abu Shadi Al-Roubi (1982), "Ibn al-Nafis as a philosopher", Symposium on Ibn al-Nafis, Second International Conference on Islamic Medicine: Islamic Medical Organization, Kuwait (cf. Ibnul-Nafees As a Philosopher, Encyclopedia of Islamic World).
  5. MSN Encarta entry on Egypt, Encarta, archived from the original on 2009-11-01, http://www.webcitation.org/5kx807MHC, retrieved 2007-09-30

Other websites[change | edit source]