Resource Section
History & Culture

The Question of Identity: Ethnicity, Language, Religion, and Gender: Egypt Before Islam

This module provides essays and lesson plans for teachers who want to introduce and examine the concept of identity in ancient Egypt. Within this unitary society, ethnically similar inhabitants shared language, culture, and a focus on the king. Self-identity involved aspects of age, gender, and status, reflected in clothing, hairstyles, and the like. Foreigners settling in Egypt were expected to “Egyptianize.” It includes the following essays:

"Self-identity Relative to other Egyptians"

"Self-identity Relative to non-Egyptians"

"What Was the Legal and Social Status of Women?"

"What Role Did Language Play in Ptolemaic Egypt?"

"Why Were the Egyptians so Fixated on Death?"

The Oriental Institute, The University of Chicago
Janet H. Johnson


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