Essay: Contributions of Ancient Egypt to Western Civilization

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¶ … ancient art and civilization. Specifically it will discuss the primary contributions of Ancient Egypt to Western Civilization. In most ways, ancient Egypt was an advanced culture that led the world in building, art, and language. Their culture made many advances that still contribute to the world today.

Ancient Egypt, although it certainly had its faults, was one of the most advanced cultures of the time. In developing such a superior culture, the people were innovative and open to new ideas, and so, they naturally developed many items that contributed to Western Civilization, and are still important today. One of the most important and influential aspects of their culture was their educational model, which has become the backbone of modern Western Civilization. One scholar writes, "Most evidence highlights the education of the upper and middle classes, who were trained to become officials, lawyers, doctors, and architects. They were taught reading, writing, and the study of literature, as well as foreign languages for those who planned to enter the diplomatic service, and mathematics for those training to become architects" (David 37). Although education did not trickle down through all levels of society, it was extremely important in the culture of Egypt, and it has retained that importance in the modern world. To go along with this model of education, the Egyptians developed a written language using hieroglyphics, or picture words, which cover the walls of many of their most significant buildings, and tell the story of everyday life in Egypt. Thus, they left a legacy of their lives, and developed their own complex language, as well, which is another aspect of a dominant and innovative culture.

Along with writing, they developed paper from the papyrus plant, which left another record of their civilization, and they built a huge library at Alexandria, which unfortunately was destroyed by fire. However, it was one of the first libraries in the world, and it helped lead to the practice of preserving the written word around the world, and it was one of the largest libraries in the world for decades. Alexandria itself was an important metropolis in the ancient world, as well. Another author writes, "Alexandria soon grew into a prosperous cosmopolitan city and cultural center: the city boasted an amphitheater, a gymnasium, a stadium and a museum known throughout the ancient world, plus an aqueduct and a hall of justice" (Ruiz 190). Egyptians had a great respect for learning, education, and the written word, and that still is one of the most important aspects of our modern culture.

The Egyptians were master builders, as the pyramids and many of their temples and ancient buildings indicate. They contributed to modern civilization through architecture in a number of ways. Another scholar notes, "The oldest pyramid in the world, built here by the famous architect Imhotep for king Djoser (ca. 2650 B.C.E.), still stands today" (My-liwiec 186). Not only does the pyramid still stand, so do many other buildings and monuments, and they influenced ancient Greek culture (the columns… [END OF PREVIEW]

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