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Napoleon Bonaparte's goal in setting sail for Egypt in 1798 was to establish new colonies for the French and to threaten British trade with India. While the immediate impact of the invasion has been the subject of many studies, it should also be considered in the context of the geopolitics of the period and the longer-term historical trends in Egypt. The...
Napoleon Bonaparte's goal in setting sail for Egypt in 1798 was to establish new colonies for the French and to threaten British trade with India. While the immediate impact of the invasion has been the subject of many studies, it should also be considered in the context of the geopolitics of the period and the longer-term historical trends in Egypt. The papers in this volume consider all aspects of the French occupation and trace its repercussions into the late 20th century. The background to the invasion is analyzed, including political and economic trends, French/British rivalry, French colonial fortunes and populist French Republican ideology. The work of the savants, those engineers and mathematicians who mapped and recorded ancient Egyptian artifacts, is shown to have had a formative influence on modern archaeological practice. The post-occupation contributions of French technocrats are exemplified by the pioneering work of a military surgeon. The contentious debate over the historiography of the occupation is reviewed, with a case study of its use during the Nasserist period. And in conclusion, a sweeping survey of Egyptian culture shows that Egypt's reappropriation of Egyptology has had a regenerating effect on Egyptian national consciousness. Resulting from the international conference on Napoleon in Egypt held in 1997 at the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library in Los Angeles, these papers are written by experts in the field including Nelly Hanna of the American University in Cairo, Afaf Lutfi al-Sayyid Marsot of the University of California, Los Angeles, and Amira Sonbol of Georgetown University.
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