Unit 1: Ancient Africa - The Cradle of Civilization
(200,000 B.C. - 476 B.C.)

Unit 1: Class 15: Ancient Kemet (Egypt): Greco-Roman Period (332 B.C. – 476 A.D. ) 

After completing this lesson, students 
will be able to:

  • Discuss the story of the Queen of Sheba and her encounter with King Solomon as told in the Bible, The Quran, and the Kebra Nagast. 

  • Recognize the influence Africa and African women have had in the development of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and world history.

  • Scrutinize the racial and religious propaganda associated with the story of the Queen of Sheba, including her racial identity.

  • Locate Ethiopia, the home of the Queen of Sheba, and the Kingdom of Sheba on a map.

Slide Show: Greco-Roman Egypt (332 B.C. - 476 A.D.)

​​Egypt Under the Greeks (332 BC – 30 BC)

Greeks had been coming to Egypt since the 7th century BCE. Even by then, ancient Egypt had experienced over 2,000 years of native rule and three Golden Ages that brought the world its first marvels of architecture, the understanding of math, astronomy, philosophy as well as the development of religion, paper and writing, and government. In essence, by the time the Greeks get to Egypt it is a shell of itself. Yet and still, the Greeks were in awe of what they saw and learned. 

Herodotus was there in the middle of the 5th century BCE and claimed that the Greeks were the first foreigners to ever live in Egypt. However, we know that this is untrue. Those from the Levant lived in ancient Egypt for over a thousand years before the Greeks. However, the Greeks were marveled by Egypt and its most prominent philosophers, mathematicians, scientists, and doctors studied there. 

The Greek occupation of Egypt began in 332 with Alexander the Great of Macedonia, who defeated the unwanted Persians. He was received as a liberator. He respected the ancient religion and culture of the Egyptians and proclaimed himself pharaoh after visiting the oracle of Ammon in 331, who proclaimed him the son of Amun-Re. The oracle of Ammon is in the Libyan Desert; no Egyptian pharaoh had ever visited the oracle prior to Alexander. Yet the oracle of Ammon was well respected by the Greeks. Ancient Greek authors ranked it third in importance after the sanctuaries of Zeus at Olympia, the home of the Ancient Olympic Games, and the sanctuary of Zeus in Dodona. Alexander used his visit and anointment by the oracle of Ammon to legitimize his position as pharaoh of Egypt. However, Alexander appeared to actual believe that he was the son of Ammon/Zeus toward the end of his life, capturing his deep fascination with ancient Egyptian religion and culture. 

Read/View the following:

Greco-Roman Egypt: From Ptolemaic and Roman Rule to the Arab Conquest (322 BC - 646 AD) (15 - 20 min)

Cleopatra VII Biography: Queen (69 BCE – 30 BCE) (10 min)

Library of Congress: Egypt Under Rome and Byzantium, 30 B.C. - A.D. 640 (15 min)

Slideshow: Greco-Roman Egypt