Random Fact: Egypt
Egyptian history is generally considered to have begun in 3200 B.C. when King Menes (also called Narmer) united the Upper and Lower Kingdoms. The last native dynasty fell to the Persians in 341 B.C. and was replaced by Greeks, Romans, and Byzantines. Arabs introduced Islam and the Arabic language into Egypt in the seventh century. Pharaoh Pepi II (2246-2152 B.C.) had the longest reign in history—94 years. He became Egypt’s king when he was only 6 years old. Allegedly, he would smear naked slaves with honey to attract flies away from him. Ramses II (1279-1212 B.C.) is often considered the greatest pharaoh (“great house”) of the Egyptian empire. He ruled Egypt for 60 years and was the only pharaoh to carry the title “the Great” after his name. He had over 90 children: approximately 56 boys and 44 girls. He had eight official wives and nearly 100 concubines. He also had red hair, which was associated with the god Seth.
The quality that ancient Egyptians valued most was called ma’at, which means good behaviour, honesty, and justice. Ma’at is also the name of the goddess of truth who, according to myth, weighs every Egyptian heart after death.
The ancient obelisk known as Cleopatra’s Needle has suffered more damage in the 125 years it has stood in New York City from pollution and weather than in the thousands of years it stood in Egypt.