The Shifting Borders of Egypt

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The formation of state borders is often told through the history of war and diplomacy. What is neglected is the tale of how borders of seemingly peaceful and long-extant places were set. In drawing Egypt’s borders, nineteenth-century cartographers were drawing upon a well of knowledge that stretched back into antiquity. Relying on the works of Greco-Roman writers and the Bible itself, cartographers and explorers used the authority of these works to make sense of unfamiliar lands, regardless of any current circumstances. The border with Palestine was determined through the usage of the Old Testament, while classical scholars like Herodotus and ... continued below

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vi, 96 pages : illustrations, maps (some color)

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Chavez, Miguel Angel May 2015.

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This thesis is part of the collection entitled: UNT Theses and Dissertations and was provided by UNT Libraries to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 58 times . More information about this thesis can be viewed below.

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  • Chavez, Miguel Angel

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Description

The formation of state borders is often told through the history of war and diplomacy. What is neglected is the tale of how borders of seemingly peaceful and long-extant places were set. In drawing Egypt’s borders, nineteenth-century cartographers were drawing upon a well of knowledge that stretched back into antiquity. Relying on the works of Greco-Roman writers and the Bible itself, cartographers and explorers used the authority of these works to make sense of unfamiliar lands, regardless of any current circumstances. The border with Palestine was determined through the usage of the Old Testament, while classical scholars like Herodotus and Ptolemy set the southern border at the Cataracts. The ancient cartography of Rome was overlaid upon the Egypt of Muhammad Ali. Given the increasing importance Egypt had to the burgeoning British Empire of the nineteenth century, how did this mesh with the influences informing cartographical representations of Egypt? This study argues that the imagined spaces created by Western cartographers informed the trajectory of Britain’s eventual conquest of Egypt. While receding as geopolitical concerns took hold, the classical and biblical influences were nonetheless part of a larger trend of Orientalism that colored the way Westerners interacted with and treated the people of Egypt and the East. By examining the maps and the terminology employed by nineteenth century scholars on Egypt’s geography, a pattern emerges that highlights how much classical and biblical texts had on the Western imagination of Egypt as the modern terms eventually superseded them.

Physical Description

vi, 96 pages : illustrations, maps (some color)

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UNT Theses and Dissertations

Theses and dissertations represent a wealth of scholarly and artistic content created by masters and doctoral students in the degree-seeking process. Some ETDs in this collection are restricted to use by the UNT community.

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  • May 2015

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Feb. 2, 2016, 1:35 p.m.

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  • Feb. 23, 2017, 2:34 p.m.

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Citations, Rights, Re-Use

Chavez, Miguel Angel. The Shifting Borders of Egypt, thesis, May 2015; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc799465/: accessed October 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .