If we look for example to Romans and Greeks we will find that they had great empires, they invaded a lot of countries and established civilizations outside their countries.

Why didn't ancient Egyptians have the same although their civilization lasted a long time and affected the following eras? in other words, why didn't Egyptians expand outside their land?

  • 5
    Why do you say they didn't? One might say Ancient Egypt expanded into all the lands that are today part of modern Egypt. Not to mention, Egypt at one point conquered much of the Levant.
    – Semaphore
    Apr 24 '15 at 14:06
  • 2
    They were one of the world spanning empires of their day. Please update your question to show that you've done research and to explain why your preliminary research wasn't helpful. Based on your research, why don't you think Egypt had an Empire?
    – MCW
    Apr 24 '15 at 14:17
  • The traditional answer is that Egyptians believed that if they died outside Egypt they were denied any afterlife.
    – MCW
    Apr 24 '15 at 14:18
  • @CGCampbell i meant Romans
    – Sam
    Apr 24 '15 at 14:59
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    the biggest problem the Egyptians had is that they have a desert to the left and desert to the right so by taking all of the fertile crescent that was pretty much the extent of civilization at the time. where else did you want them to go? by the time of Alexander 1000 years later there was really "more" for him to conquer.
    – Himarm
    Apr 24 '15 at 20:03

The premise of the question is somewhat invalid, as the rulers of Egypt did periodically venture outside of the country's natural boundaries and conquer other parts of the Levant. Thutmose III held the high-water mark in the Ancient era, as he at one time held sway over all of the fertile crescent (except lower Sumeria), large portions of Nubia, and most of the western Red Sea coastline. A lot of that territory he had inherited from his father and grandfather as well, so this wasn't just a momentary conquest.

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About 2 centuries (and one dynasty) later, Ramses II held the Mediterranean coast clear up to the borders of modern Lebanon (where he was held by the Hittites).

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What we know of the culture of the ancient Egyptian people corresponds to what the ancient Romans used to write about them, namely that they were a very stolid and peaceful people, given to steady work and reverent attention to their gods and customs. In particular, they spent much of their time attending to their river-run lands, building dikes and canals and managing agriculture. In this way they may be compared to the Dutch who, like the Egyptians, have always spent much time geo-shaping their land and managing their farms. Such types of people tend to be peaceful, not looking to attack their neighbors. For example, it is easy to find many instances of the Germans and French attacking the Dutch, but harder to find examples of the Dutch attacking them. Like the Dutch, the Egyptians were good traders and found goods acquired by trade are often better and cheaper than those acquired by plunder.

Yet another comparison is to India, where like Egypt, the soil is considered sacred and a person defiles themselves by leaving it. Such cultures dislike invading or attacking foreign countries and tend to focus on developing their country from within.

  • thanks for your explanation. you said they were peaceful people, attached to their land and Gods. you compared between Egyptians, Indians and the Dutch. the common between the three is (the river). rivers and agriculture give stability. Thanks again
    – Sam
    Apr 24 '15 at 16:36
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    Yet the Dutch did have a considerable colonial Empire: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dutch_Empire
    – jamesqf
    Apr 24 '15 at 19:43
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    bro crap like this is again why you have so many low voted answers, like you just spout crap out your behind. as ted shows the Egyptians were an active power from time to time throughout their history. you never once gave an actual reason why the Egyptians didn't do anything, instead you gave reasons why the dutch never did anything, and then compared the Egyptians to the dutch.
    – Himarm
    Apr 24 '15 at 19:58
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    and the reason the dutch were not as aggressive was because they were a small country surrounded by huge countries. Egypt was a huge country surrounded by small countries. The dutch are more apt to compare to Portugal then to Egypt.
    – Himarm
    Apr 24 '15 at 20:05
  • @Himarm The Egyptian occupation of "Canaan" was a short-lived New Kingdom phenomenon, not what I would consider a major "empire". Also, TED's maps are both wrong since they do not show Egypt's Libyan territories which were co-eval with the Hittite wars, which shows how much TED and his mapmaker know about Egypt. For the vast majority of its history, Egypt was an internalized society that did not attempt to conquer and permanently settle foreign countries. As for the "downvoters", I am used to being downvoted by ignoramuses who think they know more than me because they read the Wikipedia. Apr 24 '15 at 20:08

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