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Tales of Ancient Egypt by Roger Lancelyn…

Tales of Ancient Egypt (1967)

by Roger Lancelyn Green

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1,007413,089 (3.7)4
Retells twenty stories of magic, adventure, and mythology first told in ancient Egypt.



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This started as lunch stories and ended up being nighttime reading because Z couldn't get enough.

Z loved this book and called it the best mythology collections he's read. I did like the way the the stories were divided into gods and goddesses, Pharaohs, and adventures . . . The latter being very similar to folk tales. It was cool to rad the Egyptian version of Helen of Troy and a few fairy tales. But, the violence and misogyny is not for the squeamish, nor is the dense text of unfamiliar names (as a read aloud). ( )
  beckydj | Mar 31, 2013 |
Egypt is one of the oldest literary cultures on earth, dating from 3200 B.C. when Menes united Upper and Lower Egypt. The tales in this book are divided into three sections. “Tales of the Gods” tell myths about ancient Egyptian deities such as Amen-Ra, Isis, Osiris, Thoth, Horus, Khnemu, and others. “Tales of Magic” relate legends about semi-historical figures in ancient Egypt like Seneferu, Khufu, Rameses the Great, and Bata. And “Tales of Adventure” contain other stories that the ancient Egyptians recorded. These tales are taken from the hieroglyphics carved on temples and tombs and the later papyri written after Demotic script superseded the old hieroglyphs. There are a few references to drinking wine and beer, but there is also a mention of Joseph and the Israelites in the prologue implying that the author considered them genuine historical entities. A time chart of Egyptian history places the different tales into their historical context, and there are several pages of facts about ancient Egyptian culture and beliefs. The book would make an excellent complement to a homeschool study of ancient Egypt.
Roger Gilbert Lancelyn Green (1918–1987), born in Norwich, England, was a British biographer, children's writer, and Oxford academic who formed part of the Inklings literary discussion group along with C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. He had studied under Lewis at Merton College, Oxford, and remained close to Lewis until the latter’s death in 1963. In fact, when Lewis started writing his famous children’s fantasy books in the late 1940s, it was Green who encouraged him to publish it and suggested that they should be called The Chronicles of Narnia. Green became known primarily for his writings for children, particularly his retellings of the myths of Greece in Tales of the Greek Heroes (1958), The Tale of Troy (1958), and Tales the Muses Told: Ancient Greek Myths (1965); and The Tale of Thebes (1977); Norse mythology in The Saga of Asgard, later renamed Myths of the Norsemen (1960); the Arthurian legends in King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table (1953); the stories of Robin Hood in The Adventures of Robin Hood (1956); and even Tales from Shakespeare (1965). His works of original fiction include The Luck of Troy (1961), set during the Trojan War, and The Land of the Lord High Tiger (1958), a fantasy that has been compared to the Narnia books.
There are some in the homeschool movement who have strong objections to reading and studying mythology, claiming that it gives credence to heathen idolatry. While I respect their sincere convictions, I do not necessarily agree with their conclusions. The fact that many ancient cultures worshipped false gods and the stories that they told about those false gods are part of the history of our world, and there are many aspects of our Western culture which are drawn from them. I am convinced that we can read and study about the pagan idol gods from a purely historical standpoint without honoring them in any way or being in danger of believing in them, and can even see from learning about them how much superior the one true God who is revealed to us in the Bible truly is. I did not find Green’s Tales of Ancient Egypt to be awesome or inspiring, but I thought that they were interesting reading, and they do remind me how thankful I am that our universe is ruled over by a holy, just, reasonable, and orderly Lord rather than the hodge-podge of mystical, magical, mythical deities of ancient Egypt. ( )
  Homeschoolbookreview | Sep 29, 2012 |
Reason for Reading: Read aloud to my 12yo son.

I grew up reading assorted Puffins of myths, legends and fairy tales by Roger Lancelyn Green. I especially remember one called The Book of Dragons. I'm thrilled to see that this title about Ancient Egypt is still in print and even available on ereader! Starting with a Prologue which sets the stories in historical context and gives the reader basic information on the geography and mythology of Ancient Egypt; the tales are then divided into three sections: "Tales of the Gods", "Magic" and "Adventure". All throughout the stories we learn the mythology of the Ancient Egyptians. We also learn a great deal of history as almost every story is set within the reign of a certain Pharaoh. Egyptian tales are uniquely their own, some tend to be myths (legends of the gods) while others lean more towards fairy tales (stories of peasants, princes and magic) but the Egyptian tale is unlike any other read before because they grew up mostly in isolation from the influence of other cultures. Green is a superb storyteller and one simply cannot go wrong with reading his rendition of these tales (or any tales). We enjoyed every single story in this book. My son enjoyed the most "The Book of Thoth" in which Setna, son of Ramses the Great, a great magician sets out to find this magical book which will give him the enchantments of heaven and earth, and know the languages of man and beast. It is one of the longest stories in the book and has the repetition of the fairy tale along with magic and revenge. For me, I particularly found "The Treasure Thief" of interest a this is a tale of Helen of Troy. Not exactly a retelling as it skips over the entire Trojan War but deals with Helen in the before and after and offers up an interesting, purely Egyptian take on how the gods may have interfered for her right from the start. Mythology fans must read Roger Lancelyn Green. ( )
  ElizaJane | Sep 4, 2012 |
Written for children (over 9 years old) and young adults, these stories of the Ancient Egyptians include gods such as Amen-Ra and Osiris, and some of the Egyptian rulers. Interesting to compare with tales from ancient Greece, Rome or Troy. ( )
  tripleblessings | Jul 16, 2006 |
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Roger Lancelyn Greenprimary authorall editionscalculated
Copley, HeatherIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To my Niece and God-daughter Jane Trinder
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Egypt has always been a land of mystery and magic—a land different from all others, difficult to understand, apart and alien, yet strangely fascinating.
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These stories include the great myths - of Amen-Ra, who created all the creatures in the world; of Isis, seaching the waters for her dead husband Osiris; of the Bennu Bird and the Book of Thoth. But there are also tales told for pleasure about magic, treasure and adventure - even the first ever Cinderella story.
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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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