African Journal of
History and Culture

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Hist. Cult.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-6672
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJHC
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 185

Article in Press

THE NILE IN BYZANTINE WRITINGS TILL THE SEVENTH CENTURY

MUHAMMED ZAYED

  •  Received: 07 June 2018
  •  Accepted: 07 June 2018
The Nile attracted the interest of writers as early as the ancient times, such as Herodotus, Strabo, Pliny the Elder, and Dio Cassius. In our journey to the Byzantine Era, the Nile was mentioned by numerous literary and historical writings during the period between the Fourth and Seventh Centuries such as Aelius Spartianus, Eusebius of Caesarea, Ammianus Marcellinus, Claudius Claudianus, Nonnos of Panopolis, Dioscorus of Aphrodito and John Malalas. We find some Byzantine writings have been translated from ancient Greek and Roman sources, especially information about the sources of the Nile, mouths, floods, plants, animals, tribes and peoples who lived close to it. The Byzantine writings may have been greatly influenced by Greek and Roman writings on the Nile as a result of the cultural decline in the Early Byzantine age; it due to the political and religious changes that had a great influence on that cultural aspect. This has created a kind of lack of innovation in dealing with some historical and geographical issues, and has prompted them to imitate previous writings. However, there are some differences in the Byzantine writings about the concept of the name of the Nile because of the influence of Christian writings during the Byzantine age, in addition to the existence of different political conditions in Egypt and the kingdoms surrounding it across the Red Sea. This led some Byzantine writers such as Procopius of Caesarea and John Malalas to speak about the Byzantine embassies Kingdoms on the Nile from the reign of Diocletian until the Islamic conquest of Egypt (284-642).

Keywords: Byzantine, Nile, Blemmyes, Nobates, Egypt, Elephantine, Ethiopia