Toby Wilkinson – The Nile: Travelling Downriver Through Egypt’s Past and Present


The Nile, like all of Egypt, is both timeless and ever-changing. In this audio, renowned Egyptologist Toby Wilkinson takes us on a journey downriver that is both history and travelogue. We begin at the First Nile Cataract, close to the modern city of Aswan. From there, Wilkinson guides us through the illustrious nation birthed by this great river.

We see Thebes, with its Valley of the Kings, Valley of the Queens, and Luxor Temple. We visit the fertile Fayum, the Great Pyramid of Giza, and finally, the pulsing city of Cairo, where the Arab Spring erupted on the bridges over the water. Along the way, Wilkinson introduces us to the gods, pharaohs, and emperors who joined their fate to the Nile and gained immortality; and to the adventurers, archaeologists, and historians who have all fallen under its spell. Peerlessly erudite, vividly told,The Nilebrings the course of this enduring river into stunning view.

Author: Toby Wilkinson
Narrator: Peter Ganim
Duration: 12 hours 20 minutes
Released: 20 Apr 2002
Publisher: Blackstone Publishing
Language: English

User Review:

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Listeners may worry that by choosing the audio format of this course they’ll be missing out on some spectacular visuals. After viewing a free sample lecture from this series, I can assure you that audio is all you need. Licensing fees probably made it prohibitively expensive for The Great Courses to include clips (or even stills) in their video, so a professor speaking to the camera is pretty much all you will see.

Whichever version you choose, this is an exceptional course – a tiny, perfect epic. Professor Aldrete clearly loves these movies and makes a conscious effort to offer more than what he calls “a pedantic rehearsal of what filmmakers got right or wrong.” What I enjoyed most were his analyses of how contemporary politics and social concerns have influenced cinematic depictions of Ancient Rome. He also does a fine job tracing the rise, fall and renaissance of the sword-and-sandals genre from its inception to the present. When I watch these movies again, it will be with a much deeper appreciation and understanding.