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James Henry Breasted (August 27, 1865 December 2, 1935) was an American archaeologist and historian who focused his career on Egypt and did research into the rise of civilization in the Near East. In 1905, as a member of the University of Chicagos faculty, Breasted was promoted to professor in the first chair in Egyptology and Oriental History in the United States. In 1905, Breasted published A History of Egypt from the Earliest Times to the Persian Conquest, the first scholarly history of the ancient Nile written in the United States. It attracted critical acclaim, and from there Breasted directed the Nubian expedition of the University of Chicago, which developed his interest in Egyptian religious thought. This culminated in the Morse Lectures at Union Theological Seminary, published as Development of Religion and Thought in Ancient Egypt (1912). Here he took an evolutionary posture and traced man's moral ideas from Egypt. Breasted also continued to write texts, alone and in collaboration. The most famous of these was Ancient Times (1916), revised as The Conquest of Civilization (1926). The emphasis was upon man raising himself through intelligence and religious growth. This edition of Breasteds famous History of Egypt is specially formatted with a Table of Contents and illustrated with pictures of Breasted and Ancient Egypt, including pyramids, hieroglyphics and the Sphinx.

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