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Reply #219: You forgot to mention the "suspicous sources." [View All]

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onager Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 10:52 PM
Response to Reply #119
219. You forgot to mention the "suspicous sources."
Which is mentioned in just about every 'net article I found on Diodorus Siculus. BTW, your link in the post did not work.

Diodorus Siculus was writing mostly between 60 and 30 BCE...when the "kings of Egypt" were Greeks just like him. Well, Macedonians - the Ptolemies.

According to some links, his primary source for the gold-mining description was Agatharcides. He lived in the 2nd century BCE, so he could not possibly have had any first-hand knowledge of ancient Egyptian mining operations.

Another strange thing - most articles simply call the mine workers "miners," not slaves.

If "brutally working your ass off at unpaid labor" - or corvee, to use the technical term - is a definition of slavery, then Egypt arguably had slavery right up until nearly the 20th century.

The Suez Canal was built almost entirely with unpaid corvee labor, until the Khedive threw a tantrum and stopped the practice, mostly to spite the French. Though the ruler did make a lot of flowery speeches about "restoring the dignity of Egyptian labor." (That action had an unintended side benefit - it forced the French to develop steam-powered heavy construction equipment.)

The British, also suspicious sources at times, officially take credit for ending the practice of corvee in 1882 - when they invaded Egypt.
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