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It was Herodotus who first called Egypt "the gift of the river." Now renowned Egyptologist Toby Wilkinson takes us along the Nile to reveal how it continues to hold the key to understanding the earliest of the great ancient civilizations as well as the volatile and rapidly modernizing country that is Egypt today. Wilkinson's narrative takes us from the river's mystical sources (the Blue Nile which rises in Ethiopia, and the White Nile coursing from majestic Lake Victoria); to Thebes, with its Valley of the Kings, Valley of the Queens, and Luxor Temple; the fertile Delta; Giza, home of the Great Pyramid, the sole surviving Wonder of the Ancient World; and finally, to the pulsating capital city of Cairo, where the Arab Spring erupted on the bridges over the Nile. Along the way, he introduces us to mysterious and fabled characters--the gods and pharaohs, emperors and empresses, who joined their fate to the Nile and gained immortality; the adventurers, archaeologists, and historians who have all fallen under its spell. With matchless erudition and storytelling skill, through both panoramas and close-ups, Wilkinson brings millennia of history into view.--From publisher description.