about 3100 BC
King Menes unified Upper and Lower Egypt and established his
capital at Memphis, near present-day Cairo.
about 2600 BC
The Old Kingdom was notable for the construction of pyramids.
The Great Pyramid of Khufu at Giza was built around this time.
about 1400 BC
The Egyptian Empire reached its height during the reign of
Thutmose III. Egypt controlled the Middle East from Syria to Ethiopia.
Alexander the Great conquered Egypt and founded Alexandria.
A Roman fleet decisively defeated Egyptian forces under Antony
and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium. Egypt became a Roman province the next
Arabs conquered Egypt and introduced Islam and the Arabic
language into the country.
Shiite Fatimid rulers moved the capital from Alexandria to the
new city of Cairo. Cairo quickly became a center of the Islamic world.
Saladin overthrew the Fatimids and established the Ayyubid
dynasty. Sunni Islam was restored as the state religion.
Mameluke bodyguards overthrew the sultan and seized control of
Ottoman Turks invaded and conquered Egypt. The Mamelukes
retained local authority, and eventually challenged Ottoman power in Egypt.
Napoleon Bonaparte led a French invasion of Egypt. The
invasion eventually failed, but many important archaeological treasures were
found, including the famous Rosetta Stone, which was uncovered in 1799.
Muhammad Ali secured control of Egypt and steered the country
on an ambitious modernization program.
British troops occupied Egypt. A nationalist movement soon
Great Britain declared Egypt a protectorate.
Egypt became independent, but Great Britain retained many
The German advance in North Africa during World War II was
halted by Allied forces at the Battle of Al ĎAlamayn (Al ĎAlamein).
Egypt and other Arab countries invaded the newly created state
of Israel, but were defeated.
Gamal Abdel Nasser led a revolt that overthrew Egyptís
monarchy. Two years later Nasser assumed complete executive authority.
Egypt nationalized the Suez Canal to finance the Aswan High
Dam project. French, British, and Israeli armies invaded and captured the
Sinai Peninsula. The United Nations helped negotiate a settlement.
Egypt and Syria formed the United Arab Republic. Syria
withdrew in 1961, but Egypt continued to use the name until 1971.
Egypt lost the Sinai Peninsula and most of its air force
during the Six-Day War with Israel.
Nasser died and was succeeded by Anwar al-Sadat.
Egypt fought Israel and was defeated in the Yom Kippur War.
Egypt and Israel signed a peace treaty arranging for the
return of the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt.
Sadat was assassinated by military officers. He was succeeded
by Hosni Mubarak.
Egyptian forces participated in the Persian Gulf War against
The Egyptian government moved to quell attacks by militant
Archaeologists discovered the tomb of King Ramses II's many
sons, the largest tomb in Egypt's Valley of the Kings.