Napolean Invades Egypt

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate May 2001

download word file, 7 pages 5.0

Egyptian Interpretation or French Interpretation? Who do we believe?         History is given to the present in many different forms. There are so many different types of sources that we can entrust to give us an accurate account of what really happened. Some of the different sources are stories passed down from generation to generation, journals, travel accounts, court documents, newspapers, news stories and many others. How do we know which to trust? We can differentiate the different types of sources into primary and secondary sources. Primary sources are those that are written or recorded by someone that witnessed an event first hand. Secondary sources are those that are compiled by other people's primary accounts. Someone taking an educated guess would probably say that a primary source is going to be more accurate than a secondary source. So what happens when you have two primary accounts of the same event? Which do you believe? Napoleon's invasion of Egypt in 1798 is a classic example of a moment in history that has been documented by two primary sources.

One source, written by Abd al Rahman Al-Jabarti, an Egyptian religious scholar, documents the Egyptian view of the invasion. The other account, written by Louis Antoine Fauvelet de Bourrienne, Napoleon's personal secretary, documents the French view of the invasion. Both accounts give you the information of who was involved, when major things happened and other concrete occurrences. The interesting analysis comes when comparing the two accounts with each other. There are some similarities and several differences involved with the comparison. This paper will discuss the differences in each author's style in recording events, their descriptions of the opposing culture, and the reliability of each writer.

        Historians must constantly monitor where they are get their information. A source that seems to hold all the answers...