Egyptian (Civ5)
Introduced in Vanilla
Leader Ramesses II (Civ5) Ramesses II
Unique unit War chariot (Civ5) War chariot (replaces Chariot archer)
Unique building Burial tomb (Civ5) Burial tomb (replaces Temple)
Ability Monument Builders:

+20% 20xProduction5 Production towards Wonder construction

Starts bias Avoid Jungle (Civ5) Jungle and Forest (Civ5) Forest
Language spoken Egyptian Arabic
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The Egyptian people represent a civilization in vanilla Civilization V.

  • Musical Theme: Ancient Egyptian Melody Fragments* (composed by Michael Curran, orchestrated by Geoff Knorr)
  • Music Set: Middle Eastern
  • Architecture: Middle Eastern
  • Spy Names: Refaat, Heba, Salah, Ahmed, Zakaria, Bastet, Ma'at, Nebhet, Tefenet, Neuth
  • Preferred Religion: Islam

* Melodies are from "Music of the Ancient Sumerians, Egyptians & Greeks" by the Ensemble De Organographia.


The Egyptians are certainly the best civilization for those who wish to build lots of Wonders. Try to expand on this advantage by adopting the Tradition policy tree, where there's another boost for building Wonders, and nobody will be able to beat you at building the Wonder you want (so long as your technological progress isn't far behind the other leaders, of course). The bonuses from your Wonders will be a great help in winning a cultural, scientific, or possibly even domination victory.

Their Burial Tomb helps keep your civilization very happy - an additional benefit that helps you go into Golden Ages more often, which in turn also helps indirectly with Wonder construction. And finally, the War Chariot unit is great to defend against early rushes while building your first Wonders.

Civilopedia EntryEdit


Few civilizations have left such an indelible mark on history as that of Egypt. Living astride the mighty Nile River for some 5,000 years, Egypt is one of the oldest surviving civilizations on the planet. Among many other firsts, Egypt is credited with the invention of writing around 3000 BC. Using sophisticated mathematics, Egyptian scholars plotted the movement of the planets with great precision. And of course, the Egyptians were the ancient world's greatest architects, creating monuments and temples that still awe and inspire us today.


Egypt is a riparian (river-based) civilization lying alongside the Nile, which, at some 6500 km (4000 miles) in length, is the longest river on the planet. Egypt occupies the northern section of this river in a narrow but extremely fertile corridor running through otherwise harsh desert terrain of the North African Sahara desert. While the physical area of Egypt extended a great distance to the east and west, the vast majority of that terrain is empty useless desert, and through its history almost all Egyptians have lived within walking distance of the river. Until the implementation of damming projects in the 20th century, the Nile flooded its banks in the summer of every year. Egyptian farmers relied on these floods to bring water and fresh nutrients to their fields, and a dry year could easily spell famine and disaster to the population. The Nile also provided a good deal of protein to the Egyptians, who were adept fishermen and who early on mastered the construction and handling of small watercraft. The Mediterranean Sea lies to the north of Egypt. A mild and generous sea, the Mediterranean encourages exploration and trade between all civilizations who live on its borders.


The first settlers of the Nile valley are thought to have arrived around 7,000 BC, driven to the river as climate change turned the surrounding once-fertile lands to desert. By 5000 BC crops were being raised in local settlements along the river, and as agriculture improved the settlements grew in size and power. Luxury items such as mortuary pottery, copper ornaments, beads, and cosmetics begin to be seen in burial sites from that period, suggesting a significant growth in wealth and leisure in the culture. Increased wealth also allowed for the creation and maintenance of military forces which could be used to conquer other nearby cultures. By approximately 3000 BC much of Egypt was unified. The first king mentioned in the historical records is Menes, who founded the capital, Memphis, is credited with many irrigation works. His "First Dynasty" would last for some two centuries.

The Early Dynastic PeriodEdit

The First and Second Dynasties are known collectively as the "Early Dynastic Period" and last from approximately 3100 BC to 2600 BC. During this period Egypt extended its control south along the Nile and east and west along the coast of the Mediterranean.

The Old KingdomEdit

This period spans the years from approximately 2600 BC to 2100 BC. The Old Kingdom period is best known for the large number of pyramids constructed as tombs for pharaohs. Egyptian vessels traveled the Mediterranean and Red Seas, trading for items such as food, spices and Lebanese cedar, as well as luxuries like myrrh (a type of incense), ebony, and gold. The Old Kingdom ended when a severe drought caused the collapse of the central government, already weakened by corruption and civil war.

Further PeriodsEdit

The Old Kingdom Period is followed by the First Intermediate Period, then the Middle Kingdom Period, the Second Intermediate Period, the New Kingdom Period, the Third Intermediate Period, then the Late Period. During these periods (lasting from 2100 BC to perhaps 600 BC) the Egyptian government would rise and fall several times, and periods of strife and internal conflict would be followed by periods of great peace and prosperity. External foes would invade when Egypt was weakened, and the pharaohs would extend their empire when Egypt was strong. In 525 BC Egypt was captured by Persia, who would control the country until it was taken by Alexander the Great in 332 BC as he systematically dismantled the Persian Empire. After Alexander's death the Greeks established the Ptolemaic Dynasty. The able Ptolemies ruled in an unbroken line until the death of Cleopatra VII in 30 BC. Her suicide marked the end of Pharaonic rule and the beginning of Egypt's centuries as a Roman and Byzantine province. Although swept by the Islamic tide in 642 AD, Egypt was to remain under foreign occupation - Arabic, Ottoman, French, and British - until after World War I, when she finally gained her independence from a British administration weary of overseas conflict. From 1922 through 1952, Egypt appeared to be one of the world's most successful constitutional monarchies. But it was ripe for revolution; the military coup of July 1952 led by Gamal Nasser, ironically, finally made Egypt an island of stability in a turbulent Middle East.

Art and CultureEdit

Egypt's mastery of monumental architecture is virtually unmatched in history. The Egyptians were also great sculptors, creating many quite beautiful statues of their pharaohs and gods. They also made beautiful and delicate works of gold, jewels and other precious metals, many of which have been discovered in tombs and vaults. Actually, much of Egyptian culture and arts seems to have been dedicated to death, entombment and the afterlife (or perhaps art on those subjects was most likely to have been entombed and thus has survived better than non-death-related artwork).


Religion was extremely important to Egyptian society. The religion has an incredibly rich pantheon of gods, and a detailed and complex creation mythos. The pharaoh was both a man and a god, and he was responsible for interceding with the gods on his subjects' behalf. The priests also served as the society's civil servants. (If the Egyptians ever heard of the concept of separation of church and state, they wanted nothing to do with it.) The Egyptians believed in an afterlife for those judged worthy, and they believed in sorcery and magic. Many historians believe that the Egyptians saw the pyramids as pathways to the realm of the gods for those buried inside.


Clearly, it is impossible to do justice to a 5000-year-old civilization in the space of these short paragraphs. At her height Egypt was a mighty, continent-spanning empire, whose scientific and cultural advancements brought incalculable benefits to humanity. And its greatest works, the pyramids, can still astonish the modern viewer, much as they did to those who saw them 4,000 years ago.

Egyptian TriviaEdit

According to some ancient myths, bees were created from the tears of the sun god Ra.

Egyptian workers organized the first known labor strike.

The first known documented peace treaty occurred between Ramesses the Second of Egypt and Hattusili III of the Hittite empire.

Contrary to popular myth, it is not known how the Sphinx lost its nose. There are sketches of the Sphinx without a nose in 1737, over 60 years before Napoleon reached Egypt. The only known person to have damaged it was an Islamic cleric, Sa'im al-dahr, who was lynched in 1378 for his vandalism.

Also contrary to popular belief, excavated skeletons show that at least some pyramid builders were actually Egyptians, not foreign slaves, some of whom were permanent employees of the pharaoh, and others peasant farmers employed after the growing season.

List of CitiesEdit

Founding Order City Name Notes
1 Thebes Greek name for the Egyptian city of Waset; religious center
2 Memphis Near the Pyramids, ceremonial city often used for prolific burials (such as those of Pharaohs) and celebrations; actual capital of Egypt
3 Heliopolis Greek name for the city of Iunu; ancient city near Cairo
4 Elephantine An island in the Nile River, part of modern Aswan, Egypt
5 Alexandria Major historical port city, home of Great Library and Great Lighthouse
6 Pi-Ramesses City built by Ramesses II that served as his de facto capital
7 Giza The third largest city in modern Egypt
8 Byblos Shared with city-states list, not buildable if they are in the game
9 Akhetaten Ancient city in the Amarna site; abandoned after the death of its namesake
10 Hieraconpolis Greek name for Nekhen
11 Abydos Capital of ancient Upper Egypt
12 Asyut Near the modern city of the same name
13 Avaris Ancient city in the Nile Delta; absorbed into Pi-Ramesses
14 Lisht Modern village near the ancient city of el-Lisht
15 Buto Now Tell al-Fara’in near Desouk, Egypt
16 Edfu Also known as Behdet in ancient times, now a modern city on the Nile
17 Pithom The exact location is uncertain; was also called Heroonopolis and Per-Atum
18 Busiris The name of several ancient cities in Upper and Middle Egypt
19 Kahun The village of the workers that constructed the Pyramids
20 Athribis Greek name for two different ancient Egyptian cities
21 Mendes Greek name for the ancient city of Djedet; known as Tell El-Ruba today
22 Elashmunein El-Ashmunein or Hermopolis in Greek; also the name of a nearby modern town
23 Tanis Greek for the town of Djanet
24 Bubastis Greek for the town of Per-Bast, now known as Tell Basta
25 Oryx Now the city of Minya, Egypt
26 Sebennytus Ancient city in Lower Egypt
27 Akhmin Modern city; ancient city was known as Khent-min
28 Karnak Karnak Temple Complex
29 Luxor Modern city formerly known as Thebes
30 El Kab Area that includes the city of Nekhen (Hieraconpolis)
31 Armant A modern and ancient city near Thebes
32 Balat Modern city built over an ancient site
33 Ellahun El-Lahun; a workers village for the Senusret II Pyramid
34 Kom Medinet Ghurab An ancient city in Middle Egypt
35 Hawara An archaeological site at the entrance to the Fayyum Oasis
36 Dashur A necropolis known for the Dashur Pyramids
37 Raqote A small settlement where Alexandria was founded
38 Damanhur A modern and ancient city
39 Merimde The name of the predynastic Egyptian culture or the site they occupied
40 Abusir Archaeological site near Cairo, Egypt
41 Herakleopolis Roman name for Nen-nesu
42 Akoris Greek for the modern city of Tihna al-Gabal
43 Benihasan Beni Hasan is an ancient Egyptian cemetery
44 Tasa The name of the site where the predynastic Tasain culture existed
45 Badari The name of the site where the predynastic Badarian culture existed
46 Hermopolis The site of ancient Khum, near modern El Ashmunein
47 Amrah El Amrah is an ancient cemetery in Egypt
48 Negade The process of Egyptian unification started in ancient Nagada
49 Koptos Greek for the city of Qift, Egypt
50 Hermonthis Greek for the city of Armant
51 Ombos Alternative name of the city of Naqada
52 Aniba The Tomb of Aniba
53 Soleb An ancient town in Nubia, or a necropolis
54 Semna A region in ancient Nubia
55 Amara The archaeological site that contains Akhetaten

Related achievements

Steam achievement Amongst the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka (Civ5)
Amongst the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka
Beat the game on any difficulty setting as Ramesses II.
Steam achievement Riddle of the Sphinx (Civ5)
Riddle of the Sphinx
Rush a wonder as Egypt with a Great Engineer.