Battle of the Pyramids
Battle of Pyramids
The Battle of the Pyramids rages on
Location On the Giza Plateau, near the Pyramids of Giza[1]
Date 21 July 1798[1]
War French Revolutionary Wars; French invasion of Egypt[1]
Outcome French victory[1]
France First French Republic[1]
Napoleon Bonaparte[1]
About 20,000
About 30,000[1]
About 30
About 3000

The Battle of the Pyramids, also known as the Battle of Embabeh, was a battle that took place near the Pyramids of Giza during the French invasion of Egypt. The First French Republic, led by Napoleon Bonaparte, marched towards Cairo, Egypt, but were intercepted by Mamluks around nine miles from the Pyramids. The battle resulted in a victory for the French, and ended Mamluk rule in Egypt.


By taking a circuitous route from Malta on 19 June, Napoleon escaped the English fleet that was in search of him, and landed safely at Marabou, in Egypt on 1 July. The Mamluks, who then ruled Egypt, were unprepared for defense. Alexandria was immediately taken and occupied, and the march was then resumed for Cairo. Proclamations in Arabic were circulated among the people, purporting that the object of Bonaparte's expedition was to deliver the Egyptians from the tyranny of their masters; that he respected God, his prophet, and the Koran a great deal more than did the Mamluks; and he appealed, in proof that he was no Christian, to the overthrow of the Pope.[1]


At Chebreisse, the Mamluks delivered their first attacks, but could make no impression on the French square strategy Napoleon was employing. Ascending the Nile to the apex of the Delta, Bonaparte learned that the Mamluks, under their Bey, with Arabs, amounting in all to 30,000 men, were entrenched between Embabeh and Giza in the plain of the Pyramids, opposite Cairo. Bonaparte animated his soldiers before the attack by pointing to the Pyramids, reminding them that forty centuries looked down upon them. In spite of the desperate valour displayed by the Mamluks, led by Murad Bey, the French gained a complete victory on 21 July. This battle overthrew the government of the Mamluks and opened Cairo to the French, which capital they entered on the following day.[1]


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 Dyer, Thomas H. "Battle of the Pyramids." The History of Modern Europe: from the Fall of Constantinople, in 1453, to the War in the Crimea. Vol. 4. London: John Murrat, 1864. 303-04. Print.

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Battles of the French campaign in Egypt and Syria
Battle of Pyramids
Shubra KhitPyramidsNileRevolt of CairoSiege of El ArishSiege of JaffaSiege of AcreMount Tabor1st AboukirHeliopolis2nd AboukirAlexandriaSiege of CairoSiege of Alexandria
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