The Karnak Temple attack takes us back 5,000 years.
As well as protecting Egypt’s borders from foreign menaces, the pharaohs, from time to time, turned on the Egyptians themselves.
Occasionally the king was compelled to suppress violent rebellions or deal with regional governors with ideas of independence.
The strongest pharaohs often led their men onto the battlefield; central to the king’s role was to prove themselves to the gods as confident, victorious warriors.
Pictured is a detail from the Narmer Palette, now in the Egyptian Museum. It comes from the very dawn of Egyptian civilization, around 3,100 BC.
Here Narmer, king of Upper Egypt, smites the enemies of the Delta marshlands and dedicates his captives to the gods. In this way he captures northern Egypt, unites the country and lays the foundations for an empire.
It is sad that 5,000 years later, violent divisions still rock Egypt.
You are probably aware today's suicide bombing attempt in the car park at Karnak Temple that was bravely foiled by the local police. Thankfully no-one but the militants were seriously injured,
Karnak Temple is still open, and naturally security has been beefed-up in order to safeguard the temple and its visitors.
I’m sure we all wish for the current strife in Egypt to be resolved peacefully soon – and see less Egyptians resorting to violence and turning on their countrymen.