The Cinderella Story in Ancient Egypt
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The Egyptian Cinderella

Egyptian sandal

Rhodopis was a girl from ancient Greece, who as a child was sold into slavery in Egypt. In Egypt, the other slaves made fun of Rhodopis because she looked different, with her blue eyes and white skin. Rhodopis (row-DOPP-iss) was very unhappy with no friends and everyone making fun of her all the time.

One day, when Rhodopis was taking a bath, an eagle grabbed one of her sandals and flew with it to Memphis, a big city in Egypt, where the Pharaoh was holding court as a judge in an open area. When the eagle got to the Pharaoh, he dropped Rhodopis' sandal right into the Pharaoh's lap.

The Pharaoh thought this must be a sign from the gods, and he thought the sandal must belong to a wonderful girl. He sent his slaves all around Egypt to look for the girl who owned that sandal. When they found Rhodopis in Naucratis, they brought her to Memphis, and she became the Pharaoh's wife.

Another version of Cinderella from ancient China
Another version of Cinderella from ancient India

More stories from Ancient Egypt:

Tales of Ancient Egypt, by Roger Lancelyn Green

Hieroglyphs
Papyrus
A project with hieroglyphs
Other Ancient Egypt projects
More about ancient Egypt
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Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.
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