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Circumcision in Egypt: from 3000 BC

Circumcision of boys before puberty is an established ritual in Egypt. It seems to have been reserved at first for priests, later spreading to kings and warriors, and eventually to the whole population. Many symbolic reasons have been suggested for the choice of circumcision as an important rite of passage, and hygiene may well have played a part. But such explanations are at best informed guesses.

The example of ancient Egypt will have wide influence in later centuries through the spread of Judaism and Islam. Both will adopt circumcision as a ritual of religious significance.

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