Ancient Egyptian Demonology. Studies on the Boundaries between the Demonic and the Divine in Egyptian Magic by P. Kousoulis (Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta: Peeters) In the Egyptian context, what we term magic and demon, drawing on our own cultural heritage, are not seen as negative aspects of cultural practice and conceptualisation. Similarly, the Egyptian equivalents do not carry the pejorative connotations borne by the modern terms and their Greek antecedents; magic and demons can be forces for good as well as evil. Indeed, the practice of magic and the conceptualisation of personified demonic agents are central to the Egyptian understanding of the workings of the world from the very continuation of the cosmos itself down to the vicissitudes of existence faced by individuals. In particular, the broader practice of magic and articulation of the involvement of demonic agency form one of the crucial links in Ancient Egypt between individual existence on the human level and the level of nature or the cosmos, the realm of the gods. Unlike, though, the explicit recognition of the term demon in the ancient Greek language and religion, as the intermediary between god and mortals, the majority of the demonic names in the Egyptian literature do not possess an apparent ontological essence, or a clearly defined denotation. Their characteristics and role depended momentously on the verbal and performative ritual environment they were part of. The relation between the name of a demon and its cosmic-natural personification is not contradictory as it may seem, but it is closely interwoven in a well established ritual framework of words and actions. This multi-authored volume of 10 essays comprises an up-to-date authorization account of many aspects of ancient Egyptian demonology, including the multiple persona of the demonic or name vs. identity in the Egyptian formation of the demonic, nightmares and underworld demons, dream rituals and magic, categories of demonic entities and the vague distinction between the divine and the demonic in Egyptian cosmology and ritual, the theological and demonic aspects of Egyptian magic, demons as reflections of human society. Contributors include Paul John Frandsen, Hedvig Gyory, Joachim Friedrich Quack, Yvan Koenig, Panagiotis Kousoulis, Alan Lloyd, Robert Ritner, Alessandro Roccati, Kasia Szpakowska and Penelope Wilson.
"That is not dead which can eternal lie. And with strange aeons even death may die".
The practice of magic and the conceptualisation of personified demonic agents are central to the Egyptian understanding of the workings of the world from the very continuation of the cosmos itself down to the vicissitudes of existence faced by individuals. In particular, both magic and the articulation of the involvement of demonic agency form one of the crucial links in ancient Egypt between individual existence on the human level and the level of nature or the cosmos, the realm of the gods. But while the notion of magic, heka, has a clear denotation in the Egyptian language and ideology, free from all pejorative connotations that borne by modern terms and are so attached to the Western European under-stating of the term magic, a generic term for the demonic is completely lacking. The words "demon" and "demonology" as it is used in contemporary English (and also as its cognates "Dämon", "démon", "demone" and "demonio", for example, are used in contemporary German, French, Italian, and Spanish respectively) are drawing on our own, Judaeo-Christian, cultural heritage and are seen as negative aspects of cultural conceptualisation and practice. To what extent such a negatively polarized term can be safely assigned to denote and describe diverse attitudes and roles in the Egyptian cultural environment? Moreover, what would the criteria be for the formation of a category or categories of beings that could be mapped together and systemised to become a "demonology", especially when the majority of them do not possess an apparent ontological essence or a clearly defined denotation in the Egyptian belief system? To put in another way, what are the causes for the genesis and formation of the demonic in Egyptian thought that there is no need for a concrete terminology to be conceptualised as such? For the scope of this brief introduction, these questions can only be touched upon here and they will be fully discussed in a separate study.
The root for own word "demon" is the Greek term (daimon). Although there is no systemised demonological treatise before Plato, the word is already found in Homer, where it is a vaguer equivalent for a divine being of any kind. Also in Hesiod, the men of the golden race after death received a special function and "they are called pure spirits dwelling on earth, and are kindly, delivering from harm, and guardians of mortal men" (Works 122-123). There are numerous ("ten thousand spirits") and watch over the living all over the earth (Works 252-253). According to Empedocles, daimones are "demi-gods, fugitives from the gods and wanderers" (fr. B 115). This sporadic attestation of the demonic finds its most explicit denotation in Plato's dialogues and the work of his successors, Phillippus of Opus and Xenocrates of Chalcedon. Plato derives the word "connoisseur" (Cratylus 397c4- 398c5) and regards it as "a great spirit between divine and mortal, inter-preting and transporting human things to the gods and divine things to men" (Symposium 202d-e). Puillippus of Opus, elaborates further this idea by mapping a cosmic system of five spheres—fire, aether, earth, air, water, earth—and placing demons between the second and the third of these domains as "interpreters of all things, to one another and to the highest gods" (Epinomis 985b1-3). Along the same lines, Xenocrates of Chalcedon moves a step further and differentiates between good and wicked demons, an idea which influenced later demonological systematisations, most importantly among them that of Apuleius in De deo Socratis. Apuleius daimones' characteristic and role as "mediators" between gods and mortals (Ch. 13) and, also, draws a distinction between two classes of daimones, one being subject to incorporation and the other has been created as such (Ch. 15-16).
Thus, Greek daimones could be any number of far less powerful entities, including special souls of dead who had been elevated to positions of power as a reward for their good behavior while alive. They are occasionally regarded as gods, for example in Hesiod, but more often, as in Plato, they acted as mediums between the divine and the mundane world. In both cases there exists a clear terminological attestation alongside with the god category. Methodologically, here, it is reasonable to use a comparative method. If demons do exist and interfere with the living world in ancient Egypt, Egyptian demons are not going to be materially or conceptually different from ancient Greek daimones. Such an approach defines a demon simply as an individual spiritual entity that humans may meet, and with which personal interaction is possible. However, to the clear definition of the "god- category" (ntrIntrt), no axiomatic term exists to involve all aspects of the demonic idiosyncrasy. Egyptian demons are usually understood by Egyptologists as "minor divinities", assistants to superior powers, or agents of chaos and evi1. It is probably a convenient research method to classify the demonic according to function and role (e.g. apotropaic, protective, benign, malicious) or according to certain iconographical features (e.g. monstrosity), but the overall picture will be flawed if we do not take into account the inexorable mixing of positive and negative attitudes within a single demonic identity.
Although certain criteria that distinguish divine from demonic entities occasionally exist, as Frandsen points out in his contribution, diversity and multiplicity of names and forms are not idiomatic privileges of the demonic but they have been taken after the exemplar within the society of the divine. The most striking prototype is that of Seth, whose malevolent nature as the rival of Horus, is appeased by protective attributes towards Re and against Apophis, or that of Bes/Beset who seems to operate in the luminal areas of transformation between the human/animal on the one hand and the devine/demonic on the other. In a similar fashion, the trans-formation plague-bearing demons, "the seven arrows," translated also as "demons of decease", "knife-bearers", "murderers" and "nightly spirits"), the term for demons used in this passage, loosed at the critical turn of the New Year, are minions of Sakhmet, whose baleful influence threatens deities and mankind alike. Demonic beings could even appear in personal names compositions and conceptualised the way human society is formed."
What actually prevails in the written and archaeological record that survives from ancient Egypt, is lists of demonic names, epithets, hypostases, manifestations and acts of contact or interference in highly contextualised way. For pharaonic Egypt the list provides the character-istic framework of knowing; the whole is defined as the list of its part. "Listing" as a literary technique penetrates every aspect of Egyptian thought and knowledge, including knowledge and definition of god, ritual, science. Its contribution was crucial to the understanding of any theological or ontological issue, without the need of any further narrative or verbalistic explanation. For the demonic discourse, especially, this finds its best exemplification in the funerary corpus of the Book of the Dead genre, where individual demons and collective forces of entities are listed in a variety of attitudes and roles that range from protective, as guardians and apotropaic figures, to malicious and vice versa, in the abundance of the demonic names that lack any ontological denotation in the Oracular Amuletic Decrees of the Twenty-first Dynasty, in the Apophian hypostases and personae in the P. Bremner Rhind of the Late Period, or in the door-guardians of the Ptolemaic temples, just to mention a few representative examples of such demonic compilations. Thorough investigation of the contextual materialisation of the demonic is crucial in classifying (= analysis) and interpreting (= synthesis) the demonic idiosyncrasy in ancient Egypt.
Thus, extreme caution should be exercised when foreign terms, like our modem word "demon", carrying specific values within a certain local and cultural environment are employed to describe Egyptian notions of a diverse and multidimensional nature. They have different connotations in different contexts, scholarly and popular, and are therefore liable to be misleading or completely inappropriate in certain circumstances and local environments. Egyptian demonic entities could be either beneficent or maleficent whereas "demons" in our modern sense are almost always maleficent, either because of personal grudges they bear their victims or because they are the factotums of evil powers such as Satan. To frame the issue posed by the questions in the beginning of this introduction in another way, the question that needs to be the focus of future research on the subject is not "What is an Egyptian demon? ", but "When is an Egyptian demon?" In his article, Frandsen has proved quite convincingly that, at least for one category of "evil" phenomena – that of being bwt – manipulation is the key to understand why a person or thing could be temporally assigned with bwt or not. Bwt is not a quality, but intrinsic to things, material or immaterial, as part of their own nature from the time of creation. Since creation was not a static process, but it was re-enacted and renewed every day by the king and the priests within a proper sacramental environment, this creator-giving property of bwt could be manipulated in each case.
Manipulation through ritual performance is the key to unlock the multifarious character and role of the demonic in the Egyptian belief system. Instead of searching for static representatives of good or evil, we should look at certain literary and iconographical devises of the Egyptian craft —puns and paranomasia, homophony, alliteration and wordplays on meaning, just to name a few—, which are well known from the funerary texts of the Old Kingdom and continued to be an important feature of funerary and temple texts until the end of the Egyptian language, when Coptic magical texts continued the tradition, and are equally employed for manipulating and exposing the demonic within different ritual frameworks. The inner magical mechanism of the latter, especially through the exploitation of sounds and recited formulae, artificially creates and manipulates names and, thus, divine or demonic beings, since the former are indelibly connected to the essence of the latter.
The contributors to this volume were aware of the fact that both magic and demon are value-loaded concepts and that an in depth knowledge of their nature could only be achieved if both notions are placed within their own temporal and cultural framework. They take into account the diverse character and agency of the demonic and to oppose the idea of the predominance of the negative characteristics in it, which has been determined by the arrogant, mainly Christian, concept of primitive religious concepts and ethics developing into higher forms of religiosity in postChristian times. Similarly, the opposition between magic and religion and the faulty idea of a linear development from magic to ever higher forms of religion that characterized most anthropological and historical studies of religion since the seminal work of James George Frazer in 1900 is clearly refuted. Despite, however, the inappropriateness of the word "demon" to describe the entities on whom this volume focuses, some cognates words, such as "demonic" (the totality of malign characteristics or roles of these spiritual entities) and "demonology" (the whole complex of such beliefs in the Egyptian culture), are used as convenient ways of expressing ideas that otherwise would require elaborate periphrasis.
This collective volume of essays on ancient Egyptian demonology and magic owes its origins to the first symposium on Egyptology ever held in Greece. This memorable gathering of scholars took place on the island of Rhodes in July 2003. The symposium was sponsored by the Department of Mediterranean Studies of the University of the Aegean, the Hellenic Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs, and the Metaekdotiki Publishers, and was organized by Dr. Mark Collier (University of Liverpool) and myself. In accordance with the thematic sessions of the Symposium, this volume is divided in two sections: the first explores the nature and hypostases of the demonic in theology and magic, the reflections of demons in the Egyptian society, and the demonic interference in dreams. The second section presents new insights at Egyptian magic and magical texts, rituals and apotropaic objects. Each article offers a specific perspective and all cover a wide span of time.
In his paper, ROBERT RITNER examines the close interaction between otherworldly forces of destruction and benefaction as exemplified by the term khyt. Translated variously as "inspiration", "fury" and "curse", the word is specifically linked to Heka and other deities in magical contexts
that often suggest a state comparable to demonic "possession". Examples survive in Late Egyptian, Demotic and Coptic texts, with comparable expressions in late Coptic curses. Like their Demotic antecedents, these spells inflict their force on the accidental reader of the lines. The author emphasizes the ambiguous nature of divine force which may be both hostile (demonic) and beneficent (divine). Some parallel contexts in which gods and demons are listed as comparable hostile forces are also mentioned.
Keeping our focus on the diverse nature of the demonic, PAUL JOHN FRANDSEN addresses the category "demon" from the vantage point of "reversal" and discusses the so-called reversal text in the Coffin Texts. The expression of danger in these texts, whether phrased in negative or, less frequently perhaps, positive formulae, was an attempt to convince the deceased that his salvation was dependent on his belief that life beyond death was a reversal of the world of the living. The deceased is, in these texts, constantly enticed into accepting reversals as the norm. In a similar manner, the deceased must distinguish between the heka, magic, that he must acquire or be transformed into, and the heka, magic, of the beings of the otherworld to which he should not respond. The danger described in these texts was very real, and apparently so imminent, that it would seem hazardous to have a spell begin with a dialogue, even though a discourse organized around the assumption of a co-present participant can be shown to be the matrix for all these texts.
KARA SZPAICOWSKA examines demons' nocturnal attributes and char-acteristics and their interference with the living through dreams. The dream in ancient Egypt functioned as a liminal zone between the land of the living and the farworld. However, the dream was also a phenomenon over which the dreamer had little control, and its permeable boundaries allowed both the divine and the demonic inhabitants of the beyond access to the visible world. Sometimes the result was a positive beneficial experience, as is attested in New Kingdom royal texts and elite hymns that relate the awe-inspiring contact a dreamer could have with a god or a goddess. But another more disturbing belief was that dreams could also allow the vulnerable sleeper to be watched or even assaulted by the hostile dead. While today we call these events "anxiety dreams" or "night-mares" and consider them psychological phenomena, the Egyptians blamed them on external monsters or demons crossing over from the other side. These entities included the dead, and here it appears that the line between the justified transfigured dead and the malevolent unjustified dead might not have been an immutable one. Drawing upon both textual and material evidence primarily from the New Kingdom, SZPAKOWSKA explores the identity and nature of the hostile entities who dared to disturb the sleep of the living. Surviving spells, prescriptions, and apotropaic devices attest to the prevalent fear of nightmares and nocturnal enemies, while the intricate steps one could take to ensure safety in the night emphasize the tangible nature of these fears. To protect them-selves against the dreadful demons of the dark, sleeping mortals could access the same potent energies that restored order and kept at bay the chaotic enemies of the sun-god himself.
The multiple visualisation of the demonic is also addressed by PENELOPE WILSON, who focuses in this case on the practice of masking for ritual and ceremonial purposes in Egypt, which is attested from the earliest times and continued to be an element of ritual practice into the Roman period. Though masking was used primarily in the performance of ritual, the actual reasons behind it and the underlying implications of the mask have not been explored in much detail. The author of the pre-sent chapter explores some of the issues relating to masking in Egypt. If a ritual is to be seen as the performance of an actor, which takes the actor and other players into another sphere, then what is the role of the mask in this drama? The mask enables the actor to be identified as another being, be it an animal, demon or person, and to take on the power of that person in the ritual. In its own right and when used with the correct words and gestures the mask will transform and empower a person into another identity. In this new role, they are then capable of carrying out actions which may be outside the normal realm of acceptable behaviour or which are only possible in another sphere of existence. It is partly the visible appearance of the person and, therefore, the mask, which allows this to happen. 'The person behind it is hidden and cannot be made responsible for the actions they carry out. This may be partly because they are "hidden", partly because they "become someone/-thing else" and partly because once revealed, the old persona can be discarded. The whole process may rep-resent a process of transformation for the actor as well of enabling him or her to perform the ritual. WILSON looks at the ritual role of masking, simply to highlight it as a neglected area of study and goes on to look at understanding how the ideas behind masking can open up ways of approaching 'masks' in two other areas. The most obvious of these is perhaps in the way in which the gods themselves are depicted. Do the gods wear masks or is the animal-headed deity simply taking on the qualities of the animal chosen. If they are masked - who or what are the beings wearing the masks? Are they human or are they divine creatures, not meant to be revealed to ordinary eyes? The other masked realm is that of the dead who are given masks at death, the most notable example being the funerary mask of Tutankhamun. Do the masks in these con-texts hide the real "dead" form of a person and transform them into the newly born ka in the afterlife? The masks in this case may again represent the means of transformation and the image of what will result. In this case the funerary masks have a real function rather than just being idealised portraits of the dead. The underlying transforming powers of the mask may be relevant to the images in sculpture and relief. The issue of portraiture could be rendered totally irrelevant if these "masks", these images are simply the necessary means to transform the person behind the mask.
Another aspect of the demonic identity, seen as reflection of human society, is presented by ALESSANDRO ROCCATI. The divine world was organised following the patterns of mankind, so that evidence related to it supplements what is known about the human world. This subject is tested in the frame of some papyri kept in the Egyptian Museum of Turin and dated to the Ramesside period. The first of these concerns the well-known Apopis book, which reminds of rituals performed against the opponents of the pharaoh's rule. This text has a long history and inserting it in its effective environment may convey some additional meaning. Another magical book of the same period bears on the language current among people in the lower class. Actually the magician introduced a distinction according to whether he addressed the gods or the demons. Both features can enlighten a particular stage in the development of the ancient Egyptian culture, and it is argued about the nature of language, the restrictions concerning talks about folks of different standing, the relation between human beings and the others, from the animals to the superior beings. The search for order and organisation was probably a late trend and represents a further step towards the knowledge of the world, even in its hidden aspects. From the New Kingdom onwards, we may also observe the growth of a different divine society consisting of a lower layer and ordered according to a peculiar pattern, opposed as such to the traditional level of the heavenly gods, or "great gods" as they used to be defined thereafter.
The articles of the second section deal with Egyptian magic and the cosmication of the world, focusing especially on certain sources that define the boundaries between the divine and the demonic in magic. ALLAN LLOYD attempts to identify the extent to which Greek literary discussions of Egyptian "magical" activity accurately reflect the realities of Egyptian belief and practice. Firstly, he constructs a model which postulates (a) a correlation between perceptions of divinity and areas of fear/anxiety/the uncanny, (b) a major role for the gods in a society's cosmicizing of its world, and (c) a correlation between the character and modus operandi of society and those of the gods. Then, he examines the Egyptian concept of the gods and the world order, which embodies a view of the god as a being characterized by power, immanence, dependence, anthropomorphized behaviour, mutability of form, a capacity for communication, and finally as occupying a critically important position in a continuum of being. LLOYD argues that this concept of a continuum of being, which may be defined in terms of varying degrees of power and capacity, is crucial to an understanding of the way in which the Egyptians mapped their world and came to terms with it. Within this world there is no such thing as a concept of the natural order, which can be contravened or transgressed, and there is no such thing as the supernatural. It is a world of limitless possibilities, which range from the normalities of human experience to the highly unusual, but all are part of one spectrum of possible phenomena. For most Egyptians their capacities lay at the normal end of the spectrum, but for those with knowledge of words and actions of power, the range of the possible is infinitely greater. These are the masters of heka, and they are persons of great prestige who can even feature in tradition as kings. The author supports a clear differentiation between the mageia, or whatever term Greeks used, and heka. The former covers a phenomenon which is only sharply defined in the fifth century BC, and it is clearly regarded as a secretive and reprehensible activity which is to be avoided and shunned by right-thinking people. It is seen as an activity interrupting the course of nature, which frequently involves coercion of the gods and is, therefore, impious. The context of the activity is, therefore, seen in quite different terms from that of heka, and the perception and status of the practitioner in Egypt and Greece are quite different. These Greek concepts were passed on to Rome and have become basic to the Western concept of "magic". The author makes it clear that the disparities between Egyptian heka and Greek and post-Greek "magic" are so great that the use of the term "magic" in Egyptian contexts is quite inappropriate. The present chap-ter concludes with the discussion of a series of Classical texts, including Herodotus, Virgil, Thessalus of Tralles, Josephus, Lucian, Apuleius, Pseudo-Callisthenes, Porphyry and Heliodorus, in order to identify the extent to which these texts present Greek or Egyptian perceptions of such activities.
The next two chapters deal more precisely with certain magical material and practices. YVAN KOENIG presents the context of the papyrus Louvre E32308. The papyrus' paleography betrays that for the edition of this text the scribe has been inspired by the fore text of Turin's magical papyrus. But, instead of copying it, he has been using graphical and phonetical amphibologies. These phenomena of intertextuality shed new lights on the creation of magical texts.
JOACHIM FRIEDRICH QUACK returns back to the world of dreams from a ritual perspective, commenting on Egyptian rituals of dream-sending. Although dreams play an important part in ancient Egyptian civilisation, as Szpakowska demonstrated previously, it is only from very late sources that we have attested rituals for sending dreams to other persons. Most come from one single source, the Demotic papyrus Louvre E3229. They can be augmented by some Greek-language magical texts as well as the literary reflections in the Greek Alexander romance. The Demotic texts have been edited only comparatively recently, and the edition did not cover the questions of content in detail. These sources have not been used in the egyptological discussion about dreams. Quack's paper addresses that material in detail. The normal technique of the dream-sending rituals is to get a spirit interested in performing the trick. He goes to the per-son concerned and appears to her in a dream, normally disguised as her favourite god. The message he transmits is, of course, not really from the gods but intended to further the personal interests of the ritualist or his client. Normally it aims at economic gains or a love affair. One question will be the historical dimension. To which degree can the Roman-period manuals be seen as reflections of a longer tradition? Given that dreams were taken rather serious, that is not inherently implausible. Besides, the language and script of the source itself can contribute. Although the Louvre papyrus is basically in late Demotic, there is a very conspicuous use of hieratic sections and more traditional language in parts of the rituals. This points to an earlier origin of at least parts of the spells. With their emphasis on private gains, the dream-sendings certainly were not part of the normal public ritual activities of a temple. Still, the use of Egyptian script (especially hieratic) at such a late date points to priestly affiliations of the user of the manuscript. Besides, the contents reflect strongly on traditional temple rituals. For example, there is a manual rite which closely mimics the confection of a Khoiak figurine. Discussing the identity and concepts of the actual performers might help to clarify the thorny question of the relation of Egyptian magic to religion.
HEDVIG GYÓRY discusses some aspects of magic in Egyptian medicine and the use of a special category of apotropaic objects, the Pataikos-amulets. There are many good examples to show the ancient Egyptian medical view, that the physical or chemical therapies themselves were not thought to be enough to achieve a positive result in health state. Ancient Egyptians needed to have the support also of the divine power. Their explanation is clear, as the general indisposition, urmatural alterations in the body or spirit, wounds or maladies were finally the consequences of the effects or penetration of malign human, animal or demonic/divine beings. Of course, the antidote had to have some similar power: Egyptian healers asked in various ways for the support of benign supernatural beings, called as diverse deities. According to the Ebers papyrus ch. 1, it was Ra and Neith who gave the ability to cure as "protection" to the physician, in other texts the medicine man identified himself with Horus or Isis, or claimed to have his power from Hathor, Chnum, Imhotep or other gods. He benefited from their help during manual treatments as well as during the preparation or application of the medicaments. Whatever type of method he used, his aim was always to restore the earlier, ordered world of the patient, the realisation of the ma'at. The disturbers of this personal order were mostly connected to Seth and his associates. This phenomenon can be seen not only in the pregnancy and delivery problems, or in the cure of the snakebites, but also e.g. at the immobilised mouth of a patient or at some eye-diseases. The theological background is completely evident in the words and hints of the medical texts, and — according to GYÓRY - it takes also shape in the dull lists of prescriptions as e.g. Eb. 365: "Another one to stop the malady in the eye: faeces of pelican 1, Lower-Egyptian salt 1, incense 1, to make them in one thing and put this in the inner part of the eye." The material medical they used fulfilled namely two different requirements: beside to be an effective substance they had to contain also the magical power for curing. The same healing power could be intermediated, however, also by specific acts and speeches or specially initiated objects. These last ones were mostly amulets, fabricated in a geographically and temporally given design, describing the aim by iconographical patterns.
Praising the Goddess: A Comparative and Annotated Re-Edition of Six Demotic Hymns and Praises Addressed to Isis by Holger Kockelmann (Archiv Fur Papyrusforschung Und Verwandte Gebiete - Beihefte: DeGruyter) In recent decades, the relation between Egyptian and Greek praises of the goddess Isis has received much scholarly attention. The present study, however, focuses on six Demotic hymns and praises directed to this goddess: P. Heidelberg dem. 736 verso, O. Hor 10, Theban Graffiti 3156, 3462, 3445, and P. Tebt. Tait 14. These texts from the second century BC to the second century AD are re-edited in facsimile, transliteration and translation. A commentary to each document discusses philological matters, providing improved readings in some instances. For the first time, the six texts are analyzed comparatively in regard to formal features and content. The concept of Isis that is outlined by the Demotic sources is set against Isis' role as described by other Egyptian sources (such as temple inscriptions or theophoric personal names) and by Greek eulogies of the goddess. An appendix offers an overview of other Demotic hymns and praises addressed to various divinities.
Although the six demotic texts, which have been re-edited and commented here, are of rather different nature, provenience, and date, their intention is the same: they wish to extol the goddess Isis by referring to her beneficial and merciful deeds and by enumerating her titles and epithets, which allude to various facets of her inner nature. The two aspects of Isis that dominate the demotic hymns and praises as a group are clearly Isis' role as a queen and universal deity and her function as a divine saviour. The aspect of the goddess as patron and protector is one of the most prominent in the Graeco-Roman Period. It seems to be found less frequently in official theology than in private devotion.
For the majority of the 'demotic' Isiac epithets and titles there exist direct equivalents in other Egyptian religious texts and very similar conceptions in the Greek praises.' We find a considerable quantity of parallel material especially for Isis' aforementioned main characteristics 'ruler and universal goddess' and `(ever-listening) saviour goddess', aspects which she adopted during the later phases of Egyptian religion. The more general and common titles of her are also well-documented in hieroglyphic and other Egyptian sources, and in some cases even in the Greek praises. For the identification of Isis as Sothis, for instance, many striking parallels are attested both in other Egyptian texts and in Greek compositions. The same is the case for Isis in her role as the creator of prosperity. Specific local titles of the goddess are exceptional and occur only in one of the six demotic texts (p. 70, § 32); until now, they appear to be unparalleled.
Moreover, also some of the formal features can be traced without difficulties in other and even in much older Egyptian compositions and in a few instances also in Greek prayers and hymns. Hence the 'Six Demotic Hymns and Praises Addressed to Isis' prove to reflect both traditional elements and new developments of the later Egyptian religion whose ideas spread far beyond the borders of the country.
House of the Hidden Places & the Book of the Master by W. Marsham Adams (Ibis Publishing: Nicolas-Hays) In The House of the Hidden Places, first published in 1895, Adams clearly lays out evidence that the Great Pyramid in Giza corresponds architecturally to the initiation ritual detailed in the Egyptian Book of the Dead (which Adams preferred to call what he felt was its rightful title, The Book of the Master). The House of the Hidden Places was the first book to go beyond the current speculations on the astronomical purpose of the pyramid to reveal its deeper meaning. The Book of the Master, first published in 1898, is an in-depth exploration of the religious beliefs of the Ancient Egyptians. His penetrating study revealed startling insights for his day, pointing to the origins of Christian theology as well as those of humanity itself. Long before Dr. Leakey discovered proof of our African origins, Adams theorized, based on his Egyptian studies, that civilization began in Africa, rather than Asia, which was the accepted theory in his time. The work is important for its insights into the influence of Masonic symbolism and ritual on understanding Egyptian religion.
Excerpt: The singular correspondence which may be traced between the passage-chambers of the Grand Pyramidcalled by the Egyptians of old The " Khut," or " Lights "and the various stages traversed, according to the creed of that ancient nation, by the holy dead in passing from the light of earth to the light of eternal day, was first pointed out by me last year in the pages of the New Review. Previously to publication the article was submitted in substance to M. Maspro and Professor Sayce ; and I desire to express my sincere thanks to those eminent authorities for the recognition and encouragement which they afforded me, as well as to Mr. Mengedoht, the hieroglyphic scholar, for
his revision of my work. In the present book the same analogy is worked out in much fuller detailnot completely indeed, for that may well need the labour of years ; but sufficiently, I would hope, to present a clear basis for further investigation in either direction. In the case of the Ritual, we obtain what appears to me to be a consistent and intelligible analysis of that hitherto impenetrable creed, through the gradual transformation of the faculties in successive stages of illumination. With regard to the Pyramid, we are led to suggest a spiritual and most far-sighted purpose for its construction. For in that marvellous edifice, the very stones of which in their silent harmony seem to rebuke the idle charges of folly and pride heaped by ignorance upon the architect, we have nothing less than an indestructible and immutable symbol of the national religion.
The value of the general theory here pro-posed depends therefore, it is evident, uponthe accuracy of the correspondence established, or sought to be established, between the path so jealously concealed within the interior of the Pyramid of Light and the path described textually in the well-known collection of sacred Egyptian writings, which is called by us the " Book of the Dead," but which claims for its own title the " Book of the Master of the Hidden Places." But those points of correspondence are so numerous in themselves, and form so severe, a system of checks upon each other, as to reduce almost to nothing the chance of their arising from mere coincidence ; while no amount of ingenuitythe deadliest perhaps of all opponents to truthcould suffice to satisfy the innumerable conditions connected with the worship, the kalendar, and the civil constitution of the country which such a correspondence must fulfill.
Nor let it be supposed that an inquiry of this kind is merely of archaeological interest,
or that a determination of that early creed can have no greater value than to satisfy an idle curiosity. Very far from it. If there be a fact in the general development of nations which historical research has clearly demonstrated, it is the extreme tenacity of antique belief, and its enduring influence on the organization of society ; since religion, far more than convention, appears to have been the basis of ancient law. Each generation, as it passes, modifies no doubt, but only to a very slight extent, the form of the social bond ; and that not for itself, but for the generation which succeeds. If therefore we would trace more clearly the relation of man in his complex individuality to the yet more complex organism of human society, wherein each individual has his particular function, we cannot do better than examine thoroughly the creed of the earliest civilization on record. And the side-lights which such an investigation will be found to throw on the politicaland social constitution of that remarkable nation, illustrating, in point after point, peculiarities which hitherto have appeared to be anomalies, appear to me to be strong confirmation of the principle I have set forth. More striking still, the religions of other nations of the ancient world become suddenly luminous when held up to the Light of Egypt. And as chord after chord is struck, the full diapason of the creeds responds.
A singular circumstance, which may illustrate this remark, arises from the necessity of expressing the secret analogies between the references to the Light, which abound in the Ritual, and the Hidden Places of the Grand Pyramid, the " Light " of the Egyptian world. For in dealing with the ideas thus masonified, so to speak, in that mysterious structure, I have been led, or rather compelled, to employ phrases and symbols current among the Masonic brotherhood of the present day, such as Grand Arch, Purple Arch, Royal Arch,
the Star, the Open Angle (the princes of which as well as the princes of the Circle, are mentioned in the Papyrus of Sinahit, of very high antiquity), and other insignia of the craft. Whenever therefore such expressions occurand they run necessarily through the entire workit should be remembered that they are here designed to refer to the actual masonry of the Grand Pyramid, and the analogous features in the Ritual of ancient Egypt. At the same time, whether any vestige of this secret doctrine of the Light may survive in the esoteric doctrine of which those subject to Masonic rules are not permitted to speak, is an interesting question which naturally suggests itself, though it evidently cannot be established by open discussion.
The consideration however, which to my own mind tends most strongly to confirm the evidence of a connection between Pyramid and Ritual is, I confess, of a somewhat personal character. For in order to detect such ananalogy, if it be real, the chief qualification requisite is a certain patience in collating and analyzing the results which others have obtained in their respective departments of knowledge. But to call it into existence if not already latent ; to construct in imagination the path of the just, and to express it in terms of the motions of light ; to portray the mystery of the depths unseen by the mystery of the visible heavens, to shadow forth the features of light in the passages of profoundest darkness, and its motions in a building which for ages has remained immutable, that were an intellectual masterpiece which surely demands nothing less than a creative genius of the very loftiest order. So majestic is the outline of the conception as it rises solemnly on the view, so sublime is every feature of the prospect, now defining, now transcending, the utmost limits of space and time ; with such graduated measure, yet such overwhelming splendour, does it illuminate mystery after mystery of the invisible world, that I cannot fora moment believe it to be the offspring of my own imagination. Far more probable does it seem that, though much of the moral and spiritual imagery still remain obscure, yet we have here a genuine clue to the most profound and fascinating enigma of the ancient world ; and that the more closely we study the Path of Light in its Masonic form, the more deeply shall we penetrate the earliest wisdom of which man has left record, and understand the Egyptian belief concerning the dark pas-sage of death and the Entrance on Eternal Day.
Isis Magic by M. Isidora Forrest (Llewellyn Worldwide) Take an experiential spiritual journey into the magical religion of one of the most well-loved Goddesses of all time.
Divine Mother, Mistress of Magic, Goddess of the Green Earth, Queen of the Mysteries, Goddess of Women and Sacred Sexuality, Lady of Hermetic Wisdom . . . Isis Magic begins with a fascinating history of the worship of this many-aspected Lady of Ten Thousand Names. Then apply this information to a four-part initiatory journey through the "House of Isis." Through a series of exercises, meditations, and fully scripted rituals, you will be touched by the Heart of Isis and cultivate your relationship with this powerful, magical, and living Goddess.
On a spiritual level, this process fosters personal growth and self-transformation. On a practical level, you will increase your magical and Priest/esscraft skills as you learn Isiac ways of healing, celebrating the seasons, honoring life passages, practicing divination, and more.
Enter this four-part initiatory journey:
Learn how to "Open the Ways" to Isis
Powerfully connect with tier through special invocations, meditations, and prayers
Celebrate the seasonal rites in honor of the Isis of Nature
Express and heal deep sorrows through ritual
Discover your true purpose in life with the initiatory "Ritual of Knowing What Is in the Heart"
Receive inner guidance by communing with the Goddess and "channeling" Her voice
Learn what modern Priestesses and Priests say about their relationship with Isis
My Heart My Mother by Alison Roberts explores the pivotal place of the fiery serpentine goddess, Hathor-Sekhmet, in the mysteries of Osiris, the Egyptian god of the dead. Taking up with the reconstruction of traditional Egyptian religion after the aborted cultic innovations of Akhenaten in the 14 century BCE. My Heart My Mother weaves together myths, rituals and temple art. Roberts recreates the craft world of ancient Memphis, with its heart-centered religion and vitalizing feminine divinities. Her account, a sequal to her previous Hathor Rising: The Serpent Power of Ancient Egypt, represents an imaginative departure from the more turgid accounts of most academic Egyptology. The author reveals the rich and complex temple life of New Kingdom Egypt in a compelling account of the soul's return to primal origins in the Ancestor Ritual, a little known royal death and rebirth ceremony. Well grounded in a close study of documents, art and temple art Roberts approach is some of the most exciting work available about Egyptian religion. It is a shame that the academic establishment seems invested in ignoring or deploring such an important effort.
My Heart My Mother breaks new ground with its analysis of Egyptian sacred architecture. Seti I's temple at Abydos is shown to be an image of heaven, built to correspond with the cosmic maps of living and dying depicted on the remarkable Nut ceilings in Theban royal tombs. Each part of the Abydos temple is a focus for transformation in the ancestral rites.
Despite great social changes this heart wisdom continued long after the rule of the Pharaohs ended. The book traces its profound influence in alchemy, presenting fresh evidence to support the alchemists' own belief in the Egyptian roots of their tradition. This approach to Egyptian religion should be a keen interest to any who want od deeper grasp of Egyptian religion. Highly recommended.
Alison Roberts studied ancient Egyptian and Akkadian at the University of Oxford. Since then she has written and lectured on ancient Egypt. She is also the author of Hathor Rising: The Serpent Power of Ancient Egypt.
The Search for God in Ancient Egypt by Jan Assmann (Cornell University Press) (PAPERBACK) provides a fresh synthesis of the main characteristics of Egyptian religion. Unlike the more hermetically minded scholars, Assmann sticks to the records as preserved and seamlessly drawing on current religious theories about how cults function and the divine presence is ritualized the strangeness and beauty of Egyptian religion is a coherence misplaced from earlier accounts.
Culture is memory-so the definition of the Russian semiotician Yuri Lotman. If this is so, then we must admit that even today, 180 years after Champollions decipherment of the hieroglyphs, the spiritual legacy of the high culture of ancient Egypt has scarcely become a part of our own cultural recollection. It is an object of fascination, but we do not really comprehend it. And yet, sources of great antiquity and variety are at our disposal.
Such a cultural anamnesis propels this book. To this end, two hermeneutic approaches are employed, one historical and the other systematic. A historical approach exists when a chain of tradition serves to connect us to a temporally distant world. The tractate "Asclepius" from the Hermetic corpus, from which the epigraph of this volume is drawn, serves as an entree into this representation of Egyptian religion. Faced with the threat of divine withdrawal and the destruction of the world, as described in detail in the apocalypse of the twenty-fifth chapter, Egypt is conjured up as the "temple of the world," the epitome of perfect divine presence, and handed down into the cultural recollection of the West. And although details were lost to this recollection, a Max Weber could view the history of religion as a process of disenchantment of the world. If this picture is accurate, then we must first of all reach back to ancient Egypt to encounter an image that is the opposite image of a "disenchanted" world.
The second approach is of a systematic nature. It consists of methodical comparisons and seeks to register positive concepts and to distinguish them from negated alternatives. Siegfried Morenz has already taken this route in defining Egyptian religion with the help of contrasting pairs: traditional-not founded religion; cult-not a religion of the book; national-not universal religion.
But these distinctions are all too unspecific. They state only what everyone knows: that Egyptian religion was not one of the few great revealed religions, but rather one of the rest, from which the revealed religions emphatically distinguished themselves. It is a comparison with these others that could be instructive.
In this study, an attempt will therefore be made to develop differentiated parameters for the comparison of religions on the basis of that of Egypt. Starting with the concept of divine presence so emphatically stressed in the "Asclepius," religion is characterized as a dialectic between divine presence and transcendence. Every contact with the divine entails consciousness of the alterity, the unavailability, the inaccessibility of the sacred, which exceeds the boundaries of its "contactability," although contact is also based on the existence of a sphere of religious communication that I call "divine presence." This sphere has dimensions that are specific to cultures and epochs, but which change and thus determine the distinctive profile of a religion in a given epoch. These "dimensions of divine presence" serve here as the basis of our treatment of Egyptian religion, while at the same time, they should provide a tertium comparationis for intercultural comparison.
It is hoped that this book will facilitate such comparative endeavors regarding Egyptian religion and culture, and consequently, the essence of religion and culture more generally. It is thus directed to all who concern themselves with these problems: historians, students and sociologists of religion, theologians, ethnologists, cultural anthropologists-and especially to readers to whom religion and culture mean something, even without immediate professional reasons.
The Priests of Ancient Egypt: New Edition by Serge Sauneron (Cornell University Press) The gods were everywhere in Ancient Egypt. Represented by statues, bas-reliefs, and funerary paintings, they even walked among the Egyptians in the person of Pharaoh, considered to be a living god, son of the divine Ra. What better way to understand that distant culture than by becoming familiar with the people who served those gods?
Using as his sources the Egyptian texts and the testimony of classical authors, Serge Sauneron illuminates the role of the priesthood in Ancient Egypt. He re-creates the system of thought of one of the great civilizations of antiquity, addressing such topics as priestly functions, the world of the temples, holy festivals, tombs, and pyramids.
Sauneron describes the ceremonies of daily worship, considered vital in preventing the world's descent into chaos. He takes us deep into the sacred precincts of the temples-- home to the divine statues in which a part of the god was believed to dwell. One of the duties of the priests was to maintain these sacred effigies, to nourish, clothe, and protect them from attacks by evil spirits.
This edition of The Priests of Ancient Egypt, an augmented version of the 1957 classic, was published in France in 1988, and has been translated authoritatively by David Lorton.
The Kingdom of Kush: The Napatan and Meroitic Empires by Derek A. Welsby (Markus Wiener) The ancient African kingdom of Kush was one of antiquities most expansive empires. Welsby provides a detailed account of its rise and fall while explicating the many problems archaeologists encounter in interpreting their evidence. He is an active field researcher in the Sudan and an authority on the subject. The material he presents is primarily archaeological but also contains evidence from classical sources to compensate for the lack of a deciphered script in the region. Major topics covered are architecture, the arts, writing, economy, religion, and funeral rituals. Although the majority of this evidence represents the remains of projects left behind by the royal classes, the author makes a strong effort to provide insights into the lives of ordinary people. Sections on urbanism include descriptions of rural settlement, and those on religion offer discussions of popular religion, for example. The book also contextualizes Kush on the World Stage and its relations with its Pharaonic, Ptolemaic, and Roman contemporaries. The book is beautifully illustrated with many of the authors own photographs, which include numerous site plans, monuments, sculpture, and more mundane artifacts and 12 color plates.
LIFE AND DEATH IN ANCIENT EGYPT: Scenes from Private Tombs in New Kingdom Thebes by Sigrid Hodel-Hoenes, translated by David Warburton (Cornell University Press)
stunning volume is a rarity among Ancient Egyptian art books in being devoted not to
remains of royalty but to the tombs of private people--it is the first book in English on
Sigrid Hodel-Hoenes leads us on an expedition to the cemetery used by the officials of New Kingdom Egypt on the eastern flanks of the Western mountain across from Thebes, between the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens. She examines the contents of eleven tombs belonging to civil servants, the private people of this ancient city. (All of these tombs are currently accessible to the public in a vast open-air museum.)
Lavishly illustrated, with many color photographs and a selection of line drawings, the book provides details of the location, layout, structure, and decoration of the tombs. Hodel-Hoenes addresses such subjects as the two-dimensional art of New Kingdom Thebes, the contents of the tombs, the pigments used in the artists' paints, and the symbolism of the colors and the scenes depicted in the tomb paintings and reliefs A generous bibliography facilitates further exploration of the tombs and their meaning.
and Death in Ancient Egypt: Scenes from Private Tombs in New Kingdom Thebes by Sigrid Hodel-Hoenes, translated by David
Warburton This handsome volume is a rarity among Ancient Egyptian art books in
being devoted not to remains of royalty but to the tombs of private people--it
is the first book in English on this subject. The author examines the tombs of
private persons, and describes their layout, decoration, contents and structure.
Sigrid Hodel-Hoenes leads us on an expedition to the cemetery used by the officials of New Kingdom Egypt on the eastern flanks of the Western mountain across from Thebes, between the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens. She examines the contents of eleven tombs belonging to civil servants, the private people of this ancient city. (Eleven Theban tombs T52, TT55, TT56, TT69, TT96, TT100, TT49, TT192, TT409, TT1 and TT359All of these tombs are currently accessible to the public in a vast open-air museum.) are beautifully presented and illustrated.. The integration of text explaining some of the tombs and the color photographs is exceptional. Lavishly illustrated, with many color photographs and a selection of line drawings; the book provides details of the location, layout, structure, and decoration of the tombs. Hodel-Hoenes addresses such subjects as the two-dimensional art of the Kingdom of New Thebes, the contents of the tombs, the pigments used in the artists' paints, and the symbolism of the colors and the scenes depicted in the tomb paintings and reliefs A generous bibliography facilitates further exploration of the tombs and their meaning. Updated a great deal from its original German edition, this first English translation is a wonderful addition to public and private libraries. Recommended.
Sigrid Hodel-Hoenes is a Lecturer in Egyptology and Islamics at the University of St. Gall, Switzerland. She is the author of many works, including a book on the Egyptian goddess Sachmet. Hodel-Hoenes has been a frequent guest lecturer on tours to Egypt for more than three decades. David Warburton is an Egyptologist and Near Eastern Archaeologist who has taught Egyptian and Near Eastern Archaeology at universities in Switzerland, Denmark, and China.
The Search for God
in Ancient Egypt: First English-language edition, with revisions and additions by the
author Jan Assmann; translated by David Lorton (Cornell University Press) This classic work by one of the world's most distinguished
Egyptologists was first published in German in 1984. The Search for God in Ancient Egypt
offers a distillation of Jan Assmann's views on ancient Egyptian religion, with special
emphasis on theology and piety. Deeply rooted in the texts of ancient Egypt and thoroughly
informed by comparative religion, theology, anthropology, and semiotic analysis, Assmann's
interpretations reveal the complexity of Egyptian thought in a new way.
Assmann takes special care to distinguish between the "implicit" theology of Egyptian polytheism and the "explicit" theology that is concerned with exploring the problem of the divine. His discussion of polytheism and mythology addresses aspects of ritual, the universe, and myth; his consideration of explicit theology deals with theodicy and the specifics of Amarna religion.
Jan Assmann is Professor of Egyptology at Heidelberg University and the 1998 winner of the prestigious Deutsche Historikerpreis (German History Prize). David Lorton, an Egyptologist, has translated other Cornell books, including The Twilight of Ancient Egypt: First Millennium B.C.E. by Karol Mysliwiec and The Priests of Ancient Egypt, New Edition by Serge Sauneron.
VALLEY OF THE GOLDEN MUMMIES by Zahi Hawass ($49.50, hardcover, pages 224, 280 photographs, 260 in full color, 5 line drawings, Harry N. Abrams, Inc ISBN: 0810939428)
Considered the most spectacular Egyptian archaeological discovery since King Tut's tomb, The "Valley of the Golden Mummies" at the Bahariya Oasis in Egypt, made recent front-page headlines around the world. Never before have so many mummies been discovered in a single site, many of them adorned with masks of gold. Now, VALLEY OF THE GOLDEN MUMMIES, the first book to document this extraordinary find, will reveal the visual splendor and historical significance of the site with fascinating text and extensive color photographs.
Featuring approximately 260 full-color illustrations, most of which have never before been published, the 224page book is written by Dr. Zahi Hawass, the internationally renowned Egyptian archaeologist who is the Director of the Giza Pyramids and Field Director of the Bahariya Oasis excavation. The site will remain closed to the public as the dig continues, making this book the only place to see what lies inside these mysterious graves.
Demonstrating strong international interest, VALLEY OF THE GOLDEN MUMMIES will have a first printing of 150,000 copies. It has been chosen as an Alternate Selection of Book-of-the-Month Club, a Main Selection of History Book Club, a Main Selection of Quality Paperback Book Club, and a Main Selection of Natural
Science Book Club. The book will be internationally published simultaneously in four foreign language editions. The English language edition of the book will be published in association with the American University of Cairo Press, which will distribute it in the Middle East. Abrams controls world publication rights for all other languages. Foreign rights have been sold to Virgin in the United Kingdom, Editions de la Martiniere in France, White Star in Italy, Scherz in German-speaking Switzerland, and other editions are being negotiated.
This amazing discovery happened by accident on March 2, 1996, when a donkey stumbled and its leg slipped into an opening to a tomb near the Temple of Alexander the Great. There, beneath the sand, lay a 2,000-year-old cemetery in the desert southwest of Cairo, that contains hundreds of mummies of affluent Egyptians from Roman times. Hawass estimates that the cemetery, which may cover nearly four square miles, will contain up to 10,000 mummies and take fifty years to excavate.
Some of the mummies wear gold masks and are lavishly gilded from head to chest, while others have lifelike faces painted on. Entire families were found buried together in quiet repose. The site is not only important for the wealth, beauty, size, and untouched condition of the findings, but as a window into the transformation of Egyptian civilization at the end of antiquity.
Revealing the unique personal experience of an archaeologist, Hawass intimately recounts in his book the hard work and revelatory thrill of discovery during the last four years of his ongoing excavation. He describes the magic of seeing the first golden mummy face stare at him with obsidian eyes from beneath the sands, the comfort of smoking a pipe after long days of hard work under the hot Egyptian sun, and the unbearable anticipation of what might be discovered tomorrow.
While his study of the mummies is pure science, even Hawass cannot overcome his emotional fears, respect, and awe for the mummies as he removes them from their tombs. He shares both his very real fear of working near potentially fatal bacteria from deteriorating organic material, as well as his less rational fears of disturbing the 2,000year-old sleep of people who have threatened curses to those who enter their tombs.
As he transports a mummy he has named Mr. X to be X-rayed, Hawass reflects, "I was struck by the care and regard that everyone gave to the mummy. Even though this person had died long ago, I think it is natural that we felt a kinship, recognizing that this could be our own fate someday. So we always treat a mummy as if it were still a person, just as we would hope to be treated ourselves in similar circumstances."
The mummies photographed here include a bride mummy dressed for a wedding who must have died shortly before her marriage; a wife with a rare Mona-Lisa-like smile, tilting her head toward her husband as if gazing at him through eternity; child mummies dressed in gold masks and buried with animal toys.
Hawass places the Bahariya mummies in context of the history of mummification and highlights the remarkable differences that distinguish them. All of the mummies could be identified as members of four distinct social classes by the technique of their linen wrappings and the lavishness of their decoration. The wealthiest merchant class mummies were dressed with gold chest plates embossed with Egyptian gods, beautifully modeled painted faces, headdresses adorned with cobras, falcons, and gods; and jewelry meant to protect them on their journey to the underworld. Also photographed are artifacts from the tombs including fertility and mourning statues, vessels for offerings to the Gods and food for the afterlife, and wall paintings of the jackal-god who protects the deceased on the journey to the underworld.
HISTORY AND CULTURE
Hawass provides a vivid description of the mummies and artifacts and interprets the rich information they tell us about the economic, social and religious life of the people of the Oasis during the Greco-Roman Period. How did the people of Bahariya Oasis respond and react to the imposition of Greek and later Roman rule during a period that began around 332 BCE and lasted until. 542 CE? Was the political and economic transformation tumultuous? What was daily life like for the people of the Oasis at different periods? What types of diseases did they suffer? How and at what rate did the mythology and religious practices of pharaonic Egypt change and eventually disappear? Hawass explains how he and his team are addressing these and other questions with X-rays and DNA testing that can record the rate of such factors as infant mortality, average life expectancy, infectious diseases, broken bones, and dental conditions.
Hawass details the fascinating history and culture of the Bahariya Oasis from the 25 `h and 26 `h Dynasties up to the present day. The gateway to Egypt from the west during the Greco-Roman period, the Bahariya Oasis was a prosperous military outpost and a center of wine production and commercial trade. Home to other excavated sites described VALLEY OF THE GOLDEN MUMMIES, including a Roman fortress, a wine factory, a Coptic church, and temples to both Greek and Egyptian Gods, the Bahariya Oasis is an ideal site for understanding the transformation of Egyptian religious practices.
The period when the golden mummies were alive marked the merging of Roman and Egyptian gods, the development of the concept of the human soul, and a dramatic shift in values. Mummification, once offered only to nobility, was by the end of the Late Period, offered to anyone who could afford it. Mummification became more commercial and less sacred, embalmers became more merchant than priest, and the Roman government placed increasingly heavy taxes on the wrapping and moving of mummies. The excavations photographed in this book are providing crucial evidence to how and why this transformation occurred.
VALLEY OF THE GOLDEN MUMMIES is a lavishly illustrated record of one of the most important archaeological discoveries in recent history, a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the life and techniques of an archaeologist, and a richly detailed history of a critical period in the transformation of Egypt.
ABOUT ZAHI HAWASS
Zahi Hawass, director general of the Giza Pyramids and field director of the Bahariya Oasis excavation, is a leading Egyptian archaeologist. Author of Abrams' Silent Images: Women in Pharaonic Egypt, he lectures widely all over the world, writes regularly for archaeology magazines, frequently appears on television, and also teaches at UCLA and at Cairo University. Through a Fullbright fellowship, he has a Ph.D. and M.A. in Egyptology from the University of Pennsylvania.
Hawass' ten years of excavations near the Pyramids of Giza unearthed the tombs of the pyramid builders, two pyramids, and 65 tombs to the west of the Great Pyramid. He has also cleared two tunnels inside the Sphinx and found additional tunnels and ramps nearby. He has been active in the conservation and restoration of the Sphinx and the Pyramids.
He has been interviewed on numerous television shows including "The Today Show" (NBC), "Good Morning America" (ABC), "Dateline" (NBC), "Nova" (PBS), and CNN. He has appeared in and consulted on many documentaries for ABC, Fox, The Learning Channel, The Discovery Channel, and many others. He made his acting debut with a cameo appearance in the feature film "Legend of the Lost Tomb" produced by Showtime.
For more information about Dr. Zahi Hawass, please visit his website at http//guardians.net/hawass
FACTS FROM THE VALLEY OF THE GOLDEN MUMMIES
* 105 complete mummies have been uncovered in the Valley of the Golden Mummies the largest number of perfectly preserved mummies ever discovered in Egypt. The cemetery is believed to cover four square miles and contains an estimated 10.000 mummies.
* The Bahariya Oasis is home to Egypt's only temple dedicated to Alexander the Great. It is believed he may have visited Bahariya after being recognized as the divine pharaoh of Egypt by the oracle of Amun in 332 BCE.
* The word "mummy" seems to have evolved from the false belief that Persian bitumen, or mummia, was the substance used to embalm ancient cadavers, but we now know that the resin used was made from tree sap.
* The cost of mummification during Roman times is estimated at the equivalent of a family's income for one year.
* During Roman rule of Egypt, the most expensive funerary rituals were eventually discarded, with the consequence that every individual could now be promised a place in eternity regardless of wealth or status.
* One of the most significant changes in funerary ritual during the Roman Period was that mummies were not moved directly to the tomb but were propped up in the house within their coffins for an indefinite length of time so the deceased could remain with its family and be remembered. During feasts and on special occasions, the mummy was even paraded before guests to remind them of their own mortality.
* Roman-era mummies were treated with far less care and precision than in ancient times, occasionally being squeezed together in a single coffin or piled on top of each other without protective coffins.
* Roman Christians may have replicated some of the favorite Egyptian deities in order to exercise more power over their subjects. For example, the predominant mother figure, the goddess Isis, who is often depicted with her son Horus in her lap, may be the original version of the Virgin holding the Christ Child. The belief in resurrection after death and eternal life was also a contribution to Christianity from Egyptian religion.
* The modern concept of the human soul developed from the merging of the similar Egyptian concepts of ka and ba in the Greco-Roman period.
* By the end of the sixth century the practice of mummification had completely vanished from Egypt, and virtually all traces of the Egyptian religion disappeared after Egypt was absorbed into the Roman Empire in 30 BCE.
A Dialogue with Zahi Hawass, Author of VALLEY OF THE GOLDEN MUMMIES
Why is the Valley of the Golden Mummies considered the most important discovery in Egypt since King Tut's Tomb?
No previous excavation has discovered so many mummies. My first excavations at the site found 105 mummies, and this year I found 102. I predict that 10,000 mummies are buried at the site. It used to cause much excitement when just one mummy was found. The media and the public have been drawn to both the mystery of the mummies as well as the lavish findings of gold. Historically, the excavation is very important because it is the first to give us information about life in the Bahariya Oasis, an important center of trade, and during the little-understood 26th Dynasty.
What have you discovered since the discovery was officially announced in 1999?
Since then we have excavated seven additional tombs and found another 102 mummies this year. The most exciting discovery was the site's first tomb where upper class mummies are buried -- Tomb #7. While the mummies at this site weren't in the best condition, the tomb had unique architecture and pillars and the artifacts are particularly beautiful. Here we found the mummy of the 26th Dynasty governor of Bahariya.
We also found an eight-year-old child, a limping man with his right leg longer than his left, and a two-year old child mummy with an unusual golden snake with wings on his forehead.
This year was the first time we brought an X-ray machine to Bahariya, and we are learning many interesting results about the population, diseases, and life in the Bahariya Oasis.
What kind of emotions did you experience when you discovered the first golden mummy?
Every hour, the sand would clear away to reveal a mummy with a face of gold. My heart was beating all the time. I never expected to discover this. Every night during the excavation I would have dreams about the mummies. Before this excavation, the Pyramids were my only true love. But now I have another, the mummies.
Did you experience any fears?
When you enter a tomb, you experience the fear of deadly germs from the deterioration, the unbearable smell, and the curse of the mummies. But when you are making a discovery, you forget all else and care only about what you find. I recently found a tomb dated from 500 BCE of the governor of Bahariya that was full of yellow powder with a terrible and deadly smell, but I had to read the name on the sarcophagus. I forgot all fears.
How and why did you become an archaeologist?
I never thought that I wanted to become an archaeologist. I had always wanted to be a lawyer. In 1968 I had a job in the Antiquities Department in Cairo, but I didn't like it and was not inspired by the old people I saw working in archaeology. I left the Egyptian department and set out to become a diplomat but I failed the exam. When I experienced my first excavation in 1969, that is when I knew I had found my true love. There are always things inside us that we don't know until an experience awakens this part of you. There is no way to know what you might be successful at. It was back then that I found my calling, it has become my life and my passion, and now, at age 53, I still don't ever want anything to distract me from it.
Why do you always refrain from shaving on the same day as a dig?
It's important to know what you are doing. If you enter a tomb after shaving you could have open wounds that would be susceptible to fatal germs from the mummies. I never shave before a 'dig and I always leave the tomb open for 2 days to let in fresh air. Several archaeologists died discovering tombs because they didn't know how to protect themselves from these germs. This is why people began believing in the curse of the mummies.
How did burials change from ancient to Greco-Roman times?
The process didn't change much but was less careful and precise. Mummies could now face any direction. One tomb was not just for one person anymore, but for several families. In one tomb I found 41 mummies. Instead of scenes on the walls of the tomb as in ancient times, the scenes were depicted on the chest of the mummy - scenes of the mummification process or the gods of the judgment hall.
How was life in the Bahariya Oasis during Greco-Roman times different from life in Ancient Egypt?
Life was similar but a better life. Bahariya was the best producer of wine and wheat, which was widely exported throughout the Roman Empire. It became a critical center of trade and protected Egypt from attacks by the Libyans. For these reasons it became very wealthy and important.
How did the people of the Bahariya Oasis respond and react to the imposition of Greek and later Roman rule?
The people who lived there were Egyptians but controlled by Romans who became Egyptianized and lived peacefully with the people. The Greek and Roman rulers realized that to live in harmony with Egyptians it was important to become Egyptians in funeral practice, uniforms, and even names.
How smooth was the transition from Egyptian to Greek, Roman, and Christian religious traditions at the Bahariya Oasis?
The Egyptian religion was still alive and strong during the Greco-Roman period and Christianity came late to Bahariya. That's why we have so many well-preserved mummies.
What does the site tell us about the class system of Greco-Roman Egypt?
In ancient times 80% of the Egyptian population were poor farmers and workmen. In the Bahariya during the 26th Dynasty there were three broader classes: poor, middle class, and upper class. But because of all the trade here, the middle-class was extraordinarily rich. No other period of Egyptian history experienced such widespread wealth. Almost everyone could now afford to get to the afterlife. This is why there were so many mummies and so much gold
Why are we so fascinated by mummies today?
Mummies are full of magic and mystery. When people look at mummies they see themselves. They see a body thousands of years old that looks alive but no longer has life. They imagine what it would be like to be mummified after death. Hollywood sparked the mass interest in mummies. Today when you say the word Egypt you immediately think of the mystery of mummies and the myths of the curse.
Why wasn't the discovery of the mummies announced until three years after?
When the site was first excavated by the people of the Bahariya, it was a shoddy excavation with findings here and there. It was important to withhold the announcement until we had a full-scale, systematic excavation in place that was carefully designed to conserve the site.
When will tourists be able to see the mummies and the site?
This June, the Temple of Alexander the Great and the 26th Dynasty Temple opened to the public for the first time. The public is now allowed to visit the edge of the valley to view two 26th Dynasty tombs from the outside. A small museum nearby contains six of the mummies and X-rays of them. But no traveling exhibition has yet been planned and this book remains the only place to see all of the best finds from last year's excavation.
THE TEMPLE OF MAN by R.A. Schwaller de Lubicz ($195.00, hardcover with slipcase, two volumes, 544 pages, 400 black-and-white illustrations, Inner Traditions ISBN 0892815701) Twenty-eight years in the making, THE TEMPLE OF MAN represents the most important breakthrough in a hermetic understanding of Ancient Egypt in generations.
THE TEMPLES OF KARNAK by R. A. Schwaller de Lubicz, Photographs by Georges and Valentine de Mire ($95.00, hardcover with slipcase, 736 pages, 606 photographs and 134 line illustrations, Inner Traditions ISBN 08928171279) This companion volume is a detailed photographic tour, with commentary, of the monuments, ruins, statues, and bas-reliefs of the ancient Egyptian temples of Karnak.
1-800-246-8648 orders WEB SITE: www.InnerTraditions.com
"Schwallers text demands that it not be just read, but that it be thought along with. His scientific writings contain poetic and spiritual insights that touch the soul because true science, as he conceives it, is capable of generating those insights, indeed, it demands that they be generated." Gnosis Magazine
"This astonishing and monumental book helps us understand not only the greatness of Egypt, but the depths of the human soul as well. The work of Schwaller de Lubicz stands in our time as an unsurpassed blending of objective scholarship and profound spiritual and philosophical vision." Jacob Needleman
R. A. Schwaller de Lubiczs Temple of Man now available in English The greatest hermetic explication of Egyptian Civilization and Religion offers Keys to Understanding the Wisdom of the Ancient Egyptians
THE TEMPLE OF MAN and its companion volumes THE TEMPLES OF KARNAK provides in English the only sustained and highly documented account of R.A. Schwaller de Lubiczs researches among Egyptian ruins in the 1930s and 40s. This long-awaited masterpiece of hermetic science provides the keys to the occult physiology and psychology of humanity. Unlike the work of mainstream Egyptology the is suffused with scientific materialism, R.A. Schwaller de Lubiczs work opens up the tantalizing traditional sciences of the Egyptians in a way that will perplex the merely curios and will demand a serious rethinking of many favorite and well-known hermetic axioms. For over 20 years this reviewer has waited for these works to be made available in English. The story of this long hiatus is well worth the telling.
The eventual publication of this work was the Herculean effort of occult persistence, synchronistic events and love according to Ehud Sperling, the publisher of Inner Traditions International. At the time an enthusiast for Sri Aurobindos ideas of a new humanity Sperling met Robert Lawlor at Weisers bookstore in New York City about 28 years ago. It took Deborah and Robert Lawlor more than fifteen years of many draft translations to bring to the thick theoretic French text a reasonably concise English. It the mean time many popular peaks into the ideas of R.A Schwaller de Lubiczs were published by the Inner Traditions. Among them was the widely popular and still the best introduction to his work by his wife, Isha Schwaller de Lubicz (though some purists have insisted she misrepresented certain key points, the two volume HER-BAK, Living Face of Ancient Egypt (ISBN: 0892810033) and HER-BAK: Egyptian Initiate (ISBN: 0892810025). Her more subjective JOURNEY INTO LIGHT: The Three Principles of Mans Awakening (ISBN: 0892810386) is considered by some to stray too far from the symbolic rigor of her husbands work to serve as a useful guide. Other have thought that she offers insights into the wider implications of his works not otherwise apparent in this study.
The essay the volumes by R.A. Schwaller de Lubicz: SYMBOL AND THE SYMBOLIC: Ancient Egypt, Science, and the Evolution of Consciousness (ISBN: 089281022X); ESOTERICISM AND SYMBOL (ISBN: 0892810149); A STUDY OF NUMBERS: A Guide to the Constant Creation of the Universe (ISBN: 0892811129); NATURE-WORD (ISBN: 089281036X); THE TEMPLE IN MAN: Ancient Egyptian Sacred Architecture and the Perfect (ISBN: 0892810211) and the more substantial SACRED SCIENCE (ISBN: 0892812222); and provide useful conceptual foundations and hints to understanding the fully developed ideas documented in the magnum opus, THE TEMPLE OF MAN and illustrated in THE TEMPLES OF KARNAK.
The works by Lubiczs stepdaughter Lucie Lamy EGYPTIAN MYSTERIES: New Light on Ancient Spiritual Knowledge (ISBN: 082450054700) provides some expansion on how art and the imagination work in the creation of self-knowledge within the Egyptian world view. The Egyptian view of creation, life, and death is best understood in the light of traditional knowledge of spiritual growth and development, and in that empiricism of modern science. Bika Reeds THE REBEL IN THE SOUL: An Ancient Egyptian Dialogue Between a Man and His Destiny (ISBN: 0892816155 ) offers a de Lubiczian reading of Berlin Papyrus 3024 and wonderful account of the soul meaning and purpose. While Reeds THE FIELD OF TRANSFORMATIONS: A Quest for the Immortal Essence of Human Awareness (ISBN: 0892811544) offers some of the clearest approaches to the meaning of de Lubiczs work and current research in consciousness studies.
The eventual biographer of de Lubicz, Andre VandenBroeok whose AL-KEMI: A Memoir : Hermetic, Occult, Political, and Private Aspects of R.A. Schwaller De Lubicz (Lindisfarne Books; ISBN: 0940262312) offers the best general account of this remarkable mans relation with the famed and mysterious Fulcanelli (see Alchemy) and of Egyptian project, had been a student of de Lubiczs. VandenBroeok had promised de Lubicz that THE TEMPLE OF MAN would be published in English. Through Lawlor, Sperling met Andre VandenBroeok and accepted as his own task the English language edition of this masterwork.
By the way Andre Vanden-Broecks writings in English include the recondite PHILOSOPHICAL GEOMETRY (ISBN: 0892811161), a useful complement to de Lubiczs A STUDY OF NUMBERS; and BREAKING THROUGH: A Narrative of the Great Work (City Lights Books; ISBN: 0872863190) that offers philosophical novel as an allegory on the conflict between science and spirituality. Tallini, an Italian filmmaker seeking for his next subject, becomes haunted by the Paleolithic culture of southern Spain. Eventually he discovers to look for life's purpose not in science, but through the present consciousness. This intellectual tour de force provides some refreshing keys to traditional hermetic studies and the meaning of alchemy.
THE TEMPLE OF MAN is an accomplishment of truly Herculean proportions. It is a fundamental reworking of hermetic science based upon a symbolic reading of Egyptian hieroglyphs, art and architecture. In that it is a recondite masterpiece that requires tremendous efforts on the reader to completely reformulate how reality is to be apprehended. The volumes themselves are physically well-designed and produced. To properly read the work require much effort and to understand the contents probably a good portion of a lifetime that would include something similar to yoga and scientific experimentation.
An old friend of mine who used to winter by the Luxor Temple, recalls many of the excellent produce, "carrots the size of watermelons," from the gardens of the de Lubiczs and how, except of one French Egyptologist, they were snubbed and their evidence ignored by French and British academic Egyptologists of the time. This situation has continues to the present. Most scholars have feigned ignorance of THE TEMPLE OF MAN and THE TEMPLES OF KARNAK , concluding they are the results de Lubiczs fertile imagination. In this regard it is too original for any ready assimilation to a scholarly establishment that is not philosophically tempered enough to test his insights.
One can read THE TEMPLE OF MAN in a straight forward manner and enjoy its highlights without needing to sacrifice oneself completely to reinventing ones mind and heart. That is one good thing about this translation. Like all mystical shadow languages its deeper mysteries require more than mere intellectual appreciation. Rather it offer an invitation to open the mind to the wisdom of the heart knowledge, the true basis of all true occult knowledge of the traditional sort. To the extent that one becomes able to think, reason and ponder in a fashion similar symbols, a psychological transformation can occur. This transformation is a kind of inner resonance that opens to the innate storehouse, the Intelligence of the Heart. "Knowledge (or even elements of the knowledge) cannot be conveyed through writing alone; the symbolism of the image is indispensable," says de Lubicz. The symbolique and true allegory speak directly to the Intelligence of the Heart, a sort of selfless knowing that is beyond our usual subject-object polarities. Ordinary language and the thought can understand it only in a distorted way.
Not only does one encounter a new mode of thought but also ones mode of perception and measurement that radically alters oneself as one opens to the Pharaonic science. The materialism of modern and postmodern science balks at these ancient ideas.
To reasonably appreciate this Pharaonic science we follow de Lubiczs attempt to think as the Egyptian priest's thought. We need to understand "that the ancients meant to say something that we understand; rather one should try to find out why they expressed themselves thus."
THE TEMPLE OF MAN is not a forthright presentation of the Pharaonic teachings. Nor is it de Lubiczs own personal journey of understanding. It includes these elements and much more. De Lubicz assimilated what the ancient Egyptian taught. He became transformed by this symbolic knowledge transcribed into the Temple of Luxor. This language is alive and well is the occult ability of psychic and physiological transformation present in the symbols. One can see the Temple of Luxor as a pedagogical device, built to incarnate and encode knowledge through the use of a variety of refined cues. For example the incorrect anatomical detail as two left hands, or missing details present on the other side of a wall gave de Lubicz his and our key to understanding this Pharaonic science. Conscientiously, the ancient Egyptians build into the Temple a visual, auditory, conceptual and architectural symbolic expressions this occult knowledge. They specifically intended by these forms of communication to bypass simple cerebral intelligence. Their goal was to evoke from the person the imposing, fugitive knowledge they knew to be innate within the Intelligence of the Heart. THE TEMPLE OF MAN offers an effective introduction to usually unsuspected human capacities. In this way this work is a magnificent work of occult scholarship rarely available. THE TEMPLES OF KARNAK offers visual documentation of Schwaller de Lubicz's unique approach to sacred architecture and hieroglyphics.
For example "science of correspondences" at the foundation the Ancient Egyptians selection of symbols has profound likeness to the work of the theosopher Swedenborg, who lived during the l8th century and never visited Egypt. Swedenborg wrote at length on the subject of correspondences. A section of his popular description ofHEAVEN AND HELL is devoted to the basics of the subject. "The most ancient people, who were celestial men, thought from correspondence itself, as the angels do...The whole natural world corresponds to the spiritual world...the knowledge of correspondences is now wholly lost".
This symbolism has remained current within the esotericism of Sufism, especially Twelver Shiitism as explored by Henri Corbin seminal works. (See ibn 'Arabi)
Indeed Anthropocosmic principle, reinvented in part by the Anthropotropic principle in evolutionary science in the last decades, all open up the classic hermetic science of correspondences of between Microcosm (the human being and body) and macrocosm (the universe order). Swedenborg described the universe as "The Grand Man," and humanity as this in miniature. Humanity is a microcosm of the macrocosm. For de Lubicz holds that "each plant and animal species represents a stage in the evolution of consciousness." "Thus the Universe is incarnate in man and is nothing but potential Man, Anthropocosmos." In this Pharaonic system, creation and generation are the central forces of genesis and time is the moment of expansion becomes the objects of study. De Lubicz uses the phrase "Colossus of the Universe" as he confirms and amplifies much that Swedenborg revealed us in 1758, however without the narrative blinds that have kept Swedenborgs writings from greater currency.
The Pharaonic teaching considered extensively within THE TEMPLE OF MAN is organized into six parts, containing 44 chapters in two large volumes. From chapters 27 to the end explicates the particular architecture of the Temple of Luxor. It includes 101 plates and about a third of the 300 figures. These chapters include extensive commentaries on the plates and their subject matter, a detailed reference course of symbolic study. Occasionally, the style of presentation varies, which, it seemed, was required by the topic.
Nearly the first two-thirds of the chapters form a vigorous initiation into this unique world view.
De Lubicz wrote THE TEMPLE OF MAN, "first to show the means of expression used by the Ancients to transmit knowledge," and "second, to present an outline of the doctrine of the Anthropocosmos, the guide to the way of thinking of the sages." To implement this purpose called for attention to fields seldom encountered in modern occult, esoteric or spiritual writings. The initial two chapters ("Elements Consciousness and Irreducible Magnitudes" and "Symbolique") require especial attention to detail and assilmenation in order to follow all later discussions in the volumes. This may take some effort not usually required of books on the occult. However the effort is well worth the time as spiritual insights, symbolic correspondences abound and often take one by surprise. Even a casual reader may find some gems to treasure. The chapters entitled "Anthropocosmos," "Pharaonic Calculation," "Cosmic Principle of Volume," "The Covered Temple: The Head," "Crossing," "The Knees," "Receiving and Giving" provide dense forays into ritual and esoteric symbolism that is remarkably detailed and stimulating of insight and adventure. Pharoanic insights are hard won, even in reading this volume. Having spent some time with the French edition of this work some 20 years ago I find this English edition a relief as many obscurities in the text are offered plausible English interpretation (of course my French was never supple!).
In order to reach the core of Anthropocosmic teaching, De Lubicz shows us how we need to verify a effect causative principle of symbol. "A symbol is not merely any letter or image that is substituted for the development of an idea ." Instead, a symbol is "a summarizing representation, which is commonly called a synthesis". Symbolique is "the concrete image of a synthesis that cannot be expressed in time." and these images evoke the synthesis. It may sound awkward but the process is straightforward. True symbols appeal to the Intelligence of the Heart where they draw knowledge from it. This process "feels" like something, often exhilaration. The Ancients selected these symbols knowing virtually everything about the natural counterpart, (the correspondent) from gestation to its death. Mental caution is necessary, however, and the tendency to "fix," by definition, the essence of the symbolic representation must be avoided. The qualities of a symbol are many and varied and not to be linguistically rigidified any more than molten lava. The symbol is alive, vital and dynamic, because Anthropocosmic doctrine is a vitalist philosophy. "To explain the Symbol is to kill it..." and, indeed, the landscape of academic Egyptology is everywhere strewn with the carcasses of dead, unheard symbols. "Rational thinkers" believe weve passed beyond simplistic thinking. Rather, in the last two millennia, we have fallen into it.
Table of Contents:
The Temple of Man
Part 1: The Doctrine of the Anthropocosmos Elements
Chapter 1 * Consciousness and Irreducible Magnitudes
Chapter 2 * Symbolique
Chapter 3 * Anthropocosmos
Chapter 4 * Pharaonic Thought
Part 2: Mathematical Thought
Chapter 5 * Foundations of Pharaonic Mathematics
Chapter 6 * Pharaonic Calculation
Part 3: The Master Builders' Grid: Pharaonic Mathematics Applied
Chapter 7 * Pharaonic Trigonometry
Chapter 8 * The Canvas: Living Architecture of Number
Chapter 9 * The Cosmic Principle of Volume
Chapter 10 * Pharaonic Cubits
Chapter 11 * The Human Canon
Chapter 12 * The Royal Apron
Chapter 13 * The Axes
Part 4: The Architecture of the Temple: Themes
Chapter 14 * The Edwin Smith Surgical Papyrus
Chapter 15 * The Diadem
Chapter 16 * The Joints: Guides for Reading
Chapter 17 * The Covered Temple: The Head
Chapter 18 * Sanctuary V
Chapter 19 * Crossing
Chapter 20 * The Zodiac
Chapter 21 * The Hindu Temple
Chapter 22 * The Mystic Temple: A Meditation
Part 5: The Pharaonic Temple
Chapter 23 * The Architectonics of the Pharaonic Temple
Chapter 24 * Preface to the Presentation of the Architecture of the Temple of Luxor
Chapter 25 * The Temple of Luxor
Part 6: Plates, Legends, and Commentaries
Chapter 26 * Amun and Suti-Hor
Chapter 27 * General Views of the Temple of Luxor
Chapter 28 * The Growth of the Temple
Chapter 29 * A Colossus of the Temple
Chapter 30 * Joints and Pieces
Chapter 31 * The Mosaic Figure in the Foundation of the Temple
Chapter 32 * The Crown of the Skull
Chapter 33 * The Moon in the Haty
Chapter 34 * The Knees
Chapter 35 * The Bows
Chapter 36 * The Zodiac
Chapter 37 * The Master Builders' Grid
Chapter 38 * Transformations and Mutations
Chapter 39 * A Secret Sanctuary
Chapter 40 * The Axes of the Temple
Chapter 41 * Receiving and Giving
Chapter 42 * The Architectural Structure
Chapter 43 * Transparency and Transposition
Chapter 44 * Seth-Horus
Appendix: Comparison of Parts and Chapters in the English and French
List of Works Cited
Many concepts of modern thought are defined and understood differently in THE TEMPLE OF MAN. So many, in fact, that scientists, academics, and people generally, having unconsciously espoused a mechanical rationalism, will be forced to reject these ideas out of hand. "Cause and effect are not separated by any time," There exists a "principle of the (present moment), mystical in character, that modem science ignores." These and other like statements cannot be reconciled with the current and opposing world view. But one may examine the modern socio-scientific-techhological state of the world in light of these ideas and from so doing, draw tentative conclusions concerning the relative merit of the Ancient Egyptian teachings.
The history of science demonstrates that we seldom build upon the great discoveries of preceding generations of scientists. Few physicists today know Keplers laws of planetary motion; even fewer mathematicians appreciate that his unconventional use of the fractional notation of powers (for instance, X 2/3. power) and the unique position he accorded the number Five (which led to his formulation of the laws) were a part of Pharaonic mathematics thousands of years prior. Modern science, de Lubicz says, is founded upon incorrect premises. We know kinetic energy, not vital energy and we tamper with forces, powers and processes we do not and cannot now understand: we have become the Sorcerers Apprentice.
Cerebral intelligence is based upon the sensory information conveyed to it by the major sensory systems. These are understood by the Ancient Egyptians in terms of both their natural, exoteric function (to provide the brain with information) and their esoteric, spiritual function. One cannot but be amazed again, at the subtlety of theory and fact they conveyed. For example, "the faculty of discernment, located in olfactory bulb, is the seat of judgment." Well, the olfactory bulb is a so-called "primitive" structure of the brain with no direct connection to the cortex, the "advanced gray matter." Nevertheless, reference to its unique anatomical, characteristics, the ancient Egyptians presented olfaction as one of the three secret senses in the head of the Luxor Temple, Room V. The moral sense, sexuality and the physiological distribution vital energy are combined in the relevant symbol, the cobra. Here in room V of the Temple is located conscience. Goodness has a spiritual fragrance (a fact noted in Sufi lore and by Swedenborg who mentioned that the ancient Egyptians the last to fully understand the science of correspondences). Subtlety is more difficult to acknowledge and recognize when what is taught conflicts diametrically with what people al believe. Ironically, we seldom have evidence that appears to contradict the ancient Egyptians teachings, which typically go beyond our accepted facts.
De Lubicz includes a lengthy discussion of the Edwin Smith Surgical Papyrus. This papyrus discovered near Luxor in 1862, was translated 1920, by renowned Egyptologist J.H. Breasted. The effort convinced him of the elevated status of ancient Egyptian science and mathematics. An extensive anatomical dictionary of the skull, head and throat (also in hieroglyphics) enables us to comprehend the many cases of head injury described in the papyrus. Despite their lack of a really good sources of head injury cases, their knowledge of clinical neuroanatomy was remarkably detailed and correct without our modern technological devices.
The ancient Egyptians described a human as comprised of three interdependent beings, each having its own body and organs. Of course, all were essential and important. However, the head was especially so for it was the seat of the spiritual being. There, the blood was spiritualized, infused with vital energy prior to coursing through the corporeal and sexual (vital) bodies. These bodies, vivified by the spiritual being, live a lifetime without knowing it, in a state of ignorance or self-delusion.
Today modern humanity has struck an iceberg of its own making. Those forces we have tampered with and let loose, but which we do not understand, literally threaten our annihilation. We have a role in cosmic metabolism but are unable to fulfill it. Everyones consciousness needs to expand, to evolve: we need to become aware of a great deal that, right now, escapes us. This can occur by choice the price is some suffering. "And now that the temple of Luxor has shown us the way to follow, let us begin to explore the deeper meaning of the teaching of the Pharaonic sages." Here is a invitation hard to avoid.
"Hare's book is the first postmodern treatment of ancient Egypt, meaning an approach that is highly subjective, reflexive, ironic, ludic, eclectic, reconstructive, imaginative, and creative. Notwithstanding his being a specialist in early Japanese literature, Hare's knowledge of ancient Egypt, Egyptian grammar, and the professional literature is excellent. No Egyptologist, however, would have been able to cast such a fresh and uninhibited look at Egyptian texts and Egyptological theories and interpretations." Jan Assmann, University of Heidelberg
The texts and visual arts of ancient Egypt reveal a persistent and sophisticated engagement with problems of language, the body, and multiplicity. Hare shows in this innovative book how these issues were represented in ancient Egyptian culture and how specific Egyptian approaches to them continue to influence our thought today.
The story of Osiris is one of the central cultural myths of ancient Egypt, a story of dismemberment and religious passion that also exemplifies attitudes about personal identity, sexuality, and the transfer of royal power. It is, moreover, a story of death and the overcoming of death, and in this it lies at the center of our own means of engagement with ancient Egypt. REMEMBERING OSIRIS takes as its focus this tale as it is recorded in Egyptian texts and memorialized on the walls of temples and tombs. Since such a focus is attainable only through Egyptian representational systems, especially hieroglyphs, the book also engages broader questions of writing and visual representation: decipherment, controversies about the "ideograph," and the relation between visual images and writing.
This analysis of Egyptian representation leads to a consideration of the phallic body and the problem of multiplicity in Egyptian religion, two nets of Egyptian discourse that, though integrated into the writing system itself, reach toward broader Egyptian discourses of gender, subjectivity, piety, and cosmogenesis. The conclusion considers, in specific terms, the question of a persisting Egyptian legacy in the West, from the Greeks and Israelites to Augustine, Hegel, and Lacan.
Tom Hare is Associate Professor of Japanese and Comparative Literature at Stanford University. he has also written ZEAMIS STYLE:The Noh Plays of Zeami Motokiyo (Hardcover, paperback, Stanford University Press)
From our vantage point ancient Egyptian civilization, with its strictly hierarchic organization, can appear static through its three-thousand-year history. In his concise and authoritative introduction to that distant culture, a renowned Egyptologist reveals the turbulent events beneath the rigid facade.
Erik Hornung begins his account by taking a brief look at the prehistoric era in Egypt. He then focuses on political events during the period beginning with the reign of "Menes" and closing with the conquest by Alexander the Great. Building on insights drawn from the civilizations surviving texts and monuments, he also describes significant cultural developments, such as changes in burial customs and the building of the Great Pyramids and Sun Temples.
Originally published in German, this important and highly useful survey has been revised throughout for its publication in English. In addition, the English version features over fifty illustrations, an updated bibliography, a glossary, and a chronological table.
ERIK HORNUNG is Professor Emeritus of Egyptology at the University of Basel. He is the author of The Ancient Egyptian Books of the Afterlife and Conceptions of God in Ancient Egypt, both from Cornell. An American Egyptologist, DAVID LORTON translated The Ancient Egyptian Books of the Afterlife. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.
TREASURES: From the Cairo Museum
edited by Francesco Tiradritti, introduction by Suzanne Mubarak, and photographs by Araldo de Luca ($75.00, hardcover, 416 pages, Harry N Abrams; ISBN: 0810932768)
Mysterious and fascinating, ancient Egypt has left us extraordinary works of art, masterpieces that tell the story of a magnificent civilization. The greatest of these are held in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, and now, for the first time, the museum's finest treasures are presented in stunning, specially commissioned photographs that bring Egypt's breathtaking archaeological and artistic heritage to life.
Here are spectacular antiquities unearthed in over one hundred years of excavations in tombs and temples, pyramids and palaces, in Giza, Saqqara, Dahsur, Karnak, and the Valley of the Kings. More than 600 lush colorplates illustrate limestone and ivory sculptures, wall paintings and reliefs, elaborate gold jewelry, carved and inlaid furniture, and ceramics spanning more than 5,000 years. This wealth of artifacts, many rarely seen, is shown alongside the most famous of all: the splendors of Tutankhamun's tomb.
Accompanying the photographs are scholarly essays by the world's leading Egyptologists, providing a chronological survey of Egyptian art and history, religion and daily life-its glorious achievements and its periods of turmoil. Individual sections are devoted to some of the truly sensational discoveries that make the Egyptian Museum's collection unsurpassed in range and quality.
Both a marvelous record of a worldrenowned collection and an invaluable reference, this long-overdue volume reveals the true glory of ancient Egypt.
Francesco Tiradritti, editor of this volume, holds degrees from La Sapienza University in Rome and from the Sorbonne in Paris. He is the consultant Egyptologist to the Civic Archaeological Collections of Milan and has curated numerous exhibitions. Tiradritti serves on the editorial boards of specialist journals and was responsible for compiling the majority of entries dealing with Egypt in the Second Supplement of the Treccani Encyclopedia of Ancient Arts. He has participated in excavations in Italy, Egypt, and Sudan, and is a member of the Italian mission in Cairo for the construction of the new Egyptian Museum at Giza as well as director of the Italian archaeological mission exploring the Tomb of Harwa at Luxor.
Araldo de Luca is an internationally acclaimed Italian photographer who is renowned for his images of ancient statuary and jewelry. His photographs have appeared in books and periodicals published by some of the world's most prestigious museums.
Texts for this volume were contributed by a distinguished group of scholars:
Dieter Arnold is Curator of the Department of Egyptian Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and Chair of Egyptology at the University of Vienna. Donald M. Bailey 0 Fortner researcher in the Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities at the British Museum, London. Herman De Meulenaere is Director of the Fondation Egyptologique Reine Elisabeth, Brussels, and Honorary Professor at the University of Ghent. Anna Maria Donadoni Roved is Superintendent of the Egyptian Museum of Turin. Zahi Hawass is Director General of the Pyramids of Giza and Saqqara and Professor of Archaeology at Cairo University. Adela Oppenheim 0 Research Associate in the Department of Egyptian Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Edna R. Russmann is Associate Curator of Egyptian Art at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York. Mohamed Saleh was Director of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo from 1981 to 1998 and a lecturer in Egyptology at Cairo University. Dietrich Wildung is Chief Curator of the Department of Egyptian Art at the Staatliche Museen, Berlin, and Professor of Egyptology at the University of Berlin. Jean Yoyotte is Honorary Professor of Egyptology at the College de France, Paris. Christiane Ziegler is Chief Curator of the Department of Egyptian Antiquities at the Musee du Louvre, Paris.
ANCIENT EGYPT: Art, Architecture, and
Artifacts from the University of Pennsylvania Museum of
Archaeology and Anthropology by University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology,
edited by David Silverman ($60.00, hardcover, 300 pages,
Cornell University Press; ISBN: 0801434823)
Lavishly illustrated in color, this book presents a spectacular collection of archaeological and artistic treasures covering the extent of Egyptian art from the Predynastic Period of the fourth millennium B.C.E. to the Greco-Roman period of the fourth century C.E. The volume features more than 130 objects reproduced in rich color photographs, ranging from architectural elements of a royal palace and funerary chapel to delicate jewelry and textile fragments and contains many objects never previously shown in print.
In an introductory essay David Silverman documents major expeditions to sites in Egypt and Nubia and summarizes the new information gleaned about ancient Egyptian civilization. Donald B. Redford provides a general treatment of ancient Egyptian history. The objects themselves are introduced with concise essays by recognized Egyptologists: Edward Brovarski, Rita E. Freed, Arielle P. Kozloff, David O'Connor, Edna R. Russmann, William K. Simpson, and Josef W. Wegner.
One of the most impressive architectural pieces presented is the Old Kingdom tomb chapel of Ka(i)pura, which includes a massive false door and thirty individual blocks with carved and painted reliefs that illustrate funerary scenes. Architecural elements from a Ramesside palace and later temples are shown, as well as reliefs from New Kingdom and later tomb and temple context. Other chapters focus on artifacts relevant to the divine, the royal, and the private spheres; personal and domestic life; funerary customs; and Nubian culture.
DAVID P. SILVERMAN is Professor and Chair, Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Pennsylvania. He is also Curator-in-Charge, Egyptian Section University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.
THEBES IN EGYPT is a detailed travel guide to the tombs and temples of Ancient Luxor and the first comprehensive treatment of the most important archaeological site in Egypt. No other location, with the possible exception of Saqqara, has yielded material from all the major epochs of Egyptian history. Clearly written and well organized, the book presents valuable new information.
The remains of ancient Thebes constitute one of the largest and most remarkable archaeological sites in the world. The discoveries made at this site, now the modern town of Luxor, are responsible for much of our knowledge of ancient Egyptian civilization. After excavating and researching the city of Thebes for many years, Nigel and Helen Strudwick here offer an in-depth introduction to it, one that will be welcomed by both armchair travelers and visitors to that popular tourist destination.
After reviewing the topography of the site, the Strudwicks recount the history of Thebes from the city's rise in the late Old Kingdom to the peak of its power in the New Kingdom and to its gradual decline in the Greco-Roman period. They discuss the central role played by the gods in the community's religious life, and take us on a tour of the great temples of Karnak and Luxor on the East Bank of the Nile and of the temples and tombs of kings, queens, princes, and ordinary individuals on the West Bank.
Drawing on their intimate acquaintance with ancient Egyptian society, the authors recreate the lives of Thebans during the New Kingdom. They conclude by assessing Greek, Roman, Coptic and Islamic influences on the area as it exists today and by providing an overview of the archaeological research undertaken there.
Nigel and Helen Strudwick are Egyptologists based in Cambridge (U.K.). They have been working in Luxor, mainly in the Tombs of the Nobles, since 1984. Frequent lecturers, the Strudwicks have both written extensively about the site and topics related to it.
OILS & PERFUMES OF ANCIENT EGYPT by Joan Fletcher ($29.95, paperback, Gift box containing: illustrated 64-page paperback book, three .34 fl. oz. bottles of essential oils, one 1. 7 fl. oz. bottle of sweet almond oil, 8 x 8' cotton towel, Harry N Abrams; ISBN: 0810936976)
What kind of massage oil did Cleopatra prefer? What scent did the Pharaohs burn to perfume their chambers? Aroma therapy and fragrance enthusiasts can find out in this unique gift set, which provides a selection of authentic ancient Egyptian essential oils ready to be enjoyed today.
The Egyptians had an array of oils and perfumes for every occasion and purpose, both in this life and the next. In the 64-page illustrated book included in this appealing package, Egyptologist Joann Fletcher discusses the fascinating evidence about their bath and body care and looks at the different therapeutic and sensual uses of these and other essences.
. Fletcher offers a wealth of pleasurable possibilities for mixing scents, soothing the skin, and enhancing your health, beauty, and overall vitality Fragrance lovers can create exotic new blends or follow the centuries old recipes for indulgence, ancient Egyptian style.
Joann Fletcher is an expert in ancient cosmetics and hair. She is currently investigating the mummy of a Pharaoh in Cairo and was featured in the Discovery Channel series "Egypt Uncovered."
THE ANCIENT EGYPTIAN BOOKS OF THE AFTERLIFE by Erik Hornung, translated from the German by David Lorton, ($45.00, hardcover, bibliographical references and index, Cornell University Press; ISBN: 0801435153) PAPERBACK
Early Egyptologists focused primarily on the collection of spells that Lepsius designated the Book of the Dead, which is often viewed as the "Bible of the ancient Egyptians." With the discovery of the Pyramid Texts in 1880-1881, research interest turned to that collection of spells, which is nearly a thousand years earlier. The Book of the Dead, however, still remains at the center of all esoteric interest in ancient Egypt. Hornung provides further survey of texts, another large group of texts that deal with the afterlife: the Books of the Netherworld (once also called Guides to the Afterlife) long led a shadowy existence. Their actual discoverer was Jean-Franqois Champollion, who saw these compositions when he visited the Valley of the Kings in 1829 and immediately recognized their significance. In the thirteenth of his letters from Egypt, dated May 26, 1829, he gives a detailed account of the decoration of the royal tombs accessible in his day, especially that of the tomb of Ramesses VI, where he completed a number of copies and descriptions. He had prepared the first translation from the Book of Gates and the Book of Caverns when his untimely death cut short his work. Later in the nineteenth century, Gaston Maspero and Eugene Lefebure in particular devoted themselves to deciphering the Books of the Afterlife. In time, however, a widespread, rather negative attitude emerged toward these "abstruse" priestly fantasies, as they were adjudged, and leading specialists no longer deemed it worthwhile to become involved with them.
It is typical that the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun in 1922 aroused the world's interest in the material riches of the Valley of the Kings while creating no momentum for the study of its spiritual treasures. In the mid-1930s, Alexandre Piankoff (1897-1966) was the first to undertake a systematic study of the religious books in the royal tombs, and he issued a steady stream of text editions, translations, and other works. With his splendid edition of the tomb of Ramesses VI in 1954, which was prepared under the auspices of the Bollingen Foundation, he made practically all the relevant texts available in English translation. Further study of the royal Books of the Afterlife could now be built on these foundations. Hornung provides us with the first encyclopedic survey of their contents and variations over the centuries, giving us a completer picture of Egyptian views of the afterlife. Until actual analytic accounts emerge of the texts themselves, built up to create synthetic picture of the meanings, Hornung's survey is likely to be the best orientation we have to the general class of afterlife texts.
Beginning in 1958, I had the pleasure of working with Piankoff, after Siegfried Schott had repeatedly called my attention to the Books of the Netherworld. Meanwhile, they have been generally recognized as an important source for the history of Egyptian religion, and especially for beliefs regarding the afterlife, and they have even received attention outside the field of Egyptology, especially from members of the Jungian school of psychoanalysis.
The Books of the Netherworld are the focus of this book; I shall treat such "classical" sources as the Pyramid Texts, the Coffin Texts, and the Book of the Dead more summarily, since other aids to understanding them are already available. Additionally, in all periods the Egyptian mortuary cult employed numerous other texts, which have been designated "mortuary liturgies" (in German, Verklarungen), to which Jan Assmann has devoted special attention.
It is an open question to what extent these compositions, which are so distinct in form, reflect a monolithic conception of the afterlife. The New Kingdom undoubtedly added fresh accents of its own: we can characterize the difference between the Book of the Dead and the Books of the Netherworld by noting that only the latter actually give detailed descriptions of the hereafter; the spells of the Book of the Dead are concerned with practical assistance regarding the journey to the afterlife and the deceased's stay there. There was also an effort to maintain a hierarchy of compositions, so that some of them, the Pyramid Texts, the Books of the Netherworld, and the Books of the Sky, were reserved for the exclusive use of Pharaoh, just as certain forms of architecture and measurement served only for use in the realm of royalty.
Most of the books and collections of spells treated here were still in use in the Late Period. At that time, whole libraries of ancient writings were collected on tomb walls and sarcophagi for use in the afterlife, though there was a preference for liturgical texts handed down in the cult. All the conditions were thus at hand for an influence that continued beyond the pharaonic period and into the new spiritual currents of Hellenism and early Christianity. In the Books of the Netherworld, as in classical esoterica, the "sun at midnight" stood at the center of the experience of the afterlife, and along with the myth of Osiris the course of the sun played an important role in the Hellenistic Isis mysteries. The disclosure of such relationships represents a wide field for investigation, though historians of religion are too little familiar with these texts.
On the whole, however, research into the texts and representations has yielded rich results in recent years, so that it seems time to venture a summary and orientation for nonspecialists, who are otherwise confronted by a growing body of literature. To facilitate the survey, I have added drawings of the individual nocturnal hours or sections of the Books of the Netherworld and the Sky.
EGYPT LOST AND FOUND, Explorers and Travelers on the Nile by Alberto Siliotti ($60.00, hardcover, 376 pages, with 1,050 color illustrations, Stewart Tabori & Chang; ISBN: 1556708769) PAPERBACK (W.W. Norton)
EGYPT LOST AND FOUND chronicles the rediscovery of ancient Egypt, its monuments and treasures, by European travelers. In the Middle Ages soldiers and merchants visited Cairo and Alexandria, but of the great achievements of the ancient Egyptians, only the pyramids were generally known and the rest of the country was still shrouded in mystery. Then in 1589 an anonymous Venetian merchant ventured beyond the capital, leaving a written account of his journey up the Nile. Egypt soon exercised a great fascination over Europeans, and more travelers followed in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, exploring further afield and enriching the symbolic cutlture of Masonery and hermetic esoteric studies.
It was perhaps the Napoleonic Expedition that truly rediscovered the marvels of ancient Egyptian civilization. Napoleon's scientists documented all of the great monuments in the Nile Valley, thus transforming a military defeat into the extraordinary cultural triumph that greatly influenced European art, architecture, and culture. A sudden vogue for all things Egyptian meant that Egypt was once more the scene of fierce battles this time between representatives of various European nations who sought to acquire the most beautiful objects to send back to the museums of Europe. Adventurers arrived in Egypt to seek their fortune, the great Belzoni among them, as did scientists, including Jean Franceois Champollion and Richard Lepsius, as well as artists such as David Roberts. Works of art in their own right, their drawings and paintings make a great contribution to our knowledge. Often they are the only records of monuments that have since been destroyed or badly damaged.
In this book, accompanying the detailed text recording the people and events, are lavish color reproductions from the works of these artists, travelers, and explorers. Here are maps, statues, wall paintings, and obelisks, portraits of the explorers themselves and of the people of Egypt, as well as scenes highlighting the magnificence of the landscapes, temples, and pyramids. Egypt Lost and Found recaptures some of the excitement and wonder of those early, intrepid explorers and illuminates some of the greatest adventures and discoveries of all time.
ALBERTO SILIOTTI is a scientific journalist specializing in the civilizations of the past and also a renowned photographer. He is a member of the Egypt Exploration Society and coordinated Project Thebes, in which the decorations in the tombs of Thebes were studied and computer catalogued. The author of guides to the Valley of the Kings, the Pyramids, and Sinai, Siliotti has also made several documentary films on the civilization of the Pharaohs and the exploration of Egypt. He has also authored the introductory volume, Egypt: Splendors of an Ancient Civilization (Thames & Hudson) and the pioneering account of Virtual Archaeology: Re-Creating Ancient Worlds (Harry N. Abrams).
Virtual Archaeology is the first book to take advantage of astonishing new technology for visualizing ancient sites and buildings. A wealth of three-dimensional, high-definition computer reconstructions, along with hundreds of dazzling full-color maps, diagrams, and photographs, provide a startlingly real sense of how significant archaeological sites around the world once looked. This thrilling "virtual" tour travels down the streets of Pompeii before the city's destruction in A.D. 79 and into the palace of King Minos in Crete when its walls were brightly painted. It journeys to China as a great terra-cotta army is buried with the first emperor and to the American Southwest as Anasazi Indians build adobe pueblos in Chaco Canyon. Clear, informative texts by an international team of archaeologists describe great cities - classical Athens, ancient Rome, the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan - and famous historical discoveries - the tomb of Philip of Macedon and that of the Moche "Lord of Sipan" in Peru.
YESTERDAY AND TODAY Lithographs by David Roberts, R.A. Text by Fabio Bourbon,
Photographs by Antonio ($60.00, hardcover, 272 pages,
Stewart Tabori & Chang; ISBN: 1556705182)
Any lover of Egyptian history will find the romantic vision of David Roberts, the 19th century artist, to reveal the treasures of Egyptian excavation. The wonderful lithographs were first seen when he travelled to Egypt. They are contrasted with current photographs of the same sites. Although saving these monuments of our ancient past is important to our world heritage, one cannot help but to wish to come upon these monumental wonders as Roberts captured them in his drawings. Truly a must read for anyone who has been to Egypt, or simply wants to arm travel through history. Recommended.
BECOMING OSIRIS: The Ancient Egyptian Death Experience by Ruth Schumann-Antelme and Stephane Rossini, translated from the French by Jon Graham ($16.95, paperback, 128 pages, 250 Illustrations, Inner Traditions, ISBN: 089281652X)
The elaborate rituals of death and rebirth in ancient Egypt were a core focus of its spiritual life. The ancient Egyptians believed it was in the tomb that heaven and earth, and life and death converged most closely. In BECOMING OSIRIS, Schumann-Antelme makes it clear that the Egyptians viewed the tomb as a remote control switch that caused actions in heaven in response to the terrestrial activities with which they were associated. This concept can be summed up best by the alchemists' celebrated formula of "as above, so below," which in other words means that there is a precise correspondence between heaven and earth. This theory is also the rationale behind astrology and other esoteric doctrines. The alchemical tradition, and all religious tradition, had its origin in the sacred science of the ancient Egyptians.
Much of this ritual is still imperfectly understood and has remained the province of scholars of Egyptology. Even in Schumann-Antelme's detailed accounts, which make this rich legacy more accessible than ever before, certain elements still may present a mystery to those readers with little previous exposure to Egyptian theological thought. These complex rituals that comprised an intrinsic part of the ancient Egyptian death experience are intimately connected with the story of Osiris, son of Geb, the Neter (god) of the earth, and Nut, the Neter of the heavens, in which we encounter one of the oldest forms of the myth of resurrection. This myth is an integral part of all the death rituals explored in Becoming Osiris, and it is worthwhile to encapsulate the main features of the story here.
In the time when the gods still ruled Egypt, Osiris assumed the throne of the two lands from his father, who had assumed it in turn from Atum-Ra, the creator of the world. Despite the excellence of Osiris's rule, with his sister consort Isis (in this text they are often referred to as the Divine Couple), his brother Seth contrived to overthrow him. With the help of seventy-two accomplices, Seth organized a festival during which a trunk the size of Osiris was brought in. Despite the efforts of all in attendance, the only one who could fit into the trunk was the Neter Osiris. Once Osiris was inside the trunk, it was closed and locked by Seth's accomplices who set it adrift on the Nile. By the use of her arts, Isis was able to reclaim the body of Osiris from the trunk, but before she could restore him to life the Neter Seth took possession of the trunk and dismembered Osiris's body into sixteen pieces, which he scattered throughout Egypt. Taking up her quest anew, at each site where a portion of Osiris's body was found Isis had a temple erected. In order to prevent any recurrence of the evil deed of dismemberment, Horus, the posthumous son of the Divine Couple, embarked on an eternal war against Seth and his followers: the battle of Good and Evil on a cosmic level.
Until the murder of Osiris, the Neter had not known the experience of death, and this event forced them to seek a way by which to escape it. It fell to Horus (with the aid of Isis) to enter the Dwat and restore life to the inert form of Osiris with the power of his healing eye, a mythological journey reenacted by the magic funeral rites. For humans, and, first, for the King-Horus, the rites consisted of reproducing the circumstances of the death and resurrection of the Neter as faithfully as possible. Over the course of the ceremony, these episodes were acted out with the aim of reinserting the dead into the universal cosmic cycle. Animal sacrifices of beasts (representing Seth) were performed by Horus in a symbolic gesture that transformed back from son to father the life force he had inherited. (Schumann-Antelme points out that there are striking illustrations of this in the tomb of the Pharaoh Tutankhamen.)
These rituals recounted in Osiris's passion became the deliverance of humanity, and it was deemed necessary to repeat the resurrection rites for all. With the help of these same ceremonies, it became possible for every human to achieve a similar objective: that of immortal life as a solarized being an Osiris-Ra. In the reenactment of this myth incorporated into funeral ceremonies, priests and/or sons played the role of Horus; wives, the role of Isis; priests and friends, the roles of Thoth and Anubis.
THE PASSION OF ISIS AND OSIRIUS: A Union of Two Souls by Jean Houston ($14.95, paperback, 437 pages, Ballantine Books, ISBN: 0345424778)
In THE PASSION OF ISIS AND OSIRIUS, Jean Houston, internationally renowned philosopher, human potential expert, and explorer of world myth, takes us deep into the mysteries of Egypt, land of the ancient soul within us all. Houston brings this world to wonderful life, showing how the myth of Isis and Osiris gives modem readers a design for the marriage of body and soul, life and death, the tangible and the hidden. In detailed exercises and dramatic enactments that can be done in groups or alone, she demonstrates how we can identify the Isis and Osiris that are seeking reunion in each of us.
THE PASSION OF ISIS AND OSIRIUS attempts to recreate nothing less than a moment of Egyptian magic that allows us to enter a consciousness that is the gateway to transcendent love. This story of two spiritual soul mates still has resonance for us today, whether we are seeking to join the disparate parts of self or searching for a mate to bond with, soul to soul.
"In this, the most compelling of Houston's volumes of 'sacred psychology,' she unfolds a legacy of love and spiritual unity that never was but still can happen as modem men and women weave it into the composition of their own lives." Mary Catherine Bateson Author of Peripheral Visions: Learning Along the Way
THE GODS OF ANCIENT EGYPT by Pascal Vernus, photograpohs by Erich Lessing, translated by Jane Marie Todd ($75.00, hardcover, 204 pages, 150 color illustrations, bibliography, glossary, maps, ISBN 0807614351204)
This book by the renowned Egyptologist Pascal Vermis captures the very essence of ancient Egypt, a civilization thoroughly impregnated by the multiformed and continually inspirational presence of the divine. Accompanied by 150 color photographs of Egyptian artifacts and landscapes, Vernus' exploration of Egyptian divinity reveals the central role it played in this endlessly fascinating ancient culture.
The ruling class and their interpretation of the divine fashioned Egyptian civilization's every aspect. The pharaohs and priests communicated the needs of the gods to their subjects: they dictated the principles of the cosmos, such as its genesis and the necessary rituals for appeasing the gods, and they determined the individual's quality of life in this world and the next, Through this symbiotic relationship over millennia, the Egyptian concept of eternal life was born.
The author begins by introducing the three orders of being according to the Egyptians: mineral, plant, and animal, which participated in a kind of sacred ecology with the gods. Vernus also looks at their concept of world order and their creation myths. The elaborate after death rituals, which have come to characterize the Egyptians in our minds, and the reasons for these rituals are fully detailed as well. How these beliefs and rituals were played out in daily life is also described.
PASCAL VERNUS is a director of studies at I'Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes and also chairman of the Egyptian linguistics and philology division. He was formerly a fellow at l'Institut Frani~ais d'Archeologie Orientale in Cairo.
One of the most distinguished art photographers, ERICH LESSING has been a member of the prestigious photo journalism agency Magnum since 1951. His work has received numerous awards including the American Art Directors' Award and the French Prix Nadar
ALEXANDRIA REDISCOVERED by Jean-Yves Empereur, translated by Margaret Maehler photographs by Stephane Compoint ($60.00, cloth, 256 pages, 200 color illustrations, maps, bibliography, index, ISBN 0807614424)
The last six years have seen some of the most spectacular archaeological discoveries ever made in Alexandria, the legendary Egyptian city founded by Alexander the Great. Presented here is a full account of these extraordinary finds and of the exciting expeditions that led to their discovery.
Located on the northwestern end of the Nile River delta, Alexandria was the greatest of Hellenistic cities. Athens' equal and political rival to Rome, Alexandria awed ancient travelers with its wealth, size, and cultural prestige. But unlike Athens and Rome, practically no visible trace of this splendid city remains, and, despite over a hundred years of archaeological efforts, the results have generally been considered meager.
Recent excavations, however, have yielded a unexpected wealth of information. Directed by the French archaeologist Jean-Yves Empereur and conducted with the most modern methods, these digs have greatly enriched our knowledge of the art and architecture of Alexandria and of the lives and homes of its inhabitants. An underwater excavation at Fort Qayt Bey has enabled a more detailed recreation of the Pharos lighthouse, one of the seven wonders of the Ancient world, and has also unearthed a series of Greek and Roman shipwrecks with surprisingly well preserved cargoes. On land, the excavations have had equal successes, one of the most exciting of which has been the unearthing of the Gabbari necropolis. Exclusive photography by Stephane Compoint, who accompanied the archaeological team on their expeditions, appears throughout.
Introducing newly discovered information and providing a reevaluation of earlier finds, ALEXANDRIA REDISCOVERED offers a landmark contribution to our knowledge of this ancient city.
JEAN-YVES EMPEREUR is Director of Research at France's National Research Center as well as Director of the Center of Alexandrian Studies, which he founded in 1980 He was formerly the general secretary of French School of Archaeology in Athens.
EGYPT, CANAAN, AND ISRAEL IN ANCIENT TIMES by Donald B. Redford ($21.95, paperback, Princeton University Press; ISBN: 0691000867)
Covering the time span from the Paleolithic period to the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 B.C., the eminent Egyptologist Donald Redford explores three thousand years of uninterrupted contact between Egypt and Western Asia across the Sinai land bridge. In the vivid and lucid style that we expect from the author of the popular Akhenaten, Redford presents a sweeping narrative of the love hate relationship between the peoples of ancient Israel/ Palestine and Egypt. Who were the Egyptians, Canaanites, and Hebrews? Why did Egypt act like a magnet on the peoples of Palestine? And what did Egypt see in the area later called the Holy Land? Why did she create an empire there? In answering these questions, Redford argues that Egypt's attitude arose from a fundamental position adopted toward Asia in general. This stance was taken by Pharaonic civilization centuries before the Israelites appeared and prevailed long after the end of the Biblical period.
Redford uses both textual and archaeological evidence to assess political, cultural, and religious phenomena. He avoids the common bias of placing Israel/Palestine "center stage," but he does draw on the latest research to present new insights into the Exodus, the bondage in Egypt, the Joseph Story, and the Conquest. EGYPT, CANAAN, AND ISRAEL IN ANCIENT TIMES contributes a wealth of information essential to the history of northeast Africa and the Middle East, and, more generally, to our appreciation of the ties that bind the world's two largest continents.
AKHENATEN: The Heretic King by Donald B. Redford ($26.95, paperback, 255 pages, Princeton University Press; ISBN: 0691002177)
Here is a striking portrait of Akhenaten, monotheistic worshipper of the sun and best known Egyptian king next to Tutankhamen. Various writers have depicted this strange ruler of the fourteenth century BCE as a despised woman or a eunuch, a mentor of Moses, or a forerunner of Christ. awing on a vast amount of new evidence from his own excavation Director of the Akhenaten Temple Project describes the kingly hero against the background of imperial Egypt. Donald Redford's owes Akhenaten to be even more fascinating in this context less realistic interpretations.
Donald B. Redford, Professor of Near Eastern Studies at the University of Toronto.
RIDDLES OF THE SPHINX by Paul Jordan, photograohs by John Ross ($40.00, hardcover, 256 pages, New York University Press; ISBN: 0814742424)
This book tells the full story of the Great Sphinx of Giza as Egyptology has uncovered it. The Sphinx is one of the most striking monuments of the ancient Egyptians, and has attracted the attention of travelers, scientists, archaeologists and others for generations. Paul Jordan details the Sphinx's impact on the ancient world, on Arab writers, on Renaissance travelers, on the pioneers of Egyptology and on modern scholarship. He tells the story of the Sphinx's many bouts of excavation and restoration, and above all puts the Sphinx in the context of all that is known about ancient Egyptian history and religion.
Some recent writers have promoted fantastic ideas about the Sphinx's immense antiquity and its creation by a lost super civilization to send messages of doom to our own times. Riddles of the Sphinx is intended as an antidote to such high-flown theories, exposing the flaws in the would-be scientific arguments of these fanciful writings and providing a lively account of what Egyptologists have found out about the Sphinx for real.
Lucidly written and beautifully illustrated, RIDDLES OF THE SPHINX examines every aspect of the Sphinx, including a professional geologist's recent claims regarding its age, and provides an authoritative and highly readable overview of the issues and debates currently surrounding it.
PAUL JORDAN read archaeology at Cambridge and was for many years a writer and producer of television programs about science, history and archaeology with both the BBC and Independent Television. He is the author of Egypt: the Black Land and The Face of the Past.
FEASTS OF LIGHT: Celebrations for the Seasons of Life Based on the Egyptian Goddess Mysteries by Normandi Ellis ($22.95, paperback, 192 pages, Quest Books; ISBN: 0835607445)
At once, FEASTS OF LIGHT is an informed history of ancient Egypt and an engaging telling of its stories. With the same wonder that all of nature the bluebonnets, every elm tree leaf, a raindrop stirred in her as a child, Normandi Ellis unlocks the mysteries of the Egyptian calendar and its festivals and leading characters, and brings them vividly to life. She brings forth the spiritual richness and lessons to he learned, and offers prescriptive suggestions to bring these rituals to life, in and for one's own life. Normandi Ellis always seems as native to ancient Egypt as a fish is at home in the sea or a bird is at one with the sky. She offers a feast of those God and Goddess intoxicated festivals which empowered a marvelous civilization, whose powers still reach out to enrich and enchant our world!
Normandi Ellis is the award winning author of Dreams of Isis (Quest Books) and Awakening Osiris (Phanes Press). Her passion is recovering from hieroglyphics and other original sources the history, myths, and pageantry of Egypt's sacred past.
insert content here