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Book of the Dead 112 (1.20)

(593 words)

Author(s): Ritner, Robert K.
Subject: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World; Egyptian Canonical Compositions; Divine Focus; Cosmologies Commentary The primary manuscript (18th Dynasty) appears in Naville (1886: pl. cxxiv), with translations in Barguet (1967:148–150), Allen (1974:91) and Faulkner1 (1985:108–109). A vignette depicts the seated gods Horus, Imsety and Hapy. Book of the Dead 112 (1.20) Subject: Lev 11:7–8; Deut 14:3, 8; Isa 65:2–5; 66:3, 17 SPELL FOR KNOWING THE SOULS OF PE. It is NN who shall say: “O marsh dwellers, those among the marsh dwellers, Mendesian women, tho…

Coffin Text 157 (1.19)

(635 words)

Author(s): Ritner, Robert K.
Subject: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World; Egyptian Canonical Compositions; Divine Focus; Cosmologies Commentary This spell for “Knowing the Souls of Pe” (with its descendant Book of the Dead 112) provides a theological explanation for the Egyptian pork taboo, a prohibition never uniformly accepted (Darby et al. 1977:171–209; Miller 1990). The conclusion to the companion Coffin Text spell 158 is instructive: “Not to be said while eating pork.” No less interesting is the medical aspect of spell 1…

Execration Texts (1.32)

(1,391 words)

Author(s): Ritner, Robert K.
Subject: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World; Egyptian Canonical Compositions; Divine Focus; Divination, Incantation, Ritual Commentary From the Old Kingdom through the Roman era, priests performed official ritual cursings of the potential enemies of Egypt. The ceremonies included the breaking of red pots1  a and figurines inscribed with formal “Execration Texts” listing Nubians, Asiatics, Libyans, living and deceased Egyptians, as well as generally threatening forces. The texts themselves contain no explicit curses, but inst…

Daily Ritual of the Temple of Amun-Re At Karnak (1.34)

(1,914 words)

Author(s): Ritner, Robert K.
Subject: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World; Egyptian Canonical Compositions; Divine Focus; Divination, Incantation, Ritual Commentary Dating from the 22nd Dynasty, this Theban ritual papyrus is one of the best sources for the standardized morning liturgy used for divine and royal cults throughout Egypt from the New Kingdom until Roman times. The Seti temple at Abydos depicts thirty–six chapters or “spells,” with nineteen represented at the Ptolemaic temple of Edfu and six at the contemporary temple…

The Repulsing of the Dragon (1.21)

(747 words)

Author(s): Ritner, Robert K.
Subject: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World; Egyptian Canonical Compositions; Divine Focus; Other Myths Commentary During the course of each day’s journey, the sun god confronted a serpent adversary a whom he vanquished with the assistance of the militant god Seth and the force of divine magic. Within the following Coffin Text spell, this battle with the “dragon” is located at Bakhu, the mountainous western support of heaven where the sun sets. Elsewhere the serpent is styled Apep (Apopis), who threatens to dev…

The Great Cairo Hymn of Praise to Amun-Re (1.25)

(1,841 words)

Author(s): Ritner, Robert K.
Subject: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World; Egyptian Canonical Compositions; Divine Focus; Hymns Commentary While the initial sections of this universalist hymn are carved on a statue of the Second Intermediate Period (12th-17th Dynasties; see Hassan 1928:157–193), the best preserved manuscript is a Theban papyrus of the early 18th Dynasty (Amenhotep II). The papyrus text is published in Mariette (1872: pls. xi–xiii) and excerpted in Möller (1927:33–34). Commentary, bibliography, and translations are found in Grébaut 1874; Wilson  ANET ; Assmann 1975b:199–…

Dream Oracles (1.33)

(1,608 words)

Author(s): Ritner, Robert K.
Subject: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World; Egyptian Canonical Compositions; Divine Focus; Divination, Incantation, Ritual Commentary The Chester Beatty “Dream Book” is currently the oldest surviving manual of dream interpretation. Perhaps deriving from a 12th Dyn. original, the present manuscript dates from the 19th Dynasty and was the property of senior scribes at the royal workmen’s village of Deir el–Medineh.1 The book comprises eleven columns in tabular form, each preceded by the vertically–written heading: “If a man see himself in a …

The Legend of Astarte and the Tribute of the Sea (1.23)

(1,146 words)

Author(s): Ritner, Robert K.
Subject: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World; Egyptian Canonical Compositions; Divine Focus; Other Myths Commentary The tattered remains of a once magnificent manuscript, the “Astarte Papyrus” nevertheless provides tantalizing evidence of Egyptian traditions regarding the Asiatic goddess who had been adopted into cult and mythology by the beginning of the New Kingdom. While this legend has been shown to have an indigenous Egyptian setting, it is yet parallel to, and likely inspired by, the Ugaritic …

Book of the Dead 175 (1.18)

(2,361 words)

Author(s): Ritner, Robert K.
Subject: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World; Egyptian Canonical Compositions; Divine Focus; Cosmologies Commentary Through a series of dialogues between divine speakers, this famous theological treatise details the corruption of the original creation with the introduction of death and concomitant anxiety regarding an afterlife, as well as apocalyptic pronouncements of the world’s ultimate dissolution and recreation. A final section relates an ontological myth describing the origin of ritual, deiti…

The Legend of Isis and the Name of Re (1.22)

(1,795 words)

Author(s): Ritner, Robert K.
Subject: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World; Egyptian Canonical Compositions; Divine Focus; Other Myths Commentary Few texts illustrate so clearly the ritual significance of the personal name. Felt to be an intrinsic element and source of power, the name did not simply identify but defined an individual.1  a For hostile purposes, the destruction of a name could effect the death or misfortune of its owner, and this belief underlies both the prominent role of naming in execration texts (see text COSB.1.32 below) and the well attes…