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Soul, weighing of the
(303 words)

[German version]

(Psychostasia). The weighing of the soul occurred in Egyptian religion; the hearts of the dead, which were thought to contain the memory of their actions, are weighed with a feather under the supervision of Osiris [1.321-323]. The Greek idea of the weighing of the soul is entirely different: it takes place before death and is not assessed according to moral criteria. Here men's fates are weighed (κήρ/kḗr, Ker), as a result of which it is decided who will live or die (kerostasia). This version was probably already known to the author of the Aethiopís from which the Iliad too…

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Stenger, Jan (Kiel), “Soul, weighing of the”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 02 December 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1574-9347_bnp_e1106510>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510



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