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Maʿat

(461 words)

Author(s): Assmann, Jan
[German Version] The Egyptian concept of “ maʿat” carries the basic meanings of “right” and “justice,” and by extension “truth” and “order.” It relates to a principle of solidarity that fosters harmony among humans and, applied to the cosmos, guarantees the success of the “solar cycle” and thus the continued existence of the world. Maʿat is something that is “spoken” (truth) and “done” (justice). An Egyptian “definition” of maʿat reads as follows: “The reward of the doer is that which is…

Memory

(1,437 words)

Author(s): Assmann, Jan | Schröter, Jens | Figal, Günter
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Bible – III. Philosophy I. Religious Studies Memory, in the present context, is the ability to store motor skills, experiences, and learned materialover longer periods; remembrance on the other hand has to do with the use of memory. Individual memory is already ¶ socially conditioned (through language, socialization, cultural setting) and thus has a communicative character. Institutionalization (e.g. feasts, school) and objectivization (e.g. rites [Rite and ritual], texts) serve to stabilize the co…

Egypt

(11,934 words)

Author(s): Schenkel, Wolfgang | Weintritt, Otfried | Assmann, Jan | Bergman, Jan | Modrzejewski, Joseph Mélèze | Et al.
[German Version] I. General – II. History and Society – III. Religion and Culture I. General 1. Name/Designations In Egyptian-Coptic, Egypt is “the black (i.e. land)” (Egyptian *Kū́mut, Coptic Kēme, etc.) after the dark soil, in Semitic languages, generally, Miṣr-, etc., in Hebrew also מָצוֹר / Māṣôr (“border,” i.e. “borderland”?), in Greek after a sanctuary of the god Ptah as a designation for the old capital city Memphis, Aígyptos, i.e. Aígupto-s (in contemporary Egyptian perhaps *Hekoptáḥ). 2. Geography The central area of the country is the river oasis of the lowe…