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Oxyrhynchus

(551 words)

Author(s): Quack, Joachim (Berlin) | Eleuteri, Paolo (Venice)
This item can be found on the following maps: Egypt | Pilgrimage | Egypt [German version] A. The city City in Middle Egypt, modern Al-Bahnasā; in Pharaonic times the capital of the 19th nome of Upper Egypt, Egyptian pr-mḏd, 'meeting house (?)'. Originally O. was one of the main cult centres of Seth as well as of Thoeris. Because Seth had killed Osiris, it was mentioned in traditional lists of nomes as a banned place. There are hardly any archaeological finds from the pre-Ptolemaic period; the ancient centre of the nome was presumably located in spr-mrw. During the Graeco-Roman period, the…

Priests

(4,255 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Quack, Joachim (Berlin) | Niehr, Herbert (Tübingen) | Haas, Volkert (Berlin) | Gordon, Richard L. (Ilmmünster) | Et al.
[German version] I. Mesopotamia From the 3rd millennium to the end of Mesopotamian civilization, the staff of Mesopotamian temples consisted of the cult personnel in the narrower sense - i.e. the priests and priestesses who loo…

Onuris

(231 words)

Author(s): Quack, Joachim (Berlin)
[German version] (Ὀνουρις; Ónouris). Egyptian god ( Jnj-ḥrt, *ianiy ḥarat, 'the one who fetches the distant one'), attested in cuneiform as anḫara and in Coptic ( a) nhoure. O. is depicted with four feathers on his head, carrying a lance, and wearing a robe. His main cult centres were Thinis (8th Upper Egyptian district) and Sebe…

Rhampsinitus

(216 words)

Author(s): Quack, Joachim (Berlin)

Purity

(1,297 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Quack, Joachim (Berlin) | Podella, Thomas (Lübeck)
[German version] I. Mesopotamia In Sumerian the adjective kug and in Akkadian the corresponding adjective ellu express the principle of (cultic) purity. Both words also contain the nuance of 'bright', 'shining'. Sumerian kug and Akkadian e…

Serapeum

(129 words)

Author(s): Quack, Joachim (Berlin)
(Σαραπεῖον/ Sarapeîon, Σαράπιον/ Sarápion). [German version] [1] Burial and cult sites of dead Apis bulls in Memphis Term for the burial and cult sites of dead Apis bulls in Memphis (Apis [1]), and generally for cult buildings of the god Serapis derived from it in the Graeco-Roman world. Quack, Joachim (Berlin) [German version] [2] Name of various places As a reflexion …

Pheron

(185 words)

Author(s): Quack, Joachim (Berlin)
[German version] (Φερῶν; Pherôn). Greek rendering of the Egyptian pr-, Pharaoh, therefore not a personal name, but the Egyptian royal title. According to Hdt. 2,111 (similarly also Diod. Sic. 159), the son and successor of Sesostris I (1971-1928 BC). He is said to have thrown his spear into the flooding Nile and to have been blinded as a pun…

Sasychis

(80 words)

Author(s): Quack, Joachim (Berlin)
[German version] (Σάσυχις; Sásychis). According to Diod. Sic. 1,94,3 one of the great legislators of Egypt. The name has been variously connected with Egyptian proper names. It is most likely a variant of Asychis, who is recorded in Hdt. 2,136 as a follower of Mycerinus and whose name corresponds to Egyptian š-ḫ.t. Interpretations as Shoshenq (Sesonchosis) are phonetically problematic. Quack, Joachim (Berlin) Bibliography 1 A. Burton, Diodorus Siculus, Book I. A Commentary, 1972, 273 2 A. B. Lloyd, Herodotus Book II. Commentary 99-182, 1988, 88-90.

Sesonchosis

(202 words)

Author(s): Quack, Joachim (Berlin)
(Σεσόγχοσις, Σεσόγχωσις/ Sesónchosis, Sesónchōsis). Greek form of Shoshenq, Egyptian šš( n) q, name of probably five rulers of the 22nd/23rd dynasties. [German version] [1] Shoshenq I, Egyptian ruler, second half of the 10th cent. BC The best known is Shoshenq I ( c. 945-924 BC) [1. 287-302], who according to 1 Kg 14,25 f. (there called Shishak) laid waste to parts of Judaea and was prevented from conquering Jerusalem by being paid large amounts of gold. A list p…

Nimbus

(1,534 words)

Author(s): Willers, Dietrich (Berne) | Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) | Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Quack, Joachim (Berlin)
[German version] [1] Nimbus vitreus Nimbus vitreus (‘glass clouds’), a pun by Martial (14,112), which has been misunderstood mostly since Friedländer's annotations [1. 322] and into the most recent commentary [2. 174] has been misunderstood and is translated as a ‘glass vessel for sprinkling liquids with numerous openings’. What is meant is the effect of such an instrument when wine is sprayed. Willers, Dietrich (Berne) Bibliography 1 L. Friedländer (ed.), M. Valerii Martialis epigrammaton libri (with explanatory notes), vol. 2, 1886 2 T.J. Leary (ed.), Martial Book XIV. T…

Punt

(357 words)

Author(s): Quack, Joachim (Berlin)
[German version] Egyptian pwn.t, construed from the New Kingdom on, by means of linguistic reanalysis, as p-wn.t. Omission of the apparent article creates a new name wn.t; this appears in some sources from the Graeco-Roman Period. According to Egyptian sources, a country in the far southeast; today usually sought in the region of Būr Sūdān (Port Sudan) [6] or around Eritrea and the Horn of Africa [1; 2]. In the Old Kingdom, trade goods from P. could reach Egypt by way of staging posts along the Nile; direct trading voya…

Pantheon

(2,240 words)

Author(s): Richter, Thomas (Frankfurt/Main) | Quack, Joachim (Berlin) | Bendlin, Andreas (Erfurt) | Höcker, Christoph (Kissing)
[German version] [1] Name to describe the plurality of gods In modern scholarship on religious history, the term 'pantheon' is used in systematizing the plurality of ancient gods (Polytheism). In the following, it will be used accordingly to denote all the many deities worshipped in a part…

Uchoreus

(95 words)

Author(s): Quack, Joachim (Berlin)
[German version] (Οὐχορεύς; Ouchoreús). According to Diod. Sic. 1,50 the eighth child of Osymandias (Ramses [2] II) and the founder of Memphis, which he is supposed to have made into a strong fortress with an embankment and a large lake. Scholars like to identify it with the Ὀχυράς/ Ochyrás mentioned in the Book of Sothis in Syncellus (FGrH III F 28,110,9). The name is customarily explained as a corruption of ὀχρεύς ('the permanent') and considered to be a translation of the Egyptian mn (Menes [1]). Quack, Joachim (Berlin) Bibliography K. Sethe, Beiträge zur ältesten Geschichte Äg…

Prophets

(2,681 words)

Author(s): Köckert, Matthias (Berlin) | Quack, Joachim (Berlin) | Bremmer, Jan N. (Groningen) | Wick, Peter (Basle) | Toral-Niehoff, Isabel (Freiburg)
[German version] I. Introduction The term P. has found its way as a loanword from the Greek translation of the Bible into numerous languages. The Septuagint regularly uses prophḗtēs to translate the Hebrew substantive nābī, which is etymologically connected with Akkadian nabû(m) = 'one who is called…

Coptus

(218 words)

Author(s): Quack, Joachim (Berlin)
[German version] This item can be found on the following maps: Commerce | India, trade with | Egypt Main city of the 5th upper Egyptian district (besides Ombos and Qūṣ), Egyptian gbtw, which became Greek κοπτός ( koptós), Copt. kebt and Arab. qifṭ. Important starting-point for expeditions into the Wadi…

Literature

(23,376 words)

Author(s): Rüpke, Jörg (Erfurt) | Cancik-Kirschbaum, Eva (Berlin) | Quack, Joachim (Berlin) | Hazenbos, Joost (Leipzig) | Hose, Martin (Munich) | Et al.
[German version] I. General Literary communication is communication by means of texts - stabilized, coherent and substantial statements. These may be written or eventually put down in writing, but they may also remain oral ( Literacy). Since for earlier societies as a rule only written texts can be studied, the term ‘literatu…

Myth

(8,403 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) | Zgoll, Annette (Leipzig) | Quack, Joachim (Berlin) | Hazenbos, Joost (Leipzig) | Niehr, Herbert (Tübingen)
I. Theory of myth [German version] A. Definition Despite many attempts, it has proven impossible to arrive at a definition of myth (Gr. μῦθος/ mýthos; Lat. mythos) that would satisfy all disciplines. The most satisfactory one refers to G.S. Kirk and W. Burkert who described myth as a ‘traditional narrative of collective significance’ [1; 2]. Still, this definition fails to fully represent the function of myth in the time after Classical Antiquity, when we find myths in entertaining narratives such as Ovidius's ‘Metamorphoses or Nonnus's Dionysiaká. The term ‘traditional’ implies…

Peteesis

(173 words)

Author(s): Quack, Joachim (Berlin)
[German version] (Greek Πετεησις/ Peteēsis; Egyptian p′č̣i̯-s.t, 'the one given by Isis'). According to PRylands 63 [4], Egyptian priest in Heliopolis [1] who teaches Plato about melothesia (allocation of parts of the body to astral magnitudes) [2. 81]. Presumably the same traditional figure of a sage as the P. who is mentioned in several variants in Dioscorides, De materia medica 5,98 as an author, possibly als…

Ceremony

(3,932 words)

Author(s): Cancik-Kirschbaum, Eva (Berlin) | Quack, Joachim (Berlin) | Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel) | Winterling, Aloys (Bielefeld) | Tinnefeld, Franz (Munich)
[German version] I. Mesopotamia In contrast with cultic  rituals, the secular ceremonies of Mesopotamia have up to now rarely been the subject of academic research. On the whole, it has to be assumed that individual and communal life in the societies of the Ancient Orient in general and that of the  ruler in particular were dominated by numerous rules, resulting in more or less standardized patterns of behaviour. The reconstruction of such non-cultic ceremonies is largely dependent on secondary refe…

Sacrifice

(10,943 words)

Author(s): Bendlin, Andreas (Erfurt) | Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Quack, Joachim (Berlin) | Haas, Volkert (Berlin) | Podella, Thomas (Lübeck) | Et al.
I. Religious studies [German version] A. General Sacrifice is one of the central concepts in describing ritual religion in ancient and modern cultures. In European Modernity, the term sacrifice (directly or indirectly influenced by Christian theology of the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ to redeem mankind) also has an intimation towards individual self-giving ('sacrifice of self'). The range of nuances in the modern meaning stretches to include discourses that have lost their religious motif and hav…
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