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Mycerinus

(111 words)

Author(s): Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] (Egyptian Mn-kw-R; Hdt. 2,129: Μυκερῖνος/ Mykerînos; Diod. Sic. 1,64 as a variant: Μεγχερῖνος/ Mencherînos; Manetho: Μενχέρης/ Menchérēs). Sixth king of the Egyptian 4th dynasty. Son and second successor of Chefren; ruled for 18 years (between 2500 and 2450 BC). M. built the third and smallest pyramid in Giza. Evidence from the Saitic and Persian periods (7th-5th cents. BC) indicates the restoration of his tomb and the resumption of his cult. Herodotus' extensive account (Hdt. 2,129-134), which…

Ushebti

(187 words)

Author(s): Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] (Egyptian wšb.ty, 'answerer', secondarily from šb.ty, of uncertain meaning). Term for a small magical figure in the Egyptian cult of the dead (Dead, cult of the). Ushebtis are made of wood, stone or faience, usually representing the dead person in the form of a mummy, sometimes laid out in a coffin. Based on the associated magic spell, which was often written on the figure (spell 472 of the Coffin Texts, spell 6 of the Book of the Dead, cf. [2]), they were supposed to answer on behalf of the dead person if he was called to do work in the Afterlife, and do it in his place. The earliest u…

Amenophis

(491 words)

Author(s): Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin) | Krauss, Rolf (Berlin)
(Jmn-ḥtp ‘Amun is satisfied’). Name of four Egyptian kings of the 18th Dynasty. [German version] [1] 1525-1504 BC 1525-1504 BC. Continuing the policy of his father Ahmose, A. pursued the re-conquering of Nubia and prepared the final blow to the empire of Kush. Recorded in many places in Egypt as the instigator of works of construction. In the time of Rameses, he was worshipped together with his mother Ahmes-Nefertari as the tutelary god of the Theban necropolis. Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin) [German version] [2] 1428-1402 BC 1428-1402 BC. During the course of several camp…

Chous

(328 words)

Author(s): Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover) | Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin)
(χοῦς, χοεύς; choûs, choeús). [German version] [1] Jug or decanter Jug or decanter (height a little over 20 cm); used on the second day of the  Anthesteria during the wine-drinking competition. Probably used as a measure of volume for the prescribed quantity of wine. On Choes Day the three-year-old children receive a small choes decanter (H 6-8 cm) as a symbol of their entry into life. [2, 50f.; 1, 96ff.]. As a measure of volume for liquids the chous is divided into 12 kotylai and 72 kyathoi and amounts to 1/12 of the metretes. Depending on the region, the chous contained 4.56 l (Laconia), 3.…

Nubia

(1,560 words)

Author(s): Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin) | Berger, Albrecht (Berlin)
[German version] A. Name A country on the middle reaches of the Nile; more precisely, the area today settled by a Nubian-speaking population: Lower Nubia from the 1st to the 2nd Nile cataract (Aswān to Wadi Halfa, Republic of Egypt) and Upper Nubia from the 2nd to the 4th cataract (Wadi Halfa to Meroe, northern Sudan). In a culturally and historically understood sense, Nubia also includes the land as far as the 6th cataract and around Khartoum (central Sudan). Besides the general term t-stj for the country, recorded from the Early Dynastic Period (c. 3000 BC), the Egyptian la…

Abydus

(516 words)

Author(s): Schwertheim, Elmar (Münster) | Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin)
(Ἄβυδος; Ábydos). [German version] [1] City at the narrowest part of the Dardanelles This item can be found on the following maps: Colonization | Peloponnesian War | Pergamum | Persian Wars | Delian League | Education / Culture  Miletus founded A. as a polis in the 1st half of the 7th cent. BC, by permission of the Lydian king  Gyges (Str. 13,1,22). It is situated at the narrowest part of the Dardanelles, on the Asian shore, 5 km east of Çanakkale on the promontory of Cape Nagara and already known to Homer (Il.…

Harmachis

(225 words)

Author(s): Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin) | Ameling, Walter (Jena)
(Egyptian Ḥrw-m-ḫ.t, ‘Horus in the horizon’). [German version] [1] Name of the great Sphinx Name under which the great  Sphinx of  Gizeh was venerated as the embodiment of the sun god since the beginning of the New Kingdom ( c. 1500 BC). Many votive steles document the popularity of the cult amongst private people as well as kings. Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin) Bibliography J. Assmann, s.v. H., LÄ2, 992-996. [German version] [2] Priest of Ptah of Memphis, about 200 BC Son of Anemhor, father of Nesysti III; high priest of Ptah of Memphis ( c. 260 ─ after 194-193 BC); sometimes i…

Sphinx

(1,195 words)

Author(s): Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin) | Johannsen, Nina (Kiel) | Bäbler, Balbina (Göttingen)
(Σφίγξ/ Sphínx, also ἀνδροσφίγξ/ androsphínx: Hdt. 2,175; Boeotian: φίξ/ phíx; pl. Σφίγγες/ Sphínges). [German version] I. Egypt Depiction of the Egyptian king with the body of a lion and a human head Greek designation for the depictions which were originally only of the Egyptian king with the body of a lion and a human head; there is no known Egyptian designation for this type of image. Three-dimensional sculptural representations of recumbent sphinxes have been documented since the 4th Dynasty. (Djedefre, 2570-2450 BC). The great sphinx of Gizeh, worshipped…

Menes

(431 words)

Author(s): Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin) | Badian, Ernst (Cambridge, MA)
[German version] [1] Egyptian ruler of the 1st Dynasty From the 19th Dynasty on (13th cent. BC), the Egyptian king lists mention a king M. (Egyptuan Mnj; Manetho: Μήνης/ Mḗnēs) as the first ruler of the 1st Dynasty, and the authors of classical antiquity simply shaped his image into that of the founder par excellence. The construction of the residential city of Memphis and its temple (Hdt. 2,99; Jos. Ant. Iud. 8,155), the invention of writing (Plin. HN 7,56), the laying down of laws in writing (Diod. 1,94) and generally the…

Egypt

(3,211 words)

Author(s): Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin) | Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin)
[German version] A. Introduction The country on the Nile from the 1st Cataract to the Mediterranean, Egyptian km.t, ‘the Black (Land)’, Greek Αἴγυπτος ( Aígyptos). The division of Egyptian history into ‘kingdoms’, ‘intermediate periods’ (periods of unified and divided states) and ‘dynasties’ essentially derives via Manetho from Egyptian annalists. The absolute chronology, which is based on contemporary information on dates, lists of kings and astronomical calculations, is only (more or less) firm for the late period an…

Funerary architecture

(5,482 words)

Author(s): Kammerer-Grothaus, Helke (Bremen) | Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin) | Hauser, Stefan R. (Berlin) | Niemeyer, Hans Georg (Hamburg) | Prayon, Friedhelm (Tübingen) | Et al.
[German version] I. Definition Funerary architecture (FA) refers to architectonically designed structures built above the contemporary ground level for the purpose of  burial, as opposed to underground hypogea, which have rooms for the cult of the dead and hero cult. Columbaria can combine both types. Hypogea with a ground level cult room influenced the early Christian martyria above the graves. Regarding further aspects of FA, cf.  Hypogaeum;  Maussolleum;  Necropoleis. Kammerer-Grothaus, Helke (Bremen) II. Egypt and the Near East [German version] A. Egypt The Egyptian buria…

Temple

(5,554 words)

Author(s): Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin) | Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin) | Hollender, Elisabeth (Cologne) | Niemeyer, Hans Georg (Hamburg) | Höcker, Christoph (Kissing) | Et al.
[German version] I. Mesopotamia The Sumerian term é and the Akkadian term bītu, meaning 'temple' or 'house (of the deity)', were not restricted to 'dwellings' of deities of a particular size or importance. They applied to sanctuaries from small neighbourhood shrines in residential areas to large, freestanding, tall buildings, from one-room cult sites to temple complexes with extensive auxiliary buildings, and they could be used for temples where one or many deities were worshipped. Prehistoric structures are often classified as temples only because apparently they nei…
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