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Imuthes

(205 words)

Author(s): Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] [1] see Petobastis IV see  Petobastis IV Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin) [German version] [2] Official of Heliopolis (Imhotep; Egyptian Jj-m-Ḥtp; Greek Ἰμούθης/ Imoúthēs). Documented in contemporary inscriptions and papyri at th…

Cheops

(167 words)

Author(s): Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] (Egyptian Nmw-ḫwj.f-wj; Hdt. Χέοψ ( Chéops), Manetho Σοῦφις ( Soûphis), Ps.-Eratosth. fr. 17 Σαῶφις ( Saôphis); in Diod. Sic. 1,63 also  Chemmis/Χέμμις). Second ruler of the 4th dynasty; according to the Turin Papyrus of Kings reigned 23 years ( c. 2550 BC). Nothing is known of political events during his reign. C. inaugurated the necropolis at  Giza, where with the construction of his pyramid (the largest) and establishment of a cemetery for members of the elite he realized the concept of a unified …

Mendes

(122 words)

Author(s): Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] (Egyptian np.t

Heracleopolis magna

(113 words)

Author(s): Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] This item can be found on the following maps: Pilgrimage (Egyptian Nn-njswt, modern Ihnāsiyat al-madīna). Town on the western bank of the Nile near the entrance of the  Faiyum; metropolis of the 20th Upper Egyptian nome; cult site of the ram…

Dodekaschoinos

(113 words)

Author(s): Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] ‘Twelve mile land’, term in the Graeco-Roman period (Ptol. 4,5,74 and Hdt. 2,29) for the c. 135 km long northern sector of Nubia between  Syene and Takompso ( Tqmps)/Hierosycaminus (al-Maharraqa) [1] that was transferred by the rulers to the temple of  Isis at  Philae mainly for the levy of taxes on the transport of goods. In a stone stele at Seḥel claiming to date back to the Old Kingdom, b…

Nile

(1,387 words)

Author(s): Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] River of Egypt, Egyptian ḥpj (actually the N. flood) or jtrw ( ­) ‘the (large)river’; therefore Coptic

Gizeh

(192 words)

Author(s): Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] Egyptian necropolis for the residence of the Old Kingdom (2700-2190 BC) o…

Senis

(142 words)

Author(s): Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] (Σῆνις; Sênis; Demotic Snj). Greek form of the Egyptian toponym Snm.t, which is documented under various names, particularly Τμουσάνις/ Tmousánis ('the island of Snj'). Snm.t denoted the island of Bīǧa (possibly also an originally larger group of islands) in the First Cataract of the Nile on the border between Egypt and Nubia to the west of Philae. Bīǧa is primarily known thr…

Apotropaic texts

(342 words)

Author(s): Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] In Egyptian magic for warding off enemies, a figure made of clay, wax, wood or stone that resembled the fettered enemy was inscribed with the name of the person against whom the  spell was meant to work. Spell 37 from the coffin texts describes this process and instructs the person casting the spell to bury the figure in a graveyard after reciting a magic spell. These so-called apotropaic figures, whose inscriptions were aimed against individual pe…

Saqqara

(325 words)

Author(s): Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] Necropolis area with a length of c. 7.5 km at the edge of the Libyan desert south of Cairo. The heartland (S. north) was laid out in the 1st Dynasty (around 3000 BC) as a necropolis of Memphis on a hill above the newly founded city with a cemetery for the highest officials and members of the royal house. From the 2nd Dynasty (and right through to the 1st Intermediate Period), royal tomb complexes were repeatedly built in S., for example the pyramid complex of Djoser whose proximity was …

Pyramid

(2,023 words)

Author(s): Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin)
(Egyptian mr, Greek πυραμίς/ pyramís, Lat. pyramis). Monumental funerary structure, originally of the Egyptian kings, on a square layout, with, in the ideal case, planar triangular sides. The term in archaeology for the apex of the pyramid, formed from a single block of stone and often especially decorated, is pyramidion (Egyptian bnbn.t). …

Elephantine

(358 words)

Author(s): Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] This item can be found on the following maps: Egypt | India, trade with | Egypt (Egypt. bw, ‘elephant’ or ‘ivory island’). Island at the northern end of the first cataract of the Nile; the settlement on its southern tip [1] dates back to late prehistoric times. During the 1st dynasty, a fortress was built in this border region between Egypt and Nubia; at the time of the Old Kingdom, it was extended into a fortified town. From then on, E. was the capital of the first Upper Egyptian nome and its so…

Edfu

(108 words)

Author(s): Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] (Egypt. Ḏb; Greek Ἀπολλωνόσπολις μεγάλη; Apollōnóspolis megálē). City on the western shore of the Nile in the south of Upper Egypt, at the end of important caravan routes to the red Sea and to the gold mines of the Eastern desert. Capital of the second Upper Egyptian district. The temple of Horus from the Ptolemaic period (built by Ptolemy III-XII) is excellently preserved, and its rich decorations with images and writing are an important source for the religion of late Egypt [1; 2]. Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin) Bibliography 1 Le temple d'Edfou I-XV, 1897-1985 2…

Hyksos

(373 words)

Author(s): Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] (Egyptian Ḥq.w-ḫs.wt, ‘Rulers of foreign lands’; Greek Ὑκσώς/ Hyksṓs) Rulers of foreign peoples are sporadically named H. from the late Old Kingdom onwards: the Turin Royal Canon assigns this term to a dynasty of six kings of foreign origin (15th Dynasty, c. 1650-1540 BC) in the 2nd intermediate period, whose first representatives bore this title themselves before fully adopting the Egyptian royal titulature later on. Josephus (Ap. 1,14,82ff.), based on  Manetho, incorrectly applies the term, and with an inexact etymol…

Heliopolis, Heliupolis

(219 words)

Author(s): Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] [1] City on the edge of the Nile delta This item can be found on the following maps: Aegean Koine Egyptian Jwnw, Hebrew ʾôn, modern Matarije. City on the eastern edge of the southern tip of the Nile delta axis (today a suburb of Cairo), metropolis of the 13th Lower Egyptian district and from the Old Kingdom the most important cult centre of the sun god in his forms  Aton and Re-Harachte ( Re). H. was of central theological significance in a myth of creation which in the generational model of the ‘Ennead…

Abū Simbel

(252 words)

Author(s): Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] A location on the west bank of the Nile valley in Nubia, c. 250 km south of Aswān, where Ramses II had two temples hewn out of rock cliffs [1]. The great temple in the south is dedicated to the holy triad of Amun, Ptah and Re-Harakhte, and to the Pharaoh himself. Its pylon-shaped stone facade is dominated by four 20-metre statues of the throned Pharaoh. Inside, two halls with massive square pillars and a transverse hall lead to the inner sanctuary; the temple axis is oriented in such a way th…

Sephres

(110 words)

Author(s): Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] (Σεφρής/ Sephrḗs, Manetho (Sync. 107); Egyptian S­ḥw-R/ Sahure). Second king of the 5th dynasty ( c. 2496-2483 BC), probably the brother of Userkaf and a son of Queen Khentkaus. His pyramid temples near Abū Ṣīr are preserved relatively well, esp. their relief decoration; they are representatives of the canonical type (pyramid).The sun-temple of S. is known from written sources, but has not yet been found. Finds of isolated groups of statues probably originate from there. Several expeditions to Sinai and Nubia are documented in annals and expedition inscriptions. Se…

Mastaba

(395 words)

Author(s): Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] (Arabic: ‘bench’). Basic form for ancient Egyptian non-royal graves in the Old Kingdom. The emergence of the mastaba form can be traced to the beginning of the first dynasty (3000-2870 BC) in the region of Memphis. It consists of long, rectangular, north-south oriented, high and solidly filled-in structures with sloping side walls, which reproduce the basic shape of a house in an elementary stylised manner. Originally, the structure covered the grave chamber, which was situated in…

Chefren

(126 words)

Author(s): Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] (Egyptian Ḫj.f-R, possibly R-ḫj.f; Hdt. 2,127 Χεφρήν ( Chephrḗn), Diod. Sic. 1,64 Κεφρήν ( Kephrḗn), Manetho in allusion to Cheops Σοῦφις ( Soûphis), Ps.-Eratosth. fr. 17 Σαῶφις ( Saôphis). Fourth ruler of the 4th dynasty; according to the Turin royal papyrus reigned 26 years ( c. 2500 BC). Nothing is known of political events during his reign. After the death of his brother Djedefre C. erected his own monument at the necropolis of his father  Cheops in  Giza, building the second largest pyramid. Mortuary and valley temp…

Djoser

(178 words)

Author(s): Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] (Egypt. Ḏsr, only the Horus name Nṯrj-ẖt is attested in contemporary sources; in Manetho Τόσορθρος/ Tósorthros or Σέσορθος/ Sésorthos). First or second king of the 3rd Dynasty; according to the Turin Papyrus of Kings ruled for 19 years ( c. 2650 BC); no political events from his period are known. Probably with the collaboration of Imhotep ( Imuthes), D. erected a monumental funerary complex in Saqqara, in the centre of which was the first pyramid, a stepped building developed from a mastaba on an almost square base and…

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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