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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…

Gizeh

(192 words)

Author(s): Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] Egyptian necropolis for the residence of the Old Kingdom (2700-2190 BC) on a plateau in the Libyan desert west of Cairo that juts out prominently. The pyramid complexes of the Kings  Cheops,  Chefren and  Mycerinus from the 4th dynasty ( c. 2600-2400 BC) characterize the place; they are surrounded by the  mastabas and cliff tombs of the members of the royal family and high officials. After the 4th dynasty the cemetery was, by the end of the Old Kingdom, intensively occupied further by private tombs, particularly by the …

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…

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 through rock inscriptions from the Middle Kingdom; there is also written evidence of a border fortification. Remains of a temple date …

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 persons (sometimes grouped with fam…

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). [German version] I. Origin and interpretation The two oldest phases of the first pyramid, the step-pyramid of Djoser at Saqqara ( c. 2700 BC), still display the simple mastaba form on a confined rectangular plan, whi…

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.…

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…

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…

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 royal residence nec…

Elephantine

(290 words)

Author(s): Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin)
[English version] Dieser Ort ist auf folgenden Karten verzeichnet: Ägypten | Ägypten | Indienhandel (ägypt. bw, “Elephanten-” bzw. “Elfenbeininsel”). Insel am Nordausgang des 1. Nilkatarakts; die Siedlung auf ihrer Südspitze [1] bestand seit spätprähistor. Zeit. In der 1. Dyn. wurde hier im ägypt.-nubischen Grenzgebiet eine Festung errichtet; sie wurde im AR zur befestigten Stadt ausgebaut; seitdem war E. Hauptstadt des ersten oberägypt. Gaues und südl. Grenzstadt, kontrollierte den Handelsverkehr nach Nubien…

Edfu

(91 words)

Author(s): Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin)
[English version] (ägypt. Ḏb­; griech. Ἀπολλωνόσπολις μεγάλη). Stadt auf dem Westufer des Nils im Süden Oberägytens an der Mündung wichtiger Karawanenstraßen zum Roten Meer und zu Goldminen der Ostwüste; Hauptstadt des zweiten oberägyptischen Gaues. Der Tempel des Horus aus ptolem. Zeit (gebaut von Ptolemaios III.-XII.) ist hervorragend erh. und mit reichem Bild- und Textschmuck eine Hauptquelle für die Religion des späten Ägypten [1; 2]. Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin) Bibliography 1 Le temple d'Edfou I-XV, 1897-1985 2 D. Kurth, Treffpunkt der Götter, 1994 3 B. Porte…

Abydos

(462 words)

Author(s): Schwertheim, Elmar (Münster) | Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin)
(Ἄβυδος). [English version] [1] Stadt an der engsten Stelle der Dardanellen Dieser Ort ist auf folgenden Karten verzeichnet: Attisch-Delischer Seebund | Bildung | Kolonisation | Peloponnesischer Krieg | Pergamon | Perserkriege Als Polis wurde A. von Miletos in der 1. H. des 7. Jh. v. Chr. mit Erlaubnis des lyd. Königs Gyges an der engsten Stelle der Dardanellen auf dem asiatischen Ufer gegr. (Strab. 13,1,22) - 5 km nördl. von Çanakkale auf einer Landzunge Kap Nağara gelegen und schon Homer bekannt (Il. 2,837; 4,500; 17,584). …

Djoser

(144 words)

Author(s): Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin)
[English version] (ägypt. Ḏsr, zeitgenössisch nur der Horusname Nṯrj-ẖt belegt; bei Manetho Τόσορθρος bzw. Σέσορθος). Erster oder zweiter König der 3. Dyn.; regierte lt. dem Turiner Königs-Pap. 19 Jahre (ca. 2650 v.Chr.); polit. Ereignisse sind aus seiner Zeit nicht bekannt. D. errichtete, wohl unter Mitwirkung des Imhotep (Imuthes) in Saqqara einen monumentalen Grabkomplex, dessen Zentrum die erste Pyramide, ein aus einer Mastaba entwickelter Stufenbau auf fast quadratischem Grundriß bildete, umgeben u…

Pyramide

(1,628 words)

Author(s): Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin)
(äg. mr, griech. πυραμίς, lat. pyramis). Monumentaler Grabbau urspr. des äg. Königs auf quadratischem Grundriß mit im Idealfall plan-dreieckigen Seitenflächen. Die Spitze der P., aus einem eigenen Steinblock gefertigt und oft bes. dekoriert, wird in der Arch. als Pyramidion (äg. bnbn.t) bezeichnet. [English version] I. Ursprung und Bedeutung Bei der ersten P., der Stufen-P. des Djoser in Saqqara (ca. 2700 v. Chr.), zeigen die beiden ältesten Bauphasen noch die einfache Mastaba-Form auf gedrungen-rechteckigem Grundriß, der dem Umriß der Graban…

Menes

(371 words)

Author(s): Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin) | Badian, Ernst (Cambridge, MA)
[English version] [1] äg. Herrscher der 1. Dyn. Seit der 19. Dyn. (13. Jh.v.Chr.) nennen die äg. Königslisten einen König M. (äg. Mnj; Manetho: Μήνης) als ersten Herrscher der 1. Dyn., und die Autoren der klass. Ant. gestalteten sein Bild zu dem des Gründers schlechthin aus. Die Anlage der Residenzstadt Memphis und ihres Tempels (Hdt. 2,99; Ios. ant. Iud. 8,155), die Erfindung der Schrift (Plin. nat. 7,56), die schriftl. Fixierung der Gesetze (Diod. 1,94) und überhaupt die Einführung zivilisierter Lebensformen (Diod. 1,43.45, Plut. Is. 8) wurden ihm zugeschrieben. Die Identifikati…

Herakleopolis magna

(95 words)

Author(s): Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin)
[English version] Dieser Ort ist auf folgenden Karten verzeichnet: Pilgerschaft (äg. Nn-njswt, h. Ihnāsiyat al-madīna). Stadt auf dem Westufer des Nils im Eingangsbereich des Fajjūm; Metropole des 20. oberäg. Gaues; Kultort des mit Herakles geglichenen Widdergottes Harsaphes und Herkunftsstadt der herakleopolitanischen 9./10. Dyn. in der 1. Zwischenzeit. Die arch. Zeugnisse am Ort, Gräberfelder und Tempel, reichen bis in die 1. Zwischenzeit bzw. das MR (1. H. 2. Jt. v.Chr.) zurück. Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin) Bibliography F. Gomaà, s.v. H.m., LÄ 2, 1124-1127 …
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