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Nile

(427 words)

Author(s): Schenkel, Wolfgang
[German Version] In Egyptian and Coptic, the Nile is the “River” par excellence (Egyp. * ỉatraw, * ỉa/ oʾre, Coptic yoor etc.; borrowed as Heb. יְאֹר/ yĕʾōr) or the “Great River” (Egyp. ỉatraw ‘aɜ, Coptic yero etc.); the plural with prefixed article (* ne-y[e]r/ lo:w etc.) may have entered Greek as Νεῖλος/ Neílos, originally denoting the seven branches of the Nile in its delta. ¶ With a length of some 6,800 km, the Nile is one of the longest rivers on earth; its final navigable stretch extends some 1,100 km between Aswān and the Mediterranean, Egypt’s riverin…

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…

Seth and Horus

(146 words)

Author(s): Schenkel, Wolfgang
[German Version] In the Egyptian pantheon, Seth was a collateral male relative (Egyp. sn) of his antagonist Horus. In the story of Horus and Seth, he was the brother of Horus, with whom he contended for dominion over Egypt (see fig. 2); in the Osiris myth, he was the uncle of Horus; after the murder of Horus’s father Osiris (Isis and Osiris), he challenged Horus for succession to the throne. He was the god of Egypt’s borderlands, the desert, and foreign lands, as such identified with Syrian Baal. He was wors…