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The Sungod's Journey through the Netherworld - Reading the Ancient Egyptian Amduat (Hardcover): Andreas Schweizer The Sungod's Journey through the Netherworld - Reading the Ancient Egyptian Amduat (Hardcover)
Andreas Schweizer; Foreword by Erik Hornung; Translated by David Lorton
R871 R728 Discovery Miles 7 280 Save R143 (16%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

"The ancient Egyptian sources come alive, speaking to us without seeming alien to our modern ways of thinking. Andreas Schweizer invites us to join the nocturnal voyage of the solar barque and to immerse ourselves, with the 'Great Soul' of the sun, into the darkness surrounding us. Here in the illustrations and texts of the Amduat, threats hidden in the depths of our soul become visible as concrete images, an analysis of which remains ever worthwhile: even in the guise of the evil, ominous, or dark side of godhead with which Schweizer concerns himself. The netherworld into which we descend underlies our own world. Creative energies of dreadful intensity are active there, and only death, to which all must surrender, makes us truly alive by offering us regeneration from the depths." Erik Hornung, from the Foreword

The Amduat (literally "that which is in the netherworld") tells the story of the nocturnal journey of Re, the Egyptian Sungod, through the netherworld from the time when the sun dies, after setting in the west, to its rebirth at sunrise in the east. In the middle of the night, in the profoundest depths of the netherworld, this resurrection is made possible by a mystical union of the sun with the mummified body of Osiris, god of the dead. This great mystery of the union between the freely moving soul of the Sungod, longing for the bright and boundless sky, with Osiris's corpse, which is irrevocably bound to the subterranean realm of the dead, evokes the renewal of all life and the restoration of totality.

In the Egyptian belief system, the pharaohs and in later times all blessed dead embarked on this same "night-sea journey" after death, ultimately becoming one with Re and living forever. The vision of the afterlife elaborated in the Amduat, dating from around 1500 B.C.E., has been influential for millennia, providing the model for an entire genre of Egyptian literature, the Books of the Afterlife, which in turn endured into the Greco-Roman era. Its themes and images persisted into gnostic and alchemical texts and made their way into early Christian portrayals of the beyond.

In The Sungod's Journey through the Netherworld, Andreas Schweizer guides the reader through the Amduat, offering a psychological interpretation of its principal textual and iconographic elements. He is concerned with themes that run deep and wide in human experience, drawing on Jungian archetypes to find similar expression in many cultures worldwide: sleep as death; resurrection as reawakening or rebirth; and salvation or redemption, whether from original sin (as for Christians) or from the total annihilation of death (as for the ancient Egyptians)."

The Secret Lore of Egypt - Its Impact on the West (Hardcover): Erik Hornung The Secret Lore of Egypt - Its Impact on the West (Hardcover)
Erik Hornung; Translated by David Lorton
R861 R756 Discovery Miles 7 560 Save R105 (12%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

Alchemy, astrology, and other secret sciences have Egyptian roots, and films, popular fiction, and comic books frequently draw upon Egyptian themes. Rosicrucianism, Mormonism, and Afrocentrism all share Egyptian-derived elements. Modern-day esoteric endeavors find an endlessly renewable intellectual reservoir in ancient Egyptian culture, Erik Hornung believes, and are almost inconceivable without Egypt. Although such persistence assures Egyptosophical ideas an extraordinarily widespread impact, the field of Egyptology has largely overlooked this phenomenon.In The Secret Lore of Egypt, Hornung traces the influence of the esoteric image of Egypt, especially as it is manifested by the god Thoth, on European intellectual history since antiquity and finds it reasserted even today in the United States. From Gnostic writings and Romantic poetry to Freemasonry and the Theosophist movement, Egyptian deities re-emerge in ever-surprising guises. Since ancient times, Egypt has been associated with esoteric practices and beliefs and regarded as the source of all secret knowledge an association that, Hornung says, is only loosely connected with historical reality."

The Search for God in Ancient Egypt (Paperback, 1st English-language ed., with revisions and additions): Jan Assmann The Search for God in Ancient Egypt (Paperback, 1st English-language ed., with revisions and additions)
Jan Assmann; Translated by David Lorton
R546 R487 Discovery Miles 4 870 Save R59 (11%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

First English-language edition, with revisions and additions by the author.This classic work by one of the world's most distinguished Egyptologists was first published in German in 1984. The Search for God in Ancient Egypt offers a distillation of Jan Assmann's views on ancient Egyptian religion, with special emphasis on theology and piety. Deeply rooted in the texts of ancient Egypt and thoroughly informed by comparative religion, theology, anthropology, and semiotic analysis, Assmann's interpretations reveal the complexity of Egyptian thought in a new way.Assmann takes special care to distinguish between the "implicit" theology of Egyptian polytheism and the "explicit" theology that is concerned with exploring the problem of the divine. His discussion of polytheism and mythology addresses aspects of ritual, the universe, and myth; his consideration of explicit theology deals with theodicy and the specifics of Amarna religion.

Death and Salvation in Ancient Egypt (Abridged, Paperback, Abridged and updated by the author): Jan Assmann Death and Salvation in Ancient Egypt (Abridged, Paperback, Abridged and updated by the author)
Jan Assmann; Translated by David Lorton
R790 R647 Discovery Miles 6 470 Save R143 (18%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

"Human beings," the acclaimed Egyptologist Jan Assmann writes, "are the animals that have to live with the knowledge of their death, and culture is the world they create so they can live with that knowledge." In his new book, Assmann explores images of death and of death rites in ancient Egypt to provide startling new insights into the particular character of the civilization as a whole.

Drawing on the unfamiliar genre of the death liturgy, he arrives at a remarkably comprehensive view of the religion of death in ancient Egypt. Assmann describes in detail nine different images of death: death as the body being torn apart, as social isolation, the notion of the court of the dead, the dead body, the mummy, the soul and ancestral spirit of the dead, death as separation and transition, as homecoming, and as secret. Death and Salvation in Ancient Egypt also includes a fascinating discussion of rites that reflect beliefs about death through language and ritual.

Mummies and Death in Egypt (Hardcover): Francoise Dunand, Roger Lichtenberg Mummies and Death in Egypt (Hardcover)
Francoise Dunand, Roger Lichtenberg; Translated by David Lorton; Foreword by Jean Yoyotte
R868 R744 Discovery Miles 7 440 Save R124 (14%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

"Today, a good century after the first X-rays of mummies, Egyptology has the benefit of all the methods and means at the disposal of forensic medicine. The 'mummy stories' we tell have changed their tone, but they have enjoyed much success, with fantastic scientific and technological results resolving the mysteries of the ancient land of the pharaohs." from the ForewordMummies are the things that fascinate us most about ancient Egypt. But what are mummies? How did the Egyptians create them? And why? What became of the people they once were? We are learning more all the time about the cultural processes surrounding mummification and the medical characteristics of ancient Egyptian mummies. In the first part of Mummies and Death in Egypt Francoise Dunand gives an overview of the history of mummification in Egypt from the prehistoric to the Roman period. She thoroughly describes the preparations of the dead (tombs and their furnishings, funerary offerings, ornamentation of the corpse, coffins, and canopic jars), and she includes a separate chapter on the mummification of animals. She links these various practices and behaviors to the religious beliefs of classical Egypt. In the second part of this book, Roger Lichtenberg, a physician and archaeologist, offers a fascinating narrative of his forensic research on mummies, much of it conducted with a portable X-ray machine on archaeological digs. His findings have revealed new information on the ages of the mummified, their causes of death, and the illnesses and injuries they suffered. Together, Dunand and Lichtenberg provide a state-of-the-art account of the science of mummification and its social and religious context."

Gods and Men in Egypt - 3000 BCE to 395 CE (Paperback): Francoise Dunand, Christiane Zivie-Coche Gods and Men in Egypt - 3000 BCE to 395 CE (Paperback)
Francoise Dunand, Christiane Zivie-Coche; Translated by David Lorton
R663 R560 Discovery Miles 5 600 Save R103 (16%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

In their wide-ranging interpretation of the religion of ancient Egypt, Francoise Dunand and Christiane Zivie-Coche explore how, over a period of roughly 3500 years, the Egyptians conceptualized their relations with the gods. Drawing on the insights of anthropology, the authors discuss such topics as the identities, images, and functions of the gods; rituals and liturgies; personal forms of piety expressing humanity's need to establish a direct relation with the divine; and the afterlife, a central feature of Egyptian religion. That religion, the authors assert, was characterized by the remarkable continuity of its ritual practices and the ideas of which they were an expression.Throughout, Dunand and Zivie-Coche take advantage of the most recent archaeological discoveries and scholarship. Gods and Men in Egypt is unique in its coverage of Egyptian religious expression in the Ptolemaic and Roman periods. Written with nonspecialist readers in mind, it is largely concerned with the continuation of Egypt's traditional religion in these periods, but it also includes fascinating accounts of Judaism in Egypt and the appearance and spread of Christianity there."

Cleopatra - Beyond the Myth (Paperback): Michel Chauveau Cleopatra - Beyond the Myth (Paperback)
Michel Chauveau; Translated by David Lorton
R529 R470 Discovery Miles 4 700 Save R59 (11%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

Cleopatra: kohl and vipers, barges and thrones, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. We have long been schooled in the myth of the Egyptian ruler. In his new book Michel Chauveau brings us a picture of her firmly based in reality. Cleopatra VII reigned in Egypt between 51 and 30 B.C.E. Her primary goal as a ruler was to restore over the eastern Mediterranean the supremacy of the Lagides, the dynasty of Macedonian origin of which she herself was a descendant. We know the queen best from Greek and Latin sources, though these must be used with caution because of their bias. Understandably enough, they reflect not only matters of interest to Romans, but also the propaganda that Octavian used against the queen during his struggles with Mark Antony. Chauveau combines his knowledge of Egyptian sources with judicious use of classical materials to produce an authoritative biography of Cleopatra, the woman and queen, seen in the light of the turbulent era in which she lived.

Sphinx - History of a Monument (Paperback): Christiane Zivie-Coche Sphinx - History of a Monument (Paperback)
Christiane Zivie-Coche; Translated by David Lorton
R532 R473 Discovery Miles 4 730 Save R59 (11%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

"Sphinxes are legion in Egypt what is so special about this one? . . . We shall take a stroll around the monument itself, scrutinizing its special features and analyzing the changes it experienced throughout its history. The evidence linked to the statue will enable us to trace its evolution . . . down to the worship it received in the first centuries of our own era, when Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans mingled together in devotion to this colossus, illustrious witness to a past that was already more than two millennia old." from the IntroductionThe Great Sphinx of Giza is one of the few monuments from ancient Egypt familiar to nearly everyone. In a land where the colossal is part of the landscape, it still stands out, the largest known statue in Egypt. Originally constructed as the image of King Chephren, builder of the second of the Great Pyramids, the Sphinx later acquired new fame in the guise of the sun god Harmakhis. Major construction efforts in the New Kingdom and Roman Period transformed the monument and its environs into an impressive place of pilgrimage, visited until the end of pagan antiquity.Christiane Zivie-Coche, a distinguished Egyptologist, surveys the long history of the Great Sphinx and discusses its original appearance, its functions and religious significance, its relation to the many other Egyptian sphinxes, and the various discoveries connected with it. From votive objects deposited by the faithful and inscriptions that testify to details of worship, she reconstructs the cult of Harmakhis (in Egyptian, Har-em-akhet, or "Horus-in-the-horizon"), which arose around the monument in the second millennium. "We are faced," she writes, "with a religious phenomenon that is entirely original, though not unique: a theological reinterpretation turned an existing statue into the image of the god who had been invented on its basis."The coming of Christianity ended the Great Sphinx's religious role. The ever-present sand buried it, thus sparing it the fate that overtook the nearby pyramids, which were stripped of their stone by medieval builders. The monument remained untouched, covered by its desert blanket, until the first excavations. Zivie-Coche details the archaeological activity aimed at clearing the Sphinx and, later, at preserving it from the corrosive effects of a rising water table."

Gods and Men in Egypt - 3000 BCE to 395 CE (Hardcover): Francoise Dunand, Christiane Zivie-Coche Gods and Men in Egypt - 3000 BCE to 395 CE (Hardcover)
Francoise Dunand, Christiane Zivie-Coche; Translated by David Lorton
R1,659 R1,375 Discovery Miles 13 750 Save R284 (17%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

In their wide-ranging interpretation of the religion of ancient Egypt, Francoise Dunand and Christiane Zivie-Coche explore how, over a period of roughly 3500 years, the Egyptians conceptualized their relations with the gods. Drawing on the insights of anthropology, the authors discuss such topics as the identities, images, and functions of the gods; rituals and liturgies; personal forms of piety expressing humanity's need to establish a direct relation with the divine; and the afterlife, a central feature of Egyptian religion. That religion, the authors assert, was characterized by the remarkable continuity of its ritual practices and the ideas of which they were an expression.Throughout, Dunand and Zivie-Coche take advantage of the most recent archaeological discoveries and scholarship. Gods and Men in Egypt is unique in its coverage of Egyptian religious expression in the Ptolemaic and Roman periods. Written with nonspecialist readers in mind, it is largely concerned with the continuation of Egypt's traditional religion in these periods, but it also includes fascinating accounts of Judaism in Egypt and the appearance and spread of Christianity there."

Akhenaten and the Religion of Light (Paperback): Erik Hornung Akhenaten and the Religion of Light (Paperback)
Erik Hornung; Translated by David Lorton
R433 R395 Discovery Miles 3 950 Save R38 (9%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

Akhenaten, also known as Amenhotep IV, was king of Egypt during the Eighteenth Dynasty and reigned from 1375 to 1358 B.C. E. Called the "religious revolutionary," he is the earliest known creator of a new religion. The cult he founded broke with Egypt's traditional polytheism and focused its worship on a single deity, the sun god Aten. Erik Hornung, one of the world's preeminent Egyptologists, here offers a concise and accessible account of Akhenaten and his religion of light.Hornung begins with a discussion of the nineteenth-century scholars who laid the foundation for our knowledge of Akhenaten's period and extends to the most recent archaeological finds. He emphasizes that Akhenaten's monotheistic theology represented the first attempt in history to explain the entire natural and human world on the basis of a single principle. "Akhenaten made light the absolute reference point," Hornung writes, "and it is astonishing how clearly and consistently he pursued this concept." Hornung also addresses such topics as the origins of the new religion; pro-found changes in beliefs regarding the afterlife; and the new Egyptian capital at Akhetaten which was devoted to the service of Aten, his prophet Akhenaten, and the latter's family.

The Ancient Egyptian Books of the Afterlife (Paperback, New edition): Erik Hornung The Ancient Egyptian Books of the Afterlife (Paperback, New edition)
Erik Hornung; Translated by David Lorton
R540 R462 Discovery Miles 4 620 Save R78 (14%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

Ancient Egyptians held a rich and complex vision of the afterlife and codified their beliefs in books that were to be discovered more than two millennia later in royal tombs. Erik Hornung, the world's leading authority on these religious texts, surveys what is known about them today.The contents of the texts range from the collection of spells in the Book of the Dead, which was intended to offer practical assistance on the journey to the afterlife, to the detailed accounts of the hereafter provided in the Books of the Netherworld. Hornung looks closely at these latter works, while summarizing the contents of the Book of the Dead and other widely studied examples of the genre. For each composition, he discusses the history of its ancient transmission and its decipherment in modern times, supplying bibliographic information for any text editions. He also seeks to determine whether this literature as a whole presents a monolithic conception of the afterlife. The volume features many drawings from the books themselves drawings that illustrate the nocturnal course of the sun god through the realm of the dead.Originally published in German and now available in a fluid English translation, this volume offers an accessible and enlightening introduction to a central element of ancient Egyptian religion."

The Secret History of Hermes Trismegistus - Hermeticism from Ancient to Modern Times (Paperback): Florian Ebeling The Secret History of Hermes Trismegistus - Hermeticism from Ancient to Modern Times (Paperback)
Florian Ebeling; Translated by David Lorton; Foreword by Jan Assmann
R437 R398 Discovery Miles 3 980 Save R39 (9%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

"Perhaps Hermeticism has fascinated so many people precisely because it has made it possible to produce many analogies and relationships to various traditions: to Platonism in its many varieties, to Stoicism, to Gnostic ideas, and even to certain Aristotelian doctrines. The Gnostic, the esoteric, the Platonist, or the deist has each been able to find something familiar in the writings. One just had to have a penchant for remote antiquity, for the idea of a Golden Age, in order for Hermeticism, with its aura of an ancient Egyptian revelation, to have enjoyed such outstanding success." from the Introduction

Hermes Trismegistus, "thrice-great Hermes," emerged from the amalgamation of the wisdom gods Hermes and Thoth and is one of the most enigmatic figures of intellectual history. Since antiquity, the legendary "wise Egyptian" has been considered the creator of several mystical and magical writings on such topics as alchemy, astrology, medicine, and the transcendence of God. Philosophers of the Renaissance celebrated Hermes Trismegistus as the founder of philosophy, Freemasons called him their forefather, and Enlightenment thinkers championed religious tolerance in his name. To this day, Hermes Trismegistus is one of the central figures of the occult his name is synonymous with the esoteric.

In this scholarly yet accessible introduction to the history of Hermeticism and its mythical founder, Florian Ebeling provides a concise overview of the Corpus Hermeticum and other writings attributed to Hermes. He traces the impact of Christian and Muslim versions of the figure in medieval Europe, the power of Hermeticism and Paracelsian belief in Renaissance thought, the relationship to Pietism and to Freemasonry in early modern Europe, and the relationship to esotericism and semiotics in the modern world."

Ancient Egypt in 101 Questions and Answers (Hardcover): Thomas Schneider Ancient Egypt in 101 Questions and Answers (Hardcover)
Thomas Schneider; Translated by David Lorton
R577 R458 Discovery Miles 4 580 Save R119 (21%) Ships in 7 - 11 working days

How well do we really know ancient Egypt? The world of the Egyptians seems strangely familiar to us: exhibitions of ancient art and archaeological discoveries in the desert sands continue to generate interest and amazement, while Egyptian motifs appear in architecture, literature, artworks, advertising, and film. Yet, this modern reception can sometimes preserve the myths and inaccuracies about ancient Egypt that derive from classical antiquity and the Renaissance. It is only in the past two hundred years that we have been able to read for ourselves ancient Egyptian texts and to reveal the true nature of its civilization through excavation. This modern discovery of ancient Egypt is now astonishing us with a culture of incomparable richness and remarkable diversity.

In this book, the internationally acclaimed Egyptologist Thomas Schneider asks, "What are the 101 most important questions about ancient Egypt?" The questions he has chosen and the answers he provides challenge almost everything we thought we knew about the ancient civilization in the Nile valley. They range from the surprising ("Why did upper-class Egyptians never wear a beard?") to the profound ( Was ancient Egypt a culture of death? ) and the provocative ( What do we not know about ancient Egypt? ). Schneider's answers will surprise, inspire, and challenge a wide range of readers. Ancient Egypt in 101 Questions and Answers provides a completely fresh way of looking at all aspects of ancient Egypt from history, art, and everyday life to religion and ancient attitudes to death and the afterlife."

Cleopatra - Beyond the Myth (Hardcover): Michel Chaveau Cleopatra - Beyond the Myth (Hardcover)
Michel Chaveau; Translated by David Lorton
R812 R718 Discovery Miles 7 180 Save R94 (12%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

"Cleopatra": kohl and vipers, barges and thrones, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. We have long been schooled in the myth of the Egyptian ruler. In his new book Michel Chauveau brings us a picture of her firmly based in reality.

Cleopatra VII reigned in Egypt between 51 and 30 B.C.E. Her primary goal as a ruler was to restore over the eastern Mediterranean the supremacy of the Lagides, the dynasty of Macedonian origin of which she herself was a descendant. We know the queen best from Greek and Latin sources, though these must be used with caution because of their bias. Understandably enough, they reflect not only matters of interest to Romans, but also the propaganda that Octavian used against the queen during his struggles with Mark Antony. Chauveau combines his knowledge of Egyptian sources with judicious use of Classical materials to produce an authoritative biography of Cleopatra, the woman and queen, seen in the light of the turbulent era in which she lived.

The Priests of Ancient Egypt (Paperback, New ed): Serge Sauneron The Priests of Ancient Egypt (Paperback, New ed)
Serge Sauneron; Translated by David Lorton; Foreword by Jean-Pierre Corteggiani
R537 R478 Discovery Miles 4 780 Save R59 (11%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

The gods were everywhere in Ancient Egypt. Represented by statues, bas-reliefs, and funerary paintings, they even walked among the Egyptians in the person of Pharaoh, considered to be a living god, son of the divine Ra. What better way to understand that distant culture than by becoming familiar with the people who served those gods?

Using as his sources the Egyptian texts and the testimony of classical authors, Serge Sauneron illuminates the role of the priesthood in Ancient Egypt. He re-creates the system of thought of one of the great civilizations of antiquity, addressing such topics as priestly functions, the world of the temples, holy festivals, tombs, and pyramids.

Sauneron describes the ceremonies of daily worship, considered vital in preventing the world's descent into chaos. He takes us deep into the sacred precincts of the temples -- home to the divine statues in which a part of the god was believed to dwell. One of the duties of the priests was to maintain these sacred effigies, to nourish, clothe, and protect them from attacks by evil spirits.

This edition of The Priests of Ancient Egypt, an augmented version of the 1957 classic, was published in France in 1988, and has been translated authoritatively by David Lorton.

Egypt in the Age of Cleopatra - History and Society under the Ptolemies (Paperback): Michel Chauveau Egypt in the Age of Cleopatra - History and Society under the Ptolemies (Paperback)
Michel Chauveau; Translated by David Lorton
R519 R466 Discovery Miles 4 660 Save R53 (10%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

Few other civilizations rival Ancient Egypt in its power to capture the modern imagination, and Cleopatra VII, monarch at the end of the Ptolemaic period, has always been preeminent among its cast of characters. Coming to power just before the unstable state was about to be absorbed into an autocratic empire, Cleopatra oversaw not only Egypt's progress as an influential regional power but also the fragile peace of its ethnically mixed population.

Michel Chauveau looks at many facets of life under this queen and her dynasty, drawing on such sources as firsthand accounts, numismatics, and Greek, Demotic, and hieroglyphic inscriptions. His use of such sources helps to free the narrative of dependence on later (and usually hostile) Greek and Roman historians. By taking up such subjects as funeral customs, language and writing, social class structure, religion, and administration, he affords the reader an unprecedented and comprehensive picture of Greek and Egyptian life in both the cities and the countryside.

Originally published in French in 1997, Egypt in the Age of Cleopatra fulfills a longstanding need for an accessible introduction to the social, economic, religious, military, and cultural history of Ptolemaic Egypt.

History of Ancient Egypt - An Introduction (Paperback, Revised Ed): Erik Hornung History of Ancient Egypt - An Introduction (Paperback, Revised Ed)
Erik Hornung; Translated by David Lorton
R540 R481 Discovery Miles 4 810 Save R59 (11%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

From our vantage point ancient Egyptian civilization, with its strictly hierarchic organization, can appear static through its three-thousand-year history. In his concise and authoritative introduction to that distant culture, a renowned Egyptologist reveals the turbulent events beneath the rigid facade. Erik Hornung begins his account by taking a brief look at the prehistoric era in Egypt. He then focuses on political events during the period beginning with the reign of Menes and closing with the conquest by Alexander the Great. Building on insights drawn from the civilization's surviving texts and monuments, he also describes significant cultural developments, such as changes in burial customs and the building of the Great Pyramids and Sun Temples.Originally published in German, this important and highly useful survey has been revised throughout for its publication in English. In addition, the English version features over fifty illustrations, an updated bibliography, a glossary, and a chronological table.

The Secret History of Hermes Trismegistus - Hermeticism from Ancient to Modern Times (Hardcover): Florian Ebeling The Secret History of Hermes Trismegistus - Hermeticism from Ancient to Modern Times (Hardcover)
Florian Ebeling; Translated by David Lorton; Foreword by Jan Assmann
R1,153 Discovery Miles 11 530 Ships in 7 - 11 working days

"Perhaps Hermeticism has fascinated so many people precisely because it has made it possible to produce many analogies and relationships to various traditions: to Platonism in its many varieties, to Stoicism, to Gnostic ideas, and even to certain Aristotelian doctrines. The Gnostic, the esoteric, the Platonist, or the deist has each been able to find something familiar in the writings. One just had to have a penchant for remote antiquity, for the idea of a Golden Age, in order for Hermeticism, with its aura of an ancient Egyptian revelation, to have enjoyed such outstanding success." from the Introduction

Hermes Trismegistus, "thrice-great Hermes," emerged from the amalgamation of the wisdom gods Hermes and Thoth and is one of the most enigmatic figures of intellectual history. Since antiquity, the legendary "wise Egyptian" has been considered the creator of several mystical and magical writings on such topics as alchemy, astrology, medicine, and the transcendence of God. Philosophers of the Renaissance celebrated Hermes Trismegistus as the founder of philosophy, Freemasons called him their forefather, and Enlightenment thinkers championed religious tolerance in his name. To this day, Hermes Trismegistus is one of the central figures of the occult his name is synonymous with the esoteric.

In this scholarly yet accessible introduction to the history of Hermeticism and its mythical founder, Florian Ebeling provides a concise overview of the Corpus Hermeticum and other writings attributed to Hermes. He traces the impact of Christian and Muslim versions of the figure in medieval Europe, the power of Hermeticism and Paracelsian belief in Renaissance thought, the relationship to Pietism and to Freemasonry in early modern Europe, and the relationship to esotericism and semiotics in the modern world."

Sphinx - History of a Monument (Hardcover, illustrated edition): Christiane Zivie-Coche Sphinx - History of a Monument (Hardcover, illustrated edition)
Christiane Zivie-Coche; Translated by David Lorton
R1,145 Discovery Miles 11 450 Ships in 7 - 11 working days
The Search for God in Ancient Egypt (Hardcover, 1st English-language ed., with revisions and additions): Jan Assmann The Search for God in Ancient Egypt (Hardcover, 1st English-language ed., with revisions and additions)
Jan Assmann; Translated by David Lorton
R1,161 Discovery Miles 11 610 Ships in 7 - 11 working days

First English-language edition, with revisions and additions by the author.This classic work by one of the world's most distinguished Egyptologists was first published in German in 1984. The Search for God in Ancient Egypt offers a distillation of Jan Assmann's views on ancient Egyptian religion, with special emphasis on theology and piety. Deeply rooted in the texts of ancient Egypt and thoroughly informed by comparative religion, theology, anthropology, and semiotic analysis, Assmann's interpretations reveal the complexity of Egyptian thought in a new way.Assmann takes special care to distinguish between the "implicit" theology of Egyptian polytheism and the "explicit" theology that is concerned with exploring the problem of the divine. His discussion of polytheism and mythology addresses aspects of ritual, the universe, and myth; his consideration of explicit theology deals with theodicy and the specifics of Amarna religion.

The Priests of Ancient Egypt (Hardcover, illustrated edition): Serge Sauneron The Priests of Ancient Egypt (Hardcover, illustrated edition)
Serge Sauneron; Translated by David Lorton; Foreword by Jean-Pierre Corteggiani
R1,149 Discovery Miles 11 490 Ships in 7 - 11 working days

The gods were everywhere in Ancient Egypt. Represented by statues, bas-reliefs, and funerary paintings, they even walked among the Egyptians in the person of Pharaoh, considered to be a living god, son of the divine Ra. What better way to understand that distant culture than by becoming familiar with the people who served those gods?

Using as his sources the Egyptian texts and the testimony of classical authors, Serge Sauneron illuminates the role of the priesthood in Ancient Egypt. He re-creates the system of thought of one of the great civilizations of antiquity, addressing such topics as priestly functions, the world of the temples, holy festivals, tombs, and pyramids.

Sauneron describes the ceremonies of daily worship, considered vital in preventing the world's descent into chaos. He takes us deep into the sacred precincts of the temples -- home to the divine statues in which a part of the god was believed to dwell. One of the duties of the priests was to maintain these sacred effigies, to nourish, clothe, and protect them from attacks by evil spirits.

This edition of The Priests of Ancient Egypt, an augmented version of the 1957 classic, was published in France in 1988, and has been translated authoritatively by David Lorton.

Egypt in the Age of Cleopatra - History and Society under Ptolemies (Hardcover, illustrated edition): Michel Chaveau Egypt in the Age of Cleopatra - History and Society under Ptolemies (Hardcover, illustrated edition)
Michel Chaveau; Translated by David Lorton
R1,158 Discovery Miles 11 580 Ships in 7 - 11 working days

Few other civilizations rival Ancient Egypt in its power to capture the modern imagination, and Cleopatra VII, monarch at the end of the Ptolemaic period, has always been preeminent among its cast of characters. Coming to power just before the unstable state was about to be absorbed into an autocratic empire, Cleopatra oversaw not only Egypt's progress as an influential regional power but also the fragile peace of its ethnically mixed population.

Michel Chauveau looks at many facets of life under this queen and her dynasty, drawing on such sources as firsthand accounts, numismatics, and Greek, Demotic, and hieroglyphic inscriptions. His use of such sources helps to free the narrative of dependence on later (and usually hostile) Greek and Roman historians. By taking up such subjects as funeral customs, language and writing, social class structure, religion, and administration, he affords the reader an unprecedented and comprehensive picture of Greek and Egyptian life in both the cities and the countryside.

Originally published in French in 1997, Egypt in the Age of Cleopatra fulfills a longstanding need for an accessible introduction to the social, economic, religious, military, and cultural history of Ptolemaic Egypt.

Akhenaten and the Religion of Light (Hardcover): Erik Hornung Akhenaten and the Religion of Light (Hardcover)
Erik Hornung; Translated by David Lorton
R1,129 Discovery Miles 11 290 Ships in 7 - 11 working days

Akhenaten, also known as Amenhotep IV, was king of Egypt during the Eighteenth Dynasty and reigned from 1375 to 1358 B.C. Called the "religious revolutionary, " he is the earliest known creator of a new religion. The cult he founded broke with Egypt's traditional polytheism and focused its worship on a single deity, the sun god Aten. Erik Hornung, one of the world's preeminent Egyptologists, here offers a concise and accessible account of Akhenaten and his religion of light.

Hornung begins with a discussion of the nineteenth-century scholars who laid the foundation for our knowledge of Akhenaten's period and extends to the most recent archaeological Finds. He emphasizes that Akhenaten's monotheistic theology represented the first attempt in history to explain the entire natural and human world on the basis of a single principle. "Akhenaten made light the absolute reference point, ' Hornung writes, "and it is astonishing how clearly and consistently he pursued this concept." Hornung also addresses such topics as the origins of the new religion; profound changes in beliefs regarding the afterlife; and the new Egyptian capital at Akhenaten which was devoted to the service of Aten, his prophet Akhenaten, and the latter's family.

The Ancient Egyptian Books of the Afterlife (Hardcover, New edition): Erik Hornung The Ancient Egyptian Books of the Afterlife (Hardcover, New edition)
Erik Hornung; Translated by David Lorton
R1,158 Discovery Miles 11 580 Ships in 7 - 11 working days

The contents of the texts range from the collection of spells in the Book of the Dead, which was intended to offer practical assistance on the journey to the afterlife, to the derailed accounts of the hereafter provided in the Books of the Netherworld. Hornung looks closely at these latter works, while summarizing the contents of the Book of the Dead and other widely studied examples of the genre. For each composition, he discusses the history of its ancient transmission and its decipherment in modern times, supplying bibliographic information for any text editions. He also seeks to determine whether this literature as a whole presents a monolithic conception of the afterlife. The volume features many drawings from the books themselves -- drawings that illustrate the nocturnal course of the sun god through the realm of the dead.

Originally published in German and now available in a fluid English translation, this volume offers an accessible and enlightening introduction to a central element of ancient Egyptian religion.

History of Ancient Egypt - An Introduction (Hardcover, Revised edition): Erik Hornung History of Ancient Egypt - An Introduction (Hardcover, Revised edition)
Erik Hornung; Translated by David Lorton
R1,142 Discovery Miles 11 420 Ships in 7 - 11 working days

From our vantage point ancient Egyptian civilization, with its strictly hierarchic organization, can appear static through its three-thousand-year history. In his concise and authoritative introduction to that distant culture, a renowned Egyptologist reveals the turbulent events beneath the rigid facade. Erik Hornung begins his account by taking a brief look at the prehistoric era in Egypt. He then focuses on political events during the period beginning with the reign of Menes and closing with the conquest by Alexander the Great. Building on insights drawn from the civilization's surviving texts and monuments, he also describes significant cultural developments, such as changes in burial customs and the building of the Great Pyramids and Sun Temples.Originally published in German, this important and highly useful survey has been revised throughout for its publication in English. In addition, the English version features over fifty illustrations, an updated bibliography, a glossary, and a chronological table.

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