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18. Amulets and Piety

18. Amulets and Piety - (15 February 28 Funerary beliefs...

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(15) February 28 Funerary beliefs, the burial & funerary rituals (16) March The survival of the dead: mummification & substitutes (17) March Egyptian Magic: concept, function, significance (18) March The tomb: basic concepts & significance. Egyptian Royal tombs (19) March 14 Private tombs (20) March 19 Texts for the Afterlife: Pyramid & Coffin texts, Guides to the Underworld, the Book of the Dead (21) March 21 Popular religion, communication with the gods & oracles (22) March 26 The cult of sacred animals (23) March 28 Ethical texts & religious knowledge (24) April 2 Gaps in the pantheon? Foreign gods in Ancient Egypt (25) April 4 Egyptian religion in Greco-Roman and Christian
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Analogy of the object – Egyp’an amulets Objects des’ned to protect the living or dead individual (to enliven him/her, provide with power etc.) Fulfill their func’on when the accompanying magic act (the spell recited with the placement of the amulet) was carried out correctly Unfortunately, these instruc6ons are lost in all but very few cases –> makes it almost impossible to decide what precise significance a par’cular amulet possessed.
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Scarabs
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W. M. F. Petrie: Amulets, London 1914, Reprint 1972 and similarly C. Andrews: Amulets of Ancient Egypt, London 1994 dis’nguished these types of amulets: homopoeic (similars) dyna’c (powers) ktema’c (property) phylac’c (protec’on) theophoric (gods)
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Bes
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In Papyrus Bri’sh Museum 10059 an ibis figurine is placed on the wound of a sick person – the magical power of Thoth is applied to the wound. In Papyrus Leiden I 348, 6, 4‐8,7, a pain’ng of the sun god Re is executed on the bandage of a pa’ent: »Spell to be pronounced on a figure of Re, painted with blood of the Abdju fish on a bandage of royal linen which is put to the head of the pa’ent. This is a defence against enemies.«
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Wearing a lion amulet iden’fies the deceased with the god Shu (Coffin Texts Spell 83) who according to spell 75 is magically even more powerful than Heka: »Spell to be recited over the forepart of a lion, to be made of carnelian or vulture bone, to be at a man's neck when he descends to the necropolis. A protec’on in the form of the Ba of Shu. It means: the power of a man over the winds of the sky, to become an effec’ve magician and the king of all the winds of the sky. He cannot die again, his enemies cannot take possession of him, not can any charm on earth hold him back in all eternity.«
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Book of the Dead Spell 160: »I am the amulet of feldspar which the hand of Thoth himself carries.« Importance of materials and colours – either religious significance of minerals and colours, or analogy of pronounced sound (red colour; e.g., fayence tjehen sounded like tjehen "to afack", etc.)
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"drinking" of spells and magical books!
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Efficacy vs. failure ?
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Magic as a technical, impersonal way to secure protec’on vs.
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