Looking at the Future: Divination and Astrology in Ancient Egypt
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
This study discusses divination in ancient Egypt, from the New Kingdom onwards in order to highlight the Egyptian elements in later astrological practices in Graeco-Roman Egypt. The first chapter treats divination and its study in general terms. Chapter two begins with a brief review of the concept of fate and continues with a discussion of the ancient Egyptians vocabulary that express contact with the divine and includes technical terms related to predicting the future. The third chapter treats the sage as specialist, with the competency to interpret divine messages and the movement of the celestial bodies. Chapter four examines ancient Egyptian deductive techniques with a focus on the dream interpretation and more particular the formalisation of those techniques in manuals form. The so-called Calendars of Good and Bad Day are also examined from this perspective. This is done in order to establish a pattern possibly employed for the other divinatory techniques, labelled here as chronomancy. The fifth chapter treats the first evidence for celestial divination in Egypt, involving the interpretation of heavenly phenomena as signs. In the sixth chapter, the Demotic evidence for astrology is described and discussed. First the general technical terminology of the ancient Egyptian astrologers is outlined. This is followed by an examination of the so-called Sothis Omina. The last part of this chapter treats the genethlialogical tradition of the birth horoscope as it is found in the Demotic astrological manuals. The chapter concludes with a brief study of the other tools of the astrologers. The last chapter outlines the major points of the study.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Arkeologi och antik historia , 2011. , xiii+404 p.
Ancient Egypt, Graeco-Roman Egypt, Demotic, Coptic, divination, astrology, dream interpretation, calendar, pun, allegory, sages.
Research subject Egyptology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-151533OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-151533DiVA: diva2:410331
2011-05-23, Universitetshuset Sal XI, Biskopsgatan 3, Uppsala, 10:15 (English)
Szpakowska, Kasia, Dr.
Troy, Lana, Professor