Ancient Egyptian Literature: A Book of Readings - Vol. 3

Ancient Egyptian Literature: A Book of Readings - Vol. 3

Ancient Egyptian Literature: A Book of Readings - Vol. 3

Ancient Egyptian Literature: A Book of Readings - Vol. 3

Synopsis

First published in 1973 - and followed by Volume II in 1976 and Volume III in 1980 - this anthology has assumed classic status in the field of Egyptology and portrays the remarkable evolution of the literary forms of one of the world's earliest civilizations.

Volume I outlines the early and gradual evolution of Egyptian literary genres, including biographical and historical inscriptions carved on stone, the various classes of literary works written with pen on papyrus, and the mortuary literature that focuses on life after death. Introduced with a new foreword by Antonio Loprieno.

Volume II shows the culmination of these literary genres within the single period known as the New Kingdom (1550-1080 B.C.). With a new foreword by Hans-W. Fischer-Elfert.

Volume III spans the last millennium of Pharaonic civilization, from the tenth century B.C. to the beginning of the Christian era. With a new foreword by Joseph G. Manning.

Excerpt

This is the concluding volume of my translations of ancient Egyptian texts. It spans the last millennium of Pharaonic civilization, from the tenth century B.C. to the first century A.D., a millennium of profound changes in Egypt and in the entire ancient Near East.

As in the preceding volumes, the selection of texts includes monumental inscriptions and works written on papyrus. the arrangement is both chronological and topical. the biographical inscriptions range from the tenth century B.C. to the first century B.C., thus descending through all phases of Late Period history. the royal inscriptions illuminate some of the high points of war and peace.

The hymns to the gods mirror the timelessness and quietude of the temple cult maintained throughout wars and foreign domination. and the selection of Demotic literary texts, all dating from the GrecoRoman period, presents ancient Egyptian imaginative and reflective thought in its final phase.

I am very grateful to my colleague Professor Klaus Baer for having read the greater part of the manuscript before it went to press and for having suggested a good number of corrections and other improvements.

M. L.

Santa Monica, California September 30, 1978 . . .

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