Thespis: Ritual, Myth, and Drama in the Ancient Near East

By Theodor H. Gaster | Go to book overview

Soon with the Northern Land is reconciled.
The symbol: these twin plumes on Pharaoh's head!

In this wall'd city is their union seal'd,
Which marks the spot at which their borders meet.
There Horus shines effulgent as the sun,
Imperial Monarch of Two-Lands-in-One!

Reeds and rushes are placed side by side at both entrances of the temple of Ptaḥ.*

PRESENTER:

These reeds and rushes here placed side by side
Symbolize Horus and his rival Set
As brothers now at one and reconciled.
Their struggle now is ended; peace is made
In Memphis, called the Balance of the Lands,
Because it stands athwart their boundaries
And holds the balance there between them both.


ACT THREE

The revival of Osiris. The scene now shifts to the fenland where Osiris lies on the point of death after the savage attack which Set made on him. His rescue and subsequent restoration at the hands of the goddesses Isis and Nephthys are rehearsed by the Presenter and then enacted. This scene represents the Death and Resurrection of the Topocosmic Spirit, incarnate, in the corresponding ritual, in the person of the deposed and reU+0AD instated king.

PRESENTER:

This fenland in the realm which Sokar rules
Is where Osiris sank and nigh was drown'd.

See, Isis here and Nephthys hastening
Toward Osiris, who lies sinking fast.
Isis and Nephthys see it with dismay.

Now, Horus bids them grasp him with their hands
And rescue him from drowning in the fen.

THE STORY IS ENACTED

HORUS (to lsis and Nephthys):

Grasp him!

____________________
*
This rubric is part of the original text.

-409-

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Thespis: Ritual, Myth, and Drama in the Ancient Near East
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Foreword vii
  • Author's Preface ix
  • Table of Contents xiii
  • Part One 1
  • Chapter One - The Components of Drama 3
  • Chapter Two - The Seasonal Pattern in Ritual 6
  • Chapter Three - The Seasonal Pattern in the Ancient Near East 34
  • Chapter Four - The Seasonal Pattern in Myth 49
  • Chapter Five - The Seasonal Pattern in Literature 73
  • Part Two 109
  • Canaanite Texts 113
  • Appendix - Unplaced Fragments 223
  • Introduction 225
  • Introduction 257
  • Hittite Texts 315
  • Appendix 336
  • Introduction 337
  • 3. the Myth of Telipinu 353
  • Egyptian Texts 381
  • Introduction 405
  • Act One 407
  • Act Four 409
  • Act Six 410
  • Hebrew Texts 413
  • Greek Texts 429
  • The English Mummers' Play 439
  • Appendix - Philological Notes 445
  • Index of Motifs 461
  • Index of Subjects and Authors 467
  • Bibliography 483
  • Abreviations 497
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