Chegodaev M. Teksty i dokumenty, Vysshaya shkola, Moscow, pp. Allen T. Assmann J. Bommas und A. Winter, Heidelberg. Barguet P. Berlev O. Bovot J. Budge E. Capart J. Carrier Cl. Coenen M. Deac D. Egypt Perspectives of Research. DuQuesne T. Geburtstag, SAT, Bd.
Book of the Dead - Wikiquote
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The Egyptian Book of the Dead: The Book of Coming Forth by Day
I, British Museum Press, London. Loeben Chr. Fecht zum Geburtstag am 6. Mosher M. Herausgehen am Tage.
Munro I. Dynastie, Bd. I—II, Asher, Berlin. Einleitung, Asher, Berlin. The Book was essentially a collection of prayers and magical speeches primarily intended to enable a deceased person to overcome the trials and dangers of the next world and emerge safely from the tomb in a spiritualized form. Although there is no one ancient Egyptian work that contains the complete range of Egyptian postmortem beliefs, let alone the totality of their complex and constantly changing religious ideas, the Book does offer the modern reader insights into the wide range of ancient Egyptian concepts involving both the afterlife and the afterworld—it is not, however, in any sense an Egyptian Bible.
The Book of the Dead assumed many forms.
It occurs primarily on papyri, but it is found as well on tomb walls, coffins, scarabs, funerary stelae, and other objects. Perhaps the best-known Book is the famous papyrus that was inscribed for a certain Ani, "the Accounts-Scribe of the Divine Offerings of all the Gods," and his wife Tutu. This profusely and beautifully illustrated scroll was made during the early Ramesside period c.
It was purchased there by its curator, E. Wallis Budge, in for the British Museum where it is displayed today.
Egypt: The Book of the Dead, A Feature Tour Egypt Story
Extending more than seventy-five feet, it is one of the best examples of the Book papyri of the New Kingdom and Ramesside periods. Ironically, for all its splendor, this scroll was actually a template papyrus roughly akin to a modern preprinted lease or standard will, with Ani's name and titles being inserted into the appropriate blank spaces at the last minute.
Ani, or his survivors, purchased what was deemed appropriate and what they could afford from a funerary workshop for his safe journey into the next world; then the sheets with those relevant spells were pasted together to form the final product. The Book of the Dead represents the acme of the illustrated book in ancient Egypt. The text itself represents a continuation of an ancient tradition of afterworld guides that began with the royal Pyramid Texts in the Old Kingdom and continued with the more "democratized" Coffin Texts for wealthy individuals of the Middle Kingdom.
These, in turn, provided the material on which many chapters of the Book of the Dead were based. This pattern of rewriting old religious texts and adopting them to new beliefs was to continue after the Book throughout pharaonic history. At no time did any group of texts become canonical in the sense of having a definitive text or a fixed sequence and number of chapters. The first spells that can be definitely associated with the Book of the Dead began appearing in the late Middle Kingdom, but it was not really until the Eighteenth Dynasty c.
The Book of the Dead
In order to enhance its appeal to the conservative religious sense of Egyptians, the Book of the Dead preserves many archaisms in script, vocabulary, and dialect. The main innovations of the Book of the Dead were that nearly every spell was accompanied by a vignette—an illustration—and that the work, designed for the relatively cheap medium of papyrus, was affordable for a much wider audience of Egyptians. Probably only a miniscule percentage of Egyptians had the means to include a Book papyrus among their burial equipment.
In fact, because the Book describes a lavish funeral, an elaborate, well-outfitted tomb, and other expensive burial equipment, some scholars have surmised that these scrolls were partially intended to provide by magic various things that the average Egyptian official could not afford. All Egyptian religious texts such as the Book were fundamentally collections compiled from several different sources or local traditions, so that the final versions often contained contradictory concepts and statements, occasionally within the same spell or sentence.
Consequently, for modern readers, many of whom have been influenced by the uncompromising strictures of monotheism, reading the Book often evokes confusion, even shock. In the profoundly polytheistic environment of Egyptian religion, however, there was never was a need to reconcile differences or to compel uniformity; one should more properly speak of Egyptian religions in the plural rather than the singular. Yet, despite this seeming lack of consistency, the fundamental concepts concerning life after death remained essentially stable.
Above all, the Egyptians had an essentially optimistic conception of the afterlife. For them death may have been inevitable, but it was survivable. However, unlike the modern view of death as the great leveler that reduces all humanity to the same status before the deity, a profound class-consciousness permeated the Egyptian view of the next world. Earthly status was transferable into the world beyond.
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The chief objective of their vast Departed souls make an offering to Horus in this illustration from the Egyptian Book of the Dead.
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