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Habilitationsprojekt

Ancient Egyptian Zwischenwesen.

A history of Egyptian demonology according to the mortuary papyri from the New Kingdom to the Ptolemaic Period

 

Ansprechpartner: Dr. Rita Lucarelli

Dämon2

This thesis would be a comprehensive study on demonology in the ancient Egyptian religion, according to the evidence given by mortuary papyri. Demons are represented in different ways, often ambiguously, in ancient Egypt, and this poses problems for definition and classification. The book will addresses these issues through an analysis of the textual and iconographical data on demons, which abound in the funerary papyri from the New Kingdom onwards, especially those of the “Book of the Dead” and “Guides of the Netherworld” genre, as well as in the funerary documents of the Late and Ptolemaic periods. Therefore, the main aim of this thesis is to take the mortuary papyri as a case study for the investigation on the ancient Egyptian demonology, since they provide a central though as yet unprocessed corpus for the study of demons as conceived in the world‐view of the ancient Egyptians.


DämonThe main focus of the research will be the function that demons fulfill within the ancient Egyptian funerary religion and how funerary beliefs have influenced the daily practice of magical rituals against malevolent demons. According to previous studies of the writer, a typology of demons will be proposed, arguing that demons can be distinguished from the ontological category of gods and that the funerary and very often illustrated papyri of the New Kingdom and later includes central evidence supporting such a theory.
Magical papyri of daily use and other textual and material sources (also from the earlier periods), where the demons mentioned in the funerary papyri occur as well, will be taken as reference‐material for comparison and in order to discuss the numerous and variegated points of contact among beliefs in demons acting in the netherworld and on earth, also considering that many of those demonic creatures wander in between this and the other world.

Abbildungen freundlicherweise zur Verfügung gestellt vom British Museum, London.

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