Biographical Texts from Ramessid Egypt
The Ramesside period in Egypt (ca. 1290–1070 B.C.E.) corresponds to the late Bronze Age, a time of great change both in Egypt and the Near East. Viewed as an age of empire, dominated by the figure of Ramesses II, this period witnessed crucial developments in art, language, and religious display. Biographical Texts from Ramesside Egypt offers insights into these cultural transformations through the voices of thirty-one priests, artisans, civic officials, and governmental administrators who served under the kings of the nineteenth and twentieth dynasties. Forty-six biographical texts, which were inscribed in tombs, on statues and stelae in temples, and even on temple walls, give details of their careers and character. The translations are introduced by brief descriptions of the texts' monumental contexts and, where possible, summaries of the careers of their owners. They are formatted metrically and in stanzas to emphasize their poetic form and to foster a clearer understanding of them. The volume offers an introduction to the historical background of the Ramesside period and draws together some of the key themes and interpretive issues raised by the texts and their contexts. These include the representation of the people's relationships to god and king, the thematization of the priestly life, and the various transformations of the texts' media, including the implications of the change in the decorative programs of nonroyal tombs and the use of temple walls for some inscriptions. The introduction also locates the texts within broader contexts of biographical writing in Egypt and other societies, including our own.
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Abydos adoration Amenemone Amenhotep Amun-Re Assmann back pillar Bakenkhons barque bears beloved biographical text biography caption cartouche chapel column lost context Deir el-Medina deities depicted divine domain of Amun Dual King Eighteenth Dynasty Ennead epithet favor festival figure front Further translation god’s father goddess gods gold groups lost Hathor heart high priest Horus inscribed inscription Isis jamb Karnak keeper of secrets Khonsu king gives king’s Kingdom Kitchen Lands lord lower register Maat member of thepat Memphis meters monuments motif necropolis Nekhen Nineteenth Dynasty nonroyal Nubia offering Osiris overseer Paser Penniut perfect Pharaoh Prehotep priest of Amun priest of Osiris Ptah Ramesses II Ramessid period refer rest of column role royal scribe Samut Saqqara says scene Setau Sety shrine Sokar stela temple Thebes Thoth tomb treasury true of voice Userhat Usermaatre Setepenre verse viceroy vizier wab-priest wall Wenennefer Wenennefer’s Wepwawet
Page 5 - Narrative discourse does not simply reflect or passively register a world already made; it works up the material given in perception and reflection, fashions it, and creates something new, in precisely the same way that human agents by their actions fashion distinctive forms of historical life out of the world they inherit as their past.
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Page 6 - Western cultures, foregrounds the social implications of a "written death" as "a substantially and profoundly 'political' practice aimed at celebrating and recording the power and social presence of the group, corporate or familial, to which the deceased belonged and ... directed at consolidating its wealth, prestige, endurance over time, vitality, and capacity for reproduction and expansion.