1st Edition

God's Wife, God's Servant
The God's Wife of Amun (ca.740–525 BC)





ISBN 9780415819503
Published November 12, 2012 by Routledge
232 Pages

USD $59.95

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Book Description

Mariam F. Ayad explores how five women were elevated to a position of supreme religious authority. Drawing on a variety of textual, iconographic, and archaeological evidence, and containing fifty-one black and white and colour illustrations, the volume discusses this often neglected subject, placing the women within the broader context of the politically volatile, turbulent seventh and eighth centuries BCE.

Table of Contents

Part 1: The Historical Setting  The God’s Wife: Historical Development and Associated Titles.  The Mythic Conception I: Atum and the Heliopolitan Creation Myth.  The God’s Wife Prior to the New Kingdom.  The God’s Wife During the New Kingdom.  The Mythic Conception II: The King’s Divine Conception.  Egypt at the End of the New Kingdom.  Egypt during the Libyan Period.  The Nubians in Egypt.  The Libyan and Nubian God’s Wives of Amun.  Egypt under Saite Rule.  Nitocris  Ankhnesneferibre, The Last God’s Wife of Amun.  Amun, Mut, and the "Throne Names" of the God’s Wives  Part 2: Rites and Rituals  Entertaining the Gods.  Playing Music: Shaking the Sistrum.  The Sistrum, the Menat-necklace and Objects Sacred to Hathor.  Provisioning the Gods: Offering to the Gods.  Wine.  Food.  Cool Water/ Incense.  "A Boon, Which the King Gives".  Maat.  Building Houses for the Gods/ Dedicating Shrines.  Partnering with the King (I): Symmetrically Opposed Scenes.  In Providing for the Gods.  Rewarded by the Gods.  Partnering with the King (II): "For God, King, and Country".  In Protecting the Gods  Rites of Protection at the Cenotaph.  "Burning Fans".  "Rites at Kom Djeme".  Rejuvenating the Gods.  The Elevation of the Test-support.  Rites of Divine Reentrance.  Other Rites of "Royal and Divine".  "Driving Four Calves".  "Striking Chests".  Celebrating the Sed Festival  Part 3: Venues to Legitimacy  Assumption of the Priesthood.  The Gradual Appropriation of Priestly Duties.  The God’s Wife and Initiation Rites.  Purification Rites.  Priestly Companions and Priestly Rank.  Avenues to Legitimacy.  Shepenwepet I.  Suckling Scenes.  Crowning Scenes.  Amenirdis I.  Shepenwepet II.  Divine Marriage Iconography.  Nitocris.  Ankhnesneferibre.  Adoption, Succession to Office, and Age at Appointment.  Sexuality, Celibacy and the Sexual Role of the God’s Wife.  Celibacy Re-visited.  The Egyptians’ Attitude Towards Marriage and Sex.  Contraceptives in Ancient Egypt.  Prohibitions Against Sexual Activity in Ancient Egypt.  The God’s Wife Sexual Role & Her Association with Ithyphallic Gods.  Epilogue.  List of Abbreviations.  Bibliography

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