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Orginal word for Sphinx...??
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kmt_sesh
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2005 12:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Otherwise "crocodile breath" could have developed as a term of endearment


I should be comforted by this, but somehow I'm not. As far as I'm concerned, animal poo does not belong in any human orifice. What must the crocs have thought when they observed this?

Quote:
Instead they called each other "brother" and "sister" (also not very romantic I think )


This usage of the particular term snt arose around the start of the New Kingdom. It meant either "sister" or "wife." Prior to that hmt was far more commonly used for "wife," though it remained popular. I guess context is everything, unless you're one of the Beverly Hillbillies, in which case it wouldn't matter.

Were I to call my sister "wife," not only would I be instantly grossed out, I'd be instantly slapped. Thank goodness modern languages are more precise.
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isisinacrisis
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2005 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do the 'sister' and 'brother' terms used for lovers have an incestuous origin (I get the feeling these words comes from the Isis and osiris myth) were these terms used for people who were lovers but not related? Otherwise it would imply to the non-professionals who first read this that everyone in ancient Egypt had incestuous relationships...yeesh!

I don't think they ate the poo but they certainly put it somewhere in a woman that I shall say no more on the matter. Ick. Thank goodness we've come a long way! (Wouldn't the smell be enough to put the man or woman off?) I've also read somewhere that apparently some women ate hawk droppings in order to increase their chances of conceiving a child. puke_l Is this true?
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 12:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Do the 'sister' and 'brother' terms used for lovers have an incestuous origin


I don't think there's much to do with incest here; it just sounds strange to many Westerners. To my knowledge the Egyptian term for "brother" (sn) was not used for "husband" as "sister" (snt) was for wife. The most common term for "husband" was hi. And as I said, hmt was probably a more common term for "wife" than was snt, which began as a practice about the time of the New Kingdom. Interestingly, hmt was also the word for "female servant," though the hieroglyphic spelling is a bit different.

As we've discussed at other times in Egyptian Dreams, it was generally not the practice among commoners for brothers to marry sisters--that was a peculiarity among the royals. But cousins as close as first cousins marrying each other? Almost certainly. Nothing all that shocking there, considering it was common for Westerners to do the same thing until recent times.

This odd usage of the "sister" term snt is probably more related to what we see in other cultures, such as Native Americans. As a term of affection and familial intimacy (not the naughty kind, now), numerous cultures use the words "brother" and "sister" to refer to cousins. And using as an example the language of the Lakota Sioux, you would call your mom and your aunt on your mother's side by the same term: ina; the same goes for your father and your father's brother: ate. It's kind of hard to explain, but it boils down to familial expressions based on cultural norms and does not necessarily express hanky-panky. Hanky-panky is the official term, you know. Very Happy

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somewhere that apparently some women ate hawk droppings in order to increase their chances of conceiving a child. Is this true?


I've never heard of that. It may come from the misconception that women ate croc dung, about which anneke set me straight. gay Robins points out that women would use honey as well as croc dung in their vaginas, which at most blocked the passage of sperm.

However, I've read elsewhere that the methane in animal poo may have acted as a kind of spermacide. And medical papyri from ancient Egypt recommend ground acacia tips as a contraceptive. It is again Robins who explains this: the acacia tips contain gum arabic, which has a chemical effect on sperm that retards conception.
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Claire
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2005 2:24 pm    Post subject: The ancient egyptian word for the sphinx? Reply with quote

Smile on a documentary i watched last week it said that the ancient egyptian word for the sphinx was 'seshep ankh' which i think means 'living image'
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isisinacrisis
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2005 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apparently that's where the word 'sphinx' itself comes from, though I'm not sure.

What documentary was it??? I live in the UK, but don't have access to cable (sad huh? Embarassed )
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2005 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="isisinacrisis"]Apparently that's where the word 'sphinx' itself comes from, though I'm not sure.

No I think the word sphinx comes from a greek word which means 'the constrainer' or 'the strangler' or something along those lines? Smile
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2005 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Sphinx of Greek Mythology



Description
In ancient Greek mythology the Sphinx was depicted as a single, unique creature with the body of a lion, the wings of an eagle, and the head and breast of a human female. Apparently it was not an ugly creature, but it was vicious and single-minded. It is not reported as having unusual or monstrous size, so the Sphinx was probably imagined as the size of a large lion, possibly with the human head and eagle wings larger than normal to retain proportion.

While our knowledge of the Egyptian and arabic sphinxes comes in large part from statues, the Greek Sphinx is known primarily through the writings of a handful of early authors. While there are a few representations of the Sphinx from urns, tomb art and drinking vessels that date to approximately 570 BCE, there are no statues extant today, or reported to have been built and subsequently lost.

Heritage
The Sphinx was one of the ill-fated offspring of the monsters Typhon (which breathed fire, had a hundred venomous heads and was eventually pinned by Zeus under Mt. Etna), and Echidna (which had a beautiful nymph's head and the body of a giant serpent). Other offspring of Echidna were the Nemean Lion, Cerberus, Ladon, Chimaera and Hydra.

Sources & the Riddle
Although the story varies slightly based on the source, the Sphinx is probably best known through the plays of Sophocles, in the tragedies of Oedipus (written circa 425 BCE), and the works of Apollodorus. Oedipus was the son of Laius, the king of Thebes, and his queen, Jacosta. A prophetic oracle had been given that the son would kill his father, so Laius sent him out to be slain. However, he was found and raised by peasants, completely unaware of his heritage. Once grown, he met his father on the road, and in an argument over who should make way, Oedipus killed him.

Not long after, Thebes was plagued by the Sphinx, which sat on a high rock by a road near Thebes and posed a riddle it had learned from the Muses to all who passed. The riddle, reported or translated in slightly different words, was: "What animal has one voice, but goes on four legs in the morning, two legs at noon, and upon three legs in the evening?" The Sphinx strangled all who could not answer its riddle.

Other versions of the story state that the Sphinx was sent by Hera, sat on Mt. Phicium, or sat on the city walls of Thebes, and in at least one story, that the Sphinx actively devoured the citizens of the town until its riddle could be answered. In the latter story, Thebes offered the reward of kingship and the former queen as wife to anyone who could answer the riddle and rid Thebes of the Sphinx.
Small line drawing of the Sphinx Oedipus was able to answer the Sphinx, "Man, who in childhood creeps on hands and knees, in manhood walks erect, and in old age with the aid of a staff." The Sphinx became so distraught that its riddle had been solved that it threw itself from the rock to its death. As a reward, the people of Thebes made Oedipus their king, and he took the former queen Jacosta as his wife. Thus the tragic prophesy was fulfilled that Oedipus would slay his father and marry his mother. When Oedipus learned the truth, he went insane, gouged out his eyes, and wandered the countryside, cared for by his daughters until his death.

Thus the phrase, "riddle of the Sphinx" is most appropriately applied to the Greek Sphinx, though it is now often applied to Egyptian Sphinx, with the connotation of being mysterious and enigmatic.

This story is the source of psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud's naming of the Oedipus complex, the theoretical stage of childhood development where a male child has a strong attraction to his mother, and jealous or hostile feelings toward his father.

It has also been noted in the literature that a very similar riddle appears in diverse cultures with no apparent influence or derivation from the Greek.

Name and Meaning
The name "Sphinx" derives from the Greek word "sphingo," to strangle, or "sphingein," to bind tight, based on its habit of strangling its victims. The name was subsequently applied to the Egyptian and other arabic sphinxes because of their physical similarity to descriptions of the mythical Greek Sphinx.

The Sphinx was considered a demon of death, devouring, destruction and bad luck. This is in contrast to the Egyptian and arabic sphinxes which were usually represented as guardians that embodied wisdom, strength, nobility and a relatively benign attitude toward human beings (at least those who did not violate what they were set to guard).

One current meaning of the word "sphinx" is "an enigmatic or mysterious person." The development of this particular usage arose from the fact that "enigma" also derives from the Greek "ainigma," 'to speak in riddles,' with perhaps the added influence of the inscrutable and mysterious Great Sphinx of Egypt.
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Daniella
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2005 4:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's really interesting, I had no idea that the Greek Sphinx was bad, although she is quite lovely. I had heard about the riddle but I thought it was an Egyptian riddle. Thanks for the information Jason! (that almost rhymes) Very Happy
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and Echidna (which had a beautiful nymph's head and the body of a giant serpent

There is a creature called an Achidna that lives in Australia. Besides the Duck-billed Platypus, it's the only egg-laying mammal. Useless information, I know. Razz
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2005 5:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very interesting material, Jason. Thanks for that. I know little of Greek mythology and also thought "riddle of the Sphinx" had an Egyptian origin. I couldn't help noticing that the sphinx in your graphic looks like it's wearing an Egyptian nemes headdress. Very Happy

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... the head and breast of a human female. Apparently it was not an ugly creature, but it was vicious and single-minded.


LOL Sounds like many of the Greek women characters in Sprott's book The Ptolemies. I wouldn't want to mess with an angry Greek woman (I do actually know a few).
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Daniella
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2005 5:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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I couldn't help noticing that the sphinx in your graphic looks like it's wearing an Egyptian nemes headdress.

Wow, good observation, I hadn't noticed it, I was too busy looking at other things......like her wings.
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