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freeTinker
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 7:50 am    Post subject: Sed Reply with quote

What is the significance of specifically thirty years for the sed? - why not twenty five, or ten or any other number for that matter... why thirty?

And then, was it each three years thereafter?
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Horus2
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi there, i am not shure what to give you to read about it. But i can tell you in memory from some lectures. Heb-set ritual is not nesesary performed whitin 30 years.The idea is that, there has been a folk beliefs that in theese 30 years the faron is in need for refreshing his powers.Atleast the first heb-set is considered а huge gala day for the ruller. There has been build special places to be performed(for instanse Djoser compleks, some also belive that Abu Simbel temples where also serve for that.) The farou can do heb-set whetever he need a feeling to do it. I thik that Rameses II do 5 or 6, maybe even 7 heb-set rituals. I also belive heard that heb-set ritual is probably very ancient even performed before dynastic periods.
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Horus2
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I ugrent need "edit" button, to fix some of the so many mistakes whit the english lng.
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anneke
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are no edit buttons. Smile Don't worry about it. We all make mistakes.

Using the preview option may help though. By using that you can see what the post will look like before you actually put it on the board.
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Lutz
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 3:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Sed Reply with quote

Hello !
freeTinker wrote:
What is the significance of specifically thirty years for the sed? - why not twenty five, or ten or any other number for that matter... why thirty?

I would say with present knowledge we can`t really answer. But of course there are some theory`s. Wink
One that I remember is : Because of the average life expectancy of most of the people at that time. It was around 30 ...
Quote:
And then, was it each three years thereafter?

Maybe because 3 was also a symbol for plural / many (see writing: netjer / netjeru ; 1 sign " R8 ", Gardiner / 3 signs of " R8 ").

Greetings,

Lutz
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Horus2
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anneke, i will keap that in mind Smile
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Horus2
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

By the whay, freeTinker you maid whant to chek this topic also:

http://forum.egyptiandreams.co.uk/viewtopic.php?t=4194&highlight=
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freeTinker
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 7:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thnx Horus2, it was that thread that got my mind turning. Perhaps the sed subject deserves a thread of its own... hence, here we are!

I kinda like Lutz's idea related to how long a king might actually live, it makes sense... but thirty years, not just a bunch of years, it seems that the sed was a cycle to some degree, even the following three (perhaps four) years fell into a cycle, maybe a cycle within a cycle...

What is all this cycle stuff? - you may ask!

I am playing with the idea that the sed, whilst it may well have served purposes such as we have heard about (rejuvination etc), that it might also have been connected with the calendar(s), ie; a means (by way of festival) to add/subtract days

This is all fanciful in my mind at the moment and there ain't too much real information out there about the sed, but sometimes the reality follows the imagination (sometimes not)
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anneke
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

freeTinker wrote:
Thnx Horus2, it was that thread that got my mind turning. Perhaps the sed subject deserves a thread of its own... hence, here we are!


See this thread on the sed festival as well:
http://forum.egyptiandreams.co.uk/viewtopic.php?t=821
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freeTinker
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thx anneke, I forget how good a resource this site is in itself and I go flying around on-line looking for stuff... when right here before my very eyes, well just call me, whatever, duh!

Interesting subject the sed, wish we had more definitive 'concrete' evidence, etc.
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kmt_sesh
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also like Lutz's explanation for the thirty-year mark. I hadn't heard it before but it makes sense because in the ancient world, thirty years was considered by numerous Near Eastern civilizations to constitute one generation (I believe this is true in the Bible, as well).

In the end we can't be sure. There is evidence for the iconography of the heb-sed in late prehistoric times, so this ritual may have started prior to the time of writing. It certainly evolved and developed through time, though.

I was reading recently about how certain kings included gods in their first heb-sed; that is, the gods took part in the ritual just as the king did. Men would carry statues of the gods in the circuit around which the king ran. In this way both the king and the gods were rejuvenated--which, in the first place, was a very common theme in the state religion.

Some of the heb-sed rituals were repeated twice, to mark both Upper and Lower Egypt. The festival could and did involve other forms of celebrations, such as the king taking a new wife. It's likely this was another occasion for worthy officials to be formally recognized by the king, also. The heb-sed may have begun as strictly a ritual for the rejuvenation for the king, but I think through time it became considerably more complex and was just as much for the whole of the land, too.

Djoser's complex is perhaps the most familiar setting for heb-sed rituals; in his case it was a place where he could enact the ritual for all of time. It was more funerary in nature, probably. Malkata was the site in western Thebes that Amunhotep III built for his palace, and I believe he specifically outfitted it for heb-sed festivals. During his first one he used the occasion to celebrate his marriage to his daughter Sitamun.

I'm pretty sure Abu Simbel wasn't used for heb-seds. Ramesses II almost certainly held his festivals at his own capital, Per-Ramesses, in the Delta. I'm willing to bet there were quite a few heb-sed courts at Memphis through the centuries, although now they would be buried under feet of silt and water.

I've often wondered why the following festivals were celebrated every three years. You're probably right, freeTinker, that it followed some sort of cycle that was logical to the Egyptians, and an explanation may be out there in the literature, but I personally don't know.
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freeTinker
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 6:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kmt_sesh wrote:
I've often wondered why the following festivals were celebrated every three years. You're probably right, freeTinker, that it followed some sort of cycle that was logical to the Egyptians, and an explanation may be out there in the literature, but I personally don't know.


Where did I read about days becoming years, and years becoming days, etc., etc. perhaps it is biblical or enochian, or otherwise 'gnostic', I am fairly sure it is 'semi-religious' in source (I say this not to try and sidetrack, just to recall). The ancient egyptian months were three-weeks of ten-days were they not? - as represented by the senet board, perhaps there was a grander 'game' being played by kings and gods than just days and weeks? - just musing

Now, as twelve-months of thrity-days was supplimented by the epigomal (sp?) five 'osirian' days to take the calendar to 365 days, could a similar system not have been employed over a longer term to allow for leap-years and other discrepancies? - still musing

I don't mean to take the sed away from the function of rejuvination of kings, gods or otherwise, just perhaps to open the mind to other possible functions. It seems all in ancient egypt was cyclic, or at least viewed that way Smile
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Epagomenal days is what you're referring to.

All calendars are cyclical. That's the reason why they are calendars.

But there is no a-priori reason that a calendar has to equal or even approximate the solar year. Some don't .

There were no leap years in the Egyptian civil calendar at least not until the Macedonians took over under the Ptolemies and tried to install a leap-year style calendar, for which the Egyptians had no need.

So there's nothing magical about the calendar, there's nothing to connect it to the Sed festival, and there's no days becoming years or whatever. The world really is much more mundane.

The 12 months x 30 days + 5 festival days makes accounting so very straightforward. Which is why it was used. Unlike the Gregorian mess we're in with its months and quarters of unequal length, which requires constant adjustments to accounting figures, and creates complications in counting days between dates in different months and years the Egyptian calendar was quite straightforward. The Gregorian IS a religious calendar and that's its problem. Its purpose is to provide a basis for the calculation of the date of Easter.

The only issue with the Egyptian civil calendar was that it retained a seasonal terminology (i.e. "inundation, emergence, reaping") which was usually at odds with the physical season. I think that may be the reason why names of months developed later on, names which had no relation to physical seasons. A similar situation existed in the French Revolutionary calendar which used names of months which were appropriate to France, but not necessarily to other locales. Another example is in the names of some of our months: September etc., (7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th) which names are in error by 2. Nobody seems to really mind although much useless speculation has resulted.

Copernicus used the "developed" names of the Egyptian months.

So the Egyptian civil calendar could not be used for agricultural events. This is not an issue. Times of planting, crop tending, and reaping are, and were, dependent upon other physical and personal events, regardless of what the calendar says.

The absolute regularity of the Egyptian calendar (365 days = 1 year) also made it ideal for use in astronomical calculations which was why it was used by Copernicus, for example. He could rely on that regularity to count cyclical events. Modern astronomers use the Julian Day count which is not a calendar but instead a sequential day count starting with -4712 Jan 1.5.

Bob
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've read that due to the lack of a leap-year, the Egyptian civil calendar got seriously off track. It would take 1,460 years for it to right itself. Then again, the average Egyptian out in his farm field or among his herds probably had little to no use for a formal calendar. The rising of Sopdet would signal to them that the season of planting was soon to arrive. Calendars were for them fancy folks livin' in the palace.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 3:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think off-track is the right way to look at it. As I stated earlier, there's no reason why a calendar has to follow the solar year. For example, the Jewish calendar only roughly follows it and the Islamic calendar doesn't bother to at all. The only reason the Gregorian calendar is the default standard nowadays is because the major economic powers of the world use it. It's the same reason why the protestant countries of northern Europe ultimately adopted it. Even though the Gregorian calendar is a mess, it's a convenient mess.

The problem with the Egyptian calendar, as I see it, is that it continued to use a seasonal terminology where it wasn't appropriate. That did generate some complaining in antiquity. Other than that, ain't nuthin' wrong with it.

You're right, Kmt-sesh, in stating that such a calendar didn't help the peasants in the field, but they better not have gone planting at Sirius' heliacal rising because the river was going to come up out of its banks shortly thereafter.

Bob
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