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Cults of royal ancestors

 
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Eio
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 8:11 pm    Post subject: Cults of royal ancestors Reply with quote

Dear friends,

I've been curious for a while why some Egyptian kings were loved and worshipped by subsequent generations, while others seemed to be forgotten.

In the previous discussion (″a passage in Maspero″), it emerged that there was a cult of Teti at Saqqara that seemed to continue for a great many centuries, for reasons that are not entirely clear.

I've also been reading an article on the subject,

Antonio J. Morales: Traces of official and popular veneration to Nyuserra Iny at Abusir. Late Fifth Dynasty to the Middle Kingdom. In: Miroslav Bárta; Filip Coppens, Jaromír Krejčí (Hrsg.): Abusir and Saqqara in the Year 2005. Czech Institute of Egyptology, Faculty of Arts, Charles University in Prague, Prag 2006, ISBN 80-7308-116-4, S. 311–341.
http://www.academia.edu/286070/
(freely available)

Morales writes that Nyuserra/Niuserra (5th Dynasty) was likewise honoured with a cult that went all the way into the New Kingdom.

Some of these cults seemed to centre around the pyramid of Teti.

And now I came across a passage from an old edition of Cambridge Ancient History,

http://books.google.ca/books?id=slR7SFScEnwC&pg=PA150

″A relief from a Ramesside chapel at Saqqara shows seated figures of three kings: Djosernub, Teti and Userkaf..″

So is it possible that at the time of Ramses I these, for the Egyptians, were the most famous kings of antiquity?

Did any such discussion of the cults of royal ancestors take place before on this board? Perhaps someone can add more info.

And where exactly is this ″Ramesside chapel at Saqqara″ located? I couldn't understand the ref in the book.

All the best,

Eio
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Lutz
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 1:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Funny, I have two days before the later as book published Phil. Diss. from Prof. Wildung (former director of the Egyptian Museums in Munich and Berlin) ordered at the State Library ...

Dietrich Wildung : Die Rolle Ägyptischer Könige im Bewusstsein ihrer Nachwelt - Teil I : Posthume Quellen über die Könige der Ersten Vier Dynastien. - [MÄS 17] - Berlin : Hessling, 1969. - IX, 270 p., 17 pls, 1 folding table.
Quote:
Abstract OEB 13892 (AEB 1969.0676) :

"... Since the cyclic thinking of the Egyptians resigns personal to each office holder behind the institution of kingship, it must be designated as an exception when a king lives on especially in the memory of posterity. This can have several reasons:

1. The continuation or resumption of his death cult by a privileged priesthood, in their own economic interests, it is to carry on the ancient cult nominal.

2. The proclamation of the divinity of the ruler for political purposes in the border areas (Sneferu in Sinai).

3. The role of mediator between God and man as the patron god of his necropolis or going back to him founding of the reorganization, which can his memory live on that place.

4. The intention of a literary, medical or religious text by dating to the reign of a certain king attributed the highest possible age.

Common to all documents is the very scanty historical information: hints about deeds and achievements of the deceased ruler are hard to find - just as a summary and evaluative history in Egypt has no tradition. ..." (Translated with Google)

Greetings, Lutz.
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karnsculpture
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very good points. There must have been some kind of memorable achievement or some strong personality involved for the cults to have persevered.

Recently I watched a documentary about the US presidents, and like the Pharaohs, some are remembered better than others. The ones that are remembered either seem to have overcome some major challenges while in office, or presided over a great period of prosperity (or their actions lead to greater prosperity following years of hardship), or they are notorious in some way.
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Lutz
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 1:14 pm    Post subject: Re: Cults of royal ancestors Reply with quote

Eio wrote:
... And now I came across a passage from an old edition of Cambridge Ancient History,

http://books.google.ca/books?id=slR7SFScEnwC&pg=PA150

″A relief from a Ramesside chapel at Saqqara shows seated figures of three kings: Djosernub, Teti and Userkaf..″ ... And where exactly is this ″Ramesside chapel at Saqqara″ located? I couldn't understand the ref in the book. ...

It is a fragment of a relief from the tomb chapel of Mahu, custodian of the treasury (PM III.2, 1981, p. 556). Ramesside, found by Loret in 1898-99, exact position of the tomb is unknown today. The relief is in Cairo Museum, JE 33258. A picture of it is in Henri Gauthier : Notes et remarques historiques, § III-VII. - BIFAO 5. - 1906. - pp. 41 - 57, on page 42.

Eio wrote:
... So is it possible that at the time of Ramses I these, for the Egyptians, were the most famous kings of antiquity? ...

I would say no. For a statement like this there would seem to lack the statewide documents. I guess specifically on the region Saqqara or to the tomb owner related reasons.

Greetings, Lutz.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2014 5:41 am    Post subject: Re: Cults of royal ancestors Reply with quote

Lutz wrote:
Eio wrote:
... And now I came across a passage from an old edition of Cambridge Ancient History,

http://books.google.ca/books?id=slR7SFScEnwC&pg=PA150

″A relief from a Ramesside chapel at Saqqara shows seated figures of three kings: Djosernub, Teti and Userkaf..″ ... And where exactly is this ″Ramesside chapel at Saqqara″ located? I couldn't understand the ref in the book. ...

It is a fragment of a relief from the tomb chapel of Mahu, custodian of the treasury (PM III.2, 1981, p. 556). Ramesside, found by Loret in 1898-99, exact position of the tomb is unknown today. The relief is in Cairo Museum, JE 33258. A picture of it is in Henri Gauthier : Notes et remarques historiques, § III-VII. - BIFAO 5. - 1906. - pp. 41 - 57, on page 42.


Thank you very much, Lutz!

I've downloaded http://www.ifao.egnet.net/bifao/Bifao005_art_03.pdf with the picture of the relief. The fourth king portrayed may have been Menkauhor, according to another source.

Lutz wrote:
Eio wrote:
... So is it possible that at the time of Ramses I these, for the Egyptians, were the most famous kings of antiquity? ...

I would say no. For a statement like this there would seem to lack the statewide documents. I guess specifically on the region Saqqara or to the tomb owner related reasons.

Greetings, Lutz.


Yes, it's difficult to know why these particular kings were portrayed. It could have been some reasons associated with this particular locality, perhaps some old temples in the area.

Another useful article that covers some of these cults of ancestors, and in particular the survival of the cults of some Old Kingdom rulers into the Middle Kingdom is,

Barbara Gilli (2009), "The Past in the Present: the Reuse of Ancient Material in the 12th Dynasty". 'Aegyp-tus' 89

All the best,

Eio
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