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Hyksos, The Infidels of Their Day?

 
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freeTinker
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2016 1:04 pm    Post subject: Hyksos, The Infidels of Their Day? Reply with quote

To what extent might it be accurate to refer to the Hyksos as 'non-believers', I understand the term 'foreigner or foreigners', could there be any relation between those in society that 'subscribed' to the Way of Ma'at and the general old order of things, and those with (perhaps) foreign perspectives?

Believers and those outside (or not permitted, in) the temple, the infidels?
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2016 10:01 am    Post subject: Re: Hyksos, The Infidels of Their Day? Reply with quote

freeTinker wrote:
To what extent might it be accurate to refer to the Hyksos as 'non-believers', I understand the term 'foreigner or foreigners', could there be any relation between those in society that 'subscribed' to the Way of Ma'at and the general old order of things, and those with (perhaps) foreign perspectives?

Believers and those outside (or not permitted, in) the temple, the infidels?


Foreigners, or /pDty/, /aAw/, /xAsty/ (all terms for 'foreigners'), have in common a throwstick (T14) determinative, indicating they are war-like. If they have a simple A1+B1 (male and female)+ Z2 determinatives, it means they are a collective of people, like nomadic tribes, who are not settled. For example, the term /ysryr/ = Israel, has both a T14 and A1+B1+Z2 determinative, which means when they were encountered by the Egyptians during Merneptah's reign, they were a nomadic people with whom the Egyptian fought in battles.

OTOH, when a foreigner comes from a settled land, which is organised as a kingdom or ruled settled land, the determinatives change. In the case of the Hyksos, for example, their term is written as /HqA xAst/, or 'foreign rulers', without a T14 determinative, but with an N25 (sandy hill) determinative, which indicated they were a settled people.

Insofar as foreigners were not Egyptian, it would be reasonable to say they were not cognisant of the Egyptian view of order (all foreigners were considered symbols of chaos simply because they came from lands outside Egypt, which were also symbols of chaos because they were 'unknown').

However, if a foreigner dwelled in Egypt enough to become "Egyptianised" (and this does happen quite a bit throughout Egyptian history), then they were incorporated into the society and allowed all the rights of an Egyptian citizen. Such entrance into Egypt may have begun as captive of war (/sqr anx/, who served a set amount of time as a slave in a household, and was later given his or her freedom. If such a person remained in Egypt and became Egyptianised into the culture, he or she would have been allowed inside all the institutions of culture - government, temple, etc.

There are numerous examples of Egyptianised Nubians, Syro-Palestinians, and possibly even remaining Hyksos, who remained as Egyptianised residents, and attained high offices in both government and temple hierarchies.

References:

Bell, L. D. 1976. Interpreters and Egyptianized Nubians in Ancient Egyptian Foreign Policy: Aspects of the History of Egypt and Nubia. Ph.D. Dissertation (Unpublished), Oriental Studies, University of Pennsylvania: Philadelphia.

Belova, G. 1998. The Egyptians' Idea of Hostile Encirclement. In C. J. Eyre, Ed., Proceedings of the Seventh International Congress of Egyptologists. Cambridge, 3-9 September 1995: 143-8. Orientalia Louvaniensia Analecta 82. Leuven: Peeters.

Booth, C. 2005. The Role of Foreigners in Ancient Egypt: A study of non-stereotypical artistic representations. BAR International Series 1426. Oxford: Archaeopress.

Bresciani, E. 1997. Foreigners. In S. Donadoni, Ed., The Egyptians: 221-53. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Giveon, R. 1971. Les Bédouins Shosou: Des documents égyptiens. Documenta et Monumenta Orientis Antiqui. Leiden: Brill.

Griffis-Greenberg, K. 2000. The Question of Slavery in Ancient Egypt. The Glyph, San Diego Society of the Archaeological Institute of America 1/20: 1.

________________. The Followers of Seth: Egyptian Perception of Foreigners as Reflected in Early Egyptian Textual References and Its Effect on Egyptian Culture. (forthcoming).

Loprieno, A. 1988. Topos and Mimesis: Zum Ausländer in der ägyptischen Literatur. Ägyptologische Abhandlungen 48. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.

Lorton, D. 1973. The So-called "Vile" Enemies of the King of Egypt (in the Middle Kingdom and Dyn. XVIII). JARCE 10: 65-70.

Poo, M.-C. 1998. Encountering the Strangers: A Comparative Study of Cultural Consciousness in Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and China. In C. J. Eyre, Ed., Proceedings of the Seventh International Congress of Egyptologists. Cambridge, 3-9 September 1995: 885-92. Orientalia Louvaniensia Analecta 82. Leuven: Peeters.

Redford, D. B., Ed. 1988.The Akhenaten Temple Project: Vol. 2. Rwd-Mnw, Foreigners and Inscriptions. Aegypti Texta Propositaque I. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

___________. 1992. Egypt, Canaan, and Israel in Ancient Times. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Saretta, P. 1997. Egyptian Perceptions of West Semites in Art and Literature during the Middle Kingdom (An Archaeological, Art Historical and Textual Survey). Ph.D. Dissertation (Unpublished), Dept. of Near Eastern Languages and Literatures, New York University: New York.

Valbelle, D. 1990. Les Neufs Arcs: L'égyptien et les étrangers de la préhistoire à la conquête d'Alexandre. Paris: Librairie Armand Colin.

HTH.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2016 6:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The term Hyksos, specifically 'foreigner(s)', is wider ranging and perhaps had more uses than I first imagined. I guess I am more interested in the use of the term 'Hyksos' relative to those (foreigners) who had lived in Egypt for a while, those who were settled, perhaps a generation or more...

Why, after a generation or more, might someone still be referred to as 'foreign'? Were these "foreigners' practicing non-egyptian religions? Did they look different? Why would they still be referred to as foreign when they were born and bred in Egypt?

Did they attend Egyptian rituals, festivals and so on, but in their own time, to their own liking, practice worship of foreign gods? Could this be construed as non-believers?

Does the term, 'non-believer', have any parallel in AE?

Thx
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2016 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Non-believers", "infidels", so and so, are Abrahamic concepts.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2016 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

freeTinker wrote:
The term Hyksos, specifically 'foreigner(s)', is wider ranging and perhaps had more uses than I first imagined. I guess I am more interested in the use of the term 'Hyksos' relative to those (foreigners) who had lived in Egypt for a while, those who were settled, perhaps a generation or more...

Why, after a generation or more, might someone still be referred to as 'foreign'? Were these "foreigners' practicing non-egyptian religions? Did they look different? Why would they still be referred to as foreign when they were born and bred in Egypt?

Did they attend Egyptian rituals, festivals and so on, but in their own time, to their own liking, practice worship of foreign gods? Could this be construed as non-believers?

Does the term, 'non-believer', have any parallel in AE?


To answer your question simply, how can one call another a "non-believer" when you live in a polytheistic society that worshipped myriad number of gods (some of which were foreign)?

Further, if you lived there and were incorporated into the society, why would that society look at you much differently if you privately worshipped your own gods? (Obviously, there would be no temples to foreign gods of the Hyksos in Egypt, although I note there is evidence that the Hyksos, when ruling Egypt, equated their god Ba'al with the Egyptian god, Sutekh (Seth) (te Velde 1977). It is possible that such Hyksos people who remained in Egypt simply transferred their allegiance to Sutekh or worshipped their personal gods privately, which is certainly within Egyptian tradition.

I find your use of "non-believer" more than a little confusing: if you mean someone who simply eschewed all gods (i.e., an atheist), then there are texts that tell us that the Egyptians did find such people abhorrent, and avoided them.

However, with a country with so many deities and myriad temples, simply because one person did not believe in a particular god, but personally adhered to another, did not seem to trouble the Egyptians, and I know of no term in Egyptian which corresponds to "non-believer."

When you read, for example, the Story of Wenamun from the Late Period, you find he travels with a statue of Amun, as he's doing business on his behalf. Wenamun knows the persons he will deal with do not personally believe in Amun, but he respects their gods, and hopes they will respect his god while doing business with him. He is certain they will, and to some extent he's correct; in other cases, he's poorly treated or they don't care he's working on behalf of a god, but he doesn't hold it against them as "non-believers" but simply that as individuals they are either cheating him or he feels he's being ill-used.

Does this make the issue more clear?

Reference:

te Velde, H. 1977. Seth, God of Confusion. A Study of His Role in Egyptian Mythology and Religion. G. E. van Baaren-Pape, transl. Probleme der Ägyptologie. 6. Leiden: Brill.

HTH.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thx for the responses. So, I think I get this... Hyksos were a specific group of foreigners in AE, but not all foreigners were Hyksos, and there appears to be no parallel for the term infidel or non-believer. However there does sound like some people were identified as 'atheist', and they were generally shunned. What was the name given these people, and you mentioned texts referring to this, are there any I might access online?
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