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ANAHITA Home

ANAHITA  January 1999

ANAHITA January 1999

Subject:

Re: Goddesses

From:

Kasia Szpakowska <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Sun, 31 Jan 1999 10:42:29 -0800

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Stacey Barron wrote:
>
> I am going to be starting a book soon on goddesses from around the world and I
> have been wondering is there any book out there that have translations of
> authentic texts from ancient times.  Greek, Egyptian, Indian, I really don't
> mind, just the information.  Thanks-Isis Jean
>
> ----------------------------------------------------

Hi!

I know of a few books which may interest you:
Miriam Robbins Dexter, "Whence the Goddesses: A Source Book," New York:
Pergamon Press, 1990.

However, I would be careful of sources when it comes to Ancient Egypt.
Keep in mind that the myths were not written as Narratives until very
late. Many of them come down to us from Greek sources, which may tell us
more about the Greek ideas of Egyptian goddesses, rather than the
Egyptian beliefs regarding Egyptian goddesses themselves.

Avoid any translations by Budge. He wrote prolifically in the 1800's but
misread most of the texts. Excellent new translations of Egyptian texts
can be found in:

Lichtheim, Miriam.   Ancient Egyptian Literature.  Vol. I: The Old and
Middle Kingdoms.  Berkeley: University of California Press, 1973.  3 vols.
Lichtheim, Miriam.   Ancient Egyptian Literature.  Vol. II: The New
Kingdom.  Berkeley: University of California Press, 1976.  3 vols.
Lichtheim, Miriam.   Ancient Egyptian Literature.  Vol. III: The Late
Period.  Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980.  3 vols.
Simpson, William Kelly, ed.  The Literature of Ancient Egypt.  New Haven
& London: Yale University Press, 1972.
Parkinson, Richard B.   The Tale of Sinuhe and other Ancient Egyptian
Poems 1940-1640 BC.  Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997.
Parkinson, R. B.   Voices from Ancient Egypt: An anthology of Middle
Kingdom Writings.  Ed A. J. Heisserer.  Norman: Univerisity of Oklahoma
Press, 1991.

I don't know of any book which has all the texts which refer to
goddesses in one group, but the above books include texts referring to
goddesses throughout.

Capel, Anne K., and Glenn E. Markoe, eds.  Mistress of the House,
Mistress of Heaven. Women in Ancient Egypt.  New York: Hudson Hills
Press, in association with Cincinnati Art Museum, 1996.
Hawass, Zahi.   Silent Images: Women of Pharaonic Egypt.  Cairo: C.D.F.,
Ministry of Culture, 1995.

The above may be of help as well. Worth looking at in any case. (Note
that many books on Women in Ancient Egypt include goddessess)

A new book on Women in Ancient Egypt has recently been published by Gay
Robins and may be of help.

A final note: the civilization of ancient Egypt lasted over 3,000 years.
Divine theories changed quite a bit from the early periods to the later
ones, so it is really incorrect to make any sort of generalization,
without qualifying it as to time period. Egypt also had a such a love of
balance, that many gods had a feminine counterpart. Thus the great god
Amun has in certain instances a feminine counterpart Amunet (the "t"
ending indicates the feminine). However, this "Amunet" had no existence
on her own. You never find a reference to Amunet without the
corresponding "Amun".

Wow! Ask a simple question, get a long-winded answer! Terribly sorry for
the length of this reply!

--Kasia

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