- Paperback: 265 pages
- Publisher: University of California Press; 2Rev Ed edition (10 Mar. 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0520248430
- ISBN-13: 978-0520248434
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.7 x 22.9 cm
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 506,170 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Ancient Egyptian Literature: Volume II: The New Kingdom: New Kingdom v. 2 Paperback – 10 Mar 2006
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"Concise, lucid, and altogether interesting.... The notes on the individual texts are unfailingly illuminating." - Books Abroad (now World Literature Today)"
First published in 1973 - and followed by Volume II in 1976 and Volume III in 1980 - this anthology has assumed classic status in the field of Egyptology and portrays the remarkable evolution of the literary forms of one of the world's earliest civilizations. Volume I outlines the early and gradual evolution of Egyptian literary genres, including biographical and historical inscriptions carved on stone, the various classes of literary works written with pen on papyrus, and the mortuary literature that focuses on life after death. It is introduced with a new foreword by Antonio Lopriano. Volume II shows the culmination of these literary genres within the single period known as the New Kingdom (1550-1080 B.C.). It contains a new foreword by Hans-W. Fischer-Elfert. Volume III spans the last millennium of Pharaonic civilization, from the tenth century B.C. to the beginning of the Christian era. It features a new foreword by Joseph G. Manning.See all Product description
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Lichtheim's collections of translations of Egyptian texts, in three connected volumes, are some of the most accessible, with their helpful commentary and notes. They are an essential part of a library of anyone genuinely interested in ancient Egypt.
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The insciptions from private tombs and royal monuments are pretty standard fare (the Egyptians were predictable in their funerary inscriptions) - although the inclusion of the obelisk inscription by Hatsehpsut and the stelae by Thutmose III make for a marvelous contrast. Similarly her inclusion of hymns and prayers from Amenhotep IV (Akhenaton) and Horemheb as well as selections from the Book of the Dead were "must have" documents in any collection of primary documents from the New Kingdom. What sets this anthology apart from others The Literature of Ancient Egypt: An Anthology of Stories, Instructions, Stelae, Autobiographies, and Poetry; Third Edition were the final few chapters.
These chapters (on "Instructions", "Be a scribe", "Love poems", and "Tales") provide a much more honest look at life in New Kingdom Egypt, and put a much more human (fragile, flawed, and most certainly less idealized) face on the Egyptians, which is so contrary to the "public" face the Egyptians typically showed on monuments and in tombs. While the Middle Kingdom is usually considered the "golden age" of ancient Egyptian literature, I'll take these heartfelt snapshots of life over what was written in the Middle Kingdom anyday.