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By Elizabeth Frood

The Ramessid interval in Egypt (ca. 1290-1075 B.C.E.) corresponds to the past due Bronze Age, a time of significant swap either in Egypt and the close to East. this era of empire, ruled via the determine of Ramesses II, witnessed the most important advancements in artwork, language, and non secular demonstrate. Biographical Texts from Ramessid Egypt bargains insights into those cultural ameliorations throughout the voices of forty-five clergymen, artists, civil officers, and army males who served less than the kings of the 19th and 20th Dynasties. Sixty-five biographical texts, which have been inscribed in tombs, on statues and stelae in temples, and really on temple partitions, supply information in their careers and personality. The metrically prepared translations are brought by way of descriptions of the texts huge contexts and, the place attainable, summaries of the careers in their proprietors. the amount presents an advent to the ancient historical past of the Ramessid interval, drawing jointly key topics and interpretive concerns raised through the texts and their contexts. those contain the illustration of relationships to deities and the king, the thematization of the priestly lifestyles, and implications of alterations within the texts media, together with new ornamental courses of nonroyal tombs. This integration of textual content with context sheds gentle at the which means of biographical writing in historic Egypt as an entire.

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The Theban Tomb of Nebwenenef The importance of the office of high priest in the early Ramessid period is apparent both in Nebwenenef ’s ownership of a mortuary temple southwest of the temple of Sety I on the Theban West Bank at Qurna (now largely destroyed) and the location of his tomb in the high-status sector of Dra Abu el-Naga in the northern part of the Theban necropolis. His later successors Bakenkhons (no. 2) and Roma (no. 3) were buried in the same area. The text recording Nebwenenef ’s appointment to his position in year 1 of Ramesses II is carved on the south wall of his tomb’s transverse hall.

Lichtheim 1976, 86–89; discussion: Gnirs 1996, 215–17). This practice continued in the Ramessid period. Biography generally gains prominence in the Eighteenth Dynasty both through its expansion into temple domains and through the increased space accorded it in tombs, particularly on stelae in Theban tombs (see Hermann 1940). In the earlier Eighteenth Dynasty, career biographies developed in new directions, a phenomenon that Gnirs (1996, 230) relates to increased competition among elites. Accounts of travel and military exploits, which can be compared with royal narratives and annals, include complex presentations of dramatic setting and action: “And then the great elephant which was among them became belligerent near His Person.

However, expansions in boundaries of decorum that made possible the transformation of tomb function in the Ramessid period also meant that, when biography was selected as a focus for the tomb, its character could shift to make play with these religious concerns. 2). 4. 1. Selection of Material The selection of monuments presented in this book is not comprehensive, but intended to illustrate the diversity and complexity of biography and elite self-presentation in the Ramessid period. Most texts are longer narrative inscriptions, but I include some shorter statements or epithet-based formulations in order to highlight the range of what was created.

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