Egyptian Religion: History of Study

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The study of ancient Egyptian religion shows an enormous breadth and depth, varying over time with academic fashion and the interests of individual authors. It could be maintained that the history of the study of religion should begin in the Pharaonic period. During the long period of Egyptian history, the ancient Egyptian priesthood time and again studied and reinterpreted aspects of their ancient religious traditions. However, although evidence can be gleaned from this, there are not many actual accounts or treatises. Therefore, this survey starts with explicit evidence by several classical authors, followed by the accounts of early travelers, and concentrating on the results of modern scholarship. A distinction is made between research efforts that concentrate on the recording and publication of religious architecture and textual material on the one hand, and the analysis and interpretation of evidence for religious traditions, belief systems, and practices on the other hand. The second part is divided into several subsections, although many scholars have bridged a number of these.

Recording and Publication

The accounts of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century travelers to Egypt are of great importance. Even though the authors could not decipher the hieroglyphs before the groundbreaking work of savants such as Thomas Young, and especially Jean Francois Champollion, around 1824, they have published detailed descriptions and drawings of monuments, reliefs, and inscriptions, many of which have since been damaged or completely destroyed. One of the earliest accounts is that of the English traveler, Laurence Aldersey (fl. c. 15811586), who visited Alexandria and Cairo in 1586. Aldersey's descriptions have been preserved by the collector of travel narratives, Richard Hakluyt (15521616, listed by Quinn, p. 410). Most travelers concentrated on the Giza pyramids and the sphinx, such as Pietro Della Valle (15861652), who also acquired Coptic manuscripts and grammars; George Sandys (15781644) published an account on the pyramids of Giza in 1615 (The Relation of a Journey begun an. Dom. 1610, in four books), which could not compete with the precise survey of John Greaves, published in 1646 (Pyramidographia, or a Discourse of the Pyramids in Aegypt ).

The eighteenth century saw a marked growth in interest in ancient Egypt, and the increase in visitors is reflected in the number of very important collections of drawings and copies of reliefs and inscriptions. From 1743 to 1745, Richard Pococke, an English traveler, published an account of Upper and Lower Egypt, including the Valley of the Kings, in two volumes: A Description of the East, and Some Other Countries. Around the same time, N. Granger (d. 1733), a French physician, published the story of his travels in Relation d'un voyage fait en Egypte en l'année 1730. Richard Dalton (17151791), an English draughtsman published 131 plates in Views and Engravings in Greece and Egypt in 1790 and 1791. One of the great feats of Napoleon Bonaparte's expedition to Egypt from 1799 to 1801 was his involvement of a large number of scholars and artists, whose combined work was published in the Description de l'Égypte between 1808 and 1822.

The early nineteenth century witnessed a surge in travelers who, in many cases, went to Egypt with the explicit purpose of documenting the antiquities. Henry Salt (17801827) was the secretary and draughtsman to the Viscount Valentia, employed to illustrate Voyages and Travels, which appeared in 1809. Although Giovanni Belzoni (17781823) is mostly notorious for his rough approach to archaeology, he copied his discoveries diligently. His full-scale reproduction of the tomb of Seti I was exhibited in London in 1818, and he published many of his drawings in the Narrative of Operations and Recent Discoveries (1820). Sir Charles Barry (17951860) made plans and drawings of temples and tombs that are now in the Griffith Institute in Oxford. The British Museum has the collections of Robert Hay (17991863), comprising forty-nine volumes of drawings, plans, and copies of inscriptions and reliefs (Add. MSS. 29812-60) and no less than sixty-three volumes of drawings and plans of James Burton (17881862, Add. MSS. 25613-75). Baltzar Cronstrand (17941876) was a Swedish army officer and traveler, whose excellent drawings of Karnak temple, Medinet Habu, the Ramesseum, and the tombs of Beni Hasan are now in the National Museum of Stockholm and form an important source of information on temple architecture. Jean François Champollion organized an expedition to Egypt in 18281829. John Gardner Wilkinson (17971875) produced very precise plans and copies of hieroglyphic texts. His many publications and notes on contemporary and ancient Egypt comprise fifty-six bound volumes, which the Griffith Institute in Oxford has on loan. A brilliant draftsman and artist was Louis Maurice Adolphe Linant de Bellefonds, a French geographer and explorer (17991883). Copies of his notes can be found in the Louvre and the Griffith Institute in Oxford. In 1842, a well-equipped Prussian expedition set out to Egypt, directed by Karl Richard Lepsius (18101884). In three years' time, this expedition excavated and recorded an enormous number of individual monuments, concentrating on a precise copy of the hieroglyphic texts.

Systematic epigraphical work started in the mid-nineteenth century. The most famous and longest lasting endeavor is that of the epigraphic survey of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. The publication of the temple of Medinet Habu in eight volumes (19301970), of the temple of Karnak in four volumes (19361954), of the Khonsu temple in two volumes (19791981) and of the temple of Luxor in two volumes (19941998) all mark important milestones in the epigraphy of the Theban monuments. Other major and minor temple complexes have been published by the Institut Français d'Archéologie Orientale (IFAO) in Cairo. The small but fascinating temples of Deir el-Shelwit, between Luxor and Armant, were described in four volumes by Christiane Zivie (between 1982 and 1992) and the description of the temple of el-Qa'la (north of Luxor in the village of Quft) was published by Laure Pantalaci and Claude Traunecker in 1990 and 1998. To date, seventeen volumes have been published on the temple of Dendara. Between 1870 and 1890, Auguste Mariette published six volumes, while the IFAO has published a series of eleven volumes by Émile Chassinat, François Daumas, and Sylvie Cauville. The IFAO also brought out eight volumes on the temple of Esna (between 1959 and 1982 by Serge Sauneron), and a 1995 publication on the temple of Kom Ombo (by Adolphe Gutbub). The temple of Edfu has been published in fourteen volumes, between 1897 and 1934 by Émile Chassinat and Maxence Chavet Marquis de Rochemonteix. A fifteenth volume and a second edition of the first two volumes have been published by Sylvie Cauville and Didier Devauchelle (19841990). The Egypt exploration society and the University of Chicago jointly published the temple of Sety I in Abydos in five volumes (in 1933 by Sir Alan Gardiner and Amice Calverley). From 1927 to 1951, Bertha Porter and Rosalind Moss published the seven volumes of their Topographical Bibliography of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic Texts, Reliefs, and Paintings, revised and augmented from 1960 to 1972. Further revisions and the addition of an eighth volume on objects without provenance were published between 1978 and 2003 and were edited by Jaromir Malek.

Apart from texts on temple walls, funerary text collections are of great importance in the study of religion. Gaston Maspero collected the Pyramid Texts and published these between 1882 and 1893 in Recueil des Travaux. A publication that offered a comparison of different versions of the textual corpus was prepared by Kurt Sethe between 1908 and 1922. The fact that he transferred the columns into lines of hieroglyphs expresses that he saw the inner decoration of the pyramids mainly as textual evidence and not as an integrated composition with its own rules, orientation, word, and sign play. Sethe's rendering of the texts is very precise, but by now no longer represents all the textual variations that are known, due to the discovery of other inscribed pyramids. In 2001, the Institut Français d'Archéologie Orientale published the texts from the pyramid of Pepi I. The two volumes include a reproduction of the text by Isabelle Pierre-Croisiau, and a translation and explanation by Catherine Berger El-Naggar. In the previous edition of this encyclopedia, criticism was given to the order in which Sethe published the texts. One could say, however, that Sethe's numbering foreshadowed the later interpretation of Jürgen Osing's Zur Disposition der Pyramidentexte des Unas (1986): the text starts in the burial chamber, is read through the ante-chamber, and culminates towards the exit of the pyramid at the north side. The pyramid "entrance" now is interpreted as an exit toward the circumpolar stars. Thomas Allen's Occurrences of Pyramid Texts gives a good overview of the text publications prior to 1950, but is now outdated.

Translations of the Pyramid Texts have been published in French by Gaston Maspero and in German by Kurt Sethe (from 1935 to 1962). The first English translation was made by Samual Mercer in 1952. Alexandre Piankoff concentrated on the text from the pyramid of Unas and published an integral translation in French in 1968, while Raymond Faulkner's English translation from 1969 was based on Sethe's publication of the original hieroglyphic text.

The Middle Kingdom was heir to the religious tradition as reflected in the Pyramid Texts, which were written on the walls of the (mostly wooden) coffins. The variety of Coffin Texts is much larger than that of the Pyramid Texts: Faulkner's publication has 759 Pyramid Texts compared to the 1,200 Coffin Texts published by Adriaan de Buck. The work of the latter has provided an enormous service for the study of religious notions connected to the afterlife. As with the publication of the Pyramid Texts, the Coffin Texts are often considered without reference to their material context. The selection, order, and position of the texts on the wall of the coffins are rarely taken into consideration. An exception to this is Harco Willems's Chests of Life, which presents an excellent multi-disciplinary study of Middle Kingdom coffins.

Translations of the Coffin Texts have been published by Louis Speleers in Textes des cercueils du Moyen Empire égyptien (1947), which includes only the first two volumes of De Buck's collection of spells. Between 1973 and 1978, Raymond Faulkner published the translation in English of the entire corpus of De Buck in three volumes. A very useful publication is Leonard Lesko's Index of the Spells on Egyptian Middle Kingdom Coffins and Related Documents (1979), which shows the variety of texts incorporated and the order in which these texts occurred. Recently, a Web-based Coffin Text index has become available, which can be accessed through the Web page of the University of Göttingen at In 2000, Rami van der Molen published a dictionary to the Coffin Texts.

Collections and publications of texts of the Book of Going Forth by Day, also known as the Book of the Dead have been composed by several authors, the earliest of whom were Karl Richard Lepsius in 1842 (based on a Ptolemaic papyrus in the Turin collection) and Édouard Naville, who published many New Kingdom parallels in two volumes in 1886, following the order of Lepsius's publication. E. A. Wallis Budge published several manuscripts of the Book of Going Forth by Day from the collection of the British Museum. English language grammars and dictionaries generally refer to the publication of Budge by page and line number. Since his works have known several editions and reprints, this reference only works with the first edition of his The Chapters of Coming Forth by Day from 1898, a three-volume set of text, vocabulary, and translation.

Translations of the Book of Going Forth by Day have been published by Thomas George Allen in The Egyptian Book of the Dead: Documents in the Oriental Institute Museum (1960) and Book of the Dead or Going Forth by Day (1974). These publications have translations of all the spells, but do not give the illustrations known as vignettes. Paul Barguet, on the other hand, incorporated the vignettes with his translation in French published as Le livre des morts des anciens Égyptiens (1967) and made use of parallels in the Coffin Texts to clarify difficult or garbled passages. Raymond Faulkner published a literal translation in 1972 in The Book of the Dead, which was reissued by Carol Andrews in 1985 as the lavishly illustrated The Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead. The standard translation in German was published as Das Totenbuch by Erik Hornung in 1979.

In 1915, Günther Roeder published a survey of Egyptian religious documents in Urkunden zur Religion des alten Ägypten. Alexandre Piankoff's The Tomb of Ramesses VI (1954) and The Shrines of Tut-Ankh-Amon (1955) provide a partial publication of several of the guidebooks to the Underworld found in the New Kingdom Royal Tombs, such as the Amduat, the Book of Gates, the Enigmatic Book of the Netherworld, the Book of Caverns, the Book of the Earth, the Book of the Day, the Book of the Night, and the Book of the Heavenly Cow. Erik Hornung published Das Amduat (three volumes from 1963 to 1967), Das Buch von den Pforten des Jenseits (1979), and a translation and commentary in his Ägyptische Unterweltsbücher (1972). The Litany of Re, published by Piankoff in 1964, is incorporated in Marshall Clagett's Ancient Egyptian Science: A Source Book (19891999), which also includes the Book of Nut.

Analysis and Interpretation

Herodotos traveled through Egypt in the fourth century bce, Diodorus Siculus in the first century bce, and Plutarch visited Alexandria in the first century ce. Their accounts reflect information provided by priests of a late, but living phase of Egyptian religion.

Before the first half of the nineteenth century, any theory on the religion of ancient Egypt was based on an interpretation of architecture and the depictions of the gods in the reliefs and tomb paintings. These early interpretations of ancient Egyptian religion focused on the most visible monuments and were intrinsically connected to biblical and koranic interpretations. In the mid-eighth century ce, Bishop Cosmas of Jerusalem maintained that he had identified the pyramids as the granaries of Joseph. The ninth century Patriarch of Antioch, who had entered a pyramid and stated that they were undoubtedly the tombs of kings, rejected this theory. In the early thirteenth century, Al-Idrisi described his visit to the pyramids with an envoy of King Friedrich II of Hohenstaufen. In his Book of the Lights of the Pyramids, he claimed that Latin inscriptions had been discovered in the pyramids, which he had translated into Arabic. Other Islamic scholars such as al-Maqrīzī, who lived 13641442, wondered whether the pyramids had been built before, or after, the Great Flood.

The German scientist and draftsman, Athanasius Kircher, wrote several works on aspects of Egyptian civilization, including its religion. His Oedipus aegyptiacus, published between 1652 and 1655, consisted of three volumes. His work is often ridiculed for the purely symbolic interpretation of the imagery of hieroglyphs, but his work is often misrepresented and, in hindsight, he had touched upon a relevant notion: associative sign play is an important part of the use of the Egyptian language in its religious context. Between 1750 and 1752, the German theologian and orientalist, Paul Ernst Jablonski, published three volumes on Egyptian religion, and the French priest and scholar, Antoine Banier, wrote a three-volume work on mythology and fables (expanded to eight volumes by the second edition), which was translated and published in four English volumes in 1739. Neither this work, nor the work on religion and history of Egypt by Jean François Champollion, published in 1814, was based on any translations of textual material.

Belief systems and general overviews

In most of the interpretations of ancient Egyptian religion, the implicit conviction that ancient Egypt was a high-standing culture can be discerned. The existence and form of polytheism has been explained and ordered in a wide variety of belief systems. In many cases, these seem to reflect the unconscious convictions of the modern writers and the problems they had with a multitude of gods, often in the form of animals or animal-headed human forms, rather than the core of Egyptian religion. Classical accounts and interpretations of ancient Egyptian religion led to theories of a high-brow mystery cult. The name of the god Amun, the hidden one, and the important position of his cult through much of Egyptian history, provoked theories of an inherent, but hidden, monotheism in contrast with the polytheistic, animistic, magic-ridden religion for the people. On the other hand, the worship of the Aten, in combination with biblical references to Egypt, led to theories that the cradle of Christianity stood in Egypt, while afrocentric literature emphasized the African roots of Western culture, via ancient Egypt.

Some of these theories were built on thorough scholarship, whereas others were not. Although the books of Wallis Budge are still for sale in cheap reprints, these volumes, such as The Gods of the Egyptians and his Book of the Dead, mostly serve as an example of imprecise transliterations, translations, and interpretations of the textual material. Other works that date to the same general period have withstood the test of time, and later scholarship are much better, mostly because they were written with a deeper knowledge and interpreted with a more careful approach. The oldest general overview of Egyptian religion that is still worth reading today is Adolf Erman's Die Ägyptische Religion (1905), later published as Die Religion der Ägypter (1934). In Erman's opinion, the drive behind Egyptian religion was mostly a practical, deeply felt fear of natural phenomena and an attempt to contain or control these. He disagreed strongly with the work of Alexandre Moret, who explained the multiplicity of gods from a totemic origin in which the Nome gods were united into one religious system with the political unification of Egypt (From Tribe to Empire; Social Organization among Primitives and in the Ancient East, translated by V. Gordon Childe from the 1923 French original, and published in 1926). In 1912, James Breasted published Development of Religion and Thought in Ancient Egypt, in which he presented a wealth of detail and drew broad lines on how the Egyptian religion developed from the prehistoric period to the New Kingdom. He suggested the gradual democratization of the afterlife from the Pyramid Texts to the Book of the Dead. Although not all of his ideas still stand today, the information presented in the book, and in the revised edition of 1959, is still very useful.

A great name in the study of Egyptian religion, and representative of the accepted school of thought, is Hermann Kees, whose Götterglaube im alten Ägypten was published in 1941. Jacques Vandier's Religion Égyptienne (1944) gave an excellent broad overview and is one of the classic texts, because it drew together the work of many of his contemporaries and predecessors and had an extensive bibliography.

A more anthropological approach was presented by Henri Frankfort in Intellectual Adventure of Ancient Man (1946) and Ancient Egyptian Religion (1948). He suggested replacing Breasted's interpretation that Egyptian religion is, by definition, syncretistic with the notion of "multiplicity of approaches," the existence of parallel truths. Such an interpretation could only be given by an author who did not (un)consciously try to understand Egyptian religion from within the mental boundaries of the Judeo-Christian tradition. This notion did not truly reverberate until postmodern approaches to Egyptian religion began to take some hold in the 1990s. Siegfried Morenz, for instance, published a book in which the phenomenological approach shows a bias for "religions of the word" over "cult religions" (Ägyptische Religion, 1960, translated as Egyptian Religion, 1973).

Kurt Sethe stirred up considerable controversy with his discussion of the gods and their cults in prehistoric Egypt in his Urgeschichte und älteste Religion der Ägypter (1930). Recent work on the predynastic period put emphasis on the context, and clearly stressed the realization that an interpretation of the earliest phases of Egyptian religion cannot be based solely on the knowledge of religious thought and practice often centuries or millennia later. Barry Kemp touched upon this theme when he discussed the colossi of Koptos and ancient temple architecture in his Ancient Egypt: Anatomy of a Civilization (1989).

Sydney Aufrère has written some thought-provoking publications on the relation between religion and economics, as well as religion and landscape, well-rooted in the study of material culture. Perhaps the most encompassing are L'Univers minéral dans la pensée égyptienne (1991) and the Encyclopédie religieuse de l'univers végétal (19992001).

The accepted approach of Egyptian religion in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries is one that stresses multivocality and development and change over time. Within this approach, several authors have highlighted specific aspects of Egyptian religion. The two names that dominate the field are those of Erik Hornung and Jan Assmann, the first in a much more concise fashion than the latter. In a relatively brief and yet stunningly complete overview published in 1973 (translated into English in 1983 as Conceptions of God in Ancient Egypt: The One and the Many ), Erik Hornung provided an outline of the academic consensus regarding the Egyptian belief system. With his impressive list of publications, Jan Assmann has determined much of the discussion. His incredible mastery of the source material enables him to set up original, at times almost esoteric, theories on the religion of ancient Egypt, which are always thoroughly rooted in the textual and iconographical evidence. Perhaps the best example is Ägypten; Theologie und Frömmigkeit einer frühen Hochkultur (1984), published in English as The Search for God in Ancient Egypt (2001).

For the Greco-Roman era, there is Harold Idris Bell's Cults and Creeds of Graeco-Roman Egypt, published in 1953, and the contributions in Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt (especially II 18.5, 1995). Other important publications are Religion in Roman Egypt: Assimilation and Resistance by David Frankfurter (1998) and the contributions in Ancient Egyptian Religion, the Last Thousand Years, published in 1998 in memory of Jan Quaegebeur whose important work was brought to an end by his untimely death.

The influence of women's studies on the study of Egyptian religion is limited and plays out mostly in literature on specific goddesses or the role of women in society. Publications that stress the African origins of Egyptian culture, including the religion, are mostly considered unscholarly by mainstream Egyptology. The fact that Egypt is located in Africa and that, especially in its earliest phases, the Egyptian religion was based on oral tradition and cattle culture is only taken into account in some publications. One of the few publications to address this issue explicitly is an essay by Ann Macy Roth titled "Building Bridges to Afrocentrism: A Letter to My Egyptological Colleagues" (Web publication 1995).

Afterlife and funerary rites

Apart from his general introduction into Egyptian religion, Hermann Kees also wrote an important treatise on the early mortuary literature and the guidebooks to the netherworld. Totenglauben und Jenseitsvorstellungen der alten Ägypter was published in 1926 and a revised edition, in which some important corrections were made, came out in 1956. Matthieu Heerma van Voss published detailed analyses of several chapters of the Book of the Dead (cf. 1963). The great scholar of underworld books is Erik Hornung who gave an excellent overview in Altägyptische Jenseitsbücher ein einführender Überblick, which was translated and published in English in 1999 as The Ancient Egyptian Books of the Afterlife. The question whether the chthonic or the celestial and solar aspects of the mortuary cult are the most ancient, has found several discussants. Jan Assmann explicated his viewpoints in Tod und Jenseits im Alten Ägypten (2001). Leonard Lesko purported in his publications on the Book of Two Ways (1969 and 1972) that the democratization of the netherworld should be explained in terms of solarization of the Osirian cult, rather than a gradual spread of chthonic aspects. This discussion was taken up by Edmund Hermsen in Die zwei Wege des Jenseits: das altägyptische Zweiwegebuch und seine Topgraphie. An important shift was the change from considering funerary texts foremost as theological treatises to interpreting them primarily as ritual texts. An example was James P. Allen's "Reading a Pyramid" (1994), in which he followed up on Osing's article from 1986 and used the orientation and place of the texts to interpret their function within the ritual context. The publication of the full texts of the Pepi I Pyramid Texts will enable future testing of his interpretation.

Temple ritual

The often-underestimated connection of text and context, the placement of texts and depictions on temple walls in relation to the words spoken and actions performed inside the spaces thus decorated, has been the subject of a number of important contributions to the understanding of Egyptian religion. Already in 1962, Dieter Arnold published his Wandrelief und Raumfunktion in ägyptischen Tempeln des Neuen Reiches. Other work focusing on the relation between space, wall reliefs, and ritual are Rosalie David's A Guide to Religious Ritual at Abydos (1981) and Françoise Labrique's Stylistique et Théologie à Edfou (1992). An interesting approach was taken by Dimitri Meeks and Christine Favard-Meeks in Daily Life of the Egyptian Gods (1996 translation of 1993 French text).

Günter Dreyer's report on the Satet temple on Elephantine (1986) illustrated how archaeology can show immaterial aspects of religion such as the physical expression (in the form of a shaft) of the strong continuation in belief and ritual that connected the earliest shrine to each subsequent newly built temple phase.

Gods and goddesses

Treatises on the aspects of individual gods are found in a number of monographs, for instance in the Dutch tradition of Claas Jouco Bleeker (Hathor and Thoth, 1973) and Herman te Velde's Seth, God of Confusion, first published in 1967. Kurt Sethe discussed the Hermopolitan ogdoad in Amun und die acht Urgötter von Hermopolis (1929), while Karol Myšliwiec published two volumes on the god Atum (1978 and 1979). In the work on some of the goddesses, there is sometimes a more woman-centered approach to Egyptian religion, often written by female Egyptologists. Elise J. Baumgartel put an emphasis on the cow as the mother-goddess in her The Cultures of Prehistoric Egypt (1947). Barbara Lesko concentrated on the female perspective in The Great Goddesses of Egypt (1999) and Alison Roberts specifically wrote about Hathor Rising, with two increasingly popularizing subtitles (1995, 1997). Thorough and concentrating on the Greco-Roman and Late Antique periods were R. E. Witt's books on Isis (1971, 1979).

An important source is Christian Leitz's Lexikon der ägyptischen Götter und Götterbezeichnungen published in 2002, which presents an excellent overview in no less than seven volumes of the names, epithets, and cult centers of Egyptian gods and goddesses. It shows a painstakingly precise approach that undoubtedly will prove to be of considerable use for a large group of scholars.


Gustave Lefebvre emphasized the political and economic power of the Egyptian priesthood in Histoire des grands prêtres d'Amon de Karnak (1929). Serge Sauneron wrote a concise, but excellent book on priesthood in ancient Egypt in 1957, which was revised and republished in 1998, and translated for the second time into English in 2000 under the title The Priests of Ancient Egypt. He drew greatly on written sources from the Late Period and the Greco-Roman era. The Greco-Roman era had been discussed as early as 1905 by Walter Otto in Priester und Tempel im hellenistischen Ägypten, an extremely thorough work, that was reprinted in 1975 because it still had much to offer. There has been little attention to the role of women in ancient Egyptian religion. Gay Robins wrote a very useful chapter on women and the temple ritual in her book on Women in Ancient Egypt (1993), from which it is clear that female cult specialists exclusively occur in the realm of female goddesses. An exception is the highly politicized function of the "hand of Amun," or the Divine Adoratress / God's Wife of Amun, on which several works have been published.

Personal religion

Relatively scant attention is paid to this aspect, but Religion in Ancient Egypt: Gods, Myths, and Personal Practice (published in 1991, edited by Byron Shafer) did take it explicitly into account. Personal religion had a place outside the temples, in house shrines, during festivals, and especially in the realm of magic. On the latter subject, Joris Borghouts's Ancient Egyptian magical texts (1978) and Robert Ritner's The Mechanics of Ancient Egyptian Magical Practice (1993) should be highlighted. In her attempt to include social theory in an approach of Egyptian village life, Lynn Meskell put more emphasis on the agency of individuals in Deir el-Medina (1999 and 2002). Taking into account the personal choices and the mechanisms of coping of ordinary Egyptians was an important addition to the study of the religion and an aspect that had long been disregarded.

General reference works

Hans Bonnet composed the Reallexikon der ägyptischen Religionsgeschichte in 1952, which covered almost all aspects of Egyptian religion in brief articles and included a thorough bibliography. Many of the entries of the seven volumes of the Lexikon der Ägyptologie, edited by Eberhard Otto, Wolfgang Helck, and Wolfhart Westendorf (1975), catalog an even more extensive collection of brief introductions into many aspects of ancient Egyptian religion by the most important specialists of the 1970s and 1980s. The brief bibliographies per subject provide a good entry for further study. The articles dealing with religion from the Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt (edited by Donald Redford, 2001) have been published in identical form under the title The Ancient Gods Speak: a Guide to Egyptian Religion (2002). The guide does not give an extensive update on the literature, the more recent articles do not necessarily supersede their "predecessors" in the Lexikon der Ägyptologie, but the fact that they are in English makes them more accessible to an English-speaking audience.


Allen, James P. "Reading a Pyramid." Hommage à Jean Leclant,edited by Catherine Berger, Gisèle Clerc, and Nicolas Grimal, pp. 528. Vol. 1. Cairo, 1994.

Allen, Thomas George. Occurrences of Pyramid Texts, with Cross Indexes of These and Other Egyptian Mortuary Texts. The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. Studies in Ancient Oriental Civilization, No. 27. Chicago, 1950.

Allen, Thomas George. The Egyptian Book of the Dead: Documents in the Oriental Institute Museum at the University of Chicago. The University of Chicago: Oriental Institute Publications; Volume 82. Chicago, 1960. The facsimiles of the original texts with description, translations, and notes.

Allen, Thomas George. The Book of the Dead: Or, Going Forth by Day: Ideas of the Ancient Egyptians Concerning the Hereafter as Expressed in Their Own Terms. Chicago, 1974.

Arnold, Dieter. Wandrelief und Raumfunktion in ägyptischen Tempeln des neuen Reiches. Münchner Ägyptologische Studien 2. Berlin, 1962.

Arnold, Dieter. Temples of the Last Pharaohs. New York, 1999.

Assmann, Jan. Zeit und Ewigkeit im alten ägypten: Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der Ewigkeit. Heidelberg, Germany, 1975.

Assmann, Jan. Re und Amun: Die Krise des polytheistischen Weltbilds im ägypten der 18.-20. Dynastie. Göttingen, Germany, 1983.

Assmann, Jan. Ägypten: Theologie und Frömmigkeit einer frühen Hochkultur. Stuttgart, Germany, 1984. Translated as The Search for God in Ancient Egypt.

Assmann, Jan. Ma'at: Gerechtigkeit und Unsterblichkeit im alten Ägypten. Munich, 1990.

Assmann, Jan. Agypten; Eine Sinngeschichte. Munich and Vienna, 1996.

Assmann, Jan. Moses the Egyptian: The Memory of Egypt in Western Monotheism. Cambridge, Mass., 1997.

Assmann, Jan. Tod Und Jenseits Im Alten Ägypten. Munich, 2001.

Assmann, Jan. The Search for God in Ancient Egypt. Translated by David Lorton. Ithaca, N.Y., 2001.

Assmann, Jan. The Mind of Egypt: History and Meaning in the Time of the Pharaohs. Translated by Andrew Jenkins. New York, 2002.

Aufrère, Sydney. L'univers minéral dans la pensée égyptienne. 2 vols. Cairo, 1991. Volume 1 is titled L'Influence du désert et des minéraux sur la mentalité des anciens Égyptiens. Volume 2 focuses on L'Intégration des minéraux, des métaux et des "trésors" dans la marche de l'univers et dans la vie divine. The two volumes focus on the relation between minerals, metals, "treasures," and the desert, where all of these originate, with the Egyptian way of thinking, the Egyptian mentality, the course of the universe, and the life of the gods.

Aufrère, Sydney. Encyclopédie religieuse de l'univers végétal. Croyance phytoreligieuse de l'Égypte ancienne. 2 vols. Montpellier, France, 19992001.

Banier, Antoine. The Mythology and Fables of the Ancients, Explain'd from History. 4 vols. London, 1739. Translated from the original French.

Barguet, Paul. Le Livre des morts des anciens Égyptiens. Littératures anciennes du proche-orient. Paris, 1967. Includes an introduction, a translation, and a commentary.

Baumgartel, Elise J. The Cultures of Prehistoric Egypt. Oxford and London, 1947.

Bell, Harold Idris. Cults and Creeds in Graeco-Roman Egypt. New York, 1953.

Belzoni, Giovanni Battista. Narrative of the Operations and Recent Discoveries within the Pyramids, Temples, Tombs, and Excavations in Egypt and Nubia; and of a Journey to the Coast of the Red Sea in Search of the Ancient Berenice, and of Another to the Oasis of Jupiter Ammon. London, 1820. Belzoni's drawings and an account of his work in Egypt, including a section on the women of Egypt, Nubia, and Syria by his wife, Sarah (pp. 441483).

Belzoni, Giovanni Battista, and Alberto Siliotti. Belzoni's Travels: Narrative of the Operations and Recent Discoveries in Egypt and Nubia. Translated by Richard Pierce. London, 2001. A re-publication of Belzoni's most important publication, edited by Alberto Siliotti.

Bleeker, Claas Jouco. Die Geburt eines Gottes: Eine Studie über den Ägyptischen Gott min und Sein Fest. Leiden, 1956.

Bleeker, Claas Jouco. Egyptian Festivals. Enactments of Religious Renewal. Leiden, 1968.

Bleeker, Claas Jouco. Hathor and Thoth: Two Key Figures of the Ancient Egyptian Religion. Leiden, the Netherlands, 1973.

Bonnet, Hans. Reallexikon der ägyptischen Religionsgeschichte. Berlin, 1952.

Borghouts, Joris F. The Magical Texts of Papyrus Leiden 1348. Leiden, 1971.

Borghouts, Joris F. Ancient Egyptian Magical Texts. Leiden, 1978.

Breasted, James Henry. Development of Religion and Thought in Ancient Egypt. London, 1912. Lectures delivered on the Morse Foundation at Union Theological Seminary. Republished in 1959 and 1999.

Buck, Adriaan de. The Egyptian Coffin Texts. Edited by Alan H. Gardiner. Seven vols. Chicago, 19351963. Volume 1 (1935) Texts of Spells 175. Volume 2 (1938) Texts of Spells 76163. Volume 3 (1947) Texts of Spells 164267. Volume 4 (1951) Texts of Spells 268354. Volume 5 (1956) Texts of Spells 472786. Volume 6 (1961) Texts of Spells 472786. Volume 7 (1963) Texts of Spells 7871185.

Budge, E. A. Wallis. The Chapters of Coming Forth by Day: The Egyptian Text According to the Theban Recension in Hieroglyphic. Three vols. London, 1898. Volume 1: The Egyptian text in hieroglyphic. Volume 2: An English translation with introduction, notes, etc. Volume 3: A vocabulary in hieroglyphic to the Theban recension of the Book of the Dead. This edition has been used as a standard text edition, with later authors referring to page and line numbers.

Budge, E. A. Wallis. The Gods of the Egyptians, or, Studies in Egyptian Mythology. Two vols. Chicago, 1904. Reprinted in 1969 by Dover Publications, this work of Budge is still found in many bookstores, while the quality would merit it to be quietly forgotten.

Cauville, Sylvie. Dendara Traduction. Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta ; 81, 88, 95, 101. Leuven, Belgium, 19982001. Four volumes with translations of the texts from the Temple of Dendara. Volume 1 (OLA 81, 1998) concentrates on the theological texts (from the sanctuary and surrounding chapels, reproduced in Chassinat, Daumas, Cauville Le Temple de Dendara volumes 1 through 4). Volume 2 (OLA 88, 1999) is a translation of the theological and cultic texts from the crypts (Le Temple de Dendara volumes 5 and 6). The third volume (OLA 95, 2000) concentrates on the wabet, the stairs, and the kiosk (Le Temple de Dendara volumes 7 and 8), while the fourth volume (OLA 101, 2001) contains the translations of the texts from the walls of the cultic spaces such as the hypostyle hall and bordering storerooms (Le Temple de Dendara volumes 7, 9, and 11).

Champollion, Jean-François. L'Égypte sous les Pharaohs, ou, Recherches sur la géographie, la religion, la langue, les écritures et l'histoire de l'Égypte avant l'invasion de Cambyse. Two vols. Paris, 1814.

Champollion, Jean-François. Monuments de L'Égypte et de la Nubie, d'apres les dessins executés sur les lieux sous la direction de Champollion-Le-Jeune. 3 vols. Paris, 18351845.

Chassinat, Émile. Le Mammisi d'edfou. Mémoires de l'institut Français d'archéologie orientale de Caire. 2 vols. Cairo, 1910.

Chassinat, Émile, Maxence de Chalvet Marquis de Rochemonteix, Sylvie Cauville, and Didier Devauchelle. Le temple d'Edfou. Mémoires publies par les membres de la mission archéologique française au Caire 1011 and 2031. Cairo, 18971934. Maxence de Chalvet Marquis de Rochemonteix started with systematic recording of the reliefs of the walls of the temple of Edfu. He died in 1892, and the first volume was published by his assistant Émile Chassinat in 1897. The second and third volumes came out under both their names in 1918 and 1928. Volumes 414 were published with an astonishing speed by Chassinat from 1929 to 1934. A fifteenth volume, with texts and reliefs that Rochemonteix had skipped and with new photographs, was published by Sylvie Cauville and Didier Devauchelle in 1985. New editions of the two first volumes have been prepared by Cauville and Devauchelle (Volume I, parts 1 and 2 in 1984, parts 3 and 4 in 1987, Volume II, part 1 in 1987, part 2 in 1990).

Chassinat, Émile, François Daumas, and Sylvie Cauville. Le Temple de Dendara. 11 vols. Cairo, 19342000. Le Temple de Dendara 14 record the sanctuary and the six cult chapels (19341935 by Chassinat). Volumes 4, 7, and 8 record the wabet, stairs, and kiosk (1935, 1972, and 1978 by Chassinat and the latter two by Daumas). Volumes 5 (1943 by Chassinat) and 6 (1965 by Chassinat and Daumas) are a record of the crypts. The hypostyle hall and the cult chapels are subjects of volumes 9 (1987) and 11 (2000) by Daumas and Cauville, respectively. Volume 10 records the Osirien chapels (1997 by Cauville).

Clagett, Marshall. Ancient Egyptian Science: A Source Book. Memoirs of the American Philosophical Society; V. 184, V.214, 232. 3 vols. Philadelphia, 19891999. Volume 1 (1989). Knowledge and order (tomes 12). Volume 2 (1995). Calendars, clocks, and astronomy. Volume 3 (1999). Ancient Egyptian mathematics. Not an Egyptologist, but a historian specializing in science in the ancient world, Clagett cites considerable portions of the books of the underworld.

Clarysse, Willy, A. Schoors, and Harco Willems. Egyptian Religion: The Last Thousand Years: Studies Dedicated to the Memory of Jan Quaegebeur. Louvain, 1998.

Dalton, Richard. Views and Engravings in Greece and Egypt. London, 17901791. The work of Dalton, librarian to the British king, is specifically of interest because the engravings enable a comparison between the present and eighteenth-century condition of many of the Egyptian monuments.

David, A. Rosalie. A Guide to Religious Ritual at Abydos. Warminster, U.K., 1981.

Dawson, Warren R., and Eric P. Uphill. Who Was Who in Egyptology. London, 1972. A very useful encyclopedic overview of early Egyptology from the sixteenth until the mid-twentieth century.

Denon, Dominique Vivant. Égypte, documents d'art égyptien d'apres la description de l'Égypte, expédition de l'armee française sous Napoleon Ier, l'expédition d'Égypte, dessins du Baron Denon, et le musée égyptien. Paris, 18081822. The results of the scholarly team accompanying Napoleon Bonaparte from 17981799 on his Egyptian campaign are collected in several large volumes of descriptions and plates describing everything from contemporary crafts, flora and fauna to antiquities.

Diodorus. The Antiquities of Egypt: A Translation with Notes of Book I of the Library of History, of Diodorus Siculus. Translated by Edwin Murphy. New Brunswick, N.J., 1990.

Dreyer, Günter. Der Tempel der Satet: Die Funde der Frühzeit und des alten Reiches. Mainz am Rhein, Germany, 1986.

Erman, Adolf. Die Ägyptische Religion. Berlin, 1905. Reprinted in 1909 and published in an augmented and edited version under the title Die Religion der Ägypter in 1934.

Erman, Adolf. Die Religion der Ägypter, Ihr Werden und Vergehen in Vier Jahrtausenden. Berlin, 1934. Augmented version of Erman's 1905 publication.

Faulkner, Raymond Oliver. The Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts. Special edition, Oxford and New York, 1998. Reprint of the original text that was published in 1969.

Faulkner, Raymond Oliver. The Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts, Translated into English. Oxford, 1969.

Faulkner, Raymond Oliver. The Book of the Dead: A Collection of Spells. Edited and Translated from Papyri in the British Museum. New York, 1972.

Faulkner, Raymond Oliver. The Book of the Dead: A Collection of Spells. Edited and Translated from Papyri in the British Museum. London and New York, 1985. Colorful edition by C. Andrews with lavish illustrations from the British Museum papyri.

Frankfort, Henri. Ancient Egyptian Religion, an Interpretation. New York, 1948. Republished in 1961.

Frankfort, Henri, ed. The Intellectual Adventure of Ancient Man: An Essay on Speculative Thought in the Ancient Near East. Chicago, 1946. Based on lectures given at the University of Chicago by different authors. Introduction: Myth and reality, by H. and H. A. FrankfortEgypt: The nature of the universe. The function of the state. The values of life. By J. A. WilsonMesopotamia: The cosmos of the state. The function of the state. The good life. By T. Jacobsen. Conclusion: The emancipation of thought from myth, by H. and H. A. Frankfort.

Frankfort, Henri, ed. Before Philosophy: The Intellectual Adventure of Ancient Man: An Essay on Speculative Thought in the Ancient Near East. Harmondsworth, U.K., and Baltimore, 1949. A reworked edition of the intellectual adventure of ancient man.

Frankfurter, David. Religion in Roman Egypt: Assimilation and Resistance. Princeton, N.J., 1998.

Gardiner, Alan Henderson, Sir, and Amice Mary Calverley. The Temple of King Sethos I at Abydos. London and Chicago, 1933. A joint publication of the Egypt Exploration Society (Archaeological Survey) and of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago.

Granger, N. Relation d'un voyage fait En Égypte en l'année 1730. Paris, 1744. A description of visits of this French physician to, among other sites in Egypt, the Fayum, Beni Hassan, Abydos, Thebes, and Edfu, translated into German in 1751 and English in 1773.

Greaves, John. Pyramidographia, or, a Description of the Pyramids in Aegypt. London, 1646. English mathematician who set out to Cairo to measure the pyramids with the proper instruments. His thorough survey of the Giza plateau is of great interest today.

Gutbub, Adolphe. Kom Ombo I; Les inscriptions du Naos (Sanctuaires, salle de l'ennde, salle des offrandes, coloir mystérieux). Cairo, 1995. Text edited by Danielle Inconnu-Bocquillon.

Gutbub, Adolphe. Textes fondamentaux de la théologie de Kom Ombo. Bibliothèque D'étude; T. 47. 2 vols. Cairo, 1973. Translation of and commentary on inscriptions from the temple of Kom Ombo. Indexes in Volume 2.

Heerma van Voss, Matthieu S. H. G. De Oudste Versie Van Dodenboek 17a: Coffin Texts Spreuk 335a. Leiden, 1963.

Hermsen, Edmund. Die zwei Wege des Jenseits: Das Altägyptische Zweiwegebuch und seine Topographie. Obo 112. Freiburg, Gottingen, Germany, 1991.

Herodotus. Herodotus, Book II. Translated by W. G. Waddell. Letchworth, U.K., 1979.

Hornung, Erik. Das Amduat: Die Schrift des verborgenen Raumes. Agyptologische Abhandlungen. 2 vols. Wiesbaden, Germany, 19631967.

Hornung, Erik. Ägyptische Unterweltsbücher: Eingeleitet, Ubersetzt und Erlautert. 3d ed. Munich, 1972. Contains selections from various chthonic books.

Hornung, Erik. Der Eine und die Vielen; Ägyptische Gottesvorstellungen. Darmstadt, 1973. Translated as Conceptions of God in Ancient Egypt: The One and the Many. Translated by John Baines. London, 1983. A very concise, but magnificently thorough and useful introduction into ancient Egyptian religion. Has determined the development of thinking about Egyptian religion in much of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.

Hornung, Erik. Das Totenbuch der Ägypter: Eingeleitet, Übersetzt und Erläutert. 2d ed. Zurich, 1990.

Hornung, Erik. Das Buch von den Pforten des Jenseits: Nach den Versionen des neuen Reiches. 2 vols. Geneva, 19791980. The two volumes contain the text, the translation into German, and the commentary on the Book of Gates.

Hornung, Erik. Texte Zum Amduat. 2 vols. Geneva, 19871992.

Hornung, Erik. Altägyptische Jenseitsbücher; ein einführender Überblick. 1997. Translated as The Ancient Egyptian Books of the Afterlife. Translated by David Lorton. Ithaca, N.Y., 1999. Introduction into a wide range of books dealing with the afterlife. The book contains scenes and excerpts from the Pyramid Texts, the Coffin Texts, the Book of the Dead, the Books of Breathing, the Amduat, the Spell of the Twelve Caves, the Book of Gates, the Enigmatic Book of the Netherworld, the Book of Caverns, the Book of the Earth, the Books of the Sky, the Book of Nut, the Book of the Day, the Book of the Night, the Litany of Re, the Book of the Heavenly Cow, and the Book of Traversing Eternity.

Jablonski, Paul Ernst. "Commentatio de diebus Aegyptiacis, in vetusto kalendario komano commemoratis." Miscellanea Berolinensia Ad Incrementum Scientiarum, vol. 7. Edited by Michaelis Berolini. Rome, 1743.

Kees, Hermann. Totenglauben und Jenseitsvorstellungen der alten Ägypter, Grundlagen und Entwicklung bis zum Ende des mittleren Reiches. Leipzig, 1926. Revised and republished in 1956.

Kees, Hermann. Der Götterglaube im alten Aegypten. Leipzig, 1941. Still a very worthwhile read. A second edition was published in 1956, reprinted in 1977.

Kemp, Barry J. Ancient Egypt: Anatomy of a Civilization. London and New York, 1989. Innovative thinking about aspects of Egyptian society, including some important remarks about religion, from an archaeological viewpoint.

Kircher, Athanasius. Oedipvs aegyptiacvs hoc est vniuersalis hieroglyphicae veterum doctrinae temporum iniuria abolitae instavratio, opus ex omni orientalium doctrina & sapientia conditum, nec non viginti diuersarium linguarum authoritate stabilitum. Published as three volumes, bound in four volumes. Rome, 16521655.

Kurth, Dieter. Die Inschriften des Tempels von Edfu. Abteilung I: Übersetzungen, Bd. 1, Edfou VIII. Wiesbaden, Germany, 1998. With contributions by A. Behrmann, D. Budde, A. Effland, H. Felber, E. Pardey, S. Ruter, W. Waitkus, S. Wiebach, and S. Woodhouse.

Labrique, Françoise. Stylistique et théologie à Edfou: Le rituel de l'offrande de la campagne: Étude de la composition. Louvain, 1992.

Leclant, Jean. Les textes de la pyramide de Pepi Ier (Saqqara) reconstitution de la paroi est de L'antichambre. Paris, 1977.

Leclant, Jean, Cathérine Berger-el Naggar, Bernard Mathieu, and Isabelle Pierre-Croisiau. Les textes de la pyramide de Pepy Ier. 2 vols. Cairo, 2001.

Lefebvre, Gustave. Histoire des grands prêtres d'Amon de Karnak jusqu'a la XXIe dynastie. Paris, 1929.

Leitz, Christian. Lexikon der Ägyptischen Götter und Götterbezeichnungen. Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta. Vol. 110116. 7 vols. Louvain, 2002. An excellent overview of the names, epithets, and cult centers of Egyptian gods and goddesses.

Lepsius, Richard Karl. Das Todtenbuch der Ägypter: Nach dem hieroglyphischen Papyrus im Turin. Leipzig, 1842. A translation of a Ptolemaic papyrus in the collection of the Egyptological Museum in Turin, Italy. In 1969, a reprint was published of Lepsius's text.

Lepsius, Richard Karl. Denkmäler aus Ägypten und Äthiopien: Nach den Zeichnungen der von Seiner Majestät dem Könige von Preussen Friedrich Wilhelm IV nach Diesen Landern Gesendeten und in den Jahren 18421845 ausgeführten wissenschaftlichen Expedition. 12 vols. Berlin, 1849. Published in English in 1853, with notes by Kenneth McKenzie. A reprint of 1972 provides a slightly reduced replica of the text and plates and is published by the Biblio Verlag in Osnabruck, Germany.

Lesko, Barbara S. The Great Goddesses of Egypt. Norman, Okla., 1999. The book presents histories of the cults of seven major goddesses and many excerpts from their literaturehymns, prayers, and magical spells as well as descriptions of ritual, temples, and clergy.

Lesko, Leonard H. The Composition of the Book of Two Ways. Chicago, 1969.

Lesko, Leonard H. The Ancient Egyptian Book of Two Ways. Berkeley, Calif., 1972.

Lesko, Leonard H. Index of the Spells on Egyptian Middle Kingdom Coffins and Related Documents. Berkeley, Calif., 1979.

Linant de Bellefonds, Louis Maurice Adolphe. Linant de Bellefonds: Journal d'un voyage à Meroe dans les années 1821 et 1822. Khartoum, 1958. Notes of Linant de Bellefonds, edited by Margaret Shinnie.

Mariette, Auguste. Denderah: Description générale du grand temple de cette ville. 6 vols. Paris, 18701890. Volume 1, Interieur du temple. Volume 2, Interieur du temple. Volume 3, Cryptes. Volume 4, Terrasses. Volume 5, Supplement aux planches. Volume 6, Texte. These six parts have been reproduced in two volumes in 1981 by G. Olms (Hildesheim and New York).

Maspero, Gaston. Recueil des travaux relatifs a la philologie et l'archéologie égyptiennes et assyriennes. Paris, 18821883.

Medelhavsmuseet (Stockholm), Baltzar Cronstrand, Beate George, and Bengt Peterson. Die Karnak-Zeichnungen Von Baltzar Cronstrand 18361837. Stockholm, 1979.

Meeks, Dimitri, and Christine Favard-Meeks. La vie quotidienne des dieux égyptiens. Paris, 1993. Translated as Daily Life of the Egyptian Gods. Translated by G. M. Goshgarian. Ithaca, N.Y. and London, 1996. This book represents an original and thorough approach to Egyptian religion.

Mercer, Samuel A. B. The Pyramid Texts. New York, 1952.

Meskell, Lynn. Archaeologies of Social Life: Age, Sex, Class et Cetera in Ancient Egypt. Social Archaeology. Oxford, U.K. and Malden, Mass., 1999.

Meskell, Lynn. Private Life in New Kingdom Egypt. Princeton, N.J., 2002.

Molen, Rami van der. A Hieroglyphic Dictionary of Egyptian Coffin Texts. Probleme Der Ägyptologie 15. Leiden and Boston, 2000.

Morenz, Siegfried. Ägyptische Religion. Stuttgart, Germany, 1960. Translated as Egyptian Religion. Translated by Ann E. Keep. London, 1973.

Moret, Alexandre, and Georges Davy. Des clans aux empires; L'organisation sociale chez les primitifs et dans l'orient ancien. Paris, 1923. Translated as From Tribe to Empire; Social Organization among Primitives and in the Ancient East. Translated by V. Gordon Childe. New York, 1926.

Myšliwiec, Karol. Studien Zum Gott Atum. 2 vols. Hildesheim, 19781979.

Naville, Édouard. Das Aegyptische Totenbuch der XVII. bis XX. Dynastie: Aus verschiedenen urkunden Zusammengestellt und Herausgegeben. 2 vols. Berlin, 1886. A reproduction of Naville's book appeared in 1971.

Osing, Jürgen. "Zur Disposition der Pyramidentexte des Unas." Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, Abteilung Kairo (Cairo) 42 (1986): 131144.

Otto, Eberhard, Wolfgang Helck, and Wolfhart Westendorf, eds. Lexikon der Ägyptologie. 7 vols. Wiesbaden, 19721986. A very important source of information with concise articles and references for an incredible number of entries, written by the top specialists in the field. The Lexikon was published gradually in small issues. The bibliographies are now out of date, especially for the earliest issues (Volume 1 was completely published in 1975, Volume 2 in 1977, Volume 3 in 1980, Volume 4 in 1982, Volume 5 in 1984, and Volume 6 in 1986; Volume 7 is an index volume).

Otto, Walter Gustav Albrecht. Priester und Tempel im hellenistischen Ägypten: Ein Beitrag zur Kulturgeschichte des Hellenismus. 2 vols. Leipzig, 1905.

Pantalacci, Laure, and Claude Traunecker. Le Temple d'el-Qal'a. 2 vols. Cairo, 19901998.

Piankoff, Alexandre. The Tomb of Ramesses VI. New York, 1954.

Piankoff, Alexandre. The Shrines of Tut-Ankh-Amon. Bollingen Series, 40:2. New York, 19551962.

Piankoff, Alexandre. The Litany of Re. Bollingen Series, 40. New York, 1964.

Piankoff, Alexandre. The Pyramid of Unas. Texts Translated with Commentary by Alexandre Piankoff. Bollingen Series, 40: 5. Egyptian Religious Texts and Representations. Princeton, N.J., 1968.

Plutarch. Plutarch's De Iside et Osiride. Translated by John Gwyn Griffiths. Cardiff, 1970.

Pococke, Richard. A Description of the East, and Some Other Countries. 2 vols. London, 1743. An English bishop describes his travels to many regions of the world, including Egypt.

Porter, Bertha, Rosalind Louisa Beaufort Moss, and Jaromir Malek. Topographical Bibliography of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic Texts, Reliefs, and Paintings. 8 vols. 2d ed. Oxford, 19272003. Porter and Moss gave brief descriptions and plans of the temples and tombs, organized by geographical region. Between 1927 and 1951, they wrote a total of seven volumes and in 1960 started revising them. The first two volumes were revised and augmented with assistance from Ethel W. Burney. Jaromir Malek revised and augmented the third volume and added an eighth volume. Volume 1. The Theban necropolis, part 1 (19271960) private tombs, part 2 (19281964) royal tombs and smaller cemeteries. Volume 2 (19291972) Theban temples. Volume 3 (19311974) Abu Rawash to Dahshur, including the Memphis area, Volume 4 (1934) Lower and Middle Egypt (Delta and Cairo to Asyut). Volume 5 (1937) the sites of Upper Egypt (Deir Rifa to Aswan, excluding Thebes and the major temples). Volume 6 (1939) describes the best-preserved temples of Upper Egypt (excluding Thebes): Abydos, Dendera, Esna, Edfu, Kom Ombo, and Philae. Volume 7 (1951) describes the temples of Nubia, the deserts, and outside Egypt. Volume 8 was published from 1999 onwards and consists of three parts, listing objects of unknown provenance (by Jaromir Malek, assisted by Diana Magee and Elizabeth Miles).

Quinn, David Beers, ed. The Hakluyt Handbook. Vol. 2. London, 1974. Scholarly edition of the works of Richard Hakluyt (15521616), a voyager who not only recorded his own travels, but also collected the accounts of others.

Redford, Donald B., ed. The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt. New York, 2001.

Redford, Donald B., ed. The Ancient Gods Speak: A Guide to Egyptian Religion. Oxford and New York, 2002. A bundle of the articles from the Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt that focus on religion.

Ritner, Robert Kriech. The Mechanics of Ancient Egyptian Magical Practice. Chicago, 1993.

Roberts, Alison. Hathor Rising: The Serpent Power of Ancient Egypt. Translated, Rochester, Vt., 1995.

Roberts, Alison. Hathor Rising: The Power of the Goddess in Ancient Egypt. Rochester, Vt., 1997.

Robins, Gay. Women in Ancient Egypt. London, 1993.

Roeder, Günther. Die ägyptische Religion im Texten und Bildern. Die Bibliothek Der Alten Welt. Reihe Der Alte Orient. 4 vols. Zurich, 19591961.

Roeder, Günther. Urkunden zur Religion des alten Ägypten. Jena, Germany, 1915.

Roth, Ann Macy. Building Bridges to Afrocentrism: A Letter to My Egyptological Colleagues. 1995. Available:

Sandys, George. A Relation of a Journey begun An: Dom: 1610: Fovre Bookes. Containing a Description of the Turkish Empire, of Aegypt of the Holy Land, of the Remote Parts of Italy, and Ilands Adioyning. London, 1615. Travel description that has known several editions (third edition, 1632). Sandys corrected several faulty interpretations of the pyramids, such as the one claiming that the pyramids were the granaries of Joseph and were built by the Hebrews.

Sauneron, Serge. Les Prêtres de l'ancienne Égypte, 1957. Translated as The Priests of Ancient Egypt., 1998. Translated by David Lorton. Ithaca, N.Y., 2000. A readable and accessible account of priesthood through Egyptian history and the cults of different temples in Egypt.

Sethe, Kurt. Die altäegyptischen Pyramidentexte nach den Papierabdrücken und Photographien des Berliner Museums. 4 vols. in 3 vols. Leipzig, 19081922.

Sethe, Kurt. Amun und die Acht Urgötter von Hermopolis: Eine Untersuchung über Ursprung und Wesen des ägyptischen Götterkönigs. Berlin, 1929.

Sethe, Kurt. Urgeschichte und älteste Religion der Ägypter. Leipzig, 1930. Republished in 1960 in Liechtenstein.

Sethe, Kurt. Übersetzung und Kommentar zu den altägyptischen Pyramidentexten. 4 vols. Gluckstadt, Germany, 19351962.

Shafer, Byron E., John Baines, Leonard H. Lesko, and David P. Silverman. Religion in Ancient Egypt: Gods, Myths, and Personal Practice. Ithaca, N.Y., 1991.

Speleers, Louis. Les Textes des Pyramides égyptiennes. 2 vols. Brussels, 19231924.

Speleers, Louis. Textes Des Cercueils Du Moyen Empire Égyptien. Brussels, 1947.

Starkey, Paul, and Janet Starkey, eds. Travellers in Egypt. London, 1998. Edited volume with in-depth contributions on early travelers to Egypt, focusing on specific persons (such as Belzoni or Linant de Bellefonds) or on specific categories such as women, literary travelers, and Egyptian travelers to Europe.

Starkey, Paul, and Janet Starkey, eds. Interpreting the Orient: Travellers in Egypt and the Near East. Reading, U.K., 2001. Articles exploring the activities of nineteenth-century travelers from the West, and the influence of their accounts on the image of the Orient and the rise of orientalism.

University of Chicago. Oriental Institute. Epigraphic Survey. Medinet Habu. 8 vols. Chicago, 19301970.

University of Chicago. Reliefs and Inscriptions at Karnak. 4 vols. Chicago, 19361954.

University of Chicago. The Temple of Khonsu. 2 vols. Chicago, 19791981.

University of Chicago. Reliefs and Inscriptions at Luxor Temple. 2 vols. Chicago, 19941998.

Valentia, George, Viscount. Voyages and Travels to India, Ceylon, the Red Sea, Abyssinia, and Egypt: In the Years 1802, 1803, 1804, 1805, and 1806. 3 vols. London, 1809. An English benefactor, employed Henry Salt in 1802 as secretary and illustrator of this book. In 1816, Salt became British Consul-General in Egypt and carried out excavations to collect Egyptian antiquities for the British Museum.

Vandier, Jacques. La religion égyptienne. Paris, 1944. Second augmented edition of a publication from 1904. Part of a series on world religions, subseries on ancient oriental religions. The bibliography was made by Henri-Charles Puech. A third edition was published in 1949.

Velde, H. te. Seth, God of Confusion: A Study of His Role in Egyptian Mythology and Religion. Translated by G. E. van Baaren-Pape. Probleme Der Agyptologie 6. Leiden, 1967.

Wilkinson, John Gardner. Materia Hieroglyphica. Containing the Egyptian Pantheon and the Succession of the Pharaohs, from the Earliest Times, to the Conquest of Alexander, and Other Hieroglyphical Subjects. With Plates, and Notes Explanatory of the Same. Malta, 1828.

Wilkinson, John Gardner. Topography of Thebes, and General View of Egypt: Being a Short Account of the Principal Objects Worth of Notice in the Valley of the Nile. London, 1835.

Wilkinson, John Gardner. Manners and Customs of the Ancient Egyptians, Including Their Private Life, Government, Laws, Art, Manufactures, Religions, and Early History; Derived from a Comparison of the Paintings, Sculptures, and Monuments Still Existing, with the Accounts of Ancient Authors. Illustrated by Drawings of Those Subjects. Three vols. London, 1837. In 1841 a second series of "Manners and Customs of the Ancient Egyptians" was published, while an abridged version appeared in 1854. The 1883 edition joins the information of the two series. In 1857, Wilkinson also published an account for the Crystal Palace Egyptian collection at the World Exhibition in London.

Wilkinson, John Gardner. A Popular Account of the Ancient Egyptians. 2 vols. New York, 1854. A revised and abridged work of the "Manners and Customs" series. Accessible electronically at

Willems, Harco. Chests of Life: A Study of the Typology and Conceptual Development of Middle Kingdom Standard Class Coffins. Leiden, 1988.

Zivie, Christiane M. Le temple de Deir Chelouit. 5 vols. Cairo, Egypt, 19821992.

Willeke Wendrich (2005)