Stein und Zeit
Mensch und Gesellschaft im alten Ägypten
Perhaps more than any other culture, the ancient Egyptians left extensive, yet often tantalising, evidence for their culture and religion in their architecture and the art that decorated it. This well-presented study examines the symbols and formulae of this evidence, as well as the large body of Egyptian texts, in order to explore ancient Egyptian society. Assmann discusses the juxtaposition between daily life and the afterlfe which dominated Egyptian culture so completely, the magical and spiritual nature of the Egyptian view of the world and the cosmos, the symbolism of hieroglyphs and religious texts. Sections also examine depictions of human figures in art and the combination of humanity and divinity in Egyptian theology. The final section looks at the political aspect of Egyptian religion, particularly the godliness of the pharaohs, the role of rituals in politics and royal texts. The study concludes in the Ptolemaic period with its mixture of ancient and classical beliefs.