Threat-formulae, divine language, textual interpretation, charms, inscriptions
Egyptologists have typically divided texts into those that dealt with the divine and those that treated the mundane. This false dichotomy is not one that the Egyptians themselves would have imposed. They saw themselves as mortal beings that interacted with the divine realm and the afterlife. The texts they created reflect this understanding, and thus we are greatly hampered when we insist that the language of a decree, threat formula, or other texts, must refer to either the mundane or the supernatural, but not both. There is ample evidence that the Egyptians often intended specific wording to invoke multiple realms, by use of metaphoric and divine language, and by doing so they increased the efficacy of their texts. Without this understanding, we will misunderstand many of the texts we study.
Original Publication Citation
Empty Threats? How Egyptians' Self-Ontology Should Affect the Way We Read Many Texts,â€ in The Journal of the Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities 34 (27): 115-13.
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Muhlestein, Kerry M., "Empty Threats? How Egyptians' Self-Ontology Should Affect the Way We Read Many Texts" (2007). All Faculty Publications. 930.
Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities
© 2007 Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities
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