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Author Topic: Philae and the End of Ancient Egyptian Religion: A Regional Study of Religious Transformation (298-642 CE)  (Read 2375 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Topic Start: February 18, 2010, 09:04:00 pm »

Title: Philae and the End of Ancient Egyptian Religion: A Regional Study of Religious Transformation (298-642 CE)
Author(s): J. H. F. Dijkstra
Publisher: Leuven:  Peeters
Publication Date: 2008
ISBN: 9789042920316
ISBN-13:
Current Price and More Info from Amazon

From the Bryn Mawr Classic Review:
The book under analysis here is the revised PhD dissertation of the author, originally submitted in 2005 at the University of Groningen, under the title of Religious Encounters on the Southern Egyptian Frontier in Late Antiquity (p. x).1 For readers such as myself, an Egyptologist by formation with a small background in Coptic studies, this book is certainly a welcome contribution for it is a comprehensive analysis of the religious and social developments at Philae and in the First Cataract zone. The chronological boundaries are defined by the withdrawal of Egypt's southern border to Elephantine in 298 AD by Diocletian and the Arab conquest of Egypt. Within this scope, various sources are analysed and comprehensively studied in order to give a picture of how ancient Egyptian religion and the ''new'' religion merged in daily life. The book is set up by these initial questions: "What happened to the cults at Philae in the Late Antiquity? And what was the role played by Christianity on the island? Was Philae an exceptional case?" (p. 14).

Read the full review at the Bryn Mawr Classic Review web site.

Additional Description:
The famous island of Philae, on Egypt's southern frontier, can be considered the last major temple site where Ancient Egyptian religion was practiced. According to the Byzantine historian Procopius, in 535-537 CE the Emperor Justinian ordered one of his generals to end this situation by destroying the island's temples. This account has usually been accepted as a sufficient explanation for the end of the Ancient Egyptian cults at Philae. Yet it is by no means unproblematic. This book shows that the event of 535-537 has to be seen in a larger context of religious transformation at Philae, which was more complex and gradual than Procopius describes it. Not only are the various Late Antique sources from and on Philae taken into account, for the first time the religious developments at Philae are also placed in a regional context by analyzing the sources from the other major towns in the region, Syene(Aswan) and Elephantine.

Special Notes:
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Legal Notes: Some description text and item pictures in this post may come from Amazon.com and are used by permission. The Cauldron is an Amazon Affiliate and purchases made through the Amazon links in this message help support The Cauldron.



Discussion and reviews of this book are welcome in this thread. If you've read the book, please tell us what you think of it and why.
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