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Herodotus on Min

  • Elise J. Baumgartel
Extract

HERODOTUS’S history which includes his description of the country and people of Egypt has lost nothing of its charm and interest though nearly two and a half millennia have elapsed since it was first published. As the report of an eyewitness who saw the great pagan temples still open, and met a priesthood still educated in the remnants of a great tradition serving their gods in the ancient ways, Herodotus’s account has held its place among the sources of Egyptian history. Though modern scholarship has shown some of his statements to be erroneous because based on untrustworthy sources such as popular legends and stories made up by interpreters and guides, Herodotus’s veracity as an author has become more and more recognised and he can be relied upon to repeat faithfully what was told to him.

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1 Alfred Wiedemann, Herodotus, zweites Buch. 1890, p. 394.

2 W. G. Waddell, Herodotus, Book II, p. 211, 4.

3 K. Sethe, Die Pyramidentexte, 424b. This spelling is our authority for the reading of the god’s name.

4 Petrie, Royal Tombs II, pl. 27, 107.

5 The vowel between the consonants m and n is not known, it could as well be Minn.

6 H. Gauthier, Les Fêtes du Dieu Min, pp. 204ff.

7 H. Kees, Die Schlangensteine u.ihre Beziehungen zu den Reichsheiligtümern. Z.A.S. 57, p. 131.

8 A. M. Calverley. The Temple of King Sethos at Abydos, in, pl. 14.

9 K. Sethe, Urgeschichte, p. 168.

10 This assumption is strengthened by the fact that the name of Letopolis near Memphis is written with the symbol of Min. This town plays an important part in the ceremonies of the pharaoh’s coronation.

11 Petrie, Koptos, pl. 9.

12 G. Wainright. J.E.A. 9 (1923), p. 26.

13 H. Kees. Die Schlangensteine und ihre Beziehungen su den Rekhsheiligtümern. Z.A.S. 57 p. 131.

14 H. Gauthier, Les Fêtes du Dieu Min, p. 17.

15 The name written in ink on the sherd of an alabaster vase was found under the Pyramid See B. Gunn, Ann. du Service, 28, pp. 167–8.

16 K. Sethe, Die Pymmidentexte, 560; 566; 1482.

17 Petrie and Wainwright, Tarkhan 1, pl. 3, 1.

18 H. Gauthier, Les Fêtes du Dieu Min, p. 286.

19 Emery, The Tomb of Ḥor-Aḥa, p. 21.

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Antiquity
  • ISSN: 0003-598X
  • EISSN: 1745-1744
  • URL: /core/journals/antiquity
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