General Data

by Wim van den Dungen

These links lead to factsheets containing important data regarding Ancient Egyptian civilization :

  General Preface to these Studies on Ancient Egypt
  Thematical Map of Egypt
  Genetico-Cognitive Correspondences
  The Egyptian Language
  Literary Heritage and Translations
 
Hieroglyphs of translated texts
  Bibliography

"It must never be forgotten that we are dealing with a civilization thousands of years old and one of which only tiny remnants have survived. What is proudly advertised as Egyptian history is merely a collection of rags and tatters." -
Gardiner, 1961.

Nevertheless, thanks to recent scholarship and acquisitions in the area of Mediterranean culture (which does not exclude new discoveries), we shall be able to focus more sharply on the most central component of Ancient Egyptian civilization, namely its religion, involving Pharaonic, Dynastic spirituality later Hellenized into Hermetism. The former was the foundation of Egypt's theopolitical organization, temple-religion and scribal wisdom teachings.

The institution of the "Great House" ("pr-aA") or "Pharaoh" created ca.3000 BCE, if not earlier, excelled in the Old Kingdom and achieved even greater glory in the New Kingdom. It continued to be the best way to rule Egypt untill 30 BCE (death of Cleopatra). This was a formidable achievement, ignored by schools starting European history with the Archaic Greeks (ca.700 BCE) and not with the Mesopotamians, nor with Pharaonic Egypt. 

We shall also address
Hermetism, in order to identify important contrasts and similarities between the Egypt of Pharaoh and Alexandrian Hermetism under the late Ptolemies and the Romans. The figure of Hermes Trismegistos and his writings (of which the Corpus Hermeticum and the Emerald Table are extant) served to articulate a Graeco-Roman interpretation of the perennial initiatic cults of Egypt, reintroduced at the dawn of the European Renaissance and later (XIIIth - XVIIth century). But at this late stage, they are mixed by Judeo-Christian and Islamic material. Then Hermetism becomes Hermeticism.

The so-called "philosophical" treatises of Hermetism are outstanding examples. Indeed, these Ptolemaic texts

"(...) consist, in effect of a kind of Gnosticism, but pagan, and essentially philosophic in its inspiration although it chooses to give itself an Egyptian appearance ; and one feels that it ows much to certain oriental myths." -
Doresse, 1986, p.275.

I try to show Pharaonic religion underlined regeneration, recurrent life, transformation and the sapiental "plummet of the balance" of truth, daily returned by Pharaoh as the righteous ruler of the world to his divine father, the principle of light and creation, deemed incarnate (or filial) in the divine king. This is a god-on-earth who held the balance (of truth) and pacified (unites) the "Two Lands" (Upper and Lower Egypt) by speaking the
Great Word.

initiated : 2003 - last update : 06 I 2015

© Wim van den Dungen
Antwerp, 2003 - 2017.