egyptian writing

#134

Percy is highly offended that the Ancient Greeks didn’t have a word for blue.

Ammit the Devourer. According to ancient Egyptian writings, when you die, your heart gets weighed by Anubis on a scale against the feather of Ma'at.

If your heart is lighter than a feather, congratulations you won.

If not, your heart gets fed to Ammit. Ammit is part lion, crocodile, hippo and has a spotted coat. Mmm, hearts.

Ammit is for sale! A cool 30$ and it’s yours.

A Prayer to Bast

Bast, Lady of the East,
I give you praise!

You walk with me in the sunlight,
You guide me through the shadows,
And I am blessed.

Lady of Ointments, Lady of Perfumes, Lady of the Flame,
I make offerings to you!

I light candles in your name,
I offer sweet smelling incense to you,
That you may be pleased with me.

Eye of Ra, Devourer, Avenger, Protector,
Watch over me!

May I be protected from harm,
and may I live in good health,
and may my path provide abundance.

Lady of Cats, Lioness, Invisible Paw,
I delight in your emissaries!

Unseen, they surround me,
They walk beside me and guide my steps,
They share my home and hearth.

You call me to serve you,
and willingly I respond.
My goddess, my patroness - Dua Bast!

Ma’at

A song swept through the Duat. The temple of the Gods sounded as Ra was awoke once more. The foul serpent would rise once more, and he walked through the the glistening walls of sandstone lightened by his mere presence. His visage and body were adorned with the horns and wings of a beetle. He was Khepri. He ran off saluting his lineage with blades swooshing through this underworld. The demons and spirits were in awe as the darkness was absconded by gleams of hope. He saw the serpent draw near, as it flew in the sky, breathing a foul miasma. With the chatter of wings, he flew to dissipate the darkness. The serpent, Apep, was dealt a blow, chipping a fang. Mighty tail slashes, bolts of dark and light, fire of holy and unholy origins raged through the sky. Khepri became Ra, and shone a light so bright that it protected the Duat in its entirety. The souls clamored for Ra. The noise became a force, and the force became mighty javelins. Ra struck the foul Apep with those shining poles, piercing the endless body of the serpent. Apep was stalled, but not for long. Ra was growing weary with the hours, and from his once mighty visage, he became Atum, dwindling as his body grew older, and his solar crown  dimmed. Apep struck, trying to engulf the god and devour him. But Atum knew his foe too well. A slick smile appeared from the senile man, and destroyed the snake in an instant with a plasma ball that destroyed the beast with from within. Atum was tired, and he returned to his kin. He asked Horus and Osiris about their respective kingdoms. Isis shared divinations, and Nephtys lamented her husband’s damnation. Hathor and Sekhmet danced elegantly: one with a motherly grace and the other with a bloodthirsty lust. He gave thanks for his family, for their hard work, and recognized that they all did their work. Justice, Ma’at, was preserved by them. They were the examples of good in the world, so that humans could look in bewilderment, and search their feelings and unleash the wellsprings of Ma’at held within. Atum returned to his chamber and slept, as Ra. But tomorrow, the foul serpent would be back. But it did not matter. He would be Khepri at dawn, Ra in the day, and Atum during the evening. 

14 year old me writing fanfics: i’m gonna make an original character for this series. she’s gonna be latina like me. because fuck you, that’s why.

15 year old me writing with friends: alright i see your white characters, this is mine. she’s latina and black. and probably gay. 

17 years old me shopping in a bookstore: why are all fantasy books about white medieval europe??? I’m going to write my own fantasy novel and it’ll be set in ancient egypt and everybody will be brown. and gay.

20 year old me, still writing the egyptian novel: fuck every piece of whitewashed egyptian fiction ever. i’m gonna make my characters ever darker and gayer. because fuck heteronormativity.

22 year old me: why CAN’T I make my character gay in this comic. He’s gonna be gay. and my co-author informs me he’s also latino. 

26 year old me talking with my coauthor: alright the heroes for this space adventure are gonna be girls. are they brown. and gay. oh cool, they are. 

30 year old me working at the same bookstore: why are all the books for little girls pink and glittery?? I’m gonna make my own series of books for little girls with no pink and no glitter and no princesses and they’ll also gonna be brown! now i won’t write about any kind of romance, but i still headcanon at least two of them as gay. the latina one is gay.

32 year old me telling my editor about the sequel of the egyptian novel: there’s gonna be even more women in the story. they’re all gonna be brown. and probably all gay, too. 

anonymous asked:

a dumb question, maybe, but: what's one of your favorite parts about studying classics?

probably the constant reminders that throughout time and regardless of time, place, language, religion, ideology, system of governance or dominant school of thought, people remain fundamentally people

like i know that sounds really glib but it’s like - when i was doing this after alexander course last year, right, we looked at this thing called the zenon papyri, a huge stash of administrative documents from greek-ruled egypt addressed to an official called zenon, which was preserved because the winds changed and the building they were kept in was buried under a massive sand dune. and there’s one which we called the krotos papyri, which is a letter from a native egyptian writing to zenon telling him how he had been mistreated by greeks, who laugh at him because he doesn’t know how to “act like a greek” and call him a barbarian and refuse to pay him his proper wages. which is very familiar. and when you look at the actual papyrus fragment, the writing at the top is big and clear and spaced-out, but as it gets towards the bottom of the page it gets smaller and more cramped and the lines are all squint, because this nameless egyptian guy who does something with camels in the 250s BC hadn’t worked out how long his letter was going to be and he’s realised halfway through that he’s going to run out of space

and in first year i went on this trip to hadrian’s wall, and it started snowing while we were standing on it and the wind was blowing a gale right into our faces, and afterwards we heard a lecture about the vindolanda tablets, and there’s one, tablet 346, a letter to a soldier stationed there - and the soldiers stationed there could come from anywhere in the empire, rome or egypt or north africa, hot places, basically, and the wall is fucking cold - which is maybe from his wife or mother or sister, which reads as follows:

“… I have sent (?) you … pairs of socks from Sattua, two pairs of sandals and two pairs of underpants, two pairs of sandals … Greet …ndes, Elpis, Iu…, …enus, Tetricus and all your messmates with whom I pray that you live in the greatest good fortune."  

and that’s not some kind of “people don’t change” idea. people do change, have changed. you read the stuff these civilisations produced and some of it is so, so alien to us, so hard to understand, so strange. but then in amongst it you find things like people running out of space on their last bit of paper, or sending their son more socks because he’s got a job somewhere cold. and we remember it, these weird small human things, by total random chance! no-one sat down and thought ‘let’s keep this’ - the wind changes and an entire archive of papyri is preserved under a sand dune for 2000 years. the excavators who found the vindolanda tablets thought they were wood shavings. there’s a pot of roman face cream in the museum of london which still has fingerprints in the cream, which was found hidden in a ditch outside a temple. and in the meantime, we have no firsthand accounts of the campaigns of alexander, one of the most influential series of events in western history, because… we just don’t. they existed, but they’re lost. for some reason, somehow, presumably though some kind of enormous cosmic joke, we have a fragmentary letter from an anonymous person sent to an anonymous soldier telling him his pants are in the post and to say hello to his friends, but we don’t have callisthene’s deeds of alexander or ptolemy’s memoirs. isn’t that infuriating? isn’t that great? 

this is a call to the women of egypt:
nitocris: you know of suffering, you know of vengence. your hurt screams like fire in your veins, so transform yourself into nephthys and drown your enemies.
merneith: first woman, first queen, first chosen by ra. clasp your fingers around the world and hold it close to your chest. you are our first chosen goddess.
sobekneferu: the queen who did not have a gender. you will take their meaning of male and female and crush them in your fist. you are both king and queen and worshiped eternally
hatshepsut: you were born in a lion’s den and you spent the rest of your life fighting to escape. the woman king, don’t you know of your divinity?
nefertiti: most beautiful, most loved; how can words be woven to explain all that you are? there are women born to take all that is theirs through fire and suffering, and then there are women like you for whom there is no question.
cleopatra: darling, darling daughter. oh how the world was cruel to you. so loved by your people and by the world, that they took and took and took from you until you were bitter and broken and crying out for all you had lost.
—  the river nile still flows with your blood, you gave all you could give | j.m

two letters
that’s all it takes
to wipe out her power
they have renamed her now
bastetbastetbastet
the name echoes in her mind
like the drumbeats of war.

they worship her still,
that much is true
but she is no longer
lioness-gleaming-claws-sharp-teeth
instead she is
sacred-pet-cat-music-dance.

oh, they think they can
but the only thing they end up doing
is handing her another weapon
didn’t they know
love is far more dangerous
than her claws ever were?

—  a goddess by any other name would be as powerful / Rishika Aggarwal © 2015
2

The Kecksburg UFO incident

“The Kecksburg UFO incident occurred on December 9, 1965, at Kecksburg, Pennsylvania. A large, brilliant fireball was seen by thousands in at least six U.S. states and Ontario, Canada. It streaked over the Detroit, MichiganWindsor, Canada area, reportedly dropped hot metal debris over Michigan and northern Ohio, starting some grass fires, and caused sonic booms in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area. It was generally assumed and reported by the press to be a meteor after authorities discounted other proposed explanations such as a plane crash, errant missile test, or reentering satellite debris. However, eyewitnesses in the small village of Kecksburg, about 30 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, claimed something crashed in the woods. A boy said he saw the object land; his mother saw a wisp of blue smoke arising from the woods and alerted authorities. Another reported feeling a vibration and “a thump” about the time the object reportedly landed. Others from Kecksburg, including local volunteer fire department members, reported finding an object in the shape of an acorn and about as large as a Volkswagen Beetle. Writing resembling Egyptian hieroglyphs was also said to be in a band around the base of the object. Witnesses further reported that intense military presence, most notably the United States Army, secured the area, ordered civilians out, and then removed an object on a flatbed truck. The military claimed they searched the woods and found “absolutely nothing.”

Ancient Egyptian works to be published together in English for first time

Ancient Egyptian texts written on rock faces and papyri are being brought together for the general reader for the first time after a Cambridge academic translated the hieroglyphic writings into modern English.

Until now few people beyond specialists have been able to read the texts, many of them inaccessible within tombs. While ancient Greek and Roman texts are widely accessible in modern editions, those from ancient Egypt have been largely overlooked, and the civilisation is most famous for its monuments.

The Great Pyramid and sphinx at Giza, the tombs in the Valley of the Kings and the rock-cut temples of Abu Simbel have shaped our image of the monumental pharaonic culture and its mysterious god-kings.

Toby Wilkinson said he had decided to begin work on the anthology because there was a missing dimension in how ancient Egypt was viewed: “The life of the mind, as expressed in the written word.” Read more.

Djehuty (Thoth)

Egyptian God associated with writing, language, magic, wisdom, justice, order, and the moon.

His symbols are :

-baboons

-ibis

There are two main theories for the origin of Djehuty(Thoth), one being that he was self created, and the other being that he was the product of Horus’s seed being ingested by Set and then Djehuty was “birthed” out of Set’s forehead.

Possible offerings:

-ink

-pens

-I heard someone gave him garlic bread one time and he accepted so probably food.

-I’d imagine little bits of literature would please him.