Tuesday, November 29, 2011

An Analysis of the Nile Flood through Egyptian Myth and Cult Practices

AIA Event Listings - "Sacred Waters of Roman Egypt: An Analysis of the Nile Flood through Egyptian Myth and Cult Practices" - The Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities - Toronto Chapter

Friday, January 13, 2012 - 7:00pm

Location: rm. 142 basement 5 Bancroft Ave
Toronto, ON M5S 2J7

Speaker: Nathalie Lacoste, University of Toronto

This event is free. All welcome.

Floods are commonly depicted as negative, unpredictable, and destructive. This negativity stand in stark contrast to the ancient Egyptian's view of the Nile's flood. Indeed, throughout Antiquity, the Nile flood water was considered sacred, and it was believed that this sacred water contained special properties causing healing, rapid growth, increased offspring, ease of pregnancy, and weight gain. As such, it was worshiped as a god (Hâpi), honoured in religious ceremonies, sacrificed to, and prayed towards. This paper will investigate the Egyptian concept of "sacred water" in Roman Egypt through myths and ritual practices. More specifically, it will argue that this concept of "sacred water", which developed during the Pharaonic and Ptolemaic periods, transformed during the Principate following the introduction of the imperial cult in the province and the full integration of Egypt within Rome's cereal supply network.

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About The Speaker: Nathalie Lacoste is a second year doctoral student in the Department of Religion working in collaboration with the Centre for Jewish Studies. Her research interests include Hellenistic and Second Temple Judaism, water in the Greco-Roman world, and the Egyptian Jewry in Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt. She is particularly interested in the changing uses and conceptions of water in the Jewish Diasporic community in Egypt of the Second Temple period.

Mark Trumpour