In a seminal work, Jan Assmann strongly remarks how «the great achievement of polytheism is the articulation of a common semantic universe» that, in turn, makes the names of deities translatable (J. Assmann, Moses the Egyptian, p. 45). The paper aims at discussing and developing the notion of translatability of gods, addressing, as a case study, a unique Byblite seal, the so called “cylindre Montet” where the names of three local deities are inscribed in Egyptian hieroglyphs. After a preliminary description of the object and its main features, a morphological analysis of the three divine figures will be put forward, with an attempt to circumscribe their identities and consider the implications of the various possibilities in terms of cross-cultural relationships. Finally, the object will be contextualised in the framework of the Old Kingdom élite interactions between Egypt and the Levant and conclusive remarks will be proposed about the transcultural value of these names.

Gods in Translation. Dynamics of interculturality between Egypt and Byblos in the III millennium BC / Colonna, Angelo. - In: STUDI E MATERIALI DI STORIA DELLE RELIGIONI. - ISSN 0393-8417. - STAMPA. - 84:1(2018), pp. 63-88.

Gods in Translation. Dynamics of interculturality between Egypt and Byblos in the III millennium BC

Angelo Colonna
2018

Abstract

In a seminal work, Jan Assmann strongly remarks how «the great achievement of polytheism is the articulation of a common semantic universe» that, in turn, makes the names of deities translatable (J. Assmann, Moses the Egyptian, p. 45). The paper aims at discussing and developing the notion of translatability of gods, addressing, as a case study, a unique Byblite seal, the so called “cylindre Montet” where the names of three local deities are inscribed in Egyptian hieroglyphs. After a preliminary description of the object and its main features, a morphological analysis of the three divine figures will be put forward, with an attempt to circumscribe their identities and consider the implications of the various possibilities in terms of cross-cultural relationships. Finally, the object will be contextualised in the framework of the Old Kingdom élite interactions between Egypt and the Levant and conclusive remarks will be proposed about the transcultural value of these names.
2018
Byblos; “cylindreMontet”; Egyptian-Levantine connections; polytheism; transculturality
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Gods in Translation. Dynamics of interculturality between Egypt and Byblos in the III millennium BC / Colonna, Angelo. - In: STUDI E MATERIALI DI STORIA DELLE RELIGIONI. - ISSN 0393-8417. - STAMPA. - 84:1(2018), pp. 63-88.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1130834
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