Zu den Feindbildern auf den Zauberstäben des Mittleren Reiches und der Zweiten Zwischenzeit

Hartwig Altenmüller

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12775/EtudTrav.30.002


The ivory wands of the Middle Kingdom display various creatures to be annihilated by protective deities, especially snakes and human foes. It seems that the snakes pictured on the ivory wands represent chaotic numina of primeval times which endanger the uncreated and the animate world. The human foes on the other side are foreigners like Libyans, Asians, Nubians and rebels. It is interesting to note that the figures of the human foes are modelled after an archetype which is taken from the royal monuments showing the king smiting his enemies. While the foes represented on the royal monuments are put down by the king in the shape of a divine bull, lion, sphinx or griffin, the enemies of the ivory wands are smitten by divine forces, among them the hippopotamus-goddess, the lion, and a cat-goddess. The investigation concerns the religious background of the massacre, which is done by the divine forces on snakes and human foes. It is proposed to identify the fighting animals as protective deities originating in part from stellar constellations or decans protecting the mother and her child at the beginning of lifetime.

Słowa kluczowe

Middle Kingdom Egypt, Second Intermediate period; apotropaic wand; snake; foe; hippopotamus; lion; cat; decans; constellations; magic

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