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H 245 x W 175 mm

262 pages

4 tables, 1 figure

Published Jun 2019

Archaeopress Archaeology


Paperback: 9781789691986

Digital: 9781789691993

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mortuary literature; Coffin Texts; Pyramid Texts; moon; lunar ideology; astral myths; eye of Horus; Hermopolis; textual tradition

Archaeopress Egyptology 22

The Ancient Egyptian Book of the Moon: Coffin Texts Spells 154–160

By Gyula Priskin

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This book proposes that Coffin Texts spells 154–160, recorded at the beginning of the 2nd millennium BCE, form the oldest composition about the moon in ancient Egypt and, indeed, the world. Based on a new translation, the detailed analysis of these spells reveals that they provide a chronologically ordered account of the phenomena of a lunar month.



1 – Introduction; 2 – The spells; 2.1 – Spell 154: the origins of the month; 2.2 – Spell 155: lunar invisibility; 2.3 – Spell 156: the waxing moon; 2.4 – Spell 157: the full moon; 2.5 – Spell 158: the waning moon; 2.6 – Spell 159: the moon at the eastern horizon; 2.7 – Spell 160: a solar eclipse; 3 – General Commentary; 3.1 – The major themes of the spells; 3.2 – Textual layers in the Book of the Moon; 3.3 – The text variants from Deir el-Bersha and Asyut; 3.4 – The survival of the spells in the Book of Going Forth by Day; 4 – Conclusion; Bibliography

About the Author

GYULA PRISKIN obtained an MA in English language and literature from the University of Szeged, and started working as a language teacher in the early 1990s. For fifteen years he taught English at the business college in his hometown, Békéscsaba, Hungary. In the 1990s he became interested in ancient Egypt and has been publishing his research in various journals since 1998. Lately his main focus of enquiry has been on astral myths, especially the role and significance of the moon in ancient Egypt. In 2012 he received an MA in Egyptology from Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, and now he also holds a PhD in the discipline from the same institution. Since 2016 he has been working as a teaching assistant at the Department of Ancient History, University of Szeged.