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Demons in the Dark: Nightmares and other Nocturnal Enemies of Ancient Egypt / Kasia, Szpakowska

Ancient Egyptian Theology and Demonology: Studies on the Boundaries between the Divine and Demonic in Egyptian Magic, Pages: 63 - 76

Swansea University Author: Kasia, Szpakowska

Abstract

The dream in ancient Egypt functioned as a liminal zone between the land of the living and the farworld. However, dreams and nightmares were also phenomena over which the dreamer had little control, and their permeable boundaries allowed both the divine and the demonic inhabi- tants of the beyond ac...

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Published in: Ancient Egyptian Theology and Demonology: Studies on the Boundaries between the Divine and Demonic in Egyptian Magic
Published: Leuven Peeters 2011
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa11761
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spelling 2019-06-12T16:13:15.1384647 v2 11761 2012-06-22 Demons in the Dark: Nightmares and other Nocturnal Enemies of Ancient Egypt 79af40d0177760d56ab90a2742b02a74 Kasia Szpakowska Kasia Szpakowska true false 2012-06-22 ACLA The dream in ancient Egypt functioned as a liminal zone between the land of the living and the farworld. However, dreams and nightmares were also phenomena over which the dreamer had little control, and their permeable boundaries allowed both the divine and the demonic inhabi- tants of the beyond access to the visible world. Sometimes the result was a beneficial experience, as is attested in New Kingdom royal texts and elite hymns that relate the awe-inspiring contact a dreamer could have with a god or a goddess. But another more disturbing belief was that dreams could also allow the vulnerable sleeper to be watched or even assaulted by the hostile dead. While today we call these events “anxiety dreams” or “nightmares” and consider them psychological phe- nomena, the Egyptians blamed them on external monsters or demons crossing over from the other side. These entities included the dead, and here it appears that the line between the justified transfigured dead, and the malevolent unjustified dead might not have been an immutable one. Drawing upon both textual and material evidence primarily from the New Kingdom, this paper will explore the identity and nature of the hos- tile entities who dared to disturb the sleep of the living and the methods for their repulsion. Book chapter Ancient Egyptian Theology and Demonology: Studies on the Boundaries between the Divine and Demonic in Egyptian Magic 63 76 Peeters Leuven demonology, nightmares, snakes, fire, magic, religion, Ancient Egypt 1 12 2011 2011-12-01 COLLEGE NANME Classics, Ancient History & Egyptology COLLEGE CODE ACLA Swansea University 2019-06-12T16:13:15.1384647 2012-06-22T20:25:48.4214575 College of Arts and Humanities Classics, Ancient History and Egyptology Kasia Szpakowska 1
title Demons in the Dark: Nightmares and other Nocturnal Enemies of Ancient Egypt
spellingShingle Demons in the Dark: Nightmares and other Nocturnal Enemies of Ancient Egypt
Kasia, Szpakowska
title_short Demons in the Dark: Nightmares and other Nocturnal Enemies of Ancient Egypt
title_full Demons in the Dark: Nightmares and other Nocturnal Enemies of Ancient Egypt
title_fullStr Demons in the Dark: Nightmares and other Nocturnal Enemies of Ancient Egypt
title_full_unstemmed Demons in the Dark: Nightmares and other Nocturnal Enemies of Ancient Egypt
title_sort Demons in the Dark: Nightmares and other Nocturnal Enemies of Ancient Egypt
author_id_str_mv 79af40d0177760d56ab90a2742b02a74
author_id_fullname_str_mv 79af40d0177760d56ab90a2742b02a74_***_Kasia, Szpakowska
author Kasia, Szpakowska
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container_title Ancient Egyptian Theology and Demonology: Studies on the Boundaries between the Divine and Demonic in Egyptian Magic
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publishDate 2011
institution Swansea University
publisher Peeters
college_str College of Arts and Humanities
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hierarchy_top_title College of Arts and Humanities
hierarchy_parent_id collegeofartsandhumanities
hierarchy_parent_title College of Arts and Humanities
department_str Classics, Ancient History and Egyptology{{{_:::_}}}College of Arts and Humanities{{{_:::_}}}Classics, Ancient History and Egyptology
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description The dream in ancient Egypt functioned as a liminal zone between the land of the living and the farworld. However, dreams and nightmares were also phenomena over which the dreamer had little control, and their permeable boundaries allowed both the divine and the demonic inhabi- tants of the beyond access to the visible world. Sometimes the result was a beneficial experience, as is attested in New Kingdom royal texts and elite hymns that relate the awe-inspiring contact a dreamer could have with a god or a goddess. But another more disturbing belief was that dreams could also allow the vulnerable sleeper to be watched or even assaulted by the hostile dead. While today we call these events “anxiety dreams” or “nightmares” and consider them psychological phe- nomena, the Egyptians blamed them on external monsters or demons crossing over from the other side. These entities included the dead, and here it appears that the line between the justified transfigured dead, and the malevolent unjustified dead might not have been an immutable one. Drawing upon both textual and material evidence primarily from the New Kingdom, this paper will explore the identity and nature of the hos- tile entities who dared to disturb the sleep of the living and the methods for their repulsion.
published_date 2011-12-01T12:24:04Z
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