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The Symbolism of the Eye of Horus in the Pyramid Texts
Swansea University Author: Samantha Oakley
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The 5th and 6th Dynasty Pyramid Texts are the earliest extensive Egyptian religious texts from a royal mortuary context. This is our earliest evidence for the Eye of Horus; the aim of this study is to establish exactly what can be learned about its early usage as a symbol and to seek any hints about...
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The 5th and 6th Dynasty Pyramid Texts are the earliest extensive Egyptian religious texts from a royal mortuary context. This is our earliest evidence for the Eye of Horus; the aim of this study is to establish exactly what can be learned about its early usage as a symbol and to seek any hints about its origins. The spells mentioning the Eye of Horus are grouped by theme in the sections in Part One (eg. offering spells, ascension spells); references to the eyes of the king and other divine eyes are included for comparative purposes. There is a translation and commentary for each text; the grammar and context are evaluated. The chapters in Part Two contain discussions of the Eye of Horus' symbolism in the thematic groups. The Eye of Horus is supreme as a ritual, symbol for offerings presented to the läng by his son, Horus. The powers that the king gains from the Eye are the restoration of his faculties, transfiguration to a blessed spirit (3b) and a god; these are the general aims of the whole mortuary scenario. The king is also involved in the mythical fate of the Eye of Horus, namely its injury and restoration, as part of his ascension and integration into the afterlife. The role of other divine eyes in the PT and the significance attached to the king's eyes suggest strongly that the symbolic singular Eye of a god could be a succinct and transferable expression of his power. The many cross-cultural parallels of the eye as a source of power support this origin of divine eye symbolism in Egypt. The royal stature of Horus suggests why his Eye, in particular, achieved such prominence.
Available via the Ethos service. Published under maiden name (Samantha Edwards).
Egyptology, Eye of Horus, Pyramid Texts, Old Kingdom, Ancient Egypt, myth