• RSS
ï~~ Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists 48 (2011) 317-320 Gihane Zaki, Le Premier Nome de Haute-Zgypte du le siecle avant f-C. au VIIC siecle apres f.-C. d'apres les sources hiiroglyphiques des temples ptolemnaiques et rorains. Monographies Reine Elisabeth 13. Turnhout: Brepols, 2009. xviii + 468 pages + 23 plates. ISBN 978-2 - 503-52724-6. In many Egyptian temples, scenes can be found with depictions of geographical content.1 The most well-known of these scenes are processions with personifications of the nomes, but over time many variations of such "geographical processions," as they are called in Egyptology, existed. The GraecoRoman temples contain some of the most elaborate examples of this genre, in which life in the nome is symbolically rendered in four different parts. In her book Le Premier Nome de Haute-$gypte, a revised version of a doctoral dissertation defended at the Universit6 de Lyon in 2000, Gihane Zaki (henceforth Z.) takes reliefs with geographical content as a point of departure for a wideranging study of the first Upper Egyptian nome in the Graeco-Roman period. In doing so Z. convincingly demonstrates that such scenes contain important details that can enhance our understanding of certain aspects of the nome, such as its cults, sacred topography, toponyms and administrative division. The first chapter, also the first part of the book, contains a catalogue of 41 scenes from geographical processions in Graeco-Roman temples such as those of Dendara, Edfu, Kom Ombo, and Philae that refer to the first Upper Egyptian nome. Added to these texts are a number of offering scenes that have a specific link to the nome or its deities, for a total of 62 texts. Z. not only brings these texts together for the first time, but she also offers a translation and copious notes for all of them. The second part discusses, on the basis of this corpus of texts, aspects of the geography and theology of the first Upper Egyptian nome. Chapter two on the sacred topography of the nome is the most directly linked to the preceding catalogue. After a clear introduction on "geographical processions," Z. continues with a detailed description of the different elements of such scenes, illustrated with numerous examples from the corpus under study, with specific attention to the terminology used in these texts. Chapter three contains a good summary of the theology of the nome and discusses several of the main cults and their interconnections, for example between Khnum and Osiris. The overview is not exhaustive, however, as it omits the important recent work by Ewa Laskowska-Kusztal on Khnum of Elephantine and the child god Osiris 1 I should like to thank my colleague Theodore de Bruyn for some improvements to the text.
Top of page Top of page