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Author Topic: Ancient Egyptian Religion and Magic - Rosalie David  (Read 3717 times)

Nyktelios

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Ancient Egyptian Religion and Magic - Rosalie David
« on: July 18, 2011, 09:58:36 am »
Has anyone read this book? I've only read the first few chapters so far, but I'm really impressed with it. It seems more detailed than most books on Egyptian religion, and I like the way she discusses the history of the discipline of Egyptology, and the fragmentary nature of the evidence in the first chapter. Some authors write with such authority, making it sound like everything they say is fact, but Professor David explains that there are issues with fragmentary archaeological evidence and translation of ancient Egyptian language. Still, it's a very informative book that surveys the development of religion in ancient Egypt.

http://www.amazon.com/Religion-Magic-Ancient-Egypt-Rosalie/dp/0140262520/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1310997288&sr=1-1

Devo

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Re: Ancient Egyptian Religion and Magic - Rosalie David
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2011, 10:52:53 am »
Quote from: Carnelian;5931
Has anyone read this book?

 
I haven't read this book specifically by her. I read her Handbook to Life in AE (or something similar to that...). I myself wasn't impressed with her writing style, but it's possible that her format for this book is better than the one I read. I've also heard she's a better speaker than writer.

One day, though, I do hope to read this book. Just to see what's in it.

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Nyktelios

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Re: Ancient Egyptian Religion and Magic - Rosalie David
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2011, 11:06:24 am »
Quote from: Devo;5936
I haven't read this book specifically by her. I read her Handbook to Life in AE (or something similar to that...). I myself wasn't impressed with her writing style


I have that one too. I like it, but I know what you mean about her writing style.

veggiewolf

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Re: Ancient Egyptian Religion and Magic - Rosalie David
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2011, 03:59:40 pm »
Quote from: Carnelian;5931
Has anyone read this book? I've only read the first few chapters so far, but I'm really impressed with it. It seems more detailed than most books on Egyptian religion, and I like the way she discusses the history of the discipline of Egyptology, and the fragmentary nature of the evidence in the first chapter. Some authors write with such authority, making it sound like everything they say is fact, but Professor David explains that there are issues with fragmentary archaeological evidence and translation of ancient Egyptian language. Still, it's a very informative book that surveys the development of religion in ancient Egypt.

http://www.amazon.com/Religion-Magic-Ancient-Egypt-Rosalie/dp/0140262520/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1310997288&sr=1-1

 
I have it, and it is in the pile of books "to be read".  I'd love to hear an overall view when you're done.
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SatSekhem

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Re: Ancient Egyptian Religion and Magic - Rosalie David
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2011, 09:02:12 pm »
Quote from: Carnelian;5931
Has anyone read this book?

 
I've read the book a few times. The content is interesting. However, her writing style, to me, is boring. She puts me to sleep faster than a monotonic voice over.
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Re: Ancient Egyptian Religion and Magic - Rosalie David
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2011, 03:17:37 am »
Quote from: SatSekhem;6048
I've read the book a few times. The content is interesting. However, her writing style, to me, is boring. She puts me to sleep faster than a monotonic voice over.

 
Wait 'til you start reading Assmann (if you haven't already). ;)

veggiewolf

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Re: Ancient Egyptian Religion and Magic - Rosalie David
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2011, 09:42:49 am »
Quote from: Bastemhet;6735
Wait 'til you start reading Assmann (if you haven't already). ;)


This. Nothing says 'enjoyable read' like having to read the same paragraph three times and then ponder it for a bit before moving on.  :)
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Re: Ancient Egyptian Religion and Magic - Rosalie David
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2011, 11:07:29 am »
Quote from: veggiewolf;6793
This. Nothing says 'enjoyable read' like having to read the same paragraph three times and then ponder it for a bit before moving on.  :)

Ha!  Yep, he's quite dense (if by dense you mean brain bludgeony) but his information is quite good.  He's not a beginner's read, but once you get past that point, he is a good place to start widening the breadth of your knowledge and understanding.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2011, 11:08:20 am by Bastemhet »

Nyktelios

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Re: Ancient Egyptian Religion and Magic - Rosalie David
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2011, 11:17:50 pm »
Quote from: veggiewolf;5977
I have it, and it is in the pile of books "to be read".  I'd love to hear an overall view when you're done.

 
I finished it today, and overall I really liked it. I actually didn't find it to be that dense or that her writing style was boring. It was quite interesting, and I liked the way she organized it in a linear way, describing the development of religion in its historical context in terms of the civilization as a whole. There was a lot of history in the book, and sometimes it seemed like it was more about history than religion, but I thought it was very helpful in understanding the religious developments of ancient Egypt and how they changed over time.

Again, I didn't think it was boring or hard to read. If anyone has tried reading The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt edited by Shaw, that's a dense read. Maybe it was because I found this one more interesting because it was about religion rather than pure history, but I thought it was an enjoyable enough read. I might just have to give Assmann a try, next. :D:

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Re: Ancient Egyptian Religion and Magic - Rosalie David
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2011, 11:49:34 pm »
Quote from: Carnelian;6991
Again, I didn't think it was boring or hard to read. If anyone has tried reading The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt edited by Shaw, that's a dense read. Maybe it was because I found this one more interesting because it was about religion rather than pure history, but I thought it was an enjoyable enough read. I might just have to give Assmann a try, next. :D:

 
Based on your review, I might give this book a try. Have you looked at the other reviews on the Amazon page?

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Re: Ancient Egyptian Religion and Magic - Rosalie David
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2011, 06:27:59 am »
Quote from: Carnelian;6991
Maybe it was because I found this one more interesting because it was about religion rather than pure history, but I thought it was an enjoyable enough read. I might just have to give Assmann a try, next. :D:


I don´t know how much you know, but I would recommend an intermediate book before trying Assmann, since he is heavy on history and theology with quite difficult concepts as well as heavy language (it´s translated from German and they do love their complex sentences).  A really good book that has history but in small, readable chunks organized by topic is "The Ancient Gods Speak: A Guide to Egyptian Religion" by Donald B. Redford.  At least this way you will be familair with general concepts, history, netjeru, and also be able to refer back to things in this book if there is any blocking content in the Assmann books.

Nyktelios

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Re: Ancient Egyptian Religion and Magic - Rosalie David
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2011, 09:37:27 am »
Quote from: Lotus;6998
Based on your review, I might give this book a try. Have you looked at the other reviews on the Amazon page?


I've looked at them, though I haven't paid too much attention. The consensus seems to be that it's dry and boring, but it's an academic book, so I'm not sure why people would expect it to be entertaining. My personal opinion is that is was a well-organized and accurate survey of Egyptian religion.
 
Quote from: Bastemhet;7050
I don´t know how much you know, but I would recommend an intermediate book before trying Assmann, since he is heavy on history and theology with quite difficult concepts as well as heavy language (it´s translated from German and they do love their complex sentences).  A really good book that has history but in small, readable chunks organized by topic is "The Ancient Gods Speak: A Guide to Egyptian Religion" by Donald B. Redford.  At least this way you will be familair with general concepts, history, netjeru, and also be able to refer back to things in this book if there is any blocking content in the Assmann books.


Thanks for the book recommendation. I actually did a minor in Near & Middle Eastern Civilizations with a focus on Egyptology in my undergrad degree, so I took a bunch of courses on Egyptian history and religion. As a side note, I went to the same university that Donald B. Redford went to and taught at for a while, but unfortunately he was before my time, so I never had him as an instructor. I wouldn't call myself an expert in Egyptology, but I have a decent grasp on most aspects of ancient Egyptian civilization. I don't know if anyone has heard of Ronald J. Leprohon, but I took the course on Ancient Egyptian Religion with him, who I guess took over from Professor Redford. Although I was always interested in ancient Egypt, it was that class that inspired me to incorporate Egyptian religion into my own spirituality (I was pretty exclusively Hellenic before).

Devo

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Re: Ancient Egyptian Religion and Magic - Rosalie David
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2011, 11:55:59 am »
Quote from: Carnelian;7079
I've looked at them, though I haven't paid too much attention. The consensus seems to be that it's dry and boring, but it's an academic book, so I'm not sure why people would expect it to be entertaining. My personal opinion is that is was a well-organized and accurate survey of Egyptian religion.
 

 
I have found many academic books to be entertaining. I mean, I'm interested in the material- so of course it will keep my interest. My biggest problem with many books (esp about history or religion) is it seems like a rehash of the same old crap. I've read enough books to have a general gist of religion and history- now I need to find books that take it to the next level, and get more indepth. Finding those books (and having money for them) can be a challenge.

This issue (the rehash) was part of the problem I had with the book I read by David. Not sure if the other book is any better, but different folks, different stokes.

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SatSekhem

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Re: Ancient Egyptian Religion and Magic - Rosalie David
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2011, 05:37:51 pm »
Quote from: Bastemhet;6735
Wait 'til you start reading Assmann (if you haven't already). ;)

 
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Bastemhet

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Re: Ancient Egyptian Religion and Magic - Rosalie David
« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2011, 07:39:39 am »
Quote from: Carnelian;7079
Thanks for the book recommendation. I actually did a minor in Near & Middle Eastern Civilizations with a focus on Egyptology in my undergrad degree, so I took a bunch of courses on Egyptian history and religion. As a side note, I went to the same university that Donald B. Redford went to and taught at for a while, but unfortunately he was before my time, so I never had him as an instructor. I wouldn't call myself an expert in Egyptology, but I have a decent grasp on most aspects of ancient Egyptian civilization. I don't know if anyone has heard of Ronald J. Leprohon, but I took the course on Ancient Egyptian Religion with him, who I guess took over from Professor Redford. Although I was always interested in ancient Egypt, it was that class that inspired me to incorporate Egyptian religion into my own spirituality (I was pretty exclusively Hellenic before).

 
Well in that case Assmann shouldn´t be a problem for you information wise!  It´s just the denseness that tends to be a problem.  I find myself reading him in small chunks and having to stop to process before I go on.  Highlighting and making notes tends to help me arrange my thoughts, too.

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