Date of Award
Master of Arts
Egyptian Art and Archaeology
Lorelei H. Corcoran
The serpent was a dynamic icon in ancient Egyptian art and religion.Images of serpents first appeared in the Predynastic Period (ca. 5000-2920 BC) and increased in popularity and significance throughout Egyptian history.Serpents were believed to be powerful figures and often had protective, reproductive, or healing powers. The serpent demon Apophis, however, represented the antithesis of the protective, beneficial serpents of ancient Egyptian mythology.From the first mention of his name in the First Intermediate Period (2134-2040 BC), Apophis grew to become the greatest threat to the structured and ordered society of ancient Egypt.He embodied pure chaos because he sought to stop or destroy the solar boat on its nightly journey through the netherworld. This thesis discusses the use of the icon of the serpent and analyzes the representations of chaos in ancient Egypt.This study presents evidence suggesting that the serpent demon, Apophis, represented the ultimate threat to the ancient Egyptians’ universe.
Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.
Walker, Alfred Eaton V, "The Iconography and Role of Serpents in Ancient Egypt: The Serpent Demon Apophis" (2010). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 24.