Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Ancient Egyptian History
Suzanne Lynn Onstine
Peter James Brand
In ancient Egypt, sexuality, fertility, and the conception of children was of central importance not just to personal identity, but also to family and social structure. Because of the significance of birth in both the physical world and in the spiritual realm, references to reproduction, including fertility, conception, pregnancy, and childbirth, can be found in a wide variety of textual sources. Specifically, mythic events and scenarios, including those in magical spells, medico-magical spells, and funerary texts, reflected Egyptian reproductive conceptions and practices. Further, the Egyptians employed and called on these mythic episodes and archetypes to create divinely charged myth-mirroring space, spells, and remedies to manage reproductive events. Investigating this complex matrix of cultural ideas and practices reflected in text, augmented by data from select iconography, material culture, and human remains, this study resituates Egyptian reproductive lives within their own cultural context, through the Egyptians' own terms and reproductive timeline. From conception to the child's first breath, this study attempts to access the beliefs that would have informed and shaped the Egyptians reproductive experiences.
dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.
Goudsouzian, Chrystal Elaine, "Becoming Isis: Myth, Magic, Medicine, and Reproduction in Ancient Egypt" (2012). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 567.