Friday, September 23, 2016

Did ancient Egyptian women get a bad press?

Hathor leads Rameses firmly by the hand, Temple of Luxor

Seductive Egypt

Beware the girl from other parts, whose town and family is not known. Do not stare at her when she passes by. Her heart is deep water whose windings one does not know, a whirlpool with unpredictable eddies.
"Ancient Egypt is inextricably bound up with the feminine principle, in my mind at least. I suspect that my intense interest in Egypt is linked with the fatal allure of Egypt’s feminine. And fatal is the word. The mysterious female of Egypt was the most deadly and ruthless of the species and they have a long history to prove it, from Potipihar’s wife, who attempted to seduce and then falsely accused Joseph, to the Egyptianised Greek Cleopatra, who murdered her young brother Ptolemy and seduced Rome’s leadership.
Then of course there is the parade of snaky goddesses on tomb and temple walls, the most dangerous among them being Hathor-Sekhmet, a female who transformed into a marauding lioness in order to destroy humankind. Even in fiction we meet the perfidious Nefer-nefer-nefer in ‘Sinuhe, The Egyptian’..." Anson Hunter, alternative Egyptologist's blog in 'The Smiting Texts'.

Excerpt from 'The Smiting Text'...
“There’s no civilization so seductive,” Kalila said.

“Seductive is the word. I find the graphics of ancient Egypt pretty ravishing, I must admit,” Anson said.

She smiled.

“You find them erotic?”

“Hell yes. I can easily imagine myself being grasped possessively by one of those dark-eyed goddesses in the frescoes and reliefs. The art of ancient Egypt ensnares you with its atmosphere of pervasive mystery.”

“Yet there is rarely any lewdness portrayed in Egyptian art,” she commented. “Except for a few scurrilous doodles on ostraca. The Egyptians achieved a sense of sexual tension in far more subtle ways, in the ladies with their diaphanous gowns, painted eyes and gala wigs that sent an erotic signal. Then there were the other coded symbols, the scented delta of a lotus blossom held under a nose, the ducks and geese, or a monkey playing under a chair, the possessive arm slung around the waist of a husband, the intent, very-interested eyes of a goddess taking the pharaoh by the hand. It’s all there, but in the oblique Nilotic way. There is a love poem where the girl bathes in the stream with her beloved and says: ‘I'll go into the water at your bidding and come up with a red fish who will quiver with happiness in my fingers.’”

“I don’t get it,” he said, putting an expression of puzzlement on his face. “I hope you’re going to explain it to me.”

“I’ll do nothing of the sort.”