Volume 6 (2023)

Cover of issue 6 of JHIE.

Front Matter

Editorial, Prologues, etc.

Györy, Hedvig:

Coriandrum inter Silvestria non invenitur, Præcipuum esse constat Ægyptium

In the Roman World, Egyptian coriander was considered the most effective. However, it is not known what the Egyptians themselves thought of it during the time of the Pharaohs. Coriander is only sporadically mentioned in ancient Egyptian textual sources, mostly appearing in the list of drugs in medical texts. This paper, therefore, tries to find out how they thought about it, based on such texts from the New Kingdom Pe­riod, when our sources are most abundant. Five medical papyri have been found: Ebers, Hearst, Berlin, Leiden I.348 and a recently published scroll from the Louvre Collection, containing it. Micro–Philological research has shown that coriander was a popular medicine in the 18th Dynasty, but it seems never to have been used as a simplex. It was used both externally and internally, and was considered to be particularly effective in the tre­atment of mtw, both in terms of blood vessels and muscles/tendons, but also in terms of other applications, in line with current knowledge of the efficacy of coriander.

Norris, Pauline:

Lettuce or Palm Spathe? Re–Interpreting Artefact UC 34696 in the Petrie Museum, London

Petrie described a small artefact he found at Coptos as representing either the lower part of a plant or a palm spathe and the object has also been described as a lettuce model. All of these descriptions have passed into the literature. Evidence is presented in this paper suggesting that the artefact resembles none of these identifications and offers further hypotheses as to the possible interpretation of the object.

Faviou, Elsa; Magiorkinis, Emmanuel; Maravelia, Alicia; Filianos, Markos:

Cultivating a Deeper Understanding: Comparative Microbiological Experiments on the Antimicrobial Potential of Kyphi

Kyphi was used as both incense and medication over a long period in ancient Egypt, as is attested in several sources (e.g.: Papyrus Ebers). The present work is a continuation of two recent papers and a book concerning the comparative study of the ancient Egyptian kyphi and the Orthodox Holy Chrism, using kyphi earlier confected during the first Experiment at the premises of the Chemical Laboratory of one of us (M.F.). Based on the recent results obtained from previous papers, this study attempts, in a third independent Laboratory to: 1. Replicate a part of the previous experiments; 2. Extend the scientific investiga­tion, comparing the effectiveness of ancient Egyptian kyphi and pure smoke on other microorganisms; and 3. Compare the effectiveness of kyphi confected during the 1st Experiment (not containing all ingredients) with that of kyphi confec­ted during the 2nd Experiment (containing all its 16 actual ingredients). The possible antifungal and antimicro­bial activity of kyphi is studied by performing fumigation experiments to cultiva­tions of Candida albicans (R.) B. [Gram (+) fungus], Escherichia coli M. [Gram (–) bacterium], Klebsiella pneumoniæ S.&T. ssp pneumoniæ [Gram (–) bacterium], Staphylococcus hominis K.&S. ssp hominis [Gram (+) coccus], and Pseudomo­nas aeruginosa (S.) M. [Gram (–) bacterium] in different conditions. The results show that the ac­tion of fumi­gation (pure smo­ke and kyphi) on selective and differential culture media has almost no effect on the growth of microorga­nisms. However, there is a clear direct effect of smoke (pure smoke and kyphi) on the microorganisms that appears stronger with kyphi in all dilutions (and mostly in 1/1000), with the exception of some multidrug re­sistant strains. Based on the fact that strains resistant to antibiotics are also resistant to kyphi, this may mean that kyphi exercises its antimicrobial action probably towards the same molecular targets.

Wagdy, ῾Abdelghaffar:

Amulette aus Rettungsgrabungen von Hosh–᾽Aleash in ῾Ain Shams Ost, Heliopolis, 1986

This paper discusses a collection of Late Period amulets coming from the rescue excavations of Hosh–᾽Aleash in ῾Ain Shams East (Heliopolis), undertaken in 1986. The aim of this research is to study in detail 59 unpublished objects, which are registered and stored in the Egyptian Museum Cairo, the Grand Egyptian Museum and in ᾽El–Matariya’s storerooms. The available data on these amulets, provided in field documentation and in museum inventories, both —unfortunately— incomplete, and supplemented by personal examination of the objects, are presented in the catalogue. These objects are discussed according to their material (metal, stone and faience) and the major types they represent.

Fourlis, Athanasios; Kalfountzos, Evangelos; Kottis, Konstantinos:

The Astronomical Orientation of the Temenos of Zeus Stratios (Amaseia, Pontos) and its Political and Theological Aspects

This study examines the sanctuary of Zeus Stratios near Amaseia (modern: Amasya) in Pontos (NE Asia Minor), focusing on its solar orientation to the Winter Solstice and the political and theological aspects expressed by its particular construction. In the context of this study, the effects of Macedonian and Hellenistic royal and military worship are highlighted, while observations and comparisons of the monument with other ancient sanctuaries with similar astronomical characteristics are given.

Voulgaris, Aristeidis; Mouratidis, Christophoros; Vossinakis, Andreas:

Rare Important Astronomical Events during the Isia Feast correlated to the Starting Date of the Antikythēra Mechanism, The Helleno–Roman Isis and her Relation to Solar Eclipses

The initial pointers’ position of the Antikythēra Mechanism (calibration) was based on a specific date, related to a unique coincidence of very important astronomical and religious events. During 22/23 December 178 BC (= 17/18 Hathyr) the four Lunar Cycles were at their beginning position, the Moon and the Sun crossed the zodiac sign of Capricorn signifying the Winter Solstice, the annular solar eclipse with the largest duration occurred and the Isia feast started. The Isia feast is related to the myth of Osiris’s death and his return to life via the help of Isis. In the Helleno–Roman Era, this myth is engaged to the Moon and the Sun. A further analysis of the eclipses’ probability of observation/visibility in the vicinity of Egypt and Middle East, explains why these areas exhibit a high probability for the solar eclipses’ visibility, detectability, and therefore, their recording. This advantage led to the development of the ancient Babylonian Solar Astronomy and the Saros Period discovery. The missing Sun and the solar corona appearance during a total solar eclipse could be adopted and worshipped as deities by the authorities and priesthoods at these areas, creating magnificent religious stories and symbols.

Sadek el-Gendi, Sherin:

Figures d’Ève et Adam dans l’Art Copte: Étude Comparative

From Antiquity to the present day, the history of Eve and Adam, which is related to the beginning of human life, attracts many researchers. The figures of Eve and Adam are among the most important scenes in Coptic Art. A brief overview of their names and history will be given from religious books and historical sources, mainly relying on studies already published about this decorative topic. Their representations in Coptic Art through the wall paintings of some Coptic monuments will be described, and the surprising decoration of other artistic objects preserved in Coptic Monasteries and Churches, the Coptic Museum in Cairo and other international museums. Finally, the comparison between different attitudes of Eve and Adam in Coptic decoration will be dealt with by analysing the different decorative unites composing their scenes.

Tsourinaki, Sophia:

Μίμησις and Αποτροπή: Towards a Human Participation in Ritualizing the Divine

The Coptic Collections of some Hellenic Museums comprise numerous Early Byzantine textiles from Egypt dating from the 4th to the 10th Centuries BC. The attention of this paper will be focused on ten unpublished textiles, which display Biblical and Christological iconography, found at the Benaki Museum and the Museum of Modern Greek Culture. Following a thorough analysis of the artefacts, they will be classified into three technical groups according to the applied methods of specialized decoration. For the scope of this research, the content of Hellenic and Latin literary sources was carefully examined. Moreover, conclusions concerning their production and use have been deduced and will be presented.

Youssef, Youhanna Nessim:

The Cult of the 144,000 in the Coptic Tradition

This paper aims to study the identification of the 144,000 (innocent infants massacred by Hērodēs) and the evolution of their veneration through studying edited and unedited samples from the Coptic Liturgy texts, as well as the different Calendars.

Carita, Joaquina:

La Reine Koushite qui fit Face à l’Empereur César Auguste

In 30 BC, the Romans replaced the Ptolemies as rulers of Egypt. At that time, King Teriteqas reigned in Meroe and he did not agree with the invasion of his borders nor with the excessive increase in taxes to be paid to the Romans, entering into confrontation with the Roman armies. The Romans deployed their forces expanding South to gain access to the gold mines of Wādī Allāqi, which was located to the SE of a region called Dōdekaschoinos, in Nubia. Soon a revolt broke out in Thebes against the Roman policy of excessive taxation and was evidently supported by the Meroitics. King Teriteqas must have died in this rebellion, because according to reports, Queen Amanirenas remained in power as regent to her son Akinadad. According to Strabōn, Amanirenas was a warrior–queen who ruled the Kingdom of Cush and Meroe between 40 and 10 BC. She was known as the Queen Mother (Candace) and was one of the most famous queens of Meroe. During his reign, the Roman Emperor Cæsar Augustus made of Egypt one of the Provinces of Rome and intended to expand this province towards the South, but Amanirenas tried to prevent this expansion. She invaded Philæ, where she plundered the city and took with her to Meroe the head of a statue of bronze of Emperor Augustus. The Romans fought back and conquered Napata, killing the heir to the throne Akinadad. After a period of war, an agreement was reached between the parties; the emperor withdrew his armies, reimbursed the Cushites for their lands and exempted them from taxation. On the other hand, the Cushites gave him access to the region of Wādī Allāqi.

Maravelia, Alicia:

Book Review: Astronomy of Ancient Egypt: A Cultural Perspective

BOOK REVIEW: BELMONTE, Juan–Antonio & LULL, José: Astronomy of Ancient Egypt: A Cultural Perspective (Orchiston, W. et al., eds), Cham, Switzerland (Springer / Historical & Cultural Astronomy Series) 12023, 588 + xxxviii pages, ISBN 978–3–031–11828–9.

Sadek el-Gendi, Sherin:

Book Review: Two Thousand Years of Coptic Christianity

BOOK REVIEW: MEINARDUS, OTTO F.A.: Two Thousand Years of Coptic Christianity, Cairo–New York (American University in Cairo Press) 2015, 344 + viii pages, ISBN 978–9–7741–6745–4.

Sadek el-Gendi, Sherin:

Book Review: The Red Monastery Church: Beauty and Asceticism in Upper Egypt

BOOK REVIEW: BOLMAN, ELIZABETH S.: The Red Monastery Church: Beauty and Asceticism in Upper Egypt, New Haven and London (Yale University Press) 2016, 390 + xxxix pages, ISBN 978–0–3002–1230–3.

Codebò, Mario:

Book Review: 9 Avril 30 après J.–C.: La Date de la Résurrection de Jésus Christ

BOOK REVIEW: KHASSAPIS, Constantinos & PAPATHANASIOU, Maria K.: 9 Avril 30 après J.–C.: La Date de la Résurrection de Jésus Christ (Étude Inédite de Constantinos Khassapis), Athènes 2021, 138 pages, ISBN 978–618–84801–2–4.

Dallas, Themis G.:

Book Review: Cosmos and Community in Early Medieval Art

BOOK REVIEW: ANDERSON, Benjamin: Cosmos and Community in Early Medieval Art, New Haven CT (Yale University Press) 2017, 204 + viii pages, ISBN 978–0–300–21916–6.

Dallas, Themis G.:

Book Review: The Story of the Shipwrecked Sailor: The most Ancient Egyptian Adventure (Drawings by Iris Hoogeweij)

BOOK REVIEW: ΜΑΡΑΒΕΛΙΑ, Ἀλίκη / MARAVELIA, Alicia: Τὸ Παραμύθι τοῦ Ναυαγοῦ: Ἡ Ἀρχαιότερη Αἰγυπτιακὴ Περιπέτεια / The Tale of the Shipwrecked Sailor: The most Ancient Egyptian Adventure (Drawings by Iris HOOGEWEIJ), Ἀθῆναι / Athens (Φερενίκη / Fereniki) 2023, pp. 56, ISBN 978–960–9513–86–9.

Savvič, Georges:

Book Review: The Ancient Egyptian Kyphi and the Orthodox Holy Chrism: New Perspectives of Research

BOOK REVIEW: MARAVELIA, Alicia, FAVIOU, Elsa & FILIANOS, Markos: The Ancient Egyptian Kyphi and the Orthodox Holy Chrism: New Perspectives of Research, Athens (Hellenic Institute of Egyptology / Occasional Publications – 4) 2023, 60 + xviii pages, ISSN 2241–0597.

Maravelia, Alicia:

Obituary: Alexandra Diez De Oliveira

Obituary for Alexandra Diez De Oliveira (1965-2023)

Claes, Wouter; Eyckerman, Merel; Förster, Frank; Tristant, Yann:

Obituary: Stan Hendrickx

Obituary for Dr Stan Hendrickx (1954-2023)