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Ancient Egyptian Biographies

Edited by Julie Stauder-Porchet, Elizabeth Frood, and Andéas Stauder

(Auto-)biography is a genre of ancient Egyptian written discourse that was central to high culture from its earliest periods. Belonging to the nonroyal elites, these texts present aspects of individual lives and experience, sometimes as narratives of key events, sometimes as characterizations of personal qualities. Egyptian (auto-) biographies offer a unique opportunity to examine the ways in which individuals fashioned distinctive selves for display and the significance of the physical, religious, and social contexts they selected. The present volume brings together specialists from a range of relevant periods, approaches, and interests. The studies collected here examine Egyptian (auto-)biographies from a variety of complementary perspectives: (1) anthropological and contrastive perspectives; (2) the original Old Kingdom settings; (3) text format and language; (4) social dimensions; and (5) religious experience.

Ancient Egyptian Biographies

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    Wilbour Studies in Egyptology and Assyriology vol. 6

    352 pages

    11 x 8 inches

    978-1-948488-28-0 (hardcover)

    978-1-948488-30-3 (PDF)

    June 2020

  • Table of Contents


Introduction Julie Stauder-Porchet, Elizabeth Frood, Andréas Stauder


    Part 1. Anthropological and Contrastive Perspectives


Narrating Biography versus Biographical Indexicality Michael Silverstein

Self-Representation in Mesopotamia: The Literary Evidence Christopher Woods

Ancient Egyptian Biographies: From Living a Life to Creating a Fit Memorial John Baines


    Part 2. The Original Old Kingdom Settings


    Genres and Textual Prehistories of the Egyptian Autobiography in the Old Kingdom Julie Stauder-Porchet

     (Auto-)“Bioconographies” versus (Auto-)Biographies in Old Kingdom Elite Tombs: Complexity 
Expansion of Image and Word Reflecting Personality Traits by Competitive Individuality René van Walsem


    Part 3. Text Format and Language


    Autobiography versus Biography in the Second Person and Biography in the Third Person: 
Textual Formats, Authorship, and Apocryphal/Pseudepigraphic Works Pascal Vernus

Clichés in Ancient Egyptian Autobiographies Laurent Coulon

Expressions of Royal Agency: Forms of the Verb in the Old Kingdom Event Autobiography Andréas Stauder


    Part 4. Social Dimensions


    The Social Context of Biographies (Old and Middle Kingdom) Juan Carlos Moreno García

    Images of Social Ascent in Biographical Self-Presentations from the Old Kingdom to the
 Middle Kingdom Katalin Anna Kóthay

jnk wr m njw.t=f: References to njw.t in Biographies of the Second Intermediate Period Sabine Kubisch


    Part 5. Religious Experience


Living a Religious Life: The Display of Religious Experience in Egyptian Autobiographies Michela Luiselli

Participation in Religious Ceremonies, as Related in Egyptian Biographies David Klotz


    Index of Autobiographies Cited

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