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Magic in Ancient Egypt
Article by Joshua J. Mark

Magic in Ancient Egypt

In ancient Egypt, if a woman were having difficulty conceiving a child, she might spend an evening in a Bes Chamber (also known as an incubation chamber) located within a temple. Bes was the god of childbirth, sexuality, fertility, among...
Death in Ancient Egypt
Article by Joshua J. Mark

Death in Ancient Egypt

To the ancient Egyptians, death was not the end of life but only the beginning of the next phase in an individual's eternal journey. There was no word in ancient Egyptian which corresponds to the concept of "death" as usually defined...
The Admonitions of Ipuwer
Article by Joshua J. Mark

The Admonitions of Ipuwer

The Admonitions of Ipuwer (also known as The Papyrus Ipuwer and The Admonitions of an Egyptian Sage) is a literary text dated to the Middle Kingdom of Egypt (2040-1782 BCE). The only extant copy of the work, preserved...
Beer in the Ancient World
Article by Joshua J. Mark

Beer in the Ancient World

The intoxicant known in English as `beer' takes its name from the Latin `bibere' (by way of the German `bier') meaning `to drink' and the Spanish word for beer, cerveza' comes from the Latin word `cerevisia' for `of beer', giving some indication...
Female Physicians in Ancient Egypt
Article by Joshua J. Mark

Female Physicians in Ancient Egypt

A famous story from Greece relates how a young woman named Agnodice wished to become a doctor in Athens but found this forbidden. In fact, a woman practicing medicine in Athens in the 4th century BCE faced the death penalty. Refusing to give...
Cats in the Middle Ages
Article by Joshua J. Mark

Cats in the Middle Ages

The life of a cat in the Middle Ages (c. 476-1500 CE) differed significantly from that of a dog owing primarily to its association with witchcraft, darkness, and the devil. In the ancient world, the cat was regarded highly by cultures as...
Clergy, Priests & Priestesses in Ancient Egypt
Article by Joshua J. Mark

Clergy, Priests & Priestesses in Ancient Egypt

The ancient Egyptians understood that their gods had prevailed over the forces of chaos through the creation of the world and relied upon humanity's help to maintain it. The people of Mesopotamia held this same belief but felt they were co-workers...
The Forty-Two Judges
Article by Joshua J. Mark

The Forty-Two Judges

The ancient Egyptians have long been defined as a death-obsessed culture owing to their association with tombs and mummies as depicted in popular media and, of course, the famous discovery of the Tomb of Tutankhamun by Howard Carter in 1922...
Mummification in Ancient Egypt
Article by Joshua J. Mark

Mummification in Ancient Egypt

The practice of mummifying the dead began in ancient Egypt c. 3500 BCE. The English word mummy comes from the Latin mumia which is derived from the Persian mum meaning 'wax' and refers to an embalmed corpse which was wax-like. The idea of...
The Soul in Ancient Egypt
Article by Joshua J. Mark

The Soul in Ancient Egypt

At the beginning of time, the god Atum stood on the primordial mound in the midst of the waters of chaos and created the world. The power which enabled this act was heka (magic) personified in the god Heka, the invisible force behind the...