Gods on Stage: Elements of Drama in Ancient Egyptian Rituals

Exploring theater in ancient Egypt is very problematic, as we encounter a lack of both written and archaeological sources. However, every aspect of life in Egypt was influenced by religion. And it is in religious rituals that elements can be traced that can be interpreted as the beginnings of drama. In the lecture, students will get acquainted through specific examples with the issue of sources, such as masks or "dramatic" texts, as well as with selected dramatic elements that the ancient Egyptians used in magical rituals (funerals, healing, etc.) or during religious holidays. Attention will also be paid to the Usir festivities in the month of Choiak, which could be, among other things, an inspiration and a forerunner of the later classical drama in ancient Greece.

Diana Míčková and Dorotea Wollnerová are Egyptologists from the Czech Institute of Egyptology, Faculty of Arts, Charles University. They deal with archeology and language, especially religious texts from the 1st millennium BC. Both regularly participate in the teaching of Egyptology and also in research at the Czech Archaeological Concession in Abusir. They are the authors of the book "Listen to a Narrative from the Time of Your Fathers" with new Czech translations of ancient Egyptian short stories.

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