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This book explores ancient Egypt's feminine anointing mysteries and how these are reflected in both royal art and ritual life. It also traces their subsequent influence in early Christianity. This means there are five broad audiences for the book in addition to those interested in Egyptology, ancient history and archaeology. Religion -- the book provides new insights in religion and mythology. It includes a detailed study of the New Year ritual of anointing the pharaoh , so it will appeal to readers interested in ritual and ancient mysteries. As a discussion of the oldest known African religion it is also relevant to black history. Women's Studies -- the book carefully elucidates the place of feminine divinity and the Egyptian queen in these anointing mysteries. Emphasising the crucial role of the feminine in Egyptian ritual life, it gives a new perspective on women's theology and women's history. Early Christianity -- the book traces the influence of the Egyptian New Year rites in the Christian anointing mysteries, as recorded both in the canonical gospels and the alchemically inspired Gospel of Philip from the Nag Hammadi Library.
It is therefore relevant to readers interested in early Christianity, Christian sacramentalism and the Nag Hammadi writings. Alchemy and Hermeticism -- the book's study of the relationship between early Christianity, Graeco-Egyptian alchemy and Hermeticism will interest those drawn to early esoteric traditions. Fine Arts -- the book will also appeal to readers interested in a history, since it gives a high priority to visual images for understanding Egyptian religion. It includes many striking colour illustrations, which are closely Integrated within the text.
Alison Roberts studied ancient Egyptian and Akkadian at the University of Oxford. She completed her doctoral thesis 'Cult Objects of Hathor' in 1984. Since then she has written and lectured on ancient Egypt. She lives in Brighton, England.