Cookies Policy
X

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Rhampsinitus, Setne Khamwas and the Descent to the Netherworld: Some Remarks on Herodotus II, 122, 1

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites

image of Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions

[The purpose of this article is to analyse Pharaoh Rhampsinitus’ descent to the Underworld, briefly reported by Herodotus (II, 122, 1) and included by the Greek writer in the legendary history of Egypt. This short episode can be connected to the demotic cycle of Setne Khamwas, to be precise when this literary hero seizes a book of magic from a tomb after playing dice—the Egyptian senet—with the dead. These two stories share a common origin, arising possibly from the same folkloric tradition from the second half of the First Millenium B.C. But even if the adventure of Rhampsinitus is one of the many underworld motifs which occur in folklore throughout the world, it is important to note that the descent to hell is not a recurrent theme in Egyptian imagery. Here we are dealing possibly with a foreign topic, even an interpretatio graeca of the katabasis of Rhampsinitus, Herodotus being influenced by the echoes of the doctrines of the Orphics and the Pythagoreans, and trying to support the supposedly Egyptian belief in the transmigration of the soul, a clearly dubious statement., The purpose of this article is to analyse Pharaoh Rhampsinitus’ descent to the Underworld, briefly reported by Herodotus (II, 122, 1) and included by the Greek writer in the legendary history of Egypt. This short episode can be connected to the demotic cycle of Setne Khamwas, to be precise when this literary hero seizes a book of magic from a tomb after playing dice—the Egyptian senet—with the dead. These two stories share a common origin, arising possibly from the same folkloric tradition from the second half of the First Millenium B.C. But even if the adventure of Rhampsinitus is one of the many underworld motifs which occur in folklore throughout the world, it is important to note that the descent to hell is not a recurrent theme in Egyptian imagery. Here we are dealing possibly with a foreign topic, even an interpretatio graeca of the katabasis of Rhampsinitus, Herodotus being influenced by the echoes of the doctrines of the Orphics and the Pythagoreans, and trying to support the supposedly Egyptian belief in the transmigration of the soul, a clearly dubious statement.]

Affiliations: 1: Department of Ancient History, Seville University, SevilleSpaindelgado@us.es

10.1163/156921211X579597
/content/journals/10.1163/156921211x579597
dcterms_title,pub_keyword,dcterms_description,pub_author
6
3
Loading
Loading

Full text loading...

/content/journals/10.1163/156921211x579597
Loading

Data & Media loading...

http://brill.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.1163/156921211x579597
Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1163/156921211x579597
2011-09-01
2016-08-31

Sign-in

Can't access your account?
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation