Women in ancient egypt



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WOMEN IN ANCIENT EGYPT
GENERAL HISTORICAL ASPECTS OF ANCIENT EGYPT

DYNASTIES

PYRAMIDS

RELIGIOUS ASPECTS

WOMEN IN ANCIENT EGYPT

GENERAL REMARKS

WOMEN TREATED WITH EQUALITY, RESPECT

& HAD MORE PRIVILEGES THAN ANY OTHER ANCIENT CIVILIZATION

LEGALLY FREE OF STRICT MALE SUPERVISION

IN LAND OF EXOTIC & UNUSUAL CUSTOMS

WOMEN ACKNOWLEDGED AS UNIQUE

SOURCES FOR WOMEN IN EGYPTIAN HISTORY

PROBLEM - HARDLY NOTHING FOR MAJORITY OF WOMEN ASIDE FROM UPPER CLASS

PRIMARY SOURCES

WISDOM TEXTS AND INSTRUCTIONS

POPULAR GENRE OF ANCIENT EGYPTIAN LITERATURE

ARCHEOLOGY

LEGAL SYSTEM

ALTHOUGH NO E BOOK OF LAWS HAS SURVIVED

COURT DOCUMENTS & LEGAL CORRESPONDENCE

WOMEN IN GENERAL

E WOMEN RELATIVELY SHORT IN STATURE

DARK HAIR, DARK EYES & LIGHT BROWN SKIN

AVERAGE LIFE EXPECTANCY - ABOUT 40 YEARS

IF SURVIVED HER CHILDHOOD & PREGNANCIES

WOMEN IN LEGAL SYSTEM

EQUALITY WITH MEN

MARRIED OR SINGLE WOMEN HAD

RIGHT TO INHERIT

PURCHASE & SELL PROPERTY

SLAVES

MAKE VALID LEGAL CONTRACT

INITIATE COURT CASE

RIGHT TO OWN PROPERTY NB LEGAL CONCESSION

PROVIDING DEGREE OF SECURITY FOR

UNMARRIED, WIDOWED & ABANDONED WOMEN & THEIR DEPENDENT CHILDREN

` COULD LIVE ALONE WITHOUT PROTECTION OF MALE GUARDIAN

MESOPOTAMIA, GREECE & ROME WOMEN ALL HAD MALE GUARDIANS

ONCE PTOLEMIC PERIOD IN EGYPT & LATER ROMAN PERIOD,

WOMEN LOST THEIR EQUAL LEGAL RIGHTS

DESCENT BOTH MATRILINEAL & PATRILINEAL

E CONSISTENTLY REGARDED FEMALE LINE AS NB ONE

MOTHERS FREQUENTLY HONORED IN TOMBS OF THEIR SONS

WEDDINGS

NO EGYPTIAN WORD MEANING WEDDING

NO SPECIAL BRIDAL CLOTHES WORN

NO CHANGE OF NAME TO INDICATE BRIDE'S NEW STATUS

MAY HAVE BEEN SPECIAL WEDDING MEAL

WE MUST ASSUME CO-HABITATION OF COUPLE SERVED AS ONLY OUTWARD SIGN MARRIAGE NEGOTIATIONS SUCCESSFUL

MARRIAGES

E FAR MORE THAN ANY OTHER PAST CIVILIZATIONS SHOW

THROUGH PAINTINGS, STATUES & LYRIC LOVE SONGS

THEIR CONTENTMENT WITH ROMANCE OF MARRIAGE

FROM THIS & OTHER SOURCES EVIDENT E SET MUCH VALUE UPON BEING MARRIED & HAVE CHILDREN

APPEARS TO BE NO PROBLEM WITH MIXED MARRIAGES

PEOPLE OF DIFFERENT RACES

ALSO EXTENDED TO UNRESTRICTED SLAVE MARRIAGES

BETWEEN 2 SLAVES

OR BETWEEN FREE PERSON & SLAVE

IN DEFERENCE TO GREEK & ROMAN SOCIETIES

EXAMPLES OF DIRECTIONS TO HUSBANDS:

DON'T BOSS YOUR WIFE IN HER OWN HOUSE WHEN YOU KNOW SHE IS EFFICIENT. DON'T KEEP SAYING TO HER 'WHERE IS IT? BRING IT TO ME" ESPECIALLY WHEN IT IS IN THE PLACE WHERE IT OUGHT TO BE

2 KINDS MARRIAGE

FORMAL WITH MARRIAGE CONTRACT

COMMON LAW - NO MARRIAGE CONTRACT

WHILE MARRIAGES ARRANGED BY PARENTS

CHIEF CONSIDERATIONS PROPERTY

& RAISING OF SONS

BOTH MALE & FEMALE DOWRIES

AGAIN SHOWS ESTEEM OF WOMEN IN EGYPT

MOSTLY MONOGAMOUS MARRIAGE

SOME HUSBANDS DID HAVE SEVERAL WIVES OR CONCUBINES

ALWAYS 1 OFFICIAL WIFE

ADULTERY

WIFE CAUGHT IN ADULTERY OPEN TO HARSHEST PHYSICAL PUNISHMENTS FROM HUSBAND

IN THEORY SHE COULD BE PUT TO DEATH

ADULTEROUS EGYPTIAN WIFE LIABLE TO HAVE HER NOSE CUT OFF

WHILE HER PARTNER IN CRIME WOULD BE SAVAGELY BEATEN

DIVORCE

DIVERSE VARIETY OF REASONS FOR DIVORCE

MANY FAMILIAR TO DIVORCE LAWYERS OF TODAY

REASONS

MUTUAL INCOMPATIBILITY

WORKALCHOLIC HUSBAND

AFFAIR OR LOVE WITH ANOTHER

REJECTION OF INFERTILE WIFE COMMON

ALTHOUGH SOCIETY DID NOT APPROVE OF IT

EITHER HUSBAND OR WIFE COULD INITIATE DIVORCE

BUT WIFE NOT UNTIL C. 500 B.C.

WIFE'S INFERTILITY & INFIDELITY GROUNDS

BY 500 B.C. HUSBAND'S ADULTERY GROUNDS FOR DIVORCE

OTHER ASPECTS SHOWING WOMEN'S EQUAL STATUS

WIVES NOT SECLUDED WHEN DINING & ENTERTAINING

AS IN GREECE & OTHER ANCIENT SOCIETIES

DRINKING WINE NOT RESTRICTED OR FORBIDDEN TO WOMEN AS IN ANCIENT GREECE & ROME

EXCESS DRINKING COMMON TO BOTH SEXES IN ANCIENT E

WIVES OF RULERS PROMINENT TOO

NEFARTARI

NEFERTITI

ALMOST ALONE AMONG ANCIENT PEOPLES

E PERMITTED WOMEN TO SUCCEED TO THRONE

QUEEN SOBEKNOFRU REIGNED DURING 12 TH DYNASTY

QUEEN HATSHEPSUT DURING 18TH DYNASTY

QUEEN HATSHEPSUT

C. 1500 B.C.

RULED FOR ALMOST 2 DECADES

DAUGHTER OF PHARAOH

WIFE OF PHARAOH

STEPMOTHER OF BOY SHE SUPPLANTED

BUILT SPECTACULAR TOMB-TEMPLE AT DEIR EL-BAHRI

GREATEST SURVIVING MONUMENT FROM ANTIQUITY TO WOMAN

ILLUSTRATED ACCOUNT OF WHAT SHE CONSIDERED HER CHIEF ACCOMPLISHMENTS

LARGE-SCALE TRADING EXPEDITION TO PUNT OR ETHIOPIA

QUEEN LIVING IMAGE OF GODDESS HATHOR

QUEEN PROVIDED LEGITIMACY FOR RULER

OTHER HIGH-BORN LADIES HELD HIGH POSITIONS AS PRIESTESSES IN CULTS OF

HATHOR, NUT, & NEITH

REGULATION OF FEMALE SEXUALITY & CUSTOMS

PROSTITUTION

LITTLE ACTUAL EVIDENCE OF IT IN ANCIENT EGYPT

ALTHOUGH LITERARY SOURCES MAKE REFERENCE TO PROFESSIONAL SINGERS & DANGERS NOT AVERSE TO BESTOWING SEXUAL FAVORS FOR PAYMENT

CHILDBIRTH

GIRLS IN ANCIENT EGYPT USUALLY MARRIED SHORTLY AFTER BEGINNING TO MENSTRUATE

CALLED TIME OF PURIFICATION

COULD EXPECT TO BEAR FIRST CHILD AT ABOUT 12-15

HIGH MORTALITY RATE FOR CHILDREN

TEST FOR PREGNANCY

WOMAN TO SIT OVER MIXTURE OF BEER & DATES

IF SHE VOMITS SHE WILL CONCEIVE

IF SHE DOES NOT VOMIT SHE WILL NOT

NUMBER OF TIMES SHE VOMITS INDICATES NUMBER OF CHILDREN SHE WILL HAVE

WOMAN TO URINATE DAILY ON TWO CLOTH BAGS ONE CONTAINING EMMER WHEAT & OTHER BARLEY

IF BOTH GERMINATED SHE PREGNANT

IF NEITHER DID SHE WAS NOT

ALSO IF BARLEY GREW FIRST THOUGHT CHILD WOULD BE BOY

BUT IF EMMER FIRST TO GERMINATE THEN CHILD GIRL

CONTRACEPTIVES

HONEY & SODIUM CARBONATE (NATRON) SPRINKLED INTO VULVA

CROCODILE DUNG CUT UP IN SOUR MILK

1-3 YRS PROTECTION

ACACIA TIPS, COLOQUINTIDA (BITTER APPLE) & DATES WITH HONEY & PLACED IN VULVA

BIRTH & AFTER BIRTH

USED BIRTHING STOOLS

MOTHER UNCLEAN FOR PERIOD AFTER BIRTH

USUALLY 14 DAYS

GODDESSES CONSULTED BY PREGNANT WOMEN

WOMEN OFTEN SOUGHT PROTECTION OF GODDESS

ESPECIALLY 3

HATHOR

SPECIAL CHAMPION & PROTECTRESS OF WOMEN

HATHOR HAD 2 CONTRASTING ASPECTS

HATHOR A FIERCE LIONESS GODDESS

BUT LOVING WIFE OF HORUS

SHE TOOK SPECIAL INTEREST IN WOMEN

PROVIDING HUSBANDS FOR YOUNG GIRLS

& PROTECTING WOMEN IN CHILDBIRTH

TAWERET

GODDESS DEPICTED AS PREGNANT HIPPOPOTAMUS STANDING UPRIGHT ON HER HIND LEGS

BES

UGLY DWARF GOD PROTECTED HOME IN GENERAL



TO FRIGHTEN AWAY HARMFUL DEMONS WHO MIGHT THREATEN NEWBORN BABY & ITS MOTHER

OTHER IMPORTANT GODDESSES IN ANCIENT EGYPT

ISIS

BRINGING OF MARRIAGE



CAUSING MEN TO SETTLE DOWN

INTRODUCTION OF AGRICULTURE

HER TEARS CAUSE NILE TO FLOOD OVER LOST OF HUSBAND OSIRIS

HER SON HORUS

TEMPLE AT PHILAE

MAAT


ICON FOR CHRISTIAN'S ANGEL

FEATHER OF TRUTH ON DAY OF JUDGEMENT

ROLE OF WOMEN IN ECONOMY

GENERAL REMARKS

WHILE WOMEN LESS LITERATE THAN MEN

MAJORITY OF ANCIENT EGYPTIAN WOMEN UNEDUCATED PEASANTS

STATE'S OFFICIAL VIEW

WOMEN COULD BE DEPENDED UPON TO PERFORM USEFUL WORK

FOR GREATER SOCIETY OUTSIDE HOME

WOMEN RECEIVED PAY EQUAL TO MALES

WOMEN COULD SUCCEED TO FATHER'S PROFESSION

WOMEN LARGELY ENGAGED IN INDOOR DOMESTIC ACTIVITIES

FOOD PREPARATION

CLEANING

OR DOING SAME IN OTHER HOUSEHOLDS AS SERVANTS

BREWING BEER

WORK IN AGRICULTURE

WOMEN HELPED WITH WEEDING & AT HARVEST TIME

DURING MIDDLE KINGDOM EVIDENCE SOME WOMEN HELD POSITIONS OF TRUST IN PRIVATE SECTOR

TREASURER

MAJOR DOMA

SUPERVISORY POSITIONS

DINING HALL, WIG SHOP, MISTRESS OF ROYAL HAREM

TEXTILE INDUSTRY DOMINATED BY WOMEN

BOTH AS WORKERS & SUPERVISORS

IN NEW KINGDOM MANUFACTURE OF CLOTH AS STATE INDUSTRY PARTICULAR CONCERN OF ROYAL HAREM

LADIES OF HAREM RESPONSIBLE FOR TRAINING & SUPERVISION OF TEXTILE WORKERS

PROFESSIONAL JOBS OPENED TO WOMEN

MIDWIFERY

SCHOOL OF MIDWIFERY IN ONE OF TEMPLES

MOURNERS

CAREER IN MOURNING FOR MANY WOMEN

THOSE WHO COULD AFFORD IT EMPLOYED PROFESSIONAL MOURNERS TO GRIEVE OPENLY

& TO FOLLOW FUNERAL CORTEGE TO TOMB

ANCIENT ART SHOWS WOMEN IN SAME STANCE AS WOMEN IN EGYPT MOURNING TODAY

STANDING WITH UPRAISED ARMS & SHRIEKING AS LOUDLY AS THEY CAN

MUMMIFICATION PROCESS

PRIESTESSES

PRIESTHOOD MOST PRESTIGIOUS FOR WOMEN

SORT OF TRAINING UNDERTAKEN NOT KNOWN

PRIESTHOOD CONFERRED HIGHEST STATUS UPON WOMEN

HIGH BORN LADIES PRIESTESSES FOR

HATHOR, NUT, ISIS, ETC.

THESE PRIESTESSES CALLED VARIOUS NAMES

GOD'S WIFE

GOD'S MOTHER

POSSESSORS OR REVERENCE

PROPHETESS

WOMEN EVEN PONTIFEX MAXIMUS FOR UPPER EGYPT

21ST DYNASTY

DIVINE ADORATRICE OF AMEN-RE

CENTURIES AFTER DIVINE ADORATRICE BECAME HEAD OF AMEN-RE CULT

VIRTUALLY RULER OF UPPER EGYPT

DESPITE CONTINUED PRESENCE OF MALE HIGH-PRIESTS OF AMEN

PRIESTESS REMAIN CELIBATE

CONTINUED HER LINE BY ADOPTING PRINCESS AS GOD'S WIFE

SOME PRIESTESSES DEIFIED UPON DEATH

AS RELIGION PLAYED NB PART IN ANCIENT EGYPTIAN LIFE

BY ACTIVE PARTICIPATION IN RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS WOMAN ENHANCED HER SOCIAL STANDING

FOR MANY CENTURIES LOWEST SOCIAL CLASSES WHETHER MALE OR FEMALE EXCLUDED FROM PRIESTHOOD

BY NEW KINGDOM WOMEN OF ALL CLASSES ALLOWED TO WORK IN TEMPLE SERVICE

MANY DID SO

WOMEN PARTICIPATED FOR BOTH RELIGIOUS & SOCIAL REASONS

1 OF MOST NB FUNCTION FOR PRIESTESS

TO ACT AS IMPERSONATORS OF GODDESSES

WHEN PRIESTESSES OF HATHOR DANCED IN HER HONOR

THEY CONSCIOUSLY IMITATED GRACEFULNESS FOR WHICH GODDESS FAMED

MUSICIANS, SINGERS, CHANTRESSES & DANCERS

EVERY TEMPLE HAD NUMBER OF PRIESTESSES ATTACHED TO IT AS

MUSICIANS, DANCERS, SINGERS OR CHANTRESSES

SANG HYMNS & PLAYED INSTRUMENTS SUCH AS HARPS & TAMBOURINES DURING TEMPLE SERVICE

AT FESTIVALS PRIESTESSES DANCED THROUGH STREETS, SHAKING VARIOUS ITEMS

WITH IDEA THEY BESTOWING LIFE, STABILITY, HEALTH & HAPPINESS ON POPULATION IN NAME OF DEITY OF THEIR PARTICULAR TEMPLE

IN NEW KINGDOM SO MANY WOMEN ON RECORD AS MUSICIANS OF ONE GOD OR ANOTHER IT SEEMS AS THOUGH EVERY FEMALE IN LAND TOOK PART IN CULT

INEVITABLE CONSEQUENCE OF SUCH WIDESPREAD PARTICIPATION

LESSENING OF STATUS OF FEMALE PRIESTS

IN CONTRAST MALE PRIESTHOOD BY THIS TIME HAD BECOME LARGELY PROFESSIONAL & HEREDITARY

DOMINATED BY MEN OF PRIESTLY CLASS JEALOUS OF ITS RANK & PRIVILEGES

DANCERS HAD HONORABLE CAREER

ROMANS CONSIDERED DANCING UNWORTHY OF MAN OF RANK



FOR ANCIENT EGYPTIANS DANCING ACCEPTED PART OF LIFE



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