Date of Completion

2018

Document Type

Honors College Thesis

Department

Classics

Type of Thesis

College of Arts and Science Honors, Honors College

First Advisor

John Franklin

Keywords

amulet, chaos, healing, protection, serpent, snake

Abstract

In this thesis, I examine the positive and negative roles and representations of the serpent as it pertains to gods and goddesses in ancient Egyptian magic and myth. The evidence provides salient insight into the complex relationship that Egypt had with this creature, and revive an ancient appreciation for the serpent as more than something to fear and loathe.

Since ancient peoples both dreaded and were filled with awe at the snake because of its murderous capabilities and apparent capacity for rejuvenation, they chose both to repel and revere them in daily life. This study provides a deeper understanding of the perception of these creatures based on textual and artistic depictions of snakes as associated with mythological stories, and with particular emphasis on Egyptian divinities. I shall describe snakes and serpent- associated deities primarily in the religious spheres of this culture and analyze them according to their protective and/or menacing roles. I have collected much of the available textual and material evidence that represents or bears serpents that relate to godly myths and magic.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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