The Thrill of Time through the Ancient Egyptian Religion and Art: Ouroboros as an Archetype for the Meta-Physics of Eternity

Maravelia, Alicia, Dr. of Egyptology, University of Limoges; Dr. of Astronomy, University of Athens, President of the Hellenic Institute of Egyptology:

Abstract
In this paper not only the concept of time taken into its realization (hence the virtual Einfühlung of time per se), but also the time presented in the examined ancient Egyptian works of art are taken into account and are thoroughly discussed, with particular emphasis on the archetype of the Ouroboros (anc. Eg.: sd-m-rA) and its semantics not only in the ancient Egyptian forma mentis, but also in Alchemy. Through the colourful prism of the metaphysical or theological conception of time and eternity as they were meant by the ancient Nile-dwellers we are in a position nowadays to present plausible deductions about their relation to time, their quest for eternity and also examine the ways we could use in order to investigate the notions of time in relation to the specific art-forms created by them and studied here. The way the anonymous ancient Egyptian artists – for whom the meaning of Art (Hmt) was not the same as it is for us today, but that “art” was only used as a vehicle towards their virtual θέωσις in the hereafter and their quest for immortality – have conceived and depicted time through their artefacts (especially during the high Pharaonic Era: c. 2575 BC to c. 714 BC) also provides a solid means in order to assess which are the philosophically and aesthetically relevant notions of time in the history of art of the ancient Mediterranean nations, between which Egypt holds a very high pedestal.

Ouroboros
From the mythological (funerary) papyrus of Hor-ouben (Hr-wbn) at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo (No 133, Dynasty XXI, c. 1080–945 BC) (photo by Mykola Tarasenko, 2002).

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Παραπομπή στη δημοσίευση: Maravelia, A. 2018, The Thrill of Time through the Ancient Egyptian Religion and Art: Ouroboros as an Archetype for the Meta-Physics of Eternity, Shodoznavstvo, (The Oriental Studies), 81, 3-43.

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