Dancing for Hathor

Dancing for Hathor

Women in Ancient Egypt

Book - 2010
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A rich and lively account of the women of ancient Egypt from goddesses to dancing girls, queens to housewives.>

McMillan Palgrave

The fragmentary evidence allows us only tantalising glimpses of the sophisticated and complex society of the ancient Egyptians, but the Greek historian Herodotus believed that the Egyptians had 'reversed the ordinary practices of mankind' in treating their women better than any of the other civilizations of the ancient world . Carolyn Graves-Brown draws on funerary remains, tomb paintings, architecture and textual evidence to explore all aspects of women in Egypt from goddesses and queens to women as the 'vessels of creation'. Perhaps surprisingly the most common career for women, after housewife and mother, was the priesthood, where women served deities, notably Hathor, with music and dance. Many would come to the temples of Hathor to have their dreams interpreted, or to seek divine inspiration. This is a wide ranging and revealing account told with authority and verve.

Publisher: London, Eng. ; New York, NY : Continuum, 2010
ISBN: 9781847250544
Characteristics: xii, 241 p. : ill. ; 25 cm
Alternative Title: Women in ancient Egypt


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Apr 24, 2016

This book discusses the flawed past theories that overstated the high status of women in Egypt; the changes in women's status through Egyptian history; the stages of their lives; and their occupations. Only after that does it get to the glamorous subjects, goddesses and queens. The religious aspects of sexuality and fertility receive their own chapter and are a running theme throughout the book, because they heavily affected, but sometimes contrasted with, beliefs about what women in real life were "supposed" to be like. And all that, without feeling too cursory, in only 172 pages of body text.

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