Cover image for Temples of ancient Egypt
Temples of ancient Egypt
Shafer, Byron E. (Byron Esely), 1938-
Publication Information:
Ithaca, N.Y. : Cornell University Press, 1997.
Physical Description:
xii, 335 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm
Temples, priests, and rituals : an overview / Byron E. Shafer -- Royal cult complexes of the old and middle kingdoms / Dieter Arnold -- New kingdom "mortuary temples" and "mansions of millions of years" / Gerhard Haeny -- The new kingdom "divine" temple : the example of Luxor / Lanny Bell -- Temples of the Ptolemaic and Roman periods : ancient traditions in new contexts / Ragnhild Bjerre Finnestad.
Reading Level:
1600 Lexile.
Geographic Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BL2450.T43 T47 1997 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



In Temples of Ancient Egypt, five distinguished scholars Dieter Arnold, Lanny Bell, Ragnhild Bjerre Finnestad, Gerhard Haeny, and Byron E. Shafer here summarize the state of current knowledge about ancient Egyptian temples and the rituals associated with their use. The first volume in English to survey the major types of Egyptian temples from the Old Kingdom to the Roman period, it offers a unique perspective on ritual and its cultural significance. The authors perceive temples as loci for the creative interplay of sacred space and sacred time. They regard as unacceptable the traditional division of the temples into the categories of "mortuary" and "divine," believing that their functions and symbolic representations were, at once, too varied and too intertwined."

Reviews 1

Choice Review

If one cares about ancient Egyptian culture or if one is studying architecture, religion, or language, Temples of Ancient Egypt will be interesting, and even controversial. Not a primer, its level is complex, its opinions one-sided, its concerns subtle. Nor is this an art history; the pictures are in black and white and are not a survey of Egypt's temples; there are no measurements and only very occasional aesthetic comment. Its concerns are the former temples' place in their society as indicated by texts and inscriptions and as illuminated by the concepts of world religion theory. Advanced students of Egypt will add much to their knowledge from this discussion. Also, there are surprises; e.g., laypeople were allowed in parts of the New Kingdom temples; a radically immanentist ancient Egyptian religion is contrasted with Judaism and Platonism, and their outgrowth, Christianity; the religion is concerned with a battle between chaos and order. All five authors seem to deduce similar opinions as they take the reader through the 3,000 years of temple construction. Each article also seems somehow relevant to religion and meaning in present times. This is new ground and worth arguing with. The footnotes are a long text in themselves; the index is good. The bibliography has as many German as English books, so the writing must be credited with making European interpretations lucid for English-language readers. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals. E. L. Anderson formerly, Lansing Community College

Table of Contents

prefacep. xi
1 Temples, Priests, and Rituals: an Overviewp. 1
2 Royal Cult Complexes of the Old and Middle Kingdomsp. 31
3 New Kingdom "mortuary Temples" and "mansions of Millions of Years"p. 86
4 The New Kingdom "divine" Temple: The Example of Luxorp. 127
Appendix: I Luxor Temple in the Reign of Akhenatenp. 180
5 Temples of the Ptolemaic and Roman Periods: Ancient Traditions in New Contextsp. 185
Introductionp. 185
Notesp. 239
Dynastic Chronolocy with Names of Rulers and Periods Mentioned in the Textp. 319
Indexp. 323