ANNUAL INTERDISCIPLINARY SCHOOL OF ANCIENT GREEK, EGYPTOLOGY AND ORIENTAL LANGUAGES. DAY 7
On the last day of the School, the participants were able to hear the erudite lectures of the scientific director of the event, Mrs. prof. univ. dr. Joanna Popielska-Grzybowska, entitled "The Creator and the Created World in the Pyramid Texts" and "Gods and Monsters as Elements of the Ancient Egyptian Cosmogony According to the Pyramid Texts". They focused on the question: Who is the creative god in the Pyramid Texts, the oldest cosmogonic texts in the world? The speaker showed the meaning of the primordial god, Atum (which designates a paradoxical concept, being both the universe and nothing; the existence of all, but also nothingness), also called "kheprer" ("He who comes into existence - He-who-is -coming-into-existence"), from the sperm of which the gods Shu and Tefnut are born, from whose union the Earth and the Sky - Geb and Nut - will be born, who will give birth, in their turn, to the most famous Egyptian gods, such as Isis, Osiris, Nephthys and Seth. In turn, the god Atum created himself from the primordial aquatic element - Nu. In the Pyramid Texts, Atum is represented both as the Creator of all aspects of the world and as the King. Along with him appear other primordial deities and monsters. Monstrous creatures such as snakes, frogs, dark creatures, do not have a totally negative aspect, but they are necessary in creation, a component part of the divine plan, God and King, are some forms through which they reveal themselves. Various Egyptian cosmogonic texts were presented and commented on during the lectures. He advocated a careful reading of the ancient text in its original language and drew attention to the fact that often our European and Christian mentality can damage the understanding of these texts: the ancient Egyptians really believed these texts that we now consider fantasy stories. Language mirrors, creates and interprets the world, and man is the one who interprets language and the world, according to his own beliefs, mentalities and knowledge.
The day continued with the seminar of prof. dr. Giorgia Cafici (Centro Italiano di Egittologia "G. Botti"), entitled "Egyptian elites as Roman citizens. Private portraits from the Ptolemaic period", during which a gallery of portraits was presented from the republican Ptolemaic and Roman period, compared from the point of view of representation and typology with those from the ancient Egyptian period, but also with various numismatic representations. The speaker highlighted the stylistic and typological similarities and the combination of artistic styles, in making different portraits of characters such as Ptolemy VI, Horus, son of Horus, Julius Caesar, Horus, son of Tut, Caius Octavius. Thus, the eminent members of the Egyptian elite wanted to be represented in an innovative way and similar to the way in which famous Romans of the late Republic (Caesar, Caius Octavius) were portrayed, whose identity and portraits were certainly known in Egypt. Their presentation was completed with textual and epigraphic sources.
The evening ended with the erudite lecture of Mrs. prof. univ. dr. emeritus Francisca Băltăceanu (University of Bucharest), specialist in classical and Hebrew languages. It provided a reading of the Hebrew translation of the first three chapters of the Bible, as well as the cosmogonic episode of the Book of Job, revealing to the participants the beauty of the biblical text, by illustrating Jewish mentalities and explaining the semantics of Hebrew terms. The speaker pointed out that, far from being a scientific treatise, the Bible is a text written by believers for other believers that highlights the relationship between God and man, represented by symbolic stories that contain mythical elements but are demystified, precisely for that he is trying to realize the Divinity and man's relationship with it. The differences in vision between the cosmogony in the first chapter and the one in chapter three, the anthropomorphisms and the differences in mentality between Jews and other peoples were explained - for example, unlike the Egyptian neighbors, for whom the sun and the moon were deities, for the Jews, they they are just "lights" for the benefit of the people. If Genesis presents the cosmogony from the perspective of a priestly group (chapter one), or people who worked the earth (chapter 3), the book of Job presents a God who humorously speaks to his friend Job about how he created the world.