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Following OsirisPerspectives on the Osirian Afterlife from Four Millenia$
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Mark Smith

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199582228

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199582228.001.0001

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Democratizing the Afterlife? Aspects of the Osirian Afterlife during the Transition from the Late Old Kingdom to the Middle Kingdom

Democratizing the Afterlife? Aspects of the Osirian Afterlife during the Transition from the Late Old Kingdom to the Middle Kingdom

Chapter:
(p.166) 4 Democratizing the Afterlife? Aspects of the Osirian Afterlife during the Transition from the Late Old Kingdom to the Middle Kingdom
Source:
Following Osiris
Author(s):

Mark Smith

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199582228.003.0005

This chapter challenges the theory of the democratization of the afterlife, according to which privileges that were restricted to royalty in the Old Kingdom, like association with Osiris, were usurped by and extended to non-royalty in the political turmoil of the First Intermediate Period. It also investigates the relationship between Osiris and the dead in the Coffin Texts and other sources contemporary with them, and the rise in importance of Abydos as a venue where the deceased could interact with the living as members of that god’s following during the Middle Kingdom. Relationships between the deceased and other deities like Re and Hathor are examined as well. The chapter concludes by exploring the means through which the Egyptians of this time hoped to join the following of Osiris. Particular attention is given to the increased importance of justification as a prerequisite for doing so.

Keywords:   democratization of the afterlife, access vs. display, Coffin Texts, Abydos, mysteries of Osiris, ba, justification

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