The Doomed Prince

Mini Episode. Sometime in the 18th Dynasty, perhaps around the time of Akhenaten, a fairy-tale became popular in Egypt. The story spoke of a prince, forced to flee his home after a prophecy foretold that he would die from one of three fates – a dog, a snake, or a crocodile. Leaving Egypt, the prince…

The Tale of Two Brothers

Mini Episode. The Tale of Two Brothers is a fairytale, composed sometime in the late 18th or early 19th Dynasties (c.1350-1250 BCE). It recounts the adventures of Bata and Anubis, two siblings who suffer injustice and misfortune. From adulterous wives to the perils of fate, Anubis and Bata seek to defend themselves and find peace,…

Mini Episode: Songs in a Garden

In this mini episode we explore the courtship of an ancient couple. A pair of Egyptians relax in a garden, sharing a moment of intimacy and love. We explore their budding romance through four poems, read by an actress. Warning: these poems contain erotic and sexual elements that may not be suitable for all ages….

Mini Episode: The Lost Son

Around 1250 BCE an Egyptian father wrote a letter to his wayward son. The boy had joined a ship’s crew and was now abroad, but had not sent any word of his well-being. Anxious, the father wrote a poignant letter begging his son to return. That letter survives and reveals wonderful parts of ancient life……

Mini Episode: A Wayward Scribe

A model letter from c.1250 BCE tells us of a wayward scribe, who fell off the path of ma’at and became lost in drunkeness, indolence and womanizing. Disappointed in his former pupil, a schoolmaster writes to the scribe, rebuking him for his lifestyle and failures. Warning: this content may not be suitable for all ages….

Mini Episode: All Is Full of Love

Ancient Egyptian scribes enjoyed writing romantic and sexual texts. They explored themes of love, longing, lust and courtship from a variety of perspectives – male and female. Exploring emotions and sensations, they created a lively corpus of literature with many evocative passages. In this mini episode we explore three more poems of the Love genre….

Episode 100: Celebration

Amunhotep III (Part 10): The Sed Festival, As Told by Kheruef Who Witnessed It. In regnal year 30, Amunhotep III celebrated the first of his sed-festivals. This was a spectacular event, with a number of rituals and performances celebrating the King’s reign, and renewing his authority on earth. Some of these rites were truly arcane,…

Episode 97: What Does the Scarab Say?

Amunhotep III (Part 7): Three Tales of the Scarabs. From regnal years 9-11 (1932 – 1390 BCE), the royal court witnessed some very unusual developments. First, the King bagged his 100th lion while hunting. Then, the court welcomed a foreign princess, Gilu-khepa, who arrived as a diplomatic bride for the King. Finally, the court witnessed…

Mini Episode: Memphis River Blues

A scribe yearns for a holiday… Between 1400 and 1300 BCE, scribes wrote poems in a genre that I call “Memphis Blues.” They wrote of their tiredness, their need for a holiday, and their longing to travel to the great city of Men-nefer, aka Memphis. As they composed these works, they participated in a tradition that has…

Mini Episode: Love Songs

A look at New Kingdom love songs, as they survive. We see how the Egyptians felt and explored love, and encounter songs written from both the male and female perspective… Direct Download (Save As mp3) Bibliography Renata Landgrafova, Sex and the Golden Goddess: Ancient Egyptian Love Songs in Context 2009. A.G. McDowell, Village Life in…