Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 4 of 4 items for

  • Author or Editor: Jiri Janak x
  • Search level: All x
Clear All


According to the Egyptian concept of the Afterlife, the deceased had to prove his or her readiness to enter the Afterlife in an assessment of character represented by the so-called Judgment of the Dead. Although the idea of a judgment over misdeeds of the deceased can be traced back to the Old Kingdom, the earliest developed and pictorially expressed form of the concept comes from the New Kingdom. Ever since then, the notion of the Judgment of the Dead and its pictorial representation was so widely used that it became one of the most iconic images of the ancient Egyptian religion. The scene of the Judgment of the Dead have even influenced the Judaeo-Christian eschaatolgical concepts. Although it has been studied since the beginnings of Egyptology, the interpretation of the ideas on the Judgment of the Dead still provokes many unanswered questions. Two of those (on the nature of the “judgment” and on the weight of the deceased’s heart) lie in the focus of the present paper. It is argued that the so-called “negative confession” of the Judgment of the Dead (Book of the Dead, spell 125) represents neither an apocalyptic judgment nor a simple separation of the blessed and the damned, but that it rather resembles an “immigration interview”. It is also suggested that captions to the judgment scene (as attested in the Book of the Dead) witness that the ancient Egyptians believed that a heavy heart, filled with wisdom, piety and maat, represented the ideal, as opposed to the late Christian concept of a heart burdened by sin.

In: In the House of Heqanakht


The Story of Sinuhe is one of the best preserved, best known, and most often read, translated, analysed, and discussed literary texts from ancient Egypt. It has been known for more than a century and has inspired both Egyptologists and fiction writers. Yet, despite all that modern scholarship has achieved so far, many would agree that the story has not been fully understood with regards to its form, meaning and context.

In: Middle Kingdom Palace Culture and Its Echoes in the Provinces
In: Social Memory Theory and Conceptions of Afterlife in Jewish and Christian Antiquity
Why are conceptions of afterlife so diverse in both Jewish and Christian antiquity? This collection of essays offers explanations for this diversity through the lens of social memory theory. The contributors attempt to understand how and why received traditions about the afterlife needed to be altered, invented and even forgotten if they were to have relevance in the present. Select ancient texts conveying the hopes and fears of the afterlife are viewed as products of transmission processes that appropriated the past in conformity with identity constructs of each community. The range of literature in this collection spans from the earliest receptions of Israelite traditions within early Judaism to the Patristic/Rabbinic period.