City of the Ram-Man: The Story of Ancient Mendes

City of the Ram-Man: The Story of Ancient Mendes

by Donald B. Redford

Hardcover

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Overview

In this richly illustrated book, renowned archaeologist Donald Redford draws on the latest discoveries—including many of his own—to tell the story of the ancient Egyptian city of Mendes, home of the mysterious cult of the "fornicating ram who mounts the beauties." Excavation by Redford and his colleagues over the past two decades has cast a flood of light on this strange center of worship and political power located in the Nile Delta. A sweeping chronological account filled with photographs, drawings, and informative sidebars, City of the Ram-Man is the first history of Mendes written for general readers.

Founded in the remote prehistoric past, inhabited continuously for 5,000 years, and abandoned only in the first-century BC, Mendes is a microcosm of ancient Egyptian history. City of the Ram-Man tells the city's full story—from its founding, through its development of a great society and its brief period as the capital of Egypt, up to its final decline. Central to the story is millennia of worship dedicated to the lascivious ram-god. The book describes the discoveries of the great temple of the ram and the "Mansion of the Rams," where the embalmed bodies of the avatars of the god were buried. It also discusses ancient Greek reports that these ram-gods occasionally ritually fornicated with women.

Vividly written and informed throughout by Redford's intimate knowledge of the remains of Mendes, City of the Ram-Man is a unique account of a long-lost monument of Egyptian history, religion, and culture.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780691142265
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 07/21/2010
Pages: 264
Product dimensions: 8.10(w) x 10.00(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Donald B. Redford is a historian and archaeologist who has worked extensively in Egypt since 1975, directing a number of important excavations, notably at Mendes and Karnak. A professor at Pennsylvania State University, he is the author of many books, including Akhenaten: The Heretic King (Princeton). He is also the editor of The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations vii

List of Sidebars xiii

Preface xv

Introduction xvii

List of Abbreviations xxi

Chapter One: The Beginnings 1

Chapter Two: The Advent of Horus 8

Chapter Three: In the Time of the Residence 18

Chapter Four: The Collapse 42

Chapter Five: The Mysterious Centuries: The Middle Kingdom 58

Chapter Six: Mendes under the Empire Pharaohs 67

Chapter Seven: The Great Chiefs of the Meshwesh 95

Chapter Eight: Egypt in the Time of Troubles 111

Chapter Nine: The Ram, Lord of Djedet 124

Chapter Ten: The Saite Revival 138

Chapter Eleven: Mendes, the Capital of Egypt 144

Chapter Twelve: The Great Disaster 179

Chapter Thirteen: Dusk and Darkness: The End of Mendes 188

Notes and Further Readings 211

Index 231

What People are Saying About This

Holladay Jr.

This interesting and engaging book shows how one major archaeological field project—the excavations at Mendes—illuminates nearly the entire sweep of ancient Egyptian history. One of the major Egyptologists of his generation, Donald Redford is a giant, and this book plays on a giant stage. It is also a great read.
John S. Holladay Jr., professor emeritus, University of Toronto

Holladay

This interesting and engaging book shows how one major archaeological field project--the excavations at Mendes--illuminates nearly the entire sweep of ancient Egyptian history. One of the major Egyptologists of his generation, Donald Redford is a giant, and this book plays on a giant stage. It is also a great read.
John S. Holladay, Jr., professor emeritus, University of Toronto

Wilkinson

Donald Redford's City of the Ram-Man will interest specialists and armchair archaeologists alike. Redford looks at even the most complex archaeological and historical data with the eye of a storyteller. He constantly weaves interesting and often little-known details into the warp of his story, and his work is a rare thing—a consummate fusion of solid scholarship and truly readable history.
Richard H. Wilkinson, author of "The Complete Temples of Ancient Egypt"

From the Publisher

"This interesting and engaging book shows how one major archaeological field project—the excavations at Mendes—illuminates nearly the entire sweep of ancient Egyptian history. One of the major Egyptologists of his generation, Donald Redford is a giant, and this book plays on a giant stage. It is also a great read."—John S. Holladay Jr., professor emeritus, University of Toronto

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