The Ancient Egyptian Tale of Two Brothers: A Mythological, Religious, Literary and Historico-Political Study [Paperback]

Susan Tower Hollis (Author)

ISBN: 9780977409426 | Published by: Bannerstone Press | Year of Publication: 2008 | Language: English 239p, 29 b/w illus

The Ancient Egyptian Tale of Two Brothers


^DWhat is the meaning of this story from antiquity, so similar in form to the European folktale? The "Tale of Two Brothers" describes a rite of passage, telling the the nearly universal story of a
handsome and chaste young shepherd who rejects seduction by a
powerful older woman and, after many adventures, becomes king.
The story of this shepherd, Bata, is intertwined with that of his
brother Anubis who, deceived at first, is unceasing in his
efforts to restore his brother and eventually becomes king
himself. The tale also has traits peculiar to ancient Egypt,
notably that the main characters are gods as well as kings. Bata
and Anubis are both divine figures connected with Egypts mortuary
cults, and their story is replete with religious symbols of
rebirth. Using comparative analysis, the author makes a major
contribution to our understanding of a story that has puzzled folklorists for almost 140 years. At the same time, she
constructs a model for examining ancient narratives, neither
denying their cultural context nor allowing it to impede
understanding. To provide this ancient context, Susan Tower
Hollis utilizes a variety of works, including literary,
mythological and wisdom texts, cultic materials, historical and
political works, and Egyptian paintings, reliefs and

The second edition of this classic and long out-of-print text
takes into account further scholarship on the "Tale of Two
Brothers" since its original publication in 1990 and contains a
new, updated bibliography.

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