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Part 2. Transformations of scale

Size matters: Reconsidering Horus on the crocodiles in miniature

Question de taille: Reconsidération de Horus sur les crocodiles en miniature
Jane Draycott
p. 123-133

Résumés

Un cippus Horus est un type spécifique de stèle magique dont on pensait qu’elle protégeait des animaux sauvages. Il en existait dans une variété de dimensions, certains assez petits pour être portés sur le corps comme des amulettes, tandis que d’autres étaient érigés comme monuments dans la cour d’un temple. Ce chapitre étudie les petits cippi que voyageurs et pèlerins portaient sur eux dans leur pérégrination. Renonçant, pour les caractériser, à une terminologie imprécise et nocive, tels que les mots « miniature » et « monumental », je vais montrer que les variantes de taille reflètent un continuum entre les domaines religieux et domestique, les individus adaptant les pratiques religieuses institutionnelles à leurs propres besoins pratiques. À l’aide d’illustrations et d’inscriptions, je vais aussi montrer que le changement de forme du cippus Horus représente un changement de fonction.

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Entrées d’index

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Texte intégral

1. Introduction

  • 1 Lévi-Strauss, 1962, p. 10.
  • 2 Kákosy, 1980a, cols. 60-62, s.v. ‘Horusstele’; Kákosy, 1980b, cols. 1162-64, s.v. ‘Magische Stelen’ (...)

1According to Claude Lévi-Strauss, ‘sacred objects…contribute to the maintenance of order in the universe by occupying the places allocated to them’.1 This chapter focuses on one category of sacred object that was produced and utilised in Egypt and the surrounding regions from the Late period through to the Roman period (747 BCE-CE 395): a type of apotropaic artefact known as the Horus cippus.2

  • 3 Ritner, 1989, p. 105.
  • 4 For detailed discussion, publication and cataloguing of Horus cippi, see Daressy, 1903; Moret, 1915 (...)

2The ancient Egyptians believed that Horus cippus protected the owner or bearer against attacks by wild animals. It was also employed to effect healing after the fact, for example, if its protective powers proved insufficient and the owner or bearer was harmed.3 The several hundred surviving examples make it clear that Horus cippi could be made from a variety of different materials including wood, faience, stone, and marble.4 Horus cippi depict an iconographical motif that is known to modern scholars as ‘Horus on the Crocodiles’. Although the precise components of the images vary from cippus to cippus, they generally show the god Horus in the form of a naked child, his hair arranged in a side-lock, trampling crocodiles and strangling other wild creatures such as lions, gazelles, snakes, and scorpions, and overseen by the dwarf god Bes, a protective deity associated with the family—particularly babies and children—and home. In addition to the motif, Horus cippi are frequently—but crucially not always—inscribed with religious and magical texts and were available in a range of sizes; from small and portable enough for an individual to wear as amulet or otherwise carry around, to stelai large enough to be set up as monuments in the courtyards of temples. Consequently, while Horus cippi are certainly recognised as having been sacred objects during this period, establishing the precise way in which they contributed to the maintenance of order in the universe is problematic.

2. Liminality

  • 5 Jackson, 2002.
  • 6 P. Oslo 1:5.
  • 7 PGM 7: 370-73.
  • 8 P. Tebt. 2:333. See Bernand, 1972, for proskynema inscriptions to Pan Euhodos dating throughout the (...)

3In the academic discipline of anthropology, the geographical centre, associated with civilisation and culture, is commonly placed in direct opposition to the periphery, associated with all that is uncivilised and wild. Thanks to Egypt’s peculiar geography, its metaphorical civilised centre is the actual, physical centre of the region. It is constituted by the narrow strips of agricultural land on either side of the Nile, running from the Delta in the North to Aswan in the South. The periphery consists of the deserts beyond this, which constitute over ninety-five per cent of Egypt’s land, stretching from the borders of Libya in the West to the coast of the Red Sea in the East.5 With the exception of the comparatively few oases and quarry settlements located out in the Eastern and Western Deserts, the villages, towns, and cities of Egypt are all found along the Nile River and in proximity to its irrigation system. Both the public and private buildings located within these communities could be protected against potentially hostile forces; one magical spell dating to between the fourth and fifth centuries CE exhorts friendly deities to ‘protect this house with those who live here from all evil, from every kind of witchcraft, from spirits in the air and from the human eye; from terrible toil, from the bites of scorpions and snakes’.6 However, once an individual had left the safety of civilisation and ventured out into the wilderness in an attempt to traverse the liminal space—whether for short journeys such as fishing or hunting trips or longer ones such as religious pilgrimages—such localised protection was no longer sufficient. Consequently, for the inhabitants of ancient Egypt, undertaking even a short journey involved travelling into a realm that was both figuratively and literally liminal. A petition dating from 216 CE indicates how dangerous hunting could be, while a magical spell dating to the third or fourth centuries CE specifies the dangers that people ran the risk of encountering when travelling: wild animals, marauding tribesmen, and desperate criminals.7 Copious graffiti left at places of pilgrimage such as the remote shrine of the Egyptian god Min—equated with the Greek god Pan—at el-Kanaϊs, are addressed to Pan Euhodos, the god of good or successful journeys, and offer thanks for a safe end to what would clearly have been an extremely dangerous trip.8

  • 9 Numerous documentary papyri detail encounters their writers had with Egypt’s native species of wild (...)
  • 10 Diod. Sic. 1.24.6.
  • 11 Collins, 2002, p. 352.
  • 12 Frankfurter, 2004, p. 101.
  • 13 Ibid.

4Assuming the iconography of ‘Horus on the Crocodiles’ was originally intended to be interpreted literally, the creatures that constitute it were certainly present in Egypt and the inhabitants interacted with them to varying degrees during the Late, Ptolemaic, and Roman periods.9 It is feasible that when individuals travelled on the Nile and out into the deserts, crocodiles, lions, snakes, scorpions, and gazelles may have been within their immediate field of vision. According to Diodorus Siculus, writing in the middle of the first century BCE, ‘The upper part of [Egypt] is to this day desert and infested with wild beasts’.10 The creatures selected for inclusion in the ‘Horus on the Crocodiles’ motif, however, may not have been chosen just for the physical danger they posed. It has been suggested that the crocodile, lion, snake, scorpion, and gazelle are all symbolic of the wilderness, representing the forces of chaos.11 David Frankfurter has pointed out that while crocodiles and lions are naturally aggressive and snakes and scorpions venomous, gazelles and antelopes are not necessarily physically dangerous.12 Rather, they may have been intended to represent the fauna of the wilderness and the desert that is the realm of Seth, the god of chaos, ‘against which Egyptian religion juxtaposed kingship, order, and cultivated lands’.13

3. Monumental vs. miniature

  • 14 New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art 50.85.
  • 15 Scott, 1951, p. 203; this statement is echoed by Kousoulis, 2002, p. 53.
  • 16 Frankfurter, 1998, p. 47.
  • 17 Abdi, 2002, p. 203.
  • 18 London, British Museum EA 27373.

5The terminology used by modern scholars to describe individual Horus cippi is telling. The larger examples are described as monumental in both senses of the word, as being very large or impressive, and also serving as a monument. The Metternich Stele is clearly both simultaneously (see figure 1).14 It was commissioned during the reign of the Pharaoh Nectanebo II (360-43 BCE) by the priest Nesu-Atūm / Esatum (literally ‘Belonging to the god Atūm’) to be set up in the burial place of the Mnēvis bulls—creatures sacred to Atūm—at Heliopolis. According to Nora Scott, ‘the Metternich Stela [sic] is the largest, finest, and most complete of the [Horus] cippi both in texts and illustrations, as well as being in an almost miraculous state of preservation’.15 Additionally, Frankfurter has stated that the entire corpus of Horus cippi is best exemplified by it.16 Since its discovery in 1828 and subsequent publication in 1877, scholars have habitually used the Metternich Stele as an archetype. It is utilised as a starting point from which to begin study of other Horus cippi, with the text and illustrations inscribed upon it employed as a means of deciphering those found on other specimens.17 Since the Metternich Stele’s dimensions are 83.5 x 33.5 x 14.4 cm, the smaller examples are accordingly described using the adjective miniature; that is ‘of a much smaller size than normal’. But was the Metternich Stele normal? How large must a Horus cippus be before it is appropriate to describe it as monumental? Likewise, how small must a Horus cippus be before it is appropriate to describe it as miniature? Should a steatite Horus cippus dating from the Ptolemaic period with dimensions 22 x 4.88 x 2.71 cm—depicting Bes overseeing Horus standing on top of a heap of three crocodiles and a snake with a snake and a scorpion in each hand on the front, two registers of Egyptian deities and fifteen registers of hieroglyphic text on the back, and more text inscribed upon the edges and the base—be rightly considered monumental or miniature (see figure 2)?18 It is only a quarter of the size of the Metternich Stele, but it is almost ten times the size of some Horus cippi. The use of such terminology as monumental and miniature—and the binary opposition that these imply—gives the impression that Horus cippi come in two sizes, small and large, as opposed to a whole range, and that small Horus cippi should not be viewed as objects in their own right, but rather as miniaturised versions of larger ones.

  • 19 Lévi-Strauss, 1962, p. 23.
  • 20 Cairo, Cairo Museum 46341 and 9402.
  • 21 Frankfurter, 1998, p. 48.
  • 22 Traunecker, 1983, p. 64-92.
  • 23 Traunecker, 1983, p. 75.

6In his discussion of the process of miniaturisation, Lévi-Strauss suggested that ‘being smaller, the object as a whole seems less formidable. By being quantitatively diminished, it seems to us qualitatively simplified’.19 It seems to me, however, that such a reversal does not apply to Horus cippi. Rather, it is the so-called monumental Horus cippi that are qualitatively simplified because their purpose and usage remain static. According to the texts inscribed upon them, they appear to have been set up as healing shrines within temple precincts in order to dispense magical water to suppliants that would then have been drunk by or poured upon the one afflicted. Each cippus was either set into or alongside a base that incorporated channels or basins so that water could be poured over the cippus and collected, having absorbed the power emanating from the inscribed magical spells. Some Horus cippi that have been removed from their original contexts are still attached to their basins.20 Alternatively, some temple complexes appear to have been used to house them although the cippi are no longer there. A chapel at Karnak dating from the Late period (746-332 BCE) has healing spells carved into its walls and possibly once contained a Horus cippus or a similar healing statue.21 The Mut Temple complex at Luxor contains a chapel dating to the Twenty fifth or sixth Dynasty (747-525 BCE), upon the walls of which texts similar to those on the Metternich Stele are carved. It is also assumed to have once contained a similar monumental Horus cippus.22 Also at Luxor, the Opet Temple and the Amon Temple both contain bases for similar healing statues.23

  • 24 Smith, 1995, p. 24.
  • 25 Moyer and Dieleman, 2003, p. 67.
  • 26 Petrie, 1885, p. 34.
  • 27 Ivory sundial: British Museum EA 68475 (2.8 x 5.1 x 3.1 cm); Bes statues: British Museum EA 22378 ( (...)
  • 28 Evans and Marée, 2008, p. 3.
  • 29 British Museum Greek Coin Hoard 1724; see also Favard-Meeks, 1998, p. 164 #102; Clay seal: British (...)
  • 30 Evans and Marée, 2008, p. 13.
  • 31 The Horus cippus amulet is made of faience; see Ritner, 1998, p. 1040 for the possible significance (...)

7The so-called miniature Horus cippi—far from being qualitatively simplified—are actually imbued with a variety of complex meanings and associations that are not necessarily present in the so-called monumental ones. Jonathan Smith has observed that one of the most striking features of the corpus of Greek magical papyri was what he termed the miniaturisation [sic] of temple rituals, i.e., the process by which such rituals were adapted for use in a domestic context or by a mobile practitioner.24 Ian Moyer and Jacco Dieleman subsequently applied this theory to PGM XII: 270-350, a text that prescribes the rituals required for the creation and use of a magical ring, the result of which is the transformation of the ring’s engraved gemstone into a miniature cult statue, ‘no longer situated in the temple, but portable and always available for a more itinerant or domestic praxis… characteristic of the mobile and entrepreneurial practice of the Late Antique ritual specialist’.25 As noted above, however, I find the use of the term miniature to be problematic. I would describe this practice as the adaptation rather than the miniaturisation of temple rituals. I would also suggest that this practice was not restricted to the priestly class and ritual specialists of the Late Antique period (third-seventh centuries CE). There is strong evidence to support the suggestion that this practice occurred in Egypt much earlier than the Late Antique period. An assemblage was recovered from the burnt remains of a house located inside the west wall of the enclosure of the Temple of Amun at Tanis (modern San el-Hagar) and excavated by William Flinders Petrie in 1884.26 Petrie recovered a variety of items, most now in the British Museum, including a miniature sundial carved from hippopotamus ivory, a pair of terracotta statues of the dwarf god Bes, a small bronze statuette of the god Osiris, and a number of amulets, one of which is a Horus cippus.27 Despite the location of the house within an Egyptian temple enclosure and the Egyptian elements of the assemblage, the sundial is designed according to Greek geometrical gnomonics and even has a Greek word, ΙΣΗΜΕΡΙΑ, ‘equinox’, inscribed upon it.28 Petrie dated the assemblage to the end of the Hellenistic period on the basis of coins dating from the reign of Kleopatra VII (51-30 BCE).29 James Evans and Marcel Marée are of the opinion that the inhabitant of the house was attached to the Temple of Amun as an administrator or a priest, utilising the sundial during the course of his priestly duties.30 The combination of the sundial, statues, and amulets indicates that, as posited by Moyer and Dieleman with regard to their Late Antique ritual text and magical ring, this particular priest was adapting and redeploying traditional forms of temple ritual for his own specific purposes. The fact that he owned a Horus cippus, pierced twice for suspension, in addition to one Osiris amulet, one phallic amulet, and two eye of Horus amulets made of blue and green glass respectively, implies that he could choose on any given occasion which amulet was the most suitable for the task in question.31

  • 32 The Greek terms for amulet, περίαμμον and περίαπτον, are actually derived from the verb περιάπτειν, (...)
  • 33 Axum (Ptolemaic): Phillips, 1997, p. 449; Nippur (Achaemenid): Johnson, 1975, p. 143-50; Rome: Ritn (...)
  • 34 Sternberg-El Hotabi, 1987, p. 28.
  • 35 Tehran, Iran National Museum 2013/103; Abdi, 2002, p. 203-10.
  • 36 For the foundation text, which includes reference to ‘the men who adorned the wall, those were Mede (...)

8So is there evidence to suggest that so-called miniature Horus cippi likewise represent an adaptation or miniaturisation of temple rituals? Unlike the so-called monumental Horus cippi that were built into temple walls and situated within temple courtyards, so-called miniature Horus cippi were portable. While the portability of certain examples such as the Horus cippus from Tanis noted above is clearly indicated by the fact that they are pierced for suspension, implying that they were worn around the neck or wrist, the portability of others is implicit in where they were found.32 Horus cippi have been found at locations in Africa and the Middle East ranging from Axum in Ethiopia to Nippur in Iraq, and even as far away as Rome.33 Heike Sternberg-El Hotabi assumed that this was a result of Horus cippi being exported as trade goods.34 An alternative suggestion has been made by Kamyar Abdi. Abdi published a Horus cippus, dating to between the Twenty-sixth and Thirtieth Dynasties (664-343 BCE), which had been discovered at Susa in 1931.35 Since the cippus was not a particularly luxurious example, he doubted that it had been acquired as booty or given as a gift to an individual of high status and suggested instead that it had been brought to Iran by an individual of low status, such as an Egyptian soldier, or perhaps an artisan hired to contribute to the decoration of the palace of Darius I, as detailed in the foundation text.36 If Abdi’s interpretation of the Egyptian assemblage recovered from Susa is correct, it would appear that the adaptation or miniaturisation of temple rituals was not restricted to the priestly class and ritual practitioners, but was being undertaken by ordinary members of society as and when necessary.

4. Text and iconotext

  • 37 Ritner, 1989, p. 112-13; Abdi, 2002, p. 203.
  • 38 See for example Ritner, 1989, p. 112.

9The utilisation of the texts and illustrations of extensively inscribed Horus cippi such as the Metternich Stele in an attempt to somehow ‘fill in the gaps’ left by the texts and illustrations of other cippi implies that these less extensively inscribed or even entirely uninscribed cippi are somehow incomplete.37 This promotes the reading of each ‘Horus on the Crocodiles’ as an iconotext, an image whose interpretation depends upon the texts accompanying it. Scholars consider that the better examples are those with the more texts present and devalue those that have few or even none at all.38 Amulets certainly do not include anything like the amount of text and illustration found typically on stelai, but is this simply due to lack of space? Or is this difference in form perhaps indicative of a difference in function? Did the function of the Horus cippus change during the process by which the temple rituals concerning it underwent a process of adaptation or miniaturisation?

  • 39 On the change from the use of hieroglyphs to imitation sacred writing, see Sternberg-El Hotabi, 199 (...)
  • 40 Bolton, Bolton Museum 1886.28:57; see Sternberg-El Hotabi, 1999, p. 96.
  • 41 Paris, Musée du Louvre E 15824 and E 15825.
  • 42 Paris, Musée du Louvre E 929.

10I would argue against reading ‘Horus on the Crocodiles’ as an iconotext. The spaces that the amulets have available for illustration are devoted primarily to depictions of Horus trampling crocodiles and strangling other wild creatures including lions, gazelles, snakes, and scorpions, but there are still spaces available on the side and rear surfaces. In numerous cases, the engraver chose to utilise these spaces and inscribe them with religious and magical texts. In some cases inscribed texts only imitate the hieroglyphic script or dispense with it entirely in favour of Greek and in others there were no texts inscribed at all: the back, sides and base of many Horus cippi were left blank.39 Simply put, in the case of these amulets, the iconography seems to have been more crucial than the texts. With regard to one of these uninscribed amulets, a limestone Horus cippus of dimensions 6.8 x 5.3 x 2.4 cm and dating to the Graeco-Roman period (332 BCE-CE 395), it could be argued that the artist lacked the skill necessary for such fine work.40 The incised figure of Horus, wearing the double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt and holding a sceptre, is crudely done and the amulet itself is poorly shaped (see figure 3). If religious and magical texts were considered crucial to the efficacy of the amulet, however, then surely some attempt would have been made, either by the original artist or by a second artisan drafted in to supplement his or her work specifically for that purpose, to provide something of the sort? Meanwhile, two other uninscribed amulets—a faience Horus cippus of dimensions 3.1 x 1.5 x 0.2 cm, dating to the Ptolemaic period (332-30 BCE), and a faience Horus cippus of dimensions 2.7 x 1.1 x 1 cm, also dating to the Ptolemaic period—could be argued to be too small for detailed text and illustrations (see figure 4).41 Precisely how much space does one simple spell—or a reasonable facsimile of one simple spell—need? In other cases a lack of skill on the part of the artist or too small a space to inscribe detailed text and illustrations is extremely unlikely to be the reason that an amulet was not inscribed with text in addition to the ‘Horus on the Crocodiles’ iconographical motif. A serpentine Horus cippus of dimensions 22.7 x 1.11 x 8.0 cm and dating to the Ptolemaic period (332-30 BCE) depicts Horus standing with two snakes and a scorpion in each hand, supplemented by an oryx in his right hand and a lion in his left hand, while simultaneously trampling two crocodiles. The two crocodiles are carved in such fine detail that their eyes, teeth and scales are clearly visible (see figure 5).42 The sides and rear surface allow sufficient space for inscribing text and the artist was clearly dexterous enough to undertake such an action, so, again, if religious and magical texts were considered crucial to the efficacy of the amulet, why not include them?

11It is worth considering that the way in which such Horus cippi were utilised as amulets may have precluded the reading of texts inscribed upon them, assuming that an individual in possession of one was even capable of reading in the first place. When worn around the neck or wrist, at least one side of the cippus, presumably the inscribed side, due to its flatter surface, would be pressed against the skin and thus hidden from view. If the amulet was worn underneath clothing, moreover, neither side would be visible, so the text would be unreadable, whether or not it was inscribed upon the side of the cippus closest to the skin and / or around the edges. If the purpose of the inscribed text was to be read, either by the individual wearing the amulet or by anyone else around him or her, then obviously such a thing would be difficult, if not impossible, to accomplish when the amulet was being worn in this way. If, however, the purpose of the inscribed text was not to be read but to imbue the amulet with religious or magical power gleaned from the spells inscribed, then perhaps simply maintaining contact with the individual or even with their bare skin was more important than the legibility of the spells.

12So how should we interpret those Horus cippi where the absence of any inscribed text was seemingly motivated by choice rather than necessity? In these cases, the iconography appears to have been considered either more important or simply more necessary than the text. But why is this so? Were these amulets perhaps personally commissioned and specially made for people who could not read? One crucial difference between Horus cippi located in temples or temple courtyards and those worn as amulets, not only outside of religious contexts but perhaps also outside of civilisation as a whole, was the presence of priests who were able to read the religious and magical inscriptions inscribed upon them. Those uninscribed Horus cippi could have been uninscribed precisely because they were not intended to be read by anyone, whether or not the individual in question was a priest. So the small, portable, so-called miniature Horus cippi could be seen to reflect a continuum between the religious and domestic spheres, with people adapting institutional religious practices for their own pragmatic purposes, even if this adaptation does not necessarily involve a straightforward process of miniaturisation such as that suggested by Moyer and Dieleman.

5. Conclusion

13While so-called monumental Horus cippi remained in the courtyards and chapels of Egyptian temples, located at the very centre of civilisation, so-called miniature Horus cippi in the form of amulets were worn or carried on the body, portable and consequently often in transit. That is not to suggest that Horus cippi amulets were simply miniaturised versions of the so-called monumental ones. I have argued against the prevailing use of prejudicial and inaccurate terminology such as miniature and monumental to describe these artefacts. Rather, Horus cippi were available for purchase in a whole range of sizes, and each cippus—particularly if in the form of an amulet—had a form and function entirely its own, specific to the needs of its wearer or bearer.

14Just as the spell PGM XII: 270-350 transformed a gemstone into a cult statue, as noted earlier, so might Horus cippi be transformed into cult statues, ensuring that their owners could bring civilisation with them whenever they left the relative safety of their home and travelled out into liminal areas. To an ancient Egyptian traveller, such an amulet would serve the dual purpose of apotropaism and protection, with the additional possibility of ensuring magical healing for a wound inflicted by a dangerous animal if such a thing became necessary. The image of ‘Horus on the Crocodiles’ seems to have enabled these qualities of apotropaism, protection, and healing, whether or not it was combined with a selection of religious and / or magical texts or the use of faience.

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Bibliographie

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Annexe

Figure 1. Front, full length view of the Metternich Stele, Metropolitan Museum of Art 50.85

Figure 1. Front, full length view of the Metternich Stele, Metropolitan Museum of Art 50.85

Drawing: author

Figure 2. Front, full length view of a Horus cippus, British Museum EA 27373

Figure 2. Front, full length view of a Horus cippus, British Museum EA 27373

© The Trustees of the British Museum

Figure 3. Front, full-length view of a Horus cippus in the Bolton Museum, BOLMG: 1886.28.57

Figure 3. Front, full-length view of a Horus cippus in the Bolton Museum, BOLMG: 1886.28.57

Figure 4. Front, rear, and side, full-length views of a Horus cippus, Paris, Musée du Louvre E 15825.

Figure 4. Front, rear, and side, full-length views of a Horus cippus, Paris, Musée du Louvre E 15825.

Drawing: author.

Figure 5. Front and rear, full-length views of a Horus cippus, Paris, Musée du Louvre E 929

Figure 5. Front and rear, full-length views of a Horus cippus, Paris, Musée du Louvre E 929

Drawing: author.

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Notes

1 Lévi-Strauss, 1962, p. 10.

2 Kákosy, 1980a, cols. 60-62, s.v. ‘Horusstele’; Kákosy, 1980b, cols. 1162-64, s.v. ‘Magische Stelen’. The term ‘apotropaism’ is taken from the Greek ἀποτρέπω, meaning ‘to turn away’ or ‘to turn back’, and refers to the use of magical or religious ritual to anticipate and ward off evil.

3 Ritner, 1989, p. 105.

4 For detailed discussion, publication and cataloguing of Horus cippi, see Daressy, 1903; Moret, 1915, p. 213-87; Seele, 1947, p. 43-52; Ritner, 1989, p. 112-14; Sternberg-El Hotabi, 1994a, p. 27-56; Kákosy, 1998, p. 125-37; Sternberg-El Hotabi, 1999; Frankfurter, 2004, p. 97-109; Gasse, 2004.

5 Jackson, 2002.

6 P. Oslo 1:5.

7 PGM 7: 370-73.

8 P. Tebt. 2:333. See Bernand, 1972, for proskynema inscriptions to Pan Euhodos dating throughout the Ptolemaic period, e.g. SB 1:1558, dating to 254 BCE.

9 Numerous documentary papyri detail encounters their writers had with Egypt’s native species of wildlife. Crocodiles: P. Tebt. 3:793; and P. Cair. Zen 3:59379; Lions: P. Oxy. 1085; Scorpions: O. Claud. 212; and 223, O. Cairo Museum 60329.

10 Diod. Sic. 1.24.6.

11 Collins, 2002, p. 352.

12 Frankfurter, 2004, p. 101.

13 Ibid.

14 New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art 50.85.

15 Scott, 1951, p. 203; this statement is echoed by Kousoulis, 2002, p. 53.

16 Frankfurter, 1998, p. 47.

17 Abdi, 2002, p. 203.

18 London, British Museum EA 27373.

19 Lévi-Strauss, 1962, p. 23.

20 Cairo, Cairo Museum 46341 and 9402.

21 Frankfurter, 1998, p. 48.

22 Traunecker, 1983, p. 64-92.

23 Traunecker, 1983, p. 75.

24 Smith, 1995, p. 24.

25 Moyer and Dieleman, 2003, p. 67.

26 Petrie, 1885, p. 34.

27 Ivory sundial: British Museum EA 68475 (2.8 x 5.1 x 3.1 cm); Bes statues: British Museum EA 22378 (42.8 x 13.12 cm); Osiris statuette: British Museum EA 22693 (4.2 x 1.4 cm); Horus cippus: British Museum EA 15916 (2.73 x 1.42 x 0.8 cm).

28 Evans and Marée, 2008, p. 3.

29 British Museum Greek Coin Hoard 1724; see also Favard-Meeks, 1998, p. 164 #102; Clay seal: British Museum 15932; see also Favard-Meeks, 1998, p. 114.

30 Evans and Marée, 2008, p. 13.

31 The Horus cippus amulet is made of faience; see Ritner, 1998, p. 1040 for the possible significance of the use of faience to make apotropaic amulets specifically designed to repel scorpions, a reference to the fact that the epithet ‘faience-eyed’, κυανώπιδες, was used to describe the seven scorpion wives of Horus, while the epithet ‘faience-faced’ was used to describe one particular wife, Ta-Bitchet.

32 The Greek terms for amulet, περίαμμον and περίαπτον, are actually derived from the verb περιάπτειν, ‘to tie on’, while the English term phylactery, signifying a protective amulet, comes from the Greek term φυλακτἡριον, from the verb φυλάσσειν, ‘to protect’.

33 Axum (Ptolemaic): Phillips, 1997, p. 449; Nippur (Achaemenid): Johnson, 1975, p. 143-50; Rome: Ritner, 1989, p. 106.

34 Sternberg-El Hotabi, 1987, p. 28.

35 Tehran, Iran National Museum 2013/103; Abdi, 2002, p. 203-10.

36 For the foundation text, which includes reference to ‘the men who adorned the wall, those were Medes and Egyptian’, see Kent, 1953, p. 144; Abdi, 2002, p. 210.

37 Ritner, 1989, p. 112-13; Abdi, 2002, p. 203.

38 See for example Ritner, 1989, p. 112.

39 On the change from the use of hieroglyphs to imitation sacred writing, see Sternberg-El Hotabi, 1994b, p. 218-45. For one example inscribed with imitation hieroglyphs, see London, Petrie Museum UC 16545, a black steatite Horus cippus dating from the Ptolemaic period.

40 Bolton, Bolton Museum 1886.28:57; see Sternberg-El Hotabi, 1999, p. 96.

41 Paris, Musée du Louvre E 15824 and E 15825.

42 Paris, Musée du Louvre E 929.

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Table des illustrations

Titre Figure 1. Front, full length view of the Metternich Stele, Metropolitan Museum of Art 50.85
Crédits Drawing: author
URL http://pallas.revues.org/docannexe/image/2124/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 120k
Titre Figure 2. Front, full length view of a Horus cippus, British Museum EA 27373
Crédits © The Trustees of the British Museum
URL http://pallas.revues.org/docannexe/image/2124/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 416k
Titre Figure 3. Front, full-length view of a Horus cippus in the Bolton Museum, BOLMG: 1886.28.57
URL http://pallas.revues.org/docannexe/image/2124/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 140k
Titre Figure 4. Front, rear, and side, full-length views of a Horus cippus, Paris, Musée du Louvre E 15825.
Crédits Drawing: author.
URL http://pallas.revues.org/docannexe/image/2124/img-4.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 56k
Titre Figure 5. Front and rear, full-length views of a Horus cippus, Paris, Musée du Louvre E 929
Crédits Drawing: author.
URL http://pallas.revues.org/docannexe/image/2124/img-5.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 146k
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Pour citer cet article

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Jane Draycott, « Size matters: Reconsidering Horus on the crocodiles in miniature », Pallas, 86 | 2011, 123-133.

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Jane Draycott, « Size matters: Reconsidering Horus on the crocodiles in miniature », Pallas [En ligne], 86 | 2011, mis en ligne le 30 octobre 2011, consulté le 17 novembre 2017. URL : http://pallas.revues.org/2124 ; DOI : 10.4000/pallas.2124

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Auteur

Jane Draycott

University of Nottingham
abxjd1@nottingham.ac.uk

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Pallas – Revue d'études antiques est mis à disposition selon les termes de la licence Creative Commons Attribution - Pas d'Utilisation Commerciale - Pas de Modification 4.0 International.

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