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Author Levai, Jessica
Title Aspects of the goddess Nephthys, especially during the Graeco-Roman period in Egypt
book jacket
Descript 206 p
Note Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 68-07, Section: A, page: 2986
Adviser: Leo Depuydt
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Brown University, 2007
The lack of earlier source material and relying too much on the work of Plutarch has led to many misconceptions about Nephthys
The origins of Nephthys and the true meaning of her name remain a mystery. After examining the evidence, I conclude that Nephthys was originally a royal goddess. She was seen also as a giver of legitimate royal power. Nephthys's protection of the king and Re caused her to be identified with the uraeus. She shared characteristics with dynamic goddesses Hathor/Sekhmet and Tefnut, and warrior goddesses Neith and Anat. This may have been why Plutarch called her Nike
Many assume that Seth and Nephthys were married from the beginning of the Osiris myth. Despite being paired together in the Pyramid Texts, they did not form a complementary pair to Isis and Osiris. Seth and Nephthys's association was limited geographically and chronologically. The evidence from Egypt proper which shows the two together comes from the 18th dynasty or the Ramessid period, after which Seth fell out of favor. The Roman evidence comes from Dakhla and Kharga, outside traditional Egypt. There, Seth's protection of the sun was emphasized
Nephthys was shown allied with this aspect. These versions of the gods were not part of the Osiris myth. Nephthys was portrayed alongside Antaios at Qaw el-Kebir, in the tenth nome of Upper Egypt. Antaios was probably a version of the Greek giant who wrestled Heracles. Antaios is shown slaughtering an oryx. This ritual represented order over chaos. Thus the worship of the beneficent Seth influenced the tenth nome, shown also by the presence of Nephthys, Seth's partner in the nearby oases
From their earliest appearances, Isis and Nephthys doubled each other as mothers of Horus and wives of Osiris. By the Ptolemaic and Roman periods, however, Isis was established as the sole wife of Osiris. Any other goddess paired with him must have been illicitly so, and thus Nephthys became an adulteress, as recounted in Plutarch. The story of Nephthys and Osiris was referenced in a pair of love spells from this period
School code: 0024
Host Item Dissertation Abstracts International 68-07A
Subject Literature, Classical
Religion, History of
History, Ancient
Alt Author Brown University
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