"Stop, O Poison, That I May Find Your Name According to Your Aspect”:  A Preliminary Study on the Ambivalent Notion of Poison and the Demonization of the Scorpion's Sting in Ancient Egypt and Abroad

Abstract

The scope of this paper is to present a novel exposition of the ambivalent notion of poison and venomous agents, especially scorpions, in ancient Egyptian magical literature, seeking contemporary variants in Greek mythos and praxis. Emphasis is given to the notion of change and ambiguity in the usage of the relevant terminology (mtwt, mw-mr, ἰός and φάρμακον, venenum), and the employment of certain intertextual motifs that show the lack of any firm background behind the personification of scorpions and venom as distinct/demonic individuals in the texts under examination. On the contrary, their realization is closely dependent upon the contextual framework and verbal methodology (word play in context and formulae) applied in each case, an issue which parallels the ambiguity of the “demonic” conception in the Egyptian belief system.

How to Cite

Kousoulis, P., (2011) “"Stop, O Poison, That I May Find Your Name According to Your Aspect”: A Preliminary Study on the Ambivalent Notion of Poison and the Demonization of the Scorpion's Sting in Ancient Egypt and Abroad”, Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections 3(3), p.14-26. doi: https://doi.org/10.2458/azu_jaei_v03i3_kousoulis

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Panagiotis Kousoulis (University of the Aegean)

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