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Helpful "Egyptology": Legends and Tomes about Egypt

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#1 deuce

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Posted 04 June 2016 - 04:15 AM

We don't seem to have a thread devoted to "historical" (by that, I don't mean "historically accurate", but sources/ideas/"facts" drawn from actual historical texts) Egyptology to use as plot/game ideas for pastiches and RPGs.

When it comes to "Egypt and the Mythos", this is the thread, IMO:

http://www.yog-sotho.../?hl=nephren-ka

This thread is (primarily) for accounts by people at the time talking about Egypt and its past. This stretches all the way from the Old Kingdom to the Jazz Age. Maybe an arbitrary cut-off, but all of these sources would be the ones HPL, Smith, Howard etc might have read somewhere.

Manifold were the legends, traditions and books bruited about regarding Egyptian history. Whether it was the Book of Thoth or the Bible or the Talmud or the Quran, all of these added to the crushing weight of lore that is the legacy of Egypt.

What I want to do with this thread is gather together sources to be referenced/name-checked/used in pastiches and RPGs. Believe me, "truth" is stranger than (most) fiction and why make up something with no foundation when one can base a tale on actual books and accounts? HPL did exactly that and "reinventing the wheel" has never been a virtuous nor worthwhile act.

"Nophru-Ka", anyone?

Occasionally, I could see posting about fringe/pseudo-scientific "news" that relates back to the sources on this thread.

Without further ado, here are pertinent links to Jason Colavito's blog. He's fairly famous as a debunker of pseudo-science/archaeology (he's also an HPL fan), but he holds an abiding interest in searching out the sources of various "esoteric" views today:

http://www.jasoncola...ml#.V0-B3lQrK1s

http://www.jasoncola...ramid-lore.html

http://www.jasoncola...hermetic-wisdom

http://www.jasoncola...ut-the-pyramids

http://www.jasoncola...e-great-pyramid

http://www.jasoncola...lt-the-pyramids

Jason has plenty more, but I'll stop there, for now. The various legendary factoids that could be worked in are there. A veritable cornucopia.

ozymandias-painting.jpg


The Sphinx, of course, is the center of HPL's "Beneath the Pyramids/Imprisoned with the Pharaohs". Its history is millennia-deep and quite convoluted.

The Arabs called the Sphinx "Abu al-Hawl" or "Abu-Hol": the "Father of Terror". Lovecraft never referenced this, but that appellation was quite well-known at the time. I've googled accounts from the 19th century and the name is still current today in Egypt.

This is an interesting book on the long cultural history of the Sphinx:

https://books.google... terror&f=false

One can scroll up/down and read most of the text. :)

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#2 noahghola

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Posted 04 June 2016 - 09:43 PM

Wonderful thread idea!

 

By way of a brief post, my girlfriend and I read a wonderful book about the largest tomb in the Valley of the Kings, called KV5, which consists of over 130 subterranean rooms, and is still under excavation today. The book is called The Lost Tomb, and has lots of photographs and diagrams which I could see being useful in any Egyptian adventure. The book's a little old, now, (1998) but still worth a read. The tomb is notable because it was intended as the burial place of Ramesses II's sons, and was known about in the early nineteenth century, but disappeared until being rediscovered in the 1990s. The Lost Tomb tells that story.



#3 deuce

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Posted 05 June 2016 - 04:33 AM

Wonderful thread idea!

 

By way of a brief post, my girlfriend and I read a wonderful book about the largest tomb in the Valley of the Kings, called KV5, which consists of over 130 subterranean rooms, and is still under excavation today. The book is called The Lost Tomb, and has lots of photographs and diagrams which I could see being useful in any Egyptian adventure. The book's a little old, now, (1998) but still worth a read. The tomb is notable because it was intended as the burial place of Ramesses II's sons, and was known about in the early nineteenth century, but disappeared until being rediscovered in the 1990s. The Lost Tomb tells that story.

 

Hey Noah!

 

Yeah, I enjoyed The Lost Tomb. When it comes to this thread, I found it most helpful when the book looked at the early accounts and then the later scholarly scepticism. That scepticism was blown out of the water. I really don't subscribe to many "fringe" theories, but this sort of thing gives leeway to any Mythos keeper planning an adventure in Egypt. Events continue to point up the fact that we don't "know" absolutely everything and that current paradigms aren't necessarily unassailable.

 

Tony Bushby certainly holds a few few unorthodox views:

 

http://www.bibliotec...piramide_25.htm

 

That said, when it comes to scholarship regarding pre-WWII Egyptology texts, Bushby seems legit when cross-referenced with Colavito. Plenty of red meat to chew on, Mythos-wise.

 

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#4 jlynn

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Posted 15 June 2016 - 09:57 PM

Well, if you're looking for something that you can use fairly easily, let me recommend Pulp Egypt, Adventures Along the Nile, 1933-1939, by Peter Schweighofer (published for "Anysystem").  I don't know how accurate it all is (though what I have bothered to check has been borne out by the record), but it gives a certain feel for the era, and with the release of Pulp Cthulhu coming shortly (and already done for us 7th Edition backers) it's become something really useful for CoC players.  I might also recommend Kenneth Hite's Tomb Hounds of Egypt, which is expressly written for Trail of Cthulhu...

 

I know you were really talking about actual historical works and discussions, but these guys have done some leg-work for you (and I particularly enjoy Kenneth Hite's off-beat brand of "stream of consciousness" connect-the-dots conspiracy thinking), and you might find both volumes interesting...and highly useful!  ;-)


Edited by jlynn, 15 June 2016 - 09:57 PM.


#5 rylehNC

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Posted 16 June 2016 - 01:36 AM

I've collated a list of titles Napoleon's savants might have consulted or even brought to Egypt (only to have been blown to shreds in Aboukir Bay), if anyone is interested. 


Edited by rylehNC, 16 June 2016 - 01:40 AM.

Happy is the tomb where no wizard hath lain, and happy the town at night whose wizards are all ashes.

-Ibn Schacabao

#6 OttoHarkaman

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Posted 16 June 2016 - 12:28 PM

This was an interesting book a read a couple summers ago. I hadn't realized how much he had financed a lot of the digs in the valley of the kings.

 

0027d3a4_medium.jpeg

 

John M. Adams, "The Millionaire and the Mummies: Theodore Davis's Gilded Age in the Valley of the Kings"

 

At the start of the twentieth century, Theodore Davis was the most famous archaeologist in the world; his career turned tomb-robbing and treasure-hunting into a science. Using six of Davis’s most important discoveries—from the female Pharaoh Hatshepsut’s sarcophagus to the exquisite shabti statuettes looted from the Egyptian Museum not too long ago—as a lens around which to focus his quintessentially American rags-to-riches tale, Adams chronicles the dizzying rise of a poor country preacher’s son who, through corruption and fraud, amassed tremendous wealth in Gilded Age New York and then atoned for his ruthless career by inventing new standards for systematic excavation. Davis found a record eighteen tombs in the Valley and, breaking with custom, gave all the spoils of his discoveries to museums. A confederate of Boss Tweed, friend of Teddy Roosevelt, and rival of J. P. Morgan, the colorful "American Lord Carnarvon" shared his Newport mansion with his Rembrandts, his wife, and his mistress. The only reason Davis has been forgotten by history to a large extent is probably the fact that he stopped just short of King Tutankhamen’s tomb, the discovery of which propelled Howard Carter (Davis’s erstwhile employee) to worldwide fame just a few short years later.



#7 deuce

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Posted 22 June 2016 - 06:02 AM

I've collated a list of titles Napoleon's savants might have consulted or even brought to Egypt (only to have been blown to shreds in Aboukir Bay), if anyone is interested. 

 

I'm quite interested.   :D  Very likely, some of those tomes would've been read by Alexis Ladeau and von Junzt as well.



#8 rylehNC

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Posted 22 June 2016 - 09:48 AM

Newer sources available in French:

 

qD’Anville, Jean Baptiste Bourguignon; Atlas of Africa (in French, 1749) 

 

qD’Anville; Mémoires sur l'Egypte ancienne et moderne (in French, 1766) 

 

qBelon, Pierre; De medicato funere seu cadavere condito et lugubri defunctorum ejulatione (in French, 1553)

 

qBelon; Les observations de plusieurs singularitez et choses memorables trouvées en Grèce, Asie, Judée, Egypte, Arabie et autres pays étrangèrs (in French, 1553; and Latin 1555) 

 

qle Brun, Cornielle; Voyage au Levant (in French, 1700) 

 

qde Caylus, Cte. Anne Claude; Recueil d'antiquités égyptiennes, étrusques, grècques, romaines et gauloises (in French, 1752) 

 

qChasseboeuf, Constantin, Cte. De Volney; Voyage et Egypte en et Syrie (in French, 1784)

 

qCourt de Gébelin, Antione; Le Monde Primitif (in French, 1781) 

 

qGranger, Nicolas; Relation d'un Voyage fait en égypt en l'anneé 1730 (in French, 1745) 

 

qLucas, Paul, Voyage du Sieur Paul Lucas au Levant (in French, 1704) 

 

qde Maillet, Benoit; Description de l'Egypte (in French, 1735) 

 

qde Montfaucon, Bernard; L'antiquité expliquée et représentée en figures (in French, 1719; English 1721) 

 

qNorden, Frederick; Voyage d'Egypte et de Nubie (in French 1755) 

 

qSavary, Nicolas, Letters on Egypt (in French, 1780) 

 

qSicard, Claude; map of Egypt (c. 1710) 

 

qSonnini de Manoncourt, Nicholas Sigisbert; Voyage dans la haute et basse Égypte

 

(in French, 1793) 

 

qJean de Thévenot, Relation d’un voyage fait au Levant (in French, 1665)

 

qWansleb, Johann, Nouvelle Relation En forme de journal, d´un voyage fait en Égypte (in French, 1677) 

 

Other European Sources:

 

 

qEl-Latif al-Baghdadi, Abd; Account of Egypt (in Latin trans. by Pococke, c. 1680) 

 

qBelon, Pierre; Les observations de plusieurs singularitez et choses memorables trouvées en Grèce, Asie, Judée, Egypte, Arabie et autres pays étrangèrs (Latin translation, 1555) 

 

qBruce, James, Travels to Discover the Source of the Nile (in English, 1790) 

 

qGranger, Nicolas; Relation d'un Voyage fait en égypt en l'anneé 1730 (German translation,1751; English, 1773) 

 

qGreaves, John; Pyramidographia, or a Description of the Pyramids in Ægypt (in English, 1646)

 

qGreenhill, Thomas; Νεκροκηδεία or The Art of Embalming wherein is shewn the right of burial, and funeral ceremonies, especially that of preserving bodies after the Egyptian method (in English. 1705)

 

qKircher, Athanasius; Lingua Aegyptiaca Resistuta (in Latin, 1643) Coptic dictionary and translation of Al-Barakat, below (known as the Scala Magna

 

qde Montfaucon, Bernard; L'antiquité expliquée et représentée en figures (English translation, 1721) 

 

qNewton, Isaac; The chronology of Ancient Kindgoms Amended (in English, 1728) 

 

qNorden, Frederick; Voyage d'Egypte et de Nubie (English translation, 1757) 

 

qPococke, Richard; A Description of the East and Some other Countries (in English 1743) 

 

qPurchas, Samuel; Pilgrimages, (in English, 17th C)

 

qSandys, George; The Relation of a Journey (in English, 1615) 

 

qScaliger, Joseph; De emendatione temporum (in Latin, 1583) 

 

qScaliger; Thesaraus temporum (in Latin, 1606) 

 

qShaw, Thomas; Travels, or Observations Relating to Several Parts of Barbary and the Levant (in English, 1738)

 

qWilliam of Tyre; Chronicon, (in Latin, c.13th C)

 

qZoega, Jörgen; De Origine usu Obeliscorum (in Latin, 1797)

 

qWansleb, Johann, Nouvelle Relation En Forme de Journal, D´un Voyage Fait en Egypte (English translation, 1678)


Edited by rylehNC, 22 June 2016 - 09:49 AM.

Happy is the tomb where no wizard hath lain, and happy the town at night whose wizards are all ashes.

-Ibn Schacabao

#9 deuce

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 05:57 PM

Considering the long-running questions about whether Nitocris even existed, I felt this was the best thread in which to post this link:

 

http://www.ancient.eu/Nitocris/

 

I'm fairly neutral on the question regarding the existence of Nitocris. I will say that the backstory I invented for Nitocris -- as opposed to whatever Lumley et al have written -- followed the arguments above fairly closely. The existence of an historical Nitiqret/Nitocris is plausible, if not proven. Plausibility is all that fiction requires.

 

queen_nitocris__new_version__by_daemon_b



#10 jlynn

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 07:51 PM

I agree, "plausible" is all that is needed for a good conspiracy theory chain of reasoning. I always found my players MUCH more interested in any disquisition I performed during the scenario if they could then go home (or back then, to the library) and look up the key events, only to discover that they really happened, or at least could have happened in actual history. It always got them much more involved in the story, and quite frequently they would turn up additional facts or legends that I had missed and tell everyone about them during subsequent playing sessions. On several occasions, they managed to creep themselves out without much help from me; which to my mind is an ideal situation for the Keeper! Thanks for sharing the web page; it made for some fascinating reading!

#11 Vladd

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 10:58 AM

For interesting articles about ancient Egypt and the occasional article about later Egypt I can recommend this magazine, I usually can get it in WH Smiths.

 

http://ancientegyptmagazine.co.uk



#12 JeffErwin

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 03:01 PM

I'd recommend "Amelia Peabody's Egypt" - which, while focusing on a mystery series, is written by an Egyptologist, and is very handy for Gaslight campaigns in Egypt.



#13 PoC

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 02:02 PM

Amelia Peabody's Egypt: A Compendium is indeed a great book.
 
amelia-peabodys-egypt-compendium-01.jpg  amelia-peabodys-egypt-compendium-02.jpg  amelia-peabodys-egypt-compendium-03.jpg







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