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Death and Salvation in Ancient Egypt Hardcover – October 13, 2005

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 504 pages
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press (October 13, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801442419
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801442414
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.7 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #955,675 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Death and Salvation in Ancient Egypt serves as a compendious introduction to how ancient Egyptians approached their mortality as well as their impending immortality. Throughout, Assmann continues to build upon his vast store of important publications, yet again bringing to his work a deep background in theoretical literature, especially anthropology and philosophy. This gives his work a decidedly comparative flair, citing parallels or contrasts with cultures ancient or modern, Near Eastern or otherwise. Much of Assmann's Egyptological work has become required reading, and Death and Salvation will be no exception. Controversial, insightful, incredibly informed, and in constant contact with the primary textual material, this volume will continue to inspire discussion for years to come."—Journal of Near Eastern Studies

"Assmann astounds the reader with his deep knowledge of religious texts from all periods of Egyptian civilization and from the Greeks and Romans too. He is equally familiar with evidence from art and architecture. . . . He leads the reader through the maddeningly opaque pronouncements of Egyptian intellectuals about the nature of death, its origin, its meaning, its importance. Every page shines a fresh light on a topic that fascinates us all, but leaves us puzzled. Assmann's book will take its place as classic study and shows again why he is justly regarded as one of the great Egyptologists writing today."—Bryn Mawr Classical Review

"This very important book represents the fruit of many years of reading, thinking, and writing about the Egyptian conceptions of death and the afterlife, and constitutes a comprehensive analysis of the subject. It is a complex, multilayered interpretation that reveals the great depth and breadth of Jan Assmann's knowledge. He systematically investigates the processes of and reactions to the experience of death, the reconstitution of the body/person of the deceased, and rites and texts that relate to the afterlife."—Gerald Kadish, Binghamton University

About the Author

Jan Assmann is Professor Emeritus of Egyptology at Heidelberg University. His books include The Search for God in Ancient Egypt and Death and Salvation in Ancient Egypt, both from Cornell.

David Lorton, an Egyptologist, is the translator of many books, including Erik Hornung's books The Secret Lore of Egypt and Akhenaten and the Religion of Light, both from Cornell.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Timothy J. Smith on May 31, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been reading a great deal about the Osiris myth; this, together with Tom Hare's book "Re-Membering Osiris" are truly valuable additions to anyone's Egyptology collection. Mr. Assman is a well-established author, and lays on the footnotes with scholarly frequency. His books are dense and a bit dry, but his viewpoint is clearly stated and provocative. I do not agree with his atheism, and find it a bit odd in a man who spends so much time writing about Gods and religion, but I will say that he is stunningly observant and objective in his recounting of the pure source material available to us today. Because his own perspective is clear and unapologetic, it is easy to examine his thoughts and observations from another perspective. Few writers so consistently provoke creative thought in the reader while informing and educating at the same time. Of the books he's written (and that I've read) this book is second only to "The Mind of Ancient Egypt" . Buy both! read them!!
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