Abstracts

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sDm.n=f as a writing for the prospective/subjunctive in late copies of religious texts?

Burkhard Backes

It is a well-known fact that in Middle Egyptian texts from the New Kingdom onwards the (Late Egyptian) sDm=f can replace the Middle Egyptian sDm.n=f. While working on different versions of Book of the Dead spells, I noticed quite a few instances of the opposite: sDm.n=f where one would expect a prospective sDm=f. This is not a major problem in a frequently copied text like a Book of the Dead chapter, because there we normally can reconstruct the original form thanks to the parallel versions. But how should we treat late texts without parallels that show a (translatable) sDm.n=f in a context where one would normally expect a prospective sDm=f? Although some authors state a similar phenomenon to the one described here (sDm.n=f without past meaning, to put it in more general terms), no convincing answer to that question has yet been given. Therefore, in my presentation I would like to give a few examples and discuss whether such an answer is possible, i.e. whether we can do any better than merely guess from the context.

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A Possible Case of Sibling Scribes: Towards an Identification of Scribal Training in Coptic Thebes

Jenny Cromwell

The best-known scribe from the 7th/8th century Coptic village Jeme (Medinet Habu) was Aristophanes son of Johannes (responsible for 25 papyri documents and approximately 100 ostraca). Very little is known about the ‘personal’ life of Aristophanes, but it is possible that he had a brother who was also a scribe: Joannakios son of Johannes, the scribe responsible for the writing of P.KRU 46. Palaeographically and formulaically this document resembles the work of Aristophanes. An unsigned document in Berlin (for which an image is not as yet available), P.KRU 45, is attributed to Joannakios by Crum and it has many formulaic similarities with the other texts. This case study is used to address the issue of what factors are important, not in identifying sibling connections (such things can be hypothesized but not proven in this case), but in the identification of shared training. The factors under consideration are the palaeography, orthography and formulary of the documents. If Joannakios and Aristophanes were not brothers, were they at least classmates?

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Late Egyptian Counterfactual Conditionals in Context and in Reasoning

Mark Collier

A consideration of how counterfactual conditionals are used in context in Late Egyptian: how the irreal and the real are linked and thus how counterfactuals interweave with and contribute to discourse grounded in the real. As part of this, I’ll also look at pragmatic issues of implied meaning and scope resolution (particularly of negation) in Late Egyptian counterfactual conditionals.

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Literary Aspects of the Kamose Inscriptions

Roland Enmarch

The inscriptions of Kamose recounting his confrontation with the Hyksos have been extensively studied in terms of their historical context, and also as a part of the Königsnovelle tradition. A less well explored aspect has been their extensive evocation of the language, tropes and similies of Middle Egyptian literary texts. This paper will explore these links, which may also offer possible indirect evidence for the dating of the Middle Egyptian literary corpus.

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Demotic and Hieroglyphic Inscriptions from the ‘Petosiris-necropolis’ at Tuna el-Gebel 

Martina Minas-Nerpel

Since 2004, the Hildesheim mission to Tuna elGebel (under the direction of Katja Lembke, Roemer- and Pelizaeus-Museum, Hildesheim) has made astonishing new discoveries and has tried to put into context the material already known. In my paper, I shall discuss unknown demotic inscriptions from the tomb of Padikam and hieroglyphic evidence from this (and other tombs) that has been neglected.

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What is P. Rylands IX?

Tony Leahy

From its first publication by F. Ll. Griffith to the modern edition by G. Vittmann, P. Rylands IX has generally been assumed to be ‘legal’ in nature, a petition produced in connection with an appeal to the authorities to restore a local priest’s entitlement to temple revenues at El-Hibeh. The reported circumstances of its discovery have been over-influential in this respect, to the point of inhibiting an in-depth analysis of the nature of the text. However, several scholars have noted in passing that the text has literary features and the recently-coined term ‘family chronicle’ or ‘chronique familiale’ has opened the way to a less restricted understanding of it. I explore an interpretation of it as a work of historical fiction.

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Law, Language and Custom. Vectors of Survival of Egyptian Law after the Roman Conquest

Siân Thomas

In the Ptolemaic period, native Egyptian law coexisted with imported Greek law. Egyptian- and Greek-speaking scribes and courts operated in parallel, each applying the laws proper to their own traditions: the two bodies of law — their language, processes and documentation — were, for the most part, kept separate. After the Roman conquest, the situation changed. Roman law was superimposed, and the status of Egyptian and Greek law was reduced to that of customary practice. The framework which had fostered, but also divided, Egyptian and Greek law ceased to exist. In spite of this, Egyptian and Greek legal traditions persisted. The resulting picture is complex, and raises questions relating to the coexistence, interaction and synthesis of different legal traditions, expressed in different languages and applied to an ethnically mixed, multi-lingual society. This paper will reflect research in its early stages, the overall aim of which is to investigate the patterns, modes and forms of survival of native Egyptian law after the Roman conquest.

The study will draw primarily on the evidence of texts written in demotic, but the source material will not be limited to formal legal ‘contracts’. A study of this type faces a number of challenges. One is the nature of the source material, which is dominated by evidence from a small number of sites. Issues of interdisciplinarity, and the dangers of viewing ancient law through the prism of modern law, are also very relevant. The paper will assess these challenges and possible solutions, and will also explore approaches to the subject matter and report on preliminary observations and ideas.

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 A Typology of Errors

John Tait

It might be supposed that mistakes come naturally to writers of manuscripts—to producers of any kind of written material. Traditional Textual Criticism can formulate a catalogue of varieties of error, but this is against a background of assumptions, notably (a) that the writers aimed to produce a faithful copy, or (failing that) behaved in very predictable ways, and (b) that we wish belatedly to correct their blunders or anomalies. Recent work on Middle Kingdom literature (including work by colleagues who have offered AELT workshop presentations) has distanced itself from such approaches; rather, the particular, individual manuscript has been seen as an item of production worthy of study for its own sake. This presentation looks at examples of errors and deviations in Egyptian manuscripts, with the aim of seeing whether or not it is useful to categorise them, and what they can tell us about the use of manuscripts.

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Notes on the Pragmatics of Certain Coptic Verbal Patterns

Sami Uljas

The present paper examines a number of pragmatic peculiarities in the use of the conjunctive and the so-called ‘autofocal’ second tenses in Sahidic Coptic. It is suggested that the common view of the conjunctive as a wholly TAM-neutral verbal pattern may need to be reconsidered. The interpretation of the bare uses of second tenses as ‘predicate focussing’ or ‘autofocal’ seems also somewhat questionable at times. The discussion is preliminary and based on examples from Coptic texts and cross-linguistic comparisons.

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