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CALL. 10.06.2019: 2nd Egyptological Conference. Quod est Superius est sicut quod est Inferius: The Cosmic Hypostasis and Earthly/Social Function of Women during Antiquity in Egypt and in the Mediterranean Basin - Athens (Greece)










LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: Hotel Titania (Athens, Greece)


ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: Prof. Dr Dr Alicia Maravelia (Hellenic Institute of Egyptology & Peoples’ University of Athens); GRProf. Dr José das Candeias Sales (Universidade Aberta, Lisbon); PTDr Telo Canhão (Centre of History, University of Lisbon, Lisbon); PTCand. Dr Alexandra Diez de Oliveira (Centre of History, Universityof Lisbon, Lisbon); PTDr Ahmed Mansour (Writing & Scripts Centre, Bibliotheca Alexandrina,Alexandria); EGDr Themis Dallas (I.A.K.A. Department, University of Thessaly,Volos); GRDr Evi Batra (Hellenic Open University & Association of Greek Women Scientists, Athens); GRMrs Sophia Tsourinaki (Hellenic Institute of Egyptology & S.E.N.Heritage Looms, Athens); GRProf. Dr Tesa Doulkeri (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki,Thessaloniki, GR)





The significance of the Woman, as the only human being that can re–create life from her womb, as an archetype of cosmic immanence, fluidity and power, as well as a social being whose position in ancient societies (e.g.: the Egyptian) was much better than in others of Antiquity (e.g.: in ancient Athens) and also in our current era, is not only extremely impor­tant, but rather crucial and determinative for the flow and development of History itself.

Not only were Women the mothers, sisters or wives of «important men», but they also were the creators of high culture, civilization and children useful for society. They were Empres­ses, Queens, Princesses and even Pharaohs, but at the same time a multitude of Women, from the socially «lower» strata, was the important dough for the evolution and develop­ments in society and culture. 


In the course of time, they also suffered under patriarchy and were both psychically and physically tormented not only by evil men and habits, but also by females who were repeating and disseminating the patterns of patriarchy and the sub­mission of Women to men, hidden behind supposedly Divine–given rules and fanatic doc­trines, suppressing their freedom and even mutilating their genitals … However, Women survived and most of us are happy today, living in a modern world, where not only Femi­nism per se, but also deep understanding of the situation and sincere human/humanitarian feelings are also explicitly shown by several men, mainly in Western Societies. Regretta­bly, however, many Women still suffer in several of the so–called «underdeveloped» coun­tries, especially under the fanatic application of the rules of certain religions.

Ladies in Heaven, but Women on Earth? The hypostasis of Women in ancient Egypt and in the Mediterranean Basin, but also its possible relations to Jung’s Psychology: from the distant past, until now, the Archetype of Femininity, the Sacred Female, the Great Mother, Virgin and Crone, is one of the most precious and catalytic in the Jungian Collective Un­conscious, being at the same time the true vis vitalis for the societal processes that moti­vate History and cultural evolution. This is the theme of our 2nd Conference, which shall also try to focus on patterns of continuity and transformation of various related institutions, habits and archetypes, covering almost the whole Antiquity from the Pre–Dynastic down to the Late, Ptolemaic and Coptic Period (corresponding for all the other cultures to the time–span from c. 3000 BC to the four initial Centuries AD), whose specific topics and thematology shall be the following:

1. Manifestation & Cosmic Immanence of the Sacred Female: The surrounding Cosmos and the Sky as the theatre for the «cosmic drama» of the mani­festation and heavenly pro­jection of the Sacred Female: Nūt/Nwt as a celestial goddess, Seshat/Sat as a cosmic god­dess of Astronomy, Measurements and Knowledge/Libraries; female sky–divinities in the ancient Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Babylonian and Hellenic pantheons. The One–and–Uni­que–God of the Hebraic Bible and His heavenly manifestations. The firmamental periodi­cities and their meta–physical semantics in the case of personalization/allegorization of ce­lestial epiphanies by female divinities. Isis/Sōthis as the par excellence astral deity and que­en of the decans. The Moon/Luna as a par excellence female symbol in the Mediterranean Ba­sin and its echo on the periodic menstrual cycle.

2. Divine Female Archetypes: Specific goddesses as examples of the archetype of the Great Mother and other Jungian archetypes related to Femininity: Isis, Nephthys, Mūt, Hathor, Bastet, Inanna and Ishtar, Gaia, Athēna, Aphroditē/Venus, Dēmētēr, Persephonē and Korē, Hēra/Juno, Hestia/Vesta, Artemis/Diana, Lilith, and various other female deities of the afo­rementioned cultures. Women and female deities in Orphism and in the Orphic Hymns. Pa­rallels and opposites, points of contact and possible inter–relations.


3. The Earthly/Social Status of Women in Ancient Egypt: The social status and situation of Women in ancient Egypt: queens, princesses, noble ladies, adorers, commoner–Women, mothers and motherhood (mater lactans), Women in menial labour and agriculture, hand­maids, mu­sicians and dancers, medical doctors, professionals and human beings, logging for love and motherhood or for power and authority (e.g.: queens, rxwt-nsw, & c.). The por­trayal of Women in ancient Egyptian literature, in the funerary texts (emphasis on PT, CT, BD, Im-_wAt), in the reliefs and paintings of temples and tombs. Women as priestesses (e.g.: of Hathor/Hmwt-nTr nt @wt-@r, temple–chantresses/Smaywt, dancing–priestesses/iHbwt, & c.). Women in front of the Law and facing the Final Judgement (BD and other related texts, pa­pyri, ostraca, & c.). Women upon Earth as Ladies of the House (Nbwt-Pr) versus Ladies of Hea­ven (Nbwt-Pt) and Mothers of Gods (Mwwt-NTrw).

4. The Earthly/Social Status of Women in the Mediterranean Basin: The same as in 3, su­pra, for the ancient Mesopotamian, Babylonian, Hebrew, Hellenic (Cycladic, Minoan, Myce­naean) and Roman cultures, ta­king of course care of the subtle or other differences betwe­en them (or as comparative stu­dies). Inter–relations and overlapping of cosmic, religious and socie­tal patterns between the Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Babylonian, Hebrew and Hellenic cultu­res concerning Wo­men, for the whole time–span examined in the Conference. The late Prof. Dr Marija Gimbu­tas, her work and the archetype of the Great Mother Goddess.

5. Key–Role Individual Women: Specific renowned cases of individual Women (from all the above cultures), whose invol­vement in authority, business, war (e.g.: Amazons), or in the public domain could broaden our conception and understanding of the corresponding historical period and the cultural milieu in which they lived. The cases of Hetepheres, Nitōkris, Sobekneferū, Icaehmes–Nefertiry, Hat–shepsūt, Nefertiti, Nefertiry and Kleopatra VII Philopatōr in Egypt; the case of Enhenduana in Mesopotamia; the unique and wisest Hypatia of Alexandria. Women’s participation in the societal norms, in the cultic observan­ces, in royal or ruling power, & c. The identity and icono­graphy (paintings in tombs, monu­­ments, papyri and in sculpture) of important Women and possible traces for early pharao­nic Feminism. 


6. Epigraphic, Literary and Linguistic Sources: Inscriptions, texts and every epigraphic source or project related to all the above, especially to the Woman’s status and activities in every cosmic, metaphysical and societal sphere. Hieroglyphs of the B–Group and of the D–Group related (respectively) to Women and to female bodily parts (EG).

7. The Earthly/Social and Heavenly Status of Women in Coptic Egypt: In the context of a special Session on Coptic Women, we propose the following: (a) the history and identity of Women in the early Christian Egyptian Church, their role in the Holy Liturgy of the Cop­tic Church (e.g.: deaconesses), and examples of Coptic Women as nuns (parallelisms and oppositions to male monks) and their lives in Convents and Monasteries; (b) Coptic Wo­men in the daily life, their rights and duties, dynamic Coptic female personalities who run the World, iconogra­phy of Coptic Women, advocacy for the Coptic Women and possible tra­ces for early Cop­tic Feminism; (c) Virgin Mary/ Panaghia and Female Saints as embodi­ments of the heavenly glory of Women post mortem.

8. Aesthetics, Beauty and Women: The concept of beauty/nfrw/κάλλος as related to the idea/ ideal of Women and female archetypes. The female body as an epitome of beauty, erotic undertones (e.g.: in the Love Poems of ancient Egypt or in satirical papyri) and the female uterus as an archetype of re–birth, re–generation,and the
like. How could one de­tect the patterns of female beauty between allegories, symbols and religious or cosmic me­ta­phors that were also the sprouting roots of the ancient pre– or proto–scienti­fic thought? How one could study the references to the idea of be­auty in the ancient Egyptian culture, as well as in the other neighbouring nations of the Eastern Mediterranean Basin already mentioned?

9. Gender Studies: Women under the prism of Gender Studies’ consideration. We want to stress the diversity of Women in the Ancient World and how gender almost always inter­sects with other factors such as age, social standing, geographical location, ethnicity, sexu­ality, & c. We propose the study of the social status of Women in relation to that of men in the ancient Egyptian and all the previous ancient cultures. Gender bias and sexism in An­tiquity and in modern Egyptology, Archaeology, History, Theology and Social Anthropo­logy. Women who loved men versus Women who loved Women. Women’s homosexuality and other similar or related subjects (e.g.: intersexualism, transsexualism, & c.). Sapphō of Eresos (Mytilēnē) as a case study of a renowned and genius female scholar of Antiquity, her School and Aeolia as a place where Women were indeed important citizens of the City –State (unlike ancient Athens, where Democracy was only meant for male Athenians, not even for the metoikoi). The status of Women in ancient Sparta and Macedonia. Textual and other evidences about the former or similar topics.

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