The “snd-n” hymns – exhortations to fear the divine – of Egyptian temples of the Greco-Roman period: towards a generic and architectural approach

Project: Research

Project Details


The aim of this post-doctoral research project is to study a very specific set
of texts: Egyptian hymns exhorting to fear the divine. Those texts are called
by egyptologists “snd-n hymns” due to the recurrent use of the imperative
snd: “fear”. It is a well delimited corpus among Egyptian religion’s vast
hymnical production. Besides its common main topic, this corpus also gets
its unity from the fact that the included texts were all engraved in
hieroglyphic script, in Egyptian temples, during the Greco-Roman period
(IIIe BC – IIe AD). Furthermore, almost every snd-n hymn is engraved on
the external door-jambs of the main entrance to the temples. All those
factors made a study of the corpus relevant, adopting a twofold approach:
generic and architectural. So, on one hand, this is about considering the
snd-n hymns as a textual gender in its own right, a gender likely to provide a
frame to the production of new texts. On the other hand, given the apparent
consistency between the content of the hymns and the place where they are
engraved, a study exceeding the boundaries of the texts and considering
them as a new element of the door’s decoration in Egyptian temples at the
Greco-Roman period seems essential to their general understanding.
This project will therefore lead to the first exhaustive publication of the snd-n
Egyptian hymns. Altogether, this publication will provide a hieroglyphic copy
checked under the light of the original monuments, a philological edition and
a synthesis. In order to bring out the specificty of the Egyptian texts, this
synthesis will include, amongst others, an in depth putting in perspective of
the corpus with other ancient texts from the Hamito-Semitic cultural area.
Short titleHymnes snd-n
Effective start/end date1/10/1730/09/20

Attachment to an Research Institute in UNAMUR

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