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Imagining the PastHistorical Fiction in New Kingdom Egypt$
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Colleen Manassa

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199982226

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199982226.001.0001

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A Thematic Survey of New Kingdom Historical Fiction

A Thematic Survey of New Kingdom Historical Fiction

(p.143) Chapter 6 A Thematic Survey of New Kingdom Historical Fiction
Imagining the Past

Colleen Manassa

Oxford University Press

This chapter summarizes the results of the previous four chapters, analysing the significance of each tale within the corpus of historical fiction. The main themes of each tale, including scribal victory in The Quarrels of Apepi and Seqenenre, the loan words of The Capture of Joppa, the re-creation of the Battle of Megiddo in Thutmose III in Asia, and the detailed historical information concerning the enemy in The Libyan Battle Story. The overview of theology in the tales tackles the particularly important role of Seth. On one hand a god of chaos and foreigners, the works of historical fiction suggest that Seth may play the role of divine “double agent,” who ultimately acts in the best interest of the Egyptians. A final section analyses historiography within the tales, examining what historical knowledge was required of the author and audience. The relevance for the genre of historical fiction for post-New Kingdom literature is also considered.

Keywords:   historiography, loan words, Rudyard Kipling, Seth, Amun, historical fiction, demotic literature

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