Friday, March 16th: OF CANNIBALS AND KINGS
'Of Cannibals and Kings - Interpreting the so-called "Cannibal Spell" (Pyramid Texts spells 273-74 and Coffin Texts spell 573)',
Prof. Katja Goebs, University of Toronto
on Friday, March 16th, 2007 at 7:15pm in Rm. 142, 5 Bancroft Ave.,
University of Toronto St. George Campus, Toronto
The so called "Cannibal Spell" (Pyramid Text 273/274 and Coffin Text 573) is one of the most famous Egyptian funerary texts. It describes how the deceased king, in his ascent to the sky, swallows his enemies and even his own kin, in order to assume his place among the celestial gods. Interpretations of this spell range from "vestiges of Predynastic cannibalistic practices", to a description of the ritual slaughter of a bull, or "poetic fiction". This lecture will explore the possibility that the text describes a particular cosmic phenomenon by examining parallels in other religious texts and demonstrating that the spell is not as unique and unusual as has previously been assumed.
Katja Goebs holds a doctorate from St. John's College, University of Oxford, and has taught at the Universities of Oxford, Liverpool, UCLA, and Dublin. In July 2005 she joined the Department Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations at the University of Toronto as an Associate Professor of Egyptology. She is the author of Crowns in Egyptian Funerary Literature Royalty, Rebirth and Destruction (Oxford: Griffith Institute, 2007) and has published numerous scholarly articles, primarily in the areas of Egyptian religious symbolism, myth, and kingship