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By Martin Bommas

In recent times reminiscence has turn into a significant notion in old stories, following the definition of the time period 'Cultural reminiscence' via the Egyptologist Jan Assmann in 1994. wondering reminiscence, as either anyone and a social phenomenon, has resulted in a brand new manner of conceptualizing historical past and has drawn historians into debate with students in different disciplines resembling literary stories, cultural conception and philosophy. the purpose of this quantity is to discover reminiscence and identification in historic societies. 'We are what we take note' is the outstanding thesis of the Nobel laureate Eric R Kandel, and this holds both real for historical societies as smooth ones. How did the societies of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece and Rome bear in mind and commemorate the prior? How have been relationships to the earlier, either person and collective, articulated? Exploring the stability among reminiscence as survival and reminiscence as reconstruction, and among reminiscence and traditionally recorded truth, this quantity finds the way in which historical societies shaped their cultural id.

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16 34 C u lt u r a l M e m o r y a n d I d e n t i t y i n A n ci e n t S o ci e t i e s There are various points at which Bing’s argument depends on strained or one-sided interpretation of the evidence. ), he observes that Nestor’s uncertainty should not surprise us, because ‘[n]eglecting the dead has a long and glorious tradition’, and refers to a range of passages in which poets reflect gloomily on the shortness of life, the grimness of the underworld and human insignificance in death (Bing 2002: 52 with n.

36 Cf. fig. 3. 37 This is the case for instance in a wall relief of king Mentuhotep II (2055–2004 bc) from Gebelein. Cf. Swan Hall 1986: fig. 23. 38 Cf. Swan Hall 1986: fig. 37. 39 By depicting this scene in these areas, the supremacy of Egypt over foreign countries was ensured, although it is plausible that here the scene was also apotropaic. Cf. the conclusions of the present paper. 40 Tomb nr. 100, Hierakonpolis. Cf. Case and Payne 1962: esp. 13. 41 Cf. Swan Hall 1986: fig. 6 (Ivory Cylinder from Hierakonpolis).

A. Coser), On Collective Memory. Chicago and London. , 1994. ‘Un archétype de relief cultuel en Égypte ancienne’, in Bulletin de la Société Française d’Égyptologie 131, 38–60. , 2009. Soldiers, Sailors and Sandalmakers. A Social Reading of Ramesside Period Votive Stelae, GHP Egyptology 10, London. a n ci e n t e g y p t i a n a t t e mp t t o vis ua l iz e c u lt u r a l m e m o r y 25 Gardiner, A. , 1959. The Royal Canon of Turin. Oxford. Halbwachs, M. (trans. and ed. L. A. Coser), 1992. On Collective Memory.

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