Ninth Annual Legacy of Egypt Lecture
Co-sponsored by the Tennessee chapter of the American Research Center in Egypt and
the Institute of Egyptian Art and Archaeology, the University of Memphis.
"Performance and Oral Tradition in Ancient Egyptian Autobiographical Texts"
Public Lecture: 7:30 p.m.
Public Reception: 6:30 p.m.
Location: University Center, Fountain View Suite (room 350)
The University of Memphis Campus
The lecture and reception are FREE and Open to the Public
Pay parking is available in the Zach Curlin Garage (PG-2 #3 on the parking map) or
in the Fogelman Garage (PG-1 #40).
In this illustrated talk, Dr. Leprohon will provide examples of how the ancient Egyptians
used the spoken word to great effect, from ordinary folk tales to the recounting of
Pharaoh's great deeds. The presentation will also offer comments on autobiographical
narratives, the format of which offers evidence that these accounts of brave deeds
and praiseworthy acts were originally recited aloud.
In one version of the creation account associated with the ancient Egyptian city of
Memphis, the god Ptah brought the world into being through thought and the spokien
word. As the ancient text describes this, "It is through what the mind plans and the
tongue commands that all divine words came about."
For the ancient Egyptians, the concepts of thought and speech were concrete entities.
Kings were taught that everything they spoke was, quite literally, done, and the Instructional
Literature went on at length about the importance of proper speech.
Ronald Leprohon, PhD, is professor of Egyptology in the Department of Near and Middle
Eastern Civilizations at the University of Toronto (Canada). He has published extensively
on the history, literature and religion of ancient Egypt. For ancient Egyptian religion,
he is most interested in their myths as well as the ancient Egyptians' moral code
of behavior, especially as it is expressed through Instructional literature and through
personal and private epithets attached to people's autobiographical statements.
Dr. Leprohon is a multiple-year winner of the Dean's Excellence Award in the College
of Arts and Science at the University of Toronto.
For more information about the event, contact the Institute of Egyptian Art and Archaeology
at (901) 678-2555.