Myth and Message
The Temple of Edfu, on the west bank of the Nile, is dedicated to the falcon god Horus. It is one of the best preserved ancient Egyptian temples and the 2nd largest after the Temple of Karnak in Luxor. It was constructed in the Ptolemaic period between 237 and 57 BC. Intricate inscriptions on the walls include information on many aspects of culture, myth and religion during the Greco-Roman period in ancient Egypt.
An ongoing Edfu project to publish and translate the texts of Edfu is currently (since 2002) run by the Göttingen Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Göttingen, Germany. Their Edfu Project website describes the temple and discusses the importance of the Edfu texts.
“Regarding amount and content, the inscriptions that cover the walls of the Temple of Edfu are among the most important sources on Ptolemaic Egypt. They offer a wealth of information, mainly about religion, but also about political history, administration and other topics. Since some of the Edfu inscriptions transmit ideas that come from the eldest epochs of pharaonic history, they are often consulted as an aid in understanding older sources. Thus, religious concepts of pharaonic Egypt cannot be properly understood without interpreting the texts of Edfu. As a whole, the Edfu inscriptions can be taken as a compendium of Egyptian religious thought.”
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