Episode 40: Feasting, Laughing and Dancing

Interlude: Celebrating the Divine.


In a short break from our historical narrative, we visit two types of Egyptian festivals: the raucous celebrations in honour of Hathor, the sombre re-enactment of the Passion of Osiris.


Ranging from beer halls to temples to necropoleis, the episode explores the means and tools at the hands of Egyptian revellers. Their hedonistic practices get a look in, particularly in the realms of humour and sexuality.


Osiris (Wikipedia).

Hathor, with Menkaure of the Fourth Dynasty (Wikipedia).

The Stela of Ikher-Nefret (Wikipedia).

The cemetery field west of Abydos, in which the Passion of Osiris would be performed (Wikipedia).



John C. Darnell, "The Opet Festival." UCLA Encyclopedia of Egyptology.

LA Times interview with Prof. Betsy M. Bryan, Johns Hopkins University.

E.F. Morris, "Sacred and Obscene Laughter in the Contendings of Horus and Seth," in Egyptian Stories, 2007.

Plutarch, Isis and Osiris (1st Century CE). 

The Ikher-nefret Stela (12th Dynasty).

Additional Music: Vangelis - Alexander (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack).