Tag Archives: foundations

A clap of thunder at that instant shook the castle to its foundations; the earth rocked, and the clank of more than mortal armour was heard behind. Frederic and Jerome thought the last day was at hand. The latter, forcing Theodore along with them, rushed into the court. The moment Theodore appeared, the walls of the castle behind Manfred were thrown down with a mighty force, and the form of Alfonso, dilated to an immense magnitude, appeared in the centre of the ruins. Behold in Theodore, the true heir of Alfonso! said the vision: and having pronounced those words, accompanied by a clap of thunder, it ascended solemnly towards heaven, where the clouds parting asunder, the form of saint Nicholas was seen; and receiving Alfonso’s shade, they were soon wrapt from mortal eyes in a blaze of glory.

Horace Walpole, The Castle of Otranto

Hermetic quote Walpole Otranto clank

Conceptions of God in Ancient Egypt

Conceptions of God in Ancient Egypt: The One and the Many by Erik Hornung, translated by John Baines, the 1996 first edition paperback from Cornell University Press, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Erik Hornung Conceptions of God in Ancient Egypt from Cornell University Press

“In 1970 Der Eine und die Vielen was published in German. The book was intended to stimulate renewed reflection on the nature and meaning of the gods both within and beyond the confines of egyptology, and to help overcome the bewilderment that is felt by many people in the face of the ‘abstruse’ figures of gods ‘invented’ by priestly schools. These aims seem to have been achieved, but the book’s influence and critical analysis have been confined mostly to German-speaking countries.”

“The debate about the foundations of Egyptian thought and Egyptian ontology, which has been taken up by Jan Assmann in particular, is still in progress. I therefore thought it best to leave my text on these questions as it was, so that it can serve as a starting point for further discussion; any modification or extension of it would have been much too provisional. I hope that the debate will be continued and clarified further in the English-speaking world. There is no end to the question of the gods and their meaning.” — Erik Hornung, Preface to the English Edition


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