Time of Creation, Creation of Time - Temporal Conceptions in the Religious Hymns of the New Kingdom (ca. 1539-1077 BC)

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation


In ancient Egypt, Time was part of the whole “being” that was brought into existence by the Creator deity. Indeed, to create is inevitably to inaugurate Time. In the religious hymns of the New Kingdom (ca. 1539-1077 BC), not only is the Demiurge acknowledged as the Time’s author, he himself acts both as an agent and recipient of Time. In this corpus, one finds explicit mentions to the de facto creation of time. The Demiurge may be accounted for the creation of the two primary Egyptian temporal conceptions - D.t (e.g., Cai-ro CG 58038, I.4) and nHH (e.g., BM EA10470.20- 21, 30). Furthermore, the temporal mentions in this textual ensemble range from particular points in time - the Creator being labelled as “Primordi-al” (pAwty; e.g., Louvre C 286, 4) for having emerged in the “First Time” (sp tpj; e.g., Copenhagen AEIN 49, 4) - to temporal continuums, rendered, namely, by the sun-god’s daily voyage, which im-plies the setting and passing of time (e.g., Chicago E14053, 2-3). In this regard, the deity is also de-picted as an individual at different age stages, from a “young child” (e.g., TT 84(8)) to the “oldest of heaven and earth” (e.g., TT 57(6), 5-6). In this talk, I intend to consider the place of Time in the religious hymns of the New King-dom. I shall envisage it not only as an outcome of the demiurgical task but also as a medium th-rough which the deity intervenes in the world, on both individual and cosmic levels. Relating it to the concepts of creatio prima and creatio continua, this paper will address this issue both synchro-nically and diachronically, navigating through the cosmogonical perspectives and conceptions em-bodied in this corpus as a whole.
Period25 Sep 202027 Sep 2020
Event titleGods & Humans in Ancient Egypt: Current Research & Multidisciplinary Approaches
Event typeConference
LocationBucharest, Romania
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Ancient Egypt
  • New Kingdom
  • Religious Hymns
  • Time
  • Creatio Prima
  • Creatio Continua