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Dodson, Aidan

“The First Pharaohs” Professor Aidan Dodson

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At the beginning of February 2022 Aidan Dodson gave a talk to the Essex Egyptology Group about the topic of his most recent book – “The First Pharaohs”. He noted that the use of “Pharaoh” in this title might be seen as anachronistic because the Egyptians didn’t use the term we translate as pharaoh for their kings until the New Kingdom. However it’s now become the standard English word we use for kings of Egypt in general hence why he’s sticking to it! He began by setting the scene – the subject of the talk was to be the very earliest kings of Egypt from the time of unification through to the end of the 3rd Dynasty and the beginning of the 4th Dynasty. There were two main themes to his talk. Firstly, this era can be seen as the prototype era of Egyptian history – lots of things that… Read More »“The First Pharaohs” Professor Aidan Dodson

“Sethy I – King of Egypt” Aidan Dodson

During this time of COVID-19 in person meetings of the Essex Egyptology Group are, of course, impossible. A couple of meetings were cancelled outright, but technology has come to the rescue and Aidan Dodson was able to give us the talk we had scheduled for June 2020 via Zoom. The subject of his talk was the Pharaoh Sethy I* (who was also the subject of a book Dodson published in 2019, this is in effect the talk of the book), one of Egypt’s more important kings but one who is often overshadowed by his son Rameses II. *I intend to use Dodson’s preferred spellings throughout this article, some of which are not quite the same as you might be used to seeing – like Sethy instead of Seti. Dodson began by giving us some context for the reign of Sethy I, starting with where he fits into the history of… Read More »“Sethy I – King of Egypt” Aidan Dodson

In Our Time: The Tale of Sinuhe

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On Sunday we listened to the most recent In Our Time episode – jumping ahead from where we’re caught up to because the subject of this weeks one was something J had been looking forward to hearing. The programme was about one of the surviving pieces of Middle Kingdom literature, called The Tale of Sinuhe. The three experts discussing it were Richard Parkinson (University of Oxford), Roland Enmarch (University of Liverpool) and Aidan Dodson (University of Bristol). They started off by putting it into historical context. The oldest version of The Tale of Sinuhe that’s been found was written around 1800BC (and was discovered approximately 4000 years later). This is during the Middle Kingdom era of Egyptian history, and the story is set about a hundred years earlier, still within the Middle Kingdom, near the start of the 12th Dynasty. The Middle Kingdom is the second period of stability in… Read More »In Our Time: The Tale of Sinuhe