Elisabeth Sawerthal (KCL) - 2015-16 Students
Prophets, Kings, and Power: How are Kingly and Divinatory Authority, as Reflected in the Phenomena of Divination and Magic in Ancient Israelite and Egyptian Society, Interrelated?
I am conducting a comparative study of the interplay of royal and divinatory authority in ancient Israelite and Egyptian society. My focus lies on the themes of divination, religion, ‘magic’ and power. I argue that the alleged ability to predict the future and the claim to encounters with a deity, invested the ancient diviner with authority and power. On the basis of relevant textual and archaeological data from the Near East and Egypt, this study will contribute to our knowledge of royal and divinatory authority and distribution of power in both Israelite and Egyptian society. It will illuminate our understanding of these cultures as a whole as well as help to create a more vivid image of the past for a wider audience.