Notes: Episode 31, The Aten Heresy (Part 1)

As with every show, I’ll list any corrections or clarifications here. If there’s anything I’ve overlooked, please contact me by email or in the comments and I’ll edit the notes to reflect the new information.


6:41 – I thought I was in the clear, in that I meant to say fifth century BCE and Herodotus did in fact live in that century. However, now that I listened back, I realized I didn’t specify BCE. Ah well, that’s what these notes are for.

11:49 – Another contributing factor to the number of dynasties between the 13th and 19th is that, with the split kingdom, there were several concurrent dynasties. While the Hyksos were not ethnically Egyptian (the word means “rulers of the foreign countries”), their rule was considered a dynasty at the same time as the Egyptian dynasties continued in Upper Egypt. Naturally, these naming conventions have resulted in some confusion over the timelines.

14:25 – Okay, I was way off on the date for this one – the height record was beaten about the 1300 CE by the spire of St Mary’s Cathedral in Lincoln, England. I have no idea where I would have heard that the Great Pyramid of Giza held the record into the 20th century. Regardless, that means it held the record for nearly 3900 years – no small feat.

34:37 – The famous bust of Nefertiti can be seen here.
58:47 – I use the term “spells” in regards to Egyptian religion and culture a number of times, but this usage made me realize that I should probably make a small explanation. This is one of those translations that’s sort of a “best we can do” type situation – not just because the word is tricky to translate, but also because the cultural meaning and purpose of it is so different. A spell was in a lot of ways powerful information – you could say a spell as part of a medical remedy, or to use as a mnemonic device for successful agriculture, or as a prayer to a god. These various uses of “powerful words” weren’t really distinguished at all. I’m not sure if I love the word “spell” as a translation for this idea, as it tends to evoke images of wizards and magic, but at the same time I don’t really have a better suggestion for a candidate translation.

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