FLORIN WEBSITE JULIA BOLTON HOLLOWAYAUREO ANELLO ASSOCIAZIONE, 1997-2017: MEDIEVAL: BRUNETTO LATINO, DANTE ALIGHIERI, SWEET NEW STYLE: BRUNETTO LATINO, DANTE ALIGHIERI, & GEOFFREY CHAUCER || VICTORIAN: WHITE SILENCE: FLORENCE'S 'ENGLISH' CEMETERY || ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING || WALTER SAVAGE LANDOR || FRANCES TROLLOPE || ABOLITION OF SLAVERY || FLORENCE IN SEPIA  || CITY AND BOOK CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII || MEDIATHECA 'FIORETTA MAZZEI' || EDITRICE AUREO ANELLO CATALOGUE || UMILTA WEBSITE || RINGOFGOLD WEBSITE || LINGUE/LANGUAGES: ITALIANO, ENGLISH || VITA
New: Dante vivo || White Silence



THE BRITISH MUSEUM, LONDON

THE EGYPTIAN BOOK OF THE DEAD




AND ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING

In the British Museum in London one can see the unrolled papyrus sheets of the Book of the Dead, traditionally wrapped around the mummies when they were buried as their prescription for the happy 'After Life'. These are magnificently illuminated in some of the rolls, which are filled with representations, as well, of the lotus and the papyrus. As later, the words of the gods are written in red, rubricated, amidst the black ink. They date from the fifteenth century before Christ, but represent a tradition that goes back even a thousand years earlier, as can be seen in the hieroglyphs sculpted on rock monuments.

Important in these texts is the legend of Osiris and Isis, the dead person being identified with Osiris whose wife brings him back to life from death, their son being Horus. Apuleius would give us the most information about that tale in his Golden Ass, which Elizabeth Barrett Browning would partly translate. Thus husband and wife are represented together in these Books as if Osiris and Isis. Together they are represented as carrying out agriculture, sowing and reaping flax and barley, in the Field of Reeds, with its fertile waterways. The dead would inhabit the circumpolar stars as an akh, be restricted in the tomb as a ka, but also visiting the living, inhabiting the Elysian Fields, and travelling across the skies and the Underworld, as a ba, the human headed bird. Essential for the return of the ba to its akh and ka was the name and the portrait on the tomb and in the Book.

In the Judgement scenes in the papyri, the dead person appears before Anubis who balances his evil against an ostrich feather, while Thoth writes down the result and Ammit, the monster dog, waits to swallow up any soul enveloped in sin. Husband and wife are judged for their equal fidelity to the other and for their generosity to the poor, their truthfulness, their piety, their refusal to destroy what has been made or to cause suffering to others.

Parallel to the great Egyptian treasures in London are those in Paris and in Florence. For Napoleon encouraged the study of Egyptology with his conquest of that land. Champollion deciphered the hieroglyphs, discovering that they were phonetic. Then he and Rosellini from Pisa were sent by the Grand Duke Leopold II of Tuscany to visit Egypt and Nubia in 1828. Florence's 'English' Cemetery had been founded in 1827 by the Swiss Evangelical Church, who purchased its land from that same Grand Duke. For this reason we find countless examples amongst our tombs and even on our building, which has the closed lotus flowers, of Egyptian motifs, which this past year were catalogued and exhibited by Florence's Museo Archeologico Nazionale where half the treasures brought back by Champollion and Rosellini are housed.

In 1861 Elizabeth Barrett Browning would be buried there, along with Arthur Hugh Clough, the tomb of the latter having designs on it taken from Champollion's book on the Expedition to Egypt and Nubia. The pet name for Elizabeth in her family had been 'Ba', while that for her brother Edward had been 'Bro'. She writes a sonnet to Robert about his coming to call her by that name, as used earlier by her now-dead mother and brother.
Robert, letting Frederic Leighton design her tomb, never returned to Florence, and indeed interfered with the tomb's design to see that her name is not given upon it, merely the cheapness of the letters of 'E.B.B.', nor her recognizable portrait placed there. In Egyptian mythology that is to subject someone to a double death. Leighton, who had illustrated her poem 'A Musical Instrument' and who deeply appreciated her, was furious. Robert next wrote his tale of the murder of a wife by her husband, The Ring and the Book, speaking of Elizabeth there as a bird, seeming in reference to the Egyptian ba. How much did Robert know of the Egyptian Book of the Dead and of the need for the name and the portrait to be upon the tomb?



http://www.metmuseum.org/explore/newegypt/htm/re_li_ba.htm

http://nefertiti.iwebland.com/religion/body_and_soul.htm




FLORIN WEBSITE JULIA BOLTON HOLLOWAYAUREO ANELLO ASSOCIAZIONE, 1997-2017: MEDIEVAL: BRUNETTO LATINO, DANTE ALIGHIERI, SWEET NEW STYLE: BRUNETTO LATINO, DANTE ALIGHIERI, & GEOFFREY CHAUCER || VICTORIAN: WHITE SILENCE: FLORENCE'S 'ENGLISH' CEMETERY || ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING || WALTER SAVAGE LANDOR || FRANCES TROLLOPE || ABOLITION OF SLAVERY || FLORENCE IN SEPIA  || CITY AND BOOK CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII || MEDIATHECA 'FIORETTA MAZZEI' || EDITRICE AUREO ANELLO CATALOGUE || UMILTA WEBSITE || RINGOFGOLD WEBSITE || LINGUE/LANGUAGES: ITALIANO, ENGLISH || VITA
New: Dante vivo || White Silence