Onomasticon of Amenope

From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
Jump to: navigation, search

The Onomasticon of Amenope is an Egyptian papyrus from the late 20th Dynasty to 22nd Dynasty, a compilation belonging to a tradition begun in the Middle Kingdom, and which includes the Ramesseum Onomasticon dating from the late Middle Kingdom.[1] Nine copies of the document are known, of which the original Golenischeff copy is the most complete.[2]

It is an administrative/literary categorization of 610 entities organized hierarchically,[3] rather than a list of words (glossary). It is known from ten fragments including versions on papyrus, board, leather, and pottery.[4]


The first copy discovered in 1890 at al-Hibah, Egypt, and subsequently purchased in 1891 in Cairo by the Russian Egyptologist Vladimir Goleniščev. It was found in jar together with the Report of Wenamun and the Tale of Woe.


Its content includes many groupings, including heavenly objects, towns, peoples, offices, buildings, types of land, agricultural produce, beverages and oxen parts. It lists several different groups of 'Sea Peoples' and Libyans, including the Danuna, Kehek, Libu, Lukka, Meshwesh, Nubians, and Sherden.


The Onomasticon of Amenope is an important resource for scholars studying ancient Egyptian life, the pharaonic administration and court, the priesthood,[5] the history of the Sea Peoples,[6] the geography and political organization of the Levant during the late New Kingdom and Third Intermediate Period,[7] early Bible studies, etc.


  1. I. S. Edwards, N. G. L. Hammond, C. J. Gadd, The Cambridge Ancient History, Cambridge University Press 1975, p.531
  2. Medjay in the Onomasticon of Amenenope
  3. Jack Goody, The Domestication of the Savage Mind, Cambridge University Press 1997, p.101
  4. Werner Hüllen, English Dictionaries, 800-1700: The Topical Tradition, Oxford University Press 1999, p.31
  5. Jack Goody, The Logic of Writing and the Organization of Society, Cambridge University Press 1986, pp.34f
  6. Carl S. Ehrlich, The Philistines in Transition: A History of the Philistines from Ca. 1000-730 B. C. E., Brill 1996, p.7
  7. Lowell K. Handy, The Age of Solomon: Scholarship at the Turn of the Millennium, Brill 1997, p.184