Demons in the Dark: Nightmares in Ancient Egypt

Prof. Kasia Szpakowska, Dept. of Classics, Ancient History, and Egyptology, University of Swansea, Wales

Tuesday, April 17, 2018, 7 PM, Montclair State University, room to be announced

Drawing upon both textual and material evidence primarily from New Kingdom Egypt, this talk explores the identity and nature of the hostile entities who dared to disturb the sleep of the living. Surviving prescriptions, and apotropaic devices attest to the prevalent fear of nightmares while the intricate steps one could take to ensure safety in the night emphasize the tangible nature of these fears. To protect themselves against such demons of the dark, sleeping mortals could access the same potent energies that restored order and kept at bay the chaotic enemies of the sun-god himself.