History 1113 - Spring 2002

Formal Writing No. 1

So, you've completed the readings, you figure you know what's what and your itching to put pen to paper or blistered fingers to keyboard. Well, then you've come to the right place! First, let's begin with the basic standards I expect. First, you must type your paper using standard margins (1.5 inches left, 1 inch right), Courier or Times New Roman font and a 12-point type size. Next, you must properly document your use of other people's work in this essay. In plan terms, whenever you comment on or quote from Miriam Lichtheim's Ancient Egyptian Literature or Bentley and Ziegler's Traditions & Encounters, I expect a proper footnote indicating what material in that book you are referencing. Incidentally, you may not use any other texts for the paper unless specified in the topic you choose. Finally, your essay must be three full pages in length, double-spaced.

Ok, the serious and tedious stuff has been taken care of. Now on to the real fun....choosing a topic. Below you will find four topics from which to choose, each of which asks you to deal with a set of texts in Miriam Lichtheim's anthology of Egyptian literature. If none of the topics I have come up with suits, then please see me and we'll work out another topic.

Topic 1: Paying particular attention to pages 100-104, 107-109, 119-132 in Miriam Lichtheim's anthology of Egyptian texts analyze the attitude of Egyptians towards the divine, death and the afterlife. That is to say, identify the values that Egyptians seem to hold as important to leading a good life and carefully explore how they seek to achieve this and to show that it has been achieved. Having completed your study of these matters, write an essay in which you explain the relationship between core Egyptian values and the way Egyptians thought about the Afterlife.

Topic 2: Examine carefully the tale called the "The Destruction of Mankind" in Lichtheim's anthology. How is it similar to the story of the flood in the Bible? How is it different? Having completed this analysis answer the following question: Given that Egyptian and Hebrew cultures arose in roughly the same region of the world, what aspects of the Egyptian flood story seem most connected with Egyptian society and why?

Topic 3: Read through the texts "The Instruction of Any" and "Papyrus Lansing: A Schoolbook." On the evidence of these two sources write an essay in which you explain the social structure of Egypt as explained in these texts and the extent to which all Egyptians might have had values in common.

Topic 4: Compare the views of the two perspectives on war presented in "The Autobiography of Ahmose Son of Abana" and "The Kadesh Battle Inscriptions of Ramses II." Pay particular attention to the reasons for conflict and the benefits (if any) derived from war. Having made your comparison, write an essay in which you explain the purpose(s) of war in the Egyptian state.

Best of Luck

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