The temple calendars of Ancient Egypt indicate the dates of religious festivals and the supplies needed for these and for the regular cult. They reflect the attitudes of the Egyptians to the worship of their gods as a basic foundation of their lives; the temple was the god's home on Earth, and the daily food and drink offerings made to the deity were equivalent to the meals of his earthly worshippers. For special festivals, depending on the particular deity and the wealth of a particular temple, special additional supplies were brought in, and the custom became established of making calendars which listed the amount and variety of regular offerings, the dates and names of the year's festivals, and the extra provisions to be offered and enjoyed on those occasions. This book is not about the festivals as such, but about the calendars themselves. An attempt is made to gather together all the known examples of such calendars, to reconstruct them whenever practicable, and to give the history of this kind of document. They are not simply lists - they have a proper format and structure, which are studied in the book.
Periods from the Archaic to the Graeco-Roman are covered, including the three greatest in Egypt's history - the Old Kingdom, the Middle Kingdom and the New. The famous Medinet Habu calendar is complete enough to allow analysis of the relative importance of different feasts. It is also possible to suggest how many people served the temple, and the probable size and membership of its governing body.show more