Obelisk: A History

The many meanings of obelisks across nearly forty centuries, from Ancient Egypt which invented them to twentieth century America which put them in Hollywood epics.Nearly every empire worthy of the name from ancient Rome to the United States has sought an Egyptian obelisk to place in the center of a ceremonial space Obelisks giant standing stones, invented in AncienThe many meanings of obelisks across nearly forty centuries, from Ancient Egypt which invented them to twentieth century America which put them in Hollywood epics.Nearly every empire worthy of the name from ancient Rome to the United States has sought an Egyptian obelisk to place in the center of a ceremonial space Obelisks giant standing stones, invented in Ancient Egypt as sacred objects serve no practical purpose For much of their history their inscriptions, in Egyptian hieroglyphics, were completely inscrutable Yet over the centuries dozens of obelisks have made the voyage from Egypt to Rome, Constantinople, and Florence to Paris, London, and New York New obelisks and even obelisk shaped buildings rose as well the Washington Monument being a noted example Obelisks, everyone seems to sense, connote some very special sort of power This beautifully illustrated book traces the fate and many meanings of obelisks across nearly forty centuries what they meant to the Egyptians, and how other cultures have borrowed, interpreted, understood, and misunderstood them through the years In each culture obelisks have taken on new meanings and associations To the Egyptians, the obelisk was the symbol of a pharaoh s right to rule and connection to the divine In ancient Rome, obelisks were the embodiment of Rome s coming of age as an empire To nineteenth century New Yorkers, the obelisk in Central Park stood for their country s rejection of the trappings of empire just as it was itself beginning to acquire imperial power And to a twentieth century reader of Freud, the obelisk had anatomical and psychological connotations The history of obelisks is a story of technical achievement, imperial conquest, Christian piety and triumphalism, egotism, scholarly brilliance, political hubris, bigoted nationalism, democratic self assurance, Modernist austerity, and Hollywood kitsch in short, the story of Western civilization.
Obelisk A History The many meanings of obelisks across nearly forty centuries from Ancient Egypt which invented them to twentieth century America which put them in Hollywood epics Nearly every empire worthy of the nam

  • Title: Obelisk: A History
  • Author: Brian A. Curran Anthony Grafton Pamela O. Long Benjamin Weiss
  • ISBN: 9780262512701
  • Page: 362
  • Format: Paperback
  • 1 thought on “Obelisk: A History”

    1. Obelisks are seriously - Everywhere. Even in Sydney you will find various obelisks both grand and unassuming. One in the city is used as a cover-up for a sewerage system! I found this book extremeley interesting because it gives us an insight not only into the traditions, beliefs and history of Ancient Egypt, but also brings to our attention just how much of the new world and the western world feels the need to legitimise itself through the use of allusions to a more distant past. I adore books [...]

    2. Much of OBELISK: A HISTORY deals primarily with Egyptian obelisks and their effect throughout the centuries, as those obelisks came to be distributed around the world.When the Romans conquered Egypt, they brought back obelisks, both as visible signs of their conquest and as complements to the highly syncretic Roman religion, especially since the sun and other obelisk-elements played a key role in both Egyptian and Roman worship.After the fall of Rome, many obelisks, both in Egypt and in Rome, fe [...]

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