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drioton common theatrical military

Emhab was active during the reign of King Kamose (1543–1539 B.C.E. ) probably as a military drummer. Misinterpretations of some common Egyptian words in his biography led to his mistakenly being called an itinerant actor in Egyptological literature by Egyptologist Emile Drioton. He probably accompanied Kamose on a military expedition to Nubia in 1540 B.C.E. It was in the description in Emhab’s biography of drumming that Drioton found the announcements of a theatrical presentation. He also translated the common word for travel to imply that Emhab was undertaking a theatrical tour. Finally, Drioton understood a common word for speaking as declamation, making it into a theatrical term.


Jaroslav Cerny, “The Stela of Emhab from Tell Edfu,” in Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, Kairo 24 (1969): 87–92.

Emile Drioton, “Le théâtre égyptien dans l’ancienne Egypte,” in Revue de la Société d’Historie du Théâtre 6 (1954): 7–45.

Emiliani, Cesare [next] [back] Emergent Semantics

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