The Naming of Cats (And Other Things)

What was the basis of this idea of creation through the word? One might make two points. First, we have here the ancient concept of identity between the word and the object it describes; for this reason, the mouth which ‘pronounced the name of everything’ was thought capable of really creating things; on the other hand, things do not exist unless they are named, and thus the primeval condition may be termed ‘when the name of anything was not yet named’. Secondly, we must realize that in a sacrosanct monarchy people automatically carried into effect the commands given to them – and it was a ‘command (wd*)’ that issued forth from the god’s tongue in our text.

Egyptian Religion, Sigfried Morenz, trans. Ann E. Keep

(* that d should be underlined, I’m not up for digging up the code to make it do.)


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