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Eine Besucherin und eine Besucher bestaunen eine Vitrine im Prunksaal

You've voted! The winner of our online voting for the special exhibit is the payrus "The Lament of Artemisia". You can see the winning object from 18 May 2021 at the State Hall.

Object 1: The Lament of Artemisia
Papyrus, 4th century BC

This document is one of the oldest Greek papyrus texts ever written. In it, Artemisia, a Greek woman living in Memphis, invokes God’s judgment to obtain just punishment for an outrage she has suffered: Her deceased daugh­ter’s father had refused to provide a grave for her, endangering her life in the other world. As punishment, God should likewise refuse the man a grave, and he and his property should be visited by all kinds of evil. The extraordinary text contains elements of a curse, but with­ out recourse to magic, thus resembling a legal action. However, Artemisia does not address her letter to a court of law, because the evil is not unlawful. All the more insistent is therefore her complaint to the Egyptian tribunal of the gods.

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