Priestess of the Nile
By Veronica Scott
The heart of my book Priestess of the Nile is the love story between Sobek the Crocodile God and Merys, the priestess of one of his temples. Set in Ancient Egypt around 1500BC, the romance plays out against a paranormal background, as Sobek is a shifter who can be fully human (and very hot if I may say so!), half human/half crocodile or fully crocodile (along the scale of a dinosaur or dragon). The Ancient Egyptians were a surprisingly romantic people and wrote many poems about love and romance in ancient Egypt, using metaphors, repetition, and other poetic techniques familiar to poetry readers today. With Valentine’s Day rapidly approaching, I thought that made a good topic for today’s guest blog.
“Poetry is perhaps the greatest forgotten treasure of ancient Egypt,” said Richard Parkinson, an expert on ancient Egyptian poetry at London’s British Museum, home to the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts outside of Cairo.
Love poems have been found in many excavations of Egyptian ruins, from the tombs of the rich to the ruins of humble workers’ villages. It is believed that originally the poems were passed down through the generations in an oral fashion, much as the minstrels of the Middle Ages would preserve their tales of chivalry and the love between knights and fair ladies. Eventually, as the hieroglyphic form of writing took hold in Egypt, the poems were committed to papyrus and therefore preserved for us to enjoy. Students may have copied out parts of poems when practicing to become scribes.
Sobek didn’t happen to recite any poetry to Merys in the course of the novel (although I’m sure he probably made up for that lapse later LOL) but here’s one fragment of a poem dating to the time where my story occurs:
The Flower Song (Excerpt)
To hear your voice is pomegranate wine to me:
I draw life from hearing it.
Could I see you with every glance,
It would be better for me
Than to eat or to drink.
(Translated by M.V. Fox)
Here’s another fragment which I enjoy, taken from a much longer poem:
She looks like the rising morning star
At the start of a happy year.
Shining bright, fair of skin,
Lovely the look of her eyes,
Sweet the speech of her lips,
She has not a word too much.
There was no specific celebration or day devoted to love and lovers that we know about, but the goddess Hathor was the Egyptian deity personifying love, beauty, music, motherhood and joy. We can imagine her festivals probably served as an excuse for many a pair of young lovers to enjoy each other’s company. I didn’t include Hathor in Priestess of the Nile but she’s involved in some of the other Works in Progress in the connected series.
Sobek and Merys managed to fall in love and find joy together without needing intervention from Hathor! My best wishes to you for a Happy Valentine’s Day.
Veronica Scott grew up in a house witha library full of books as its heart, andwhen she ran out of things to read, she started writing her own stories. Married young to her high schoolsweetheart then widowed, Veronica has two grown daughters, one younggrandson and cats.Veronica’s life has taken many twistsand turns, but she always makes time to keep reading and writing. Everything is good source material for the next novel or the one after thatanyway, right? She’s been throughearthquakes, tornadoes and near deathexperiences, although nothing is asstressful as meeting a book deadline. Always more stories to tell, newadventures to experience–Veronica’s personal motto is, “Never boring.”
Veronica can be found at… http://veronicascott.wordpress.com/