Kemet Klub

Ancient Egyptian Books of the Afterlife


Maiken Mosleth King
6  Weeks. Monday 19th August – 23rd September 2024

A Certificate of Completion


At the end of this course you will be able to download a personalised certificate of completion from the classroom. A great way to keep track of your learning and celebrate your Egyptological journey.

Ancient Egyptian Books of the Afterlife Maiken Mosleth King

6x Monday Evenings 19th August - 23rd September 2024
Times: 7.30-9pm (UK Times) to join live.

We love to see you for the live lectures, but if you have to miss one, don't worry, you can of course catch up (or watch again) at your leisure via the recordings. You will have access to the recorded lectures for a whole month after the last live lecture. Recordings will be available until 23rd October.

The ancient Egyptians believed in a complex afterlife, in which the spirits of the dead could traverse the cosmos, visit the world of the living, and inhabit the realms of the gods. However, the journey to the kingdom of Osiris was filled with dangers, and the deceased would encounter many obstacles and fierce guardian deities. Sacred funerary texts such as the Coffin Texts and the Book of the Dead were believed to equip the deceased with the knowledge required to successfully complete their journey to a blissful afterlife. During this 6-week course we will look at different funerary texts and their contents, and examine what these fascinating texts can tell us about ancient Egyptian religious beliefs and practices.


 Intentionally esoteric and mysterious, the books of the afterlife are fascinating to explore but often difficult to understand. Some funerary texts are collections of spells that demonstrate a desire for how the soul can be reborn and provision the spirit with magical powers to avoid perils. Other afterlife literature forms a more linear narrative as we journey through the hours of the night to be successfully reborn.  We will examine these different texts to identify  the fears, hopes and desires of the Egyptians. 

The late Eric Hornung argued that  ‘the sun at midnight’ was central to the beliefs enshrined within these texts. Through our examination of these books  we will explore both solar and Osiride forms of renewal  as we endeavour to gain a detailed understanding of the ancient Egyptian view of life and death. 


 Week 1: Monday 19th August

The Pyramid Texts


Week 2: Monday 26th August

The Coffin Texts


Week 3: Monday 2nd September

The Book of the Dead


Week 4: Monday 9th September

The Book of Amduat and the Book of Gates


Week 5: Monday 16th September

The Litany of Ra and the Book of the Heavenly Cow


Week 6: Monday 23rd September

The Books of Breathing

Maiken Mosleth King

Maiken Mosleth King  is a lecturer in Ancient History at the University of Bristol, where she is also a PhD candidate.  She has previously completed a BA and MA in Egyptology at the University of Liverpool. She has published academic articles in Gottinger Miszellen and the Journal of History and Cultures, as well as contributing to the catalogue of the exhibition ‘Emotions in Antiquity and Ancient Egypt’ at the Museum of Cultural History in Oslo, Norway. Her linguistic skills are broad and include Coptic, Classical Greek, Latin, Biblical Hebrew, Phoenician, classical Arabic and hieroglyphs, which she has taught for a number of years

Booking instructions

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Session links will be available in the course Classroom. Room opens 30 minutes before the lecture begins. If you do not have the course link or have any other queries please get in touch

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