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A World Upturned
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A World Upturned: Commentary on and Analysis of The Dialogue of Ipuwer and the Lord of All

Roland Enmarch


The Dialogue of Ipuwer and the Lord of All is one of the major works from the golden age of Egyptian literature, the Middle Kingdom (c. 1980–1630 bc). The poem provides one of the most searching explorations of human motivation and divine justice to survive from ancient Egypt, and its stark pessimism questions many of the core ideologies that underpinned the Egyptian state and monarchy. It begins with a series of laments portraying an Egypt overwhelmed by chaos and destruction, and develops into an examination of why these disasters should happen, and who bears responsibility for them: the god ... More

Keywords: Egyptian literature, Middle Kingdom, poem, motivation, divine justice, history, Egyptian culture, gods, ancient Egypt, king

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2009 Print ISBN-13: 9780197264331
Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012 DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197264331.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Roland Enmarch, author
Lecturer in Egyptology, School of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology, University of Liverpool