Helen in Egypt, a Hidden Hathor? An Intercultural Study of Ancient Female Agency
Jones, Brittany A.
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This Senior Individualized Project utilizes feminist agency theory to explore intercultural connections between the Egyptian goddess Hathor and the semi-divine Greek heroine Helen of Troy. While Helen has received considerable attention from modem feminist scholars, Hathor has not. The author examines Hathor and Helen's agency as daughters, wives, mothers, and destroyers in a variety of ancient Greek, Latin, and Egyptian sources, such as Euripides' Helen, Vergil's Aeneid, and the Egyptian "Destruction of Mankind." Feminist agency theory reveals similarities in Helen and Hathor's mythos, including celestial paternal origins and a connection to Egypt. She investigates Hathor's possible influence on Helen's mythos, particularly Helen's Egyptian sojourn and her eidolon, or "phantom." The results of this study will hopefully encourage modem classicists and Egyptologists to give more consideration to the relationship between Egypt and Greece. Such consideration could reveal hidden connections between the two civilizations, as done here with Hathor and Helen.