Author Archives: bellazahm

Introduction to Ancient Greece – Bella

I am really starting to get into Ancient Greece, which was unexpected. I thought it would be more difficult than Ancient Egypt, but I am realizing how fascinating the Grecian world was. The challenge is that it is more difficult to discuss Greece, because it is comprised of islands and different types of political systems, not just one large kingdom like Ancient Egypt. My notes on Greece are extensive, and I am realizing there was a level of rape culture that was not   prominent in Ancient Egypt. Grecian women were objects, not people, and viewed as such a source of evil that the names of women could not be spoken in public. Continue reading

Starting Nefertiti – Bella

This week, I started my extensive research on Nefertiti. I have been having some trouble with this chapter, because it is just about one person. There is so much to say about her and how she lived her life.  I don’t know yet how to best craft the way to present my understanding of her.  Do I locate her as wife, daughter, daughter-in-law, or Pharaoh? There are a lot of aspects to her that I could to zoom in on and elaborate on.   I began with researching Akhenaten, her husband, as well as his father. The reader needs to have some background of the family Akhenaten is coming from, as well as Nefertiti’s family.

Another struggle I am having is identifying and explaining all the different theories inside this Amarna period. There are a lot of different  scholars who argue that Nefertiti was pharaoh in her own right and some who argue that she was not. I have to account for both sides, and it is difficult to explain both. I want to accentuate the beauty and magic of Nefertiti while also making her immortal. It is my job to show and not tell her story, and try to paint a vivid enough picture for the reader.

Here is a sample I have from my Nefertiti chapter:

         Every pharaoh was viewed as divine, carrying the regal and magical bloodline of Horus. Essentially every member of every royal family in every dynasty transcended the material and mortality. They were  embodiments of nature.  Ancient Egyptian Religion was so synonymous and in touch with nature itself that to transcend Earth was to go further into nature. Akhenaten and Nefertiti, more so Nefertiti, surpassed this, and this idea of Nefertiti not just representing Godlihood but actually tying together mortality as well as this ascension through life itself will be further discussed in depth throughout this chapter.
Source for Photo:

Egyptian Museum Berlin, editor. “Nefertiti.” Society for the Promotion of the
Egyptian Museum Berlin, edited by Society for the Promotion of the Egyptian
Museum Berlin, http://www.egyptian-museum-berlin.com/c53.php. Accessed 9 Apr.
2018.

Creating a Thesis – Bella

     I have shifted some aspects of my timeline, but I still have kept up fairly well with what my goal was. I haven’t started Greece yet, but instead have extended my research in religion in Ancient Egypt so I can cover more provide more  depth experience for the reader as well as myself. I never planned to write nearly 30 pages on religion in Ancient Egypt, but I continued to compile notes. I have come up with a method that suits me rather well, which is taking a multitude of notes, printing out sources, highlighting and taking notes on those, and then typing it all up once I have  compiled everything. I do a lot at once so I can get more work done that way, though I save my opinions for the actual writing. It has been difficult writing my opinions without directly saying “I” or coming off too strong about them, I have to more or less incorporate them and not just focus on my perception, but every other one. I am doing just as well as I hoped I would. I am almost done with Ancient Egypt, all I have to do is another page or so of marriage and then I go right to Nefertiti, and then I’m done Egypt until I go back and edit. I have to repeat this whole process with Greece, and given that I wrote 50 pages for Ancient Egypt within two weeks, I am confident about Greece. I have already begun research on it. I just have to go back and do the very general introduction on the progression of women in society. Specifically I need to look at my notes from The Creation of Patriarchy to set the tone for the rest of my book.  I have also been developing an underlying thesis for my whole book, and it is essentially that women have been persecuted despite being pillars of society through the development and ultimate triumph of patriarchy as the organizing power structure. Women have been needed, but overlooked to support the male need for society and civilization, especially in these Ancient Societies.

Blog Post #5: Religion in Ancient Egypt – Bella

This week, I have been specifically focusing on Ancient Egyptian Religious Myths and Gods and Goddesses. I am just beginning to funnel down to femininity within the legends, focusing on certain Goddesses such as Isis and Hathor. An aspect of this is not just looking at the Goddesses themselves but the priestesses and the temples associated with them on earth, and how they are manifested in the real world. Continue reading

Blog Post #4 – Bella

     This week, I got in depth to looking at Helen of Troy and comparing how she could have perhaps been acted on vs an actor. The story of Helen of Troy, in concise terms, is as follows: Helen was born out of a mortal woman named Leda, and Zeus. The Gods often came down to mate with mortals, but most of the time, the offspring of the Gods’ were male and not female, so Helen was already distinct in this manner. Helen was unearthly beautiful as a result, and had an extraordinary number of suitors who wanted her hand in marriage as she grew up. She eventually married Menelaus, who was her brother in law, Agamemnon’s, brother. They had one child together, Hermione, who Helen “left” when Paris, a Trojan prince, took her back to Troy. Thus comes the debate as to whether or not Helen was acted on or acted herself, because in these times, such a high profile, beautiful woman would have been desireable to kidnap, but there are also stories and arguments that pertain to Helen wanting to leave. In my book, I am going to discuss both aspects, and argue each side. This is part of the reason as to why I chose Helen; there is so much room for interpretation and perception, especially with her femininity and sexuality.

Bust of Helen of Troy:

Greek Mythology, editor. “Helen.” greekmythology.com, edited by Greek Mythology,

    Greek Mythology, http://www.greekmythology.com/Myths/Mortals/Helen/helen.html.

    Accessed 16 Feb. 2018.

Blog Post #3 – Bella

        This week, I started to have a more concrete development in my writing. I already have the very very beginning to an introduction about Ancient Egypt written, but this week, I have included the beginnings of an Introduction to Ancient Greece, specifically the women. I am a little torn on whether or not I should spend a fair amount of time focusing on just Greece as a whole, and then go into women, but because this is a book about women, I want to keep my talking about the generalities to a minimum. On the other hand, it is important to understand the context in which I am writing about women and how women were, so it is important to know all the facets of a society, and how women were included or excluded in those facets. Even though women are not included in politics in Ancient Greece, perhaps I should still write about the politics, because it is important to note how it operated and the more sexist aspect to the politics.

Blog Post #2 – bella

This week, I furthered my research on the science behind the Creation of Patriarchy, and continued to take notes and conduct a summary. I also finished reading about the story of Helen of Troy, who is to be my Greek female “leader.” Though her physical being was not essentially real, her message still was. In Greek Mythology, as well as in Ancient Mythology, for that matter, women played an extremely important role. Religion was, arguably, the pinnacle of life for nearly everyone in Ancient times. The religion and the myths were explanations of the way things worked, like Ra from Ancient Egypt Mythology pulling the sun up every morning. I am almost done developing my “family” tree for Mythological Greek Gods, but as I go on, I find the process being slowed because I am so fascinated by what I find. Every time that I write one person’s name down after researching them, such as Ares, and I get busy looking at the next God/Goddess affiliated with them. Continue reading

Blog post #1 – Bella

Blog Post 1: 1/24/18

Since this week was the first official week of independent research projects, I went to the library and began to search for books that could help me throughout my research projects. I knew I was looking for books that adhered to the topic of ancient women, patriarchy, and women in society not just in ancient times, but now. I have had a pretty decent knowledge of these topics as well as certain women in history such as Cleopatra and Hatshepsut, but I have never really done research at the level I anticipate. I believe that an important aspect of my project is to be able to compare and contrast women and their influences then versus now, and how we have evolved in society (or not evolved,) and though I hope to draw my own conclusion(s) on that matter in my work, I hope to get inspiration from these books and get a more solid idea of my own opinions, and how I will approach this task. This week, I hope to create a family tree of Gods and Goddesses in Ancient Egypt, so that I can focus on female divinity in ancient Egyptian society. Continue reading