Wundervölker, Monstrosität und Hässlichkeit im Mittelalter (German Edition)

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So far four of the statues have been re-erected, with 8 waiting to be re-erected, while some statues or pieces of statues are in the Luxor Museum, some on display, others in store awaiting conservation. Memnon was a hero of the Trojan War , a King of Ethiopia who led his armies from Africa into Asia Minor to help defend the beleaguered city but was ultimately slain by Achilles.

Memnon whose name means the Steadfast or Resolute [9] was said to be the son of Eos , the goddess of dawn. Eventually, the entire Theban Necropolis became generally referred to as the Memnonium [11] making him "Ruler of the west" as in the case of the god Osiris who was called chief of the west. In 27 BC, a large earthquake reportedly shattered the northern colossus, collapsing it from the waist up and cracking the lower half.

Following its rupture, the remaining lower half of this statue was then reputed to "sing" on various occasions — always within an hour or two of sunrise, usually right at dawn.

Colossi of Memnon

The sound was most often reported in February or March, but this is probably more a reflection of the tourist season rather than any actual pattern. The description varied; Strabo said it sounded "like a blow", Pausanias compared it to "the string of a lyre " breaking, but it also was described as the striking of brass or whistling. Other ancient sources include Pliny not from personal experience, but he collected other reports , Pausanias , Tacitus , Philostratus and Juvenal. The legend of the "Vocal Memnon", the luck that hearing it was reputed to bring, and the reputation of the statue's oracular powers became known outside of Egypt, and a constant stream of visitors, including several Roman Emperors, came to marvel at the statues.

The last recorded reliable mention of the sound dates from Sometime later in the Roman era, the upper tiers of sandstone were added the original remains of the top half have never been found ; the date of this reconstruction is unknown, but local tradition places it circa , and attributes it to the Roman Emperor Septimius Severus in an attempt to curry favour with the oracle it is known that he visited the statue but did not hear the sound.

Various explanations have been offered for the phenomenon; these are of two types: natural or man-made. Strabo himself apparently was too far away to be able to determine its nature: he reported that he could not determine if it came from the pedestal, the shattered upper area, or "the people standing around at the base". If natural, the sound was probably caused by rising temperatures and the evaporation of dew inside the porous rock.

Similar sounds, although much rarer, have been heard from some of the other Egyptian monuments Karnak is the usual location for more modern reports. Perhaps the most convincing argument against it being the result of human agents is that it did cease, probably due to the added weight of the reconstructed upper tiers.


A few mentions of the sound in the early modern era late 18th and early 19th centuries seem to be hoaxes, either by the writers or perhaps by locals perpetuating the phenomenon. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Ancient Egyptian statues. This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. This section includes a list of references , related reading or external links , but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations.

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Clipper ship Memnon. BBC News.

Sidebotham; J. Talbert; S. Gillies; T. Elliott; J. Retrieved March 22, Heizer; F. Stross; T. Hester; A. Albee; I.