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Ancient Egyptian Demon Advent Calendar, Day 24: A hangover cure!

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For the last day of our Ancient Egyptian Demon Advent Calendar we bring you a hangover cure in preparation for the Christmas festivities!

The ancient Egyptians sure knew how to party – there are loads of scenes of banquets loaded with food and drink with entertainment from musicians and dancers alike. But they evidently partied a little too hard sometimes and we have textual and pictorial evidence of some of the ill effects they faced.

This guy clearly over did it! Painted plaster scene from Musées Royaux d'Art et d'Histoire, Bruxelles, E.2877. Image courtesy of http://www.globalegyptianmuseum.org/detail.aspx?id=450

This guy clearly over did it! Painted plaster scene from Musées Royaux d’Art et d’Histoire, Bruxelles, E.2877. Image courtesy of http://www.globalegyptianmuseum.org/detail.aspx?id=450

 

In this scene from an unknown location, the central figure is turning away to vomit (into his neighbour’s lap!), but no text comes with the depiction to tell us if this is due to drinking too much.

There are several ancient Egyptian spells to cure the symptoms of a hangover, from headaches to belly ache. One spell for curing stomach ache involved the drinking of beer. Perhaps the ‘hair of the dog’ type of hangover cure goes further back than we realise! This spell actually blames the belly ache on the influence of the demonic dead.

 

A SPELL FOR THE BEER

This ale of Horus < in> Khemmis which was mashed in Pe, which was mixed in Dep- drink it foaming!

The sem-priest is standing up at his duty. You are the creation of the trapper who vomited ins.t-plants, ladanum and lotus-flowers.

Do drink the beer- it is to drive out the influence of a male or female dead that is in this belly that I have brought it- and so on.

Translation from Borghouts ‘Ancient Egyptian Magical Texts’ p. 47. Spell #76.  From Papyrus Hearst.

So if you overindulge in food or drink over the festive period, do as the ancient Egyptians did – blame a demon for your belly ache, recite this spell and drink some beer!

All of us at the Ancient Egyptian Demonology Project hope that you enjoy the festive period and wish you a Merry Christmas!

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