Sacred Sexuality in Ancient Egypt

The Erotic Secrets of the Forbidden Papyrus

Sacred Sexuality in Ancient Egypt

• The first book to fully explore the sexual philosophy and practices of the ancient Egyptians

• Lavishly illustrated with erotic scenes from papyri that have long been hidden from the public

• Clarifies the connection of sacred sexuality to Egyptian cosmic symbolism

Until recently the forbidden papyri, whose explicit illustrations of Egyptian sexual practices were judged too shocking, were off limits to all but a few scholars. In this book, the first to fully explore Egyptian sexual philosophy and practices, Egyptologist Ruth Schumann-Antelme provides us a new view of the provocative sexual life of the ancient Egyptians.

Richly illustrated throughout, Sacred Sexuality in Ancient Egypt explains the symbolism of the erotic images found on the inner walls of the temples and tombs as well as those carved into pieces of limestone and sketched on papyri. The authors cover in detail the astonishing erotic scenes illustrating the Turin Papyrus, which have long been kept from public view. These papyri reveal in great detail Egyptian attitudes about love, religion, and even medicine, as well as specific sexual practices. Sacred Sexuality in Ancient Egypt reveals the intimate details of a society in which sexuality was the dynamic principle of the divine world, and the cosmic symbolism of religion imbued every level of Egyptian society with sexual significance.
  • Inner Traditions | 
  • 264 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780892818631 | 
  • October 2001
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About the Authors

Ruth Schumann Antelme

Ruth Schumann Antelme is an Egyptologist, an emeritus researcher of the CNRS in France and a professor at the School of the Louvre.


Stéphane Rossini

Stephane Rossini is a professional illustrator and the author of Reading and Writing Hieroglyphs.