Asian studies in Lithuania
Authors: Rudzinskaitė-Arcimavičienė, Marija
Catalog: (Lietuvių) Senovės Rytai, (Lietuvių) 4
Published in: Kaunas
Published on: 1934
Publisher: Varpas

Marija Rudzinskaite-Arcimaviciene was the first Lithuanian Egyptologist, scientist, initiator of professional Egyptology in Lithuania. She started finding interest in Egypt while she was studying in Moscow. Her professor was a famous Russian Orientalist Boris Turajev. Marija dedicated her life for historical Egypt heritage research. She participated in many expeditions in Egypt and brought a lot of exhibits to Lithuania, especially from the excavations with a famous American archaeologist George Reisner. Since 1922 she was a professor in Vytautas Magnus University. Marija also started history of Egypt course in the university where she taught students about art and literature monuments.  In 1932 she published a dictionary „Egipto hieroglifai“. In the book she explained symbolic and phonetical meaning of hieroglyphs.  She also translated some anthems and one tale. In 1936 Marija published Egypt history textbook and some other books about Egypt. Majority of her exhibits are held at Mykolas Žilinskas Gallery in Kaunas.

In the book „Vardo reikšmė senovės Egipte“ writer firstly compares the power of word and how it was understood in Eastern and Western worlds. After a short introduction she starts talking about the meaning of names in Egypt. In the book she mostly refers to ancient Egypt legends about gods and goddesses, Book of the Dead and historical heritages such as pyramids, tombs and mummies. In the book she broadly explains how Egyptians understood given name and the meaning of it. There is also a lot of focus on the afterlife, illustrating how Egyptians used to prepare dead body for the afterlife and defining why the name remained meaningful even after death. In the book writer retells a lot of legends about ancient Egypt gods with many quotations. She also quotes some thoughts of well-known German archaeologist Adolf Erman from some of his books he wrote about Egypt. By including quotes from Book of the Dead and other Egypt literature author makes her scientific text more expressive and colourful. At the end summarizing her book writer talks about Lithuania and quotes some spells and incantations which included names. In this way she supports her opinion which was stated at the beginning of book that names were important not only in Eastern but also in the Western world.

Initiators of the project: Japan foundation VDU