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お願いします (4) The dwarf-god Bes was a welcome sight to woman in labor. Bes fought off evil spirits that might threaten her or her body. During the Middle Kingdom, Bes's likeness might be carved onto the boomerang-shaped magic wand women often placed on their stomachs while giving birth. During the New Kingdom, Bes's picture might be painted on the birth house wall. Childbirth was dangerous to both mother and baby, so divine help from any of the gods associated with newborns was sought out, particularly from the chief god of newborns―the pregnant hippo-goddess, Taweret. (5) Scholars believe one out of every two or three newborns died, but they can only estimate because many newborns did not have their own burial. If a mother and baby both died in childbirth, they would be buried together. Babies who died soon after birth might be placed in clay pots and buried under the home, and those who never lived long enough to be named might be thrown into the Nile to the crocodiles. Mothers anxiourly watched their babies for danger signs. With predictions such as, "If the child made a sound like the creaking of the pine trees, or turned his face downward, he would die," it's no wonder they were anxious. (6) Parents named their children quickly. A child without a name was doomed to the "second death"―complete erasure―no life after death. Mothers wasted no time announcing their newborn's mame. Some names were long―Hekamaatreemperkhons. And some names were short―Ti. Some names described the child―Nefertiti, the Beautiful Woman Has Come. Some names connected the child with one of the gods―Tutankhamen, the Living Image of Amun. And some names were what the mother cried out when she gave birth―Nefret, pretty.

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(4) 小人の神「ベス」は、分娩中の女性にとって好ましい眺めでした。 ベスは、彼女や彼女の身体を脅かすかもしれない悪魔を退けました。 中王国の頃には、女性が、しばしば、分娩中に彼女たちのお腹の上に置いたブーメラン形の魔法の杖に、ベスの肖像は彫刻されたかも知れません。新王国の頃には、ベスの絵は、産屋の壁に描かれたかもしれません。 出産は母親と赤ちゃん双方にとって危険だったので、新生児に関係のあるあらゆる神々の御加護が求められました、特に、新生児の主神 ― 妊娠したカバの女神「タウェレット」からの御加護が求められました。 (5) 新生児2,3人につき1人が死んだと、学者は考えています、しかし、多くの新生児は、埋葬されなかったので、彼らは推定することができるだけです。 母親と赤ちゃんが、出産で、両方とも死亡するならば、彼らは一緒に埋葬されました。生まれた後すぐに死んだ赤ちゃんは、粘土の壺に入れられ、その家の下に埋葬されたかもしれません、また、名前をつけられるまで生きなかった赤ちゃんは、ナイル川に投げ込まれ、ワニのえさにされたかも知れません。母親は、心配して危険な兆候がないかと彼らの赤ちゃんを調べました。 「子供が、松の木がきしむような音をたてたり、顔を下に向けるならば、その子は死にます。」と言った様な予言があったので、彼女たちが、心配したのも無理はありません。 (6) 両親は、急いで彼らの子供たちに名前を付けました。 名前のない子供は、完全な抹消である ― 「2回目の死」を迎える運命でした ― その子の来世は無くなったのです。 母親は、時をおかずに、彼らの新生児の名前を発表しました。 名前の中には「ヘカマートレエぺルコーンス」の様に長い名前もありました。また、「ティ」の様に短い名前もありました。 子供を「美しい女性が来ました」と言う意味の「ネフェルティティ」と表わす名前もありました。子供を、神々の1つ ― アメン神の現世での化身である「ツタンカーメン」に結びつける名前もありました。 さらに、出産したとき、母親が大声で叫んだ言葉 ― 「可愛い」と言う意味の「ネフレット」とした名前もありました。

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