Related articles (c) by Ove von Spaeth 
1:  Freud and Moses
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Ove von Spaeth
History and Knowledge:
Rediscovery, Insight, Renewal
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Freud and Moses - and an extensive view of history


Anthropologists were among the first to scientifically widen our view of the contents of the ancient biblical texts - while theologians and linguists were, unfortunately, misled by unfounded theories, established before archaeology and history had developed as sciences.
          Also the spiritual world picture of the early cultures was explored - and the results provided inspiration in many fields of study. On this basis Sigmund Freud was much influenced by anthropological research - especially evident in his famous book about Moses.

Recovered Historical Information from Egyptian Myths

The authors of antiquity, as well as the Bible and the Rabbinical Writings highly esteemed the famous historical Moses for versatile talents as a founder of religion and law, besides the fact that he was a general, philosopher - also versed in astronomy - and a mystic, magician, healer, and inventor.
          However, in later times many researchers regard such a person as an impossibility, "too many different abilities for one life!" - while others find the many aspects of Moses the enigma (what kind of man was he in reality? and did he in fact exist? etc.) still greatly fascinating. - Moses is very intriguing according to texts by Goethe, Machiavelli, Henry George, Winston Churchill, Rainer Maria Rilke, Thomas Mann - and, especially, Sigmund Freud.

          Anthropologists were among the first to scientifically widen our view of the contents of the ancient biblical texts, while theologians and linguists in the beginning were often mislead, e.g. by the still not proved "documentary"theory. This concept was, unfortunately, firmly established before the development of scientifically based archaeology and history, and from the residues of which, research - having only abandoned the theory after 100 years - still suffers today.
          Specific conditions during Egypt's 18th dynasty, ca. 1585-1300 BC, and mentioned in biblical texts and Rabbinical Writings, but only recognized by present historical research, prove that many of the ancient parts of the Bible cannot  have been "fabricated".
          In the years around 1850 the first research results appeared about the contents of the Bible as to possible loans from other cultures, but public exposure of this was done very cautiously. As late as the beginning of the 20th century even in such a well-informed western European countries, people were punished according to blasphemy laws for openly claiming that the Bible is mainly based on myths.
          However, in the Bible, the Rabbinical Writings, and the texts of the ancient authors, there are many indications that Moses was an Egyptian of royal birth. These dates - especially when presented collectively - appear clearly as being non-mythical. So far, the problem has been to have these traces investigated as a major whole.

Confrontation with new knowledge on Moses

When in his last year Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) in his book presented his interesting view on the events of the life of Moses there was an often aggressive reaction from theologians, historians, and Jewish representatives all claiming that Freud had got it all wrong. The truth is that nobody at that time seemed to have known enough about the possible traces of Moses to counter-argue with sufficient substance except with a reagard to a few detailes.
          Let me, with all respect, introduce a new background. For more than a quarter of a century I had done intensive research on the historical Moses - a long-term study necessary for the tracing and testing of the huge amount of material and the results obtained through this - and including numerous displaced parts of the dramatic history of Moses and his activities - all published in my 5-volume book-series on this. A series of five books about Moses and his history has never been written before - actually not even a two-volume work has been in existence.
          The comprehensive presentation of a vast amount of sources from antiquity and from modern archaeology, linguistics and anthropology - many brought together for the first time - resulted in a logical-realistic and historically coherent picture of Moses and his chronology.
          From very far back in time Moses has also made an impressive impact on western culture - and so had Freud in the 20th century. Therefore, through all the years after Freud the many researching scholars' writings are seen repeatedly to be about Freud's attitude regarding Moses  but almost nothing about Moses himself; - Freud's findings, as well as those of his critics, must now be reconsidered and adjusted in the light of so much additional information about Moses. In all the following, no scrutinizing treatises are included as procedure or goal, - but, according to plan, a series of new, illuminating views are presented.

          It has been neglected that a certain type of river ceremony - especially known to us from the Bible - where the small royal child was delivered to the royal palace was a common tradition - was carried out in practice as a ceremonial play in most of the ancient civilized countries.
          Instead, in many present-day works the appearance of this royal cult in the Moses-narrative has been misleadingly designated a "migratory-legend", even after widespread astonishment that the same type of event was also repeated in connection with historical royal sons of other countries.
          The best known accounts of this event as found in the Bible has been scrutinized linguistically, historically, mythologically, theologically, etc. Historical research does not provide immediate insight into mythological research, a discipline which, in turn, lacks thorough knowledge of the connection between ancient astronomy and cosmological ideas, - just as linguists do not normally have sufficiently thorough professional insight into archaeology, and archaeologists are not primarily researchers of religion. And in addition, both exact inter-disciplinary research and the professionally less one-sided investigations have often been met with suspicion and resistance.

          Despite the many problems a few researchers have been able to point out Moses' original background across the limits of specific branches of learning. Notable is a statement from the German international authority, Eduard Meyer (1835-1930), who, as one of the few within the science of history, has specialized in Egyptology. Already at that time and despite the fact that there were only a limited number of data available in this field of reseach, he was able to present a qualified treatise - in the "Sitzungsberichte der Königlich preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaft", in Berlin 1905 (Band 31, pp. 640-652) - which includes this cohesive concept:
                      "... Probably Moses was, originally, the son of the ruler's daughter - now presented as his foster mother - and he was probably presented as being of divine origin ...".
           In his work, "Die Israeliten und ihre Nachbarstämme" (Halle 1906, p. 46 f), Eduard Meyer also dealt with his well-founded doubt about the biblical version with its impression of Moses as both a Hebrew boy and Egyptian prince. And again he pointed out that beyond reasonable doubt, Moses was the son of the Egyptian princess.
           Hugo Gressmann (1877-1927), Berlin and later Chicago, was a German expert on comparative history of religion and traditional historical research. In his treatise, "Moses und seine Zeit" (Göttingen 1913), he also called attention especially to Moses' status as the son of Pharaoh's daughter and ascribed major plausibility to it.

           Some years earlier, the Moses-narrative had fascinated the pioneer group of psycho-analysts. They took a special anthropological  attitude. Apart from his basic psycho-analysis work, Sigmund  Freud (1856-1939) worked for a long time on the conception of the Moses figure.
          Otto Rank, Freud's secretary, who was also a psycho-therapist, had specialized in comparative cultural history and mythology, and in his analysis of comparative traditions of the ancient civilized countries, he proved that the original version of the Moses-chronicle definitely dealt with the fact that Pharaoh's Daughter had given birth to Moses.
          This appears in Otto Rank's treatise, "Die Mythus von der Geburt des Helden" published in the series of books edited by Sigmund Freud, i.e. "Schriften zur angewandten Seelenkunde" (Heft 5, Leipzig 1909).
          Also Wilhelm Wundt, their colleague, in his "Völkerpsychologie" (Band 2:3, Leipzig 1909), came close to the same conclusion.

The Finding of Moses", a romanticizing motif beautifully pictured in oil, 1904, by Sir Lawrence
Alma-Tadema, the British-Dutch painter - a myth not historically correct about the Egyptian pharaonic
Daughter and with Moses as the claimed Hebrew child found at an arranged incident


Freud - and Historical Views Influenced by Ecclesiastical Moses Cliché

In 1934-1938, after many years of tentative effort, Sigmund Freud wrote three treatises - which comprised his last book, "Moses and Monotheism" ("Der Mann Moses und die monotheistische Religion"), in which he used his analytic talent to dissect the Moses narrative. Freud was the first writer to emphasize the fact that no historians had found it strange that "Moses" was an Egyptian name! Freud came from a Rabbi family and he stated in open contrast to orthodox Jewish attitudes that the consequence had to be that Moses was Egyptian and not Jewish (i.e. not a Hebrew).
          As one of his main points of argumentation Freud, the sexuality-researching analyst, pointed out that Moses introduced the Egyptian tradition of circumcision.

          Ludwig Hugo Koehler, the German expert in Hebrew history, commented in "Neue Zürcher Zeitung" (No. 667, 16th April, 1939) on Freud's treatises about Moses and made out a list covering what he regarded as incorrect and impossible statements, but recognized that:
                    "... with his great talent Freud had made out a probable explanation from the given complex network of impossibilities ...".
          This seems to present quite a precise evaluation - when it comes to the historical aspect of Moses as an Egyptian prince, Freud was logical and concrete.
          Likewise, when Freud - who was well-informed on Egyptology and among other things known for his exquisite collection of ushapti figures - attached importance to the fact that in the ancient Egyptian society there were tendencies towards a concentration on one selected god (which is not the same as pure "monotheism").
          Freud was of the opinion that Moses, the king's son (!), might have represented this perception of monotheism, and also that Moses during his later connection with the Jews was brought to appear in the narratives as if he were of Jewish origin.

          However, when the treatise comes to the psycho-analytic aspect, its not uninteresting angle of approach on this particular point seems to be put forward at some distance from the exact data of the texts. According to Freud "Moses had tried - like certain neurotics - to break with his family in order to find a more suitable one".
           Still without historically supported examples of this, Freud suggested - and before him, researcher Ernst Sellin - that "later the Jews killed Moses (analogous with Freud's hypothesis on the sons' murder of 'the primal father') because of their hesitation in following Moses' demand for acceptance of his moral code ('the Ten Commandments' etc.)"; and also that "recollections of the murder caused this people's sense of guilt, for which they compensated by - in delayed obedience - inventing an immaterial, distant god, who resembled both Moses' god and Moses himself".
           Also in this psycho-historical interpretation Freud made it clear that he doubted that one single person would be able to do what Moses had done; he believed that in reality Moses was two people. Also other researchers have hypotheses about two leaders - and even two Exoduses. But why should one person of Moses' calibre not be able to do the task?

          Later in life Freud identified himself in some ways with Moses, the wanderer in the wilderness, who never reached "the Promised Land". For instance, in a letter (17.01.1909) to the younger Carl Jung, Freud wrote: "... If I am Moses, you are Joshua ...".
          At an early stage, and for years, Freud was deeply interested in the idealizing Moses statue by Michelangelo: "... as the image of a perfect human being ...", according to  Freud's famous essay "The Moses of Michelangelo", (Standard Edition, vol. 13, 1914/1955, pp. 211-238) - although it is clearly modelled on the statues of the god Zeus as depicted in antiquity. In numerous works by others Freud was often "analyzed" as to his views on Moses.
          The Jewish born and bred Freud eventually had gone over to the opposite side - he had tried to free himself of the Jewish perception of Moses, but now he became rather fixed on the stereotype of Moses as seen by the Christian Church.
          There are many examples that a similar cliché-like understanding of such an unreal Moses figure also affected various lines of study, e.g. history, Egyptology, ancient linguistics, and archaeology. 

Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) - his medical training and his strong interest in biology
and especially in neurology became his approach to research on consciousness. However,
he and his fellow researchers also especially included psychology and anthropology.
Picture:  Freud surrounded by his religio-mythological sculptures (1914, etching by Max Pollak).


Historical Research Inhibited by Odd Portrait of Moses

Using the biblical Moses texts generations of researchers have looked for historic traces of Moses, which cannot be found there because these research areas were often influenced by the Church's image of Moses as a Jewish patriarch instead of seeing him as an Egyptian. All of which also guided the investigations in another direction.
          However, traditional views were effectively breached when a few researchers began to take the myths seriously and analyzed them more closely, especially in the field of anthropology (Sir James Frazer among others).
          In the meantime, much hitherto somewhat inexplicable information in the Bible has been misinterpreted on the basis of various longstanding and unaccountably undisputed "armchair" theories. - This, despite the fact that much widely recognized scientific documentation has actually revealed the said biblical information as being fully explicable after all.
          - Or, if in the ancient biblical texts an expression may be found from a later time, then the biblical narrative is rejected as being "fiction" built on myths, instead of considering the different times of biblical editing where the editors may have included some language of their own time.
          Thus, the claim that the event with Moses on the Nile and similar traditions from other countries are "migratory legends" is simply armchair theory. That migratory legends exist, also today, is a known phenomenon. But to turn handed down accounts into "legends", however, has often been an easy, explanatory attempt which has created confusion among scholars when a specific event is repeated in one country after another.
          It never occurred to the researchers in question that this was a matter of a common, religious conception, the themes of which - as mentioned previously - were in reality carried out in cultic rituals in various societies.
          Although it is well-known that ritual dramas or mystery plays were practised in the ancient cultures, this factually widespread practice does not seem to have been considered by researchers as having any connection with the Moses narrative.

         Sigmund Freud had exposed the theologians' and historians' refraining from taking it into more serious consideration that 'Moses' was an Egyptian name. It should even be added that the hitherto widespread interpretation of the words in the biblical text where the name Moses is claimed to have been a Hebrew play on words strangely enough implies that Pharaoh's Daughter mastered the Hebrew language - even to the extent of being able to make puns in this foreign language.
          In Hebrew, Moses is called Moshe, which according to the biblical text of the Book of Exodus (2:10) is, word for word, understood to play on the assumption that Pharaoh's Daughter named him thus, "because she had drawn him out of the water".
          However, the Egyptologists and historians specializing in Egypt, e.g. James Henry Breasted, Alan H. Gardiner, and Eduard Meyer have confirmed at an early stage that the name Moses was not Hebrew but stems from Egyptian usage.
          In addition, the "Jüdisches Lexikon" ('Hebrew Dictionary', the Herlitz & Kirschner's editions) says on the subject "Moses as a name" that the biblical influenced explanation concerning the claimed Hebrew name Moshe (Moses) should mean 'he who is being drawn out of the water' is a misunderstanding:
                    "... it is completely impossible to harmonize the active form of the Hebrew word - as Moshe (Moses) can only mean 'he who draws out'. ..."
          The Hebrew play on words in the Bible has been created from meshitihua, meaning 'he draws out' - where consequently the word "he" cannot indicate that Pharaoh's Daughter drew him out of the water.
          Thus, the Hebrew biblical text includes an impossible play on words on the name Moses, all of which means that this cannot have been the idea of the original narrative. The situation indicates that Pharaoh's Daughter had ceremonially given the boy the same pharaoh-name as that of her father, and later of her husband, and also her nephew (and his son). All were/became pharaohs - i.e. Tuth-mosis, of which this purely Egyptian name Moses (mosis) is the last part.
          This abbreviated form - which was common usage in Egypt - was thus consistently based on the names of a number of pharaohs all bearing this sovereign name at that time.

          Many researchers have been astonished that no recognizable traces have been found in Egypt of the presence of Moses and the exodus - for instance inscriptions about "the Ten Plagues of Egypt" - and find it unlikely that such disasters to the Egyptians should have taken place unreported.
          However, no known pharaoh has been seen to jeopardize his prestige by advertising major defeats. Although many inscriptions in stone exist, a physical source problem is the perishableness of old papyrus writing material - only few manuscripts or parts of texts on papyrus older than 1300 BC are preserved.
          In modern times the great personalities of ancient history have often been rather summarily dismissed in academic research as being subject to hero worship. Yet certain new-oriented historians have begun to regard them as being people who have really existed, i.e. when it comes to great figures mostly known from the handed down narratives and myths of individual nations.
          The old inflexible attitude could now be replaced by a broader view of narratives which so far have mainly been (down)graded as myths, but must often could be regarded as historically significant: irrespective of a possible lack of archaeological confirmation, old narratives may include valuable information.
          In the light of this, modern research into history is continually making progress and may easily changing attitudes and improving the possibilities of finding traces of Moses in Egypt - not as a Hebrew, but as an Egyptian.

Specimens of ushapti figures, i.e. 'after-death-servants', requisites in Egyptian tombs.
Freud was extremely well informed about Egyptology – also, he himself owned a very fine
collection of ushapti figures - and his influence on the cultural science was indisputable


Biblical research which rejected Moses

Other researchers believe that biblical texts cannot be used as source material for historical purposes. However, it is more likely that the problem stems from insufficient historical knowledge.
          It was fatal to the study of the Bible's specific information about Moses that, especially in philological research, academic hypotheses as to how the biblical texts were created, were developed prior to scientific archaeological excavations, analyses, and conclusive findings. As a consequence this starting point led in an increasingly mistaken direction. (All this is further elaborated on in a special Appendix in Vol. 4 of my Moses-series).
          Around the late 1800's, theological researchers and historians began experimenting by making "models" and reconstructing a creation and development of the texts - and to when their formation might have taken place. But it was derived from hypotheses and assumptions mainly based on textual material alone. This - rarely recognized - one-sidedness naturally made sufficiently critical and qualified judgment of the then-available data almost impossible. The problem is that this background was forgotten little by little and many ideas from these provisional models almost became assumed as "the truth".

          Based on ideas from the pioneers DeWette, Reuss, Graf, and Kuenen, it was claimed by the German theologian, Orientalist, and Semitic scholar Julius Wellhausen (1844-1918) that the biblical texts had been subjected to alterations or had been adapted and, in particular, pieced together from old sources.
          As generally among academics and intellectuals also Freud was, naturally, familiar with these thoughts of the time. But could it have any influence on his view on the Moses character?
          For more than a hundred years an extreme version of Wellhausen's hypothesis on such alleged text division - later represented as the Berlin School or the German School - continued to have quite a dominating influence on many researchers' and non-researchers' perception of the texts. In various ways it still influences much biblical information in encyclopaedias and literature - for instance, a claim that the Bible contains six books of the Pentateuch - established by including the Book of Joshua - became also a fashionable "truth" for many years.
          This German School's increasingly complex method of classifying the biblical texts, the so-called"dcumentary'"theory, is based on, among other things, the idea that because double names and descriptions of the Israelite god appear in the texts as well as double versions of events, territories, and laws, these texts must necessarily stem from different sources. As this seemed very convincing viewed from that angle, the problem was that much of the biblical research on such points found repose to some degree through the succeeding century.

          Generally among researchers from many schools there is a predominantly hypercritical attitude as to the age of the ancient sources as well as an uncontrolled passion for late dating - which means that the texts are now often considered to be 300-500 years more recent.
          The German School - rooted in biblical textual studies and often isolated from Middle Eastern culture as a whole - is coloured by an unfortunate and anachronistic approach: present-day based textual criticism and interpretation, theory of form, and editorial methodology - in which archaeological findings are "adapted" - in itself a method open to criticism. At an early stage this school was, therefore, characterized as being "dogmatic, arbitrary, and ultra-Semitiological".
          The result is that many researchers and theologians now regard the biblical texts only as folkloristic narratives without genuine historical value and possibly even as pure falsifications. It has even been suggested that the ancient Hebrew language of the oldest texts is an artificial product of late date.
          Many have also adopted the attitude that Abraham and Moses are pure fiction, Exodus never happened - and most of the Bible consist of fictional, national-ideological narratives set in a "patchwork" of religious backgrounds; everything invented by the priests ca. 300 BC.
          Among the numerous examples of the authenticity problems concerning these hypotheses should be mentioned that at a distance of several thousand years, some of the researchers claim to know more about the texts than the writers who once wrote them did.

Freud accompanied by Princess Marie Bonaparte received in Paris
by Anna Freud and Prince Peter, June 1938.

The events not to be evaluated as isolated phenomena

The science of anthropology, in short, was structured - especially by Malinowski and Max Weber - as a comprehensive cross-cultural study also dealing with history, religion, and mythology, besides psychology, sociology and economics. It is using holistic research methods describing human social phenomena and historical connections, much based on ethnographic fieldwork and founded on the condition that a system's properties cannot necessarily be accurately understood independently of each other.
          Through my acquaintance with the Malinowski-educated doctor of anthropology, the Greek-Danish Prince Peter (1908-1980) during the last eight years of his life, up to 1980, I received information on many important and highly interesting subjects. Furthermore, he was the son of one of Freud's most keen assistants, Princess Marie Bonaparte, who so bravely helped Freud later to escape to London, away from the Nazis in Austria, also by succeeding to make USA's President Roosevelt to send a sensational letter to the Gestapo putting pressure on them. Prince Peter was very early introduced to many psychological topics - several of which were also connected to his later studies - through her as well as Freud's skilled daughter, Anna Freud.
          Among the 10 languages Prince Peter mastered, he spoke Tibetan fluently, and was leading expeditions to Central Asia and was a friend of the Dalai Lama. Certain extra details came to my knowledge: It concerned the Dalai Lama and the story of his birth, about - as in the case of Moses - the found child appearing according to divine providence, then to continue the ongoing thousand-year-old-tradition, and thus brought up to the palace (in Lhasa) to receive a high education, to become the sovereign of the country and its religious leader (Buddhist).  - So when scholars claim that historical events of a similar type are "migratory legends" and myths, the Dalai Lama presents a still living proof that the event-pattern also exists in concrete reality.

          Indeed, by its characteristic breadth and methodology, anthropology can also help to throw light on the matter, e.g. when the account of Moses and the Israelite's long-term desert journey is rejected among so-called experts as being impossible and unrealistic.
          So, in this way and in so many aspects it can be compared to when Mao Tze Dong and his huge group of rebellion troops carried out "the long march", especially 1934-1935, in reality for more than 15 years until this leader in 1949 had conquered the last remnants of "the promised land". Including the escape into the desert and the stay there - where he could collect troops and reorganize them - all this is in principle also similar to what happened in the case of Moses.
          Another example, among many, - certain types of Buddhist-Shaman temples in Tibet and Mongolia are made as portable temple-tents with pillars, altar, curtains etc. - and like all of these tent-huts, yurts, constructed so as to be collapsible and portable. In an anthropological sense it can be recognized as completely identical, in principle, with the Tabernacle of Moses, known from the Bible as the portable shrine in the desert and in part a copy of the contemporary Egyptian portable shrines - nothing new under the sun here, either.

"History on the couch" – could Freud achieve genuine results by analyzing
history? - Picture: in the background of the famous couch used by Freud's clients,
some of his fine collection of antique sculpture heads is shown.


The Egyptian Factor

The biblical researcher's "documentary"theory as well as its later offshoots, all with their hypothetical classification of sources, and their hypothetical sub-sources - and the idea that the Bible is pure literary fiction - is being contradicted even also by so many new find and discoveries. But many researchers have considered possible text alterations and modifications of older expressions as confirmation that the entire text stemmed from the much later times of the modernized expressions.
          However, the Bible says for instance that both King Hezekiah (Ezekias, 700 BC) and especially the priest Ezra (350 BC) edited the Bible. In such cases the texts had an established existence on a traditional basis prior to 700 BC.
          The Rabbinical Writings - with their vast, ancient collection of biblically related texts of which the oldest parts are of the same age as the oldest parts of the Bible - are an absolute necessity for the understanding of so many, also Egyptian circumstances referred to in the Bible, all of which is often ignored by researchers of the Bible and of history as well.
          Offshoots of the German School - also in an Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian framework, as for instance the so-called "the Copenhagen School" which deprives Moses of all historical identity - have omitted to observe the Egyptian factor although it is among the most important elements in the understanding of many claimed textual discrepancies. A "knowledge filter" has been created that automatically filters everything out which is not in accordance with prevailing theories; but down-to-earth critics would call it 'killing history'!
          Here it is to Freud's credit that - in opposition to the official research's more extreme opinions concerning Moses as a non-historical figure - he clearly pointed out Moses' intimate connection with precisely the Egyptian universe.

          As an original written foundation regarding knowledge of historical activity before 900 BC in Israel is virtually unknown (so far), this gave rise to unrestrained theorism as was the case not the least in the German School, especially as its models are thus not verifiable; scepticism became a "faith" itself.
          Many good researchers have supported, and still support, offshoots of the "documentary"theory - and the German hypotheses resulted in a valuable and widespread text research, which achieved considerable results. But it is also a fact that not even the slightest exact and objective proof has been found verifying the "documentary"theory.
          Within the entire Middle East there was no example of such splitting up of documents from different times, thus making a textual "patch-work" or even a direct invention of historical background, solely to strengthen national-religious ideas; - which, again, is self-contradictive, because the Bible repeatedly unfavourably mentions the people and its leaders.
          Outstanding text research has often been done, but the over-all picture was lost: for instance, minimalistic historical scepticism which denies that the Exodus from Egypt ever happened, but is unable to explain Moses narrative's many hundreds of genuine Egyptian data.

Egyptian Source Documentation on Moses

Many researchers adopted the attitude that Abraham and Moses are pure fiction, the exodus never happened - and most of the Bible consist of fictional, national-ideological narratives set in a "patchwork" of religious backgrounds; everything invented by the priests ca. 300 BC.
           Although many general inscriptions in stone exist, another problem is the perishableness of old papyrus writing material - only few manuscripts or parts of texts on papyrus from before ca. 1300 BC are preserved.
          However, 2,300 years ago King Ptolemy II ordered the ancient books and documents from the libraries of the temples all over Egypt to be collected in his new great library in Alexandria - and here, at that time, the historian and priest, Manetho, drew information from these sources and wrote in Greek about Moses' rebellion and the exodus. (Still, less than three centuries later the archives where also at the disposal of the Jewish philosopher in Alexandria, Philo, who wrote a biography about Moses).
          Thus, it is a fact too that in 280 BC original Egyptian documentation on Moses still existed.  So how can so many present-day scholars and researchers claim that Moses never existed and rather is an invention created in Israel or even Babylonia by Jewish priests at the same time, ca. 300 BC?

          The Jewish-Roman historian Josephus, 2,000 years ago, had invaluable sources on the history of the Jews, also because the conqueror of Jerusalem, Titus Caesar (Vespasian), gave Josephus scrolls confiscated from the Jerusalem Temple on its destruction in 70 AD. Josephus had no problem acknowledging the authenticity of Manetho's texts but he disagreed very much with Manetho's Egyptian view on Moses as a destructive rebel - to Josephus he was a hero.

          In the Bible, Moses is mentioned with such terms as 'the Son of Pharaoh's Daughter'. This, which is actually his royal Egyptian title, corresponds with the fact that Manetho called him both Moses and Osarsyph  - i.e. User-sif in late-Egyptian language meaning 'child of Osiris', i.e. Horus, who was always identified with the crown prince of Egypt, (Freud would have loved this).

           The Ptolemean kings allowed Jews to settle in Egypt - and for about 300 years in the Egyptian city of Leontopolis they had their own temple after the Jerusalem model, and a high priest. In Alexandria they occupied a quarter of the great city, namely the area called Delta. Altogether there was a huge group of new inhabitants (and in addition many Samaritan emigrants) who could support Egyptian King Ptolemy II's sponsoring of a translation of the Hebrew Bible into the Greek international language - the Septuaginta Bible. Again, it was around 280 BC that this task was carried out in Alexandria, and in the famous, extensive library of this metropolis Manetho may by chance even have worked almost side by side with some of the 72 translating Jewish rabbis and scholars.
           So, how can it possibly be claimed that the Bible is a late creation - and how could the actually existing Septuaginta (Greek) Bible then have been translated from a Hebrew Bible which according to the theorists' claim hardly could have existed at this time?

1st page of Freud's handwritten manuscript:
"Wenn Moses ein Ägypter war", dated 24 May 1937.

Egyptian Gods in the Bible - and Freud, the Atheist

Furthermore, the otherwise obvious consequences have not been taken notice of, concerning the many genuine Egyptian names in Moses' circles. Besides his own name Moses, 'child', also to be seen are e.g. Jethro, 'the River Nile', - Miriam, 'loved by Amun', - Aaron, 'great is the name' (i.e. of Osiris), - Aaron's son El-eazer, 'Osiris-god' (el, 'god', is a Semitic addition), - Aaron's successor and grandson Phinehas, 'Negro', 'Ethiopian', - Merari,'greatly loved', - Hopni, 'river(god-name)'. Also a word for 'truth' in Hebrew, emeth, is the name of the Egyptian goddess for truth, Maat, - and numerous other examples of Egyptian origin exist.
          Freud, the atheist, admired a great historical personality, Moses - who also happened to be the first known founder of a religion. This later world religion demands, "You shall not have other gods". And yet so many in the groups close to Moses had Egyptian names connected with Egyptian gods.

Freud was as rooted in the Enlightenment with thinkers such as Locke and Newton - and in the new science especially Darwin - and was a confirmed atheist who often rejected the belief in supernatural faith as inconsistent with the scientific method. To a colleague, Oskar Pfiste, who was a Christian pastor in Switzerland, Sigmund Freud had (in 1918) posed a question:
                    "... Quite by the way, why did none of the devotees create psychoanalysis? Why did one have to wait for a completely godless Jew? ..."
          However, Freud seems to have had an essential position for the making of his momentous discoveries leading to psychoanalysis - when influenced early by knowledge from his own Jewish background and simultaneously keeping and outside position by being an atheist and avoiding Jewish customs. Thus, he succeeded in developing interpersonal examination of the unconscious mind into an apparently new therapeutic intervention, the psychoanalysis. According to Peter Gay, Professor in history at Yale University, in his book, "Freud: A Godless Jew" (1987) - it was the mentioned basis of the knowledge and the freedom that enabled Freud to pierce the taboo topics of sexuality and the unconscious.

          There are atheists and there are atheists, i.e. those who renounce religion and those who have atheism as a 'religion' - it could be said that Freud appeared as both. He admired Moses and yet Moses was the founder of a world religion. In connection with his own position he has explained:
                    "… My deep engrossment in the Bible story (almost as soon as I had learnt the art of reading) had, as I recognized much later, an enduring effect upon the direction of my interest …", (Sigmund Freud: "An Autobiographical Study", 1925).
          However, Freud could never accept religion - and stated:
                    "… The whole thing is so patently infantile, so foreign to reality, that to anyone with a friendly attitude to humanity it is painful to think that the majority of mortals will never be able to rise above this view of life …", (Sigmund Freud: "Civilization and its Discontents", 1930).
          Anyway, Freud could not stay away from near presence of religion, he showed some kind of "to love his enemy" and was always fascinated and drawn to the subject. At his place he had surrounded himself with religious significances, Freud's study was full of sacred objects from ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, and the Far East, and concerning "afterlife" objects - besides the row of Egyptian ushapti  figures on his desk - he had an Egyptian funerary boat in the cabinet.



Austrian 50 Schilling note (issued 1986 and 1987) with the portrait of Sigmund Freud as
being the founder of the psychoanalytic school of psychology. The banknotes series also
comprised other famous Austrians people, e.g. Mozart, but only the Freud bill has the unusual
adornment, an Egyptian-like figure, and may associate to Freud's direction in the Moses question.


Egyptian Language in the Bible

Of the overwhelming number of examples of the authenticity problems concerning the academic researchers' hypotheses, a few are mentioned here:
1.       Although the Bible has 3-4 Hebrew words for 'linen/cotton' (e.g. bad, peshet, and sadin) the Egyptian word shesh (shesn) is used 38 times, of which 34 passages with this word are in the Pentateuch, but is nevertheless claimed to belong to a so-called late priest-source ("P-source"). But why should the priests avoid the words of their own Hebrew biblical language as if they were Egyptological linguistic historians?
2.       The designation pharaoh (per-ao, 'the great house') was only used in Egypt for 'king' at the time of Moses and until 900 BC, when the usage was reduced to only being included in the ceremonial titles of the king. However, if the Pentateuch was only written one thousand years after the event, which Jewish readers could then be expected to be able to understand this obsolete Egyptian word?
3.       Why should anyone invent a mythical figure, Moses, for these Jews of later times - and with this purely Egyptian name?
4.       According to many scholars, these Jews of later times in Israel mostly spoke Aramaic. Why then were the books of the Pentateuch written in ancient Hebrew which in daily use apparently was severely declining after 600 BC?
5.       How can the Samaritans' Bible hold an almost identical text about Moses - written in even older writing than that of the Jewish Bible in the version from Babylonian times ca. 400 BC - if the Jewish priests, who were often the competitors (even sometimes enemies) of the Samaritans, only "invented" the Bible in 400-200 BC? Therefore, researchers have also had to claim that the Samaritan Bible is a very late construction.
6.       The idea about one (creating) god is documented in Egypt - around 1450 BC for instance (at the time of Moses) - and much earlier too, i.e. not invented by Jewish priests in 300 BC.
7.       In the Pentateuch the pact/treaty with Yahweh was formulated in a way which was typical of treaties in 1400 BC of the Middle East, for instance also by the Hittites. - And:
8.       Censuses mentioned in the Pentateuch are based directly on the Egyptian pattern of the same period: both conditions unlikely to be created a thousand years later.
          - So, at a distance of several thousand years, it is thus claimed by some influential schools of research that they know more about the texts than the writers who once wrote them. - It was this type of artificial historical picture that Freud was up against.

Killing History

As for historical plausibility of the oldest parts of the Bible, i.e. the Pentateuch, biblical research has generally neglected the fact that these texts can give specific information about individuals, times and sites - i.e. exactly as required for legal evidence in court - contrary to legends and folk-tales, where these factors are unclear. Researchers who at an early stage were on a better track, which for instance was in better agreement with archaeology, can still be seen rejected with the non-argument that "they are obsolete".
          All this has restrained the solution of the Moses enigma and became the main reason for the lack of concrete results. This was encouraged by the fact that new schools of history regarded ideas about prehistoric key personalities in the development of civilization to be the aforesaid obsolete hero worship.
          An attempt has, however, been made to find a solution to the dissension and problems in research about Moses and the authorship by simply, as has already been mentioned, eliminating Moses by rendering him non-existent and thus merely a constructed mythical figure. In this way the Assassination of Moses - set up by his contemporary Egyptian opposition, and later to a certain extent by ancient biblical editors - has been repeated today!

          Much intensive researching for essential historical data, human knowledge, and spiritual information in the ancient myths - carried out also by Freud's anthropological circle - seems thus neglected. For a long time such a dismissive attitude was often to be seen among theologians.
          Much of the collected unusual knowledge we owe to those élite researchers from this early period who from older vanishing cultures, often at the last minute, managed to obtain and preserve a special knowledge about man.
          Many of the early researchers' works have become priceless which is twhy the fact that whole annual volumes of, for instance, German scientific journals dating back to the 1920's have been photographically reprinted - often by American university publishers. Thus, today we can benefit from the inspiration of this meeting with earlier cultures and their physical and spiritual world picture - just as it also provided Freud and his circle with the amazing material for study and insight.   

For years, Freud was deeply interested in the idolized statue of Moses
by Michelangelo (1515) in Rome, and described it as "the image of
an ideal human being".


The Sigmund Freud Jubilee - Freud's Book on Moses Still Much Discussed

Quite a number of books and media articles in 2006 internationally celebrated the 150th anniversary of Sigmund Freud - naturally, also mentioning that Freud wrote articles about Moses.
          Freud is still exposed to a lot of criticism - which is only natural when a pioneer work  cannot always compare with later development - but also because he had been so insistently certain that his theories were the sole truth.
          However, around the anniversary in 2006, almost 2,000 books about Freud were available according to various Internet book-sites (, etc), - and in Newsweek, Time Magazine, Der Spiegel, and Die Zeit, etc., he was greatly celebrated.
          As their starting point or inspiration to work, German Egyptologist and culture researcher Jan Assmann, Palestinian-American literature researcher Edward W. Said, and American philosopher Richard J. Bernstein, take as their starting point or develop further Freud's religious-critical considerations about the role of Moses in our perception of today's monotheistic religions.
          So Moses too is of current interest - although he was never out of focus. For example, the famous Hollywood director Cecil B. DeMille succeeded in making the great movie "The Ten Commandments", twice in his lifetime, in 1923 and 1956. Influence from Freud's concept of Moses could also be observed here; - according to Hollywood trivia, Cecil B. deMille was persuaded to cast Charlton Heston as Moses in his movie-epic of 1956, based on Heston's in some way physical resemblance to Michelangelo's Moses.
          Over some years prior to the 2006-jubilee, all three treatises in his book, "Der Mann Moses und die monotheistische Religion" - finished in London shortly before he passed away in 1939 - promoted inspiration for several new editions.

          Freud had famous people among his patients, e.g. Gustav Mahler - however, he has written several analyses, psycho-biographies, on people who have not been his patients, e.g. on Dostojevski, and the former USA-President Woodrow Wilson and on Leonardo da Vinci as well as on Michelangelo in his article "The Moses of Michelangelo" (1914). But now, it was precisely his book on Moses himself which was published again - the one which has given rise to so much debate in other circles - among historians, biblical researchers, and even Jewish spokesmen.
          Again attention was also brought to the fact that Freud also wrote about his incredible occupation with Michelangelo's Moses, the statue in Rome made even more famous by Freud.
          Freud's perception of Moses is to an exceptional degree referred to through a constantly growing amount of works and articles by many academics. An enormous interest exists in connection with Freud's occupation with Moses - and in 2004 the NOMOS International Conference "Freud's Moses and the Traumatized Human Subject" was held as part of "Ramifications for Culture and Education", (Oct. 16-17) at Columbia University, New York City.
          Chapter 8 of "The Suppressed Record", the first volume of my Moses-series, describes the shared considerations of Freud and his fellow researchers: they do not conceal the fact that Moses was an Egyptian prince - as appears also from the comprehensive and clarifying source material in my books about the background of Moses. Altogether - in the huge bibliography (up to 2005) in my Moses-series can be found almost all of the previous 120 years' internationally published works and treatises about Moses - approx. 1,000 titles.
          In the expanded bibliography attached to the present text (and in my book-series on Moses) are listed examples of the incredible number of works and treatises - with the many researchers' concepts of Sigmund Freud's concept of himself concepting Moses. Naturally, the researchers' "comments on comments concerning comments" about Freud's thoughts about Moses tend to create a considerable distance; - in all this what became of Moses?

Critical Questions

The present text, among other things, shows Moses, the historical Moses, as being in the picture again. Many researchers and scholars have tried to make Moses non-historical - and is it worth the effort to compare and discuss Freud's relation to himself in relation to Moses, if the Moses concept of the involved researchers is just another non-historical illusion instead of a historically founded, concrete person of the past? Prior to anything else, thorough actual historical knowledge must be an essential entrance ticket to this kind of Freud study.
          Also, for instance, although Freud himself - with his Jewish background and history - bases his views on biblical events concerning Moses on a special Jewish concept of the Bible, no-one seems to have made any real corrections regarding this picture.
          One of the problems here is that the exodus from Egypt according to the ancient texts was a movement consisting of 12 Israelite tribes mainly of Hebrew origin. The Jews were here a minority, probably even less than ten per cent of the Exodus group; even tribes of other kinds joined too, for instance the tribe of Caleb plus many Egyptian refugees belonging to the so-called proselytes, who supported Moses. Much later, most Israelite tribes had either disappeared or merged, during ca. 800-300 BC, leaving one tribe to be the sole heir, the Jews.
          On this background continued discussions on Freud among theologians, historians, and researchers by the often monotonously frequent mentioning of "the exodus of the Jews", create a misleading picture. It might even have brought Freud himself to misplace extra weight on indications concerning especially the Jewish problems, tradition, and trauma - in the ancient situation and reflected in present-time events - and in connection with his book on Moses.

Sigmund Freud, in front left, and Carl Gustav Jung, right,
in USA 1909, three years before the break in their co-operation.


Dangerous minefield - Supporters and Criticism

Many critics point to the fact that psychoanalysis has been used as a substitute kind of religion - psychoanalysis with its holy texts, its hierarchies and 'churches', disciples spreading the good news, promises of salvation, and claims to 'truth'. When the anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss examined a shamanic healing ritual from the Cuna population in Panama, he drew parallels with psychoanalysis (C. Lévi-Strauss "Structural Anthropology", (1958, and 1963, pp. 197-198).
          The gifted and shrewd writer and former Secretary to the Danish Prime Minister and later the Editor-in-chief at Ekstra-Bladet (leading Danish daily tabloid), Victor Andreasen (1920-2000), was a graduate in political science and economics, and especially known for his knowledge and great interest in history, - he requested the first volume of my book-series on Moses and was very enthusiastic about it. The book's positive and yet not entirely surrendering description of Freud's sometimes less historically consistent interpretation of Moses made Victor Andreasen stop the completion of his review. He presented me with a private, 16-page letter about the book and the problem.
          My book only referred to some data in a modified, neutral way as in a dictionary (so the present text would probably also have been directly shocking). I understood that I had entered a dangerous minefield by not being sufficiently conscious of the fact that by certain circles the atheist Freud himself was close to being cultically worshipped almost like a god - nothing was allowed to be said here if it could be interpreted as the slightest disapproval.
          Freud's most uncritical supporters should have known better - that in reality when Freud published his book on Moses, and many of the reviews were terrible, and reactions to the book often bitter, then Freud himself was delighted, - "... Quite a worthy exit ...", he called the Moses book.

An Invisible God and the Dynamics of Inner Life

Behind Freud's contentment when his messages were so widely disseminated with the publishing of his last book amid such great attention, it is apparent that the book among its many inquiries also contains an extra message of a special kind. Without changing his atheistic position, Freud - nearing the end of his life and speculations about the question of existence - suggests through his argumentation that belief in the unseen god may prepare the ground for several very great cultural values - and especially: intense introspection.
          - Someone who can contemplate an invisible god, Freud implies, is in a strong position to take seriously the unseen but possibly determining dynamics of inner life, - according to Mark Edmundson's essay on Freud: "Defender of the Faith?", in The New York Times Magazine (September 9, 2007).
          Thomas Mann, the great German writer and Nobel Prize winner, well-known too for his interest in Moses, points to the fact that Freud was deeply involved in the irrationalism of the beginning of the new century (1900) because of the nature of the material of his enquiry - the unconscious, passions, instincts, and dreams.

Sigmund Freud, in 1938, sketched by Salvador Dali who as a surrealist artist
was deeply influenced by Freud's writings on the unconscious and dreams.


          Among the criticism against Freud, of course, much is of no significance, while other features may be of interest; in particular, it is astonishing that the world's most famous psychoanalyst drew conclusions from so incredibly few patients. Although Freud had the small number of persons under observation often for a very long time and could investigate their current course carefully - then on the other hand, it can be said that several people from his very small group of patients belonged to some extremes far from the average concept, so it could be misleading to draw too general conclusions.
          Another criticism could, for example, include Freud's 'avoidance' of the spiritual dimension. The fact is that he describes his research as psychoanalysis - a Greek term meaning 'examination of the soul' - even though his theory does not regard or recognize the soul, thus creating a contradictory element. That kind of 'deficiency' may naturally prevent the detection and solution of many enigmas in connection with Moses' Egyptian inspired religious cultural background.
          Anyway, Freud could not stay away from the presence of religion - he obviously "loved his enemy" and was always fascinated and drawn to the subject. In his home he surrounded himself with religious "signs", Freud's study was full of sacred objects from ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, and the Far East. Concerning "afterlife" objects - besides the row of Egyptian ushapti figures on his desk - he had an Egyptian funerary boat in his cabinet.  Several times Freud stated the hope that mankind would pass beyond religion, and yet he surely took inspiration from the story of Moses and its new concept of religion.

Freud's Word on Science

Many years ago when I began my research on the historical Moses, I only knew very little about Freud's ideas on Moses - however, through my own investigations I also ended up with some of the same results as Freud. Even as regards the title of my book-series, "Assassinating Moses", it was to be observed that already Freud had used an almost similar expression, although not for quite the same purpose. (Here, Freud had his theory about the archaic murdering-of-the-father).
          Based on the knowledge of his time, Freud arrived at his interesting conclusions about Moses. Freud was very logical and penetrating in his argumentation - in particular in his endeavours to present Moses as an Egyptian prince. More than 60 years later I was able to make use of many more sources from even many more research areas (not least the first more precise Moses dating with the help of astronomy) - this alone may show decisive differences and lead to further progress in this field.
          As Freud himself (although he sometimes wanted to protect his research with dogma) said so brilliantly:
                    "... It is a misunderstanding that science is only decisive, provable findings, and it is unfair to demand it to be so. This is a demand only expressed by those who wish to follow some kind of authority and a demand for replacing a religion's catechism by something else, even by a scientific one. Science ... consists mainly of statements which it has developed into various degrees of probability. ..."

Among the rushes and papyrus stems on the banks of the Nile the goddess Isis sits with
 her "royal god-child", the suckling god-son Horus, on her lap. (Relief, the Philae temple).


The Birth of King Sargon - a Narrative as a Mystery Play

By calling Freud "provocative" when presenting Moses as a non-Jewish leader, the critics did not take historical knowledge into consideration:  that Moses was linked to a well-established ritual.
          Many recognizable instances from the ancient myths in general which inspired Freud and his circle, are also dealt with in Jung's research of the archetypes.
          Spiritual dimensions were in ancient Egypt believed to criss-cross through the universe and may be difficult to understand when based on today's entirely different perception of the world, in which western culture has developed into the first predominantly "non-religious" civilization of history.
          Not least the ancient Egyptians always had their focus on the Creation and succeeding cycles of life and death (after-life). Consequently, the aim of religion was to attend to the large and small natural cycles which form the world as if in an alternation between hidden, potential existence and visible, manifest being. Therefore, at an early stage, considerable importance was ascribed to the perception of the interaction of these mechanisms and structures - in world, life, and cosmos.
          Among, for instance, the Egyptians it also belonged to the cyclic perception that the kings in a 30-year cycle were to renew themselves and show their renewal at the hept-sed festival. Likewise in most of the ancient world, heirs to the throne joined by dint of their birth a larger cycle connected to providence and the gods' affiliation with the fate of the country.
          The account about the infant Moses on the River Nile belongs to a larger complex of cultic mystery plays copying and re-playing the ancient myths throughout many ages in many countries of antiquity. - Let us finish here with a little information about the oldest known of such events:

To Perform Like the Gods

In 1870 the written narrative about the birth of King Sargon I (ca. 2,000 BC) was found by the British Assyriologist, George Smith (1840-1876), while excavating King Sancherib's palace in Keuyunjik, i.e. the site of the ancient Nineveh, near the present city of Mosul in Iraq.
          King Assurbanipal (668-627 BC) who was especially interested in history, had narratives systematically copied from older texts - up to several thousand years older - which he wanted saved in future. In addition, he made his daughter, the highest ranking princess, the chief-librarian, a high priestess position.
          The texts were collected from all over the empire of Assurbanipal; - together with other literature, more than 22,000 clay tablets have been found in his library established at the enormous palace of a predecessor, King Sennacherib (Sancherib). Here at Nineveh, King Assurbanipal created "the first systematically collected library" where he attempted to gather all cuneiform literature available at that time. A library was distinct from an archive - where earlier repositories of documents had accumulated passively, in the course of administrative routine.
          Many of the texts are copies, and they have thus been designated by the researchers with a standard term "Duplicate" (or by German reserchers, "Dublikat") at the beginning of each tablet's number marking. Concerning astronomical contents in many of the texts, modern astronomy computing has fully confirmed their stated celestial conditions of the stars from the previous thousand years.
          In addition, in older Babylonian, Akkadian, and Sumerian archives some of the ancient original texts have been found - which support the knowledge about the Niniveh tablets being copies of these more ancient texts.

           George Smith was the most competent Assyriologist of his time. One year after the finding, both George Smith and his colleagues published translations. Later, more knowledge was used for further improving his translation of the ancient birth narrative about King Sargon I; however, the principal contents as originally stated by him are unaltered.
           Compared with the many other existing birth myths with a ritual practising of the same type of event and action - a distinct pattern of a certain kind of religious mystery play emerges. Re-playing myths was normal religious procedure - all to be performed as the gods did.
           Thus, almost a millennium before Moses, accounts about a new-born child found in a boat floating down the River Euphrates were already known from Babylonia. The text mentions that a boy-child - later to become the king named Sargon (Sargon I) - was found by a princess, brought to the king's palace, and here given a high education. His so-called 'autobiographical' record clearly indicates that the child (Sargon) in the rush boat was the son of the king's daughter.

A Verbatim Translation of King Sargon's Text

(1)  Sargon, the mighty king, king of Akkad - I am.
(2)  My mother was a princess (or a high rank priestess), my father I did not know; my father's brother (or brothers) ruled the country (: the country with hills).
(3)  My city was Azupirani on the bank of River Euphrates,
(4)  where my mother as a princess (or priestess of high rank) conceived me - secretly (or in a hidden place, a cave), she gave me birth.
(5) She placed me in an ark of rush; with pitch she caulked the lid.
(6) She threw me into the river, which did not sweep over me (i.e. into the ark).
(7)  The river was buoyant and brought me to Akki, the river man (or "irrigator" (cf. Jethro in Egypt))..
(8)  Akki, the river man, took me up - carefully as his water container.
(9)  Akki, the river man brought me up as his son (.....).
(10)  Akki, the river man, made me a gardener (.....).
(11)  (.....) as I was a gardener the goddess Ishtar (i.e. Sirius or Venus) made me king.
(12)  (.....) 35 (or 45) years old I was a king and ruled.
(13)  over a dark-skinned people. I (.....) over various countries. - Etc. ...

          The Babylonian cuneiform tablet (below) with the Sargon inscriptions was published early - and also in a work by the British Museum, "Cuneiform Inscriptions" (Vol.3, p.4, No.VII, British Museum).

Ritualized Connection With Providence or Gods

No foreign child of low birth could have obtained such a significant education followed by a royal career and been accepted when he suddenly took over the leadership from the former king. The river event of the ritualized connection with "providence or gods" must have been a thoroughly planned happening intended for a child of royal origin.
          King Sargon is the earliest known case of this ancient ritual for royal children - while the case of Moses is the most famous.
          The last known and in many ways similar case is about the Dalai Lama - here in connection with the ancient Tibetan Bön religion, where the Tibetan god, Pe har, had assumed form of a boy and was placed in a box which drifted down the Kyichu river and was then picked up by high-ranking lama priests, or abbots, or by the old Dalai Lama.

           The event where Moses was received with the ritual for the chosen royal child indicates him as being an Egyptian - the Israelites had no kings until 500 years later (Saul, David etc.).
          There have been numerous other cases, - a well-known tradition in many countries.
          In addition to King Sargon I who was found on the River Euphrates (ca. 2300 BC), and Moses who was found on the River Nile (ca. 1500 BC), it is known that Erechtonius, the first Athenian prince (ca. 1400 BC) was found in the water on the coast; and that the Greek "god-child" Dionysus - born of King Cadmus' daughter Semele - was found in a little boat riding the waves near Brassiae in Laconia. Another Greek "god-child", Attis, was received on the banks of the River Sangarius by the mother-goddess Cybele.
          In India the Sun-god's son Karna, the Prince Royal, was placed in a woven reed boat by his mother, the king's daughter Kunti; as similarly was the Babylonian Queen Hamai's son set out on the Euphrates to be received and recognized as heir to the throne.
          The Latin King Romulus was found on the River Tiber (ca. 800 BC); while King Tu-Küeh of the ancient Turkish people was set out on the water at Turkistan (ca. 200 AD). As with King Skjold ('shield') - also known as King Sheaf - on the Roskilde fiord near the settlement Lejre, in Denmark.
          The same ritual was held not only for King Arthur on the Cornwall coast (all ca. 600 AD), but also for the Celtic kings' children on the Rhine; and it even appears in ancient myths in Tibet (within the Bön religion) and Japan (the new-born son of Izanagis and Izanamis was set out in a woven rush boat). And the ritual was also known to be associated with high leaders of the early Asian-influenced North-American Tlatlasikoala-, Tsimschian- and Tlingit-Indian tribes.
          The event where Moses was received with the ritual for the chosen royal child shows him as an Egyptian - the Israelites had no kings until 500 years later (Saul, David etc.).

          To anthropologists in particular - and in addition archaeologists, historians, Egyptologists, and linguists - we are greatly indebted, as also were the early important group of psychology researchers were indebted, for giving us the opportunity today to learn much more about the people of the past with their rich knowledge of man and the world.
          From the earliest times man has ritualized a connection with providence or the gods, thus including some problematic features that also contributed to the shaping of culture - certain residual elements of which were to be recognized in much later times by, among others, the psychoanalysts.

*  *  *

Ove von Spaeth,  writer, researcher - copyright © 2006 and © 1998

The article includes extracts from Ove von Spaeth's book "The Supressed Record" ("De Fortraengte Optegnelser"), vol. 1 in his series "Assassinating Moses". More information:



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Bibliography - Literature on a Pattern in the Ancient Birth Myth

Books and articles concerning a special pattern in ancient myths about the birth of kings.

Ackerman, James S.:  The Literary Context of the Moses Birth Story (Exodus 1-2), Literary Interpretations of Biblical Narratives, vol. 1, (ed. K.R.R. Gros Louis), Nashville 1974.

Childs, Brevard S.:  The Birth of Moses, Journal of Biblical Literature, 84, 1965, pp. 109-122.

Cohen, Jonathan:  The Origins and Evolution of the Moses Nativity Story, (Numen Books Series, 1992 - &:) Studies in the History of Religions, 58, (Brill) 1993.

Foster, B.R.:  Birth Legend of Sargon of Akkad, in "The Context of Scripture: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World, vol. 1", edited by W.W. Hallo, (E.J. Brill), Leiden, 1997.

Gressmann, Hugo:  Mose und seine Zeit, Göttingen, 1913.

Lacoque, A.:  La naissance de Moïse, Veritatem In Caritate 6, Hague 1961, pp. 111-120.

Lewis, Brian:  The Sargon Legend: A Study of the Akkadian Text and the Tale of the Hero Who Was Exposed at Birth, American Schools of Oriental Research, Diss. 4, Cambridge, MA. 1980.

Meyer, Eduard: ("Moses" in:) Die Israeliten und ihre Nachbarstämme, Halle 1906, pp. 46ff.

- - :  "Sitzungsberichte der Königlich preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaft", Band 31, Berlin 1905, pp. 640-652.

Rank, Otto:  ("Moses" in:) The Myth of the Birth of the Hero, (Rank: "Die Mythus von der Geburt des Helden, Schriften zur angewandten Seelenkunde", Herausgeb. von Sigmund Freud, Heft 5, Leipzig 1909), New York 1952.

Redford, Donald B.: ("Moses" in:) The Literary Motif of the Exposed Child, Numen, 14, 1967, pp. 209-228.

Smith, George:  ("Sargon" in:) Early History of Babylonia, Transactions of the Society of Biblical Archaeology, vol. 1, London 1872, pp. 28-51.

Spaeth, Ove von:  The Suppressed Record. - "Assassinating Moses", vol. 1, 2nd ed., Copenhagen (1999) 2004, pp. 23-54, 166-169.

Westenholz, Joan Goodnick:  Legends of the Kings of Akkade: The Texts, Mesopotamian Civilizations 7, Winona Lake IN, Eisenbrauns, 1997, pp. 36-49.

- - (Review): The Sargon Legend:  A Study of the Akkadian Text and the Tale of the Hero Who Was Exposed at Birth: By Brian Lewis (1980), Journal of Near Eastern Studies, Vol. 43, No. 1 (Jan.), 1984, pp. 73-79.

Wiedemann, A.:  On the Legends Concerning the Youth of Moses, Part 1 and 2, Proceedings of The Society of Biblical Archæology, vol. 11, 1889, (London), pp. 29-43 & 267-282.

Wundt, Wilhelm:  Völkerpsychologie, Band 2:3, Leipzig 1909.

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Bibliography - Examples of Specialist Literature on Freud about Moses

The bibliographical list to illustrate some of the overwhelmingly many books and articles, in which researchers are seriously occupied with Freud's considerations and an interest in Moses.

Armstrong, Richard H.:  Contrapuntal Affiliations: Edward Said and Freud's Moses, American Imago, Volume 62, Number 2, Summer 2005, The Johns Hopkins University Press, pp. 235-257.

Assmann, Jan:  Moses the Egyptian. The Memory of Egypt in Western Monotheism,(Jan Assmann: Moses der Ägypter. Entzifferung einer Gedächtnisspur. Hanser, München 1998), Harvard University Press, (October 15) 1998, pp. 16, 147-148, 159-162.

Black, Margaret J.:  The murder of memory: Freud, Moses, and the death of Rabin, Mortality, Volume 7, Number 1, 1 March 2002, Routledge, pp. 83-95 (13).

Bakan, David:  Moses in the Thought of Freud, Commentary Magazine (1945-2007), October 1958.

Bergmann, Martin S. (Review):  Freud's Moses-Studie Als Tagtraum: By Ilse Grubrich-Simitis (1991), Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 42:898-901, 1994.

Bernstein, Richard J.:  Freud and the Legacy of Moses, Cambridge Studies in Religion and Critical Thought (No. 4), Cambridge University Press, 1998.

Blum, E.:  Über Sigmund Freuds: Der Mann Moses und die monotheistische Religion, Psyche, 10, 1956-57, pp. 367-390.

Bori, Pier Cesare:  Il 'Mosè' di Freud: per una prima valutazione storico-critica, in Bori: "L'estasi del profeta ed altri saggi tra Ebraismo e Cristianismo", Bologna: Il Molino 1989, pp. 179-222.

Briefel, Aviva:  Sacred Objects/Illusory Idols: The Fake in Freud's "The Moses of Michelangelo", American Imago - Volume 60, Number 1, Spring 2003, The Johns Hopkins University Press, pp. 21-40.

Dawkins, Richard:  The God Delusion, London 2006.

Edmundson, Mark:  (on Freud:) Defender of the Faith?, New York Times Magazine, September 9, 2007.

Faessler, M.:  Le nom de Moïse et le nom de Dieu. L'interprétation Freudienne et son dépassement théologique possible, "La figure de Moïse", (ed. R. Martin-Archard), 1978, pp. 143-156.

Freud, Sigmund: Drei Abhandlungen:  Der Mann Moses und die monotheistischen Religion, Wien 1934-38, (English, "Moses and Monotheism", London 1939; transl. from German: Katherine Jones, 1939).

- - :  The Moses of Michelangelo, Standard Edition, 13, (1914) 1955, pp. 211-238.

Gay, Volney Peter (Review):  Freud and Moses: The Long Journey Home: By Emanuel Rice (1990), Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Vol. 59, No. 4, Winter, 1991, pp. 862-864.

Gilman, Sander L. (Review):  Freud's Moses: Judaism Terminable and Interminable: By Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi (1991), The American Historical Review (American Historical Association), Vol. 97, No. 4 (Oct.), 1992, pp. 1178-1179.

Goldstein, Bluma:  Reinschribing Moses: Heine, Kafka, Freud and Schoenberg in a European Wilderness, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1992.

Grübrich-Simitis, Ilse:  Freuds Moses-Studie als Tagtraum: ein Bibliographisher Essay, Die Sigmund-Freud-Vorlesungen, Band 3, Verlag Internationale Psychoanalyse, Weinheim, 1991.

- - :  Early Freud and Late Freud: Reading Anew Studies on Hysteria and Moses and Monotheism, (paperback) 1998.

Hsu, Michael (Review):  Freud and the Non-European: By Edward Said (2003), The Asian Review of Books, 01, 08, 2003.

Hyatt, J. Philip:  Freud on Moses and the Genesis of Monotheism, Journal of Bible and Religion, Vol. 8, No. 2, (Oxford University Press), (May) 1940, pp. 85-88.

Jones, Ernest:  The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud. Vol. 3: The Last Phase (1919-1939), New York NY, Basic Books, 1957.

- -  :  The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud, edited and abridged into one volume by Lionel Trilling & Steven Marcus (Basic Books, Inc. Publishers), New York 1961, p. 502 (: Freud's own view on the historical basis of his Moses story).

Kakutani, Michiko:  Judaism, Anti-Semitism And Freud: A New View. - A Review of: Freud's Moses Judaism Terminable and Interminable: By Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi (1991), Books of The Times, New York Times, September 13, 1991.

Kestenberg, Judith S. (Review):  Freud's Moses: Judaism Terminable and Interminable: By Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi (1991), Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 63, 1994, pp. 383-387.

Koehler, Ludwig Hugo:  Freud und Moses..., Neue Zürcher Zeitung, No. 667, 16. April 1939.

Lehmann, Johannes:  Moses - der Mann aus Ägypten,(Hoffmann und Campe Verlag), Hamburg 1983, pp. 187-189.

Levi, Iakov:  Freud und (Theodore) Reik - Was Moses an Egyptian?, Psychohistory, , July 20, 2002.

Levy-Valensi, E. Amado:  Le Moïse de Freud ou la référence occultée, Monaco 1984.

Merkur, Dan: Moses and Civilization:  The Meaning Behind Freud's Myth: By Robert A. Paul (1996), Religion, Volume 30, Issue 1, January 2000, University of Toronto, pp. 76-78.

Miller, J.-A.:  Religion, Psychoanalysis, trans. B.P. Fulks, Lacanian Ink, 23, 2004, pp. 8-39.

NN:  Was Moses an Egyptian? Psycho-Analysis of Monotheism - Dr Freud on the Jews, Times Literary Supplement, May 27, 1939, p. 312.

NOMOS International Conference:  Freud's Moses and the Traumatized Human Subject. Ramifications for Culture and Education, at Columbia University, New York City, October 16-17, 2004, - published on-line at

Paul, Robert A.:  Moses and Civilization: The Meaning Behind Freud's Myth, Yale University Press, New Haven CT, 1996.

Radzinowicz, Mary Ann:  "Tendentious purposes": Milton and Freud on Moses, Criticism, Vol. 35, Summer (6/22/93), 1993.

Rice, Emanuel:  Freud and Moses. The Long Journey Home, Albany NY, State University of New York Press, 1990.

Robert, Marthe:  D'Oedipe à Moïse: Freud et la conscience juive, (transl. "From Oedipus to Moses", London 1977), Paris 1974.

Rosenvasser, Abraham:  Egipto e Israel y el monoteismo Hebreo: A proposito del libro Moisés y la religión monoteista de Sigmund Freud, 2nd ed., Buenos Aires University Press, 1982.

Roth, Nathan (Review):  A Godless Jew: Freud, Atheism, and the Making of Psychoanalysis: By Peter Gay (1987), Journal of American Academy of Psychoanalysis, 17, 1989, pp. 682-683.

Sabin, Stefana:  Freud's Moses as a Trope af Memory, Studia Hebraica, 3, 2003, pp. 355-361.

Said, Edward W.:  Freud and the Non-European, with Jacqueline Rose (Foreword, Introduction), Christopher Bollas (Introduction, Afterword), London and New York NY, Verso, 2003.

Schlossman, Howard H. (Review):  Freud and Moses. The Long Journey Home: By Emanuel Rice (1990), Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 62, 1993, pp.329-332.

Schorske, Carl E.:  (Moses in) Freud's Egyptian Dig, The New York Review of Books, May 27, 1993, pp. 35-40.

Shapiro, Theodore (Review):  Freud's Moses: Judaism Terminable and Interminable: By Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi (1991), Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 42, 1994, pp. 904-908.

Spaeth, Ove von:  (Freud in:) Historical Research Inhibited by Odd Portrait of Moses, chapter 8 of the author's The Suppressed Record. Moses' Unknown Egyptian Background, "Assassinating Moses, Vol. 1", 2.ed., Copenhagen (1999) 2004,, pp. 60-68. (Spaeth, Ove von: Forskningen hæmmet af kunstigt Moses-billede, kap. 8 i forfatterens "De Fortrængte Optegnelser. Moses' ukendte historiske baggrund. - Attentatet på Moses, bind 1", 2.udg., København (1999) 2004, pp. 60-68.

- - :  Freud and Moses - and another view on history,, November 2007.

- - :  Freud og Moses, debating article in Internet-newspaper, of 10th May 2006,

Stemberger, Brigitte:  Der Mann Moses' in Freuds Gesamtwerk, Kairos, 16, 1974, pp. 161-225.

Strachey, James Beaumont:  Editor's Note to Moses and Monotheism, Standard Edition, 23, 1964, pp. 3-5.

Walzer, Michael:  Exodus and Revolution, (Basic Books), 1986.

Weissberg, Liliane (Review):  Freud and the Legacy of Moses: By Richard J. Bernstein (1986), The Jewish Quarterly Review, New Series, Vol. 91, No. 1/2 (Jul.-Oct.), 2000, University of Pennsylvania Press, pp. 272-275.

Williams, James G.:  Freud's Moses: Judaism Terminable and Interminable: By Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi (1991), COV&R-Bulletin, No. 3 (Sept.), 1992, p. 10.

Wistrich, Robert S. (Review):  Freud's Moses: Judaism Terminable and Interminable: By Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi (1991), AJS Review (Association for Jewish Studies), Vol. 18, No. 2, 1993, Cambridge University Press, pp. 326-329.

Yerushalmi, Yosef Hayim:  Freud's Moses: Judaism Terminable and Interminable, Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1991.

Zeligs, Dorothy F.:  Moses:  A Psychodynamic Study, "Psychoanalysis and the Bible: A Study in the Depth of Seven Leaders", New York (1974, 1986), 1988.

*  *  *



The Egyptian god, Osiris, representing the concept of re-birth.
The ancient religions fascinated Freud and at the same time he strongly rejected them.


The psychoanalytic research pioneers, in particular Sigmund Freud and Carl G. Jung, had at an early stage discovered that many people in their subconscious mind again and again were in contact with specific themes, situations, images and symbols, all characteristic of the classic western cultural spiritual world thousands of years ago. Many were concerned with the question of whether the psyche is mostly a product of culture?

At the same time as Freud had begun his research, in the late 1800's, the European academies of
fine arts were keenly interested in the classic art ideals. Students from the Royal Academy of Fine
Arts in Copenhagen went each year on study tours to Greek and Roman sites and brought home
casts of the figures. The academy's collection owns now correct reproductions from the time
before the old statues and reliefs were destroyed by air pollution.

Ove von Spaeth studying a perfectly preserved horse image from the Parthenon temple in Athens,
a relief fragment which Lord Elgin by his rescue operation 100 years prior to Freud's era did not
bring to England. All of us, now in modern times surrounded by modern forms of design, are still
deeply fascinated by the archetypal style.


More texts about Tracing the Moses heritage

          in    Zenith files  -  net-base for Ove von Spaeth's articles.

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(courtesy: Berlin Museum)

Moses - through times
(courtesy: Assaffeller)


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                                           b.   Related articles by OvS - (b) 

                                           a.   Related articles by OvS - (a)                                 

                                           Zenith files  -  net-base for a collection of Ove von Spaeth' articles.


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A special treasure of knowledge and wisdom of Greece, Rome, and the Renaissance had originated in Ancient Egypt - and was here known to connect also with the historical Moses' dramatic fate and mystery.
          Ove von Spaeth has written an intriguing, new-orientating work presenting this still influential background of our civilization. His interdisciplinary research on history, archaeology, and anthropology goes deeply into Egyptian tradition, history of religion, initiation cults, star-knowledge, and mythology - relating to biblical studies, the Rabbinical Writings, and the authors of Antiquity. Each volume offers unique insights not presented before.
          Special information is presented by clicking on the individual cover illustrations:

(ed.note: reading the orientation is highly recommended. The books are being translated into English)
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