Miriam Lichtheim

Miriam Lichtheim (3 May 1914, Istanbul – 27 March 2004, Jerusalem) was an Israeli translator of ancient Egyptian texts whose translations are still widely used.


In the 1930s, she studied under Hans Jakob Polotsky in the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. In a paper of recollections about her teacher[1] she recalls that, at the beginning of the year, in Polotsky's Egyptian class there were four students; at the end, only she remained. In 1941, she travelled to the United States where she studied and received a Ph.D. in Egyptology from the University of Chicago. She worked as an academic librarian at Yale University, and then at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she was Near East Bibliographer and Lecturer until her retirement in 1974. In 1982, she moved to Israel where she taught at the Hebrew University. She died in 2004.

In 1973, she published the first volume of the Ancient Egyptian Literature (abbr. AEL), annotated translations of Old and Middle Kingdom texts. In 1976, the second volume of AEL containing New Kingdom texts appeared, followed in 1980 by the third dealing with the first millennium BCE literature.



  1. Atti del sesto convegno internazionale di Egittologia, Torino, 1996
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