Egyptian Mythology: A Guide to the Gods, Goddesses, and Traditions of Ancient Egypt by Geraldine PinchFrom stories of resurrected mummies and thousand-year-old curses to powerful pharaohs and the coveted treasures of the Great Pyramids, ancient Egypt has had an unfaltering grip on the modern imagination. Now, in Egyptian Mythology, Geraldine Pinch offers a comprehensive introduction that untangles the mystery of Egyptian Myth.
Spanning Ancient Egyptian culture--from 3200 BC to AD 400--Pinch opens a door to this hidden world and casts light on its often misunderstood belief system. She discusses the nature of myths and the history of Egypt, from the predynastic to the postpharaonic period. She explains how Egyptian culture developed around the flooding of the Nile, or the inundation, a phenomenon on which the whole welfare of the country depended, and how aspects of the inundation were personified as deities. She explains that the usually cloudless skies made for a preoccupation with the stars and planets. Indeed, much early Egyptian mythology may have developed to explain the movement of these celestial bodies. She provides a timeline covering the seven stages in the mythical history of Egypt and outlining the major events of each stage, such as the reign of the sun God. A substantial A to Z section covers the principal themes and concepts of Egyptian mythology as well as the most important deities, demons, and other characters. For anyone who wants to know about Anubis, the terrifying canine god who presided over the mummification of bodies and guarded burials, or Hathor, the golden goddess who helped women to give birth and the dead to be reborn, or an explanation of the nun, the primeval ocean from which all life came, Egyptian Mythology is the place to look.
Ancient Egyptian Mythology
Egyptian Gods and Goddesses: Pre-dynastic History Egyptian gods represent over 50 separate deities, most of which date back to pre-dynastic times. The ancient tribes that made up the region worshiped their own particular gods, which were normally embodied by an animal. As Egyptian civilization advanced, the deities took on human characteristics. In many cases, the gods were depicted with human bodies, while retaining animal heads. By the beginning of the Old Kingdom Dynasty BC , a national religion developed out of the primitive tribal and local religions. However, ongoing changes in political power resulted in the changing status of Egyptian gods.
Egyptian mythology is the collection of myths from ancient Egypt , which describe the actions of the Egyptian gods as a means of understanding the world around them. The beliefs that these myths express are an important part of ancient Egyptian religion. Myths appear frequently in Egyptian writings and art , particularly in short stories and in religious material such as hymns, ritual texts, funerary texts , and temple decoration. These sources rarely contain a complete account of a myth and often describe only brief fragments. Inspired by the cycles of nature, the Egyptians saw time in the present as a series of recurring patterns, whereas the earliest periods of time were linear. Myths are set in these earliest times, and myth sets the pattern for the cycles of the present. Present events repeat the events of myth, and in doing so renew maat , the fundamental order of the universe.
Official religion. From ancient Egyptian writings we know that religion was very important in their society. The pharaoh performed rituals to the gods so that the world would be in harmony and to assure bountiful crops. These official state ceremonies were performed in temples throughout Egypt, but most Egyptians did not participate. Ready to play the Amulet Matching Game?
Egyptian mythology was the belief structure and underlying form of ancient Egyptian culture from at least c. Every aspect of life in ancient Egypt was informed by the stories which related the creation of the world and the sustaining of that world by the gods. Egyptian religion influenced other cultures through transmission via trade and became especially widespread after the opening of the Silk Road in BCE as the Egyptian port city of Alexandria was an important commercial center. The significance of Egyptian mythology to other cultures was in its development of the concept of an eternal life after death, benevolent deities, and reincarnation. Both Pythagoras and Plato of Greece were said to have been influenced by Egyptian beliefs in reincarnation and Roman religious culture borrowed as extensively from Egypt as it did from other civilizations.
He also symbolized death, resurrection, and the cycle of Nile floods that Egypt relied on for agricultural fertility. According to the myth, Osiris was a king of Egypt who was murdered and dismembered by his brother Seth. His wife, Isis, reassembled his body and resurrected him, allowing them to conceive a son, the god Horus. He was represented as a mummified king, wearing wrappings that left only the green skin of his hands and face exposed. The origins of Isis are obscure.