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Encyclopedia > Egyptian Mythology

Egyptian mythology or Egyptian religion is the succession of tentative beliefs held by the people of Egypt for over three thousand years, prior to major exposure to Christianity and Islam. Christianity is a monotheistic[1] religion centered on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recounted in the Gospels. ... For other uses, including people named Islam, see Islam (disambiguation). ...

Contents


Gods

Early beliefs can be split into 5 distinct localized groups,

Throughout the vast and complex history of Egypt, the dominant beliefs of the ancient Egyptians merged and mutated as leaders of different groups gained power. This process continued even after the end of the Egyptian civilization as we know it today. As an example, during the New Kingdom Ra and Amun became Amun-Ra. This "merging" into a single god is typically referred to as syncretism. Syncretism should be distinguished from mere groupings, also referred to as "families" such as Amun, Mut and Khonsu, where no "merging" takes place. Over time, deities took part in multiple syncretic relationships, for instance, the combination of Ra and Horus into Ra-Herakty. However, even when taking part in such a syncretic relationship, the original deities did not become completely "absorbed" into the combined deity, although the individuality of the one was often greatly weakened. Also, these syncretic relationships sometimes involved more than just two deities, for instance, Ptah, Seker and Osiris, becoming Ptah-Seker-Osiris. The goddesses followed a similar pattern. Also important to keep in mind is that sometimes the attributes of one deity got closely associated with another, without any "formal" syncretism taking place. For instance, the loose association of Hathor with Isis. The Ennead (a word derived from Greek, meaning the nine) is a grouping of nine deities, most often used in the context of Egyptian mythology. ... Heliopolis (Greek Ἡλίου πόλις) was one of the most ancient cities of Egypt, and capital of the 13th Lower Egyptian nome. ... History Atum (alternatively spelt Tem, Temu, Tum, and Atem) is an early deity in Egyptian mythology, whose cult centred on the Ennead of Heliopolis. ... In Egyptian mythology, the Ogdoad are the eight deities worshipped in Hermopolis. ... Black siltstone obelisk of King Nectanebo II. According to the vertical inscriptions he set up this obelisk at the doorway of the sanctuary of Thoth, the Twice-Great, Lord of Hermopolis. ... , , , or [1] This article is about the Egyptian god. ... In Egyptian mythology, Chnum (also spelled Khnum, Knum, or Khnemu) was one of the earliest Egyptian gods, originally the god of the source of the Nile River. ... In Egyptian mythology, Satis was the goddess who guarded Egypts border with Nubia on the south, and was also associated with the floods of the Nile River. ... In Egyptian mythology, Anuket (also spelt Anqet, and in Greek, Anukis) was originally the goddess of the Nile River, in areas such as Elephantine Island, at the start of the Niles journey through Egypt, and in nearby regions of Nubia. ... Elephantine Island, showing the nilometer (lower left) and the Aswan Museum. ... In Egyptian mythology, Chnum (also spelled Khnum, Knum, or Khnemu) was one of the earliest Egyptian gods, originally the god of the source of the Nile River. ... Amun (also spelt Amon, Amoun, Amen, and rarely Imenand, and spelt in Greek as Ammon, and Hammon) was the name of a deity, in Egyptian mythology, who gradually rose to become one of the most important deities, before fading into obscurity. ... In Egyptian mythology, Mut (mother) is the patron goddess of Thebes. ... Chons In Egyptian mythology, Chons (alternately Khensu, Khons, Khonsu or Khonshu) is an ancient lunar deity, from before formal structure was given to a pantheon. ... Thebes [Θηβαι Thēbai] is the Greek designation of ancient Egyptian niwt (The) City and niwt-rst (The) Southern City. It is located about 800 km south of the Mediterranean, on the east bank of the Nile (25. ... Amun (also spelt Amon, Amoun, Amen, and rarely Imenand, and spelt in Greek as Ammon, and Hammon) was the name of a deity, in Egyptian mythology, who gradually rose to become one of the most important deities, before fading into obscurity. ... Ptah In Egyptian mythology, Ptah (also spelt Peteh) was the deification of the primordial mound in the Ennead cosmogony, which was more literally referred to as Ta-tenen (also spelt Tathenen), meaning risen land, or as Tanen, meaning submerged land. ... Two statues of Sekhmet (standing) in the Egyptian Museum of Berlin. ... In Egyptian mythology, Nefertem (also Nefertum, Nefer-Tem, Nefer-Temu), god of perfume, the blue lotus blossom out of which Ra emerged. ... Memphis, coordiates , , was the ancient capital of the first nome of Lower Egypt, and of the Old Kingdom of Egypt from its foundation until around 1300 BC. Its Ancient Egyptian name was Ineb Hedj (The White Walls). The name Memphis is the Greek deformation of the Egyptian name of Pepi... Ptah In Egyptian mythology, Ptah (also spelt Peteh) was the deification of the primordial mound in the Ennead cosmogony, which was more literally referred to as Ta-tenen (also spelt Tathenen), meaning risen land, or as Tanen, meaning submerged land. ... Amun (also spelt Amon, Amoun, Amen, and rarely Imenand, and spelt in Greek as Ammon, and Hammon) was the name of a deity, in Egyptian mythology, who gradually rose to become one of the most important, before disappearing back into the shadows. ... Syncretism is the attempt to reconcile disparate, even opposing, beliefs and to meld practices of various schools of thought. ... Horus is an ancient god of Egyptian mythology, whose cult survived so long that he evolved dramatically over time and gained many names. ... Horus is an ancient god of Egyptian mythology, whose cult survived so long that he evolved dramatically over time and gained many names. ... Osiris (Greek language, also Usiris; the Egyptian language name is variously transliterated Asar, Aser, Ausar, or Ausare) is the Egyptian God of the dead and the underworld. ... Statue of Hathor (Luxor Museum) In Egyptian mythology, Hathor (Egyptian for house of Horus) was originally a personification of the Milky Way, which was seen as the milk that flowed from the udders of a heavenly cow. ... It has been suggested that Isis in literature be merged into this article or section. ...


An interesting aspect of ancient Egyptian religion is that deities sometimes played different conflicting roles. As an example, the lioness Sekhmet being sent out by Ra to devour the humans for having rebelled against him, but later on becoming a fierce protectress of the kingdom, life in general and the sick. Even more complex is the roles of Set. Judging the mythology of Set from a modern perspective, especially the mythology surrounding Set's relationship with Osiris, it is easy to cast Set as the arch villain and source of evil. This is wrong, however, as Set was earlier playing the role of destroyer of Apep, in the service of Ra on his barge, and thus serving to uphold Ma'at (Truth, Justice and Harmony). Two statues of Sekhmet (standing) in the Egyptian Museum of Berlin. ... This article or section is missing references or citation of sources. ... An Egyptian deity wards off the snake-like Apep In Egyptian mythology, Apep (also spelled Apepi, and Aapep, or Apophis in Greek) was an evil demon, the deification of darkness and chaos, and thus opponent of light and Maat (order/truth), whose existence was believed about from the Middle...


Given the diverse tapestry of religious history in ancient Egypt, it comes as no surprise that many different forms of theism evolved. Although mainly henotheistic in nature, at some point even monotheism, as introduced by Akhenaten thrived. What is important to realize is that it is very dangerous to try and cast the religion of the ancient Egyptians in any particular theistic form. Even more dangerous to claim is that, towards the end of the Egyptian civilization, a drive toward monotheism was taking place. The evidence of the time (Greaco-Roman period) seems counter to this belief: although syncretism was still taking place (sometimes and more frequently between Egyptian and non-Egyptian deities), many deities were still revered and served. As an example the following which Thoth enjoyed during these later periods. This is quite evident when one simply looks at the vast number of mummified Ibis birds offered to him. Also, the belief in Egyptian deities were spreading to countries other than Egypt. For instance the Roman belief in, and following of Isis. In religion and philosophy, henotheism is a term coined by Max Müller, meaning devotion to a single god while accepting the existence of other gods. ... Monotheism (in Greek μόνος = single and θεός = God) is the belief in the existence of one God, or in the oneness of God. ... nomen or birth name Bust of Pharaoh Akhenaten. ... Thoth (Ramesseum, Luxor) In Egyptian mythology, Thoth (also spelled Thot or Thout), pronounced Toe-th, is the Greek name given to Djehuty (also spelt Tahuti, Tehuti, Zehuti, Techu, Tetu) - the original pronunciation of his name is disputed, and may have been approximately Tee-HOW-ti -, who was originally the deification...


The Egyptians believed that in the beginning, the universe was filled with the dark waters of chaos. The first god, Re-Atum, appeared from the water as the land of Egypt appears every year out of the flood waters of the Nile. Re-Atum spat and out of the spittle came out the gods Shu (air) and Tefnut (moisture). The world was created when Shu and Tefnut gave birth to two children: Nut (sky) & Geb (the Earth). Humans were created when Shu and Tefnut went wandering in the dark wastes and got lost. Re-Atum sent his eye to find them. On reuniting, his tears of joy turned into people.


Geb and Nut copulated, and upon Shu's learning of his children's fornication, he separated the two, effectively becoming the air between the sky and ground. He also decreed that the pregnant Nut should not give birth any day of the year. Nut pleaded with Thoth, who on her behalf gambled with the moon-god Yah and won five more days to be added onto the then 360-day year. Nut had one child on each of these days: Osiris, Isis, Seth, Nephthys, and Horus-the-Elder.


Osiris, by different accounts, was either the son of Re-Atum or Geb, and king of Egypt. His brother Seth represented evil in the universe. He murdered Osiris and himself became the king. After killing Osiris Seth tore his body into pieces, but Isis rescued most of the pieces for burial beneath the temple. Seth made himself king but was challenged by Osiris's son - Horus. Seth lost and was sent to the desert. He became the God of terrible storms. Osiris was mummified by Anubis and became God of the dead. Horus became the King and from him descended the pharaohs.


Another version is when Seth made a chest which only Osiris could fit into. He then invited Osiris to a feast. Seth made a bet that no one could fit into the chest. Osiris was the last one to step into the chest, but before he did Seth asked if he could hold Osiris's crown. Osiris agreed and stepped into the chest. As he lay down, Seth slammed the lid shut and put the crown on his head. He then set the chest afloat on the Nile. Isis did not know of her husband's death until the wind told her. She then placed her son in a safe place and cast a spell so no one could find him. When she searched for a husband, a child told her a chest had washed up on the bank and a tree had grown up. The tree was so straight the king had used it for the central pillar. Isis went and asked for her husband's body and it was given to her. The god of the underworld told her that Osiris would be a king, but only in the underworld.


Death

Egypt had a highly developed view of the afterlife with elaborate rituals for preparing the body and soul for a peaceful life after death. Beliefs about the soul and afterlife focused heavily on preservation of the body, or ba (The soul was known as the ka). This meant that embalming and mummification were practiced, in order to preserve the individual's identity in the afterlife. Originally the dead were buried in reed caskets in the searing hot sand, which caused the remains to dry quickly, preventing decomposition, and were subsequently buried. Later, they started constructing wooden tombs, and the extensive process of mummification was developed by the Egyptians around the 4th Dynasty. All soft tissues were removed, and the cavities washed and packed with natron, then the exterior body was buried in natron as well. Since it was a stoneable offence to harm the body of the Pharaoh, even after death, the person who made the cut in the abdomen with a rock knife was ceremonially chased away and had rocks thrown at him. In Egyptian mythology, the human soul is made up of seven parts: the Ren, Sekem, the Akh, the Ba, the Ka, the Sheut, and the Sekhu. ... Embalming, in most modern cultures, is the art and science used to temporarily preserve human remains to forestall decomposition and make it suitable for display at a funeral. ... A mummy is a corpse whose skin and dried flesh have been preserved by either intentional or accidental exposure to chemicals, extreme cold or dryness, or airlessness. ... species Pragmites australis Reed is a generic term used to describe numerous plants including: Common Reed (Phragmites australis Cav. ... Patterns in the sand Sand is an example of a class of materials called granular matter. ... A mummy is a corpse whose skin and dried flesh have been preserved by either intentional or accidental exposure to chemicals, extreme cold or dryness, or airlessness. ... Natron is a white, crystalline hygroscopic mineral salt, primarily a mixture of sodium bicarbonate (common baking soda) and sodium carbonate (soda ash) with small amounts of sodium chloride (table salt) and sodium sulfate. ...


After coming out of the natron, the bodies were coated inside and out with resin to preserve them, then wrapped with linen bandages, embedded with religious amulets and talismans. In the case of royalty, this was usually then placed inside a series of nested coffins the outermost of which was a stone sarcophagus. The intestines, lungs, liver and the stomach were preserved separately and stored in canopic jars protected by the Four sons of Horus. Other creatures were also mummified, sometimes thought to be pets of Egyptian families, but more frequently or more likely they were the representations of the Gods. The ibis, crocodile, cats, nile perch and baboon can be found in perfect mummified forms. Stone sarcophagus of Pharaoh Merenptah Detail of a stone sarcophagus in the Istanbul Archeological Museum showing a hunting scene Anthropoid sarcophagus discovered at Cádiz A sarcophagus is a stone container for a coffin or body. ... The intestine is the portion of the alimentary canal extending from the stomach to the anus and, in humans and other mammals, consists of two segments, the small intestine and the large intestine. ... The lungs flank the heart and great vessels in the chest cavity. ... The liver is the largest internal organ of the human body. ... In anatomy, the stomach (in ancient Greek στόμαχος) is an organ in the gastrointestinal tract used to digest food. ... Among the ancient Egyptians, canopic jars were covered funerary vases, normally composed of clay, intended to keep the viscera of mummified corpses. ... Image:PAM240. ... Genera Threskiornis Pseudibis Thaumatibis Geronticus Nipponia Bostrychia Theristicus Cercibis Mesembrinibis Phimosus Eudocimus Plegadis Lophotibis Ibises are a group of long-legged wading birds in the family Threskiornithidae. ... Genera Mecistops Crocodylus Osteolaemus See full taxonomy. ... Trinomial name Felis silvestris catus (Linnaeus, 1758) The cat, also called the domestic cat or house cat, is a small carnivorous mammal of the subspecies Felis silvestris catus. ... Binomial name Lates niloticus (Linnaeus, 1758) The Nile perch (Lates niloticus) is a species of freshwater fish in family Centropomidae of order Perciformes. ... Type Species Simia hamadryas Linnaeus, 1758 Species Papio hamadryas Papio papio Papio anubis Papio cynocephalus Papio ursinus The baboons are some of the largest non-hominid members of the primate order; only the Mandrill and the Drill are larger. ...


The Book of the Dead was a series of almost two hundred spells represented as sectional texts, songs and pictures written on papyrus, individually customized for the deceased, which were buried along with the dead in order to ease their passage into the underworld. In some tombs, the Book of the Dead has also been found painted on the walls, although the practice of painting on the tomb walls appears to predate the formalization of the Book of the Dead as a bound text. One of the best examples of the Book of the Dead is The Papyrus of Ani, created around 1240 BC, which, in addition to the texts themselves, also contains many pictures of Ani and his wife on their journey through the land of the dead. Book of the Dead is the common name for ancient Egyptian funerary texts known as The Book of Coming [or Going] Forth By Day. ... Centuries: 14th century BC - 13th century BC - 12th century BC Decades: 1290s BC 1280s BC 1270s BC 1260s BC 1250s BC - 1240s BC - 1230s BC 1220s BC 1210s BC 1200s BC 1190s BC Events and trends Significant people Categories: 1240s BC ...


In later belief, the soul of the deceased is led into a hall of judgement in Duat by Anubis (god of mummification) and the deceased's heart, which was the record of the morality of the owner, is weighed against a single feather representing Maàt's (the concept of truth, and order). If the outcome is favorable, the deceased is taken to Osiris, god of the afterlife, in Aaru, but the demon Ammit (Eater of Hearts) – part crocodile, part lion, and part hippopotamus – destroys those hearts whom the verdict is against, leaving the owner to remain in Duat. [1] In Egyptian mythology, Duat (also called Akert or Amenthes) is the underworld, where the sun traveled from west to east during the night and where dead souls were judged by Osiris, using a feather, representing Truth. ... Anubis is the Greek name for the ancient god in Egyptian mythology whose hieroglyphic is more accurately spelt Anpu (also Anup, Anupu, Wip, Ienpw, Inepu, Yinepu, or Inpw). ... The heart and lungs, from an older edition of Grays Anatomy. ... In Egyptian mythology, Maat was the goddess, or rather the concept, of truth, justice and order. ... Osiris (Greek language, also Usiris; the Egyptian language name is variously transliterated Asar, Aser, Ausar, or Ausare) is the Egyptian God of the dead and the underworld. ... In Egyptian mythology, the fields of Aaru (alternatives: Yaaru, Iaru, Aalu), are the heavenly underworld where Osiris ruled. ... A depiction of PAJARO in a late period papyrus, showing his decorated leonine body, and crocodile head. ...


The monotheistic period

A short interval of monotheism (Atenism) occurred under the reign of Akhenaten, focused on the Egyptian sun deity Aten. Akhenaten outlawed the worship of any other god and built a new capital (Amarna) with temples for Aten. The religious change survived only until the death of Akhenaten, and the old religion was quickly restored during the reign of Tutankhamun, most likely Akhenaten's son by a minor wife. Interestingly, Tutankhamun and several other post-restoration pharaohs were excluded from future king lists, as well as the heretics Akhenaten and Smenkhare. Monotheism (in Greek μόνος = single and θεός = God) is the belief in the existence of one God, or in the oneness of God. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... nomen or birth name Bust of Pharaoh Akhenaten. ... Aten is a creator of the universe in ancient Egyptian mythology, usually regarded as a sun god represented by the suns disk. ... Map of Amarna The site of Amarna (commonly known as el-Amarna or incorrectly as Tell el-Amarna; see below) (Arabic: العمارنة) is located on the east bank of the Nile River in the modern Egyptian province of al-Minya, some 58 km (38 miles) south of the city of al... Mask of Tutankhamuns mummy, the popular icon for ancient Egypt. ... nomen or birth name Bust of Pharaoh Akhenaten. ... Smenkhkare (sometimes spelled Smenkhare and Smenkare, and means Strong is the Soul of Ra) was a Pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty, successor of the heretic Akhenaten, and predecessor of Tutankhamen. ...


While most historians regard this period as monotheistic, some researchers do not regard Atenism as such. They state that people did not worship Aten, but worshipped the royal family as a pantheon of gods who received their divine power from the Aten. That point of view is largely dismissed by the historical community. Some researches go as far as to suggest that Akhenaten or some of his viziers were the Biblical Moses or Joseph; the scientific community dismisses these claims as wishful thinking, since none of the theories are based on proper research, and the well-documented worship of Aten has nothing in common with the religion of Moses. This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... Aten is a creator of the universe in ancient Egyptian mythology, usually regarded as a sun god represented by the suns disk. ... Moses or Móshe (מֹשֶׁה, Standard Hebrew, Tiberian Hebrew Mōšeh, Arabic موسى Mūsa, Geez ሙሴ Musse) is a legendary Hebrew liberator, leader, lawgiver, prophet, and historian. ... Aten is a creator of the universe in ancient Egyptian mythology, usually regarded as a sun god represented by the suns disk. ...


According to John Tuthill, a professor at the University of Guam, Akhenaten's reasons for his religious reform were political. By the time of Akhenaten's reign, the god Amen had risen to such a high status that the priests of Amen had become even more wealthy and powerful than the pharaohs. However, Barbara Mertz argued that Akhenaten and his courtiers would not have easily perceived this (Mertz, 1966, p. 269). Still, this theory remains as a possibility to be considered. It may be that Akhenaten was influenced by his family members, particularly his wife or mother (Dunham, 1963, p. 4; Mertz, 1966, p. 269). There was a certain trend in Akhenaten's family towards sun-worship. Towards the end of the reign of Akhenaten's father, Amenhotep III, the Aten was depicted increasingly often. Some historians have suggested that the same religious revolution would have happened even if Akhenaten had never become pharaoh at all. However, considering the violent reaction that followed shortly after Akhenaten's untimely death, this seems improbable. The reasons for Akhenaten's revolution still remain a mystery. Until further evidence can be uncovered, it will be impossible to know just what motivated his unusual behavior.


After the fall of the Amarna dynasty, the original Egyptian pantheon survived more or less as the dominant faith, until the establishment of Coptic Christianity and later Islam, even though the Egyptians continued to have relations with the other monotheistic cultures (e.g. Hebrews). Egyptian mythology put up surprisingly little resistance to the spread of Christianity, sometimes explained by claiming that Jesus was originally a syncretism based predominantly on Horus, with Isis and her worship becoming Mary and veneration (see Jesus as myth). Jesus Christ in a Coptic icon. ... For other uses, including people named Islam, see Islam (disambiguation). ... Judaism is the religion of the Jewish people with around 15 million followers as of 2006. ... Jesus (8-2 BC/BCE — 29-36 AD/CE),[1] also known as Jesus of Nazareth, is the central figure of Christianity. ... Syncretism is the attempt to reconcile disparate, even opposing, beliefs and to meld practices of various schools of thought. ... Horus is an ancient god of Egyptian mythology, whose cult survived so long that he evolved dramatically over time and gained many names. ... It has been suggested that Isis in literature be merged into this article or section. ... Mary is a popular female given name. ... (Latin veneratio, Greek δουλια dulia) In traditional Christian churches (for example, Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy), veneration, or veneration of saints, is a special act of honoring a dead person who has been identified as singular in the traditions of the religion, and through them honoring God who made them and... The idea that elements of beliefs about Jesus, and the Jesus narrative in the New Testament, are actually syncretisms from myths of his era is a theory usually associated with a skeptical position on the historicity of Jesus. ...


Temples

Many temples are still standing today. Others are in ruins from wear and tear, while others have been lost entirely. Pharaoh Ramses II was a particularly prolific builder of temples. Ramesses II, Abu Simbel Ramesses II (also known as Ramesses the Great and alternatively transcribed as Ramses and Rameses) was an Egyptian pharaoh. ...


Some known temples include:

  • Abu Simbel – Complex of two massive rock temples in southern Egypt on the western bank of the Nile.
  • Abydos (Great Temple of Abydos) – Adoration of the early kings, whose cemetery, to which it forms a great funerary chapel, lies behind it.
  • Ain el-Muftella (Bahariya Oasis) [2] – Could have served as the city center of El Qasr. It was probably built around the 26th Dynasty.
  • Karnak – Once part of the ancient capital of Egypt, Thebes.
  • Bani Hasan al Shurruq [3] – Located in Middle Egypt near to Al-Minya and survived the reconstruction of the New Kingdom.
  • EdfuPtolemaic temple that is located between Aswan and Luxor.
  • Temple of Kom Ombo – Controlled the trade routes from Nubia to the Nile Valley.
  • Luxor – Built largely by Amenhotep III and Ramesses II, it was the centre of the Opet Festival.
  • Medinet Habu [4] (Memorial Temple of Ramesses III)– Temple and a complex of temples dating from the New Kingdom.
  • Temple of Hatshepsut – Mortuary temple complex at Deir el-Bahri with a colonnaded structure of perfect harmony, built nearly one thousand years before the Parthenon.
  • Philae – Island of Philae with Temple of Aset which was constructed in the 30th Dynasty.
  • Ramesseum (Memorial Temple of Ramesses II) – The main building, dedicated to the funerary cult, comprised two stone pylons (gateways, some 60 m wide), one after the other, each leading into a courtyard. Beyond the second courtyard, at the centre of the complex, was a covered 48-column hypostyle hall, surrounding the inner sanctuary.
  • Dendera Temple complex – Several temples but the all overshadowing building in the complex is the main temple, the Hathor temple.

Model showing the relative positions of the Abu Simbel temples before and after relocation Categories: Ancient Egypt stubs | Wonders of the World ... Abydos, one of the most ancient cities of Upper Egypt, stood about 11 km (6 miles) west of the Nile at latitude 26° 10 N. The Egyptian name was Abdju (technically, 3bdw, hieroglyphs shown to the right), the hill of the symbol or reliquary, in which the sacred head of... El Waha el Bahariya (Arabic: الواحة البحرية), (meaning the sea-oasis) is an oasis in Egypt. ... Map of Karnak, showing major temple complexes Interior of Temple Al-Karnak (Arabic الكرنك) is a small village in Egypt, located on the banks of the River Nile some 2. ... For the ancient capital of Boeotia, see Thebes, Greece. ... Beni Hasan (or Bani Hasan, or also Beni-Hassan) is a village in Middle Egypt about 25 km south of al Minya, on the east bank of the Nile, with remarkable catacombs that have been excavated. ... The front of the Edfu Temple The first pylon at Edfu Temple Statue of Horus, Edfu Temple Edfu (also spelt Idfu or in modern French as Edfou and known in antiquity as Behdet) is an Egyptian city, located on the west bank of the River Nile between Esna and Aswan... The Ptolemaic dynasty was a Hellenistic royal family which ruled over Egypt for nearly 300 years, from 305 BC to 30 BC. Ptolemy, a Macedonian and one of Alexander the Greats generals, was appointed satrap of Egypt after Alexanders death in 323 BC. In 305 BC, he declared... The double entrance to Kom Ombo Temple The Temple of Kom Ombo is an unusual double temple built during the Ptolemaic Period in the Egyptian town of Kom Ombo. ... Luxor Temple, from the east bank of the Nile Luxor Temple is a large Ancient Egyptian temple complex located on the east bank of the River Nile in the city today known as Luxor (ancient Thebes). ... The Beautiful Feast of Opet (or Opet Festival) was an Ancient Egyptian festival, celebrated annually in Thebes, during the New Kingdom period and later. ... Medinet Habu from the air Medinet-Habu is the mortuary temple of Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses III. It is located on the west bank of the River Nile at Thebes, Egypt, south of the morturary temple of Tutankhamun/Horemheb. ... An indurated limestone sculpture of Hatshepsut in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. ... Philae (or Pilak or Paaleq [Egyptian: remote place or the end or the angle island]; [Arabic: Anas el Wagud]) is an island in the Nile River and the previous site of an Ancient Egyptian temple complex in southern Egypt. ... The Ramesseum is the memorial temple (or mortuary temple) of Pharaoh Ramses II (Ramses the Great). ... Entrance to the Dendera Temple Complex, photographed 23 December 2003 Dendera Temple complex, (Ancient Egyptian: Lunet or Tantere). ... Hathor Temple is the main temple in the Dendera Temple Complex, built around 1st century BC. Hathor Temple, photographed 23rd December 2003 Categories: Buildings and structures stubs | Ancient Egypt stubs ...

External influences

Egypt exchanged ideas with Libya during its early unsettled period. Egypt was also influenced by the Greek Ptolemaic dynasty, which ruled Egypt for 300 years. Cleopatra was the only Ptolemaic queen to rule on her own. Egypt was incorporated into the Roman Empire, and was ruled first from Rome and then from Constantinople (until the Arab conquest). The Ptolemaic dynasty was a Hellenistic royal family which ruled over Egypt for nearly 300 years, from 305 BC to 30 BC. Ptolemy, a Macedonian and one of Alexander the Greats generals, was appointed satrap of Egypt after Alexanders death in 323 BC. In 305 BC, he declared... Cleopatra VII Philopator (January 69 BC – August 12, 30 BC, Greek:Κλεοπάτρα Φιλοπάτωρ), later Cleopatra Thea Neotera Philopator kai Philopatris, was queen of ancient Egypt, the last member of the Ptolemaic dynasty and hence the last Hellenistic ruler of Egypt. ...

Libyan period

Main article: Third Intermediate Period of Egypt
22nd - 25th Dynasty The Third Intermediate Period refers to the time in Ancient Egypt from the death of Pharaoh Rameses XI in 1070 BC to the foundation of the Twenty-Sixth Dynasty by Psamtik I, following the expulsion of the Nubian rulers of the Twenty-Fifth Dynasty. ...


Egypt has long had ties with Libya. After the death of Rameses XI, the priesthood in the person of Herihor wrest control of Egypt away from the Pharaohs until they were superseded (without any apparent struggle) by the Libyan kings of the 22nd Dynasty. The first king of the new Dynasty, Shoshenq I, served as a general under the last ruler of the 21st Dynasty. It is known that he appointed his own son to be the High Priest of Amun, a post that was previously a hereditary appointment. The scant and patchy nature of the written records from this period suggest that it was unsettled. There appear to have been many subversive groups which eventually led to the creation of the 23rd dynasty which ran concurrent with the 22nd. Ramses XI (reigned 1104 – 1075 BC) was the tenth and last ruler of the Twentieth dynasty of Ancient Egypt. ... Herihor was an Egyptian army officer and high priest of Amun at Thebes (1080 BC to 1074 BC) in the reign of Pharaoh Ramesses XI. Herihor advanced through the ranks of the military during the reign of Ramesses XI and was integral to restoring order by ousting Pinhasy, viceroy of... Known rulers, in the History of Egypt, for the Twenty-Second Dynasty. ... nomen or birth name Hedjkheperre Setepenre Shoshenq I (Egyptian Å¡Å¡nq), also known as Sheshonk or Sheshonq I (for discussion of the spelling, see Shoshenq), was a Meshwesh Libyan king of Egypt and founder of the Twenty-second Dynasty. ... The Twenty-third dynasty of Egypt was a separate regime of Meshwesh Libyan kings, who ruled ancient Egypt. ... Known rulers, in the History of Egypt, for the Twenty-Second Dynasty. ...

Ptolemaic period

Main article: Ptolemaic Egypt
304 BC - 30 BC Ptolemaic Egypt refers to the time period of hellenistic rule in Egypt. ...


Started with Ptolemy I of Egypt and ended with Cleopatra VII. As Ptolemy I Soter ("Saviour"), he founded the Ptolemaic dynasty, which was to rule Egypt for 300 years. All the male rulers of the dynasty took the name "Ptolemy". Because the Ptolemaic kings adopted the Egyptian custom of marrying their sisters, many of the kings ruled jointly with their spouses, who were also of the royal house. This custom made Ptolemaic politics confusingly incestuous, and the later Ptolemies were increasingly feeble. The last of the Ptolemies, the famous Cleopatra, was the only Ptolemaic queen to rule on her own, after the death of her brother/husband, Ptolemy XIII. Ptolemy I Soter (367 BC–283 BC) was the ruler of Egypt (323 BC - 283 BC) and founder of the Ptolemaic dynasty. ... Cleopatra Cleopatra VII Philopator (December, 70 BC or January, 69 BC–August 12?, 30 BC) was queen of ancient Egypt. ... Ptolemy I Soter (367 BC–283 BC) was the ruler of Egypt (323 BC - 283 BC) and founder of the Ptolemaic dynasty. ... The Ptolemaic dynasty was a Hellenistic royal family which ruled over Egypt for nearly 300 years, from 305 BC to 30 BC. Ptolemy, a Macedonian and one of Alexander the Greats generals, was appointed satrap of Egypt after Alexanders death in 323 BC. In 305 BC, he declared... Cleopatra VII Philopator (January 69 BC – August 12, 30 BC, Greek:Κλεοπάτρα Φιλοπάτωρ), later Cleopatra Thea Neotera Philopator kai Philopatris, was queen of ancient Egypt, the last member of the Ptolemaic dynasty and hence the last Hellenistic ruler of Egypt. ... Ptolemy XIII Theos Philopator (lived 62 BCE/61 BCE–January 13, 47 BCE?, reigned from 51 BCE) was one of the last members of the Ptolemaic dynasty of Egypt. ...

Roman period

Main article: Roman Egypt
30 BC - 639 AD The Roman Empire ca. ...


Egypt was incorporated into the Roman Empire and was ruled first from Rome and then from Constantinople (until the Arab conquest). The most revolutionary event in the history of Roman Egypt was the introduction of Christianity in the 2nd century. It was at first vigorously persecuted by the Roman authorities, who feared religious discord more than anything else in a country where religion had always been paramount. But it soon gained adherents among the Jews of Alexandria. From them it rapidly passed to the Greeks, and then to the native Egyptians, who found its promise of personal salvation and its teachings of social equality appealing. For other uses, see Roman Empire (disambiguation). ... City motto: Senatus Populusque Romanus – SPQR (The Senate and the People of Rome) Founded 21 April 753 BC (mythical), early 1st millennium BC (archaeological) Region Latium Area  - City Proper  1285 km² Population  - City (2004)  - Metropolitan  - Density (city proper) 2,553,873 almost 4,300,000 1. ... Map of Constantinople. ... Christianity is a monotheistic[1] religion centered on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recounted in the Gospels. ...


Around this time was also Akhenaten, who was thought to have been divinely inspired. However, it does not seem likely that Akhenaten simply decided out of the blue to make such a major change in religion at the time. Many early historians, determined to link Akhenaten's religion somehow to the Jewish religion, said that he was inspired by Joseph or Moses (Redford, p. 4, 1984). This is a possibility, considering that Joseph, at least, was around in roughly the same time period as Akhenaten. However, after close examination of Akhenaten's religion, this hypothesis seems unlikely. Akhenaten's religion did center on one god, but his major emphasis was on the Aten's visibility, tangibility, and undeniable realness. Akhenaten placed no emphasis, therefore, on faith. According to John Tuthill, a professor at the University of Guam, Akhenaten's reasons for his religious reform were political. By the time of Akhenaten's reign, the god Amen had risen to such a high status that the priests of Amen had become even more wealthy and powerful than the pharaohs. However, Barbara Mertz argued that Akhenaten and his courtiers would not have easily perceived this (Mertz, 1966, p. 269). Still, this theory remains as a possibility to be considered. It may be that Akhenaten was influenced by his family members, particularly his wife or mother (Dunham, 1963, p. 4; Mertz, 1966, p. 269). There was a certain trend in Akhenaten's family towards sun-worship. Towards the end of the reign of Akhenaten's father, Amenhotep III, the Aten was depicted increasingly often. Some historians have suggested that the same religious revolution would have happened even if Akhenaten had never become pharaoh at all. However, considering the violent reaction that followed shortly after Akhenaten's untimely death, this seems improbable. The reasons for Akhenaten's revolution still remain a mystery. Until further evidence can be uncovered, it will be impossible to know just what motivated his unusual behavior.


Notes on pronunciation

A "received pronunciation" of the names of ancient Egyptian deities has formed. By and large, this pronunciation is acceptable for most consonants and utterly wrong for the vowels. Egyptologists developed a set of conventions to make it easier to talk about the terms they used. Two distinct different glottal consonants were both replaced with "a". A consonant similar to the "y" in the English word "yet" was replaced with "i". A consonant similar to the "w" in the English word "well" was replaced with "u". Then, "e" was inserted between other consonants. Thus, for example, the Egyptian king whose name is most accurately transcribed as Rˁ-ms-sw is known as "Rameses", meaning "Ra has Fashioned (lit. "Borne") Him". , , , or [1] This article is about the Egyptian god. ...


See also

The literature that make up the Ancient Egyptian Funerary Texts are a collection of religious documents that were used in Ancient Egypt, usually to help the spirit of the concerned person to be preserved in the afterlife. ... Book of the Dead is the common name for ancient Egyptian funerary texts known as The Book of Coming [or Going] Forth By Day. ... Image illustrating the Book of Gates copied from the tomb of Ramesses III. The standard portrayal of an Egyptian is the first large figure at the top left. ... In Egyptian mythology, the human soul is made up of seven parts: the Ren, Sekem, the Akh, the Ba, the Ka, the Sheut, and the Sekhu. ... A solar deity is a deity who represents the Sun. ... Articles related to Egyptian mythology. ... This list of deities aims at giving information about deities in the different religions, cultures and mythologies of the world. ... Certain numbers come up often in Egyptian mythology: // Seven Seven thousand barrels of red beer were used to trick Sekhmet out of killing. ... Kemeticism is the reconstruction of the beliefs of Ancient Egyptian Pagans. ...

Further reading

  • Schulz, R. and M. Seidel, "Egypt: The World of the Pharaohs". Könemann, Cologne 1998. ISBN 3895089133
  • Budge, E. A. Wallis, "Egyptian Religion: Egyptian Ideas of the Future Life (Library of the Mystic Arts)". Citadel Press. August 1, 1991. ISBN 0806512296
  • Harris, Geraldine, John Sibbick, and David O'Connor, "Gods and Pharaohs from Egyptian Mythology". Bedrick, 1992. ISBN 0872269078
  • Hart, George, "Egyptian Myths (Legendary Past Series)". University of Texas Press (1st edition), 1997. ISBN 0292720769
  • Osman, Ahmed, Moses and Akhenaten. The Secret History of Egypt at the Time of the Exodus, (December 2002, Inner Traditions International, Limited) ISBN 1591430046
  • Bilolo, Mubabinge, Les cosmo-théologies philosophiques d'Héliopolis et d'Hermopolis. Essai de thématisation et de systématisation, (Academy of African Thought, Sect. I, vol. 2), Kinshasa-Munich 1987; new ed., Munich-Paris, 2004.
  • Bilolo, Mubabinge, "Les cosmo-théologies philosophiques de l’Égypte Antique. Problématique, prémisses herméneutiques et problèmes majeurs, (Academy of African Thought, Sect. I, vol. 1)", Kinshasa-Munich 1986; new ed., Munich-Paris, 2003.
  • Bilolo, Mubabinge, "Métaphysique Pharaonique IIIème millénaire av. J.-C. (Academy of African Thought & C.A. Diop-Center for Egyptological Studies-INADEP, Sect. I, vol. 4)", Kinshasa-Munich 1995 ; new ed., Munich-Paris, 2003.
  • Bilolo, Mubabinge, "Le Créateur et la Création dans la pensée memphite et amarnienne. Approche synoptique du Document Philosophique de Memphis et du Grand Hymne Théologique d'Echnaton, (Academy of African Thought, Sect. I, vol. 2)", Kinshasa-Munich 1988; new ed., Munich-Paris, 2004.
  • Pinch, Geraldine, "Egyptian Mythology: A Guide to the Gods, Goddesses, and Traditions of ancient Egypt". Oxford University Press, 2004. ISBN 0195170245

To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...

External links

  • Glyphdoctors: Study hieroglyphics and Egyptian mythology online.
  • Egyptian Ministry of Tourism's extensive information on Egyptian Deities
  • Hare, J.B., "ancient Egypt". (sacred-texts.com)
  • "ancient Egyptian architecture: temples". University College London.
  • O'Brien, Alexandra A., "Death in ancient Egypt".
  • Telford, Mark Patrick, "Death And The Afterlife".
  • Crystal, Ellie, "ancient Egypt". Crystalinks Metaphysical and Science.
  • "ancient Egyptian Culture
  • Ancient Egyptian History - A comprehensive & consise educational website focusing on the basic and the advanced in all aspects of Ancient Egypt

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