Ads 468x60px

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Ancient Egyptian Religion

Ancient Egyptian Religion
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Prehistoric Egyptian religion encompasses the manifold holy beliefs and rituals competent in Egypt from the predynastic point until the siding with of Christianity and following Islam. Religious studies in Egypt underwent evolve modish its millennial history from the Old, Middle and New Kingdoms to the Belatedly and Graeco-Roman periods.

In attendance was no one underdone religion in ancient Egypt, but a smartness of intermixing irregular cults shut down to meticulous deities. Furthermost of these were henotheistic and therefore polytheistic (and as such show off habitually been refferred to as "pagan"), as bestow were exceptions such as Atenism.


* 1 Overview

* 2 Cults

* 3 Top score

o 3.1 Old Go ashore

o 3.2 Middle Go ashore

o 3.3 New Go ashore

+ 3.3.1 Atenism

o 3.4 Belatedly point

o 3.5 Slump

* 4 Gods and goddesses

* 5 Cosmogonies

* 6 Quick, means and afterlife

* 7 Schedule of temples

* 8 See exceedingly

* 9 References

* 10 Assist reading

* 11 Impartial acquaintances


Prehistoric Egyptian religion encompasses the save of beliefs and rituals competent in ancient Egypt in form of cult practices. It is therefore the practical amount to of Egyptian mythology. Appearing in the Egyptian world, holy practice mixed abundance so that one energy speak of Egyptian religions.

The main part of these holy cults were polytheistic, believing in a extensive cost of deities, and were exceedingly henotheistic, focusing on the respect of definite one of inhabit deities. A few scholars, (such as Dr. Ramses Seleem) show off detected elements of pantheism in scriptures such as the Rob of the Losses, hitherto this is disputed.


District cults (cities are nominated north to south):

* in Heliopolis, the Ennead headed by Atum was worshipped.

* in Memphis, Ptah was the key deity, following stretched concerning the triad of Ptah-Sekhmet-Nefertem.

* the cult of Hermopolis had the Ogdoad headed by Thoth.

* Thebes had the triad Amun-Mut-Khonsu.

* The cult in Elephantine focussed on the triad Khnum-Satis-Anuket.

These resident cults were rank by the end of the Old Go ashore. Stylish the New Go ashore, the cosmogonies of the Ennead and the Ogdoad were combined (syncretized) concerning an overarching mime religion of the Egyptian Sophistication, momentous in manifold identifications of rear separate deities. An derive of such syncretism modish is the union of Ra and Amun as Amun-Ra, or Ptah, Seker, and Osiris becoming Ptah-Seker-Osiris.

Syncretism want be groovy from pond groupings, exceedingly referred to as "families" such as Amun, Mut, and Khonsu, someplace no "reunion" takes place. Because of time, deities took part in combination syncretic relationships; for case in point, the combination of Ra and Horus concerning Ra-Herakty. The Heading of Osiris and Isis originating in this recreate has a hanker history of appreciated sheath Egypt. In Ptolemaic grow old, it sure Hellenistic religion (Osiris-Dionysus), and following Renewal occultism and Hermeticism.

Egyptian goddess Isis defensive a mummified pharaoh, a slowly Ptolemic relief from the Philae Memorial, which was initial built in the thirtieth household, c. 380-343 B.C. as a temple to Hathor and following enlarged by Greek and Roman rulers of Prehistoric Egypt who built temples to Isis and Osiris

Egyptian goddess Isis defensive a mummified pharaoh, a slowly Ptolemic relief from the Philae Memorial, which was initial built in the thirtieth household, c. 380-343 B.C. as a temple to Hathor and following enlarged by Greek and Roman rulers of Prehistoric Egypt who built temples to Isis and Osiris

Prehistoric Egyptian religion notably included an splendid cult, with the Pharaoh careful a living deity, identified with Horus. In the Old Go ashore, the pharaoh was blessed modish his lifetime. From the Fifth Put up, veneration took place definite in the past the pharaoh's death. It was definite New Go ashore pharaohs thrill Amenophis III who attempted to hit upon divine location modish their lifetimes. In the rear death, the pharaoh was identified with Osiris (who was identified with Horus in the New Go ashore mime religion).

Top score

Old Go ashore

The Old Go ashore point is most habitually regarded as on both sides of the point of time when Egypt was ruled by the Third Put up through to the Sixth Put up, from 2686 BC to 2134 BC. It was the beginning of the highest level of cultural effect achieved by the ancient Egyptians, whose cultural pedigree reach six thousand living closer, concerning prehistory.

Old Go ashore deities:

* the Ennead of Heliopolis, whose key god was Atum, following Atum-Ra

* the Ogdoad of Hermopolis, someplace the key god was Thoth

* the Khnum-Satis-Anuket triad of Elephantine, whose key god was Khnum

* the Amun-Mut-Chons triad of Thebes, whose key god was Amun

* the Ptah-Sekhmet-Nefertem triad of Memphis, unique in that the gods were split in the future the triad was official, someplace the key god was Ptah

The Pyramid Texts (in relation to 25th to 23nd century BC) select spells, or "utterances" vitally concerned with defensive the pharaoh's residue, reanimating his body in the past death, and allotment him external to the announce. As such, they lapse as the oldest household holy texts unanimous, somewhat predating the Sumerian hyms of Enheduanna. The "Coffin Texts" are funerary spells connected to the Pyramid texts dating to the Early Central point Transfer.

Middle Go ashore

The cult of Amun grew modish the Middle Go ashore. Senusret III (1878 BC - 1839 BC) built a fine holy temple at Abydos; even if it is now vanished, permanent reliefs suffer the high quality of the decorations. He was blessed at the end of the Middle Go ashore and worshipped by the pharaohs of the New Go ashore.

New Go ashore

Assist information: Heading of Osiris and Isis

By the New Go ashore, the Ogdoad and the Ennead were combined concerning a person syncretized cosmology. In the Ennead, Osiris is the husband of Isis, and sibling of Seth, all of whom are the great-grandchildren of the creator god Atum, and Horus is not go along with within the hypothesis. In the Ogdoad, Osiris is not go along with within the hypothesis, and Horus is son of Atum, the creator god. Later than the Ennead and Ogdoad combined, Ra and Amun were identified as one, becoming Amun-Ra, and Horus was foremost careful the fifth sibling of Osiris, Isis, Nephthys and Set. Silent, Horus' mother, Hathor, little by little became identified as a form of Isis, leading Horus to be Isis' son, and therefore the son of Osiris.


Nail article: Atenism

Pharaoh Akhenaten and his family praying to Aten

Pharaoh Akhenaten and his family praying to Aten

A small breathing space of monotheism (Atenism) occurred under the deliver a verdict of Akhenaten (Amenhotep IV) (1350s to 1330s BC), assiduous on the Egyptian sun deity Aten. The Aten is routinely old hat as a sun round with sunlight coming out of all sides. Akhenaten built a new wherewithal at Amarna with temples for the Aten. This was a envoy act as Akhenaten receive a place of respect for the Aten that was not ruined by the accept of other deities. The holy change survived definite until the death of Akhenaten, and the old religion was ahead restored modish the deliver a verdict of Tutankhamun, Akhenaten's son by his other half, Kiya. Tutankhamun and diverse other post-restoration pharaohs were erased from the history, being they were regarded as heretics.

Belatedly point

In the rear the fall of the Amarna household, the New Go ashore pantheon survived as the compelling religion, until the Achaemenid conquests. The Egyptian Rob of the Losses was equal (the "Saite Recension") modish this time. Herodotus presents us a melancholy print of Cambyses' custom, telling the king as mad, blasphemous, and taunting. Herodotus may show off gaunt on an citizen tradition that reflected the Egyptians' military protection, especially of the clergy, of Cambyses' announcement curtailing magnificent grants finished to Egyptian temples under Amasis. In order to hit upon the pull through of the powerful accounting class, Darius I (522-486 BC) revoked Cambyses' announcement. Soon after in the future 486 BC, a hill bankrupt out in Egypt, indifferent by Xerxes I definite in 484 BC. The subdivision was subjected to prickly punish for the hill, and especially its satrap Achaemenes administered the avow flaw regard for the belief of his subjects.


Later than Alexander the Concluded routed Egypt, he went on pilgrimage to the prophet of Amun at the Siwa Oasis. The prophet declared him to be the son of Amun-Re. Egyptian religion continued to burgeon modish the Ptolemaic period; some cults were syncretized with Greek mystery traditions, exerting impact on Hellenistic magic. Deadened Roman custom (from 30 BC), the speck remained above all consistent. The Romans thrill the Ptolemies respected and reasonable Egyptian religion and behavior, nonetheless the splendid cult of the Roman mime and of the Sovereign was little by little introduced. Egyptian religion entered a point of psychoanalyst in the rear the Egyptians' siding with of Christianity in the initial centuries of the rough era. What's left of instinctive traditions lingered in conventional pockets such as temple hierarchies, free from harassment but little by little ousted by Preparatory Christianity. The own leftovers of Egyptian holy traditions may show off persisted concerning the 5th century, as reflected in the Hieroglyphica.

Gods and goddesses

Assist information: Schedule of Egyptian gods

Egyptian goddess Isis, crucial fine art, ca. 1360 BC.

Egyptian goddess Isis, crucial fine art, ca. 1360 BC.

Deities in the Egyptian pantheon sometimes played differing, and at grow old different, roles. As an derive, the lioness Sekhmet existence sent out by Ra to use up the humans for having rebelled unwilling him, but following on becoming a fierce sentinel of the property, life in wide, and the amiss. Silver-tongued expand convoluted are the roles of Set. Judging the mythology of Set from a modern gradient, especially the mythology available Set's link up with Osiris, it is easy to cast Set as the arch outlaw and account of evil. Silent this was not regularly so, as Set was closer playing the role of destroyer of Apep, in the service of Ra on his barge, and as a result ration to swallow Ma'at (Understanding, Truth, and Concurrence).


A stele depicting two triads of gods

A stele depicting two triads of gods

An ancient Egyptian origin myth holds that in the beginning, the legroom was bursting with the primeval waters of a shambles, which was the god Nun. The god, Re-Atum appeared from the Sea as the land of Egypt appears every time out of the driving rain waters of the Nile. Re-Atum case and out of the spittle came out the deities Shu (air) and Tefnut (humidity). The world was shaped when Shu and Tefnut gave birth to two children: Nut (Sky) and Geb (the The human race). Humans were shaped when Shu and Tefnut went itinerant in the dark wastes and got lost. Re-Atum sent his eye to find them. On reuniting, his snivel of joy turned concerning populace.

Geb and Nut copulated, and upon Shu's learning of his children's fornication, he on bad terms the two, abundantly becoming the air between the sky and theme. He exceedingly decreed that the pregnant Nut want not bestow birth any day of the time. Nut pleaded with Thoth, who on her behalf gambled with the moon-god Yah and won five expand days to be further onto the then 360-day time. Nut had one child on each of these days: Osiris, Isis, Set, Nephthys, and Horus-the-Elder.

Osiris, by differing accounts, was either the son of Re-Atum or Geb, and king of Egypt. His brother Seth represented a shambles in the legroom. He murdered Osiris by tricking him to fit stylish of a box, which was the nailed do up and thrown concerning the Nile. In the rear slaughter Osiris, Seth tore his body concerning pieces. Isis rescued most of the pieces for means below the temple, but initial she resurrected Osiris so she could copulate with him to pro forma their child Horus. Seth finished himself king, but was challenged by Osiris's son - Horus. Seth lost and was sent to the delay. Osiris was mummified by Isis and became god of the dead. Horus became the king and from him descended the pharaohs.

Inexperienced version, this one by Plutarch states that Set finished a chest that definite Osiris could fit concerning. He then invited Osiris to a supper. Set finished a bet that no one could fit concerning the chest. Osiris was the own one to step concerning the chest, but in the future he did, Set asked if he could take captive Osiris's symbol. Osiris coagulate and stepped concerning the chest. As he lay down, Set slammed the lid do up and put the symbol on his own take the chair. He then set the chest floating on the Nile. Isis did not know of her husband's death until the Coil told her. She then located her son in a held place and cast a spell so no one could find him. Later than she searched for her husband, a child told her a chest had washed up on the appear and a tree had full-blown up. The tree was so shortest the king had used it for the middle hold of his new palace. Isis went and asked for her husband's body and it was feature to her. The god of the underworld told her that Osiris would be a king, but definite in the underworld.

Quick, means and afterlife

Nail article: Prehistoric Egyptian means behavior

Egypt had a competently industrialized view of the afterlife with overdo rituals for preparing the body and soul for an eternal life in the past death. Beliefs about the soul and afterlife assiduous heavily on maintenance of the body. The Egyptians expected the ka aspect of the soul attractive to be reunited with the ba, to pull through the akh, the part of each existence which ascends to the announce to become infected with its place amid the stars. This alleged that embalming and mummification were practised, in order to marmalade the individual's form in the afterlife.

Bodies of the dead were crusted stylish and out with resin to marmalade them, then wrapped with linen bandages, implied with holy amulets and talismans. In the shield of crowned heads, the mummy was usually located stylish a series of nested coffins, the outermost of which was a stone tomb. The bowels, lungs, liver, and withstand were preserved away from each other and stored in canopic jars reasonable by the four sons of Horus. The heart was absent in place being it was influence to be the home of the soul. The conventional length of the mummification sprint was seventy days.[10]

Embalmment was distant for a select few in the Old Go ashore, but it became up for grabs to wider sections of neatness in following periods. Nature were exceedingly mummified, sometimes influence to show off been pets of Egyptian families, but expand commonly or expand sincere, they were the representations of deities. The ibis, crocodile, cat, Nile self-control, falcon, and baboon can be found in perfect mummified forms. Stylish the Ptolemaic Transfer, natural world were especially bred for the finish.

The goddess Ma'at, trade fair her spike in her circlet

The goddess Ma'at, trade fair her spike in her circlet

The Rob of the Losses was a series of come up to two hundred spells represented as sectional texts, songs, and pictures in black and white on papyrus, intuitively adapted for the deceased, which were unknown drink with the dead in order to confidence their alleyway concerning the underworld. In some tombs, the Rob of the Losses has exceedingly been found decorated on the walls, nonetheless the practice of fine art on the crucial walls appears to predate the formalization of the Rob of the Losses as a mausoleum script. One of the best examples of the Rob of the Losses is The Papyrus of Ani, shaped around 1240 BC, which, in postscript to the texts themselves, exceedingly contains hang around pictures of Ani and his other half on their wander through the land of the dead.

In the rear a personality dies their soul is led concerning a hall of view in Duat by Anubis (god of mummification) and the deceased's heart, which was the score of the ideology of the landholder, is weighed unwilling a person spike representing Ma'at (the making of truth and order). If the consequences is good, the deceased is unavailable to Osiris, god of the afterlife, in Aaru, but the demon Ammit (Eater of Hearts) - part crocodile, part lion, and part hippopotamus - destroys inhabit hearts whom the resolve is unwilling, leave-taking the landholder to tell stories in Duat. A heart that weighed less than the spike was careful a perfect heart, not weighed down by the feel sorry or sins of one's endeavors in life, momentous in a good verdict; a heart big with feel sorry and sin from one's life weighed expand than the spike, and so the heart would be eaten by Ammit. An group flaw a heart in the afterlife in primary, did not live as Egyptians expected the heart to be the medium of defense and flurry as loath to the instigator which was immature and leftover modish mummification. Numerous grow old a personality would be unknown with a "alternative" heart to barter their own for the weighing of the heart show.

Schedule of temples

A few vital temples include:

* Abu Simbel - Scrambled of two bulky remove seeds from temples in southern Egypt on the western appear of the Nile.

* Abydos (Concluded Memorial of Abydos) - Be partial to of the to the fore kings, whose necropolis, to which it forms a extensive funerary chapel, lies subsequently it.

* Ain el-Muftella (Bahariya Oasis) - Possibly will show off served as the inner-city medium of El Qasr. It was probably built around the 26th Put up.

* Karnak - With part of the ancient wherewithal of Egypt, Thebes.

* Bani Hasan al Shurruq - Located in Middle Egypt chummy to Al-Minya and survived the overhaul of the New Go ashore.

* Edfu - Ptolemaic temple that is positioned between Aswan and Luxor.

* Memorial of Kom Ombo - Methodical the issue routes from Nubia to the Nile Lob.

* Luxor - Built above all by Amenhotep III and Ramesses II, it was the centre of the Opet Dancing in the streets.

* Medinet Habu (Holy place Memorial of Ramesses III)- Memorial and a convoluted of temples dating from the New Go ashore.

* Memorial of Hatshepsut - Her mortuary temple convoluted at Deir el-Bahri with a colonnaded scheme of perfect rank, was built as good as one thousand living in the future the Parthenon.

* Philae - Islet of Philae with Memorial of Hathor which was constructed in the 30th Put up and prolonged concerning a convoluted to pass on Isis (Aset) and Osiris under Greek and Roman custom.

* Ramesseum (Holy place Memorial of Ramesses II) - The chief pied-?-terre, besotted to the funerary cult, comprised two stone pylons (gateways, some 60 m wide), one in the past the other, each leading concerning a quadrangle. Higher than the minute quadrangle, at the centre of the convoluted, was a submerged 48-column hypostyle hall, available the inner place of protection.

* Dendera Memorial convoluted - Something else temples but the all overriding pied-?-terre in the convoluted is the chief temple, the Hathor temple.

Deir El Bahire; Mortuary Memorial of Hatshepsut, exceedingly Chapel Potent to the respect of Hathor.