Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Western World in 300 Events: Event 18 - The Diversity of Egyptian Mythology

Like most ancient civilizations the Egyptians had more than their fair share of deities. Most were associated with everyday life sustaining features eg. The water. The sun, fertility etc. Several deities had significance on a regional level and were incorporated into the pantheon with the spread of Egyptian Civilization.

Table 2 below outlines some of the key figures and their principal area of influence.

Deity
Area of Influence
Point of Note
Amun
King of the gods. Shown with either a ram’s head or a man wearing an ostrich plumed hat.
Associated with the city of Thebes. Joined with Ra to form Amun-Ra.
Anubis
Jackal head god of the dead and embalming
Watched over the dead. Associated with the process of Mummification.
Geb
God of the earth.
Shown as man lying below the arch of the goddess of the sky, Nut.
Hathor
Goddess of love and joy.
Wife of Horus.
Horus
God of the Sky. Noted for Hawk head.
Pharaoh was seen as the living embodiment of Horus.
Isis
Protective goddess. Wife of Osiris. Mother of Horus.
Had a key role in Magic spells.
Nephthys
Protective goddess of the dead. Sister of Isis and Osiris and the sister/wife of Seth.
Also known as the Lady of the Mansion.
Nun

God of chaos
Predates the universe.
Nut
Sky goddess.
Arched back carries the stars. Sister/wife of Geb.
Osiris
God of the dead. Ruler of the underworld.
Often depicted with a white cone headdress. Osiris was the god of resurrection and the Nile.
Ptah

Craftsman god.
Creator god.
Ra
God of the Sun. Most important deity in Egypt.
Shown with hawk head and headdress with Sun disk.
Sekhmet

Goddess of War
Has the head of a lioness.
Seth
God of Chaos
Constantly threatened harmony in Egypt.
Thoth
God of writing and knowledge
Often depicted as an Ibis or a baboon holding a palette. Gave the gift of hieroglyphic writing.

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