The religious beliefs that governed the ancient Egyptians, is one of the most intriguing aspects of the early civilization. If it were not for its religion Egypt would not as famous as it is today. There would be no pyramids or demigod kings. Religion was inscribed in their everyday life, and their desire to move on to the afterlife served as a motivation to honor their gods. However throughout history, their religious beliefs gradually change with different dynasties. New concepts are introduced and incorporated to old ones. The aim of this paper is to look at their religious beliefs, where they stem from and how they gradually change.
Countless myths and legends have been associated with ...view middle of the document...
Egypt developed a written language; hieroglyphics, religion and institutions. A unique feature in ancient Egypt was their tie to the Nile; it brought annual deposits of rich soil from Ethiopia, which caused productivity in their agriculture (Metz, 1990).
The unification of the two kingdoms also brought about the merger of beliefs, which in turn started the belief of a god-like king ruling over Egypt. Lower Egypt’s chief god was Horus, whereas Upper Egypt’s main god was Seth. The legend says that Osiris was the king of Egypt, but filled with jealousy Seth transformed himself into a monster and attacked Osiris ending his life on the spot. Seth then cut him into little pieces and scattered his remains throughout earth. Isis; Seth’s wife decided to help bring Osiris back to life for her sister also Osiris’s wife Nepthy’s. She assembled all of his remains and breathed into him essentially resurrecting him. Osiris and Nepthy were reunited and they were able to descend the underworld where Osiris became the lord of that domain. Isis bore a child called Horus- the hawk-eye god- and when he was older he challenged Seth for the throne successfully acquiring it after Osiris brought a letter from the underworld claiming that Horus was the better candidate because he has never committed murder as Seth had (The Story of Osiris, Isis and Horus: The Egyptian Myth of Creation).
The Ancient Egyptians believed that Horus was King Menes, and that by successfully beating Seth he had united the two lands and this is where their belief in a demi-god king stemmed from. Therefore all the pharaohs were descendants of the gods; they were not powerful but had the ability to communicate with them. The pharaoh’s most important job was to appease the gods so that they could maintain an orderly society and other natural events such as the rising of the sun. If this did not occur then the people would believe that the gods did not like the pharaoh and he would subsequently relinquish his throne. However this never occurred and citizens were generally happy with most of their pharaohs.
Ancient Egyptians worshipped many gods and each one had their own role to play in society but there were a few prominent ones. They were renowned for their different body forms, some being animals, other half human and part animals while others were just spirits. The key deity was the sun god, who is often referred to by different names; he was associated with several supernatural beings in the solar cycle. The God of the dead and lord of the underworld, Osiris was another prominent deity.
Religion was a prominent aspect in Ancient Egyptian civilization; it was an integrated part of their society and almost all levels of their lives were governed by religion from life, childbirth, the rise and fall of the Nile, sunsets and sunrises and most importantly death. Without their religion there would be little reason to visit Egypt today. The ancient Egyptians are commonly depicted as people who were...