“To some extent, mythology is only the most ancient history and biography. So far from being false or fabulous in the common sense, it contains only enduring and essential truth, the I and you, the here and there, the now and then, being omitted. Either time or rare wisdom writes it.”
- Henry David Thoreau (1849)
Every culture has evolved its own mythology, defining its character and offering a way to understand the world.
Myths of every culture reveal the power of love, with it, its accompanying jealousy and anxiety; the conflict between generations, the old and new, the mischief of the trouble makers and the underlying diversity and stability of human nature.
Although their gods sprang forth from diverse and distinctive cultures, the Greek and Egyptian Pantheons share many similarities and differences between one another. The oldest Greek myths can be traced to three main sources: Homer, Hesiod and The Homeric Hymns, these works date back circa 800 B.C., implying that by the time they were recorded, these works had already endured 400 years of embellishments, subtractions and alterations, to become what we now call “authentic”. The Greek myths are our portal into the distant past, a view of the world that existed not only in the mind of Greek poets, but in the hearts of the unassuming and tolerant inhabitants of ancient Greece.
The ancient Egyptians as well had a complex belief containing many deities and personified aspects of nature. Ancient Egypt has always held a certain fascination and has ignited the imaginations of archaeologists as well as ordinary people. Their civilization lasted almost without change for more than 3,000 years. Their greatness began around 4,500 B.C.
From early in their history, both the Greek and the Egyptians believed in the concept of life after death.
Both Egyptian mythology and Greek mythology have a ‘father-creator’ god, a ‘trickster’ god, and a ‘love’ goddess.
While the duties of these roles are divided up differently among each set of gods, comparable gods are easily discernable. Within these myths, the ‘father-creator’ gods have the most in common.
The Greek god Zeus and the Egyptian god Amen-Re display parallel qualities. These ‘father-creator’ gods were depicted as powerful, bearded, fertile men who reigned over the other gods in their mythologies. Zeus was thought to maintain social order, and Amen-Re was considered king of the gods.
These gods also have a similar weapon or symbol of power associated with them. Zeus has a lightning bolt, and Amen-Re, a scepter; both of these instruments are viewed as destructive.
The myths of these gods also referred to the sky. Zeus had palaces high above the mortal world, known as Mt. Olympus, the residence of the divine family, the...