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Songs And Poetry In Ancient Egypt

1471 words - 6 pages

As in many ancient cultures the use of music, dance and poetry helped to focus the citizens of that country on spiritual and social needs. We also find this with the ancient Egyptians. They used hymns, visual arts, and music to show how Re, Amon, or Aten, the different names of the one major god, was responsible for their every day life. Much like today's religious societies use religious icons, hymns or religious dances to show the love of their god or gods.With the ancient Egyptians the rising and sitting of the sun showed the death and rebirth and victory over the forces of the night of their god Re. We can find depictions of the rituals on the walls of Egyptian temples and tombs that show the pharaoh, who was the divinely appointed representative of the sun god, receiving from Amon the gift of immortality. The pharaoh would receive this gift of immortality in the form of an ankh, the hieroglyphic symbol of life.We find in "The Hymn to the Aten" (ca 1352-1336 B.C.E), "You rise in perfection on the horizon of the sky living Aten, who started life. Whenever you are risen upon the eastern horizon you fill every land with your perfection." He ancient Egyptians are reminded that Aten started life. That with this hymn they shouldn't forget why they are here, because it was Aten that gave them life. That Aten rose from the east and that his perfection filled every land. That Aten was the only reason that things lived because of his perfection crops grew and the Egyptian people were alive. According to this hymn Aten even took care of them in their mother's womb.We can also track ancient Egyptian history through hieroglyphic symbols left on papyrus. We know the start of each dynasty and when each one ended. We also know from tombs and temple ruins what pharaoh ruled during those dynasties.In keeping these records and preserving the pharaoh's bodies they would ensure that the pharaoh would be able to join his rightful place in the heavens as a god. This is why that the bodies were mummified along with the pharaoh's organs. They would wrap the body of the pharaoh in fine linen. Once the body had been placed into the pyramid it would be elaborately decorated with depictions of the pharaoh joining Re in his rightful place. In these tombs along with the body of the pharaoh was placed a "Book of the Dead". This book was filled with prayers and incantations that would guide the soul in the afterlife.Although the ancient Egyptians didn't produce might works of literature like the Greeks we can find many of their texts on tomb walls, temple ruins and in papyrus rolls. It gives us a glance into the Egyptian lifestyles and religious ideas. We can see by archeological finds school texts from the New Kingdom era.During the New Kingdom Era we see a change in the writing style of the Egyptians. The style now has become very personal and has become to be known as lyric, this type of poetry would have been accompanied by the lyre or harp.One example of this New...

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