Religion & superstitons of egypt


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Religion & superstitons of egypt

  1. 1. Ancient Egyptian religion was a complex system of polytheistic beliefs and rituals which were an integral part of ancient Egyptian society. It centered on the Egyptians' interaction with a multitude of deities who were believed to be present in, and in control of, the forces and elements of nature. The myths about these gods were meant to explain the origins and behaviour of the forces they represented. The practices of Egyptian religion were efforts to provide for the gods and gain their favour.
  2. 2. Theology The beliefs and rituals now referred to as "Ancient Egyptian religion" existed within every aspect of Egyptian culture. Indeed, their language possessed no single term corresponding to the modern European concept of religion. Ancient Egyptian religion was not a monolithic institution, but consisted of a vast and varying set of beliefs and practices, linked by their common focus on the interaction between the world of humans and the world of the divine. The characteristics of the gods who populated the divine realm were inextricably linked to the Egyptians' understanding of the properties of the world in which they lived.
  3. 3. Depiction of Gods The depictions of the Gods in art were not meant as literal representations of how the gods might appear if they were visible, as the gods' true natures were believed to be mysterious. Instead, these depictions gave recognizable forms to the abstract deities by using symbolic imagery to indicate each god's role in nature. Thus, for example, the funerary god Anubis was portrayed as a jackal, a creature whose scavenging habits threatened the preservation of the body, in an effort to counter this threat and employ it for protection. His black skin was symbolic of the colour of mummified flesh and the fertile black soil that Egyptians saw as a symbol of resurrection. However, this iconography was not fixed, and many of the gods could be depicted in more than one form.
  4. 4. Amun Appearance: 0 Man with a ram-head 0 A ram 0 Man wearing an ostrich plumed hat Amun was one of the most powerful gods in ancient Egypt. At the height of Egyptian civilisation he was called the 'King of the Gods'.
  5. 5. 0 Amun was important throughout the history of ancient Egypt. However, when Amun was combined with the sun god Ra he was even more powerful. He was then called Amun-Ra. 0 A large and important temple was built at Thebes to honour Amun.
  6. 6. Anubis Appearance: Man with a jackal head A jackal Anubis was the god of embalming and the dead. Since jackals were often seen in cemeteries, the ancient Egyptians believed that Anubis watched over the dead.
  7. 7. 0 Anubis was the god who helped to embalm Osiris after he was killed by Seth. Thus, Anubis was the god who watched over the process of mummifying people when they died. 0 Priests often wore a mask of Anubis during mummification ceremonies.
  8. 8. Aten Appearance: 0 A sun disk with rays which end in hands Aten was a form of the sun god Ra. 0 During the reign of Akhenaten, the Aten was made the 'king' of the gods.
  9. 9. Atum 'The All' or 'Perfection’ Appearance: 0 Man with the double crown Atum was a creator god. 0 The ancient Egyptians believed that Atum was the first god to exist on earth.
  10. 10. 0 The ancient Egyptians believed that Atum rose from the waters of chaos (Nun) and created all the gods.
  11. 11. Bastet 0 Appearance: 0 Woman with the head of a cat Bastet was a protective goddess. Bastet was usually seen as a gentle protective goddess. However, she sometimes appeared with the head of a lioness to protect the king in battle.
  12. 12. 0 The cat was a symbol of Bastet. The ancient Egyptians made many statues of cats like this one to honour Bastet. 0 Bastet was one of the daughters of the sun god, Ra. 0 A great temple was built in her honour at Bubastis in the Delta.
  13. 13. Bes Appearance: 0 Dwarf with lion and human features 0 Dwarf wearing the skin of a lion Bes was the protector of pregnant women, newborn babies and the family.
  14. 14. 0 The ancient Egyptians also believed that Bes protected against snake and scorpion bites. 0 Amulets of Bes were popular at all levels of Egyptian society.
  15. 15. Geb Appearance: 0 Man lying down below the arch of the sky goddess Nut 0 Man with a goose on his head Geb was the god of the earth.
  16. 16. 0 Geb was the husband and brother of the sky goddess Nut. He was also the father of Osiris, Isis, Nepthys and Seth. 0 When Seth and Horus fought for the throne of Egypt, Geb made Horus the ruler of the living. 0 The ancient Egyptians believed that earthquakes were Geb's laughter.
  17. 17. Hapy Appearance: 0 Man with a pot belly, shown with water plants Hapy was the god of the innundation.
  18. 18. 0 Hapy was especially important to the ancient Egyptians because he brought the flood every year. 0 The flood deposited rich silt on the banks of the Nile, allowing the Egyptians to grow crops.
  19. 19. Hathor Appearance: 0 Woman with the ears of a cow 0 A cow 0 Woman with a headdress of horns and a sun disk Hathor was a protective goddess. She was also the goddess of love and joy. Hathor was the wife of Horus, and was sometimes thought of as the mother of the pharaoh
  20. 20. 0 Hathor was connected with foreign places and materials. For instance, Hathor was the goddess of the desert and the turquoise mines in the Sinai. 0 A large temple was built to honour Hathor at Dendera.
  21. 21. Horus 'The One Far Above'  Appearance: Man with the head of a hawk A hawk Horus was a god of the sky. 0 He is probably most well- known as the protector of the ruler of Egypt. 0 The Egyptians believed that the pharaoh was the 'living Horus'.
  22. 22. 0 The ancient Egyptians had many different beliefs about the god Horus. One of the most common beliefs was that Horus was the son of Isis and Osiris. 0 After Osiris was murdered by his brother Seth, Horus fought with Seth for the throne of Egypt.
  23. 23. 0 In this battle, Horus lost one of his eyes. The eye was restored to him and it became a symbol of protection for the ancient Egyptians. After this battle, Horus was chosen to be the ruler of the world of the living. 0 One of the bestpreserved temples in Egypt today was dedicated to Horus. It is located in Upper Egypt at a town called Edfu
  24. 24. Isis Appearance: 0 Woman with headdress in the shape of a throne 0 A pair of cow horns with a sun disk Isis was a protective goddess. She used powerful magic spells to help people in need.
  25. 25. 0 Isis was the wife of Osiris and the mother of Horus. 0 Since each pharaoh was considered the 'living Horus', Isis was very important. 0 Isis is often shown holding Horus on her lap. Isis is associated with thrones because her lap was the first 'throne' that Horus sat upon.
  26. 26. 0 This amulet is called the 'Isis knot' and is a symbol of protection. 0 A temple was built to honour Isis at Philae. It is still standing today.
  27. 27. Khnum Appearance: 0 Man with the head of a curly-horned ram Khnum was a creator god, and a god of the innundation.
  28. 28. 0 Khnum was a creator- god, moulding people on a potter's wheel. Since potters used Nile mud, Khnum was also connected with the innundation.
  29. 29. Khepri 'He Who is Coming into Being' Appearance: 0 Man with the head of a scarab 0 A scarab beetle Khepri was a god of creation, the movement of the sun, and rebirth. The scarab beetle lays its eggs in a ball of dung. Then, it rolls the ball along the ground until the young beetles are ready to hatch.
  30. 30. 0 When the young beetles are ready, they crawl out of the ball. 0 The ancient Egyptians believed that the beetles just appeared from nowhere- as they believed that their creator god had appeared from nowhere. Thus, they thought that the scarab beetle was special. 0 In certain creation stories, Khepri is connected with the god Atum. He is also connected with the sun god Ra who pushed the sun through the sky every day.
  31. 31. Ma'at Appearance: 0 Woman with a feather on her head 0 A feather Ma'at was the goddess of truth, justice and harmony. She was associated with the balance of things on earth.
  32. 32. 0 Ma'at was the daughter of the sun god Ra. 0 Pharaohs are frequently shown in wall reliefs making an offering of Ma'at to the godsshowing that they are preserving harmony and justice on earth. 0 The vizier who was in charge of the law courts was known as the 'priest of Ma'at'.
  33. 33. Nephthys 'Lady of the Mansion' Appearance: 0 Woman with headdress showing her name in hieroglyphs Nephthys was a protective goddess of the dead.
  34. 34. 0 Nephthys was the sister of Isis and Osiris, and the sister/wife of Seth. Nephthys was also the mother of Anubis. 0 She is often shown on coffins, or in funerary scenes.
  35. 35. Nun Appearance: 0 Man carrying a bark According to an ancient Egyptian creation myth, Nun was the waters of chaos.
  36. 36. 0 Nun was the only thing that existed on Earth before there was land. Then, the first land (in the form of a mound) rose out of Nun. 0 Nun was also associated with the chaos that existed at the edges of the universe.
  37. 37. Nut Appearance: 0 Woman whose body arches across the sky, wearing a dress decorated with stars. Nut was the skygoddess, whose body created a vault or canopy over the earth.
  38. 38. 0 Nut was the sister/wife of Geb, the god of the earth. She was also the mother of Isis, Osiris, Nepthys and Seth. 0 The ancient Egyptians believed that at the end of the day, Nut swallowed the sun-god, Ra, and gave birth to him again the next morning.
  39. 39. Osiris Appearance: 0 A mummified man wearing a white cone-like headdress with feathers Osiris was the god of the dead, and ruler of the underworld. Osiris was the brother/husband of Isis, and the brother of Nepthys and Seth. He was also the father of Horus.
  40. 40. 0 As well as being a god of the dead, Osiris was a god of resurrection and fertility. In fact, the ancient Egyptians believed that Osiris gave them the gift of barley, one of their most important crops. 0 A large temple was built to honour Osiris at Abydos.
  41. 41. Ptah Appearance: 0 Man wrapped in a tight white cloak carrying a staff Ptah was the god of craftsmen.
  42. 42. 0 In one creation myth Ptah was a creator god. He spoke the words and the world came into being.
  43. 43. Ra 'Sun' Appearance: 0 Man with hawk head and headdress with a sun disk Ra was the sun god. He was the most important god of the ancient Egyptians.
  44. 44. 0 The ancient Egyptians believed that Ra was swallowed every night by the sky goddess Nut, and was reborn every morning. 0 The ancient Egyptians also believed that he travelled through the underworld at night. In the underworld, Ra appeared as a man with the head of a ram.
  45. 45. Ra-Horakhty 'Horus in the Horizon' Appearance: 0 Man with the head of a hawk, with a sun disk headdress Ra-Horakhty was a combination of the gods Horus and Ra.
  46. 46. 0 Horus was a god of the sky, and Ra was the god of the sun. Thus, RaHorakhty was thought of as the god of the rising sun.
  47. 47. Sekhmet 'The Powerful One' Appearance: 0 Woman with the head of a lioness Sekhmet was the goddess of war.
  48. 48. Seshat Appearance: 0 Woman wearing a panther skin dress and a star headdress Seshat was the goddess of writing and measurement.
  49. 49. Seth Appearance: 0 Man with the head of a 'Seth animal' (unidentifiable) Seth was the god of chaos. Seth represented everything that threatened harmony in Egypt.
  50. 50. He was the brother of Osiris and Isis, as well as the brother/husband of Nepthys. He murdered his brother Osiris, then battled with his nephew Horus to be the ruler of the living. At certain times in the history of ancient Egypt, Seth was associated with royalty.
  51. 51. Sobek Appearance: 0 Man with the head of a crocodile and a headdress of feathers and a sun-disk Sobek was a Nile god.
  52. 52. Sobek was connected with the Nile, and protected the king. Live crocodiles were kept in pools at temples built to honour Sobek.
  53. 53. Tawaret 'The Great One' Appearance: 0 Head of a hippopotamus with the arms and legs of a lion, the back and tail of a crocodile, and the breasts and stomach of a pregnant woman. Tawaret was a goddess who protected women during pregnancy and childbirth.
  54. 54. Many of the gods and goddesses in ancient Egypt had temples built to honour them. Other gods and goddesses like Tawaret and Bes were worshipped by people in their own homes. The amulet of the goddess Tawaret are often wore by people, or kept them in their homes.
  55. 55. Tefnut Appearance: 0 Woman with the head of a lioness Tefnut was the goddess of moisture. She was the wife of Shu and the mother of Nut (the sky) and Geb (the earth).
  56. 56. Thoth Appearance: 0 A man with the head of an ibis holding a writing palette 0 An ibis 0 A baboon Thoth was the god of writing and knowledge.
  57. 57. The ancient Egyptians believed that Thoth gave them the gift of hieroglyphic writing. Thoth was also connected with the moon.
  58. 58. At first there was only Nun. Nun was the dark water of chaos.
  59. 59. One day, a hill rose up out of water. This hill was called Ben-Ben.
  60. 60. On his hill stood Atem, the first God.
  61. 61. Atum coughed and spat out Shu, the God of the air, and Tefnut, the Goddess of moisture.
  62. 62. Shu and Tefnut had two children. First, there was Geb, the god of the Earth. Then, was Nut, the goddess of sky.
  63. 63. Shu lifted Nut so that she became a canopy over Geb.
  64. 64. Nut and Geb had four children named Osiris, Isis, Seth and Nephthys.
  65. 65. Osiris was the King of the Earth and Isis was the Queen. Osiris was a good king, and he ruled over the Earth for many years.
  66. 66. However, every thing was not well. Seth was jealous of Osiris because he wanted to be the ruler of the Earth. He grew angrier and angrier until one day he killed Osiris.
  67. 67. Osiris went down into the underworld and Seth remained on earth and became King.
  68. 68. Osiris and Isis had one son called Horus. Horus battled against Seth and regained the throne. After that, Horus was the King of the Earth and Osiris was the King of Underworld.
  69. 69. Divine Pharaoh Egyptologists have long debated the degree to which the pharaoh was considered a god. It seems most likely that the Egyptians viewed royal authority itself as a divine force. Therefore, although the Egyptians recognized that the pharaoh was human and subject to human weakness, they simultaneously viewed him as a god, because the divine power of kingship was incarnate in him. He therefore acted as intermediary between Egypt's people and the gods. He was key to upholding Ma'at, both by maintaining justice and harmony in human society and by sustaining the gods with temples and offerings. For these reasons, he oversaw all state religious activity. However, the pharaoh's real-life influence and prestige could differ from that depicted in official writings and depictions, and beginning in the late New Kingdom his religious importance declined drastically.
  70. 70. The King was also associated with many specific deities. He was identified directly with Horus, who represented kingship itself, and he was seen as the son of Ra, who ruled and regulated nature as the pharaoh ruled and regulated society. By the New Kingdom he was also associated with Amun, the supreme force in the cosmos. Upon his death, the king became fully deified. In this state, he was directly identified with Ra, and was also associated with Osiris, god of death and rebirth and the mythological father of Horus. Many mortuary temples were dedicated to the worship of deceased pharaohs as gods.
  71. 71. The ancient Temples were considered to be the homes of the gods. Each temple was devoted to specific gods or goddesses and they were worshipped there by the temple priests. The locals built small shrines the local deities. They then designated the priests that would serve the gods in the temple. Then they would bring offerings to the gods for protection or favors. They expanded the temple by adding sections as needed. The general public played a little role in worshiping the gods and had limited access to the temples. The early temples were made of mud. The temples of the new kingdom were constructed of stone and painted elaborately. Many scenes painted in temples depicted the pharaoh in battle. The Pharaoh was considered to be the son of the gods and was thought of as the highest priest. Temples usually included great statues of the god or gods that were worshiped there. Outside the Temples were sacred lakes. This is where the common people would perform their religious rituals and attend religious festivals. According to the Aldokkan website developed by Ayman Fadl, an Egyptian who received his MA Architecture at Cairo University 1990 there were Five components of Egyptian temples:
  72. 72. 1- Pylons: These are the large gates of the temple, carved and painted with scenes of the Pharaoh, gods and goddesses. In front of the pylon were obelisks and statues of the Pharaohs. 2- Outer Court: This was a large open Hall, which decorated walls showing scenes of the Pharaoh and the gods. .It had a transitional purpose, serving as an interface between the outside world and the sanctified regions deeper within the temple. People were only allowed to enter the Outer Courtyard on festival days. Sometimes there was a second pylon leading to the Hypostyle hall deeper in. 3- Hypostyle Hall: This is a large colonnaded hall entirely roofed except for the central aisle which was lit by windows; Scenes of religious rituals were carved into the walls. the capital of the massive column often in the shape of the papyrus Flower. Only priests and the Pharaohs were allowed to enter the hypostyle hall, which was used for religious rituals.
  73. 73. 4- Sanctuary: The sanctuary was the most special and important part of the temple. It was a very dark and relatively small room. Only the High Priest and the Pharaoh could ever enter the sanctuary. In the middle of the sanctuary there stood a shrine with a statue of a god. 5- Sacred Lake: Most temple precincts included a sacred lake. Archaeologists have excavated a number of these in temples of the New Kingdom; the priests used water from the sacred lake to perform rituals in the temple."
  75. 75. From funerary items, Mummies and Tombs we can get a pretty clear picture of what the Egyptians believed the afterlife to be. The early Egyptians buried their dead in pits in the desert that would naturally mummify the corpse. However, as time progressed the mummification progress did also. The priests would go through an elaborate process of removing the internal organs and placing them in jars. These jars represented four different gods that would protect them on their journey through the afterlife and are referred to as canopic jars. After the body was preserved the tombs were often loaded with material items that the dead would need in the afterlife.
  76. 76. The dead would first arrive at the Hall of Judgment where they would have to answer for their deeds on earth. They would then go to the Field of Reeds. This was a land where your wishes would be granted. Here they would have to travel through the seven gates. On the other side of the seven gates was Osiris god of the netherworld. Here Osiris would weigh their Heart along with forty-two other gods. If your heart balanced with your deeds then you received eternal life, if not Amemet devoured it, and Seth would eat the body. The Egyptian afterlife seems to be a terrifying place. This is probably why they put so much emphasis on worshiping as many gods as they could.
  77. 77. The Egyptians - Society 0 The ancient Egyptian people were grouped in a hierarchical system with the Pharaoh at the top and farmers and slaves at the bottom. The groups of people nearest the top of society were the richest and most powerful. 0 The diagram below shows the structure of ancient Egyptian society.
  78. 78. SACRED ANIMALS 0 Animals were important in the religious life of ancient Egyptians in both their deified forms as half-animal Egyptian gods and as the animals themselves.
  79. 79. SUPERSTITIONS 0 The superstition that spilling salt is bad luck and the custom of throwing salt could cancel bad luck . It is believed to have been practiced since 3500 B.C. 0 Walking under a ladder is superstition that has been dated to 3000 B.C. in Egypt. 0 Fear of the "evil eye" is a superstition found in many cultures and is quite common in the Mediterranean. Egyptians wore kohl, the world's first mascara, in a circle or oval around their eyes, in part to ward off the evil eye.