The Egyptian Religion Essay examples

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Words: 1552
Pages: 7

Egyptian Gods Goddesses
Noah Sheffield
12/2/13
Western Civ.

Amun, Sobek, Khnum, Atum, Horus and Isis are just a few names of the thousands of gods the Egyptians worshipped. From the world’s creation to a king’s death, gods were involved in all parts of a Nile dweller’s life. Not only did they have different classes of gods, but these gods were powerful and took different forms even in the human ruler of their culture. Additionally, the gods could take form as creaturely things like animals. But there is so much more to the Egyptian religion then gods and goddesses. As we look back on the Egyptian mythology with the wealth of information we have today, we can unravel the long history to the most stable empire the world has ever seen. The divinities of the Ancient Egyptians were influential to the success they acquired. The Egyptians had a unique way of classifying their god. In the beginning the gods were worshiped as animals. Around 3000BC, they started to worship them as humans. Gods were associated with different things, like people, objects like the sun, or geographic locations. There were 3 classes of gods. The first classification is animals and fetishes (a type of idol that usually contains something valuable), second is cosmic gods, and lastly human form gods like Ptah, God of the arts. However, a god could be fully human and animal for example the goddess Hathor who had a cows head on a woman’s body. A god with a human head and an animal’s body showed a mix of the intellectual and godlike qualities of humans with the characteristics of a particular animal. Another interesting aspect of the mythology of the Egyptians is grouping. The gods were grouped in pairs of gods and goddesses. Although that is the case some of the same gender existed. Furthermore, the gods were bracketed into triads (three gods or/and goddesses). Commonly, triads were a family of a father, mother, and son. The triad would then be ruler over a large city such as Thebes or Memphis. Then there were the enneads, a grouping of nine or more god/goddesses. In the Egyptian religion there were many gods. Evil gods, harvest gods, home gods, sun gods* and many more various other deities. One of the most renowned god was Ra. Though many Egyptians had contrasting views or names for Ra, there seems to be a overarching view that most share in common. Ra was the god of the sun. He had a head of a falcon with a snake wrapped around his crown. When the sun rose, the Egyptians believed that Ra was sailing over the sky in a boat battling the evil snake Apep. Amun was also another very known god and was considered creator of all. Amun created all things but was independent (transcendent) from it. Osiris was god of the dead. He ruled over the Egyptians in the beginning and taught them how to farm. Then his evil brother tricked him and killed him, scattering pieces of his dead carcass all over the Nile. Then Osiris became king of the dead. Isis, his wife, was goddess of the home. She, like her husband Osiris, taught the Egyptians how to spin, weave, and other household things. She also protected against harm and diseases. She had a important role in Egypt because she represented the fertility of the Nile. But after she grieves the death of her husband, she became protector of the dead. With huge wings and a orange ball as a crown, she was a imposing figure. These gods were perhaps the most important deities in the Egyptian mythology, but there were other divinities present in the Egyptian theology. The competence of the gods and goddess is a important aspect that defines them. The gods were powerful and mostly immortal but their knowledge and influence was limited. They, unlike the Hebrew God, were not omniscient. They also were not omnipotent, most Egyptian gods had power over only a small town or city. Only gods like Ra, and a select few, were common names spoken among the people. Also, goddesses…