Mythology

Egyptian mythology

Egyptian mythology was a belief structure and the underlying form of Egyptian culture since at least 4000 B.C. as can be seen from the funerary practices and paintings found in tombs, which lasted until 30 A.D. with Cleopatra VII's death, the last of Egypt's Ptolemaic rulers. Every aspect of Egyptian life in ancient Egypt was informed by stories relating the creation of the world and the sustenance of that world thanks to the gods.

Egyptian mythology

Related topics

Celtic mythology, Greek mythology, Nordic mythology, Roman mythology

What is Egyptian mythology?

It is a group of religious beliefs that was practiced in Ancient Egypt from the pre-dynastic era until the emergence of Christianity. It has an important iconography to represent their deities with human bodies and animal heads.

Origin

Egyptian civilization has prospered continuously since prehistoric times. While the leaders of civilization, writing, natural climate, religion and borders have changed many times over the centuries, Egypt still exists as a modern country.

Civilization has always been strongly coupled with other parts of the world, bringing and exporting goods, religions, food, people and ideas. Occasionally, ancient Egypt ruled the territory outside the border of the modern country, controlling the territory of what is now Sudan, Cyprus, Lebanon, Syria, Israel and Palestine.

Egyptian religious beliefs had a great influence on other cultures through their transmission through trade and spread mainly after the opening of the Silk Road in 130 B.C. as Alexandria, the Egyptian port city, was an important commercial center.

The importance of Egyptian mythology for other cultures lies in its development of the concept of eternal life after death, in its benevolent deities and in reincarnation. Both, Pythagoras and Plato of Greece were said to have been influenced by Egyptian beliefs about reincarnation and Roman religious culture, taken from both Egypt and other civilizations.

Characteristics of Egyptian mythology

The main characteristics of Egyptian mythology are the following:

Symbols

Some of the main symbols of Egyptian mythology were the following:

Gods of Egyptian mythology

The main gods of Egyptian mythology were:

Creatures and monsters of Egyptian mythology

Among the most common creatures of Egyptian mythology we can mention the Sphinx, which had a lion’s body and a man’s head; Amenait who was a strong and ferocious creature that lived in the Nile, had a hippopotamus torso and a reptile’s tail, with lion’s claws and crocodile’s jaws. Apophis was an enormous, indestructible and malignant serpent that wanted to break the cosmic order. Bennu was a mythological bird and was related to creation, death and sun, according to legend, it emerged from a burst of the heart of Osiris.

Featured stories and legends

The Apis ox: Osiris’ soul was believed to be in the body of an ox, so they worshipped him. The ox was black, had a white spot on the forehead and a crescent on the right side. When it was found, it was fed and served by women who were the only ones who had the right to see it and then, it was carried to Memphis where it was received by priests and taken to stables where, depending on where it chose to be, it would be the omen for Egyptians.

Isis and the seven scorpions seek Seth: Isis wanted to have revenge on Seth and went to seek him with seven scorpions who could hide. They came to a woman’s house to whom they asked for shelter, but she did not want to help them, so Isis and his scorpions were very offended. One of the scorpions wounded the woman’s son to death, but Isis felt pity and did not want to let an innocent man die, running to save the child. The rich woman, regretted, greeted Isis and the peasant woman.

Written by Gabriela Briceño V.
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