Ancient Egyptian deities

Ancient Egyptian deities

Ancient Egyptians worshiped a large number of gods and goddesses.

History

Keywords

deities, Amun, Re, Thoth, Hathor, Anubis, Set, Sobek, Horus, hieroglyph, Sekhmet, mythology, Egypt, antiquity, god, religion, Sun god, pharaoh, legend, wall painting, Bast, church, polytheism, sanctuary, priests, victim, papyrus, history

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Questions

  • What is characteristic of Ancient Egyptian religion?
  • Who was the deity of writing and science?
  • Who was the deity of disorder and violence?
  • Who was the deity of the sky?
  • Which deity was the patron of cats?
  • Who was the deity of beauty and love?
  • Which deity was commonly depicted as a falcon?
  • Which deity was commonly depicted as a crocodile?
  • Which deity was commonly depicted as a cow?
  • Which deity was commonly depicted as an ibis?
  • Which deity was commonly depicted as a jackal?
  • Who was the offspring of Isis and Osiris?
  • After which deity was the first month of the Ancient Egyptian calendar named?
  • Which deity was considered the patron of doctors?
  • Egyptian rulers were the earthly representatives of which god?
  • Whose Greek counterpart is Aphrodite?
  • Which deity weighed the hearts of the deceased?
  • Which city was Amun's most important cult center?
  • Which god was regarded as the father of the pharaohs?
  • Which of the following deities is the oldest?
  • Which deity was a Sun god?
  • Sobek was depicted with the head of which animal?
  • Anubis was depicted with the head of which animal?
  • Horus was depicted with the head of which animal?
  • Which deity was the god of mummification?

Scenes

Deities

Pantheon of gods

  • Amun
  • Ra
  • Thoth
  • Hathor
  • Sakhmet
  • Anubis
  • Seth
  • Sobek
  • Horus
  • Bastet

Ancient Egyptians believed in the supernatural that included numerous creatures, from spirits and demons to gods and goddesses, who personified the invisible powers of Nature.

Ancient Egyptian deities have a number of interesting features. They are often depicted as anthropomorphic deities, that is, they have a human form and human traits. However, they are better known in the human form with the head of an animal. There are gods who are also depicted in animal form. Another important feature of the gods and goddesses is their role. Each deity has several roles, some of which merge, expand or overlap with those of the others. Unlike the deities of many ancient civilizations, the majority of Egyptian deities were benevolent rather than hostile to humans.

One of the oldest and undoubtedly the most popular and most respected god was the central figure of the sun cult, Ra. Ra's realm included the sky, the earth, and the underworld. He is the central god in many creation myths. According to one such myth, humans were born out of his tears. Pharaohs considered themselves 'the sons of Ra'.

Temple

  • Amun
  • Ra
  • Thoth
  • Hathor
  • Sakhmet
  • Anubis
  • Seth
  • Sobek
  • Horus
  • Bastet

There were no established doctrines about the supernatural in ancient Egypt. Myths, which had existed since ancient times, had several different versions. This is one of the many reasons why ancient Egyptian religion is characterized by polytheism.

Ancient Egyptians built monumental temples for their gods and goddesses. Each deity had its own cult, usually connected to one town. A sanctuary inside the temple housed a statue of the given deity. Sacrificial offerings were stored in the temple’s storeroom.

Ancient Egyptian commoners were not allowed to enter the temples where priests performed rituals and sacrificial offerings. Priests were held in high esteem in ancient Egyptian society not only because of their religious role but also because of their expertise in writing and sciences.

Animation

  • Amun
  • Ra
  • Thoth
  • Hathor
  • Sakhmet
  • Anubis
  • Seth
  • Sobek
  • Horus
  • Bastet

Family tree

  • Amun
  • Ra
  • Thoth
  • Hathor
  • Sakhmet
  • Anubis
  • Seth
  • Sobek
  • Horus
  • Bastet

After the establishment of the Egyptian Empire (New Kingdom of Egypt), priests tried to create a structured pantheon from the multiplicity of the local deities. This task seemed almost impossible because the functions of these deities often mixed and overlapped. The phenomenon of syncretism, which combines different deities into one, also made the work more complicated.

Moreover, the numerous myths concerning the gods and goddesses are sometimes controversial. This is especially true of the "family relationships" between the deities.

Papyrus sedge was growing in abundance along the banks of the Nile (Middle Nile and Nile Delta). Ancient Egyptians used this plant to make a writing surface, so papyrus became one of the first types of paper. Egyptians used the Demotic script for writing.

The fibrous stem of the plant was cut into thin strips and then placed on a wooden board next to one another. Then they were soaked in water and hammered together with a wooden mallet. Another layer of strips was then placed on top of the sheet at a right angle and the process was repeated. (Mallets were later replaced with presses.) Sheets were dried in the sun then polished.

Papyrus sold in rolls and sheets was among the most sought-after and expensive goods of the time. Although it was not a durable material, the warm and dry sand preserved some of the ancient papyrus rolls and sheets for posterity.

Walk

  • Amun
  • Ra
  • Thoth
  • Hathor
  • Sakhmet
  • Anubis
  • Seth
  • Sobek
  • Horus
  • Bastet

Narration

Mention of ancient Egypt reminds most people of pyramids, pharaohs, mummies and hieroglyphs. But the religious beliefs of the people in that era are just as fascinating.

Of course, the central figures in those intriguing ancient myths are the gods. Over the millennia their special fellowship boasted a great many members. These usually benevolent and friendly deities were sometimes depicted in either fully animal or fully human form, but most often their images show them as human figures with the head of some animal. Besides personifying the invisible powers of Nature, they had another important feature; this was the role their worshippers' imagination attributed to them.

Ancient Egyptians built monumental temples to honour their gods and goddesses. Inside each temple, a sanctuary housed a statue of the deity, where priests performed rituals and sacrificial offerings.

Although Egyptologists have shed light on many aspects of ancient Egyptian beliefs over the past century, the religious world of the people in those times still seems mysterious in our modern era.

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