Thursday, August 4, 2011

Ancient Egypt (pt. 7)

For a brief look into the religion of the Ancient Egyptians, here are some of the gods these people worshipped.
Osiris was the god of the dead and ruler of the underworld.  His image was that of a mummified man wearing a white, cone-like headdress with feathers.  The brother/husband of Isis and the brother of Nephthys and Seth, he was also the father of Horus.  Ancient Egyptians believed Osiris was a god of resurrection and fertility; in fact, they believed he was the giver of the gift of barley, one of their most important crops.
Isis, the sister/wife of Osiris was a protective goddess who wore a headdress in the shape of a throne with a pair of cow horns and a disk.  She used powerful magic spells to help people in need.  Since each pharaoh was considered to be the "living Horus," Isis (the mother of Horus) was very important.
Horus (meaning "the one far above"), was the god of the sky—a man with the head of a hawk.  He is probably most well-known as the protector of the Egyptian ruler.  Each pharaoh was considered as his living representative.
Seth was the god of chaos—a man with the head of a "seth animal" (some unidentifiable beast).  He was Osiris' and Isis' brother as well as the husband of Nephthys.  Seth murdered Osiris and then battled with his nephew Horus to be the ruler of the living.  Seth represented everything that threatened harmony in Egypt.
Nephthys was the protective goddess of the dead who wore a headdress showing her name.  She was the sister of Isis and Osiris and the sister/wife of Seth as well as the mother of Anubis.  She is usually shown on coffins or in funerary scenes.
Anubis was the god of the dead and of embalming.  He was also considered as the guardian of the underworld.  Since jackals were often seen in cemeteries, the Ancient Egyptians gave Anubis the head of a jackal and believed he was the one who watched over the dead.  Anubis was the god who helped to embalm Osiris after he was killed by Seth; thus, he was the one who watched over the process of mummifying people when they died.  Priests often wore Anubis masks during mummification ceremonies.
Ra (meaning "sun") was the sun god—a man with a hawk head and headdress with a sun disk.  He was the most important god of the Ancient Egyptians, who believed that Ra was swallowed every night by the sky goddess Nut and was reborn every morning.
Amun was one of the most powerful gods in Ancient Egypt.  At the height of Egyptian civilization he was called the "King of the gods."  He was a man with a ram's head, wearing an ostrich plumed hat.  Eventually he was combined with the sun god Ra and became even more powerful.  He was then called Amun-Ra.
Lastly, Aton: a form of the sun god Ra made popular during the reign of Akhenaton (which we'll get to)…

No comments:

Post a Comment