Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt

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Overview

Worshiped for over three-fifths of recorded history, ancient Egypt's gods and goddesses are among the most fascinating of human civilization.
The lives of pharaohs and commoners alike were dominated by the need to honor, worship, and pacify the huge pantheon of deities. From lavish tomb paintings and imposing temple reliefs to humble household shrines, countless tributes throughout Egypt reflect the richness and complexity of their mythology. This book examines the evolution, ...

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Overview

Worshiped for over three-fifths of recorded history, ancient Egypt's gods and goddesses are among the most fascinating of human civilization.
The lives of pharaohs and commoners alike were dominated by the need to honor, worship, and pacify the huge pantheon of deities. From lavish tomb paintings and imposing temple reliefs to humble household shrines, countless tributes throughout Egypt reflect the richness and complexity of their mythology. This book examines the evolution, worship, and eventual decline of the numerous gods and goddesses—from minor household figures such as Bes and Taweret to the all-powerful deities Amun and Rethat made Egypt the most completely theocratic society of the ancient world, and made Egyptians, according to Herodotus, "more religious than any other people."
• "Rise and Fall of the Gods" considers the origins of Egypt's deities, their struggles to control cosmic forces, and their eventual decline.
• "Nature of the Gods" examines the forms, appearances, and manifestations of the deities, as well as the transcendence of preeminent deities such as Amun.
• "Worship of the Gods" introduces the rituals and mysteries of formal Egyptian worship, including the importance of temples and festivals.
• "Kingship and the Gods" discusses the all-important position of the king, who served as a bridge between the gods and humanity.
• "The Many Faces of the Divine" is a unique catalogue of Egypt's gods and goddesses grouped according to their primary forms, discussing their iconography, mythology, and worship, and their influence over time.
With hundreds of illustrations and specially commissioned drawings, this is a comprehensive and authoritative guide to the deities that lay at the heart of Egyptian religion and society.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Egyptologist Wilkinson presents a clear, comprehensive and beautifully illustrated (in color and b&w) guide to the bewildering array of Egyptian deities-a complete catalogue of gods and goddesses supplemented by examinations of the history of Egyptian religion, the rise and fall of the gods, and the ways in which they were worshipped. Ancient Egypt was, Wilkinson writes, the most theocratic of any ancient culture; religion pervaded daily life for comoners as well as the pharaohs. This volume underscores the richness of ancient Egyptian beliefs: literally scores of deities are discussed, grouped by appearance: male anthropomorphic, female anthropomorphic, mammalian, avian, etc. For each god or goddess, the author discusses its mythology, iconography and forms of worship. Amun, or Amun-Re, for instance, one of the major male anthropomorphic gods, is discussed as creator god, solar god and fertility god, among other roles; he was originally portrayed with the color red; and he was honored with temples at Karnak and Luxor. This is an excellent reference work for budding Egyptologists and anyone fascinated by the culture of ancient Egypt. (May) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
This elegant and comprehensive resource thoroughly illustrates and catalogs the Egyptian deities, from early pharaonic times to the Roman period. A respected authority on Egyptian deities and iconography, Wilkinson has published numerous works on this topic and engaged in original research and excavations, and he currently directs the Egyptian Expedition at the University of Arizona. The book is divided into five sections (essays on various topics) outlining the origins of the numerous gods and goddesses, their varied representations, popular worship, and the relationship of the gods and royalty. The final and major section, "The Many Faces of the Divine," is a systematic guide to the gods subdivided by the varied thematic material they depict, e.g., mammals, amphibians, and insects, both male and female. This book abounds with beautiful full-color photographs and drawings that depict tomb paintings, temple reliefs, statues, and more. Although many familiar Egyptian deities are included (e.g., Osiris, Amon, Hathor, and Isis), there is ample coverage of minor figures as well (e.g., Babi and Ba-Pef). Essentially a reference volume despite the essay format, this guidebook to the religious beliefs of a rich culture at its zenith is a pleasure to browse. Highly recommended.-Richard K. Burns, M.S.L.S., Hatboro, PA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780500051207
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson
  • Publication date: 5/26/2003
  • Series: Complete Series
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 400,704
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 10.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard H. Wilkinson is Director of the University of Arizona Egyptian Expedition.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Egyptian Religion and the Gods 6
Chronology 8
Map 9
I Rise and Fall of the Gods
Birth of the Gods 12
Rule of the Gods 16
Decline of the Gods 20
II Nature of the Gods
Forms of the Divine 26
Manifestations of the Gods 32
Egypt and Monotheism 36
III Worship of the Gods
Care of the Gods 42
Popular Religion and Piety 46
Relationships with the Divine 50
IV Kingship and the Gods
Between Gods and Men 54
Deceased and Divine 60
Kingship Among the Gods 64
V The Catalogue of Deities
Many Faces of the Divine 70
Groups of Deities 74
Male Anthropomorphic Deities 92
Female Anthropomorphic Deities 136
Mammalian Deities 170
Avian Deities 200
Reptile, Amphibian and Fish Deities 218
Invertebrate and Insect Deities 230
Inanimate Object Deities 236
Epilogue: A Lasting Legacy 242
Further Reading 244
Sources of Quotations 249
Illustrations Credits 250
Acknowledgments 251
Index 252
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 15, 2009

    Great and Complete source

    This is an excellent book, for anyone looking for learning about Egyptian Religion, this is the only book I found so far that has a complete resorce of all the Gods and Goddesses of ancient Egypt, tables of information and Timelines are included, the illustrations are excellent.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted January 6, 2010

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    Posted August 24, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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