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Egyptian Book of Living and Dying

Overview


At the heart of ancient Egypt’s civilization lay its highly complex religion, which evolved, expanded and diversified over more than 3,000 years. In addition to the astonishing cultural legacy of artifacts and burial sites that the ancient Egyptians left behind, there is also a rich body of compelling writings about the quest for immortality and humankind’s progress from birth to death and into the mysterious realm of the afterlife, which they called the Underworld. This book delves into the beliefs and ...
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Overview


At the heart of ancient Egypt’s civilization lay its highly complex religion, which evolved, expanded and diversified over more than 3,000 years. In addition to the astonishing cultural legacy of artifacts and burial sites that the ancient Egyptians left behind, there is also a rich body of compelling writings about the quest for immortality and humankind’s progress from birth to death and into the mysterious realm of the afterlife, which they called the Underworld. This book delves into the beliefs and practices of the Egyptian priesthood and its role in placating the gods and preserving the immortality of the dead. It reveals the mysteries of the ancient Egyptians’ fascinating and amazingly diverse belief system, with its emphasis on ritual funerary cults.

The Egyptian Book of Living and Dying traces the stages of life from conception to the life beyond the tomb. This cycle is set against the eternal backdrop of the cosmos – the gods, the movement of the sun, the symbolism of the stars, and the great battles of Horus and Seth. Particular emphasis is given to the journey of the soul and the hazardous voyage – as described in the Book of the Dead – that it makes through the Underworld in search of the eternal paradise. At the heart of the book are the key themes of creation, magic, ritual and eternity, each treated in a series of superbly illustrated explorations. The result is an illuminating hardcover work for all those who wish to move one step closer to the spirit of the ancient Egyptians.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780785828839
  • Publisher: Chartwell Books
  • Publication date: 4/5/2012
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 727,167
  • Product dimensions: 7.60 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Joann Fletcher, PhD, is a freelance Egyptologist, increasingly familiar to a popular audience through her pioneering TV work as both researcher and presenter. She acts as consultant to several museums and research organizations, including the Bioanthropology Foundation, for which she has undertaken excavation work in Egypt and examination of royal mummies in Cairo. She has made numerous appearances on radio as well as television and is archaeology writer for The Guardian newspaper.
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Table of Contents

Introduction 6
Chapter 1 Order out of Chaos 9
The Self-Created Lord 10
The Island of Fire 14
Ptah the Craftsman 16
The Creation of Humankind 21
Chapter 2 The Cosmic Bubble 23
Children of the Sun 24
The River of Life 30
A World of Dualities 34
Waterways of the Night 38
Sailing Stars 43
The Rebirth of the Sun 44
Chapter 3 Divine Beings 51
The Hidden God 52
The Great Hymn to Amun 55
Osiris, Lord of Life 58
The Great Hymn to Osiris 61
Isis, Mistress of Magic 62
Horus and Seth 64
Daughters of Ra 68
Animal Spirits 74
The Living God 78
The Dance of the King 83
Chapter 4 Mysteries of the Temple 85
Houses of the Gods 86
Serving the Gods 92
The Daily Offering 99
Days of Festival 100
The Words of Thoth 104
The Power of Magic 110
Chapter 5 The Journey of the Soul 115
Death and the Afterlife 116
An Offering for Neferhotep 123
In the Hall of Judgment 124
The Confession Before Osiris 127
The Dead and the Living 130
Glossary 136
Further Reading 137
Index 138
Picture Credits 143
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