Egyptian Mythology: A Guide to the Gods, Goddesses, and Traditions of Ancient Egypt

Overview


From stories of resurrected mummies and thousand-year-old curses to powerful pharaohs and the coveted treasures of the Great Pyramids, ancient Egypt has had an unfaltering grip on the modern imagination. Now, in Egyptian Mythology, Geraldine Pinch offers a comprehensive introduction that untangles the mystery of Egyptian Myth.

Spanning Ancient Egyptian culture--from 3200 BC to AD 400--Pinch opens a door to this hidden world and casts light on its often misunderstood belief ...

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Overview


From stories of resurrected mummies and thousand-year-old curses to powerful pharaohs and the coveted treasures of the Great Pyramids, ancient Egypt has had an unfaltering grip on the modern imagination. Now, in Egyptian Mythology, Geraldine Pinch offers a comprehensive introduction that untangles the mystery of Egyptian Myth.

Spanning Ancient Egyptian culture--from 3200 BC to AD 400--Pinch opens a door to this hidden world and casts light on its often misunderstood belief system. She discusses the nature of myths and the history of Egypt, from the predynastic to the postpharaonic period. She explains how Egyptian culture developed around the flooding of the Nile, or the "inundation," a phenomenon on which the whole welfare of the country depended, and how aspects of the inundation were personified as deities. She explains that the usually cloudless skies made for a preoccupation with the stars and planets. Indeed, much early Egyptian mythology may have developed to explain the movement of these celestial bodies. She provides a timeline covering the seven stages in the mythical history of Egypt and outlining the major events of each stage, such as the reign of the sun God. A substantial A to Z section covers the principal themes and concepts of Egyptian mythology as well as the most important deities, demons, and other characters. For anyone who wants to know about Anubis, the terrifying canine god who presided over the mummification of bodies and guarded burials, or Hathor, the golden goddess who helped women to give birth and the dead to be reborn, or an explanation of the nun, the primeval ocean from which all life came, Egyptian Mythology is the place to look.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195170245
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 4/8/2004
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 243,753
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Geraldine Pinch is an Egyptologist at the Oriental Institute of Oxford University and a Member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions. She is the author of Magic in Ancient Egypt and Egyptian Myth: A Very Short Introduction.

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Table of Contents

Chronology
1 Introduction 1
What Is a Myth? 1
Myth and Geography 2
History and the Sources of Egyptian Myth 4
Protodynastic (Dynasty 0) and Early Dynastic Periods (Dynasties 1-2): c. 3200-2686 B.C.E. 5
Old Kingdom (Dynasties 3-6) and First Intermediate Period (Dynasties 7-11): c. 2686-2055 B.C.E. 8
Middle Kingdom and Second Intermediate Period (Dynasties 11-17): c. 2055-1550 B.C.E. 12
New Kingdom (Dynasties 18-20) and Third Intermediate Period (Dynasties 21-24): c. 1550-747 B.C.E. 19
Late Period and Ptolemaic Period (Dynasties 25-30 and the Ptolemies): 747-30 B.C.E. 31
Roman Period: 30 B.C.E.-395 C.E. 40
Post-Pharaonic Egypt 45
2 Mythical Time Lines 57
Linear Time 57
Cyclical Time 89
3 Deities, Themes, and Concepts 99
Aker 99
Akhet 99
Ammut 100
Amun (Amon, Ammon, Amen) 100
Anat (Anath, Anta) 102
Andjety (Anedjeti) 102
Anti (Anty) 103
Anubis (Anpu, Inpw) 104
Anuket (Anukis) 105
Apis 105
Apophis (Apep) 106
Arsaphes 108
Ash 108
Astarte (Ashtarte) 108
Aten (Aton) 109
Atum (Atem) 111
Baal 112
Babi (Baba) 112
Baboons 113
Banebdjedet (Banebdjed) 114
Bastet (Bast, Boubastis, Pasht) 115
Bat 117
Bata 117
Benu Bird (Phoenix) 117
Bes and Beset 118
Birds 120
Boats 121
Cattle 123
Crocodiles 126
Djed Pillar 127
Ennead of Heliopolis 128
Eye of Ra 128
Eyes of Horus 131
Feline Deities 132
Geb 135
Hand of Atum 136
Hapy (Hapi) 136
Hathor (Hwt-hr) 137
Hatmehyt 139
Heh Gods 139
Heka (Hika) 139
Heqet (Heqat, Hekat) 139
Heryshef (Arsaphes, Harsaphes) 141
Hippopotamus Goddesses 141
Horemakhet (Harmachis) 143
Horus (Hor) 143
Horus the Child (Harpokrates, Harpocrates) 146
Hu 147
Ihy 148
Imhotep (Imouthes) 148
Ipet (Opet) 149
Isis 149
Iusaas 152
Khentamentiu (Khentamenti) 152
Khenty-Khety 152
Khepri (Khepry, Khopri) 152
Khnum (Chnum) 153
Khonsu (Khons, Chons) 155
Kings and Princes 156
Lotus 158
Maat (Ma'et) 159
Mafdet 161
Magicians 161
Mahes (Mihos) 163
Mehet-Weret (Mehurit, Methyer) 163
Mehit (Mehyt, Mekhit) 164
Meretseger 164
Meskhenet 164
Min 164
Montu (Mont, Month) 165
Moon 166
Mut (Mout) 168
Nefertem (Nefertum) 169
Nehebkau 169
Neith (Neit) 169
Nekhbet 170
Nemty 171
Neper (Nepri) 171
Nephthys 171
Nun (Noun, Nu) 172
Nut (Nout) 173
Ogdoad of Hermopolis 175
Onuris (Anhur, Inhur, Inhert) 177
Osiris 178
Pakhet 180
Primeval Mound 180
Primeval Ocean 181
Ptah 181
Ra (Re, Pre) 182
Raet-Tawy (Raiyet) 185
Ra-Horakhty 185
Renenutet (Ernutet, Hermouthis, Thermouthis) 185
Satet (Satis) and Anuket (Anukis) 186
Sekhmet (Sakhmet) 187
Serqet (Serket, Selkis) 189
Seshat (Sechat) 190
Seth (Set, Sutekh) 191
Seven Hathors 194
Shai (Shay) 194
Shed 195
Shentayet 195
Shezmu 195
Shu (Schu, Chou) and Tefnut (Tefenet) 195
Sia and Hu (Hw) 198
Snakes 198
Sobek (Suchos) 200
Sokar (Soker, Sokaris) 202
Sons of Horus 204
Sopdet (Sothis) 205
Sopdu (Sopedu, Soped) 205
Sothis 206
Souls of Pe and Nekhen 206
Sphinx 206
Stars and Planets 207
Tatjenen (Tatenen) 209
Taweret (Tweret, Taurt, Thoeris) 209
Tayet 209
Tefnut 209
Thoth 209
Two Ladies 211
Wadjyt (Wadjet, Ouadjet, Uto) 213
Wepwawet (Upwaut) 213
Weret-Hekau 214
Wosret 214
4 Egyptian Myth: Annotated Print and Nonprint Resources 215
Print Resources 215
Nonprint Resources 224
Glossary 227
App.: Primary Sources 233
Index 239
About the Author 257
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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2009

    Great reference

    Clearly written, concise, and has an excellent bibliography of both print and electronic references. With all the garbage about Egypt on the web, I find this extremely helpful to figure out who has a clue.

    The book begins with a short history of Egypt from the pre-dynastic to post-pharonic times and also introduces/gives context for myth and religion in ancient Egypt. It is a good introduction and reference, but not meant to be comprehensive.

    The things that I most wanted but didn't have were cross-references for deity names, which can be spelled several different ways, and a better explanation of the Egyptian concept of the soul.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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