The Penguin Book of Myths and Legends of Ancient Egypt

The Penguin Book of Myths and Legends of Ancient Egypt

by Joyce Tyldesley


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The Penguin Book of Myths and Legends of Ancient Egypt by Joyce Tyldesley

The civilization we know as Ancient Egypt stretched over three thousand years. What was life like for ancient Egyptians? What were their beliefs - and how different were they from ours? The Penguin Book of Myths and Legends of Ancient Egypt uses Egypt's vivid narratives to create a panorama of its history, from the earliest settlers to the time of Cleopatra.

Gathered from pyramid texts, archaeological finds and contemporary documents, these stories cover everything from why the Nile flooded annually to Egyptian beliefs about childbirth and what happened after death. They show us what life was really like for rich and poor, man and woman, farmer and pharaoh, bringing a long-dead culture back to life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780141021768
Publisher: Penguin UK
Publication date: 03/28/2012
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 582,222
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.70(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Archaeologist and historian, Joyce Tyldesley has written many successful books about ancient Egypt, including acclaimed biographies of Rameses the Great and Cleopatra (a Radio 4 Book of the Week), and Egypt: How a Lost Civilization was Rediscovered, which accompanied a major BBC television series. She teaches Egyptology at Manchester University and is an Honorary Fellow of Liverpool University. She lives in Bolton, Lancashire.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations xi

Map of Egypt xiii

Introduction 1

Definitions and sources

Egypt's gods

The Egyptian world Dating dynastic Egypt

I Creation 35

1 Sunrise: the Nine Gods of Heliopolis 37

The mound of creation

Atum: lord of totality

The divine twins Geb and Nut: earth and sky

2 Alternative Creations 54

The eight gods of Hermopolis

Ptah of Memphis Khnum of Elephantine

Min of Koptos

3 Sunset 77

Aspects of Re

The voyages of Re

The sun and the snakes

The shipwrecked sailor

II Destruction 101

4 The Death of Osiris 103

The Osiris myth

Cemetery dogs

King of the dead

The story of Sinuhe

5 The Contendings of Horus and Seth 133

A dysfunctional family

Horus of Hierakonpolis

Seth: the Red One

6 At the End of Time 157

Journey to the afterlife

The court of the two truths

The tale of Si-Osiri

The end of all things

III The Great Goddesses 173

7 The Golden One 175

She of the Two Faces

The daughter of Re

Sekhmet and the destruction of mankind

The doomed prince

Bastet of Bubastis

8 Isis: Great of Magic 198

Wife of Osiris

Sister of Nephthys and Seth

Mother of Horus

Queen of heaven

9 Warriors and Wise Women 213

The cobra goddesses



Anath and Astarte

IV Heroes and Villains 227

10 Divine Kings 229

Papyrus Westcar

Divine births

Egypt's last kings

The Amarna Age

11 Tales of Gods and Men 270

The herdsman and the goddess

The tale of the eloquent peasant

The tale of the two brothers

The tale of truth and falsehood

The voyage of wenamun

12 A Developing Mythology 305

Imhotep and Amenhotep Son of Hapu

Tuthmosis III and General Djehuty

The pyramid builders

The extraordinary King Rhampsinitus

Prince Khaemwaset

Cleopatra and her snake

Postscript 325

Dramatis Personae 326

Chronological Table 338

Acknowledgements and Permissions 346

Notes 348

Bibliography and Further Reading 359

Index 367

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