Ancient Egyptian Mythology Essay

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Egypt was one of the earliest civilizations in the Mediterranean. The ancient Egyptians lived along the Nile river basin where they thrived for almost three thousand years. During this time ancient Egypt was the most advanced civilization on earth while the Greece was still in its Dark Age and the Roman Republic was yet to be formed. To the ancient Egyptians religion was the most important part of everyday life; their mythology had the greatest influence over government and society. The gods played a large part in everyday life especially during times of war. “Amun-Re, principal god during the New Kingdom, was said to give the scimitar of conquest to the pharaoh during times of war. This was meant to give the pharaoh wisdom so he may defeat Egypt’s enemies” (Hart 24). The gods were also believed to fight each other. As stated by Baines and Malek in their book, Atlas of Ancient Egypt “if one Egyptian village or city would attack another each one would be represented by a local deity. When a city lost to another it was believed that the winning cities god had conquered the other” (197). This strong belief in their gods helped the ancient Egyptians defend against invaders and remain powerful for so long. Many myths attempted to explain the need for the pharaoh and why he was so powerful. Before the 5th Dynasty the pharaoh was believed to be the incarnation of Horus. Horus was the god of vengeance and guardian of the pharaoh. Horus was believed to have been the last god to rule Egypt before the gods retreated to heaven. The pharaohs wanted more divine authority though so during the 5th Dynasty the pharaoh began to claim divine ancestry and from then the pharaoh was worshiped as the son of Ra. (Egyptian Mythology n.p.) In a society were the gods were considered so important being counted among them would have to raise the king’s authority, enabling the pharaoh to

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