We explain what the Egyptian gods are and the main beliefs of the Egyptian religion. In addition, its general characteristics and classification.
The Egyptian gods are a group of deities belonging to the religion of Ancient Egypt (3150 BC – 31 BC), one of the main ancient civilizations of North Africa. This civilization prospered on the banks of the Nile River , expanding its cultural, economic, and political influence as far as the Euphrates, the Red Sea , the Sinai Peninsula, and part of the Mediterranean .
Ancient Egyptian religion was polytheistic (many gods) and involved a diverse and complex set of rituals . Thanks to them, human beings could obtain the favor of the gods, regents of natural forces.
However, unlike many other ancient religions, they did not concern themselves with ephemeral phenomena such as rainbows or eclipses , nor with fundamental elements such as fire and water . In addition, the areas of influence of each god could be difficult to define and were often flexible, changing, according to their mythical accounts .
Where they did have an important presence was in the political organization of society , and the pharaohs were often their representatives on earth. The cult of the dead , of importance in Egyptian society, was also a territory dominated by deities.
There is not much archaeological record of them .
It is likely that each Egyptian region had its own tutelary god .
However, it is believed that the conquest or absorption of some communities by others was imposing some on others.
Thus, some gods gained importance, but the others were not completely lost.
Around the year 3000 a. C. Egyptian cities are unified to start the Early Dynastic Period . The imperial organization imposed a pantheon of gods of national importance.
Furthermore, the cult of the pharaoh (who embodied the god Horus on Earth ) was given in terms of his tutelary gods. Simultaneously, the priests had the task of making a huge number of deities coexist in the same pantheon that would guarantee a unified religion.
Throughout the Old, Middle, and New Egyptian Empire, the worship of the gods was organized according to ruling elites . Subsequently, periods of Babylonian , Mycenaean , and finally Greek and Roman occupation weakened their identity and fostered syncretism .
In the first centuries AD. C. diverse edicts of the Roman emperors prohibited the cult to the goddess Isis . In this way, what remained of the traditional Egyptian religion became extinct.
Egyptian religion was not a monolithic, homogeneous set of ritual practices. On the contrary, it encompassed an enormous variety of beliefs and practices, which had in common the link between the world of the sacred and the world of humans.
Its basic precepts can be summarized as:
The Egyptian pantheon was diverse and huge, with thousands of deities and gods organized into two sets:
However, the main gods were represented more concretely and recurrently. Animals or anthropomorphic figures with animal heads were used for this.
According to the religious story, Osiris married his sister Isis and was heir to the throne of the earth . However, this was not possible because his brother Seth killed him. Furthermore, to prevent his resurrection, he tore him to pieces, scattering him over the earth.
So his wife Isis, along with her sister Nephthys, picked up each piece. When they managed to unite them all, they embalmed him with the help of Anubis . This is how he became the first mummy in Egypt.
According to Egyptian accounts , he was the murderer of his brother Osiris, whom he tore to pieces to keep his throne. However, after being defeated by Horus, he was sentenced to live in the desert. He was usually depicted as a human figure with the head of an aardvark.
In addition to being associated with the funeral cult, travelers asked for help when crossing hostile territories , such as deserts. His magical powers were what allowed Osiris's body to be reunited.
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