Ancient Egyptian Essay Research Paper Ancient EgyptianEgyptian — страница 3

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serpent’s head. Her touchiness caused visitors to Thebes to pay her the greatest respect. Meskhent – a goddess who assisted in the delivering of babies and assigning a destiny to each. She may have also appeared in Osiris’ court. Min – the god of reproduction. Needless to say, he was an extremely popular deity. Nefertem – the god of the lotus flower from which, in some myths, Ra emerged from each morning. Nehebkau – a deity in the form of a serpent with human arms and legs. He was a loyal servant to Ra. Nehebkau was originally a snake that threatened the dead, but later evolved into a good force. Nephthys – a funerary goddess. She appears as a normal woman. Her name means “the lady of the castle”. Phoenix – a bird that consumed itself in fire and was reborn

from its ashes every 500 years. The phoenix was sometimes used to represent Ra who, like the sun, is born at dawn and dies at twilight. Followers of early Christianity adopted the phoenix as a symbol of immortality. Qubenhsenuf – a falcon-headed god associated with funeral rites. He was one of four gods responsible for the safety of the Canopic jars of the dead and to guard the four corners of the sarcophagus. Qubenhsenuf’s jar contained embalmed intestines. Qetesh – a fertility goddess, usually shown without clothes, holding flowers, and standing on the back of a lion. Renenutet – a snake goddess who protected the harvest and the pharaoh. Her name is connected with the concept of nursing and raising children, and was often represented as the essence of divine motherhood.

Sebek – the crocodile god of lakes and rivers. He splashed in a pool in his temple at Fayum. Seker – a funerary god who protected the city of Memphis. Seker later was a member of Osiris’ court. Serqet – the scorpion goddess. She was a funerary deity who’s task it was to guard the Canopic jars. She was the companion of Isis. Shu – the god of sunlight and air, and one of Ra’s first two children. He supports the sky with his arms. Tefnut – the goddess of moisture. She helps her brother/husband Shu hold up the sky and welcomed the sun, Ra, everyday, leading to the sun disc above her head. She is represented as a woman with a lion’s head. Tuamutef – a funerary god. He was one of four responsible for the Canopic jars. His contained the stomach of the deceased. He

has the head of a jackal and is consequentially associated with Anubis. Upuanut – a wolf god who helped to guide the dead to the court of Osiris. Wepwawet – a funerary god with a dog’s body. His name means “the opener of ways”. PTAH’S MIRACLES Ptah is said to have performed great miracles. One story relating to this claim deals with Ptah saving the city of Pelusium from the Assyrians. According to the myth, he instructed an army of rats to gnaw through the attacker’s bowstrings and shield handles. Defenseless, the Assyrians were forced to retreat. He was also said to reincarnate the Apis bull. This bull was worshipped in its own temple in Memphis. Everyday at a fixed time, the bull was allowed to run loose in the temple courtyard so the future could be foreseen by

its behavior. The Apis bulls would normally die of old age and, like any other sacred Egyptian animal, was mummified. The Egyptians believed that Ptah would reincarnate the Apis bull after its death. Excavations have uncovered 64 Apis bulls, all mummified. OSIRIS’ KINGDOM OF THE DEAD One of the most important aspects of ancient Egyptian life is preparation for the afterlife. It was believed that the basic life force consisted of physical elements as well as mental, one of which is the ka. The ka is a duplicate of the body that accompanies the original body throughout life. Therefore, the ka could not exist without the body, so every effort was made to preserve it. From this belief came the ritual of embalming. In addition, wood or stone replicas of the body were placed in the

tomb in case of the accidental destruction of the corpse. The more statue duplicates of the body were put in the tomb, the greater chance the person had of being resurrected. As a final protection, exceedingly intricate tombs were built to protect the body and its replicas. According to myth, the embalming was first performed by Isis, who prepared her brother-husband Osiris, now the god of the underworld, for his journey to Duat, the land of the dead, also known as Yaru. Upon death, the ka was finally freed from the body, however, innumerable perils awaited the ka until guided to Duat by the wolf-headed god Upuanut. Because of these dangers, every tomb was furnished with a copy of the Book of the Dead, a guide to life after death, which was inscribed on papyrus scrolls. Part of