Egyptian mythology is a compilation of ancient Egyptian myths that portray Egyptian gods ‘ behavior as a tool to understand their universe. The convictions expressed by these myths are essential to the ancient Egyptian religion. Myths often occur in Egyptian arts and writings, especially in shorts and spiritual materials such as hymns, ritual texts, funerals.
The Egyptians saw time in the present as a series of recurring models inspired by natural cycles, while the earliest periods of time were linear. Myths are established at this earliest time, and myth is the model for the current eras. Present events repeat the mythic events, thereby renewing maat, the basic order of the universe. The most significant events in the Mythical Revival were the myths of creation in which gods shape the universe from the original chaos, the narratives of the rule of sun god Ra over the land, and the Osiris myth about the battles of Osiris, Isis and Horus with Set. Events from todayEgyptian Mythology Egyptian mythology compilation ancient Egyptian myths portray Egyptian gods behavior tool understand universe The convictions expressed myths essential ancient Egyptian religion Myths occur Egyptian arts writings shorts spiritual materials hymns ritual texts funerals The Egyptians time series recurring models inspired natural cycles earliest periods time linear Myths established earliest time myth model current eras Present events repeat mythic events renewing maat basic order universe The events Mythical Revival myths creation gods shape universe original chaos narratives rule sun god land Osiris myth battles Osiris Isis Horus Set Events today Egyptian mythology collection myths ancient Egypt actions Egyptian gods understanding The beliefs myths express ancient Egyptian religion Myths frequently Egyptian writings art short stories religious material hymns ritual texts funerary texts temple decoration These sources rarely complete account myth fragments Inspired cycles nature Egyptians time series recurring patterns earliest periods time linear Myths set earliest times myth sets pattern cycles Present events repeat events myth renew maat fundamental order universe Amongst episodes mythic creation myths gods form universe primordial chaos stories reign sun god earth Osiris myth struggles gods Osiris Isis Horus disruptive god Set Events regarded myths include daily journey otherworldly counterpart Duat Recurring themes mythic episodes include conflict upholders maat forces disorder pharaoh maintaining maat continual death regeneration gods The details sacred events differ greatly text contradictory Egyptian myths metaphorical translating essence behavior deities terms humans understand Each variant myth represents symbolic perspective enriching Egyptians understanding gods Mythology profoundly influenced Egyptian culture inspired influenced religious rituals ideological basis kingship Scenes symbols myth appeared art tombs temples amulets literature myths elements stories range humor allegory demonstrating Egyptians adapted mythology serve wide variety purposes The development Egyptian myth difficult trace Egyptologists educated guesses earliest phases based written sources appeared One obvious influence myth Egyptians natural surroundings Each day sun rose set bringing light land regulating human activity year Nile flooded renewing fertility soil allowing highly productive farming sustained Egyptian civilization Thus Egyptians water sun symbols life thought time series natural cycles This orderly pattern constant risk disruption unusually floods famine high floods destroyed crops buildings The hospitable Nile valley surrounded harsh desert populated peoples Egyptians regarded uncivilized enemies order For reasons Egyptians land isolated place stability maat surrounded endangered chaos These themes order chaos renewal repeatedly Egyptian religious thought Another source mythology ritual Many rituals reference myths based But difficult determine culture myths developed rituals vice versa Questions relationship myth ritual spawned discussion Egyptologists scholars comparative religion general ancient Egypt earliest evidence religious practices predates written myths Rituals early Egyptian history included motifs myth For reasons scholars argued Egypt rituals emerged myths But early evidence sparse question resolved private rituals called magical myth ritual closely tied Many myth stories rituals texts sources Even widespread motif goddess Isis rescuing poisoned son Horus appears type text The Egyptologist David Frankfurter argues rituals adapt basic mythic traditions fit specific ritual creating elaborate stories called historiolas based myth contrast Borghouts magical texts shred evidence specific kind unorthodox mythology coined genre Much Egyptian mythology consists origin myths explaining elements including human institutions natural phenomena Kingship arises gods time passed human pharaohs warfare originates humans fighting sun god withdrawal sky Myths supposed fundamental traditions minor mythic episode Horus angry mother Isis cuts head Isis replaces lost head cow This event explains Isis depicted horns cow headdress nocopy Some myths inspired historical events The unification Egypt pharaohs Predynastic Period 3100 king focus Egyptian religion ideology kingship mythology wake unification gods local patron deities gained national forming relationships linked local deities unified national tradition Geraldine Pinch suggests early myths formed relationships Egyptian sources link mythical strife gods Horus Set conflict regions Upper Lower Egypt happened late Predynastic era Early Dynastic Period After early times mythology developed adapted preexisting concepts creating exceptions Many scholars suggested myth sun god withdrawing sky leaving humans fight inspired breakdown royal authority national unity Old Kingdom 2686 2181 New Kingdom 1550 1070 minor myths developed deities Yam Anat Canaanite religion contrast Greek Roman eras Greco Roman culture influence Egyptian mythology Scholars difficulty defining ancient Egyptian beliefs myths The basic definition myth suggested Egyptologist John Baines sacred culturally central narrative Egypt narratives central culture religion events gods Actual narratives gods actions rare Egyptian texts early periods references events mere mentions allusions Some Egyptologists Baines argue narratives complete called myths existed periods Egyptian tradition favor writing Others Jan Assmann true myths rare Egypt emerged partway history developing fragments narration earliest writings Recently Vincent Arieh Tobin Susanne Bickel suggested lengthy narration needed Egyptian mythology complex flexible nature Tobin argues narrative alien myth narratives tend form simple fixed perspective events narration needed myth statement conveys idea nature actions god called mythic Like myths cultures Egyptian myths serve justify human traditions address fundamental questions nature disorder ultimate fate universe The Egyptians explained profound issues statements gods Egyptian deities represent natural phenomena physical objects earth sun abstract forces knowledge creativity The actions interactions gods Egyptians believed govern behavior forces elements For Egyptians mysterious processes explicit theological writings Instead relationships interactions gods illustrated processes implicitly Most Egypt gods including major roles mythic narratives nature relationships deities established lists bare statements narration For gods deeply involved narratives mythic events expressions roles cosmos Therefore narratives myths mythology major element Egyptian religious understanding essential cultures The sky depicted cow goddess supported deities This image combines coexisting visions sky roof surface sea cow goddess human form The true realm gods mysterious inaccessible humans Mythological stories symbolism events realm comprehensible Not mythic account symbolic significance Some images incidents religious texts meant simply visual dramatic embellishments broader meaningful myths Few complete stories Egyptian mythological sources These sources allusions events relate texts actual narratives portions larger story Thus myth Egyptians general outlines story fragments describing incidents drawn Moreover gods defined characters motivations inconsistent actions rarely Egyptian myths fully developed tales Their lay underlying meaning characteristics stories Instead coalescing lengthy fixed narratives remained highly flexible dogmatic flexible Egyptian myths seemingly conflict Many descriptions creation movements sun occur Egyptian texts The relationships gods fluid instance goddess Hathor called mother wife daughter sun god Separate deities syncretized linked single Thus creator god Atum combined form Atum One commonly suggested reason inconsistencies myth religious ideas differed time regions The local cults deities developed theologies centered patron gods influence cults shifted mythological systems attained national dominance Old Kingdom 2686 2181 systems cults Atum centered Heliopolis They formed mythical family Ennead created included deities time primacy Atum The Egyptians overlaid religious ideas For instance god Ptah cult centered Memphis creator Ptah creation myth incorporates older myths Ennead carry Ptah creative commands Thus myth Ptah older greater Ennead Many scholars myth political attempt assert superiority Memphis god Heliopolis combining concepts Egyptians produced immensely complicated set deities myths Egyptologists early twentieth century thought politically motivated principal reason contradictory imagery Egyptian myth However 1940s Henri Frankfort realizing symbolic nature Egyptian mythology argued contradictory ideas multiplicity approaches Egyptians understand divine realm Frankfort arguments basis analysis Egyptian beliefs Political Egyptian beliefs ideas emerged deeper meaning Multiple versions myth express aspects phenomenon gods behave reflect close connections natural forces The varying symbols Egyptian mythology express ideas complex single lens Egyptian Mythology ZodiacPage