The Ancient Egyptian Culture

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Horus was the divine protector of kings and the god of the sky. He was the son of Osiris and Isis and the enemy of the wicked god Seth. He is represented as a hawk or as a man body with the head of a hawk. Throughout Egypt, Horus was worshipped and associated with Edfu, where his temple can still be seen. Isis was also an important deity symbol in the ancient Egyptian culture. Isis, who was the mother of Horus and the wife of Osiris, was linked to funeral rites and her famous temple was located in Philae and her cult spread to the Mediterranean world, during the Roman period.

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Khepre, also known as Khepera, Khepra or Khepri was a creator god symbolized by a beetle of scarab species or sometimes a beetle-headed man. Khnum was a god of cataracts, a potter and a creator god who was believed to be guarding the source of river Nile. A ram-headed man was the symbol of this god. His sanctuary was on Elephantine Island but his best-preserved temple is at Esna. Khonsu was the moon god depicted as a man with a falcon-head wearing a crescent moon headdress3. His temple was at the precincts of Karnak. Montu was a warrior god who rose to become the state god during the 11th dynasty. He was associated with king Montuhotep I who reunited the Upper and Lower Egypt after the chaos of the First Intermediate Period.

Osiris was a vegetation god linked with the growth of crops and bounty harvests. He was one of the most important of gods and was the mythological first kings of Egypt. It was thought that he was responsible for the civilization of the human race. He is symbolized as a man with a white crown covered by two plumes of feathers and holding the crook and whip of kingship. Ptah was a creator god, believed to have created the world from the thoughts in his heart and his words. He was associated with High Priest of his temple at Memphis who held the title Great Leader of Crafsmen. Ra, also known as Re was another important god to the Egyptians. He was the god of the Supreme sun and was symbolized as a hawk-headed man crowned with a disk of solar and sacred serpent. Seth was the god of darkness, confusion and chaos and is represented as a man with an unknown animal head. In addition, Troth was the god of writing and the power of knowledge. He was symbolized as a man with the head of an ibis holding a scribes pen and palette. He was associated with all the inventions of sciences as well as the inventions of writings.

The ancient Egyptian religious beliefs and practices have reformed over time. It is believed to have started with the worship of gods, goddesses, High Priests and Kings to the modern Islam and Christianity. Religion in Egypt cross-cuts many aspects of social life and is endorsed by law. Egypt is predominantly Muslim, with the Muslim making up to 85-90% of the total population. Almost the entirety of Egyptian Muslims is Sunnis. Non-Muslims also exist, and most of them are Christians. Majority Christians in Egypt belong to the native Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria. Coptic sources state that they make up about 20% of the population2. Also, historically significant non-immigrant Bahai population, and even smaller population of Jews also exist. Egyptian Government sources indicate that the non-Coptic and non-Sunni religious communities can be found in size of several thousands to hundreds of thousands. Surprisingly, the Ancient Egyptian religion has all but disappeared!

From the discussions furthered herein, it suffices to conclude that the Egyptian religion has been dynamic over time. It is believed to have started with the worshipping of gods, goddesses, High Priests and other ancient cultural believes that were binding to the people of Egypt. These ancient religious practices, however, have reformed and have seen the practice of Islam, Christianity and Jewish religions in the modern-day Egypt.


"Egyptian Paganism for Beginners: Bring the Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt into Daily Life." Publishers Weekly, 2004., 53-62.

Barrett, Clive. The Egyptian gods and goddesses: The mythology and beliefs of Ancient Egypt. Diamond, 1996.

Monaghan, Patricia. "Wilkinson, Richard H. The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt." Booklist, 2003., 1711-1732.

Wilkinson, Richard H. The complete gods and goddesses of ancient Egypt. Thames & Hudson, 2003.




Course Title and Code

Research Proposal



My research proposal is entitled Ancient Egyptian Gods and Goddesses and purposes to chiefly look into the ancient Egyptian religion. The ancient Egyptians are known to believe in a diverse of religious practices and beliefs with an aim of realizing the well-being of their communities. Some religious deities are associated with the worshipping of gods and goddesses, Kings who are the Pharaohs and the High Priests. These religious practices were really honored and treasured and made the Egyptians go a long way to fulfilling their requirements. For instance, the Pharaohs were believed to be the descendants of the gods, and therefore were given the power and trust to mediate on behalf of their people. When anything went wrong, the King and the High Priests were criticized and blamed for those problems. In times of goodness, the Egyptian people believed their leaders were doing an excellent work and that their gods and goddesses were pleased with them. These ancient Egyptian gods would be treated with respect and would always be placated to prevent them from unleashing their wrath on the people of Egypt.

This paper aims to answer a number of questions, which are:

How the Egyptians perceived of their gods and goddesses, their origin and their representation to the people.

The manifestation and the functions of the gods and the reasons and seasons when they were consulted.

The reformation of the Egyptian religion with the disappearance of ancient belief in gods and goddesses to the modern diversification of religion; the introduction of Islam, Christianity and Jewish religions in Egypt.

All these occurrences took place between the predynastic era (About 3200 BC) to the modern-day Egypt. Hence the subsequent project will aim at answering the above questions and provide a comparison between the ancient Egyptian religious and the modern religious practices.



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