Ancient Egyptian religion was a complex system of polytheistic beliefs and rituals which were an integral part of ancient Egyptian society. It centered on the Egyptians' interaction with a multitude of deities who were believed to be present in, and in control of, the forces and elements of nature.
How old is ancient Egypt?
Archaeologists believe Egypt's large pyramids are the work of the Old Kingdom society that rose to prominence in the Nile Valley after 3000 B.C. Historical analysis tells us that the Egyptians built the Giza Pyramids in a span of 85 years between 2589 and 2504 BC.
When the Greeks and the Romans conquered Egypt, their religion was influenced by that of Egypt. Ancient pagan beliefs gradually faded and were replaced by monotheistic religions. Today, the majority of the Egyptian population is Muslim, with a small minority of Jews and Christians.
Ancient Egyptian religion was a complex system of polytheistic beliefs and rituals which were an integral part of ancient Egyptian society. It centered on the Egyptians' interaction with many deities who were believed to be present in, and in control of, the forces of nature.
There were over 2,000 names of gods in Ancient Egypt. Some images of Ancient Egyptian gods and goddesses show them with a human body and the head of a bird or an animal. Animals were chosen to represent the powers of the god. Bastet was the Goddess of Protection of joy, love, pleasure and pregnant woman.
That means that they believed in many gods. Some of these gods were Ra, Anubis, Seth, Osiris, Isis, and Horus. Egyptians worshipped these gods with animal sacrifices and with incense and many processions where people carried the image of the god from one place to another.
Egyptian was spoken until the late 17th century AD in the form of Coptic. The national language of modern-day Egypt is Egyptian Arabic, which gradually replaced Coptic as the language of daily life in the centuries after the Muslim conquest of Egypt. Coptic is still used as the liturgical language of the Coptic Church.
Religion was very important to the Ancient Egyptians. Their religion was strongly influenced by tradition, which caused them to resist change. Egyptians did not question the beliefs which had been handed down to them. They did not desire change in their society.
The Egyptians invented and used many simple machines, such as the ramp and the lever, to aid construction processes. They used rope trusses to stiffen the beam of ships. Egyptian paper, made from papyrus, and pottery were mass-produced and exported throughout the Mediterranean basin.
Anubis is the Greek name for a jackal-headed god associated with mummification and the afterlife in Egyptian mythology. In Ancient Egyptian religion, when the body died, parts of its soul known as ka (body double) and the ba (personality) would go to the Kingdom of the Dead.
Egyptians made use of many simple machines and ideas that they invented for large and small projects.
- Paper. A section of the Egyptian Book of the Dead written on papyrus.
- Written Language.
- The Calendar.
- The Ox-Drawn Plow.
- Black Ink.
- Water Clock.
Lets' view at the surface to the top 10 worshipped ancient gods of Egyptian Civilization.
- AMUN-Ra “The Hidden One”
- MUT “The Mother Goddess”
- OSIRIS “The King of Living”
- ANUBIS “The Divine Embalmer”
- RA “The God of Sun & Radiance”
- HORUS “God of Vengeance”
- THOTH “God of Knowledge and Wisdom”
- HATHOR “Goddess of Motherhood”
Ancient Egypt was among the earliest civilizations in Africa. For millennia, Egypt maintained a strikingly unique, complex and stable culture that influenced later cultures of Europe. After the Pharaonic era, Egypt itself came under the influence of Hellenism, for a time Christianity and later, Christian culture.
The 'black land' was the fertile land on the banks of the Nile. The ancient Egyptians used this land for growing their crops. This was the only land in ancient Egypt that could be farmed because a layer of rich, black silt was deposited there every year after the Nile flooded.
The government of ancient Egypt was a theocratic monarchy as the king ruled by a mandate from the gods, initially was seen as an intermediary between human beings and the divine, and was supposed to represent the gods' will through the laws passed and policies approved.
Pyramids. The ancient Egyptians built pyramids as tombs for the pharaohs and their queens. The pharaohs were buried in pyramids of many different shapes and sizes from before the beginning of the Old Kingdom to the end of the Middle Kingdom. There are about eighty pyramids known today from ancient Egypt.
The Ancient Egyptians held cats in the highest esteem, the penalties for injuring or killing a cat were severe. They worshipped a Cat Goddess, often represented as half feline, half woman, whom they called Bastet. The main center for the worship of Bastet was in northern Egypt at the city of Bubastis.
The Pyramids of Giza and the Nile Delta were the tombs of choice for pharaohs of Egypt's Old Kingdom. But New Kingdom pharaohs, who wanted to be closer to the source of their dynastic roots in the south, built their crypts in the hills of this barren tract west of Luxor, now called the Valley of the Kings.
Origins of Egyptian Hieroglyphs. The ancient Egyptians believed that writing was invented by the god Thoth and called their hieroglyphic script "mdju netjer" ("words of the gods"). The word hieroglyph comes from the Greek hieros (sacred) plus glypho (inscriptions) and was first used by Clement of Alexandria.
The ancient Egyptians thought that it was very important to please the gods and goddesses. For that reason, worshipping the deities was a large part of life in ancient Egypt. Some gods and goddesses were worshipped by the pharaoh and priests in large temples.
Judaism, which is 3,500 years old, is the oldest of the monotheistic religions. Jews believe that God made a covenant (known as the first covenant) with Abraham that he would be the father of a great people if he followed God's instructions.
The religion of the ancient Sumerians has left its mark on the entire middle east. Not only are its temples and ziggurats scattered about the region, but the literature, cosmogony and rituals influenced their neighbors to such an extent that we can see echoes of Sumer in the Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition today.