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Ancient Egypt and The Gods

This research provides six specific examples of how the gods were believed to communicate with humanity in ancient Egypt. The research will describe ways in which divine-to-human acts of communication were thought to take place in various periods of Egyptian civilization and the content of the patterns of belief, and then discuss how perceptions and beliefs appear to have altered over the course of the culture's several-thousand-year tenure, before it was absorbed by Rome in the first century BC. Egypt's pharaonic period, which begins with the Old Kingdom (about 3200 BC), ends in 525 BC, which coincides with the emergence of Greek influence and the infancy of Rome. It is a truism that Greeks and Romans alike considered Egypt to be an ancient civilization. Assmann cites the connections that Freud made between the monotheistic experiment of the New Kingdom pharaoh Akhenaten and Judaism, which was the world's first great monotheistic religion.

1. Communication from the underworld. The Egyptian concept of the underworld was, sensibly enough, bound up with the conception of the afterlife. But Hornung explains that the Egyptians had developed a detailed cosmology of the underworld in the Books of the Netherworld, dating from the time of the pyramids, or Old Kingdom (approximately 3200-2550 BC). Known as the "books about what is in dat," a reference to the world to be encountered after death, they refer to the gods' understanding of the "underworld, its inhabitants, and its topography." In other words, the underworld was perceived as a special environment, distinctly opposite to the world of the living.

Since all who enter it physically are destroyed, the underworld is the place that destroys life. Yet during the Old Kingdom, knowledge was thought to be available from the underworld because one entity, the sun, was believed to pass through it every night and reemerge as light the following day. That being so, it was possible for at...

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Ancient Egypt and The Gods. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 13:58, March 19, 2019, from