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Gods of ancient Egypt - Unique Egypt Blog

Egypt’s pantheon, a group of gods and goddesses, emerged along the banks of the Nile (Wandering the river valley, the first nomadic Egyptians must have feared the unpredictable power of nature—the violent forces of thunder, lightning, and storms. These and the desolate desert became the archetypes for the first gods and goddesses. The early frightening gods of nature changed as Egypt’s civilization changed from nomadic groups into farming settlements. Settlements grew into cities, and Egypt prospered. The gods remained powerful, but they became benevolent and kindly and developed human forms with superhuman powers. The gods and goddesses developed personalities: they fell in love,  they were jealous, they were angry, and they felt despair. Mythology tells us they lived much like the humans who worshipped them.

Living close to nature, the Egyptians recognized the powerful traits of animals—the strength of the bull, and the fierceness of the lion—and wanted to gain the same power for themselves. The powers and essence of an animal seemed to magically transfer to some of the gods, resulting in many ancient Egyptian gods (such as Bastiat, Anubis, Horus, and Tohth) appearing with the heads of animals and the bodies of humans.

More than any other ancient culture, the Egyptians were fascinated by the mystery of death and the prospect of resurrection in the next world. If they were happy in this life, with the help of the gods, they could live an even better life in the next world. If their lives were not so good, there was always the possibility of achieving happiness by resurrecting in the next world. By any standard, the gods of ancient Egypt are complex—their personalities changing and merging with other deities—and even gods and goddesses with distinct identities often combine and share attributes, signs, and duties with others (see Isis and Hathor). Over Egypt’s long history, many new, sometimes, foreign deities joined the pantheon. There seemed to be room for everyone and rarely was one discarded.



The one exception to ancient Egypt’s religious tolerance was Akhnaten the heretic king. He changed Egypt’s religion from the worship of many gods (polytheism) to the worship of one god (monotheism), the Atun. The change lasted only about 17 years, and then the religion reverted to the worship of many gods. Egyptian tomb and temple paintings show us that power was in the hands of the gods and the king, who was a divine being (a god on Earth) and whose job it was to serve as the messenger between the gods and the people

Gods of ancient Egypt


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