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The Egyptian Book of the Dead

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Author Topic: The Egyptian Book of the Dead  (Read 7992 times)
Josie Linde
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« Reply #30 on: December 21, 2008, 11:14:29 pm »

Isis, and his brother Set. The visible emblem of the sun-god was at a very early date the hawk is, which was probably the first living thing worshipped by the early Egyptians; already in the pyramid texts the hawk on a standard is used indiscriminately with ### to represent the word "god." The principal forms of Horus the sun-god, which probably represent the sun at various periods of the day and night, are:--Heru-ur ({Greek A?rwh`rei), "Horus the Great"; Heru-merti, "Horus of the two eyes," i.e., of the sun and moon;[1] Heru-nub, "the golden Horus"; Heru-khent-khat; Heru-khent-an-maa, "Horus dwelling in blindness"; Heru-khuti, "Horus of the two horizons,"[2] the type of which on earth was the Sphinx; Heru-sam-taui, "Horus the uniter of the north and south"; Heru-hekenu, " Horus of Heken"; and Heru-behutet, "Horus of Behutet."[3] The cippi of Horus, which became so common at a late period in Egypt, seem to unite the idea of the physical and moral conceptions of Horus the sun-god and of Horus the son of Osiris and Isis.

Horus, the son of Osiris and Isis, appears in Egyptian texts usually as Heru-p-khart, " Horus the child," who afterwards became the "avenger of his father Osiris," and occupied his throne, as we are told in many places in the Book of the Dead. In the pyramid texts the deceased is identified with Heru-p-khart, and a reference is made to the fact that the god is always represented with a finger in his mouth.[4] The curious legend which Plutarch relates concerning Harpocrates and the cause of his lameness' is probably

[1. A very interesting figure of this god represents him holding his eyes in his hands; see Lanzone, op. cit., p. 618.

2 I.e., Horus between the mountains of Bekhatet and Manu, the most easterly and westerly points of the sun's course, and the places where he rose and set.

3. For figures of these various forms of Horus, see Lanzone, op. cit., tav. 214 ff.

4. ###. Recueil de Travaux, t. v., p. 44 (l. 301).

5. {Greek Th`n d? I?^sin meta` th`n teleuth`n e!ks O?si'ridos suggenome'nou, tekei^n h?lito'mhnou, kai` a?ðenh^ toi^s ka'twðen gyi'ois to`n A!rpokra'thn.} De Iside et Osiride, § xix.]

{p. cxvi}

based upon the passage in the history of Osiris and Isis given in a hymn to Osiris of the XVIIIth dynasty.[1]

Set or Sutekh the eighth member of the company of the gods of Annu, was the son of Seb and Nut, and the husband of his sister Nephthys. The worship of this god is exceedingly old, and in the pyramid texts we find that be is often mentioned with Horus and the other gods of the Heliopolitan company in terms of reverence. He was also believed to perform friendly offices for the deceased, and to be a god of the Sekhet-Aaru, or abode of the blessed dead. He is usually depicted in human form with the head of an animal which has not yet been identified; in later times the head of the ass was confounded with it, but the figures of the god in bronze which are preserved in the British Museum and elsewhere prove beyond a doubt that the head of Set is that of an animal unknown to us. In the early dynasties he was a beneficent god, and one whose favour was sought after by the living and by the dead, and so late as the XIXth dynasty kings delighted to call themselves "beloved of Set." About the XXIInd dynasty, however, it became the fashion to regard the god as the origin of all evil, and his statues and images were so effectually destroyed that only a few which escaped by accident have come down to us. Originally Set, or Sut, represented the natural night and was the opposite of Horus;[2] that Horus and Set were opposite aspects or forms of the same god is proved by the figure given by Lanzone (Dizionario, tav. 37, No. 2), where we see the head of Set and the head of Horus upon one body. The natural opposition of the day and night was at an early period confounded with the battle which took place between Horus, the son of Isis, and Set, wherein Isis intervened, and it seems that the moral idea of the battle of right against wrong[3] became attached to the latter combat, which was undertaken by Horus to avenge his father's murder by Set.

Nebt-het or Nephthys the last member of the company of the gods of Annu, was the daughter of Seb and Nut, the sister of Osiris and Isis, and the

[1. ###. Ledrain, Monuments Égyptiens, pl. XXV., ll. 2, 3.

2. In the pyramid of Unas, l. 190, they are called the ### or "two combatants "; and see pyramid of Teta, l. 69, where we have the spelling ###.

3. On the personification of evil by Set, see Wiedemann, Die Religion, p. 117.]

{p. cxvii}

sister and wife of Set. When the sun rose at the creation out of the primeval waters, Nephthys occupied a place in his boat with Isis and other deities; as a nature goddess she either represents the day before sunrise or after sunset, but no portion of the night. She is depicted in the form of a woman, having upon her head the hieroglyphics which form her name, "lady of the house". A legend preserved by Plutarch[1] makes her the mother of Anpu or Anubis by Osiris. In Egyptian texts Anpu is called the son of Ra.[2] In religious texts Nephthys is made to be the companion of Isis in all her troubles, and her grief for her brother's death is as great as that of his wife.

Anpu, or Anubis, the son of Osiris or Ra, sometimes by Isis and sometimes by Nephthys, seems to represent as a nature god either the darkest part of the twilight or the earliest dawn. He is depicted either in human form with a jackal's head, or as a jackal. In the legend of Osiris and Isis, Anubis played a prominent part in connexion with the dead body of Osiris, and in papyri we see him standing as a guard and protector of the deceased lying upon the bier; in the judgment scene he is found as the guard of the balance, the pointer of which he watches with great diligence. He became the recognized god of the sepulchral chamber, and eventually presided over the whole of the "funeral Mountain." He is always regarded as the messenger of Osiris.

Another form of Anubis was the god Ap-uat, the ### of the pyramid texts,[3] or "Opener of the ways," who also was depicted in the form of a jackal; and the two gods are often confounded. On sepulchral stelæ and other monuments two jackals are frequently depicted; one of these represents Anubis, and the other Ap-uat, and they probably have some connexion with the northern and southern parts of the funereal world. According to M. Maspero, the god Anubis led the souls of the dead to the Elysian Fields in the Great Oasis.[4]

Among the primeval gods are two, Hu and Saa who are seen in the boat of the sun at the creation. They are the children of Tmu or Tmu-Ra, but the exact part which they play as nature gods has not yet, it seems, been satisfactorily made out. The first mention of them in the pyramid texts records their subjugation by the deceased,[5] but in the Theban Book of the Dead

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