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The Egyptian Book of the Dead

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Author Topic: The Egyptian Book of the Dead  (Read 9675 times)
Josie Linde
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« Reply #30 on: December 21, 2008, 10:14:53 pm »

The sekhem or form.

Yet another part of a man was supposed to exist in heaven, to which the Egyptians gave the name sekhem. The word has been rendered by "power," "form," and the like, but it is very difficult to find any expression which will represent the Egyptian conception of the sekhem. It is mentioned in connection with the soul and khu, as will be seen from the following passages from the pyramid texts

1. i-nek sexem-k am xu

Cometh to thee thy sekhem among the khu's.[6]

[1. I.e., Horus.

2 Recueil de Travaux, t. v., p. 19 (l. 174).

3. Recueil de Travaux, t. v., p. 41 (l. 289).

4. See below, p. 117.

5. See below, p. 115.

6. Recueil de Travaux, t. v., p. 160 (l. 13).]

{p. lxix}

2. Uda sexem-k am xu

Pure is thy sekhem among the khu's.[1]

3. aha uab-k uab ka-k uab ba-k uab

Thou art pure, pure is thy ka, pure is thy soul, pure is


thy sekhem.[1]

A name of Ra was[3] sekhem ur, the "Great Sekhem," and Unas is identified with him and called:--

sexem ur sexem em sexemu

Great sekhem, sekhem among the sekhemu.[4]

The ren or name

Finally, the name, ren, of a man was believed to exist in heaven, and. in the pyramid texts we are told that

nefer en Pepi pen hena ren-f anx Pepi pen hena ka-f

Happy is Pepi this with his name, liveth Pepi this with his ka.[5]

Thus, as we have seen, the whole man consisted of a natural body, a spiritual body, a heart, a double, a soul, a shadow, an intangible ethereal casing or spirit, a form, and a name. All these were, however, bound together inseparably, and the welfare of any single one of them concerned the welfare of all. For the well-being of the spiritual parts it was necessary to preserve from decay the natural body; and

[1. Recueil de Travaux, t. v., p. 175 (l. 113).

2. Recueil de Travaux, p. 175, 1. 112.

3. Ibid., t. iv., p. 44,1. 393.

4. Ibid., p. 60, ll. 514, 515

5. Ibid., t. v., p. 183, l. 169.]

{p. lxx}

certain passages in the pyramid texts seem to show that a belief in the resurrection of the natural body existed in the earliest dynasties.[1]

The texts are silent as to the time when the immortal part began its beatified existence; but it is probable that the Osiris[2] of a man only attained to the full enjoyment of spiritual happiness after the funeral ceremonies had been duly per formed and the ritual recited. Comparatively few particulars are known of the manner of life of the soul in heaven, and though a number of interesting facts may be gleaned from the texts of all periods, it is very difficult to harmonize them. This result is due partly to the different views held by different schools of thought in ancient Egypt, and partly to the fact that on some points the Egyptians them selves seem to have had no decided opinions. We depend upon the pyramid texts for our knowledge of their earliest conceptions of a future life.

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Josie Linde
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« Reply #31 on: December 21, 2008, 10:15:43 pm »

The existence in heaven.

The life of the Osiris of a man in heaven is at once material and spiritual and it seems as if the Egyptians never succeeded in breaking away from their very ancient habit of confusing the things of the body with the things of the soul. They believed in an incorporeal and immortal part of man, the constituent elements of which flew to heaven after death and embalmment; yet the theologians of the VIth dynasty had decided that there was some part of the deceased which could only mount to heaven by means of a ladder. In the pyramid of Teta it is said, "When Teta hath purified himself on the borders of this earth where Ra hath purified himself, he prayeth and setteth up the ladder, and those who dwell in the great place press Teta forward with their hands."[3] In the pyramid of Pepi I.

[1. E.g., "This Pepi goeth forth with his flesh." Recueil de Travaux, t. v., p. 185, l. 169.

2. The Osiris consisted of all the spiritual parts of a man gathered together in a form which resembled him exactly. Whatever honour was paid to the mummified body was received by its Osiris, the offerings made to it were accepted by its Osiris, and the amulets laid upon it were made use of by its Osiris for its own protection. The sahu, the ka, the ba, the khu, the khaibit, the sekhem, and the ren were in primeval times separate and independent parts of man's immortal nature; but in the pyramid texts they are welded together, and the dead king Pepi is addressed as "Osiris Pepi." The custom of calling the deceased Osiris continued until the Roman period. On the Osiris of a man, see Wiedemann, Die Osirianische Unsterblichkeitslehre (in Die Religion der alten Aegypter, p. 128).

3. ###. Maspero, Recueil de Travaux, t. v., p. 7, l. 36.]

{p. lxxi}

the king is identified with this ladder: "Isis saith, 'Happy are they who see the 'father,' and Nephthys saith, 'They who see the father have rest,' speaking unto the father of this Osiris Pepi when he cometh forth unto heaven among the stars and among the luminaries which never set. With the uræus on his brow, and his book upon both his sides, and magic words at his feet, Pepi goeth forward unto his mother Nut, and he entereth therein in his name Ladder."[1] The gods who preside over this ladder are at one time Ra and Horus, and at another Horus and Set. In the pyramid of Unas it is said, "Ra setteth upright the ladder for Osiris, and Horus raiseth up the ladder for his father Osiris, when Osiris goeth to [find] his soul; one standeth on the one side, and the other standeth on the other, and Unas is betwixt them. Unas standeth up and is Horus, he sitteth down and is Set."[2] And in the pyramid of Pepi I. we read, "Hail to thee, O Ladder of God, hail to thee, O Ladder of Set. Stand up, O Ladder of God, stand up, O Ladder of Set, stand up, O Ladder of Horus, whereon Osiris went forth into heaven . . . . . . This Pepi is thy son, this Pepi is Horus, thou hast given birth unto this Pepi even as thou hast given birth unto the god who is the lord of the Ladder. Thou hast given him the Ladder of God, and thou hast given him the Ladder of Set, whereon this Pepi hath gone forth into heaven . . . . . . Every khu and every god stretcheth out his hand unto this Pepi when he cometh forth into heaven by the Ladder of God . . . . that which he seeth and that which he heareth make him wise, and serve as food for him when he cometh forth into heaven by the Ladder of God. Pepi riseth up like the uræus which is on the brow of Set, and every khu and every god stretcheth out his hand unto Pepi on the Ladder. Pepi hath gathered together his bones, he hath collected his flesh, and Pepi hath gone straightway into heaven by means of the two fingers of the god who is the Lord of the Ladder."[3] Elsewhere we are told that Khonsu and Set "carry the Ladder of Pepi, and they set it up."

When the Osiris of a man has entered into heaven as a living soul,[4] he is regarded as one of those who "have eaten the eye of Horus he walks among

[1. Recueil de Travaux, t. v., p. 190, ll. 181, 182.

2. Ibid., t. iv., p. 70, l. 579 ff

3.. Études de Mythologie et d'Archéologie, t. i., p. 344, note 1.

4 ###. Recueil de Travaux, t. v., p. 52 (1. 456).

5. ###. Ibid., t. iii., p. 165 (l. 169).]

{p. lxxii}

The deification of the spiritual body.

living ones,[1] he becomes "God, the son of God,"[2] and all the gods of heaven become his brethren.[3] His bones are the gods and goddesses of heaven;[4] his right side belongs to Horns, and his left side to Set;[5] the goddess Nut makes him to rise up as a god without an enemy in his name "God";[6] and God calls him by his name.[7] His face is the face of Ap-uat, his eyes are the great ones among the souls of Annu, his nose is Thoth, his mouth is the great lake, his tongue belongs to the boat of right and truth, his teeth are the spirits of Annu, his chin is Khert-khent-Sekhem, his backbone is Sema, his shoulders are Set, his breast is Beba.[8] etc.; every one of his members is identified with a god. Moreover, his body as a whole is identified with the God of Heaven. For example it is said concerning Unas:--

t'et-k t'et ent Unas pen af-k af en Unas pen

Thy body is the body of Unas this. Thy flesh is the flesh of Unas this.

kesu-k kesu Unas pen seb-k seb Unas pen

Thy bones are the bones of Unas this. Thy passage is the passage of Unas this.

seb Unas pen seb-k

The passage of Unas this is thy passage.[9]

[1. Recueil de Travaux, t. v., p. 183 (l. 166).

2 ###. Ibid., t. viii., p. 89 (t. 574).

3. ###. See pyramid of Teta, (Recueil, t. v.), ll. 45, 137, 197, 302.

4. ###. Ibid., t. iii., p. 202 (1. 209).

5 Ibid., t. v., p. 23 (l. 198),

6 Ibid., t. v., p. 38, (l. 279).

7. Ibid., p. 26 (l. 222)

8. Ibid., t. viii., p. 88 (l. 565 ff.).

9. Ibid., t. iii., p. 214 (l. 268).]

{p. lxxiii}

Further, this identification of the deceased with the God of Heaven places him in the position of supreme ruler. For example, we have the prayer that Unas "may rule the nine gods and complete the company of the nine gods,"[1] and Pepi I., in his progress through heaven, comes upon the double company of the gods, who stretch out their hands, entreating him to come and sit down among them.[2]

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Josie Linde
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« Reply #32 on: December 21, 2008, 10:17:36 pm »

Identification with Horus.

Again, the deceased is changed into Horus, the son of Osiris and Isis. It is said of Pepi I., "Behold it is not Pepi who entreateth to see thee in the form in which thou art ###, O Osiris, who entreateth to see thee in the form in which thou art, O Osiris; but it is thy son who entreateth to see thee in the form in which thou art, O Osiris, it is Horus who entreateth to see thee in the form in which thou art";[3] and Horus does not place Pepi at the head of the dead, but among the divine gods.[4] Elsewhere we are told that Horus has taken his Eye and given it to Pepi, and that the odour of Pepi's body is the odour of the Eye of Horus.[5] Throughout the pyramid texts the Osiris of the deceased is the son of Tmu, or Tmu-Ra, Shu, Tefnut, Seb, and Nut, the brother of Isis, Nephthys, Set, and Thoth, and the father of Horus;[6] his hands, arms, belly, back, hips and thighs, and legs are the god Tmu, and his face is Anubis.[7] He is the brother of the moon,[8] he is the child of the star Sothis,[9] he revolves in heaven like Orion and Sothis,[10] and he rises in his place like a star.[11] The gods, male and

[1. Recueil de Travaux, t. iii., p. 217 (l. 283).

2. Ibid., ###. t. vii., p. 150 (l. 263).

3. Ibid., t. vii., p. 155 (l. 315 f.)

4. ###. t. v., p. 194 (p. 190).

5 Ibid., t. vii., p. 169 (1. 457).

6 Ibid., t. iii., pp. 209-211.

7 Ibid., p. 201 (l. 207).

8. ###. Ibid., t. v., p. 198 (l. 203).

9. Ibid., t. iv., p. 44 (l. 391).

10. Ibid., t. iii., p. 205 (l. 221).

10. Ibid., t. iv., p. 44 (l. 391).]

{p. lxxiv}

female, pay homage to him,[1] every being in heaven adores him; and in one interesting passage it is said of Pepi I. that "when he hath come forth into heaven he will find Ra standing face to face before him, and, having seated himself upon the shoulders of Ra, Ra will not let him put himself down again upon the ground; for he knoweth that Pepi is more shining than the shining ones, more perfect than the perfect, and more stable than the stable ones . . . . . When Pepi standeth upon the north of heaven with Ra, he becometh lord of the universe like unto the king of the gods."[2] To the deceased Horus gives his own ka,[3] and also drives away the ka's of the enemies of the deceased from him, and hamstrings his foes.[4] By the divine power thus given to the deceased he brings into subjection the ka's of the gods[5] and other ka's,[6] and he lays his yoke upon the ka's of the triple company of the gods.[7] He also becomes Thoth,[8] the intelligence of the gods, and he judges hearts;[9] and the hearts of those who would take away his food and the breath from his nostrils become the prey of his hands.[10]

The heavenly life of the blessed.

The place of the deceased in heaven is by the side of God[11] in the most holy place,[12] and he becomes God and an angel of God;[13] he himself is triumphant,[14]

[1. ###. Recueil de Travaux, t. v., p. 23, (l. 197).

2. Ibid., t. v., p. 17, (l. 91 ff.).

3. ###. Ibid., t. v., p. 33 (l. 265).

4 Ibid., t. V., p. 40 (l. 287).

5. ###. Ibid., p. 45 (l. 306).

6. ###. Ibid., t. iv., p. 51 (l. 451); iii., p. 208 (l. 234).

7. Ibid., t. v., p. 460. (l. 307).

8. Ibid., t. vii., p. 168 (l. 452).

9. Ibid., t. iii., p. 208 (l. 233), ###.

10. Ibid., t. iv., p. 49 (l. 430), ###.

11. ### un-k ar kes neter; ibid., t. iii., p. 202 (l. 209).

12. ###. Ibid., t. v., p. 89 (l. 178).

13. ###. Ibid., t. v., p. 187 (l. 175).

14. ### maa-xeru; ibid., t. v., p. 186 (l. 172). These words are in later times always added after the name of the deceased, and seem to mean something like "he whose voice, or speech, is right and true"; the expression has been rendered by "disant la vérité," "véridique," "juste," "justifié," "vainqueur," "waltend des Wortes," "mächtig der Rede," "vrai de voix," "juste de voix," "victorious," "triumphant," and the like. See on this subject Maspero, Études de Mythologie et d'Archéologie, t. i., pp. 93-114; Devéria, L'Expression Màà-xerou (in Recueil de Travaux, t. i., p. 10 ff.). A somewhat different view of the signification of maakheru is given by Virey (Tombeau de Rekhmara, Paris, 1889, p. 101. Published in Mémoires publiés par les Membres de la Miss. Arch. Française au Caire, t. v., fasc. i.). The offerings which were painted on the walls of the tomb were actually enjoyed by the deceased in his new state of being. The Egyptians called them "per kheru," that is to say, "the things which the word or the demand made to appear," or "per hru kheru," that is to say, "the things which presented themselves at the word" or "at the demand" of the deceased. The deceased was then called "maa kheru," that is to say, "he who realizes his word," or "he who realizes while he speaks," or "whose voice or demand realizes," or "whose voice or demand makes true, or makes to be really and actually" that which only appears in painting on the walls of the tomb. M. Amélineau combats this interpretation, and agrees with M. Maspero's rendering of "juste de voix"; see Un Tombeau Égyptien (in Revue de l'Histoire des Religions), t. xxiii, pp. 153, 154. It is possible that maa-kheru may mean simply "blessed."]

{p. 1xxv}

and his ka is triumphant.[1] He sits on a great throne by the side of God.[2] The throne is of iron ornamented with lions' faces and having the hoofs of bulls.[3] He is clothed in the finest raiment, like unto the raiment of those who sit on the throne of living right and truth.[4] He receives the urerit crown from the gods,[5] and from the great company of the gods of Annu.[6] He thirsts not, nor hungers, nor is sad;[7] he eats the bread of Ra and drinks what he drinks daily,[8] and his bread also is that which is spoken by Seb, and that which comes forth from the mouth of the gods.[9] He eats what the gods eat, he drinks what they drink, he lives as they live, and he dwells where they dwell;[10] all the gods give him their food that he may not die.[11] Not only does he eat and drink of their food, but he wears the

[1. Recueil de Travaux, t. v., p. 189 (l. 179).

2. ###. Ibid., t. i,., p. 58 (l. 494).

3 ###. Ibid., t. vii., p. 154 (ll. 309, 310).

4. Ibid., t. v., p. 148 (1. 239).

5. Ibid., t. iv., p. 56 (l. 480).

6. Ibid., t. v., p. 176 (1. 117).

7. Ibid., t. iii., p. 195 (l. 172).

8 Ibid., t. v., p. 52 (l. 335)

9 ###. Ibid., t. iii., p. 208 (1. 234).

10. Ibid., t. iii., p. 198 (1. 191 f.).

11. Ibid., t. v., p. 164 (1. 56).]

{p. lxxvi}

apparel which they wear,[1] the white linen and sandals;[2] he is clothed in white,[3] and "he goeth to the great lake in the midst of the Field of Peace whereon the great gods sit; and these great and never failing gods give unto him [to eat] of the tree of life of which they themselves do eat that he likewise may live."[4] The bread which he eats never decays and his beer never grows stale.[5] He eats of the "bread of eternity" and drinks of the "beer of everlastingness" which the gods eat and drink;[6] and he nourishes himself upon that bread which the Eye of Horus has shed upon the branches of the olive tree.[7] He suffers neither hunger nor thirst like the gods Shu and Tefnut, for he is filled with the bread of wheat of which Horus himself has eaten; and the four children of Horus, Hapi, Tuamautef, Qebhsennuf and Amset, have appeased the hunger of his belly and the thirst of his lips.[8] He abhors the hunger which he cannot satisfy, and he loathes the thirst which he cannot slake;[9] but he is delivered from the power of those who would steal away his food.[10] He is washed clean, and his ka is washed clean, and they eat bread together for ever.[11] He is one of the four children of Horus who live on right and truth,[12] and they give him his portion of the food with which they have been so abundantly supplied by the god Seb that they have never yet known what it is to hunger. He goes round about heaven even as they do, and he partakes of their food of figs and wine.[13]

[1. ###. Recueil de Travaux, t. v., p. 190 (l. 180).

2. ###. Ibid., t. v., p. 163 (l. 408).

3. Ibid., t. iv., p. 45 (l. 394).

4. Ibid., t. vii., p. j65 (l. 430).

5. ###. Ibid., t. v., p. 412 (l. 288), and t. vii., p. 167 (l. 442).

6. ###. Ibid., t. vii., p. 160 (l. 390).

7. Ibid., t. iii., p. 199 (1. 200).

8. Ibid., t. v., p. 10 (l. 54 ff.).

9. Ibid., t. iii., p. 199 (1. 195 f.)

10. Ibid., t. iv., p. 48 (l. 429).

11. Ibid., t. v., p. 167 (l. 66).

12 Ibid., t. viii., p. 106 (l. 673).

13 ###. Ibid., t. viii., p 110 (l. 692).]

{p. lxxvii}

Those who would be hostile to the deceased become thereby foes of the god Tmu, and all injuries inflicted on him are inflicted on that god;[1] he dwells without fear under the protection of the gods,[2] from whose loins he has come forth.[3] To him "the earth is an abomination, and he will not enter into Seb; for his soul hath burst for ever the bonds of his sleep in his house which is upon earth. His calamities are brought to an end, for Unas hath been purified with the Eye of Horus; the calamities of Unas have been done away by Isis and Nephthys. Unas is in heaven, Unas is in heaven, in the form of air, in the form of air; he perisheth not, neither doth anything which is in him perish.[4] He is firmly stablished in heaven, and he taketh his pure seat in the bows of the bark of Ra. Those who row Ra up into the heavens row him also, and those who row Ra beneath the horizon row him also."[5] The life which the deceased leads is said to be generally that of him "who entereth into the west of the sky, and who cometh forth from the east thereof."[6] In brief, the condition of the blessed is summed up in the following extract from the pyramid of Pepi I.:--

"Hail, Pepi, thou hast come, thou art glorious, and thou hast gotten might like the god who is seated upon his throne, that is Osiris. Thy soul is with thee in thy body, thy form of strength is behind thee, thy crown is upon thy head, thy head-dress is upon thy shoulders, thy face is before thee, and those who sing songs of joy are upon both sides of thee; those who follow in the train of God are behind thee, and the divine forms who make God to come are upon each side of thee. God cometh, and Pepi hath come upon the throne of Osiris. The shining one who dwelleth in Netat, the divine form that dwelleth in Teni, hath come. Isis speaketh unto thee, Nephthys holdeth converse with thee, and the shining ones come unto thee bowing down even to the ground in adoration at thy feet, by reason of the writing which thou hast, O Pepi, in the region of Saa. Thou comest forth to thy mother Nut, and she strengtheneth thy arm, and she maketh a way for thee through the sky to the place where Ra abideth. Thou hast opened the gates of the sky, thou hast opened the doors of the celestial deep; thou hast found Ra and he watcheth over thee, he hath taken thee by thy hand, he hath led thee into the two regions of heaven, and he hath placed thee on the throne of Osiris. Then hail, O Pepi, for the Eye of Horus came to hold converse with thee; thy soul which was among the gods came unto thee; thy form of power which was dwelling among the shining ones came unto thee. As a son fighteth for his father, and as Horus avenged Osiris, even so doth Horus defend Pepi against his enemies. And thou

[1. Recueil de Travaux, t. iv., p. 74 (1. 602).

2. Recueil de Travaux, t. iv., p. 46 (l. 405).

3. Ibid., t. iii., p. 202 (1. 209).

4. Ibid., t. iv., p. 51 (1. 447 f.).

5. Ibid., t. v., p. 53 (l. 340).

6. ###. Ibid., t. 8, p. 104 (l. 665).

7. Ibid., t. v., p. 159, (ll. 1-21).]

{p. lxxviii}

"standest avenged, endowed with all things like unto a god, and equipped with all the forms of Osiris upon the throne of Khent-Amenta. Thou doest that which he doeth among the immortal shining ones; thy soul sitteth upon its throne being provided with thy form, and it doeth that which thou doest in the presence of Him that liveth among the living, by the command of Ra, the great god. It reapeth the wheat, it cutteth the barley, and it giveth it unto thee. Now, therefore, O Pepi, he that hath given unto thee life and all power and eternity and the power of speech and thy body is Ra. Thou hast endued thyself with the forms of God, and thou hast become magnified thereby before the gods who dwell in the Lake. Hail, Pepi, thy soul standeth among the gods and among the shining ones, and the fear of thee striketh into their hearts. Hail, Pepi, thou placest thyself upon the throne of Him that dwelleth among the living, and it is the writing which thou hast [that striketh terror] into their hearts. Thy name shall live upon earth, thy name shall flourish upon earth, thou shalt neither perish nor be destroyed for ever and for ever."

Corporeal pleasures.

Side by side, however, with the passages which speak of the material and spiritual enjoyments of the deceased, we have others which seem to imply that the Egyptians believed in a corporeal existence,[1] or at least in the capacity for corporeal enjoyment, in the future state. This belief may have rested upon the view that the life in the next world was but a continuation of the life upon earth, which it resembled closely, or it may have been due to the survival of semi-savage gross ideas incorporated into the religious texts of the Egyptians. However this may be, it is quite certain that in the Vth dynasty the deceased king Unas eats with his mouth, and exercises other natural functions of the body, and gratifies his passions.[2] But the most remarkable passage in this connection is one in the

[1. Compare: "O flesh of Teta, rot not, decay not, stink not." Recueil de Travaux, t. v., p. 55 (l. 347). "Pepi goeth forth with his flesh"; ibid., t. v., p. 185 (1. 169). "thy bones shall not be destroyed, and thy flesh shall not perish"; ibid., p. 55 (l. 353).

2. Compare the following passages:--

(a) ###. Ibid., t. iv., p. 76 (ll. 628, 629).

(b) ###. Ibid., t. v., p. 37 (l. 277).

(c) Ibid., t. iii., p. 197 (1. 182 f).

(d) Ibid., t. V., p. 40 (1. 286), and see M. Maspero's note on the same page.]

{p. lxxix}

Old tradition of hunting and devouring the gods.

pyramid of Unas. Here all creation is represented as being in terror when they see the deceased king rise up as a soul in the form of a god who devours "his fathers and mothers"; he feeds upon men and also upon gods. He hunts the gods in the fields and snares them; and when they are tied up for slaughter he cuts their throats and disembowels them. He roasts and eats the best of them, but the old gods and goddesses are used for fuel. By eating them he imbibes both their magical powers, and their khu's. He becomes the "great Form, the form among forms, and the god of all the great gods who "exist in visible forms,"[1] and he is at the head of all the sahu, or spiritual bodies in heaven. He carries off the hearts of the gods, and devours the wisdom of every god; therefore the duration of his life is everlasting and he lives to all eternity, for the souls of the gods and their khu's are in him. The whole passage reads:--[2]

"(496) The heavens drop water, the stars throb, (497) the archers go round about, the (498) bones of Akeru tremble, and those who are in bondage to them take to flight when they see (499) Unas rise up as a soul, in the form of the god who liveth upon his fathers and who maketh food of his (500) mothers. Unas is the lord of wisdom, and (501) his mother knoweth not his name. The gifts of Unas are in heaven, and he hath become mighty in the horizon (502) like unto Tmu, the father that gave him birth, and after Tmu gave him birth (503) Unas became stronger than his father. The ka's of Unas are behind him, the sole of his foot is beneath his feet, his gods are over him, his uræi are [seated] (504) upon his brow, the serpent guides of Unas are in front of him, and the spirit of the flame looketh upon [his]

[1. ###. Pyramid of Teta, 1. 327; ibid., t. v., p. 50.

2. See Maspero, Recueil, t. iv., p. 59, t. v., p. 50; and Revue de l'Histoire des Religions, t. xii, p. 128.]

{p. lxxx}

soul. The (505) powers of Unas protect him; Unas is a bull in heaven, he directeth his steps where he will, he liveth upon the form which (506) each god taketh upon himself, and be eateth the flesh of those who come to fill their bellies with the magical charms ill the Lake of Fire. Unas is (507) equipped with power against the shining spirits thereof, and he riseth up in the form of the mighty one, the lord of those who dwell in power (?). Unas hath taken his seat with his side turned towards Seb. (508) Unas hath weighed his words with the hidden god (?) who hath no name, on the day of hacking in pieces the firstborn. Unas is the lord of offerings, the untier of the knot, and he himself maketh abundant the offerings of meat and drink. (509) Unas devoureth men and liveth upon the gods, he is the lord to whom offerings are brought, and he counteth the lists thereof. He that cutteth off hairy scalps and dwelleth in the fields hath netted the gods in a snare; (510) he that arrangeth his head hath considered them [good] for Unas and hath driven them unto him; and the cord-master hath bound them for slaughter. Khonsu the slayer of [his] lords hath cut their throats (511) and drawn out their inward parts, for it was he whom Unas sent to drive them in; and Shesem hath cut them in pieces and boiled their members in his blazing caldrons. (512) Unas hath eaten their magical powers, and he hath swallowed their spirits; the great ones among them serve for his meal at daybreak, the lesser serve for his meal at eventide, and the least among them serve for his meal in the night. (513) The old gods and the old goddesses become fuel for his furnace. The mighty ones in heaven shoot out fire under the caldrons which are heaped up with the haunches of the firstborn; and he that maketh those who live (514) in heaven to revolve round Unas hath shot into the caldrons the haunches of their women; he hath gone round about the two heavens in their entirety, and he hath gone round about the two banks of the celestial Nile. Unas is the great Form, the Form (515) of forms, and Unas is the chief of the gods in visible forms. Whatever he hath found upon his path he hath eaten forthwith, and the magical might of Unas is before that of all the (516) sahu who dwell in the horizon. Unas is the firstborn of the first born. Unas hath gone round thousands and he hath offered oblations unto hundreds; he hath manifested his might as the Great Form through Sah (Orion) [who is greater] than (517) the gods. Unas repeateth his rising in heaven and he is the crown of the lord of the horizon. He hath reckoned up the bandlets and the arm-rings, he hath taken possession of the hearts of the gods (518). Unas hath eaten the red crown, and he hath swallowed the white crown; the food of Unas is the inward parts, and his meat is those who live upon (519) magical charms in their hearts. Behold, Unas eateth of that which the red crown sendeth forth, he increaseth, and the magical charms of the gods are in his belly; (520) that which belongeth to him is not turned back from him. Unas hath eaten the whole of the knowledge of every god, and the period of his life is eternity, and the duration of his existence is (521) everlastingness, in whatsoever he wisheth to take; whatsoever form he hateth he shall not labour in in the horizon for ever and ever and ever. The soul of the gods is in Unas, their spirits are with (522) Unas, and the offerings made unto him are more than those made unto the gods. The fire of Unas (523) is in their bones, for their soul is with Unas, and their shades are with those who belong unto them. (524) Unas hath been with the two hidden (?) Kha (?) gods who are without power (?) . . . . . . . . (525); the seat of the heart of Unas is among those who live upon this earth for ever and ever and ever."

{p. lxxxi}

The notion that, by eating the flesh, or particularly by drinking the blood, of another living being, a man absorbs his nature or life into his own, is one which appears among primitive peoples in many forms. It lies at the root of the widespread practice of drinking the fresh blood of enemies--a practice which was familiar to certain tribes of the Arabs before Muhammad, and which tradition still ascribes to the wild race of Cahtâm-and also of the habit practised by many savage huntsmen of eating some part (e.g., the liver) of dangerous carnivora, in order that the courage of the animal may pass into them.[1] The flesh and blood of brave men also are, among semi-savage or savage tribes, eaten and drunk to inspire courage.[2] But the idea of hunting, killing, roasting and eating the gods as described above is not apparently common among ancient nations; the main object of the dead king in doing this was to secure the eternal life which was the peculiar attribute of the gods.

[1. Robertson Smith, The Religion of the Semites, p. 295; Fraser, Golden Bough, vol. ii., p. 86.

2. The Australian blacks kill a man, cut out his caul-fat, and rub themselves with it, "the belief being that all the qualifications, both physical and mental of the previous owner of the fat, were communicated to him who used it"; see Fraser, Golden Bough, vol. ii., p. 88.]

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« Reply #33 on: December 21, 2008, 11:07:21 pm »


The word neter and its meaning.

To the great and supreme power which made the earth, the heavens, the sea, the sky, men and women, animals, birds, and creeping things, all that is and all that shall be, the Egyptians gave the name neter. This word survives in the Coptic ###, but both in the ancient language and in its younger relative the exact meaning of the word is lost. M. Pierret,[2] following de Rougé, connects it with the word ### and says that it means "renovation" (renouvellement), but Brugsch[3] renders it by "göttlich," "heilig," "divin," "sacré," and by three Arabic words which mean "divine," "sacred or set apart," and "holy" respectively. By a quotation from the stele of Canopus he shows that in Ptolemaic times it meant "holy" or "sacred" when applied to the animals of the gods. Mr. Renouf[4] says that "the notion expressed by nutar as a noun, and nutra as an adjective or verb, must be sought in the Coptic ###, which in the translation of the Bible corresponds to the Greek words {Greek du'namis, i?sxu's, i?sxuro's, i?sxupo'w} 'power,' 'force,' 'strong,' 'fortify,' 'protect,'"[5] and he goes on to show that the word neter means "strong" or "mighty." M. Maspero, however, thinks that the Coptic nomti has nothing in common with meter, the Egyptian word for God, and that the passages quoted by Mr. Renouf in support of his theory can be otherwise explained.[6] His own opinion is that the signification "strong," if it ever existed, is a derived and not an original meaning, and he believes that the word is

[1. Several examples of the different ways in which the word is spelt are given by Maspero, Notes sur différent point de Grammaire (in Mélanges d'Archéologie, t. ii., Paris, 1873, p. 140).

2. Pierret, Essai sur la Mythologie Égyptienne, Paris, 1879, p. 8.

3. Wörterbuch, p. 825.

4. Hibbert Lectures, p. 95.

5. A number of examples are given in Tatham, Lexicon, Oxford, 1835, pp. 310 806.

6 La Mythologie Égyptienne, t. ii., p. 215.]

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so old that its first sense is unknown to us. The fact that the Coptic translators of the Bible used the word nouti to express the name of the Supreme Being shows that no other word conveyed to their minds their conception of Him, and supports M. Maspero's views on this point. Another definition of the word given by Brugsch makes it to mean "the active power which produces and creates things in regular recurrence; which bestows new life upon them, and gives back to them their youthful vigour,"[1] and he adds that the innate conception of the word completely covers the original meaning of the Greek {Greek fu'sis} and the Latin natura.

Neteru, the gods.

But side by side with neter, whatever it may mean, we have mentioned in texts of all ages a number of beings called neteru which Egyptologists universally translate by the word "gods." Among these must be included the great cosmic powers and the beings who, although held to be supernatural, were yet finite and mortal, and were endowed by the Egyptians with love, hatred, and passions of every sort and kind. The difference between the conceptions of neter the one supreme God and the neteru is best shown by an appeal to Egyptian texts.

In the pyramid of Unas it is said to the deceased,

un-k ar kes neter

Thou existest at the side of God.[3]

In the pyramid of Teta it is said of the deceased,

ut'a-f met neter as set'em-nef metu

He weigheth words, and, behold, God hearkeneth unto the words.[3]

nas en Teta neter

God hath called Teta[4] (in his name, etc.).

[1. Die thätige Kraft, welche in periodischer Wiederkehr die Dinge erzeugt und erschafft, ihnen neues Leben verleiht und die Jugendfrische zurückgiebt." Religion und Mythologie, p. 93.

2. Maspero, Recueil de Travaux, t. iii., p. 202 (l. 209).

3. Ibid., t. v., 27 (ll. 231, 232).

4. Ibid., p. 26 (l. 223).]

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Views held in the first six dynasties.

In the pyramid of Pepi I. an address to the deceased king says,

sesep-nek aru neter aaa-k am xer neteru

Thou hast received the form of God, thou hast become great therewith before the gods.[1]

ta en mut-k Nut un-nek em neter en xeft-k em ren-k en nefer

Hath placed thy mother Nut thee to be as God to thine enemy in thy name of God.[2]

tua Pepi pen neter

Adoreth this Pepi God.[3]

Pepi pu ar neter sa neter

Pepi this is then God, the son of God.[4]

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« Reply #34 on: December 21, 2008, 11:07:53 pm »

All these extracts are from texts of the Vth and VIth dynasties. It may be urged that we might as well translate neter by "a god" or "the god," but other evidence of the conception of neter at that early date is afforded by the following passages from the Prisse papyrus,[5] which, although belonging at the earliest to he XIth dynasty, contains copies of the Precepts of Kaqemna, written in the reign of Seneferu, a king of the IVth dynasty, and the Precepts of Ptah-hetep, written during the reign of Assa, a king of the Vth dynasty.[6]

[1. Recueil de Travaux, t. v., p. 160 (l. 19).

2. Ibid., p. 162 (l. 33).

3. Ibid., p. 191 (l. 185).

4. Ibid., t. viii., p. 89 (l. 574).

5. See Fac-simile d'un papyrus Égyptien en caractères hiératiques, trouvé à Thèbes, donné à la Bibliothèque royale de Paris et publié par E. Prisse d'Avennes, Paris, 1847, fol. The last translation of the complete work is by Virey, Études sur le Papyrus Prisse, Paris, 1887.

6. M. Amélineau thinks (La Morale Égyptienne, p. xi.) that the Prisse papyrus was copied about the period of the XVIIth dynasty and that the works in it only date from the XIIth dynasty; but many Egyptologists assign the composition of the work to the age of Assa. See Wiedemann, Aegyptische Geschichte, p. 201; Petrie, History of Egypt, p. 81.]

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Views held in the first six dynasties.

1. an rex-entu xepert arit neter

Not known are the things which will do God.[1]

2. am-k ari her em reth xesef neter

Thou shalt not cause terror in men and women, [for] is opposed God [thereto].[2]

3. au am ta xer sexer neter

The eating of bread is according to the plan of God.[3]

4. ar seka-nek ter em sexet ta set neter

If thou art a farmer, labour (?) in the field which hath given God [to thee].[4]

5. ar un-nek em sa aqer ari-k sa en smam neter

If thou wouldst be like a wise man, make thou [thy] son to be pleasing unto God.[5]

6. sehetep aqu-k em xepert nek xepert en

Satisfy those who depend on thee, so far as it may be done by thee; it should be done by

hesesu neter

those favoured of God.[6]

[1. Plate ii., l. 2.

2. Plate iv., line 8.

3. Plate vii., l. 2.

4 Plate vii., l. 5.

5. Plate vii., l. 11.

6. Plate xi., l. 1.]

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Views held in the first six dynasties.

7. If, having been of no account, thou hast become great, and if, having been poor, thou hast become rich, when thou art governor of the city be not hard-hearted on account of thy advancement, because

xeper-nek mer septu neter

thou hast become the guardian of the provisions of God.[1]

8. mertu neter pu setem an setem en mesetu neter

What is loved of God is obedience; disobedience hateth God.[2]

9. mak sa nefer en tata neter

Verily a good son is of the gifts of God.[3]

Passing from the Prisse papyrus, our next source of information is the famous papyrus[4] containing the "Maxims of Ani," which are well known through the labours of de Rougé,[5] Maspero,[6] Chabas[7] and Amélineau.[8] We should speak of them, however, more correctly as the Maxims of Khonsu-hetep.[9] The papyrus

[1. Plate xiii., l. 8.

2. Plate xvi., l. 7.

3. Plate xix., l. 6.

4. It was found in a box laid upon the floor of the tomb of a Christian monk at Dêr el-Medinet, The text was given by Mariette in Papyrus Égyptiens du Musée de Boulaq, publiés en fac-simile sous les auspices de S.A. Ismaïl-Pacha, Khédive d'Égypte.

5. In the Moniteur, 15 Août, 1861; and in Comptes Rendus des séances de l'Académie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres, Paris, 1871, pp. 340-50.

6. In the Journal de Paris, 15 Mars, 1871; and in the Academy, Aug. 1, No. 29, p. 386, 1871.

7. L'Égyptologie, Série I., tt. i., ii., Chalons-sur-Saône and Paris, 40., 1876-78. This work contains the hieratic text divided into sections for analysis, and accompanied by a hieroglyphic transcript, commentary, etc.

8. La Morale Égyptienne quinze siècles avant notre ère--Étude sur le Papyrus de Boulaq, No. 4, Paris, 1892. This work contains a more accurate hieroglyphic transcript of the hieratic text, full translation, etc.

9. Maspero, Lectures Historiques, p. 16; Amélineau, op. cit., p. ix.]

{p. lxxxvii}

Views held in the XVIIIth dynasty.

was probably copied about the XXIInd dynasty; but the work itself may date from the XVIIIth. The following are examples of the use of neter:--

1. Pa neter er seaaaua ren-f

The God is for magnifying his name.[1]

2. xennu en neter betu-tuf pu sehebu senemehu-nek

The house of God what it hates is much speaking. Pray thou

em ab mert au metet-f nebt amennu ari-f

with a loving heart the petitions of which all are in secret. He will do

xeru-tuk setemu-f a t'et-tuk sesep utennu tu-k

thy business, he will hear that which thou sayest and will accept thine offerings.[2]

3. au tau neter-kua unnu

Giveth thy God existence.[3]

4. Pa neter aput pa maa

The God will judge the right.[4]

5. utennu neter-ku sau-tu er na betau-tuf

In offering to thy God guard thou against the things which He abominateth.

[1. Amélineau, La Morale, p. 13.

2. Ibid., p. 36.

3 Ibid., p. 103.

4 Ibid., p. 138.]

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Views held in the XVIIIth dynasty.

a ennu maat-k er paif sexeru qentet emtuk

O behold with thine eye His plans. Devote thyself

senenti-tu ent ren-f su tat baiu heh en aaru

to adore His name. It is He who giveth souls to millions of forms,

se-aaaua pa enti seaaaua-f ar neter ta pen

and He magnifieth whosoever magnifieth him. Now the God of this earth

en pa Suu her xut du nai-f matui

is the sun who is the ruler of the horizon, [and] his similitudes are

her tep ta tata-tha neter sentra em kai-set emment

upon earth is given incense with their food offerings to these daily.[1]

6. faau-s aaui-set en pa neter emtuf setemu

If she (i.e., thy mother) raiseth her hands to God, he will hear


her prayers[2] [and rebuke thee].

7. amma su en pa neter sauu-k su emment en

Give thyself to God, keep thou thyself daily for

pa neter au tuauu ma qeti pa haru

God; and let to-morrow be as to-day.[3]

[1. Amélineau, La Morale, p. 141.

2. Ibid., p. 149.

3 Ibid., p. 172.]

{p. lxxxix}

God and the gods.

The passages from the pyramid of Pepi show at once the difference between neter as God, and the "gods" neteru; the other passages, which might be multiplied almost indefinitely, prove that the Being spoken of is God. The neteru or "gods" whom Unas hunted, and snared, and killed, and roasted, and ate, are beings who could die; to them were attributed bodies, souls, ka's, spiritual bodies, etc. In a remarkable passage from the CLIVth Chapter of the Book of the Dead (Naville, Todtenbuch, Bd. I., Bl. 179, l. 3) the deceased king Thothmes III. prays:--

seset-kua emxet-k Tem huau ma ennu ari-k

Preserve me behind thee, O Tmu, from decay such as that which thou workest

er meter neb netert nebt er aut neb er t'etfet neb

for god every, and goddess every, for animals all, for reptiles all

sebuit-f per ba-f emxet mit-f ha-f

for each passeth away when hath gone forth his soul after his death, he perisheth

emxet sebi-f

after he hath passed away.

The gods mortal.

Of these mortal gods some curious legends have come down to us; from which the following may be selected as illustrating their inferior position.

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« Reply #35 on: December 21, 2008, 11:08:47 pm »


Now Isis was a woman who possessed words of power; her heart was wearied with the millions of men, and she chose the millions of the gods, but she esteemed more highly the millions of the khu's. And she meditated in her heart, saying, "Cannot I by means of the sacred name of God make myself mistress of the earth and become a goddess like unto

{p. xc}

Legend of Ra and Isis.

"Ra in heaven and upon earth?" Now, behold, each day Ra entered at the head of his holy mariners and established himself upon the throne of the two horizons. The holy one had grown old, he dribbled at the mouth, his spittle fell upon the earth, and his slobbering dropped upon the ground. And Isis kneaded it with earth in her hand, and formed thereof a sacred serpent in the form of a spear; she set it not upright before her face, but let it lie upon the ground in the path whereby the great god went forth, according to his heart's desire, into his double kingdom. Now the holy god arose, and the gods who followed him as though he were Pharaoh went with him; and he came forth according to his daily wont; and the sacred serpent bit him. The flame of life departed from him, and he who dwelt among the cedars (?) was overcome. The holy god opened his mouth, and the cry of his majesty reached unto heaven. His company of gods said, "What hath happened?" and his gods exclaimed, "What is it?" But Ra could not answer, for his jaws trembled and all his members quaked; the poison spread swiftly through his flesh just as the Nile invadeth all his land. When the great god had stablished his heart, he cried unto those who were in his train, saying, "Come unto me, O ye who have come into being from my body, ye gods who have come forth from me, make ye known unto Khepera that a dire calamity hath fallen upon me. My heart perceiveth it, but my eyes see it not; my hand hath not caused it, nor do I know who hath done this unto me. Never have I felt such pain, neither can sickness cause more woe than this. I am a prince, the son of a prince, a sacred essence which hath preceded from God. I am a great one, the son of a great one, and my father planned my name; I have multitudes of names and multitudes of forms, and my existence is in every god. I have been proclaimed by the heralds Tmu and Horus, and my father and my mother uttered my name; but it hath been hidden within me by him that begat me, who would not that the words of power of any seer should have dominion over me. I came forth to look upon that which I had made, I was passing through the world which I had created, when lo! something stung me, but what I know not. Is it fire? Is it water? My heart is on fire, my flesh quaketh, and trembling hath seized all my limbs. Let there be brought unto me the children of the gods with healing words and with lips that know, and with power which reacheth unto heaven." The children of every god came unto him in tears, Isis came with her healing words and with her mouth full of the breath of life, with her enchantments which destroy sickness, and with her words of power which make the dead to live. And she spake, saying, "What hath come to pass, O holy father? What hath happened? A serpent hath bitten thee, and a thing which thou hast created hath lifted up his head against thee. Verily it shall be cast forth by my healing words of power, and I will drive it away from before the sight of thy sunbeams."

The holy god opened his mouth and said, "I was passing along my path, and I was going through the two regions of my lands according to my heart's desire, to see that which I had created, when lo! I was bitten by a serpent which I saw not. Is it fire? Is it water? I am colder than water, I am hotter than fire. All my flesh sweateth, I quake, my eye hath no strength, I cannot see the sky, and the sweat rusheth to my face even as in the time of summer." Then said Isis unto Ra, "O tell me thy name, holy father, for whosoever shall be delivered by thy name shall live." [And Ra said], "I have made the heavens and the earth, I have ordered the mountains, I have created all that is above them, I have made the water, I have made to come into being the great and wide sea, I have made the 'Bull of

{p. xci}

Legend of Ra and Isis.

his mother,' from whom spring the delights of love. I have made the heavens, I have stretched out the two horizons like a curtain, and I have placed the soul of the gods within them. I am he who, if he openeth his eyes, doth make the light, and, if he closeth them, darkness cometh into being. At his command the Nile riseth, and the gods know not his name. I have made the hours, I have created the days, I bring forward the festivals of the year, I create the Nile-flood. I make the fire of life, and I provide food in the houses. I am Khepera in the morning, I am Ra at noon, and I am Tmu at even." Meanwhile the poison was not taken away from his body, but it pierced deeper, and the great god could no longer walk.

Then said Isis unto Ra, "What thou hast said is not thy name. O tell it unto me, and the poison shall depart; for he shall live whose name shall be revealed." Now the poison burned like fire, and it was fiercer than the flame and the furnace, and the majesty of the god said, "I consent that Isis shall search into me, and that my name shall pass from me into her." Then the god hid himself from the gods, and his place in the boat of millions of years was empty. And when the time arrived for the heart of Ra to come forth, Isis spake unto her son Horus, saying, "The god hath bound himself by an oath to deliver up his two eyes" (i.e., the sun and moon). Thus was the name of the great god taken from him, and Isis, the lady of enchantments, said, "Depart, poison, go forth from Ra. O eye of Horus, go forth from the god, and shine outside his mouth. It is I who work, it is I who make to fall down upon the earth the vanquished poison; for the name of the great god hath been taken away from him. May Ra live! and may the poison die, may the poison die, and may Ra live!" These are the words of Isis, the great goddess, the queen of the gods, who knew Ra by his own name.[1]

Thus we see that even to the great god Ra were attributed all the weakness and frailty of mortal man; and that "gods" and "goddesses" were classed with beasts and reptiles, which could die and perish. As a result, it seems that the word "God" should be reserved to express the name of the Creator of the Universe, and that neteru, usually rendered "gods," should be translated by some other word, but what that word should be it is almost impossible to say.[2]

The belief in One God.

From the attributes of God set forth in Egyptian texts of all periods, Dr. Brugsch, de Rougé, and other eminent Egyptologists have come to the opinion that the dwellers in the Nile valley, from the earliest times, knew and worshipped one God, nameless, incomprehensible, and eternal. In 1860 de Rougé wrote:--"The

[1. The hieratic text of this story was published by Pleyte and Rossi, Le Papyrus de Turin, 1869-1876, pll. 31-77, and 131-138; a French translation of it was published by M. Lefébure, who first recognized the true character of the composition, in Aeg. Zeitschrift, 1883, p. 27 ff; and a German translation by Wiedemann is in his collection of "Sonnensagen," Religion der alten Aegypter, Münster, 1890, p. 29 ff.

2 A similar difficulty also exists in Hebrew, for elomhim means both God and "gods"; compare Psalm lxxxii., i.]

{p. xcii}

unity of a supreme and self-existent being, his eternity, his almightiness, and external reproduction thereby as God; the attributing of the creation of the world and of all living beings to this supreme God; the immortality of the soul, completed by the dogma of punishments and rewards: such is the sublime and persistent base which, notwithstanding all deviations and all mythological embellishments, must secure for the beliefs of the ancient Egyptians a most honourable place among the religions of antiquity."[1] Nine years later he developed this view, and discussed the difficulty of reconciling the belief in the unity of God with the polytheism which existed in Egypt from the earliest times, and he repeated his conviction that the Egyptians believed in a self-existent God who was One Being, who had created man, and who had endowed him with an immortal soul.[2] In fact, de Rougé amplifies what Champollion-Figeac (relying upon his brother's information) wrote in 1839: "The Egyptian religion is a pure monotheism, which manifested itself externally by a symbolic polytheism."[3] M. Pierret adopts the view that the texts show us that the Egyptians believed in One infinite and eternal God who was without a second, and he repeats Champollion's dictum.[4] But the most recent supporter of the monotheistic theory is Dr. Brugsch, who has collected a number of striking passages from the texts. From these passages we may select the following:--

God is one and alone, and none other existeth with Him--God is the One, the One who hath made all things--God is a spirit, a hidden spirit, the spirit of spirits, the great spirit of the Egyptians, the divine spirit--God is from the beginning, and He hath been from the beginning, He hath existed from old and was when nothing else had being. He existed when nothing else existed, and what existeth He created after He had come into being, He is the Father of beginnings--God is the eternal One, He is eternal and infinite and endureth for ever and aye--God is hidden and no man knoweth His form. No man hath been able to seek out His likeness; He is hidden to gods and men, and He is a mystery unto His creatures. No man knoweth how to know Him--His name remaineth hidden; His name is a mystery unto His children. His names are innumerable, they are manifold and none knoweth their number--God is truth and He liveth by truth and He feedeth thereon. He is the king of truth, and He hath stablished the earth thereupon--God is life and through Him

[1. Études des Rituel Funéraire des Anciens Égyptiens (in Revue Archéologique), Paris, 1860, p. 72.

2. La croyance à l'Unité du Dieu suprême, à ses attributs de Créateur et de Législateur de l'homme, qu'il a doué d'une âme immortelle; voilà les notions primitives enchâssées comme des diamants indestructibles au milieu des superfétations mythologiques accumulées par les siècles qui ont passé sur cette vieille civilization. See Conference sur la Religion des anciens Égyptiens (in Annales de Philosophic Chrétienne, 5ième Série, t. xx., Paris, 1869, pp. 325-337).

3. Égypte, Paris, 1839, p. 245, col. 1.

4. Le Panthéon Égyptien, Paris, 1881, p. 4.]

{p. xciii}

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« Reply #36 on: December 21, 2008, 11:09:23 pm »

only man liveth. He giveth life to man, He breatheth the breath of life into his nostrils--God is father and mother, the father of fathers, and the mother of mothers. He begetteth, but was never begotten; He produceth, but was never produced; He begat himself and produced himself. He createth, but was never created; He is the maker of his own form, and the fashioner of His own body--God Himself is existence, He endureth without increase or diminution, He multiplieth Himself millions of times, and He is manifold in forms and in members--God hath made the universe, and He hath created all that therein is; He is the Creator of what is in this world, and of what was, of what is, and of what shall be. He is the Creator of the heavens, and of the earth, and of the deep, and of the water, and of the mountains. God hath stretched out the heavens and founded the earth-What His heart conceived straightway came to pass, and when He hath spoken, it cometh to pass and endureth for ever--God is the father of the gods; He fashioned men and formed the gods--God is merciful unto those who reverence Him, and He heareth him that calleth upon Him. God knoweth him that acknowledgeth Him, He rewardeth him that serveth Him, and He protecteth him that followeth Him.[1]

Monotheism and polytheism coexistent.

Because, however, polytheism existed side by side with monotheism in Egypt, M. Maspero believes that the words "God One" do not mean "One God" in our sense of the words; and Mr. Renouf thinks that the "Egyptian nutar never became a proper name."[2] Whether polytheism grew from monotheism in Egypt, or monotheism from polytheism we will not venture to say, for the evidence of the pyramid texts shows that already in the Vth dynasty monotheism and polytheism were flourishing side by side. The opinion of Tiele is that the religion of Egypt was from the beginning polytheistic, but that it developed in two opposite directions: in the one direction gods were multiplied by the addition of local gods, and in the other the Egyptians drew nearer and nearer to monotheism.[3]

The sun the emblem of God.

From a number of passages drawn from texts of all periods it is clear that the form in which God made himself manifest to man upon earth was the sun, which the Egyptians called Ra and that all other gods and goddesses were forms of him. The principal authorities for epithets applied to God and to His visible emblem the sun are the hymns and litanies which are found inscribed upon

[1. Brugsch, Religion und Mythologie, pp. 96-99. The whole chapter on the ancient Egyptian conception of God should be read with M. Maspero's comments upon it in La Mythologie Égyptienne (Études de Mythologie, t. ii., p. 189 ff.).

2. Hibbert Lectures, p. 99.

3. Hypothezen omtrent de wording van den Egyptischen Godsdienst (in Geschiedenis van den Godsdienst in de Oudheid, Amsterdam, 1893, p. 25); and see Lieblein, Egyptian Religion, Leipzig, 1884, p. 10.

4 See the chapter "Dieu se manifestant par le soleil," in Pierret, Essai sur la Mythologie Égyptienne, pp. 18, 19.]

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Confusion of gods.

the walls of tombs,[1] stelæ, and papyri[2] of the XVIIIth dynasty; and these prove that the Egyptians ascribed the attributes of the Creator to the creature. The religious ideas which we find in these writings in the XVIIIth dynasty are, no doubt, the outcome of the religion of earlier times, for all the evidence now available shows that the Egyptians of the later periods invented comparatively little in the way of religious literature. Where, how, and in what way they succeeded in preserving their most ancient texts, are matters about which little, unfortunately, is known. In course of time we find that the attributes of a certain god in one period are applied to other gods in another; a new god is formed by the fusion of two or more gods; local gods, through the favourable help of political circumstances, or the fortune of war, become almost national gods; and the gods who are the companions of Osiris are endowed by the pious with all the attributes of the great cosmic gods--Ra, Ptah, Khnemu, Khepera, and the like. Thus the attributes of Ra are bestowed upon Khnemu and Khepera; the god Horus exists in the aspects of Heru-maati, Heru-khent-an-maa, Heru-Khuti, Heru-nub, Heru-behutet, etc., and the attributes of each are confounded either in periods or localities: Tmu-Ra, and Menthu-Ra, and Amen-Ra are composed of Tmu and Ra, and Menthu and Ra, and Amen and Ra respectively, and we have seen from the hymn quoted above (p. lii.) that already in the XVIIIth dynasty the god Osiris had absorbed the attributes which belonged in the earlier dynasties to Ra alone.

History of the god Amen.

Still more remarkable, however, is the progress of the god Amen in Egyptian theology. In the early empire, i.e., during the first eleven dynasties, this god ranked only as a local god, although his name is as old as the time of Unas;[3] and

[1. E.g., the litany from the tomb of Seti I., published by Naville, La Litanie du Soleil, Leipzig, 1875, p. 13 ff.

2. E.g., Hymn to Amen-Ra, translated by Goodwin from papyrus No. 17, now preserved in the Gizeh Museum (see Les Papyrus Égyptiens du Musée de Boulaq, ed. Mariette, Paris, 1872, pll. 1-13; Records of the Past, vol. i., p. 127 f., and Trans. Soc. Bibl. Arch., vol. ii., p. 250), and by Grébaut, Hymne à Ammon-Ra, Paris, 1874); Hymns to Amen, translated by Goodwin (see Records of the Past, vol. vi., p. 97 f.; Trans. Soc. Bibl. Arch., vol. ii., p. 353), and Chabas (Mélanges Égyptologiques, 1870, p. 117); Hymn to Osiris, translated by Chabas (Revue Archéologique, t. xiv., Paris, 1857, p. 65 ff.), and Goodwin (Records of the Past, vol. iv., p. 97 ff.). The various versions of the XVth Chapter of the Book of the Dead, which consists of a series of hymns, are given in the Theban edition by Naville (Todtenbuch, Bd. I., Bll. 14-23), and the text of the later Saïte version is discussed and translated by Lefébure, Traduction comparée des hymnes au Soleil, Paris, 1868, 4to.

3. "Amen and Ament," are mentioned in 1. 558 of the inscription of this king; see Maspero, Recueil, t. iv., p. 66.]

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it is not until the so-called Hyksos have been expelled from Egypt by the Theban kings of the XVIIth dynasty that Amen, whom the latter had chosen as their great god, and whose worship they had declined to renounce at the bidding of the Hyksos king Apepi,[l] was acknowledged as the national god of southern Egypt at least. Having by virtue of being the god of the conquerors obtained the position of head of the company of Egyptian gods, he received the attributes of the most ancient gods, and little by little he absorbed the epithets of them all. Thus Amen became Amen-Ra, and the glory of the old gods of Annu, or Heliopolis, was centred in him who was originally an obscure local god. The worship of Amen in Egypt was furthered by the priests of the great college of Amen, which seems to have been established early in the XVIIIth dynasty by the kings who were his devout worshippers. The extract from a papyrus written for the princess Nesi-Khonsu,[2] a member of the priesthood of Amen, is an example of the exalted language in which his votaries addressed him.

"This is the sacred god, the lord of all the gods, Amen-Ra, the lord of the throne of the world, the prince of Apt,[3] the sacred soul who came into being in the beginning, the great god who liveth by right and truth, the first ennead which gave birth unto the other two enneads,[4] the being in whom every god existeth, the One of One,[5] the creator of the things which came into being when the earth took form in the beginning, whose births are hidden, whose forms are manifold, and whose growth cannot be known. The sacred Form, beloved, terrible and mighty in his two risings (?), the lord of space, the mighty one of the form of Khepera, who came into existence through Khepera, the lord of the form of Khepera; when he came into being nothing existed except himself. He shone upon the earth from primeval time [in the form of] the Disk, the prince of light and radiance. He giveth light and radiance. He giveth light unto all peoples. He saileth over heaven and never resteth, and on the morrow his vigour is stablished as before; having become old [to-day], he becometh young again to-morrow. He mastereth the bounds of eternity, he goeth roundabout heaven, and entereth into the Tuat to illumine the two lands which he hath created. When the divine (or mighty) God,[6] moulded himself, the heavens and the earth were made by his

[1. The literature relating to the fragment of the Sallier papyrus recording this fact is given by Wiedemann, Aegyptische Geschichte, p. 299.

2 The hieratic text is published, with a hieroglyphic transcript, by Maspero, Mémoires publiés par les Membres de la Mission Archéologique Française au Caire, t. i., p. 594 ff., and pll. 25-27.

3 A district of Thebes on the east bank of the Nile, the modern Karnak.

4 See within, p: xcvii.

5. ###.

6. ### neter netra. M. Maspero translates "dieu exerçant sa fonction de dieu, dieu en activité de service," or "dieu déisant."]

{p. cvi}

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« Reply #37 on: December 21, 2008, 11:09:53 pm »

conception.[1] He is the prince of princes, the mightiest of the mighty, he is greater than the gods, he is the young bull with sharp pointed horns, and he protecteth the world in his great name 'Eternity cometh with its power and bringing therewith the bounds (?) of everlastingness.' He is the firstborn god, the god who existed from the beginning, the governor of the world by reason of his strength, the terrible one of the two lion-gods,[2] the aged one, the form of Khepera which existeth in all the gods, the lion of fearsome glance, the governor terrible by reason of his two eyes,[3] the lord who shooteth forth flame [therefrom] against his enemies. He is the primeval water which floweth forth in its season to make to live all that cometh forth upon his potter's wheel.[4] He is the disk of the Moon, the beauties whereof pervade heaven and earth, the untiring and beneficent king, whose will germinateth from rising to setting, from whose divine eyes men and women come forth, and from whose mouth the gods do come, and [by whom] food and meat and drink are made and provided, and [by whom] the things which exist are created. He is the lord of time and he traverseth eternity; he is the aged one who reneweth his youth he hath multitudes of eyes and myriads of ears; his rays are the guides of millions of men he is the lord of life and giveth unto those who love him the whole earth, and they are under the protection of his face. When he goeth forth he worketh unopposed, and no man can make of none effect that which he hath done. His name is gracious, and the love of him is sweet; and at the dawn all people make supplication unto him through his mighty power and terrible strength, and every god lieth in fear of him. He is the young bull that destroyeth the wicked, and his strong arm fighteth against his foes. Through him did the earth come into being in the beginning. He is the Soul which shineth through his divine eyes,[3] he is the Being endowed with power and the maker of all that hath come into being, and he ordered the world, and he cannot be known. He is the King who maketh kings to reign, and he directeth the world in his course; gods and goddesses bow down in adoration before his Soul by reason of the awful terror which belongeth unto him. He hath gone before and hath stablished all that cometh after him, and he made the universe in the beginning by his secret counsels. He is the Being who cannot be known, and he is more hidden than all the gods. He maketh the Disk to be his vicar, and he himself cannot be known, and he hideth himself from that which cometh forth from him. He is a bright flame of fire, mighty in splendours, he can be seen only in the form in which he showeth himself, and he can be gazed upon only when he manifesteth himself, and that which is in him cannot be understood. At break of day all peoples make supplication unto him, and when he riseth with hues of orange and saffron among the company of the gods he becometh the greatly desired one of every god. The god Nu appeareth with the breath of the north wind in this hidden god who maketh for untold millions of men the decrees which abide for ever; his decrees

[1. Literally "his heart," ab-f.

2 I.e., Shu and Tefnut.

3 I.e., the Sun and the Moon, ut'ati.

4. nehep; other examples of the use of this word are given by Brugsch, Wörterbuch (Suppl., p. 690).]

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"are gracious and well doing, and they fall not to the ground until they have fulfilled their purpose. He giveth long life and multiplieth the years of those who are favoured by him, he is the gracious protector of him whom he setteth in his heart, and he is the fashioner of eternity and everlastingness. He is the king of the North and of the South, Amen-Ra, king of the gods, the lord of heaven, and of earth and of the waters and of the mountains, with whose coming into being the earth began its existence, the mighty one, more princely than all the gods of the first company thereof."

Theories of the origin of the gods.

With reference to the origin of the gods of the Egyptians much useful information may be derived from the pyramid texts. From them it would seem that, in the earliest times, the Egyptians had tried to think out and explain to themselves the origin of their gods and of their groupings. According to M. Maspero[1] they reduced everything to one kind of primeval matter which they believed contained everything in embryo; this matter was water, Nu, which they deified, and everything which arose therefrom was a god. The priests of Annu at a very early period grouped together the nine greatest gods of Egypt, forming what is called the paut neteru or "company of the gods," or as it is written in the pyramid texts, paut aat, "the great company of gods"; the texts also show that there was a second group of nine gods called paut net'eset or "lesser company of the gods"; and a third group of nine gods is also known. When all three pauts of gods are addressed they appear as ###.[2] The great cycle of the gods in Annu was composed of the gods Tmu, Shu, Tefnut, Seb, Nut, Osiris, Isis, Set and Nephthys; but, though paut means " nine," the texts do not always limit a paut of the gods to that number, for sometimes the gods amount to twelve, and sometimes, even though the number be nine, other gods are substituted for the original gods of the paut. We should naturally expect Ra to stand at the head of the great paut of the gods; but it must be remembered that the chief local god of Annu was Tmu, and, as the priests of that city revised and edited the pyramid texts known to us, they naturally substituted their own form of the god Ra, or at best united him with Ra, and called him Tmu-Ra. In the primeval matter, or water, lived the god Tmu, and when he rose for the first time, in the form of the sun, he created the world. Here at once we have Tmu assimilated with Nu. A curious passage in the pyramid of Pepi I. shows that while as yet there was neither

[1. La Mythologie Égyptienne (Études, t. ii., p. 237).

2. See Pyramid of Teta, l. 307 (Maspero, Recueil de Travaux, t. v., p. 46).]

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heaven nor earth, and when neither gods had been born, nor men created, the god Tmu was the father of human beings,[1] even before death came into the world. The first act of Tmu was to create from his own body the god Shu and the goddess Tefnut;[2] and afterwards Seb the earth and Nut the sky came into being. These were followed by Osiris and Isis, Set and Nephthys.

Dr. Brugsch's version of the origin of the gods as put forth in his last work on the subject[3] is somewhat different. According to him there was in the beginning neither heaven nor earth, and nothing existed except a boundless primeval mass of water which was shrouded in darkness and which contained within itself the germs or beginnings, male and female, of everything which was to be in the future world. The divine primeval spirit which formed an essential part of the primeval matter felt within itself the desire to begin the work of creation, and its word woke to life the world, the form and shape of which it had already depicted to itself. The first act of creation began with the formation of an egg[4] out of the primeval water, from which broke forth Ra, the immediate cause of all life upon earth. The almighty power of the divine spirit embodied itself in its most brilliant form in the rising sun. When the inert mass of primeval matter felt the desire of the primeval spirit to begin the work of creation, it began to move, and the creatures which were to constitute the future world were formed

[1. Recueil de Travaux, t. viii., p. 104 (l. 664). The passage reads:--

mes Pepi pen au atf Tem an xepert pet an

Gave birth to Pepi this father Tmu [when] not was created heaven, not

xepert ta an xepert reth an mest neteru an xepert met

was created earth, not were created men, not were born the gods, not was created death.

2. Recueil de Travaux, I. vii., p. 170 (l. 466).

3. Religion und Mythologie, p. 101.

4 A number of valuable facts concerning the place of the egg in the Egyptian Religion have been collected by Lefébure, Revue de l'Histoire des Religions, t. xvi., Paris, 1887, p. 16 ff.]

{p. xcix}

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« Reply #38 on: December 21, 2008, 11:10:37 pm »

according to the divine intelligence Maa. Under the influence of Thoth, or that form of the divine intelligence which created the world by a word, eight elements, four male and four female, arose out of the primeval Nu, which possessed the properties of the male and female. These eight elements were called Nu and Nut,[1] Heh and Hehet,[2] Kek and Keket,[3] and Enen and Enenet,[4] or Khemennu, the "Eight," and they were considered as primeval fathers and mothers.[5] They are often represented in the forms of four male and four female apes who stand in adoration and greet the rising sun with songs and hymns of praise,[6] but they also appear as male and female human forms with the heads of frogs or serpents.[7] The birth of light from the waters, and of fire from the moist mass of primeval matter, and of Ra from Nu, formed the starting point of all mythological speculations, conjectures, and theories of the Egyptian priests.[8] The light of the sun gave birth to itself out of chaos, and the conception of the future world was depicted in Thoth the divine intelligence; when Thoth gave the word, what he commanded at once took place by means of Ptah and Khnemu, the visible representatives of the power which turned Thoth's command into deed. Khnemu made the egg of the sun,[9] and Ptah gave to the god of light a finished body.[10] The first paut of the gods consisted of Shu, Tefnut, Seb, Nut, Osiris, Isis, Set, Nephthys and Horus, and their governor Tmu or Atmu.[11]

Egyptian account of the Creation.

In a late copy of a work entitled the "Book of knowing the evolutions of Ra, the god Neb-er-tcher, the "lord of the company of the gods," records the story of the creation and of the birth of the gods:--"I am he who evolved himself under the form of the god Khepera, I, the evolver of the evolutions evolved myself, the evolver of all evolutions, after many evolutions and developments which came forth from my mouth.[12] No heaven existed, and no earth, and no terrestrial animals or reptiles had come into being. I formed them out of the inert mass of watery matter, I found no place whereon to stand . . . . . I was alone, and the gods Shu and Tefnut had not gone forth from me; there existed

[1. Brugsch, Religion, pp. 128, 129.

2. Ibid., p. 132.

3. Ibid., p. 140.

4. Ibid., p. 142.

5. Ibid., p. 148.

6. Ibid., pp. 149, 152.

7. Ibid., p. 158.

8. Ibid., p. 160.

9. Ibid., p. 161.

10. Ibid., p. 163.

11. Ibid., p. 187.

12 The variant version says, "I developed myself from the primeval matter which I had made." and adds, "My name is Osiris, ###, the substance of primeval matter."]

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"none other who worked with me. I laid the foundations of all things by my will, and all things evolved themselves therefrom.[1] I united myself to my shadow, and I sent forth Shu and Tefnut out from myself; thus from being one god I became three, and Shu and Tefnut gave birth to Nut and Seb, and Nut gave birth to Osiris, Horus-Khent-an-maa, Sut, Isis, and Nephthys, at one birth, one after the other, and their children multiply upon this earth."[2]

Summary of theories.

The reader has now before him the main points of the evidence concerning the Egyptians' notions about God, and the cosmic powers and their phases, and the anthropomorphic creations with which they peopled the other world, all of which have been derived from the native literature of ancient Egypt. The different interpretations which different Egyptologists have placed upon the facts demonstrate the difficulty of the subject. Speaking generally, the interpreters may be divided into two classes: those who credit the Egyptians with a number of abstract ideas about God and the creation of the world and the future life, which are held to be essentially the product of modern Christian nations; and those who consider the mind of the Egyptian as that of a half-savage being to whom occasional glimmerings of spiritual light were vouchsafed from time to time. All eastern nations have experienced difficulty in separating spiritual from corporeal conceptions, and the Egyptian is no exception to the rule; but if he preserved the gross idea of a primeval existence with the sublime idea of God which he manifests in writings of a later date, it seems that this is due more to his reverence for hereditary tradition than to ignorance. Without attempting to decide questions which have presented difficulties to the greatest thinkers among Egyptologists, it may safely be said that the Egyptian whose mind conceived the existence of an unknown, inscrutable, eternal and infinite God, who was One-whatever the word One may mean here and who himself believed in a future life to be spent in a glorified body in heaven, was not a being whose spiritual needs would be satisfied by a belief in gods who could eat, and drink, love and hate, and fight and grow old and die. He was unable to describe the infinite God, himself being finite, and it is not surprising that he should, in some respects, have made Him in his own image.

[1. The variant version has, "I brought into my own mouth my name as a word of power, and I straightway came into being."

2 The papyrus from which these extracts are taken is in the British Museum, No. 10188. A hieroglyphic transcript and translation will be found in Archæologia, vol. lii., pp. 440-443. For the passages quoted see Col. 26, l. 22; Col. 27, l. 5; and Col. 28, l. 20; Col. 29, l. 6.]

{p. ci}

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« Reply #39 on: December 21, 2008, 11:11:32 pm »


The Egyptian heaven.

The gods of the Egyptians dwelt in a heaven with their ka's, and khu's, and shadows, and there they received the blessed dead to dwell with them. This heaven was situated in the sky, which the Egyptians believed to be like an iron ceiling, either flat or vaulted, and to correspond in extent and shape with the earth beneath it. This ceiling was rectangular, and was supported at each corner by a pillar; in this idea, we have, as M. Maspero has observed, a survival of the roof-tree of very primitive nations. At a very early date the four pillars were identified with "the four ancient khu's who dwell in the hair of Horus,"[1] who are also said to be "the four gods who stand by the pillar-sceptres of heaven."[2] These four gods are "children of Horus,"[3] and their names are Amset, Hapi, Tuamautef, and Qebhsennuf.[4] They were supposed to preside over the four quarters of the world, and subsequently were acknowledged to be the gods of the cardinal points. The Egyptians named the sky or heaven pet. A less primitive view made the heavens in the form of the goddess Nut who was represented as a woman with bowed body whose hands and feet rest on the earth. In this case the two arms and the two

[1. ###. Recueil de Travaux, t. iv., p. 55 (l. 473); and compare ###. Ibid., t. v. p. 186 (l. 171).

2. Ibid., t. v., p. 27 (1. 233).

3. Ibid., p. 39 (l. 281).

4 Ibid., p. 10 (l. 60).]

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The Egyptian heaven.

legs form the four pillars upon which the heavens are supported. Nut, the sky goddess, was the wife of Seb, the earth god, from whose embrace she was separated by Shu, the god of the air; when this separation was effected, earth, air, and sky came into being. Signor Lanzone has collected a number of illustrations of this event from papyri and other documents,[1] wherein we have Seb lying on the ground, and Shu uplifting Nut with his outstretched hands. The feet of the goddess rested on the east, and her hands on the west this is shown by the scene wherein Shu is accompanied by two females who have on their heads "east" and, "west" respectively.[2] The child of the union of Seb and Nut was the Sun, who was born in the east in the morning, and who made

[1. Dizionario di Mitologia Egizia, tavv. i 150 ff.

2. Ibid., tav. 158.]

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The Egyptian heaven.

his course along his mother's body, until he set in the west in the evening. The moon followed the sun's course along his mother's body, but sometimes a second female is represented bowed beneath Nut [1] (Fig. 2), and this is believed to signify the night sky across which the moon travels. In an interesting picture which M. Jéquier has published[2] the goddess is depicted lying flat with her arms stretched out at full length above her head; on her breast is the disk of the sun, and on her stomach the moon. Those who believed that the sky was an iron plane imagined that the stars were a numbers of lamps which were hung out therefrom, and those who pictured the sky as a goddess studded her body with stars. One scene makes the morning and evening boats of Ra to sail along the back of Nut;[3] another depicts Shu holding up the boat of the sun wherein is the disk on the horizon.[4] A third from the sarcophagus of Seti I. represents Nu the god of the primeval water holding up the boat of the sun, wherein we see the beetle with the solar disk facing it accompanied by Isis and Nephthys, who stand one on each side; behind Isis stand the gods Seb, Shu, Hek, Hu, and Sa, and behind Nephthys are three deities who represent the doors through which the god Tmu has made his way to the world.[5]

The Tuat, or abode of the dead.

Within the two bowed female figures which represent the day and the night sky, and which have been referred to above (Fig. 2), is a third figure which is bent

[1. Lanzone, op. cit., tav. 155.

2. Le Livre de ce qu'il y a dans l'Hadès, p. 3

3 Ibid., tav. 157.

4. Ibid., tav. 158.

5 Brugsch, Religion und Mythologie, p. 216.]

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The Egyptian heaven.

round in a circle; the space enclosed by it represents according to Dr. Brugsch the Tuat[1]or Egyptian underworld, wherein dwelt the gods of the dead and the departed souls. This view is supported by the scene from the sarcophagus of Seti I. (Fig. 1). In the watery space above the bark is the figure of the god bent round in a circle with his toes touching his head, and upon his head stands the goddess Nut with outstretched hands receiving the disk of the sun.[2] In the space enclosed by the body of the god is the legend, "This is Osiris; his circuit is the Tuat."[3] Though nearly all Egyptologists agree about the meaning of the word being "the place of departed souls," yet it has been translated in various ways, different scholars locating the Tuat in different parts of creation. Dr. Brugsch and others place it under the earth,[4] others have supposed it to be the space which exists between the arms of Shu and the body of Nut,[5] but the most recent theory put forth is that it was situated neither above nor below the earth, but beyond Egypt to the north, from which it was separated by the mountain range which, as the Egyptians thought, supported the sky.[6] The region of the Tuat was a long, mountainous, narrow valley with a river running along it; starting from the east it made its way to the north, and then taking a circular direction it came back to the east. In the Tuat lived all manner of fearful monsters and beasts, and here was the country through which the sun passed during the twelve hours of the night; according to one view he traversed this region in splendour, and according to another he died and became subject to Osiris the king, god and judge of the kingdom of the departed.

The Fields of Aaru and Hetep.

The souls of the dead made their way to their abode in the "other world" by a ladder, according to a very ancient view, or through a gap in the mountains of Abydos called Peka according to another; but, by whichever way they passed from earth, their destination was a region in the Tuat which is called in the pyramid and later texts Sekhet-Aaru,[7] which was situated in the

[1. Brugsch, op. cit., p. 211.

2. The legend reads "This is Nut, she receiveth Ra."

3. ###.

4. Wörterbuch, p. 1622.

5. Lanzone, Domicile des Esprits, p. 1; Dizionario, p. 1292.

6. Maspero, La Mythologie Égyptienne (Études, I. ii., p. 207); Jéquier, Le Livre, p. 3 The eastern mountain peak was called Bakhatet, and the western Manu.

7. I.e., the Field of reed plants.]

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The Fields of Aaru and Hetep.

Sekhet-Hetep,[l] and was supposed to lie to the north of Egypt. Here dwell Horus and Set, for the fields of Aaru and Hetep are their domains,[2] and here enters the deceased with two of the children of Horus on one side of him, and two on the other,[3] and the "two great chiefs who preside over the throne of the great god proclaim eternal life and power for him."[4] Here like the supreme God he is declared to be "one," and the four children of Horus proclaim his name to Ra. Having gone to the north of the Aaru Field he makes his way to the eastern portion of the tuat, where according to one legend he becomes like the morning star, near[6] his sister Sothis.[7] Here he lived in the form of the star Sothis, and "the great and little companies of the gods purify him in the Great Bear." The Egyptian theologians, who conceived that a ladder was necessary to enable the soul to ascend to the next world, provided it also with an address which it was to utter when it reached the top. As given in the pyramid of Unas it reads as follows':--"Hail to thee, O daughter of Amenta, mistress of Peteru(?) of heaven, thou gift of Thoth, thou mistress of the two sides of the ladder, open a way to Unas, let Unas pass. Hail to thee, O Nau, who art [seated] upon the brink of the Lake of Kha, open thou a way to Unas, let Unas pass. Hail to thee, O thou bull of four horns, thou who hast one horn to the west, and one to the east, and one to the north, and one to the south, . . . . . . let Unas pass, for he is a being from the purified Amenta, who goeth forth from the country of Baqta. Hail to thee, O Sekhet-Hetep, hail to thee, and to the fields which are in thee, the fields of Unas are in thee, for pure offerings are in thee."

[1. I.e., the Field of Peace.

2. Recueil de Travaux, t. v., p. 191 (l. 182).

3. Ibid., p. 50 (l. 262).

4. Ibid., t. vii., p. 163 (1. 402).

5. Ibid., t. iv., p. 49. (l. 432).

6. Ibid., t. v., p. 186 (ll. 80, 170, 177).

7. Ibid., t. iv., p. 55 (l. 475).

8. Ibid., t. iv., p. 68 (l. 567).

9 Ibid., t. iv., p. 69 (l. 576 ff.).]

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Power of the gods of Annu.

The souls of the dead could also be commended to the care of the gods above by the gods of Annu, and thus we find it said in the pyramid of Unas: "O gods of the west, O gods of the east, O gods of the south, O gods of the north, ye four [orders of gods] who embrace the four holy ends of the universe, and who granted to Osiris to come forth to heaven, and to sail over the celestial waters thereof with his son Horus by his side to protect him and to make him to rise like a great god from the celestial deep, say ye to Unas, 'Behold Horus, the son of Osiris, behold Unas, the god of the aged gods, the son of Hathor, behold the seed of Seb, for Osiris hath commanded that Unas shall rise like the second of Horus, and the four khu's who are in Annu have written this command to the great gods who are in the celestial waters.'"[1] And again, "When men are buried and receive their thousands of cakes and thousands of vases of ale upon the table of him that ruleth in Amenta, that being is in sore straits who hath not a written decree: now the decree of Unas is under the greatest, and not under the little seal."[2]

The plan of the Sekhet-Hetep which we find in the Book of the Dead during the Theban period will be described below, and it is therefore sufficient to say here that the ideas of the happy life which the deceased led had their origin in the pyramid texts, as may be seen from the following passage:--"Unas hath offered incense unto the great and little companies of the gods, and his mouth is pure, and the tongue which is therein is pure. O ye judges, ye have taken Unas unto yourselves, let him eat that which ye eat, let him drink that which ye drink, let him live upon that which ye live upon, let your seat be his seat, let his power be your power, let the boat wherein he shall sail be your boat, let him net birds in Aaru, let him possess running streams in Sekhet-Hetep, and may he obtain his meat and his drink from you, O ye gods. May the water of Unas be of the wine which is of Ra, may he revolve in the sky like Ra, and may he pass over the sky like Thoth."[3]

Of the condition of those who failed to secure a life of beatitude with the gods in the Sekhet-Aaru of the Tuat, the pyramid texts say nothing, and it seems as if the doctrine of punishment of the wicked and of the judgment which took place after death is a development characteristic of a later period.

[1. Recueil de Travaux, t. iv., p. 69 (ll. 572-75).

2 Ibid., t. iv., p. 71 (l. 583).

3 Ibid., t. iii. (l. 191-95).]

{p. cvii}

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« Reply #40 on: December 21, 2008, 11:12:45 pm »


The following are the principal gods and goddesses mentioned in the pyramid texts and in the later versions of the Book of the Dead:--

Nu represents the primeval watery mass from which all the gods were evolved, and upon which floats the bark of "millions of years" containing the sun. This god's chief titles are " Father of the gods," and begetter of the great company of the gods,". He is depicted in the form of a seated deity having upon his head disk and plumes.[1]

Nut the female principle of Nu; she is depicted with the head of a snake surmounted by a disk, or with the head of a cat.[2]

Ptah was associated with the god Khnemu in carrying out at the Creation the mandates of Thoth the divine intelligence; his name means the "opener," and he was identified by the Greeks with {Greek H!'faistos}, and by the Latins with Vulcan.

He was worshipped at a very early date in Memphis, which is called in Egyptian texts "The House of the Ka of Ptah,", and according to Herodotus his temple there was founded by Mena or Menes.[3] He is called the "exceedingly great god, the beginning of being," "the father of fathers and power of powers," and "he created his form,

[1. Lanzone, Dizionario, tav. 166, No. 2. For fuller descriptions of the gods and their titles and attributes see Brugsch, Religion und Mythologie, Leipzig, 1884-88; Pierret, Le Panthéon Égyptien, Paris, 1881; Wiedemann, Die Religion der alten Aegypter, Münster, 1890; Strauss and Corney, Der altaegyptische Götterglaube, Heidelberg, 1889. For illustrations of the various forms in which the gods are depicted, see the Dizionario di Mitologia Egizia, Turin, 1881 (not yet complete).

2. Lanzone, op. cit., tavv. 168-71.

3. {Greek Tou^to de` tou^ H!fai'stou to` i!drusasðai e`n au?th^} (ii., 99).]

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and gave birth to his body, and established unending and unvarying right and truth upon the earth." As a solar god he is called "Ptah, the Disk of heaven, who illumineth the world by the fire of his eyes,"; and in the Book of the Dead he is said to have "opened" the mouth of the deceased with the tool with which he opened the mouths of the gods.[1] He is depicted in the form of a mummy standing upon maat and in his hands he holds a sceptre on the top of which are the emblems of power, life, and stability; from the back of his neck hangs the menat (see p. 1, note 2).[2] Ptah formed at Memphis the chief member of the triad Ptah-Sekhet and Nefer-Tmu.

In many texts the god Ptah is often joined to the god Seker whose individual attributes it is not easy to describe; Seker is the Egyptian name of the incarnation of the Apis bull at Memphis. That Seker was a solar god is quite clear, but whether he "closed" the day or the night is not certain. Originally his festival was celebrated in the evening, wherefrom it appears that he represented some form of the night sun; but in later times the ceremony of drawing the image of the god Seker in the hennu boat round the sanctuary was performed in the morning at dawn, and thus, united with Ptah, he became the closer of the night and the opener of the day. He is depicted as a mummied body with the head of a hawk, and he sometimes holds in his hands emblems of power, sovereignty, and rule.[3]

Another form of Ptah was Ptah-Seker-Ausar wherein the creator of the world, the sun, and Osiris as the god of the dead, were represented. A large number of faïence figures of this triune god are found in graves, and specimens exist in all museums. He is represented as a dwarf standing upon a crocodile, and having a scarabæus upon his head; the scarab is the emblem of the new life into which the deceased is about to break, the crocodile is the emblem of the darkness of death which has been overcome. According to some the element of Ptah in the triad is the personification of the period of incubation which follows

[1. ###. Naville, Todtenbuch, Bd. I., Bl. 34, ll. 4, 5.

2. Lanzone: op. cit., tavv. 87-91.

3. Lanzone, op. cit., tav. 368.]

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death and precedes the entry into eternal life, and the symbols with which he is accompanied explain the character attributed to this god.[1]

The god Ptah is also united with the gods Hapi, Nu and Tanen when he represents various phases of primeval matter.

Khnemu worked with Ptah in carrying out the work of creation ordered by Thoth, and is therefore one of the oldest divinities of Egypt; his name means, "to mould," "to model." His connexion with the primeval water caused him to be regarded as the chief god of the inundation and lord of the cataract at Elephantine. He dwelt in Annu, but he was lord of Elephantine, and "the builder of men, the maker of the gods, and the father from the beginning."

Elsewhere he is said to be

ari enti-s qemam unenet sa xeperu tef

Maker of things which are, creator of what shall be, the beginning of beings, father

tefu ma ma

of fathers, and mother of mothers.

He supported the heaven upon its four pillars in the beginning, and earth, air, sea, and sky are his handiwork. He is depicted in the form of a man having a ram's head and horns surmounted by plumes, uræi with disks, etc.; in one hand be holds the sceptre and in the other the emblem of life. Occasionally he is hawk-headed, and in one representation he holds the emblem of water, in each hand. On a late bas-relief at Philæ we find him seated at a potter's table upon which stands a human being whom he has just fashioned.[2]

Khepera was a form of the rising sun, and was both a type of matter which is on the point of passing from inertness into life, and also of the dead body which is about to burst forth into a new life in a glorified form. He is depicted in the form of a man having a beetle for a head, and this insect was his type and emblem among ancient nations, because it was believed to be self-begotten and self-produced; to this notion we owe the myriads of beetles or

[1. Lanzone, op. cit., p. 244.

2. Lanzone, op. cit., tav. 336, No. 3.]

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scarabs which are found in tombs of all ages in Egypt, and also in the Greek islands and settlements in the Mediterranean, and in Phœnicia, Syria, and elsewhere. The seat of the god Khepera was in the boat of the sun, and the pictures which present us with this fact[1] only illustrate an idea which is as old, at least, as the pyramid of Unas, for in this monument it is said of the king:-

ap-f em apt xenen-f em xeper em nest sut

He flieth like a bird, he alighteth like a beetle upon the empty throne

amt uaa-k Ra[2]

in thy boat, O Ra.

In the XVIIIth dynasty Queen Hatshepset declared herself to be "the creator of things which came into being like Khepera",[3] and in later times the scribes were exceedingly fond of playing upon the word used as a noun, adjective, verb and proper name.[4]

Tum or Atemu i.e., "the closer," was the great god of Annu, and the head of the great company of the gods of that place. It would seem that he usurped the position of Ra in Egyptian mythology, or at any rate that the priests of Annu succeeded in causing their local god, either separately or joined with Ra, to be accepted as the leader of the divine group. He represented the evening or night sun, and as such he is called in the XVth chapter of the Book of the Dead "divine god," "self-created," "maker of the gods," "creator of men," who stretched out the heavens," "the lightener of the tuat with his two eyes," etc.'

[1. Lanzone, op. cit., tav. 330.

2. Recueil de Travaux, t. iv., p. 57 (1. 477).

3 Lepsius, Denkmäler, Abth. iii., BL 22.

4 Compare ###. Maspero, Mémoires de la Mission, t. i., p. 595; and in the account of the Creation found in B.M. papyrus No. 10,188, Col. xxvi., ###.

5. Naville, Todtenbuch, Bd. I., Bl. 19, 20.]

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The "cool breezes of the north wind," for which every dead man prayed, were supposed to proceed from him. He is, as M. Lefébure has pointed out, always depicted in the form of a man; he wears the crowns and holds both the sceptre and emblem of life On a mummy case at Turin he is depicted in the boat of the Sun, in company with the god Khepera; between them are the beetle and sun's disk In later times the Egyptians called the feminine form of Tmu Temt.[2]

Ra was the name given to the sun by the Egyptians in a remote antiquity, but the meaning of the word, or the attribute which they ascribed to the sun by it, is unknown. Ra was the invisible emblem of God, and was regarded as the god of this earth, to whom offerings and sacrifices were made daily; and when he appeared above the horizon at the creation, time began. In the pyramid texts the soul of the deceased makes its way to where Ra is in heaven, and Ra is entreated to give it a place in the "bark of millions of years" wherein he sails over the sky. The Egyptians attributed to the sun a morning and an evening boat, and in these the god sat accompanied by Khepera and Tmu, his own forms in the morning and evening respectively. In his daily course he vanquished night and darkness, and mist and cloud disappeared from before his rays; subsequently the Egyptians invented the moral conception of the sun, representing the victory of right over wrong and of truth over falsehood. From a natural point of view the sun was synonymous with movement, and hence typified the life of man; and the setting of the one typified the death of the other. Usually Ra is depicted in human form, sometimes with the head of a hawk, and sometimes without[3], As early as the time of the pyramid texts we find Ra united with Tmu to form the chief god of Annu, and at the same period a female counterpart Rat was assigned to him.[4]

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« Reply #41 on: December 21, 2008, 11:13:18 pm »

Shu, the second member of the company of the gods of Annu, was the firstborn son of Ra, Ra-Tmu, or Tum, by the goddess Hathor, the sky, and was the twin brother of Tefnut. He typified the light, he lifted up the sky, Nut, from the earth, Seb, and placed it upon the steps which were in Khemennu.

[1. See Lanzone, op. cit., tav. 398.

2. Ibid., p. 1255-

3. Ibid., tav. 78.

4. Pyramid of Unas, l. 253.]

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He is usually depicted in the form of a man, who wears upon his head a feather or feathers and holds in his hand the sceptre. At other times he appears in the form of a man with upraised arms; on his head he has the emblem ###, and he is often accompanied by the four pillars of heaven, i.e., the cardinal points.[1] Among the many faïence amulets which are found in tombs are two which have reference to Shu: the little models of steps typify the steps upon which Shu rested the sky in Khemennu; and the crouching figure of a god supporting the sun's disk symbolizes his act of raising the sun's disk into the space between sky and earth at the time when he separated Nut from Seb.

Tefnut, the third member of the company of the gods of Annu, was the daughter of Ra, Ra-Tmu, or Tmu, and twin-sister of Shu; she represented in one form moisture, and in another aspect she seems to personify the power of sunlight. She is depicted in the form of a woman, usually with the head of a lioness surmounted by a disk or uræus, or both;[2] in faïence, however, the twin brother and sister have each a lion's head. In the pyramid texts they play a curious part, Shu being supposed to carry away hunger from the deceased, and Tefnut his thirst.[3]

Seb or Qeb, the fourth member of the company of the gods of Annu, was the son of Shu, husband of Nut, and by her father of Osiris, Isis, Set, and Nephthys. Originally he was the god of the earth, and is called both the father of the gods, and the "erpa (i.e., the tribal, hereditary head) of the gods." He is depicted in human form, sometimes with a crown upon his head and sceptre I in his right hand; and sometimes he has upon his head a goose,[4] which bird was sacred to him. In many places he is called the "great cackler" and he was supposed to have laid the egg from which the world sprang. Already in the pyramid texts he has become a god of the dead by virtue of representing the earth wherein the deceased was laid.

[1. See Lanzone, op. cit., tav. 385.

2. See Lanzone, op. cit., tav. 395.

3. Recueil de Travaux, t. v., p. 10 (l. 61).

4 See Lanzone op. cit. tav 346.]

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Ausar or Osiris, the sixth member of the company of the gods of Annu, was the son of Seb and Nut, and the husband of his sister Isis, the father of "Horus, the son of Isis," and the brother of Set and Nephthys. The version of his sufferings and death by Plutarch has been already described (see p. xlviii.). Whatever may have been the foundation of the legend, it is pretty certain that his character as a god of the dead was well defined long before the versions of the pyramid texts known to us were written, and the only important change which took place in the views of the Egyptians concerning him in later days was the ascription to him of the attributes which in the early dynasties were regarded as belonging only to Ra or to Ra-Tmu. Originally Osiris was a form of the sun-god, and, speaking generally, he may be said to have represented the sun after he had set, and as such was the emblem of the motionless dead; later texts identify him with the moon. The Egyptians asserted that he was the father of the gods who had given him birth, and, as he was the god both of yesterday and of to-day, he became the type of eternal existence and the symbol of immortality; as such he usurped not only the attributes of Ra, but those of every other god, and at length he was both the god of the dead and the god of the living. As judge of the dead he was believed to exercise functions similar to those attributed to God. Alone among all the many gods of Egypt, Osiris was chosen as the type of what the deceased hoped to become when, his body having been mummified in the prescribed way, and ceremonies proper to the occasion having been performed and the prayers said, his glorified body should enter into his presence in heaven; to him as "lord of eternity," by which title as judge of the dead he was commonly addressed, the deceased appealed to make his flesh to germinate and to save his body from decay.[1] The various forms in which Osiris is depicted are too numerous to be described here, but generally speaking he is represented in the form of a mummy wearing a crown and holding in his hands the emblems of sovereignty and power. A very complete series of illustrations of the forms of Osiris is given by Lanzone in his Dizionario, tavv. 258-299. The ceremonies connected with the celebration of the events of the sufferings, the death and the resurrection of Osiris occupied a very prominent part in the religious observances of the Egyptians, and it seems as if in the month of Choiak a representation of

[1. Compare ###. Naville, Todtenbuch, Bd. I., Bl. 179.]

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them took place in various temples in Egypt; the text of a minute description of them has been published by M. Loret in Recueil de Travaux, tom. iii., p. 43 ff, and succeeding volumes. A perusal of this work explains the signification of many of the ceremonies connected with the burial of the dead, the use of amulets, and certain parts of the funeral ritual; and the work in this form being of a late date proves that the doctrine of immortality, gained through the god who was "lord of the heavens and of the earth, of the underworld and of the waters, of the mountains, and of all which the sun goeth round in his course,"[1] had remained unchanged for at least four thousand years of its existence.

Auset or Isis, the seventh member of the company of the gods of Annu, was the wife of Osiris and the mother of Horus; her woes have been described both by Egyptian and Greek writers.[2] Her commonest names are "the great goddess, the divine mother, the mistress of charms or enchantments"; in later times she is called the "mother of the gods," and the "living one." She is usually depicted in the form of a woman, with a head-dress in the shape of a seat, the hieroglyphic for which forms her name. The animal sacred to her was the cow, hence she sometimes wears upon her head the horns of that animal accompanied by plumes and feathers. In one aspect she is identified with the goddess Selk or Serq, and she then has upon her head a scorpion, the emblem of that goddess;[3] in another aspect she is united to the star Sothis, and then a star is added to her crown. She is, however, most commonly represented as the mother suckling her child Horus, and figures of her in this aspect, in bronze and faïence, exist in thousands. As a nature goddess she is seen standing in the boat of the sun, and she was probably the deity of the dawn.

Heru or Horus, the sun-god, was originally a totally distinct god from Horus, the son of Osiris and Isis, but from the earliest times it seems that the two gods were confounded, and that the attributes of the one were ascribed to the other; the fight which Horus the sun-god waged against night and darkness was also at a very early period identified with the combat between Horus, the son of

[1. ###.

2. Chabas, Un Hymne à Osiris (in Revue Archéologique, t. xiv., p. 65 ff.); Horrack, Les Lamentations d'Isis et de Nephthys, Paris, 1866; The Festival Songs of Isis and Nephthys (in Archæologia, vol. lii., London, 1891), etc.

3 See Lanzone, op. cit., tav. 306 ff.]

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« Reply #42 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.]

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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.]

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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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« Reply #43 on: December 21, 2008, 11:14:53 pm »

[1. De Iside et Osiride, § 14.

2. See Lanzone, op. cit., p. 65.

3 Pyramid of Unas, l. 187.

4 See Le Nom antique de la Grande-Oasis (in Journal Asiatique, IXe Série, to i., pp. 233-40).

6 ###. Pyramid of Unas, l. 439.]

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they appear among the company of the gods who are present when the soul of the deceased is being weighed in the balance.

Tehuti or Thoth represented the divine intelligence which at creation uttered the words that were carried into effect by Ptah and Khnemu. He was self produced, and was the great god of the earth, air, sea and sky; and he united in himself the attributes of many gods. He was the scribe of the gods, and, as such, he was regarded as the inventor of all the arts and sciences known to the Egyptians; some of his titles are "lord of writing," "master of papyrus," "maker of the palette and the ink-jar," "the mighty speaker," "the sweet tongued"; and the words and compositions which he recited on behalf of the deceased preserved the latter from the influence of hostile powers and made him invincible in the "other world." He was the god of right and truth, wherein he lived, and whereby he established the world and all that is in it. As the chronologer of heaven and earth, he became the god of the moon; and as the reckoner of time, he obtained his name Tehuti, i.e., "the measurer"; in these capacities he had the power to grant life for millions of years to the deceased. When the great combat took place between Horus, the son of Isis, and Set, Thoth was present as judge, and he gave to Isis the cow's head in the place of her own which was cut off by Horus in his rage at her interference; having reference to this fact he is called Ap-rehui, "The judge of the two combatants." One of the Egyptian names for the ibis was Tekh, and the similarity of the sound of this word to that of Tehu, the name of the moon as a measurer of time, probably led the Egyptians to depict the god in the form of an ibis, notwithstanding the fact that the dog-headed ape was generally considered to be the animal sacred to him. It has been thought that there were two gods called Thoth, one being a form of Shu; but the attributes belonging to each have not yet been satisfactorily defined. In the monuments and papyri Thoth appears in the form of a man with the head of an ibis, which is sometimes surmounted by the crown ###, or ###, or ###, or by disk and horns ###, or ###, and he holds in his left hand the sceptre ### and in the right {the ankh} ###; sometimes he is depicted holding his ink-jar and the crescent moon, and sometimes he appears in the form of an ape holding a palette full of writing-reeds.' Thoth is mentioned in the pyramid texts[2] as the brother of Osiris, but whether he is the

[1. See Lanzone, op. cit., tav. 304, No. 1.

2. Pyramid of Unas, l. 236.]

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same Thoth who is called the "Lord of Khemennu" and the "Scribe of the gods" is doubtful.

Maat, the wife of Thoth, was the daughter of Ra, and a very ancient goddess; she seems to have assisted Ptah and Khnemu in carrying out rightly the work of creation ordered by Thoth. There is no one word which will exactly describe the Egyptian conception of Maat both from a physical and from a moral point of view; but the fundamental idea of the word is " straight," and from the Egyptian texts it is clear that maat meant right, true, truth, real, genuine, upright, righteous, just, steadfast, unalterable, etc. Thus already in the Prisse papyrus it is said, "Great is maat, the mighty and unalterable, and it hath never been broken since the time of Osiris,"[1] and Ptah-hetep counsels his listener to "make maat, or right and truth, to germinate."[2] The just, upright, and straight man is maat and in a book of moral precepts it is said, "God will judge the right (maa)[3] ###[4]. Maat, the goddess of the unalterable laws of heaven, and the daughter of Ra, is depicted in female form, with the feather emblematic of maat, on her head, or with the feather alone for a head, and the sceptre in one hand, and {an ankh} in the other.[5] In the judgment scene two Maat goddesses appear; one probably is the personification of physical law, and the other of moral rectitude.

Het-heru, or Hathor the "house of Horus," was the goddess of the sky wherein Horus the sun-god rose and set. Subsequently a great number of goddesses of the same name were developed from her, and these were identified with Isis, Neith, Iusaset, and many other goddesses whose attributes they absorbed. A group of seven Hathors is also mentioned, and these appear to have partaken of the nature of good fairies. In one form Hathor was the goddess of love, beauty,

[1. Page 17, 1. 5, ###.

2 Page 18, l. 1, ###.

3. Amélineau, la Morale, p. 138.

4. The various meanings of maat are illustrated by abundant passages from Egyptian texts by Brugsch, Wörterbuch (Suppl.), p. 329.

5. See Lanzone, op. cit. tav. 109.]

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Josie Linde
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« Reply #44 on: December 21, 2008, 11:15:44 pm »

happiness; and the Greeks identified her with their own Aphrodite. She is often depicted in the form of a woman having disk and horns upon her head, and at times she has the head of a lion surmounted by a uræus. Often she has the form of a cow--the animal sacred to her--and in this form she appears as the goddess of the tomb or Ta-sertet, and she provides meat and drink for the deceased.[1]

Meht-urt is the personification of that part of the sky wherein the sun rises, and also of that part of it in which he takes his daily course; she is depicted in the form of a cow, along the body of which the two barks of the sun are seen sailing. Already in the pyramid texts we find the attribute of judge ascribed to Meh-urt,[2] and down to a very late date the judgment of the deceased in the hall of double Maat in the presence of Thoth and the other gods was believed to take place in the abode of Meh-urt.[3]

Net or Neith, "the divine mother, the lady of heaven, the mistress of the gods," was one of the most ancient deities of Egypt, and in the pyramid texts she appears as the mother of Sebek.[4] Like Meh-urt she personifies the place in the sky where the sun rises. In one form she was the goddess of the loom and shuttle, and also of the chase; in this aspect she was identified by the Greeks with Athene. She is depicted in the form of a woman, having upon her head the shuttle or arrows, or she wears the crown and holds arrows, a bow, and a sceptre in her left hand; she also appears in the form of a cow.[5]

Sekhet was in Memphis the wife of Ptah, and the mother of Nefer-Tmu and of I-em-hetep. She was the personification of the burning heat of the sun, and as such was the destroyer of the enemies of Ra and Osiris. When Ra determined to punish mankind with death, because they scoffed at him, he sent Sekhet, his "eye," to perform the work of vengeance; illustrative of this aspect of her is a figure wherein she is depicted with the sun's eye for a head.[5] Usually

[1. A good set of illustrations of this goddess will be found in Lanzone, op. cit., tav. 314 f.

2. ###. Recueil de Travaux, t. iv., p. 48 (l. 427).

3. Pleyte, Chapitres supplémentaires du Livre des Morts (Chapp. 162, 162,* 163), p. 26.

4. Recueil de Travaux, t. iv., p. 76 (l. 627).

5. See Lanzone, op. cit., tav. 177.

6. Ibid., op. cit., tav. 364.]

{p. cxxi}

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