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THE EGYPTIAN BOOK OF THE DEAD

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Introduction

Thomas J. Creatore World Civilization 101 IDEAL Program/Fall 2007 Dr. Daniel Davies September 9, 2007 THE EGYPTIAN BOOK OF THE DEAD Primary Source Reflection Paper #1 The religion of the people of Egypt is truly the pinnacle of their lives. Religion played an essential role in everyday life. Egyptians credited everything from personal illness, low food supply, love, family and even the Nile River flooding. Having admiration or hate for the gods and goddesses, could play a vital role in the Egyptians lives. From Osiris, Isis, Horus and Ra, and a mystical book of mortuary spells written on sheets of papyrus covered with magical texts and illustrations (vignettes). I am speaking of "The Egyptian Book of the Dead." Starting off with Egypt's most popular sect devoted to Osiris, the fertility god of the Nile. His death represents a garden; planting, nurturing and sprouting a brand new flower. The myth, according to the high priests, was that Osiris was murdered by his brother, Seth. His brother cut up Osiris' body into numerous pieces and scattered them around of Egypt. Osiris' wife, Isis, collected all the pieces of his body and wrapped them in linen. He was restored to life to father Horus, help vegetation and have the Nile flood. ...read more.

Middle

The story of this injury is probably an allusion to the phases of the moon as the eye which is "torn out" every month. The ancients believed this symbol of indestructibility would assist in rebirth. The Eye of Horus was found under the 12th layer of bandages on Tutankhamen's mummy. For the Egyptians, the sun most basically represented light, warmth, and therefore, growth. This made Ra very important to Egyptians, and it is probably therefore no coincidence that he came to be seen as the ruler of all. The sun was either seen as the body or eye of Ra. The sun was thought to travel in a boat, to protect its fires from the primordial waters Nun of the underworld it passed through during the night. Ra traveled in the sun boat with various deities, including Ma'at who guided the boat's course and Set and Mehen who defended against monsters in the underworld. These monsters included Apep, the serpent who tried to stop the sun boat's journey every day by consuming it. So, the Egyptians saw the sunrise as the rebirth of the sun through Nut, the sky, and thus attributed the concept of rebirth and renewal to Ra, strengthening his role as a creator god. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Eye of Horus or Ra, which represents knowledge of things human and divine, as well as knowledge of Maat (Goddess of Truth). This is concept similar to that of the Taoist Yin-yang symbol. Spiritually, the right eye reflects masculine energy, as well as reason and mathematics. The left eye reflects fluid, feminine, rules intuition and magic. Together, they represent a combined, transcendent power like no other god. Relating Ra and Horus in today's society would be easy. A team, working together to protect and serve their people. To make their followers feel safe in the scariest of times and to warm them in times of cold. Family and friends can join together and remind us of these two Egyptian gods, they show us the right path and are always right behind us when we need them. Two different "people" working together for a common goal, isn't that what put world is supposed to be all about? History of our world proves that it can be done, no matter who steps in the way. WEB SOURCES: Excerpts from the Egyptian Book of the Dead http://jbilharz.de/ellis/egypt.html The Book of the Dead (and of the Rebirth) http://www.historel.net/livremorts/bookdead01.htm The Book of the Dead & Abraham http://www2.ida.net/graphics/shirtail/egyptian.htm Historical Relics www.historelic.com/deadbook TEXT SOURCE: Civilization Past & Present (Volume 1) Brummett, Edgar, Hackett, Jewsbury and Molony. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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