Myth and symbol in Ancient Egypt
In this essay, I'll explain the Myth of Osiris, the Egypiang God of Afterlife. Most information we have on this myth derive from allusions contained in the Pyramid Texts and from the writings of Greek authors, like Plutarch. Osiris is usually depicted as a mummy, whose hands project through his wrappings to hold the royal insignia of crookand flail. He wears the distictive atef crown, consisting of a tall white crown flanked by two feathers. His skin was sometimes shown as white, like the mummy wrappings, black to signify the fertile Nile alluvium, or green in allusion to resurrection. I will start with a short introduction in a daily life in Ancient Egypt focused in the religion. Ather that I will explain the Myth of Osiris.Religion in Ancient Egypt The ancient Egypt religion might be difficult to understand as the way of the religions nowadays. In ancient Egypt, the religion was based on the cult to a local gods.That gods were the owners and masters of Egypt. Everything happened in daily life in Egypt was in the hands of the gods. There is no sacred literature, like the Bible in Christianity, which explained theCreation. There are religious texts of ancient Egypt -like “The book of the death”- but they are just a collection of formulas about the way to have a prosperous time in Afterlife. All in egyptian ancient times life revolved around the gods, responsibles for everything, good or bad. The pharaon was the successor of the early kings, gods and he was the link between them and the people. The pharaonwas the instrument to maintain the cosmic order. The fear for Egyptians 4000 years ago was precisely the loss of cosmic order, because if that order had been broken, they would have been in the chaos, like at the beginning of time. This concept is extremely important in the study of Ancient Egypt. The main concern of the religious establishment is not the
Creation but the cosmos, and theirorder. It´s notably the cult to the sun. Egypt is a country of sun, and the Egyptians revered it as a source of existence. God Ra began to have value in the Dynasty II, and in the Dynasty V the Pharaon got the title of “Son of Ra”. Sometimes gods having similar features were linked to each other. Ra was the God of Sun -supreme creator- and Amon was a God of Wind and Air, but over time -during theTwelfth Dynasty- became venerated as AmonRa. The people in Ancient Egypt obeyed the official religion. They had refused access to the temples, because that places were the houses of God, only the Pharaon and the priests of the temple had access to the sanctuary. Only in certain festivals the idol was carried out of the temple, but always in a special box or covered by veil.
The Myth of Osiris Intimes when Ra ruled the world, he was warned about that if his daughter Nut -goddess of celestial space- had had sexual relations with Geb - God of Earth- and she had been pregnant, her son child in any day of the year. Nut sought the advise of Thot -God of Wisdom- and he found the way to avoid the curse. Thot went to Jonsu – God of Moon- whose brightness was almost like sun´s, and challenged himto a game of chance. They played and Jonsu was defeated. The bet was in 1/72 part of daily moon´s brightness. This was the religious explanation about why the moon declines and recoveries thoughout the mounth. With this light Thot would have been the Ruler of human race. Therefore Ra cursed Nut, and she couldn´t have a
created five new days, and put them at the end of the previous year. SoNut could have their five children -and at the same timeshe
respeted the Ra´s curse. Her first son was Osiris, and his birth was announced as a birth of the great master of all things touched by the sunlight. The others Nut´s sons were Seth, Isis and Neftis. Osiris -the eldest son- was the heir to the kingdom and represented the goodness and the fertility of the land, whereas his brother Seth...