Ancient Egyptian Myths and Legends (Barnes & Noble Library of Essential Reading)
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The myths and legends of ancient Egypt still reach out to us across nearly six thousand years with timeless and universal expressions of human hopes and fears that are sometimes quite familiar, sometimes quite strange. This book gives an introduction to the study of Egypt.
introduced into it, with the result that shortly afterward they became absorbed into the prevailing Egyptian 4-4 COMMERCE type of their kind, with scarcely any modification. The horse and the camel were comparatively late importations into Egypt, and the tardy introduction ot the former is eloquent of the isolated character of the country. The feudal system was general throughout ancient Egypt, and the Pharaoh was chiefly employed in keeping his greater subj ects in check. These modelled their
(the One Broken in Pieces,' and the Dacotas believe that when the moon is full a horde of mice begin to nibble at one side of it until they have devoured the whole. To continue Sir J. G. Frazer's argument, he quotes Plu. 7f PRIMITIVE CONCEPTIONS OF THE MOON tarch to the effect that at the new moon of the month Phanemoth, which was the beginning of spring, the Egyptians celebrated what they called' the entry of Osiris into the moon' ; that at the ceremony called the 'Burial of Osiris' they made
harvest and goddess of food. So that from first to last she personified the forces which make for growth and nourishment. She personifies the power of the spring season, the power of the earth to grow and yield grain, motherhood and all the attributes and 83 ANCIENT EGYPTIAN MYTHS affinities which spring therefrom. It is not necessary in this place to trace her worship into Greece, Rome, and Western Europe, where it became greatly degraded from its pristine purity. The dignified worship of the
during the dynastic period was centred in the city of Anu, On, or Heliopolis, about five miles from the modern Cairo. The priests of the god had settled there during the Fifth Dynasty, the first king of which, User-ka-f, was high-priest of the god, a circumstance which denotes that the cult must even at this early period (3350 B.C.) have gained great ascendancy in that part of Egypt. An ancient legend describes how the progeny of Ra first gained the Egyptian throne, and will be found on page 200.
cairn, a huge grave-mound, on which, instead of stones or pieces of rock, enormous blocks of granite were piled. Often the burial-chamber it contains is nothing than a mere vault, to which access is gained by a narrow passage or gallery, which was carefully blocked up after the royal fun eral. Originally these burial-chambers were quite unadorned, and it was not until the end of the Middle Kingdom that it became usual to inscribe their walls 23 ANCIENT EGYPTIAN MYTHS with texts relating to the