Egyptian Myth and Legend by Donald Mackenzie

By Donald Mackenzie

Egyptian mythology is of hugely advanced personality, and can't be thought of except its racial andhistorical facets. The Egyptians have been, as a Hebrew prophet has declared, a "mingled people", and this viewhas been proven through fresh ethnological study: "the technique; of racial fusion started within the Delta at thedawn of history", says Professor Elliot Smith, "spread throughout the entire land of Egypt". In localities theearly Nilotic population approved the spiritual ideals of settlers, and fused those with their very own. They alsoclung tenaciously to the crude and primitive tribal ideals in their distant ancestors, and not deserted anarchaic notion even if they bought new and extra enlightened rules; they authorised myths literally,and seemed with nice sanctity old ceremonies and usages. They even confirmed a bent to multiplyrather than to minimize the variety of their gods and goddesses, via symbolizing their attributes. accordingly, wefind it essential to care for a bewildering variety of deities and a pressured mass of ideals, a lot of whichare imprecise and contradictory. however the common Egyptian used to be by no means dismayed via inconsistencies in religiousmatters: he appeared relatively to be thinking about them. there has been, strictly talking, no orthodox creed in Egypt;each provincial centre had its personal distinct theological process, and the faith of somebody appears to be like tohave depended in most cases on his conduct of lifestyles. "The Egyptian", as Professor Wiedemann has stated, "neverattempted to systematize his conceptions of different divinities right into a homogeneous faith. it really is open tous to talk of the non secular principles of the Egyptians, yet no longer of an Egyptian religion."

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He departed abruptly with his burden and hastened to the field, where he resumed his labour. At eventide Anpu returned home and Bata prepared to follow after him. The elder brother entered his house and found his wife lying there, and it seemed as if she had suffered violence from an evildoer. She did not give him water to wash his hands, as was her custom. Nor did she light the lamp. The house was in darkness. She moaned where she lay, as if she were in sickness, and her garment was beside her.

The divine being was buried in the earth; the seeds were the fragments of his body. Reference is made to this old custom in Psalm cxxvi: "They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him". When harvest operations began, the Egyptians mourned because they were slaying the corn spirit. Diodorus Siculus tells that when the first handful of grain was cut, the Egyptian reapers beat their breasts and lamented, calling upon Isis.

Ra said to the other gods: "The pig will be abominable to Horus". For that reason pigs were never sacrificed to him. Ra restored the injured eye, and created for Horus two horizon brethren who would guard him against thunderstorms and rain. The Egyptians regarded the pig as an unclean animal. Herodotus relates that if they touched it casually, they at once plunged into water to purify themselves. Swineherds lost caste, and were not admitted to the temples. Pork was never included among the meat offerings to the dead.

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