The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt

The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt

4.23 (460 ratings by Goodreads)

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A comprehensive and authoritative illustrated guide to the deities that lay at the heart of Ancient Egyptian religion and society. It examines the evolution, worship and eventual decline of a huge pantheon, from minor figures such as Bas, Babi, Ba-Pef and Taweret to the all-powerful Osiris, Amun, Hathor, Isis and Re.

The author considers the differing manifestations, iconography and cult centres of the deities and their fluctuating popularity. He also examines levels of worship, from the king's formal rituals and festivals to popular access and personal piety. The accompanying photographs and drawings depict tomb paintings, temple reliefs, statues and other iconography.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 256 pages
  • 192 x 254 x 27.94mm | 1,250g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 206 Illustrations, black and white; 132 Illustrations, color
  • 0500051208
  • 9780500051207
  • 142,923

Table of contents

Rise and Fall of the Gods considers the origins of Egypt's deities, the stories of gods who struggled to control cosmic forces of chaos and destruction and could themselves die, and their eventual decline. Nature of the Gods examines the forms, appearances and manifestations of the deities, as well as the transcendence of pre-eminent deities such as Amun and the apparent monotheism of Atenism under Akhenaten. Worship of the Gods introduces the rituals and mysteries of formal Egyptian worship, including the importance of temples and festivals, and examines popular access to the gods and private worship. Kingship and the Gods discusses the all-important position of the king, who served as a bridge between the gods and humanity and who could himself be deified and rule among the gods. The Many Faces of the Divine is a unique catalogue of Egypt's gods and goddesses grouped according to their primary forms, discussing their iconography, mythology and worship and their varying influence across Egypt over time.
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Review quote

An intriguing overview of early Egyptian lore [that] entices the reader to explore ancient beliefs and art. The work balances text with an elegant array of illustrations ranging from full-color tomb murals to sculpture, line drawings, and photos. This comprehensive study of Egyptian theism has much to offer, particularly the impact of symbolism and hieroglyphic writing on literature, art, architecture, processions, ritual, costume, and jewelry. Highly recommended.
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About Richard H. Wilkinson

Richard H. Wilkinson is Director of the University of Arizona Egyptian Expedition and has been engaged in excavation and research in Egypt for many years. He is the author of Reading Egyptian Art, Symbol and Magic in Egyptian Art, The Complete Valley of the Kings (with Nicholas Reeves) and The Complete Temples of Ancient Egypt.
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Rating details

460 ratings
4.23 out of 5 stars
5 46% (210)
4 37% (172)
3 13% (61)
2 2% (10)
1 2% (7)
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