The Other Gods


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the other gods Egyptian Religions

No other country- not even China or India had such a long history as Ancient
Egypt. For nearly, 3,000 years before the birth of Jesus, the Egyptians had
already a high developed civilization. The Egyptians lived in an orderly
government; they built great stone structures; most of important of all they
established an acquired religion. For the Egyptians there was no break between
their religious beliefs and their daily life. Even their culture would all lie
at the bottom compared to their religious beliefs. For an example, Egyptian art
was never reflected as a representation; however, it was a sense of symbolic
pictures that spoke of the life of the gods and the hope of eternity to come.
This desire for the renewal of life, and the creative urge to ensure it by
ritual and symbolism existed in Egypt from the earliest times of the Neolithic
Era. Archaeologist were able to uncover clay figurines of Osiris laced with
sprouting corn. As the corn grew the model would open, as an image of life-in-
death. Archaeologist were also able to find that their people also liked to keep
the dead close to them. The Egyptians soon came to believe deeply that the good
administration of the dead, just like the management of the Niles water could
lead to an everlasting life. Many think of the Ancient Egyptians as a morbid,
death-obsessed people. We think of this because all of what we have uncovered is
mummies, tombs, and graves. However, we know more about the Egyptians in death
than what we know about their lives. Since, the earliest times the Egyptians
were very passionately concerned with the continued existence of their loved
ones and their souls. The idea that Osiris had passes through death and risen
into a new life was deeply rooted in the Egyptian consciousness that Osiris had
to struggle against the forces of evil. So did the human soul now following him
to gain eternity. By 2,500 BCE, helpful instructions, known as the pyramid texts
were carved or painted on tomb walls to help the soul act in the various trials
of it journey in the Netherworld (also referred to as the Under World). A
thousand years later, in the New Kingdom, these instructions had been formalized
into The Coming into Day, or The Egyptian Book of the Dead. This magical text
for the underworld journey was a set of spells, incantations, and mummification
techniques designed to help the dead person resurrect into a glorious afterlife
in heaven, or The Hall of the Two Truths. These mystical texts are
from the New Kingdom. The similar ones that were found in the pyramids from the
Old Kingdom, and the coffins were from the Middle Kingdom. One can imagine these
text by thinking about how church rituals are run. One goes to church, and the
rituals are holy texts that come from a book known as the bible or genesis. In
Ancient Egypt, these burial rituals are not read from a book. At first, they are
read directly off of the wall in inner chambers of a pyramid; later they were
read directly off sides of the coffins. The Coming into Day, which was from the
New Kingdom, was read off of papyrus sheets, much as religious rituals are today
as they are read out of books. The Book of the Dead was to be relatively cheap
to purchase. As an Egyptian that had more riches in the New Kingdom, one would
be able to buy a copy that would have blanks where the names go. A scribe would
be hired to insert the name in all those blank spots. In the text, the blank
spots were the name of the deceased. The letter N indicates it. If there
were no name to be put in it they would refer to the Dead person as N.
Wealthy Egyptians had a personalized version prepared before their death so many
versions have been discovered. One of the most famous one was created for Ani, a
Royal Scribe, who lived during the nineteenth dynasty, and died in 1250 BC. If
one were to die or a loved one dies, one would be buried with the papyrus
scroll. As a result, a few of these texts survived. In the book the body was
represented as the Ka. The Ka was the spiritual body that everyone had, which
was the mirror image of the physical body. When a person died it was the Ka,
which lived on in ... more

the other gods

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Prometheus 2

Prometheus

Who was responsible for bring fire to mankind, who was chained to the top of a mountain and had his liver devoured by an eagle every night? The answer: Prometheus.  This god was part of a mighty group of gods called Titans. The poet Hesoid described Prometheus as a trickster, and a troublemaker. Aeschylus described Prometheus as a “tragic hero”. Many plays have been written about Prometheus, including “Prometheus”.
Prometheus was a cunning, intelligent being. During the war of the Titans, he advised them to use strategy, instead of just going out and having a massive bloodbath.
(Encyclopedia Americana, 577) Beethoven, Wolfgang Von Goethe, Percy Bysshe, and Bach all created works inspired by the myths of Prometheus. Prometheus had no Roman name, only a Greek name, Prometheus. (Graves, 185) He was one of the few gods that only had a Greek name. No one knows why he only had a Greek name, we can only guess.
His father, Iapetus was also a mighty Titan, one of the first Titans. His mother, Clymene, was a beautiful nymph from the deep trenches of the oceans of the world. (Hodge, 352) The story of his birth is rather sketchy, most books just outline the story of Iapetus and Clymene being madly in love with each other, and having a son, and naming him Prometheus. He had a brother who was named Atlas. (Encyclopedia Americana, 576) (Picture taken from Microsoft Encarta, 1998)
Prometheus isn’t really in charge of anything, except bringing fire to mankind and creation on man. When responsibilities were handed out, Prometheus was left out, possibly because he was a Titan, no one really knows.)
Prometheus is recognized by his nudity, the stalk of fennel that he carried fire to mankind in, and the crown of sticks and leaves that sits atop his head. (Tripp, 439)
A giant, roaring fire symbolizes Prometheus, most people understand why, and that is because he gave the gift of fire to mankind.
Prometheus has few unique characteristics. He isn’t a massive beast, he doesn’t have magical powers, and he doesn’t have huge, rippling muscles. He does, on the other hand, have an immortal liver. In a certain Greek Myth, Prometheus stole fire from the hearth of the gods, the gods became angry, especially Zeus. (World Book Encyclopedia, 567) Zeus ordered Prometheus chained to the top of a huge mountain as punishment for stealing fire from the hearth of the gods. During his imprisonment atop the mountain, he was tortured daily by either a vulture, or eagle. (Academic American Encyclopedia, 743)  the vulture or eagle would tear out his liver, and devour it, again, and again, and again. Each night, after enduring the great pain, Prometheus’ liver would grow back, in the exact same place in his body ready for the next day’s punishment. It is odd, that being a god, that is his only unique characteristic. (Picture taken from Microsoft Encarta, 1998)
There are a lot of Greek myths about the great Titan Prometheus. One of which is about how he stole fire from the hearth of the gods, and gave it as a gift to mankind.
Zeus was angry with the humans, and as a punishment, denied them fire. He then took the fire, that was meant for the humans, and placed it in the hearth of the gods, so he and all the other gods could keep warm. Prometheus sympathized with the humans. During the night, while all the gods were asleep, Prometheus made his way around the slumbering Zeus. He then made his way to the hearth of the gods, and grabbed the fire. Being a god, he was not harmed by the fire. He pulled out the stock of a fennel, that he had prepared earlier and put the fire in it. He made his way past Zeus, and all the other sleeping gods. Prometheus ran out into the night. He walked all night, and at the break of dawn, finally reached earth. He came upon a group of humans preparing the mornings meal. He handed the stalk of fennel to the eldest of the group and told him what it was, and how to use it. Prometheus began the long ... more

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