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Monday, February 11, 2013

Nile River is Source of Religion

Source of Religion
The Egyptians believed that their religion was important to their survival in the Nile Valley. The people of ancient Egypt used stories about their gods to explain events in nature. The ancient Egyptians believed the sun was a god who was born each day and died each night. This explained why the sun seemed to go away at night and return each morning. The sun became a symbol of the life cycle.

The ancient Egyptians believed in many gods, each with a different responsibility. For example, Thoth was the god of wisdom. Hathor was the goddess of love. Osiris ruled over the dead.

Hapi was the god of the Nile River.
Hapi is often shown in Egyptian art as a man with a papyrus plant sprouting from the top of his head.

The ancient Egyptians believed that the Nile floods were controlled by their gods. Many celebrations in honor of Hapi usually took place during Inundation.

The sun god, Re, was among the most important of the Egyptian gods. In Egyptian wall paintings, Re is often pictured as a falcon, soaring in the sky. At other times he is shown as the sun, riding in a special kind of boat called a solar bark. The ancient Egyptians believed that Re sailed through the sky just as they sailed on the Nile.

Re is the subject of many ancient Egyptian stories. One of these stories says that long ago a small island appeared out of nothingness. On that island grew a lotus blossom. From this blossom came the sun god, Re. Re then created the other gods and the world as the Egyptians knew it. Re was later combined with another Egyptian god, Amon. Amon-Re became the Egyptians' most powerful god.

The Egyptians prayed to their gods and believed in a life after death, or afterlife. Some Egyptian prayers were collected in what is now known as the Book of the Dead. Egyptians placed a copy of the Book of the Dead in their tombs and believed it would serve as a guide in their afterlife.

How did the Egyptians explain events in nature?


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