Egyptian Culture and Mythology

Essay by sabbalongHigh School, 12th gradeA+, October 2014

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Sabrina Long

Mr. Colby Williams

GAVS Mythology

3 October 2014

Egyptian Culture & Mythology

Although many people know what a mummy, or pyramid, or pharaoh is, much fewer understand these items' cultural and religious significance in their place of origin: ancient Egypt. Ancient Egyptian civilizations were some of the most socially and technologically advanced societies in the world during their periods of greatest prosperity. Their cultural influences left an indelible mark on the culture of Egypt and surrounding areas, as well as on the history of the world. Because Egyptian civilizations flourished for many centuries, its various belief systems and customs changed greatly over time. However in general, the role of the pharaoh as ruler and a polytheistic religion remained constant throughout Egypt's history.

While many ancient civilizations had kings, queens, or emperors, the Egyptians were distinct in that they were ruled by pharaohs. Unlike most countries today, there was no separation of church and state in ancient Egypt.

Therefore, a pharaoh was not only the political leader but the religious leader of the land and people as well, holding the titles of "Lord of the Two Lands" and "High Priest of Every Temple" (Mark, "Ancient Egyptian Culture"). They were also considered gods on Earth (not actual gods themselves, but the mortal personification of the gods' will). Because of this, the pharaohs had immense power and were worshipped by all people with the same reverence shown for the gods ("The Gods"). Along with being in charge of making laws, collecting taxes, waging war, and officiating religious ceremonies, the chief responsibility, and perhaps the one most spiritually meaningful, of the pharaoh was "to maintain Ma'at, universal harmony, in the country" (Mark, "Ancient Egyptian Culture"). This entitled punishing the guilty, protecting the good, and maintaining "order, balance, and justice"; this...