Presentation on theme: "Egyptian Creation myths There were four theories; however, each theory holds that in the beginning, only a primordial, stagnant ocean called Nu existed."— Presentation transcript:
Egyptian Creation myths There were four theories; however, each theory holds that in the beginning, only a primordial, stagnant ocean called Nu existed. In addition, the four theories agree that out of Nu, rose the primeval hill. Each cosmology believed it was their temple that stood on this hill. The first step-pyramids are no doubt symbolic of this mound. All cosmologies share the belief that creation was a slow process, not catastrophic. Finally, they also all agree that there was a "First Time,“ or a time period when the gods actually lived on earth.
Heliopolitan cosmogony the Heliopolitan cosmogony develops the myth further. The first event was the creation of Amun, the god of Heliopolis. There is dispute over whether he created himself, or was the son of Nu. Some texts say he first appeared over the hill, others say he was, himself, the hill. Eventually, Atum became associated with Ra, the sun-god. Ra-Atum at this point is said to be the coming of the light to disperse the darkness of Nu. His next task was to create other gods. He did this by masturbation, not having a mate. This was not offensive to ancient Egyptians, but in fact intensified his power in their minds. Ra-Amun gave birth by spitting out twins: Shu,the god of the air and Tefnut, goddess of world order. Shu and Tefnut gave birth to Geb, god of the earth, and his wife and sister, Nut, goddess of the sky. Geb and Nut, in turn, were the parents of Isis, Osiris, Nephthys, and Set. Horus, another god was the son of Isis and Osiris.
Creator gods--Amun King of gods, primeval, hidden power Thebes, Hemopolis Magna
Children of Nut and Geb Isis and Nepthys Osiris Seth
Death of Osiris Osiris is the focus of a famous legend in which he was killed by the rival god Seth. At a banquet of the gods, Seth fooled Osiris into stepping into a coffin, which he promptly slammed shut and cast into the Nile. The coffin was born by the Nile to the delta town of Byblos, where it became enclosed in a tamarisk tree. Isis, the wife of Osiris, discovered the coffin and brought it back. (The story to this point is attested only by the Greek writer Plutarch, although Seth was identified as his murderer as early as the Pyramid era of the Old Kingdom.) Seth took advantage of Isis's temporary absence on one occasion, cut the body to pieces, and cast them into the Nile.
Rescue of Osiris by Isis Isis searched the land for the body parts of Osiris, and was eventually able to piece together his body, whole save for the penis, which had been swallowed by a crocodile (according to Plutarch) or a fish (according to Egyptian texts). In some Egyptian texts, the penis is buried at Memphis. Isis replaced the penis with a reasonable facsimile, and she was often portrayed in the form of a kite being impregnated by the corpse of Osiris. In some Egyptian texts, the scattering of the body parts is likened to the scattering of grain in the fields, a reference to Osiris's role as a vegetation god.