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Ancient Egypt: From Belief Systems to a Civilization

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Culture is the basis of any society present on our earth today and therefore of any ancient civilization we have historically come to know. Culture may simply be defined as a “way of life” but in essence, that can be disembodied into a collection of belief systems based on religion, economy, politics, family, and so on. As with construction companies, schools, or government systems, all people who choose to follow a specific philosophy of life must function as one undivided group- a society. A prime example of vast belief systems coming together as one culture could be found around 4000 years ago, during the times of the Ancient Egyptians. As historian Paul Johnson said, “In the Egypt of antiquity, State, religion and culture formed an indisputable unity.” The one-of-a-kind theocratic religious government, along with other views of the people of Egypt can be presumed to be the cause of the daily behavior of the Egyptians, as well as the continuous development of the civilization- leading it to be such an important part in the ancient world.
The life of an Egyptian, from birth to death, was centered around their religion; whether it was belief in their many polytheistic gods, worship of the pharaoh, or struggle to have a spot in the afterlife. The Egyptian people worshiped their pharaohs equivalently as a god; he or she was considered to possess ‘maat’, which stood for divine order and morality, and was also in charge of dispensing this peace. In order for the god-king to ascend to the throne, he must claim to be the son of the King of the Gods, Ra, rather than the son of a previous king. The pharaoh was looked up to by all members of society in the event of sacrifices, connections/prayers to the gods, and guidance for a moral, s...

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...and allow themselves to expand. The two seas along their northeastern shorelines provided easy trade routes to Middle Eastern kingdoms including Babylon, Sumer and Aksum, as well as Mediterranean powers like Anatolia and Greece. Although the two main geographical features, the Nile and the Sahara desert, provided benefits for the ancient Egyptians, the contrast between the two of them influenced the mental opinions of the certain population of people who depended on them.

Works Cited

Putnam, James. An Introduction to Egyptology. Edison, NJ: Chartwell Books, 1990. 6-109. Print.

Casson, Lionel. Daily Life in Ancient Egypt. New York, NY: American Heritage Publishing Co., Inc., 1975. 4-122. Print.

Lesko, Leonard H. Religion and the Afterlife. 2001. EBSCO. Web. 12 Apr. 2014.

Brewer, Douglas J., and Emily Teeter. Ancient Egyptian Society and Family Life. Cambridge
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