There were few things to impress themselves upon the Egyptian mind; their psychological impact however was immense. There was the Nile itself, source of all life, there was the mysterious regularity of the Sun, Moon and stars; there was fertility and death. It was out of fear and mystery of these things that "...the Egyptians made their complex heirachy of Gods, and their strange religion. In the service of that religion they made their architecture" (Romer: 75,1982). Thus, the art and architecture of Ancient Egypt stemmed directly from their religion.
Spirits of the dead were also able to guide the living. There were numerous gods, but the most prevalent and lasting gods were Ra, Ma’at, Isis, Horus, Osiris, Bast, and Bes (Gods and Mythology). The Egyptians believed that Ra, the Sun God, was the creator of the world, and the sun was viewed as the symbol of creation. Ra became greatly associated with the pharaoh during the late 2nd Dynasty and the 5th Dynasty. The pharaoh ruled the mortal realm, while Ra ruled the greater universe, which made them “a mirror image of each other.” Ma’at was Ra’s closest ally; she was the “personification of the fundamental order of the universe.” Order and justice was revered and even the gods were known to worship Ma’at.
The people of Egypt willingly labored to build these monuments for their rulers, believing that, as gods, the pharaohs had to be properly provided for in their afterlife. The Step Pyramid was built around 2630 B.C. It exhibited a radical new shape never before used, and it was so new the Egyptians used its silhouettes as the hieroglyphic for “primeval mound”, the first piece of earth to emerge from the soup of creation (Malek 90). King Djoser's chief architect for his pyramid was Imhotep. It is thought that King Djoser's stone tomb started out having the standard shape of a mastaba.
For the Egyptians, art was made to serve a particular purpose, usually a religious one. Religious beliefs largely dictated what artists created, especially the paintings that filled Egyptian temples and tombs. Temples were decorated with paintings and filled with statues of gods and kings in the belief that doing this served the gods, showed devotion to the king, and maintained the order of the universe. The Egyptian belief in life after death was perhaps the most important part of their culture and probably helped to stabilize their society for so many centuries. The laws and rules of code the ancient Egyptian’s lived by daily also helped them to understand the seemingly ambiguous nature in The Tale of Sinuhe (1875 BC).
Ancient Egypt took their religion seriously. Egyptians worshiped and cared for their gods. The people of Ancient Egypt had a deep belief in the divine and that their lives were controlled by the gods. The king of their gods was the sun god, Re. The people of Ancient Egypt believed that the Pharaoh was a god, plus their ruler.
As for Egypt the lawgivers were the gods, ruling through the pharaoh. In Egypt the pharaohs were seen as living gods therefore the Egyptians worshipped their pharaohs as gods. In both civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt religion was implanted in the social and personal life of the people. Which they also build temples that they worshipped. Religious laws and duties were crucial to the day-to-day life of the people to their social spot.
During his time of rule Egyptian had very barbaric characteristics. He is believed to have taught the Egyptian the way of agriculture and how to worship gods. However, with the conflict faced between Seth and Osiris he also became the god of the afterlife. After his time of rule, the book of the dead became a very important piece of history for the people of ancient Egypt, especially when it pertained to the idea of the afterlife. The book of the dead was “a collection of spells and illustrations written on a papyrus roll” (Taylor 5).
They include illustrations and pictures that sometimes show the individual person as they make their journey to their afterlife. Pharaohs and wealthy families would have personal inscriptions, but the average middle class family could not usually afford the cost (Hoffman September 16th). Mythology had a huge impact on all of ancient Egyptian culture. It was part of the core things that Egypt revolved around. Even though throughout time periods there were different main gods of that time, everyone followed what the pharaohs and religion was at that time.
In conclusion, Ancient Egypt has a very complex religion and beliefs that would be considered bizarre in many parts of the world. They believed in many gods, some took part in the creation of the universe. Others brought the flood every year, offered protection and took care of people after they died. The ancient Egyptians thought that it was important to recognize and worship the gods because they represented the peace and harmony across the land. BIBLIOGRAPHY “Egypt.” Encyclopeadia Brittanica: Macropedia.
The highly developed belief of polytheism in the Egyptian culture was made up of many gods. This belief is the base to the Egyptian culture and life. In the Egyptian polytheistic culture the gods took on form and characteristics of objects found in nature. The Egyptian god Ra is considered the father of gods and was the most important and worshiped god. When the Egyptians think of the figure that Ra looks like it is normally a body of a human with the head of a falcon.