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Seeing Egyptian Culture Through the Book of the Dead and The Creation Myth

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Seeing Egyptian Culture Through the Book of the Dead and The Creation Myth Two works of literature representing the Egyptian Culture are the book of the dead and the creation myth. The book of the dead focuses upon magic spells which ensure the safe journey of the deceased to the other world and his acceptance and beatification there by Osiris its lord and ruler (Hodges 127). The Egyptian creation myth is concerned with the creation of Egyptian gods, how these gods intend create the universe and all living things. These two works show how the afterlife and gods play a major role in the Egyptian culture. In the Egyptian culture, for the deceased to travel to the underworld he would have to confront irrational forces. To confront these forces with ease, the Book of the Dead was used to allow the dead to pass through the obstacles of the afterlife. The Book of the Dead was most commonly papyrus scroll inscribed with text and placed in the burial chamber of the deceased. These texts were a collection of hymns, spells, and instructions primarily intended to enable the deceased person to defeat the trials and peril of the next world and emerge safely from the tomb. . The most significant afterlife trial that everyone faced took the form of a judgment of one's soul on a set of scales like those the Egyptians used in their earthly existence. After the deceased had ritualistically denied a list of forty-two misdeeds, the so-called negative confession—his or her heart was put on one scale-pan, while a feather symbolizing the principle of Ma'at was placed on the other (Goelet Jr). According to this beautiful metaphor, one's heart had to be as light as a feather in relation to sin (Goelet Jr). Thereafter, one was consi... ... middle of paper ... ... Work Cited 1. Ayman Fadi. Egyptian Creation Myth -The HeliopolitanVersion. Aldokkan. 2002-2009 http://www.aldokkan.com/religion/creation.htm 2. Caroline Peck, BrownUniversity. The Mystica. October 19, 2009 http://www.themystica.com/mystica/articles/b/book_of_the_dead.html 3. Deurer. The creation methodology. The great creators. 1996-2008. http://www.egyptartsite.com/crea.html#int K.M.Jonsson.Antient Egyptian Religion. Webring Ink.1998-2008 http://www.philae.nu/akhet/index.html 4. GOELET JR. Encyclopedia of dead and dying. Egyptian Book of the dead. Jrankdate. 10/2/09 http://www.deathreference.com/Da-Em/Egyptian-Book-of-the-Dead.html 5. Hodges, David. Class Lecture: “The Book of the Dead.” Humanities 201. WoodsonHall. Grambling State University. 26 Jan. 2008.
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