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Ancient Egyptian Myths

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Ancient Egyptian Myths

Every culture in this world has some or the other myth associated with it. It is also true in the case of ancient Egypt. Ancient Egyptian civilization is very old and has gone through many changes over last few decades. Therefore there are many ancient Egyptian myths each having different versions. Even if the narrated ancient Egyptian myths have different characters or locations, the meaning of the story remains the same. In this article I have listed out some of the famous ancient Egyptian myths.

The Story of Creation

In the beginning, there was nothing in this world except a watery chaos called Nun. And from this Nun, emerged the god of creation known as Re. Re had a power of creation and was able to create and name anything around him. He created plants, trees and animals. But he was all alone and therefore mated with his own shadow and created his creation. He gave birth to a son, Shu who was called the god of wind and a daughter, Tefnut, who was called the goddess of rain. In the beginning, Re was separated from his children but after some time he reunited with them and shed the tears of joy. When his tears hit the ground, the first of mankind emerged. Re then ruled Egypt as the first Pharaoh.

The Story of Nut and Geb

In the meanwhile, Shu and Tefnut gave birth to two children namely Nut, goddess of sky and Geb, god of the earth. Nut and Geb got married but without the permission of Re, god of creation. Re became angry and asked their father Shu, to separate them. And because of this, the earth is separated from the sky. Re prevented Nut from having children as he had learnt that, the son of Nut would take his place as Pharaoh. However, Nut took the help of wise god Thoth, and gave birth to four children namely Osiris, Seth, Isis and Nephthys.

The Story of Osiris

Re continued to rule the land of Egypt for over centuries. He had a secret name, which was not known to anyone. All other gods knew that unless his secret name was not revealed out, he would continue to rule Egypt. Isis, the wife of Osiris succeeded in revealing out his secret name, the name of power and thus Re was forced to leave the earth. He then ruled the skies. Thus Osiris, the son of Nut became the next Pharaoh.

Death of Osiris

Orisis continued to rule the land of Egypt. He taught many things to mankind right from planting the seeds to making bread. Seth, brother of Osiris was jealous of him. He envied the power, popularity and attention that Osiris had. Seth killed him trickily by trapping him in a coffin, which was then sealed with lead. The coffin was dropped into the Nile, which was then carried out to sea. As soon as Isis, wife of Osiris wife learnt about this she started searching the coffin. She was aware that Osiris’ soul wouldn’t rest in peace unless buried properly. Finally she was able to find the coffin and brought it back to Egypt. When Seth learnt this, he broke the coffin and cut Osiris’ body into many pieces and scattered them all over the countryside. Isis searched all the pieces and performed funerary rites on each of them. Atlast, Osiris was able to rise and he ruled the underworld.

The Rise of Horus

Horus was the son of Osiris and Isis. Osiris was killed trickily by his brother Seth in order to grab the throne. In order to protect his power he prevented Isis from becoming pregnant. But Isis hid her pregnancy from Seth and gave birth to a child, Horus. Horus grew up secretly and was preparing to avenge his father’s death. He grew up and became powerful as he was guided by the spirits of Re and Osiris. He challenged Seth and there was a violent fight between the two. Horus won the fight and became the next pharaoh of Egypt.

By Gayatri Haldankar

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