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The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt

Worshiped for over three-fifths of recorded history, ancient Egypt‘s gods and goddesses are among the most fascinating of human civilization.

The lives of pharaohs and commoners alike were dominated by the need to honor, worship, and pacify the huge pantheon of deities. From lavish tomb paintings and imposing temple reliefs to humble household shrines, countless tributes throughout Egypt reflect the richness and complexity of their mythology. This book examines the evolution, worship, and eventual decline of the numerous gods and goddessesfrom minor household figures such as Bes and Taweret to the all-powerful deities Amun and Rethat made Egypt the most completely theocratic society of the ancient world, and made Egyptians, according to Herodotus, “more religious than any other people.”

     • “Rise and Fall of the Gods” considers the origins of Egypt‘s deities, their struggles to control cosmic forces, and their eventual decline.
     • “Nature of the Gods” examines the forms, appearances, and manifestations of the deities, as well as the transcendence of preeminent deities such as Amun.
     • “Worship of the Gods” introduces the rituals and mysteries of formal Egyptian worship, including the importance of temples and festivals.
     • “Kingship and the Gods” discusses the all-important position of the king, who served as a bridge between the gods and humanity.
     • “The Many Faces of the Divine” is a unique catalogue of Egypt‘s gods and goddesses grouped according to their primary forms, discussing their iconography, mythology, and worship, and their influence over time.

With hundreds of illustrations and specially commissioned drawings, this is a comprehensive and authoritative guide to the deities that lay at the heart of Egyptian religion and society. 400 illustrations, 170 in color

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  1. Michael Gunther says

    A Plethora of Deities Richard Wilkinson’s latest book (he has previously written “Reading Egyptian Art,” “Symbol and Magic in Egyptian Art,” and “The Complete Temples of Ancient Egypt”) presents the reader with an impressive selection of all the major gods and goddesses, and many of the minor ones, of ancient Egypt. Although hardly “complete” in the technical sense (Wilkinson discusses “only” 500 of Egypt’s 1500 or so deities, and much more could be said about the ones he does discuss), the book is fairly “complete” in a practical sense: most gods that most readers want to look up, will get at least a brief mention. For example, you will find here the 24 Hours of the Day and Night, 12 (of 21) Gates of the Underworld, all 42 Gods of Judgement, and all 42 (hmm… there’s that number again!) Nome Deities.

  2. Midwest Book Review says

    Comprehensive details about both major and minor deities Compiled and written by Richard H. Wilkinson (Professor and Directory of the University of Arizona Egyptian Expedition), and enhanced with 338 illustrations (132 in full-color), The Complete Gods And Goddesses Of Ancient Egypt is a straightforward introduction to Egyptian mythology and iconography, offering comprehensive details about both major and minor deities. Organized into five general categories (Rise and Fall of the Gods; Nature of the Gods; Worship of the Gods; Kingship and the Gods; and The Catalogue of Deities), The Complete Gods And Goddesses Of Ancient Egypt is a first-rate, strongly recommended resource and reference for writers, historians, and lay readers curious about the mythologies of the Egyptian culture over a period of more than two thousand years.

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