Ancient Egyptians prior to the year 1500 B.C
Who could not hear the words “Nile River” and not have “Egypt” pop straight into their thoughts? What makes this stretch of water and this dead culture so special? Is it because of their extraordinary forms of architecture? Or, perhaps, is it their hieroglyphic depictions of winged beings and devils with crocodile faces and lion hides (Redford). Arguably one of the most interesting aspects of ancient Egypt is their religion. The depth of Egyptian thinking and imagination displayed in the creation of ideas and images of their gods is beyond compare (Davis). On elaborating their beliefs, the Egyptians were working on expanding their knowledge of their surroundings and searching for an understanding of the most basic laws of the universe (Christensen). The ancient Egyptians instilled their religion into every aspect of their life. It is because of their religion, culture and geographical position that Egypt was able to maintain its fundamental sense of order when other empires often fell prey to decay, civil unrest and chaos.
To the Egyptians, religion and magic where “twin sisters”. For the average person this was an essential aspect of life, where daily offerings and prayers honoring the gods of their local town and the family household gods was common (Christensen). They believed deeply in the power of magical rituals, spells, charms, and protective amulets. To the Egyptians, there were no great religious truths that were the same for everyone. They had many views of the universe and several creation stories. The fact that many of these views and stories where not the same mattered little to them. Religion was a magical affair not a logical one. Egyptians were more likely to adopt a foreign god then to persecute their worshippers (Christensen). They were very tolerant about religion, especially compared to their closest neighbors such as The Sumerians, The Babylonian Empire and The Hittites. This aspect alone prevented a great deal of civil war and extended their longevity. Separating the Egyptians from other empires was the red dessert, this natural border cut off Egypt from the rest of the world. The Nile river also made it possible for Egypt to become centralized, thus preventing individual provinces from rising up and creating civil unrest.
Egyptians were courteous, law-abiding people. Society was generally orderly and peaceful. Men and women were treated equally according to Egyptian law and custom. So were members of different social classes. Egyptian law was based on custom, tradition, and ma’at (Goddess of balance, order, and justice who judges souls after death) ( Redford). An offense against law and order was an offense against ma’at . (Christensen). Egypt was a complete theocracy—a place where religion and government were inseparably linked in the minds of rulers, priests, and the people. The rulers of Egypt were not only thought as royalty but also as gods. The pharaoh’s...