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Hathor and another question.
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TheErrantWilder
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 1:25 pm    Post subject: Hathor and another question. Reply with quote

Hello EDDB =]
I have been currently researching the Goddess Hathor. She seems to be quite a Goddess. My question is that is she the Goddess of dance as well as music ect?
Also does anyone know a good book/site on the Gods that is correct and accurate in the information it gives on the Gods? I find the internet a mass of misconceptions and confusions. I recently saw Bast labled as the Goddess of music and the counter part to Sekhmet (her darker side obviously) which moments before saw Sekhmet being the counter part of Hathor!
You understand my frustration of course =]
Thanks!
Wilder.
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Montuhotep88
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I completely understand your frustration... but I must caution you on several points...

- First, "Egyptian Religion" is a broad area, both in topic and time... think how the Christian religion has changed in 2,000 years, and then multiply that by half again. There is plenty of room for disagreements, different (even contradictory) ideas, different explanations and stories, and evolution of thought. In your example, it's possible that Hathor was linked with Sekhmet in one location or time, with Bastet in another, all three in a third, and none of the above somewhere else (and it appears that all of these were true in one time or place or another).

- Second, we're looking at Egyptian religion from a rather distant vantage point, seeing it through a haze of history and past and present concepts and misconceptions. Trying to fit the Egyptian divinities into neat categories a la the Greek gods can be very difficult (and that practice goes back to the Greeks themselves). There's a lot of speculation, and no ancient Egyptian priests around anymore to ask for clarification.

- And third, the Internet itself is a rather shaky platform for research. Very Happy 'Nuff said. I would highly recommend the book The Complete God and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt by Richard Wilkinson, published by Thames and Hudson, as a starting point... but again, it's a broad area.
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Osiris II
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with Mentuhotep.
But I have found one site--I think it's German, but in English--that seems to be quite accurate, or as much as our beliefs today concerning ancient Egyptian religion:

http://www.nemo.nu/ibisportal/0egyptintro/1egypt/index.htm
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Toth
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Montuhotep88 wrote:
I completely understand your frustration... but I must caution you on several points...

- First, "Egyptian Religion" is a broad area, both in topic and time... think how the Christian religion has changed in 2,000 years, and then multiply that by half again. There is plenty of room for disagreements, different (even contradictory) ideas, different explanations and stories, and evolution of thought. In your example, it's possible that Hathor was linked with Sekhmet in one location or time, with Bastet in another, all three in a third, and none of the above somewhere else (and it appears that all of these were true in one time or place or another).

- Second, we're looking at Egyptian religion from a rather distant vantage point, seeing it through a haze of history and past and present concepts and misconceptions. Trying to fit the Egyptian divinities into neat categories a la the Greek gods can be very difficult (and that practice goes back to the Greeks themselves). There's a lot of speculation, and no ancient Egyptian priests around anymore to ask for clarification.

- And third, the Internet itself is a rather shaky platform for research. Very Happy 'Nuff said. I would highly recommend the book The Complete God and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt by Richard Wilkinson, published by Thames and Hudson, as a starting point... but again, it's a broad area.


I agree with the recommendation, however you don't mention that a book is static, it won't (can't) change over time that bring both being an advantage and a disadvantage, and advantage, because what you read there today will be there in the same form tomorrow, that being the disadvantage as well, while the internet is more flexible (take the Ancient Egypt forums, like ED, and sites like Stuart's blog about Hatshepsut, and Osirisnet.net) for instance, they are easier to keep them up-to-date than a printed publication)

Richard, aka
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn’t get frustrated over A.E. religion, it takes away the fun. Simply accept it is a very complex system, that probably even the A.E. themselves couldn’t follow anymore at certain point. We see that e.g. in the Ptolemaic temples, were the sacred texts on the walls accompanying the depictions get more and more mysterious and almost unintelligible.

Our interpretation of A.E. religion has formed only over the past 200 years since the deciphering of the hieroglyphic writing. The A.E. religion being studied by different persons, all with their own (religious) background and initial ideas, leads to different interpretations of what is officially a “dead religion”.

To answer your question. Hathor was seen as a Goddess of dance and music. Also beer and joy, a “festival off drunkenness” was held yearly in Her honor. She is also a Goddess of love, childbirth and motherhood. She played a role in the Netherworld, were She was both a life giving as a protective deity. And Hathor, as daughter of Ra, had also a destructive side (being it as the “eye of Ra” and in the form of Sachmet) Her destructive side we know from the tale of the destruction of mankind. Of which I give here a link:


http://www.touregypt.net/destructionofmankind.htm
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Osiris II wrote:
I agree with Mentuhotep.
But I have found one site--I think it's German, but in English--that seems to be quite accurate, or as much as our beliefs today concerning ancient Egyptian religion:

http://www.nemo.nu/ibisportal/0egyptintro/1egypt/index.htm


Thanks, that's a good site.

I have to admit that wrapping my mind around the Egyptian belief system is not easy. I imagine that most Egyptians would have been quite content to worship their local gods, keep a little household shrine, go to the festivals as much for the fun and the food as spirituality, bury their dead in the best manner they could afford and would have been quite content to let the priests try and make sense of the theology.
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TheErrantWilder
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you!! It was all really helpful =] I am not frustrated with A.E religion, just the sites that only tell you a bit of it. But yes, I agree, then it would have been your priest tells you how it is, it was only at one time in one place, looking at it over the whole land and all the times makes it very confusing. But it is still very interesting to see how it changed and what she was known to be in the course of history =D
Again thank you!
Wilder Very Happy
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TheErrantWilder wrote:
Thank you!! It was all really helpful =] I am not frustrated with A.E religion, just the sites that only tell you a bit of it. But yes, I agree, then it would have been your priest tells you how it is, it was only at one time in one place, looking at it over the whole land and all the times makes it very confusing. But it is still very interesting to see how it changed and what she was known to be in the course of history =D
Again thank you!
Wilder Very Happy


The problem with some sites could be, or is that they try to give general information, which at itself isn’t bad. It is a very complex system, with many dogma’s, many possibilities to interpret certain aspects of the religion. God’s and Godessess got by time interwoven with each other, clergy constructed artificial triads, etc…Let’s take Amun as an example, until he Middle kingdom it was a relative unknown local Theban deity, though quite ancient. But it looks like almost out of nothing He rises above all other God’s, becoming the king of the God’s. To do so, the Theban clergy created Amun-Ra, connecting Ra, who was much more ancient and worshipped almost through the whole country, to Amon, gave Him the possibility to become King of the God’s and getting accepted by not only other clergy, but people in general. Now Amun’s original consort was Amaunet, but Amaunet being part of the Ogdoad of Hermoplis and almost playing now substantial role except in the Hermopolitan Creation Myth wasn’t elaborate enough to the Theban clergy. They chose Mut, the vulture Goddess, who was also widely revered and respected throughout the country as his consort. To complete the picture, Chons (Chonsu, Khensu, Khons, or Khonshu) was added to them as their son. The reason why they chose for him are a bit unclear, but one of the main cultcentres of Chons was Memphis, the ancient capital of Egypt, before Thebes took that over. So here I would think more of a political choice.

And this is only a simple explanation.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ranoferhotep wrote:

The problem with some sites could be, or is that they try to give general information, which at itself isn’t bad. It is a very complex system, with many dogma’s, many possibilities to interpret certain aspects of the religion. God’s and Godessess got by time interwoven with each other, clergy constructed artificial triads, etc…Let’s take Amun as an example, until he Middle kingdom it was a relative unknown local Theban deity, though quite ancient. But it looks like almost out of nothing He rises above all other God’s, becoming the king of the God’s. To do so, the Theban clergy created Amun-Ra, connecting Ra, who was much more ancient and worshipped almost through the whole country, to Amon, gave Him the possibility to become King of the God’s and getting accepted by not only other clergy, but people in general. Now Amun’s original consort was Amaunet, but Amaunet being part of the Ogdoad of Hermoplis and almost playing now substantial role except in the Hermopolitan Creation Myth wasn’t elaborate enough to the Theban clergy. They chose Mut, the vulture Goddess, who was also widely revered and respected throughout the country as his consort. To complete the picture, Chons (Chonsu, Khensu, Khons, or Khonshu) was added to them as their son. The reason why they chose for him are a bit unclear, but one of the main cultcentres of Chons was Memphis, the ancient capital of Egypt, before Thebes took that over. So here I would think more of a political choice.

And this is only a simple explanation.


I have always wondered why they joined two Gods together =] I guessed it was something like that, but was never sure. It explains a lot. I agree that it is no bad thing for general use, but for more academical use I which I was looking for I found it slightly frustrating. This is the reason why I joined this site =] How did you find out this much about A.E?
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My knowledge comes from pure interest in A.E. religion and more than 20 year of reading about it. I wouldn’t call it study, I’m a hobbyist, with main interest in A.E. religion. I’m certainly not educated on a scholar level about it, but by the years you remember the most important things.
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TheErrantWilder
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ranoferhotep wrote:
My knowledge comes from pure interest in A.E. religion and more than 20 year of reading about it. I wouldn’t call it study, I’m a hobbyist, with main interest in A.E. religion. I’m certainly not educated on a scholar level about it, but by the years you remember the most important things.

Thats reasuring. I thought it would take me much longer than that to learn as much as you do =] Would you say the A.E religion was more of a way of controlling the masses and gaining power?
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TheErrantWilder wrote:
Ranoferhotep wrote:
My knowledge comes from pure interest in A.E. religion and more than 20 year of reading about it. I wouldn’t call it study, I’m a hobbyist, with main interest in A.E. religion. I’m certainly not educated on a scholar level about it, but by the years you remember the most important things.

Thats reasuring. I thought it would take me much longer than that to learn as much as you do =] Would you say the A.E religion was more of a way of controlling the masses and gaining power?


If you’re interest is sincere, and I believe it is, you learn in due time. There are quite some good sites on the net about A.E. religion. But also here it is very interesting to read the posts about it in this section you are in now. And feel free when having doubt about something you read in one of the treads to ask about it, even if the threads are already a bit older.

I wouldn’t say that A.E. religion was a way off mass control. The ancient Greek who visited A.E. were astounded with the devotion of the common people to their God’s, and then to think that most off the ceremonies and rites took place behind closed doors. Since the beginning of their civilization, the different tribes who settled at the banks off the Nile were by definition already very religious.

Though the A.E. religion grew out of adoring nature, it grew in time and became about gaining power. Here again we can take the Theban clergy as an example. Even some of the Theban High-Priests of Amun seized total power and became pharaoh.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TheErrantWilder wrote:
Ranoferhotep wrote:
My knowledge comes from pure interest in A.E. religion and more than 20 year of reading about it. I wouldn’t call it study, I’m a hobbyist, with main interest in A.E. religion. I’m certainly not educated on a scholar level about it, but by the years you remember the most important things.

Thats reasuring. I thought it would take me much longer than that to learn as much as you do =] Would you say the A.E religion was more of a way of controlling the masses and gaining power?


To start with the latter: Or forget most of what you have known Crying or Very sad

Never mind that, but perhaps the ancient Egyptians indeed believed that those were the gods guarding their world, and you may have already discovered that there are quite a lot of them "The Complete Gods and Goddesses" is quite a book to memorize. Laughing

Richard.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Toth wrote:
TheErrantWilder wrote:
Ranoferhotep wrote:
My knowledge comes from pure interest in A.E. religion and more than 20 year of reading about it. I wouldn’t call it study, I’m a hobbyist, with main interest in A.E. religion. I’m certainly not educated on a scholar level about it, but by the years you remember the most important things.

Thats reasuring. I thought it would take me much longer than that to learn as much as you do =] Would you say the A.E religion was more of a way of controlling the masses and gaining power?


To start with the latter: Or forget most of what you have known Crying or Very sad

Never mind that, but perhaps the ancient Egyptians indeed believed that those were the gods guarding their world, and you may have already discovered that there are quite a lot of them "The Complete Gods and Goddesses" is quite a book to memorize. Laughing

Richard.


And it isn’t even “complete” Laughing


http://www.thamesandhudsonusa.com/new/spring03/505120.htm

A good work though. There are more academic works, I’m not so well in memorizing books, but we have specialist here on the forum who can give a lot of references to good material.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 9:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ranoferhotep wrote:
Toth wrote:
TheErrantWilder wrote:
Ranoferhotep wrote:
My knowledge comes from pure interest in A.E. religion and more than 20 year of reading about it. I wouldn’t call it study, I’m a hobbyist, with main interest in A.E. religion. I’m certainly not educated on a scholar level about it, but by the years you remember the most important things.

Thats reasuring. I thought it would take me much longer than that to learn as much as you do =] Would you say the A.E religion was more of a way of controlling the masses and gaining power?


To start with the latter: Or forget most of what you have known Crying or Very sad

Never mind that, but perhaps the ancient Egyptians indeed believed that those were the gods guarding their world, and you may have already discovered that there are quite a lot of them "The Complete Gods and Goddesses" is quite a book to memorize. Laughing

Richard.


And it isn’t even “complete” Laughing


http://www.thamesandhudsonusa.com/new/spring03/505120.htm

A good work though. There are more academic works, I’m not so well in memorizing books, but we have specialist here on the forum who can give a lot of references to good material.


The question is "will it ever be complete, there is so much we still don't know... But it is a good book for reference, to be renewed every 3 - 4 years I guess. About memorizing: you should have a look at the "Swiss cheese" I call my memory Laughing Why do you think I have to write down everything? Very Happy

Richard, aka
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