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Is the Egyptian word NTR, "god", related to nature
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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2016 2:42 am    Post subject: Is the Egyptian word NTR, "god", related to nature Reply with quote

Is the Egyptian word NTR, "god", related to nature and what is its etymology?

Quote:
Humanity, the World and God: Understandings and Actions
Willem Bernard Drees, ‎Hubert Meisinger, ‎Taede A. Smedes - 2007 ‎, Page 205

A complex linguistic structure, the Egyptian word nTr may be extended over the entire energetic spectrum of life, sacralisgng it; ... According to Hornung (1971, 32) neither the etymology, nor the original meaning can be found.


Quote:
The Temple in Man
R.A. Schwaller de Lubicz

Schwaller de Lub icz explains in Le Temple de l'Homme (Caracteres, 1957) that in the an cient temple civilization of Egypt, numbers, our most ancient fo rm of symbol, did not simply designate quantities but instead wer e considered to be concrete definitions of energetic formative prin ciples of nature. The Egyptians called these energetic principles Net ers, a word which is conventionally rendered as "gods."

To conform with the true meaning of the symbol in a ncient Egypt, we ought to use the Egyptian term Medu-Neter u, the Greek translation of which, "heiroglyphs," distorts the E gyptian meaning. Medu-Neteru are the Neters, or the principles conve yed by a sign.
...
"'Divine" man (without t h i s part of the brain ) represents the Principle or Neter, capable of living and actin g, but only as the executant of an impulse that he receives; hence, he plays the role of an intermediary between the abstract impulse, outsi de of Nature, and its execution in Nature, without actual choice. In this regard, this entity has a primitive, and "prenatural" character

...each of these individual members of the ve getable kingdom belongs to a genus, and this genus to a fam ily; and these families belong to an original "lineage." At the he ad of this lineage is a Neter, a "Principle" synthesizing all the char acteristics of this lineage: its number, its rhythm, its classific ation in the general harmony.

Let us further elucidate, by means of a geometrical image, the role of the Neter as head or Principle of a lineage.

http://www.fatuma.net/text/R.A.SchwallerdeLubicz-TheTempleinMan-SacredArchitectureandthePerfectMan.pdf



Quote:
WEST-AFRICAN ORIGIN OF LANGUAGE
Professor Catherine Acholonu

INTERNATIONAL WORDS (INDO-EUROPEAN) THAT DERIVE FROM
AFA CULT LANGUAGE OF THE ANCIENT IGBO PRIESTS
Common historical experiences have brought about borrowing across several European borders, such that most international words are found in almost all European languages. We have selected a few words as examples, though there are many more of such words with Igbo roots across several European languages
Nature (Nne Atu Ora – Mother of the Living Word of the Sun God)
http://www.faculty.ucr.edu/~legneref/igbo/westafricanorigin.htm


Quote:
Land of Osiris
By Stephen S. Mahler

First translated by early Egyptologists after Champollion as God or Goddess, this meaning has since been challenged. R A Schwaller de Lubicz was one of the first to question this translation in the early 1950's, choosing rather to define Neter as principle" and/or "attribute", as a divine aspect of the whole, not in the sense we use the word Deity. The Greeks [sic, no, it must be the Latins] derived their word Nature from Neter, therefore equating the Divine with the natural as the Khemitians taught them. The ancient Khemitians knew every principle or attribute of Nature was also divine, of God - all interconnected and interrelated to the whole, the source.
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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2016 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In simple answer, /nTr/ (pron: netjer), the Egyptian term for 'god', is NOT related to the term "nature", which is etymologically founded on 1200-50; Middle English natur (e) < Old French < Latin nātūra conditions of birth, quality, character, natural order, world. It is far more related to the term "birth" (Latin nātālis) than to the Egyptian terminology.

HTH.
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2016 2:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

neseret wrote:
In simple answer, /nTr/ (pron: netjer), the Egyptian term for 'god', is NOT related to the term "nature", which is etymologically founded on 1200-50; Middle English natur (e) < Old French < Latin nātūra conditions of birth, quality, character, natural order, world. It is far more related to the term "birth" (Latin nātālis) than to the Egyptian terminology.


Thank you for your reply, HTH. You are right that "Nature" in English comes from Latin "Natura". I am trying to get a better understanding of the Egyptian word NTR.

The Egyptian gods occasionally appear to concur with some element of nature, concept, or principle, like the sky or the sun. Some scholars propose that some primitive people were worshiping elements of nature.


Quote:
Religion and the Order of Nature
By Seyyed Hossein Nasr (Professor of Islamic Studies at George Washington University) (Oxford University Press)

...there are basic principles concerning the order of nature that continue through these transformations, such as the identification of cosmic elements with real divinities possessing a personal existence. Most important of these principles for the understanding of the order of nature is the Neter , which has received many interpretations, some even equating it with the Hebrew Wl. The Neter is a principle conveyed by a sign, the hieroglyph being itself called Medu-Neteru. It is the Idea of which a material object is the crystallization.
...
The order of nature is the reflection of the order that belongs to the realm of the principles or Neteru, which man also carries within his being as a consequence of his central position in the cosmic order. 'Every natural type is a revelation of one of the natures and abstract functions that rule the world, a verb of the divine language —that is, the entities or fully realized Principles (Neteru).

Nasr continues in this vein.

Shingai Rukwata Ndoro writes in the Sunday Mail (June 14, 2015):
Quote:
Neteru is the plural for the ancient Egyptian divinity or sum of divine energies. The hieroglyph for ‘Ntr’ looks like a flag. ‘Ntr’ is also the force of nature (from Latin, ‘natura,’ which means “birth, essence”).

The ancient Egyptian sum of divine energies (“neteru”) humanised aspects of an impersonal cosmic energy or life force whose behaviour created and sustains life and the universe. Attributes and functions of such an impersonal cosmic energy or life force were also presented as animals.

Contrary to a falsified explanation, ancient Egyptians did not have numerous divinities but they humanised the various attributes of the cosmic energy or life force, the One (the duality of “Neter-Netert”) in the All (“Neteru”).

According to the 17th chapter of the “Book of the Dead,” the First Order and Cause of Nature consisted of eight cosmic energies (Neter-Netri) (NTR) or divinities.
http://www.sundaymail.co.zw/origins-of-miraculous-conception-in-ancient-egypt/

She could be wrong about this last part though, because she proposes that Atum is the same force as Amun, when in fact these were different deities or at least different ideas.

Interesting possible relationship between NTR and Natron, a chemical:
Quote:
Natron deposits in the Era Kohor crater in the Tibesti Mountains, Chad

Natron is a naturally occurring mixture of sodium carbonate decahydrate (Na2CO3·10H2O, a kind of soda ash) and about 17% sodium bicarbonate (also called baking soda, NaHCO3) along with small quantities of sodium chloride and sodium sulfate.

The English word natron is a French cognate derived from the Spanish natrón through Greek νίτρον nitron. This derives from the Ancient Egyptian word nṯry 'natron'. Natron refers to Wadi El Natrun or Natron Valley in Egypt, from which natron was mined by the ancient Egyptians for use in burial rites.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natron

It is interesting how Natron as a chemical had a similar root word in three ancient languages: Greek, Egyptian, and Latin. This suggests the possibility of overlap between other words in these languages.

Normand Ellis claims in her book The Union of Isis and Thoth:
Quote:


The flag as a symbol of the presence of any divine being - god or goddess - harkens back to one of the oldest goddesses, Neith, the weaver. .... N-t in hieroglyphics also is part of the word meaning to knit or to weave, or to net.

In Alexandria, the cosmopolis of ancient cultures where many languages merged, the ancient Egyptian word neter... the essence of the Latin word for nature, natura, emerged. The meaning was to identify the divine consciousness in all things.


Francisco Tomás Verdú Vicente writes in the journal MEDICINA NATURISTA, 2011; Vol. 5 - N.º 2: 80-81 (please forgive my awful Spanish translation):
Quote:

Abstract:The term nature comes from the word Egyptian ntr and it means God. Later on the Greeks identified the divine thing with the goddess of the nature Isis creating the term Phisis and later the Romans denominated Nature.
https://dialnet.unirioja.es/descarga/articulo/3695453.pdf

La noción expresada por nutar como sustantivo y nutra como adjetivo o verbo, debe buscarse en el copto Nομt, que en la traducción de la Biblia corresponde al griego διναμιζ (energía), ισχυζ (fuerza), ισχυροζ (fuerte) y ισχυροω (proteger). De esta forma neter (ntr) significa fuerte y poderoso

The notion expressed by nutar as substantive and nutra as adjective or verb should be looked for in the coptic Nout, which in the Biblical tradition corresponds to the Greek Dynamis (energy), ischis (strength)... and ischiron(protetion). This form of neter means strong and protection ....

Wallis Budge, as great Egyptologist who was recognized something fundamental about the word natura: "Another definition of the word, given by Brugsch, means "active energy that produces and creates things regular recurrence; which gives them new life and gives them back their youthful vigor "and adds that the innate concept of the word completely covers the φυσιζ original meaning of the Greek word and Latin natura (5).

Thus even the Greek word φυσιζ (Physis) contains the name of the great goddess Isis as Egyptian who stole the name of the god (NTR) Ra taking over it and becoming in this way the symbol Mother Nature, that is, from this moment Nature (Isis) is divine (NTR). probably this myth highlights the identity between nature and God, between Isis (physis) and NTR (God).

I found this last part quite exciting, as I remember the myth where Isis wanted to get Ra's secret name. In the story we don't hear what that name is. But now it looks like an excellent explanation of what that name really is: NTR.
The essay goes on to tell and interpret the story of Isis getting Ra's name (NTR), but my Spanish is weak.

What do you think?

Idea
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2016 3:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"De esta forma neter (ntr) significa fuerte y poderoso"
[Thus neter (ntr) means strong and powerful]

What happened to nHt?
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2016 4:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A follow up question:
If it's true as Vicente claims that Physis is related to the Egyptian Isis, then can it be verified? Is there a word in ancient Egyptian that means the Greek Physis?

I found this:
Quote:
The uroboros, the serpent biting its own tail, is an ancient Egyptian and Democritiean emblem of Physis- an image of the self-fructifying, never ending cycle of nature.

In fact, in many mythologies, the cosmic serpent is the wellspring, the source of all manifestation. It stands for the primal matter or the limitless ocean out of wich life emerged. In ancient Egypt, Nun, the primordial water, is most often depicted as a serpent.
Archetype and Character: Power, Eros, Spirit, and Matter Personality Types
By V. Odajnyk


This seems to go along with what Vicente is saying. If the Egyptians did depict physis as a snake, it may be related to the legend where Isis used a snake to uncover Ra's name.
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2016 4:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Robson wrote:
"De esta forma neter (ntr) significa fuerte y poderoso"
[Thus neter (ntr) means strong and powerful]

What happened to nHt?

I think he is saying that the Greek word Physis in the Bible have connotations of strong, protected, powerful.

But this is just his own claim, perhaps. It might not be true that in the Bible Physis necessarily means those things. It seems much more likely to me that Physis in the Bible means "nature", as I think the English Bible translations tend to bear out.
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2016 5:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rakovsky wrote:
It seems much more likely to me that Physis in the Bible means "nature", as I think the English Bible translations tend to bear out.


Yes, if the Bible was written after 4th century BC, because only with Aristotle Phyisis started to mean what we mean as "nature". Even with Plato, who lived only one generation before, it has another meaning.
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2016 6:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Robson wrote:
rakovsky wrote:
It seems much more likely to me that Physis in the Bible means "nature", as I think the English Bible translations tend to bear out.


Yes, if the Bible was written after 4th century BC, because only with Aristotle Phyisis started to mean what we mean as "nature". Even with Plato, who lived only one generation before, it has another meaning.

Hi Robson!

I found this:
Quote:


"Because those who use the term mean to say that nature is the first creative power; but if the soul turns out to be the primeval element, and not fire or air, then in the truest sense and beyond other things the soul may be said to exist by nature; and this would be true if you proved that the soul is older than the body, but not otherwise."

- Plato's Laws, Book 10(892c)

This usage sounds fine to me even in normal English.

Would you happen to be able to give an example of the bold part:
Quote:
"Though Aristotle retains the ancient sense of "physis" as growth, he insists that an adequate definition of "physis" requires the different perspectives of the four causes (aitia): material, efficient, formal, and final."[1]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physis#In_Plato_Laws
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2016 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

neseret wrote:
< Latin nātūra conditions of birth, quality, character, natural order, world. It is far more related to the term "birth" (Latin nātālis) than to the Egyptian terminology.

HTH.


In that case, the Greek translation Physis seems to have a similar etymology to Natura:
Quote:
. Physis (φύσις) comes from phyein (φύειν), "to grow", related to our word "be".[16] (G)natura is the way a thing is "born",[17] again with the stamp of what it is in itself.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thales

This also reminds me of the idea that Brahman in Hinduism, the ultimate reality, is a word that etymologically originates in the idea of growth:

Quote:
Brahman
The term is derived from the Sanskrit root brh, referring to the process of growth or increasing.

http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Brahman

Brahman is not quite God in Hinduism, as it's not a person, but it has ben given a strong sense of reverence, reminding me as if it were treated like the ultimate God.
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2016 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rakovsky wrote:
neseret wrote:
In simple answer, /nTr/ (pron: netjer), the Egyptian term for 'god', is NOT related to the term "nature", which is etymologically founded on 1200-50; Middle English natur (e) < Old French < Latin nātūra conditions of birth, quality, character, natural order, world. It is far more related to the term "birth" (Latin nātālis) than to the Egyptian terminology.


Thank you for your reply, HTH. You are right that "Nature" in English comes from Latin "Natura". I am trying to get a better understanding of the Egyptian word NTR.

<snip of a great deal of new Age claptrap>

The Egyptian gods occasionally appear to concur with some element of nature, concept, or principle, like the sky or the sun. Some scholars propose that some primitive people were worshiping elements of nature.
What do you think?
Idea


To claim that "Physis" has "Isis' name in it" is not only stretching etymology too far, but credible reason. You should read better articles and far better works than this. Egyptologists consider such article as examples of "false etymology", (pseudoetymology, paraetymology, or paretymology), sometimes called folk etymology although this is also a technical term in linguistics, is a popularly held but false belief about the origins of specific words, often originating in common-sense assumptions.

Such etymologies often have the feel of urban legends, and can be much more colorful than the typical etymologies found in dictionaries, often involving stories of unusual practices in particular subcultures.

There is NO connection between the two words here, as "Isis" is only a Greek form of /Ast/, which passes into the Coptic as "Ese," which then is transliterated into Greek as "Isis." So, since the goddess' name (/Ast/, possible pron. as "Aset") has no original relation to "Physis" in any way, this is an example of a false etymology to claim that "Physis has Isis' name in it."

As for natron, the word derives via French and Spanish from Arabic natrun or nitrun, which derives from Greek nitron (= "soda") (e.g. Herodotus II, 86-87, where the form litron occurs). The Greek derives with certainty from AE /nTrj/ or /nTry.t/ (netjeri). However, this is NOT the same term as /nTr/, "god", as the determinatives are quite different.

The Egyptians distinguished between /nTrj Sm' / ("southern natron"), stemming from el-Kab, and /nTrj mHw/ ("northern natron"), stemming from Wadi Natrun (HWB p.445). The Egyptian word was also borrowed into Akkadian (nit(i)ru) and Hebrew (neter, cf. Jer. 2:22, used for washing). The element Natrium (symbol: Na) derives its name from natron; alternative name in English: Sodium, from soda. Natron is a natural mixture of sodium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate (McGready). Niter is potassium nitrate (KNO3), also called saltpeter, but originally the word was used as equivalent for natron.

If you are so interested in the nature of the term /nTr/ "netjer" as a meaning for "god," may I suggest the following books, which you can likely acquire via your library interlibrary loan system:

Allen, J. P. 1988. Genesis in Egypt: The Philosophy of Ancient Egyptian Creation Accounts. Yale Egyptological Studies (YES) 2. New Haven, Conn.: Yale Egyptological Seminar, Dept. of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Graduate School, Yale University.

Assmann, J. 1989. State and Religion in the New Kingdom. In W. K. Simpson, Ed., Religion and Philosophy in Ancient Egypt: 55-88. Yale Egyptological Studies (YES) 3. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Assmann, J. 1995. Egyptian Solar Religion in the New Kingdom: Re, Amun and the Crisis of Polytheism. A. Alcock, transl. Studies in Egyptology. London: KPI.

Assmann, J. 1999. Conversion, Piety and Loyalism in Ancient Egypt. In J. Assmann and G. G. Stroumsa, Eds., Transformations of the Inner Self in Ancient Religions: 31-44. Studies in the History of Religions (Numen Book Series) Vol. LXXXIII. Leiden: Brill.

Assmann, J. 2001. The Search for God in Ancient Egypt. D. Lorton, transl. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. (Get this book first, above all others!)

Englund, G., Ed. 1989.The Religion of the Ancient Egyptians: Cognitive Structures and Popular Expressions. BOREAS 20: Uppsala Studies in Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Civilizations. Uppsala: ACTA Universitatis Upsaliensis.

Frankfort, H. 1978 (1948). Kingship and the Gods. A Study of Ancient Near Eastern Religion as the Integration of Society and Nature. Chicago/London: University of Chicago Press.

Goedicke, H.1986. God. JSSEA 16/2: 57-62.

Hornung, E. 1992. Idea Into Image: Essays on Ancient Egyptian Thought. E. Bredeck, transl. New York: Timken Publishers.

Kees, H. 1956. Der Götterglaube im alten Ägypten. Berlin: Akademie-Verlag. (Though dated, still an important work to read)

Morenz, S. 1964. Die Heraufkunft des Transzendenten Gottes in Ägypten. Sitzungsberichte der Sächsischen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Leipzig. Philologisch-historische Klasse Band 109/2. Berlin: Akademie.

Roeder, G. 1960. Kulte, Orakel und Naturverehrung im Alten Ägypten. Die Bibliothek der Alten Welt. Zürich and Stuttgart: Artemis. (An uneven work, but still good for understanding gods as above mere elements of nature)

Shafer, B. E., Ed. 1991. Religion in Ancient Egypt: Gods, Myths, and Personal Practice. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Teeter, E. 2011. Religion and Ritual in Ancient Egypt. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Tobin, V. A. 1989. Theological principles of Egyptian religion. American University Studies. Series 7, Theology and Religion 59. New York: Peter Lang. (A most important work, second only to Assmann's Search for God in ancient Egypt.)

Walls, N. H., Ed. 2005. Cult Image and Divine Representation in the Ancient Near East. American Schools of Oriental Research Book Series 10. Boston: ASOR.

As you can see, there is a plethora of works - focused and scholarly works - on the nature of Egyptian gods, the nature of /nTr/ and what, if any, interrelation there is with natural elements. You should stop reading popular New Age tripe, as noted before, which give false etymologies of the terms for /nTr/, and attempt to make it simply into a worship of nature.

Egyptian religion is far deeper than this, with theological and philosophical underpinnings, with effects on worship, ritual, and the growth of personal piety. The works I have cited are but a beginning to a fuller understanding of ancient Egyptian religion.

To give you an example, my professional library, which concentrates on ancient Egyptian religion, shows over 300 separate works on the topic, and by no means is that the sum total of all works on the subject. I would suggest just about any work by Jan Assmann, John Baines, and Erik Hornung as excellent works on the topic.

HTH.
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2016 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am impressed with your knowledge and resources, Neseret.
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2016 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Neseret,

I found in Shafer, B. E., Religion in Ancient Egypt: Gods, Myths, and Personal Practice:
Quote:
From early times the epithet netjer (ntr) referred directly to the king as a god. Sometimes the term occurred alone; at other times it appeared with modifying or descriptive words.


Tobin, V. A. Theological principles of Egyptian religion has a bit to say on this:
Quote:
The Egyptian term for 'god', ntr, (Coptic noute), provides no real indication of the basic meaning of the Egyptian concept of deity. Even the exact nature of the hieroglyph with which the word is written is uncertain.
Gardiner described it as a cloth wound on a pole, an emblem of divinity and Bleeker has suggested that it represents a pole with a flag, a sacred object used to indicate the presence of a divine power. ...

Following this pattern of thought, one might argue that the term ntr, when used of a deity, designated his or her purity, singleness or perfection. ' ° Such an interpretation of the term ntr, however, must remain no more than speculation...

This reminds me of what I read about the flags at ancient Egyptian and Hindu temples being related to a god's presence. The Hindus call the flags representing deities jhandis, and they are a very ancient practice in Hinduism.


I found in Walls, N. H., Ed. Cult Image and Divine Representation in the Ancient Near East.:
Quote:
On an effective level, however, the word for incense, sntr, means "to make divine," from the root ntr "a deity." Incense, thus, had the power "to make divine," that is, to effect the manifestation of the deity in the statue.


The following books did not discuss the topic:
Assmann, J. 1995. Egyptian Solar Religion in the New Kingdom: Re, Amun and the Crisis of Polytheism. A. Alcock, transl. Studies in Egyptology. London: KPI.

Assmann, J. 1999. Conversion, Piety and Loyalism in Ancient Egypt. In J. Assmann and G. G. Stroumsa, Eds., Transformations of the Inner Self in Ancient Religions: 31-44. Studies in the History of Religions (Numen Book Series) Vol. LXXXIII. Leiden: Brill.

Assmann, J. 2001. The Search for God in Ancient Egypt. D. Lorton, transl. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Frankfort, H. 1978 (1948). Kingship and the Gods. A Study of Ancient Near Eastern Religion as the Integration of Society and Nature. Chicago/London: University of Chicago Press.

Hornung, E. 1992. Idea Into Image: Essays on Ancient Egyptian Thought. E. Bredeck, transl. New York: Timken Publishers.

Teeter, E. 2011. Religion and Ritual in Ancient Egypt. New York: Cambridge University Press.


It looks like the citation for
Quote:
Simpson, Ed., Religion and Philosophy in Ancient Egypt: 55-88. Yale Egyptological Studies (YES) 3.

is:
Quote:

Religion and Philosophy in Ancient Egypt
Issue 3 of Yale Egyptological studies
Editor James P. Allen
Publisher Yale Egyptological Seminar, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, the Graduate School, Yale University, 1989


It's neat that you read German, but I only know Russian and a little Spanish.
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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2016 7:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As already pointed out by neseret the similarieties between nTr and nature as well as Physis-Isis are false etymologies. nTr is rendered as "na-te" in Akkadian (14th century BC) and "noute" in Coptic (1st millennium AD), so that is how the Greeks and Romans heard the word spoken. Maybe it was pronounced something like "natar" in the early dynastic period thousands of years before that.
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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2016 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mennefer wrote:
As already pointed out by neseret the similarieties between nTr and nature as well as Physis-Isis are false etymologies. nTr is rendered as "na-te" in Akkadian (14th century BC) and "noute" in Coptic (1st millennium AD), so that is how the Greeks and Romans heard the word spoken. Maybe it was pronounced something like "natar" in the early dynastic period thousands of years before that.


Thanks for your answer Mennefer!

Smile

Do you know what the connotations of Akkadian NATE are besides,god, divine?
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2016 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It might be noteworthy also to state that nature is a Greek word, and the Greeks were studying the ancient Egyptian culture.
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