Egyptian myths articulated the core values of one of the longest lasting civilizations in history, and myths of deities such as Isis and Osiris influenced contemporary cultures and became part of the Western cultural heritage. Egyptian Mythology: A Very Short Introduction explains the cultural and historical background to the fascinating and complex world of Egyptian myth, with each chapter dealing with a particular theme.
To show the variety of source material for Egyptian myth, each chapter features a particular object--such as the obelisk known as Cleopatra's Needle, a golden statue of Tutankhamun, and a papyrus containing a story in which the Egyptian gods behave outrageously--which is illustrated by a photograph or line-drawing. The myth "The Contendings of Horus and Seth" is looked at in detail, and the many interpretations it has provoked are examined. In addition to a list of major deities and myths, there are explanations of related topics such as how hieroglyphs work, royal names and titles, and the Egyptian cosmos. There is also a timeline of Egyptian history, a glossary of technical terms and an up-to-date bibliography.
`a masterly, clear, and concise account of a complex subject'
Dr Richard Parkinson, Department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan, British Museum
1: The Myth of Egypt (Imagined Egypts)
Key object - Cleopatra's Needle
2: Words of the gods (Myth and Language)
Key object - The Metternich Stela
3: Millions of Gods (Deities and Myth)
Key object - Statue of King Amenhotep III with Sobek-Ra
4: The Beautiful Moment (Creation Myths)
Key object - The Shabaqo Stone
5: Everything Which the Sun Encircles (The Landscape of Egyptian Myth)
Key object - Coffin painted with underworld map
6: Lord of the Two Lands
Key object - Statuette of Tutankhamum as Horus the Hunter
7: The Big Fight (Conflict and Reconciliation)
Key object - Papyrus Chester Beatty I
8: The Cosmic Eye (Myth and Symbolism)
Key object - 'Sacred eye' Amulet
9: Personal Myths (Myth and Popular Religion)
Key object - Ivory 'Magic Wand'
10: The Return of the Mummy
Key object - Corn Mummy
Timeline of Egyptian History
Suggested further reading