The tribes into which the Egypt was divided primitive each had their own divinity, with an animal or plant appearance or sometimes a simple object. When two vast political organisms came to be formed in the Delta and in the Upper Egypt, as an antitype, the brother-enemy Seth. Alongside this couple there was a new arrangement of the various local deities, who in each center gathered in triads. The pre-dynastic struggles between the Upper and the Lower Egypt left clear traces in the myth: Gold and Seth are enemies and they fight fiercely for the possession of all Egypt and only after alternating victories are they considered of equal rank. In the meantime, a new divinity asserted itself in the Delta, Osiris, a man god joined by a nearby goddess, Isis, and other gods of neighboring cities, Anubis, Thoth etc.; Osiris was attributed with the same enemies as Gold, so that he is found to be a rival of Seth. The myth took on a new form: Seth kills his brother king, Osiris, to occupy his throne, but he is resurrected by the arts of his wife and sister Isis; he will no longer reign on this earth, but in the hereafter (which is established by his resurrection).
Numerous allusions to cosmogonic myths are found in the most ancient religious texts. In the primeval chaos a demiurge god takes shape, which in Heliopolis is the solar god Atum, soon identified with Ra in the composite form Atum-Ra. Atum, after having ordered the world, creates the first couple of gods, Shu and Tfeni, from which Geb and Nut (earth and sky respectively) are born and from this couple Osiris and Isis are generated from one side, Seth and Nephthys from ‘other. Thus we have a group of 9 divinities, called the Great Enneade. This theological conception contrasts with others (for example, the hermopolitan Ogdoad), but it became the most typical theological instrument of Egyptian speculation due to the political support that came to Heliopolis from the Memphite monarchy.
In the development of religious conceptions, the revolution of the Old Kingdom assumed great importance, in which the Heracleopolitan experience of the first intermediate period took root. There was then a shift from the old ritualistic conception to a new moral conception, which brought to the fore the concept of Maat, truth and justice. Shortly after a new god assumed, for political reasons, the rank of ‘king of the gods’: Ammon, god of Thebes, protector of the royal family and therefore of Egypt, whose fortune had only one moment of crisis at the end of the eighteenth century dynasty, when Akhenaten attempted a strictly monotheistic experiment, offering the Sun as a physical element, Aten, to the worship of the people.
In the period from the nineteenth dynasty onwards, less canonical cults developed and the documents of popular religiosity began to be abandoned. The divinities of the individual cities of which the various dynasties originated took turns in importance, in particular Neith, the ancient goddess of Sais. Characteristic of the Saitic era, however, was zoolatry, which affected the Greek and Roman world so much and which represents an expansion of a trend already recognizable in the ancient world, when single individuals of some animal species were considered sacred, as they personified well-known divinities (for example, in Memphis the bull Apis embodied Ptah). For Egypt religion and languages, please check ezinereligion.com.
A particularly vivid and felt problem in Egypt was that of the afterlife, with the confrontation of two main eschatological tendencies, the solar and the osiriac. According to the first, the deceased in the afterlife became part of the retinue of the sun god, Ra, traveled in the boat in which he crossed the sky or, having become a star, shone in the night sky. According to the Osiriac tendency, the deceased went underground, where wonderful and extremely fertile countryside awaited him. With the mixing of religious conceptions, a compromise was established in Heliopolis, and in the funerary ritual carved on the walls of the sarcophagus chambers in pyramids of the fifth and sixth dynasty solar formulas are flanked by osiriac formulas, ensuring the king a position of privilege in the underground afterlife and a reserved seat in the boat of the Sun. At the end of the Memphite Kingdom, royal Osiriac funerary rituals became available to everyone: after death, everyone could aspire to become king in the afterlife and to be identified with Osiris. The discrimination of souls, which previously was carried out on strictly ritual bases (only the one on whose corpse certain rites had been performed could enter the afterlife), obeyed a moral criterion: whoever was just in this first life would have the right to second life. earthly life. The various eschatological conceptions gave the funerary ritual special characteristics. Particular of all the habit to which previously was carried out on a strictly ritual basis (only the one on whose corpse certain rites had been performed could enter the afterlife), obeyed a moral criterion: whoever was just in this first earthly life would have the right to second life. The various eschatological conceptions gave the funerary ritual special characteristics. Particular of all the habit to which previously was carried out on a strictly ritual basis (only the one on whose corpse certain rites had been performed could enter the afterlife), obeyed a moral criterion: whoever was just in this first earthly life would have the right to second life. The various eschatological conceptions gave the funerary ritual special characteristics. Particular of all the habit to mummification, which was supposed to guarantee the eternal duration of the body: this in fact is one of the elements of which the human person is composed and therefore it cannot disappear without that, even in the hereafter, this personality is canceled. The statues and images of the deceased that were placed in the tombs served in some way to replace the eventually destroyed mummies.
Another important element in Egyptian religiosity was magic, which had Isis and Thoth as protectors and was itself a god. Magical texts have come to us in large numbers and from all periods of Egyptian history: curses, conjurations, formulas for healing, tales of famous wizards and narratives of myths made for magical purposes. A great part of the ritual seems to be pervaded by magic in the daily worship and in the procedure of the great feasts, and certainly very strong magical influences are throughout the funerary formulary. Trust in magic and its diffusion seem, however, to increase in the low epoch, when the tendency to consider religion as a personal rather than a social fact and to abolish the priest as an intermediary between man and god became more and more alive.