Egyptian Myths

The Egyptian Myths

A Guide to the Ancient Gods and Legends

  1. Garry J. Shaw
  • ISBN 9780500251980
  • 19.60 x 12.90 cm
  • Hardback
  • 224pp
  • With 95 illustrations
  • First published 2014

The perfect handy introduction for the modern reader to the world of ancient Egyptian myth and legend. Much more than a retelling of the ancient myths, this accessible, authoritative guide will introduce the reader to a new (yet ancient) way of understanding the world

‘The myths are presented here in a down-to-earth manner, consistent with the spirit of the texts, exposing the gamut of human emotion from the rage of the solar deity to the lamentations of the widowed Isis’ – History Today
‘Provides an excellent introduction to the myths of ancient Egypt and is to be recommended to anyone who is trying to get their head around the subject’ – Egyptian Archaeology
‘With academic authority and enjoyable style, assisted by numerous, well-chosen illustrations of gods and goddesses, Shaw’s book is a lively introduction to its subject’– Current World Archaeology

• The first deities – Amun-Re, king of the gods, Ptah, divine craftsman, and Atum, Lord of Totality – and how they created the world
• Legends of rebellion against the sun god and Geb’s search for the magical wig of Re
• The murder of Osiris and Horus’ triumph over Seth
• Powerful goddesses, such as Isis, Maat, Mut and Neith
• Ghost stories, and the demonic denizens of the afterlife realm, such as Ammit, devourer of souls
• The weighing of the heart during Osiris’ judgment
• Informative sections on the post-pharaonic influence of Egyptian myths

Which gods created the world according to the ancient Egyptians? How did they explain the sun’s movements and its disappearance at night? In what ways did mythology permeate their lives? And what did they believe happened in the afterlife? The book explains how the Egyptians encountered the mythological in their everyday lives: gods, goddesses, ghosts and demons, beings that could be aggressive, helpful, wise or dangerous, all were prominent in Egyptian myth and legend.

Garry J. Shaw has a doctorate in Egyptology from the University of Liverpool and has taught at the American University in Cairo. He is managing editor and staff writer for the magazine Al-Rawi: Egypt’s Heritage Review and teaches at the Egypt Exploration Society, London. His previous books include Royal Authority in Egypt’s Eighteenth Dynasty and The Pharaoh: Life at Court and on Campaign.


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