Egyptian mythology Nun
, the embodiment of the primordial waters, lifts the barque
of the sun god Ra
into the sky at the moment of creation.
is the collection of myths
from ancient Egypt
, which describe the actions of the Egyptian gods
as a means of understanding the world. The beliefs that these myths express are an important part of ancient Egyptian religion
. Myths appear frequently in Egyptian writings
, particularly in short stories and in religious material such as hymns, ritual texts, funerary texts
, and temple
decoration. These sources rarely contain a complete account of a myth and often describe only brief fragments.
Inspired by the cycles of nature, the Egyptians saw time in the present as a series of recurring patterns, whereas the earliest periods of time were linear. Myths are set in these earliest times, and myth sets the pattern for the cycles of the present. Present events repeat the events of myth, and in doing so renew maat
, the fundamental order of the universe. Amongst the most important episodes from the mythic past are the creation myths
, in which the gods form the universe out of primordial chaos; the stories of the reign of the sun god Ra
upon the earth; and the Osiris myth
, concerning the struggles of the gods Osiris
, and Horus
against the disruptive god Set
. Events from the present that might be regarded as myths include Ra's daily journey through the world and its otherworldly counterpart, the Duat
. Recurring themes in these mythic episodes include the conflict between the upholders of maat
and the forces of disorder, the importance of the pharaoh
in maintaining maat
, and the continual death and regeneration of the gods. Read more...