The Egyptian Myths: A Guide to the Ancient Gods

An authoritative guide to the Egyptian myths that sheds new light on an ancient way of understanding the world

This survey of Egyptian mythology explores how the ancient Nile-dwellers explained the world around them. It delves into the creation and evolution of the world and the reigns of the gods on earth, before introducing us to the manifestations of Egypt’s deities in the natural environment; the inventive ways in which the Egyptians dealt with the invisible forces all around them; and their beliefs about life after death.

Through his engaging narrative, Garry Shaw guides us through the mythic adventures of such famous deities as Osiris, the god murdered by his jealous brother Seth; the magical and sometimes devious Isis, who plotted to gain the power of the sun god Re; and Horus, who defeated his uncle Seth to become king of Egypt. He also introduces us to lesser known myths, such as the rebellions against Re; Geb’s quest for Re’s magical wig; and the flaying of the unfortunate god Nemty. From stars and heavenly bodies sailing on boats, to the wind as manifestation of the god Shu, to gods, goddesses, ghosts, and demons―beings that could be aggressive, helpful, wise, or dangerous―Shaw goes on to explain how the Egyptians encountered the mythological in their everyday lives.

By Garry J. Shaw
224 pages
Published by Thames & Hudson, 2014
5.4 x 1.2 x 8.1 inches