Greek and Eygptian Mythology Essay
Greek and Eygptian Mythology
The Greeks myth of creation is one of the oldest theories to date. Dated back to 753 BC in Rome and have a lot of similarities to the Egyptian myth of creation. The Egyptians documented their beliefs on stone carving inside temple walls. Greek and Egyptian myths of creation Gaia is known as the mother goddess. In the beginning the world was ruled and formed by a female. Females were soupier to males and were thought to be powerful and have all the knowledge. (greek mythology, 2010) The Greeks believed that Chaos is born out of darkness from the Unknown. Gaia or the earth emerges from Chaos.
(ancient-mythology. com, 2009) Gaia separates heaven from the earth, water from the land, air from the airless space. From the depths of Gaia comes, Tartarus and Eros. Chaos also gives birth to Erebus, “the Darkness of the Underworld” and Nyx, “Night”. Gaia also gives birth to Uranus, “The Sky” and Pontus “The Sea”. Uranus fertilizes Gaia with rains and from Gaia spring the mountains, the water, the animals and plants. (ancient-mythology. com, 2009) In the beginning there was only water it was a chaos of churning, bubbling water, that the Egyptians called Nu or Nun. It was out of Nu that everything began.
(ancientegypt. com, 2012) As with the Nile, each year the flood caused chaos to all creatures living on the land, so this represents Nu. Eventually the floods would recede and out of the chaos of water would emerge a hill of dry land. This is celebrated as the first day of their existence every year. The Egyptians also believed the sun or god Atum was a creator god. That Atum arose out of the Nu and with nowhere to stand created a hill. The creation of this hill was bringing light to the darkness of the chaotic water. Atum was alone and wanted children but with no mate he couldn’t reproduce.
It is said he joined with his shadow and created a son and daughter. Different worlds in Greek and Egyptian mythology In Greek mythology there are different worlds. The underworld or the afterlife of their myths was ruled by Hades. (ancient-mythology. com, 2009) Mortals passed through the underworld where they awaited judgment. If they lived a life that displeased the gods they were punished. People in Greece would place coins on the deceased eyes when they were buried to pay the toll into the underworld. These coins were to pay the boatman on the ferry needed to cross the river in Hades known as Styx.
(greek mythology, 2010) The boatman was said to be evil and feared by all that passed through Hades. There were many parts of the underworld such as the Elysian Fields or paradise. There was also Asphodel Meadows that was a place of shadows, where souls of mortals that led lives of equal good and evil rested and Tartarus or hell. (ancient-mythology. com, 2009) The Egyptians had really intricate beliefs about life after death. Death was not considered to be the end of one’s life, rather it was considered to be a necessary stage that someone has to go through in order to enter an aspect of complete bliss and eternity.
This was dependent on the way the individual lived their lives. (egyptianmyths. net, 2011) The Egyptians have their own criteria for judgment to which each individual will be judged and awarded his destination in the afterlife. This would take place in the Hall of Two Truths. (ancientegypt. com, 2012) Anubis was a cruel god that was considered to be the spirit of the dead. He would be the judge along with forty two other gods and judges that would judge each soul. The gods were classified into different categories. Amongst them were gods that exclusively governed the underworld.
Egyptians priests were known for developing many myths and legends about life after death and it was these stories that drove the Egyptian afterlife beliefs. This is why the Egyptians had elaborate burial rituals the purpose of which was to ensure the preservation of the dead bodies and their soul. Some of the most important burial rituals included the process of mummification, the making of the tomb, the casting of spells and death masks. (ancientegypt. com, 2012) The Egyptians perceived the sky as a roof placed over the world it was supported by columns placed at the four cardinal points.
The Egyptians thought that the Earth was a rectangle. That it was longer from north to south and that the surface bulges slightly and that the Nile was its center. On the south there was a river in the sky supported by mountains and on this river the sun god made his daily trip. (egyptianmyths. net, 2011) The stars were suspended from the heavens by strong cables, but they had no explanation for their movements. Mythology to explain nature occurrences The Greeks depicted god to explain the unexplainable. They had several gods that took the form of rain, wind, fire and other occurrences they couldn’t explain.
The god Poseidon was the water god. He was a brother to Zeus and Hades and ruled the water. (ancient-mythology. com, 2009) Greeks blamed him for floods, earth shakes and droughts. He was visualized with a titan that he could control the waters and earth with. They believed that Zeus was the king of the gods who lived on mount Olympus. He was the ruler of the weather and the sky. He created thunder and lightning when he was angry with the mortals. (greek mythology, 2010) The Greeks believed there were four gods of directional winds–Boreas was known as the North-Wind, Zephryos the West-Wind, Notos the South-Wind, and Euros the East-Wind.
(ancient-mythology. com, 2009) They were also closely connected with the seasons. The Egyptians myths are a central base of the Nile. The Egyptians believed that the gods would flood the earth every year at the same time. They believed this was necessary to have their crops grow after the water receded. They based their yearly calendar around the flooding of the Nile. (egyptianmyths. net, 2011) Every year they would prepare for the flooding and celebrate the waters rising. The Egyptians believed that everything was on a path of cycle. Comparing Greek mythology with Egyptian mythology.
The Egyptians and the Greeks had similar creation myths. They both believed that a single god erupted out of chaos. Egyptians myths believe it was out of water that the first male god was created. Where Greeks believed it was out of darkness the first goddess was created, known as the earth. Both myths believe that the first god sprung life from their selves and created more gods. They also both have several gods to explain nature occurrence. Both myths have several gods that control the rain, wind and sea. There are many myths documented throughout time.
Some that try to explain where or how we all got here. Many religions hold on to these myths for validation and a sense of conformity. Greeks and Egyptians are no different. These myths have been around for century’s and rarely vary from one generation to the next. References ancient-mythology. com. (2009, september). Retrieved from http://www. ancient-mythology. com/greek ancientegypt. com. (2012, spring). Retrieved from http://www. ancientegypt. com egyptianmyths. net. (2011, June). Retrieved from http://egyptianmyths. net greek mythology. (2010, october). Retrieved from http://www. greekmythology. com/