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Flashcards in Social Studies: Lesson 5: Egyptian Religion Deck (33):


The son of Osiris and Isis, a sky god and closely linked with the king



Enemy of Horus and Osiris, god of violence



The moon god, god of writing and wisdom



A ram god who shapes men and their kas on his potter's wheel



Godess of love and nuturing



The crocodile god



The sun god






small statues of the gods


How did the early Egyptians explain natural phenomena (natural events)

They believed immortal spirits lived in the bodies of animals. They did not understand the forces of nature- so they invented stories to explain these events.


Why did the early Egyptians worship animals?

They believed that immortal spirit lived in the bodies of the animals. So they worshipped the spirit of the animals they stalked or the species they feared. They hoped that by pleasing the animal spirit they would have plenty of animals to hunt and they would be safe from the animals they feared.


Describe the Egyptian story of creation

The world began with chaos where there was only water (called Nun). Slowly, humps of land formed. On one of these humps appeared the sun god, Ra. He created air and moisture. Later, Geb became the god of earth and Nut, the sky goddess. Humans were made from the tears of Ra.


Why was Ra, the sun god, the most important diety to the ancient Egyptians, and why did they invent a story about Ra's journey that explained the movement of the sun?

The ancient Egyptians were dazzled by the power of the sun and fascinated by the path it seemed to take.
It is a powerful source of death and destruction in the desert so they worshipped it as a powerful god.
The story of Ra's journey across the sky helped them to understand the apparent movement of the sun.- so they didn't need to worry if it would disappear forever.


Name 3 important cycles did the Egyptians observe in nature?

1. the daily pattern of light and darkness that symbolized life, death and rebirth.
2. the annual cycle of crops that grew on the flood plain of the Nile.
3. the flooding of the Nile. By studying, the configuration of the stars in the heavens, they could predict when the next Inundation would occur. That could help them prepare for the next flood.


Who was the god that produced the water and rich soil



How did the ancient Egyptians bury their dead and why did they do this?

They buried the dead in shallow pits in the desert sands along with tools, cooking implements and food.
They hoped once the sand and pebbles covered the dead person, he or she would begin a new life


What is the myth that explains the miracle of rebirth

The myth of Ra (the sun god). It says Ra began his journey in the eastern skies as a child, reaches the zenith of the heavens at noon as a young man and arrives at the western horizon as an old man.He then dies and spends the night in the Land of the Dead- only to be reborn again the next morning and restart the journey again.


What is the myth of Osiris

Osiris is the god of the dead and Isis is the goddess of the harvest- and this explains the miracle of rebirth to the ancient Egyptians.
Osiris's wicked brother, Seth, tries to kill Osiris by locking him in a chest and throwing it into the Nile. Osiris is rescued by Isis and then Seth kills him again by cutting him into 14 pieces and threw those into the Nile. Isis rescues him again.
Osiris is restored to life by Anubis (the protector of the dead) and then goes to the Underworld.
Horus (the son of Osiris and Isis) avenges his father's death by defeating Seth and banishing him to the desert- where he becomes the god of violence.
Seth did cut out Horus's eye but it was magically restored by Thoth (god of wisdom and learning).
The eye of Horus became a symbol for restored health.
The falcon (or hawk) represents Horus.
Ancient Egyptians believed the reigning pharaoh represented Horus and when he died the king's soul became one with Osiris (the god of the Underworld)- then the new pharaoh would become the living Horus.


What was Ma'at and what does it explain about Egyptian society?

Ma'at was a state of perfect harmony as represented by the goddess of the same name.
Egypt arose from chaos but it flourished when the order was maintained. When Ma'at is disturbed- there is a return to chaos.
This is why Egyptians love order and stability.


Why do scholars believe that Egyptian gods are often shown with the head of and animal and the body of a human?

Priests wore masks of the animal gods to whom they were appealing when they performed religious ceremonies.


Why were cats considered sacred?

they protected the grain from the rodents


Why were monkeys considered sacred?

because baboons made such noise at sunrise- the Egyptians thought they were worshipping Ra.


why were gods bulls considered sacred?

Egyptians believe the spirit of Ptah (the god of craftsmen) entered the bull during religious ceremonies. The special bull named Apis lived on the grounds of Ptah's temple


Why were only priests allowed into the sanctuary of the temples?

Only priests were able to communicate with the gods and to interpret their message for the people


Who was the high priest of all of Egypt and what important religious ceremonies did he conduct

The pharaoh was the high priest and his ceremonies dealt with the annual flood and the fertility of the soil


list 9 duties of temple priests

1. awaken the gods
2. make offerings
3. eat the food offered to the gods (share with them)
4. put fresh robes on the statue of the god
5. sweep the floor in front of them to erase the footsteps (human presence)
6. pass on knowledge of reading and writing to the next generation
7. Keep an accurate account of grain and produce paid in taxes by the local farmers and stored in the temple warehouse
8. on special occasions, carry the statues of the gods into the city (or to another city) so people could see it.
9. priestesses contributed to ritual music by shaking sacred rattles


list the 2 magic charms Egyptians wore

1. amulets- small statues of the gods
2. magic wands of ivory shaped like boomerangs (to draw circles around where they slept so they would not be stung by scopions or bit by snakes)


What 3 ways did Amonhotep (Akhenaten) change religion in Egypt

1. proclaimed there is only one god (known as Aten)
2. Banned the worship of all the traditional Egyptian gods
3. closed all temples


Who was Aten and how was he shown

He was the one and only god according to Amenhotep and the creative force of the universe.
He was depicted as a larger sun disc from which light rays . At some of the rays were outstretched hands holding the symbol of life (the ankh)


How did a temple of Aten differ from those of the traditional gods?

He built them in a new city and they were open air temples- where worshippers could feel the sun


Describe the appearance of the pharaoh Akhenaten (Amenhotep)

A distorted thin face with full lips and a little chin. He had a narrow chest, wide hips and a pot belly.


Who was Akhenaten's wife

Nefertiti- considered the most beautiful lady in Egypt


How did the Egyptian religion change after the death of Akhenaten (include the god Amon in answer)

His son, Tutankhaten became pharaoh. The priests and government officials rushed to reverse all the changes made by Akhenaten and bring back the old ways of worshipping many gods. They changed the name Aten to Amon- the sun god of Thebes.. They even changed Tutankhatan's name to Tutankhamon.