By Serge Sauneron
The gods have been far and wide in historical Egypt. Represented by way of statues, bas-reliefs, and funerary work, they even walked one of the Egyptians within the individual of Pharaoh, thought of to be a dwelling god, son of the divine Ra. What greater solution to keep in mind that far away tradition than via changing into accustomed to the folks who served these gods? utilizing as his resources the Egyptian texts and the testimony of classical authors, Serge Sauneron illuminates the function of the priesthood in old Egypt.
He recreates the process of considered one of many nice civilizations of antiquity, addressing such issues as priestly services, the area of the temples, holy fairs, tombs, and pyramids. Sauneron describes the ceremonies of day-by-day worship, thought of very important in combating the world's descent into chaos. he is taking us deep into the sacred precincts of the temples― domestic to the divine statues during which part of the god used to be believed to stay. one of many tasks of the clergymen used to be to take care of those sacred effigies, to nourish, dress, and safeguard them from assaults by means of evil spirits. This version of The monks of historic Egypt, an augmented model of the 1957 vintage, was once released in France in 1988, and has been translated authoritatively by way of David Lorton.
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Extra info for The Priests of Ancient Egypt: New Edition
Come to . move among us. The first pylon of Karnak ktfil Mjnniiif" . . For a whole world of priests populated the greatest of these from the high priest, eminent political personage sanctuaries; throng of servants, of every sort and degree of competence filled the courts and corridors of the sacred enclosure with their in the State, to the last chaplain or artisan, a priests, assistants all teeming life. At Karnak, when Amon was in favor, hundreds, perhaps thousands, of ,the temple personnel were present in the course of a day.
To adhere to certain texts, it seems that after the purifications required of any person entering the temple, the new priest simply received a kind of summary baptism: 'They went to seek Ptah- 47 The King goes^ before the god (Temple of Edfu) ^ new prophet of Amon, led him to the temple and anointed his hands, in order to initiate him into the service of Amon [The Tale of Peteisis]. The procedures would have been identical with the introduction to nonpriestly offices: we assume an office, the Egyptians anoint themselves to an office.
To be objective, one must recognize that the Egyptian priesthood, too liberally open and above all subjected to a very anarchistic method of recruiting, could attract an appreciable number of the 'misplaced' or profiteers devoid of human worth: every human collective of any importance inevitably includes some such types. One must also admit that the majority of those in the service of the religion were honest and conscientious, without genius perhaps, but at least faithful to their task and no doubt convinced of its nobility.