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Ancient Egypt - Gods and Pharaohs
By Ekaterina Zhdanova-Redman
1 Religion appeared in every part of life in ancient Egypt. It included much of what people today would call superstition--belief in the magical effects of some action that would bring good or bad if somebody performs that action. The Egyptians believed that the world in which they lived had been created out of nothingness. Chaos and darkness could return at any time if the proper religious rituals were not followed.
2 The Egyptians believed that gods and goddesses took part in every human activity from birth to death. In the earliest period, they worshiped the forces of nature, such as wind and water. Some Egyptian gods appeared as animals--Sebek the water god was a crocodile. Horus, god of sky and protector of the reigning pharaoh, was the falcon (hawk). Gods were also connected with jobs and interests. The hippopotamus goddess Tawaret looked after babies and childbirth.
3 As towns grew up, each adopted its own special god. In one part of the Delta, the people worshipped Horus, the god of heaven. In another district, they worshipped Osiris, the god of vegetation. Heliopolis, near Cairo, was the center for the worship of the sun god Re, or Ra. The worship of Re later became the nation's first state religion.
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