OEB 176180 (AIG 43907)
In the introduction of this work for the general public on the Egyptian religion up to Graeco-Roman times Mme Zivie first deals with some general questions. The work is divided into two books, of which the first is written by Mme Zivie and is devoted to pharaonic Egypt. This book consists in its turn of two parts: the world of the gods and of the living and the dead.
Ch. 1 of part 1 is concerned with various questions such as the meaning of the word for god, netjer, the form of the gods, their names, personalities and functions. After a note on how the divine world is organized the author briefly refers to some myths of Ancient Egypt. The subject of ch. 2 is the cosmogonies, the creation and time. The creation process out of the undifferentiated is followed step by step. At the end of the ch. remarks on the non-anthropocentric character of the creation and the role of time and eternity. In ch. 3 the temple is the focus of attention: history, function, symbolism and decoration programme, cult, ritual and celebration by the clergy. Part 2 is devoted to the living and the dead. First, in ch. 1 the relation between human beings and the gods, as expressed by personal piety, magic and living in accordance with Ma'at. Personal piety is confronted with official, institutional cult. In ch. 2 the author describes the funerary beliefs: death and the dead; mummification, funeral and tomb, and justification; the hereafter and the funerary texts.
Book 2, by F.Dunand, is exclusively concerned with Graeco-Roman Egypt, and is divided into three parts. In part 1, on religion and power, ch. 1 introduces the Ptolemaic and Roman rulers and their politico-religious ideology. The reactions on this by the Egyptian clergy were ambiguous in Ptolemaic times, while tired in the Roman Period, as is described in ch. 2. A separate ch. 3 is devoted to the new creation of the god Sarapis. Part 2 reviews the religious world of the period. The vitality of the traditional religion is demonstrated in ch. 1 by the role of the Graeco-Roman temples, and the importance of the cult of Isis and Osiris. Ch. 2 describes the Greek cults and gods, the royal and imperial cult, next to notes on Judaism and the rise of the Christian religion. Ch. 3 deals with some religious changes in the period, i.a. the slowly emerging conflict between polytheism and monotheism. In part 3 the temple and funerary religion are brought together. The official festivals and rituals of the temples form the subject of ch. 1: the Ptolemaia in Alexandria, the festival of "lifting up heaven and the installation of the potter's wheel" as celebrated at Esna, and daily work in a temple. Ch. 2 shows the distinction between religious practice in the private sphere and the secluded theology of the temples, and the importance of oracles and magic expressing the fear of the unknown. In ch. 3, on funerary beliefs, the Egyptian and Greek views of the hereafter are confronted, the persistence of traditional practice is stressed, and the Christian guise of various pagan rituals is pointed out. This part ends with a general brief conclusion.
The appendixes, together forming book 3, present a glossary of gods, maps, a chronological table, a bibliography (general and to the separate ch.) and an index.