I love reading Egyptian mythology books because it is a captivating and intricate system of beliefs that has fascinated people for centuries. With its rich tapestry of gods, goddesses, and legendary tales, it’s no wonder that many authors have delved into the world of Egyptian mythology to explore its mysteries and share its stories. Whether you’re a mythology enthusiast, a history buff, or just looking for a good read, there are plenty of books that can transport you to the mystical world of ancient Egypt. I’ve compiled the ten best Egyptian mythology books that offer a glimpse into the fascinating realm of the gods and pharaohs.
Egyptian Mythology Books
The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt – Richard H. Wilkinson
The gods and goddesses of ancient Egypt, worshipped for over half of recorded history, are among the most fascinating and complex of any civilization. Here is a comprehensive and authoritative guide to the deities that lay at the heart of Egyptian religion and society. It examines the evolution, worship and eventual decline of the numerous gods and goddesses – from minor household figures such as Bes and Taweret to the all-powerful deities Amun and Re – that made Egypt the most completely theocratic society of the ancient world, and made Egyptians, according to Herodotus, ‘more religious than any other people’. A must-read among Egyptian mythology books.
Egyptian Mythology: A Guide to the Gods, Goddesses, and Traditions of Ancient Egypt – Geraldine Pinch
From stories of resurrected mummies and thousand-year-old curses to powerful pharaohs and the coveted treasures of the Great Pyramids, ancient Egypt has had an unfaltering grip on the modern imagination. Now, in Egyptian Mythology, Geraldine Pinch offers a comprehensive introduction that untangles the mystery of Egyptian Myth among Egyptian mythology books.
Spanning Ancient Egyptian culture–from 3200 BC to AD 400–Pinch opens a door to this hidden world and casts light on its often misunderstood belief system. She discusses the nature of myths and the history of Egypt, from the predynastic to the postpharaonic period. She explains how Egyptian culture developed around the flooding of the Nile, or the “inundation,” a phenomenon on which the whole welfare of the country depended, and how aspects of the inundation were personified as deities. She explains that the usually cloudless skies made for a preoccupation with the stars and planets.
Indeed, much early Egyptian mythology may have developed to explain the movement of these celestial bodies. She provides a timeline covering the seven stages in the mythical history of Egypt and outlining the major events of each stage, such as the reign of the sun God. A substantial A to Z section covers the principal themes and concepts of Egyptian mythology as well as the most important deities, demons, and other characters.
For anyone who wants to know about Anubis, the terrifying canine god who presided over the mummification of bodies and guarded burials, or Hathor, the golden goddess who helped women to give birth and the dead to be reborn, or an explanation of the nun, the primaeval ocean from which all life came, Egyptian Mythology is the place to look among Egyptian mythology books.
The Egyptian Book of the Dead: The Book of Going Forth by Day
One of the most beautiful Egyptian mythology books. Maybe the most stunning presentation of this book in 3300 years: Upon death, it was the practice for some Egyptians to produce a papyrus manuscript called the Book of Going Forth by Day or the Book of the Dead. A Book of the Dead included declarations and spells to help the deceased in the afterlife.
The Papyrus of Ani is the manuscript compiled for Ani, the royal scribe of Thebes. Written and illustrated almost 3,300 years ago, The Papyrus of Ani is a papyrus manuscript with cursive hieroglyphs and colour illustrations. It is the most beautiful, best-preserved, and complete example of ancient Egyptian philosophical and religious thought known to exist.
The Egyptian Book of the Dead is an integral part of the world’s spiritual heritage. It is an artistic rendering of the mysteries of life and death. For the first time since its creation, this ancient papyrus is now available in full colour with an integrated English translation directly below each image. A must-read among Egyptian mythology books.
The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt – Ian Shaw
The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt uniquely covers 700,000 years of ancient Egypt, from c. 700,000 BC to AD 311. Following the story from the Egyptians’ prehistoric origins to their conquest by the Persians, Greeks, and Romans, this book resurrects a fascinating society replete with remarkable historical information. It investigates such subjects as the changing nature of life and death in the Nile Valley to some of the earliest masterpieces of art, architecture, and literature in the ancient world among Egyptian mythology books.
The authors–an international team of experts working at the cutting edge of their particular fields–outline the principal sequence of political events, including detailed examinations of the three so-called ‘intermediate periods’, which were previously regarded as ‘dark ages’ and are only now beginning to be better understood.
They also examine cultural and social patterns, including stylistic developments in art and literature. Addressing the issues surrounding this distinctive culture, vividly relating the rise and fall of ruling dynasties, exploring colourful personalities, and uncovering surprising facts, The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt is certain to enrich our understanding of this endlessly intriguing civilization among Egyptian mythology books.
The Egyptian Mythology Bible – Thomas Hedlund
Welcome to Ancient Egypt. A land of lush gardens, shifting sands, and the mysterious Nile River. Driven by a pantheon of timeless gods and goddesses, Egyptians built one of the most prominent civilizations in history. Here, collected for you, are some of the greatest stories from ancient Egypt among Egyptian mythology books.
Discover the myths and practices of a society still ingrained in our times and begin to understand the characteristics and culture that led to their lavish success, and ultimately, their fatal demise.
Step into a world where the impossible strode across the sands and into the annals of immortality. Ra, Osiris, Isis, and Set, these are but the first of many gods who continue to hold impactful significance in the modern world. Their stories are yours, woven into the fabric of Egypt, from the rise of the Pharaohs to the construction of the great pyramids. A fun and interesting one among Egyptian mythology books.
The Egyptian Myths: A Guide to the Ancient Gods and Legends – Garry J. Shaw
This handy guide among Egyptian mythology books explores how the ancient Nile-dwellers explained the world around them. It delves into the origins of life, the creation and evolution of the world, and the reigns of the gods on earth, before introducing us to the manifestations of Egypt’s deities in the natural environment; the inventive ways in which the Egyptians dealt with the invisible forces all around them; and the trials and tribulations of the life hereafter. This is the perfect introduction for modern readers to the mysteries of Egypt among Egyptian mythology books.
Myths and Legends of Ancient Egypt – Joyce Tyldesley
The civilization we know as Ancient Egypt stretched over three thousand years. What was life like for ancient Egyptians? What were their beliefs – and how different were they from ours? Myths and Legends of Ancient Egypt uses Egypt’s vivid narratives to create a panorama of its history, from the earliest settlers to the time of Cleopatra.
Gathered from pyramid texts, archaeological finds and contemporary documents, these stories cover everything from why the Nile flooded annually to Egyptian beliefs about childbirth and what happened after death. They show us what life was really like for rich and poor, man and woman, farmer and pharaoh.
Myths and Legends of Ancient Egypt brings a long-dead culture back to life among Egyptian mythology books.
Temples, Tombs, and Hieroglyphs – Barbara Mertz
Have you ever wondered what it was like in the Valley of the Kings? To unlock the mysteries of the pyramids? Or sail down the Nile on Cleopatra’s Barge? In her fascinating new introduction to the wonders of ancient Egypt expert Barbara Mertz tells the extraordinary history from the first Stone Age settlements to the age of Cleopatra and the Roman Emperors. It offers not just insights into the glories of the Pharaohs, but also intriguing glimpses of everyday life, folklore and culture.
Barbara Mertz, an Egyptologist, offers a captivating narrative of ancient Egyptian history, including the mythology that played a central role in the culture. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for storytelling, Mertz brings the world of pharaohs and gods to life among Egyptian mythology books.
Egyptian Mythology: A Traveller’s Guide from Aswan to Alexandria – Garry J. Shaw
An interesting one among Egyptian mythology books. Join Egyptologist Garry J. Shaw on a tour up the Nile, through a beautiful and fascinating landscape populated with a rich mythology: the stories of Horus, Isis, Osiris, and their enemies and allies, tales of vengeance, tragedy, and fantastic metamorphoses. The myths of ancient Egypt have survived in fragments of ancient hymns and paintings on the walls of tombs and temples, spells inked across coffins and stories scrawled upon scrolls. Shaw not only retells these stories with his characteristic wit, but also reconnects them to the temples and monuments that still stand today, offering a fresh look at the most visited sites in Egypt.
Shaw’s evocative descriptions of the ancient ruins will transport you to another landscape – including the magnificent sites of Dendera, Tell el-Amarna, Edfu, and Thebes. At each site, discover which gods or goddesses were worshipped there, as well as the myths and stories that formed the backdrop to the rituals and customs of everyday life. Each chapter ends with a potted history of the site, as well as tips for visiting the ruins today.
Illustrations throughout bring to life the creation of the world and the nebulous netherworld, the complicated relationships between fickle gods, powerful magicians and pharaohs, and eternal battles on a cosmic scale. This is the perfect companion to the myths of Egypt and the gods and goddesses that shaped its ancient landscape among Egyptian mythology books.
The Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Egypt – Bill Manley
Although not entirely about the myths, this is a great helpful one among Egyptian mythology books. From its humble origins as a cluster of rival chiefdoms along the banks of the Nile, ancient Egypt rose to become one of the most advanced civilizations of its time. This atlas traces its turbulent history and remarkable cultural development, from the founding of Memphis around 5000 BC, through the territorial expansion and flourishing trade of the ‘age of empire’, to Greek domination and ultimate collapse.
Political rivalries are charted through the successive dynasties, from the strife of the intermediate periods to the golden ages of prosperity and artistic glory under Akhenaten, Tutankhamun and Ramesses II. The latest archaeological evidence is used to cast new light on the vast architectural legacy of the world’s first great nation-state. The authoritative narrative, illustrated with over sixty full-colour maps and over seventy plates, makes this an indispensable handbook for history students and enthusiasts alike among Egyptian mythology books.
In conclusion, these ten Egyptian mythology books provide a variety of perspectives on Egyptian mythology, from comprehensive guides to captivating narratives and historical context. Whether you’re a seasoned Egyptologist or a beginner with a newfound interest in ancient Egypt, these Egyptian mythology books are sure to enrich your understanding of this captivating mythology. Dive into the stories of gods, pharaohs, and the mysteries of the Nile and explore the rich tapestry of Egyptian mythology that has captivated people for millennia.
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Are there any Egyptian mythology books you’d like to add to this list? Would you please share in the comments section below?