By Glenn S. Holland
Gods within the desolate tract explores the attention-grabbing spiritual cultures of the traditional close to East. From the mysterious pyramids, tombs, and temples of Egypt to the strong heroes, gods, and legends of Mesopotamia, Glenn Holland publications readers during the early religions which are the foundation of lots of todays significant faiths. Holland compares the religions of old Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Syria-Palestine, together with Israel and Judah, from the Neolithic period throughout the conquest of Alexander the good. He presents a historic survey of every zone, then discusses the gods, the rulers, the afterlife, and the worship rituals. This obtainable evaluate makes transparent how those religions converged and diverged, and are in detail hooked up to some of the religions we realize this present day, occasionally in astonishing methods.
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Extra resources for Gods in the Desert: Religions of the Ancient Near East
Or human beings might essentially be slaves created by the gods to work for them. Like slaves, human beings then must submit to the will of their divine masters and put up with whatever treatment they might receive from the gods without complaint. Or it might be that human beings are related to the gods as essentially the same sort of beings. In that case, human beings might be considered as something like younger siblings who have to grow and mature to eventually become like their elders, the gods.
Horus in the form of a falcon or a falconheaded man might wear the double crown of Egypt, holding the royal crook and flail as symbols of his sovereign power over both the gods and humanity. From Dynasty 1, divine power was conceptualized and expressed in anthropomorphic terms, so the gods were believed essentially to be human beings with divine abilities. The gods spoke and acted like human beings; they loved, made war, grew old, made plans and carried them out, expressed regret, and practiced trickery.
Regional gods often took on additional significance when they became identified with one another (for example Amun and Ra) or associated with other gods in divine families (for example the divine couple Osiris and Isis with their son Horus), or set in opposition (for example Horus and Seth). Other regional gods apparently were recognized from very early on as local manifestations of more universal gods, as was the case with Amun, whose primary local association was with Karnak. A god sacred to all Egypt might have a special association with a particular locality, as the divine craftsman Khnum did with the cataracts in Upper Egypt.