Gods of Egypt, exhibition


This November 2018 video is about the exhibition Gods of Egypt in the antiquities museum in Leiden, the Netherlands.

I saw that exhibition today.

The museum site says about it:

Gods of Egypt: until 31 March 2019

This winter, the mystical world of the ancient Egyptian gods comes to life in the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden (National Museum of Antiquities). The large exhibition Gods of Egypt is entirely devoted to the ancient Egyptian pantheon and brings numerous treasures to the Netherlands. More than five hundred imposing sculptures of gods and goddesses, magical papyri, gold jewels and richly painted mummy cases, from museums in the Netherlands and abroad, demonstrate the enormous influence of the gods on the lives of the Ancient Egyptians.

Partnership with European museums

For Gods of Egypt, the National Museum of Antiquities is working together with the Egyptian Museum in Torino, which has the second largest Egypt collection in the world. In addition, remarkable statues of gods, reliefs, stelae, and mythological papyri are on loan from the British Museum (London), Musée du Louvre (Paris), Kunsthistorisches Museum (Vienna), Roemer and Pelizaeus Museum (Hildesheim), the August Kestner Museum (Hannover) and the Allard Pierson Museum (Amsterdam).

Religion and magic in Ancient Egypt

Ancient Egypt is saturated in religion and magic. Stories about gods and the creation determined how the people saw the world. In this exhibition you will learn to recognise fascinating symbols and gods and gain a better understanding of the Egyptian world view. Themes include the role that temples played in the country, the countless rituals for the gods and the journey to the underworld; the realm of Osiris, where every Egyptian hoped to reside after death. A crucial element was the position of the pharaoh, who was seen as the reincarnation on earth of the god Horus. Gods of Egypt concludes with the role played by the Egyptian gods in modern art, films and lifestyles, illustrated by objects from a unique private collection.

The exhibition says there were hundreds of gods in ancient Egypt. That was because the Nile valley was originally various small city states, each with their own religion. After Egypt became a unified monarchy about 5,000 years ago, many of these local gods got positions in a complex national pantheon.

Still later, when first Greek Alexander the Great, later the Romans, conquered Egypt, worship of Egyptian deities like Isis spread all over the Roman empire. Also, lines between gods became blurred, some deities acquiring characteristics of various different gods, leading sometimes to gods, both native and foreign, fusing. Eg, the god Serapis was a fusion of the Egyptian gods Osiris and Apis and the Greek gods Hades, Demeter and Dionysus.

The exhibition claims that this lessening in individualities of the gods helped pave the way for monotheism. In 389 CE, a Christian mob led by Pope Theophilus of Alexandria destroyed the Serapeum of Alexandria. Egypt then became a mostly Christian country.

6 thoughts on “Gods of Egypt, exhibition

  1. Pingback: Ancient Egyptian religion, videos | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Egyptian priest’s sarcophagus discovery | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Neanderthals’ complex tools discovery | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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