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The Egyptian mythology has been one of the biggest and most influential in the world, alongside the Greek and Roman mythologies. The daily lives of everyone from every class revolved around their beliefs and deities. All these often differed from region to region, with the biggest difference being between lower and upper Egypt. After Egypt became one country, these beliefs were often mixed or partially forgotten in favor of a unified religion for all.

When the Greek influence came to Egypt in the Hellenistic period, this often influenced the Egyptian mythology. A perfect example of this is the god Hermes Trismegistus, being a mix of a Greek and Egyptian god. This is most notable during the Ptolemaic Kingdom, with notable members Ptolemy XIII and his older sister Cleopatra VII.[1][2]

Pharaohs

Pharaohs were deemed gods on earth. As a ruler of the Egyptian kingdom they were often praised and worshipped as the gods they are. Pharaohs had a busy live, with many different tasks laid out for them. Just like all other classes their daily lives revolved around their religion. As gods they would often get offerings and when they died, huge pyramids were created to preserve their Ren, and smooth the transition of their Ba to the afterlife. Sometimes these tombs also contained a shadow box to preserve their Sheut.

These pyramids were often robbed by unbelievers who were in it for the money, as pyramids often contained vast treasures of gold and other valuables. To ensure grave robbers could not get to the actual body of the pharaoh, pyramids were build as mazes, with many hallways ending into empty rooms.

As pharaohs were deemed gods they also had responsibilities that were realistically out of their hands, including the job to make sure the Nile floods to irrigate the nearby farmlands.

Flooding of the Nile

Pharaohs were responsible for the Nile flooding and giving the lands and crops water. Unfortunately they didn't have that kind of power as the flooding of the Nile relied on the seasons and the number of droughts. As such, Pharaohs came up with the idea that people had to make sacrifices for the Pharaoh to inspire him to flood the Nile. When Egypt saw more periods of drought than normal, and the Nile wouldn't flood, it was then blamed on to the people themselves for not sacrificing enough, instead of the Pharaoh not doing his duty.[2]

Five parts of the soul

A human soul was believed to exist in five parts: the Ren, the Ba, the Ka, the Sheut, and the Ib.

Ib

The most important part was the Ib, or the heart. It was believed that the heart was created from a single drop of blood from the mother around conception. As Bayek of Siwa often references, the heart is eventually weighted by Anubis or Osiris (depending on the historical period and location) against the weight of a feather of the goddess Ma'at at the so called Weighing of the Heart. Ma'at, being the personification of truth and justice is always depicted with this same feather, an ostrich feather.

Ba

The Ba of a human soul is the aspect of a person who would live on when a person died. the Ba is the part which makes a person, himself/herself, the personality. The Ba went on to the afterlife (Duat) where a person could live on on their 'lives' peacefully.[3]

Ka

The Ka is the part which makes a human body alive. When the Ka leaves the body of a human, the person dies. Humans were given the Ka at birth from a god, Hequet or Meskhenet, depending on the region. To keep a Ka alive people had to eat and drink.

Sheut

The Sheut was a person's shadow. As a shadow is always there, Egyptians believed that the shadow represents a part of the human soul.

Ren

The Ren was a part of the human soul that was bound to the name of a person. It contained the memories and experiences of someone. As long as the person's name was named or spoken, the Ren would live on. As such, throughout Ancient Egypt names of important people were often carved in stone or memorized in another way, supporting their Ren. Names of the enemies of the state were often removed from such stone buildings to ensure their Ren would not live, as happened with Akhenaten.

Afterlife

When a person died, his Ba would go to the Duat, a temporary location where Anubis or Osiris would weigh a Ba against a feather of the goddess Ma'at. If the feather was equal or lighter than the feather, the ba would go on to the permantent afterlife: Aten, Heb Sed, or Aaru, depending on who the person was. Ba's who were heavier than the feather, and have thus not lived their lives correctly, would be devoured by Baba.

Aten was an afterlife for the people who followed the monotheistic worship created by Akhenaten, the god Aten. Heb Sed was only inhabited by Ramesses II and was littered with references to his great conquers during his earthly life. Aaru, or the Field of Reeds, was the location where most regular people would end up, including merchants and farmers.[4]

Gods

Amun

Main article: Amun
ACO CotP Amun

Unused concept of Amun

Amun was a very old deity, and the patron deity of the city of Thebes. Amun was the champion of poor and troubled. Amun was also considered the King of Gods. The Temple of Amun could be found in Siwa, Bayek's home region.

Eventually, Amun was merged with Ra and got the name Amun-Ra. Together with Mut and Khonsu, they were known as the Theban Triad.

Amunet

Main article: Amunet

Amunet, meaning "The Hidden One", is an old deity and is often known as the consort of Amun. Aya, wife of Bayek took on the name Amunet, after the goddess.

Anat

Main article: Anat

Anat, or Anath, was originally a Semitic goddess of war and violence. Since the 16th dynasty she was also worshipped by Egyptians and was seen as a consort of Seth in several stories.

Anubis

Main article: Anubis
ACO Anubis

A manifestation of Anubis generated by the Animus.

Anubis is considered the god of mummification and the afterlife. He is usually depicted as a human with the head of a jackal.

Anubis is the god of the afterlife and guides the Ba's of humans to their rightful location, reuniting people with their long deceased friends and families.

When Osiris was killed by Seth his body was embalmed by Anubis, thus leading to Anubis becoming the god of mummification.

Apep

Main article: Apep

Apep was the personification of chaos, and was often depicted as a giant snake, a monster that would eat the Ib of people. Thus he was the opponent of Ma'at, who embodied truth, justice and order.

During the 1st Century BCE, Bayek encountered Apep during a drug-induced hallucination and battled and defeated him on Ra's solar barge.

Apis

Main article: Apis

Apis was a sacred bull worshipped as a god. During the Ptolemaic Kingdom Apis was depicted as an aspect creator god Ptah. Most bulls lived in the Temple of Ptah in Memphis where it served as an oracle to people.

It was believed that when Apis died, he reincarnated into another bull. Upon death the body of the bull was buried in a tomb and priests would search for Apis' reincarnation, signified by certain markings, until it had been found.

In the 1st Century BCE Hetepi tried to poison the Apis bull by forcing two sisters, Taous and Tawe, to feed the bull poisonous fruits. Bayek and Aya eventually found out what caused the problems and the bull soon recovered.[5]

Aten

Main article: Aten

Aten was the disk of the sun and originally an aspect of the sun god Ra. When pharaoh Amenhotep IV reigned Egypt he found an old relic, and believed it was Aten himself. He soon changed his name to Akhenaten and ordered people to worship the god Aten, and solely him.

After Akhenaten died his name was stripped from most locations and the Egyptian people tried to erase him from history. During the 1st century BCE, there were people in villages near Thebes that still worshipped Aten as their deity, mainly because of the current situation with the curse.

Baba

Main article: Baba

Baba, also known as Babi, was a deity and the deification of the hamadryas baboon and was considered a god of the Duat. Baba was considered very bloodthirsty, mainly because baboons are omnivorous.

He was the god who would eat the souls that were weighted against the feather of Ma'at and who were deemed too heavy. In regions where Baba was worshipped, he was considered the first-born son of Osiris.

Bastet

Main article: Bastet

The goddess Bastet was most often revered by the citizens of Lower Egypt as the goddess of war. She was mostly depicted as a cat. In Upper Egypt this was usually Sekhmet who was depicted as a lion. After the unification of Egypt she also became the protector of cats.

When Bayek was in Aten, he mentioned that Aya often had a statue of Bastet.[6]

Hapi

Hapi was a deity and one of the four sons of Horus.

The urns where the lungs were put in during the mummification process had the depiction of the god Hapi as he was the deity tasked with protecting the lungs of the deceased.[2]

Hapi

Main article: Hapi

Hapi is the name of the god of the yearly flooding of the Nile.

Hathor

Main article: Hathor

Hathor is the goddess of music, motherhood, and mirth. Often depicted with cow horns, she served as the patron god of Memphis.

Hequet

Main article: Hequet

Hequet is the goddess of fertility. She is considered the counterpart of Khnum.

Hermes Trismegistus

Main article: Hermes Trismegistus

Hermes Trismegistus was a Greco-Egyptian god and a combination of the Greek god Hermes and the Egyptian god Thoth.

During the 1st century BCE, Hermes Trismegistus was worshipped by both Greek and Egyptian citizens. The citizens of Karanis had even replaced the statue of Thoth in the Sarapeion of Karanis with a statue of Hermes Trismegistus, which inspired the wrath of some Egyptian citizens who murdered the local priest.[1]

Horus

Main article: Horus

Horus was the Egyptian protector god of Nekhen in Upper Egypt. He was the son of Osiris and Isis and was often depicted as man with the head of a falcon.

After Osiris was betrayed by Seth he was killed and his body parts were scattered. Isis, his sister, managed to revive Osiris for one night and they made love, thus Horus was born.[2][7]

An insignia of Horus was often used by the Medjay of Egypt and was later the blueprint for the Hidden Ones logo.

Imhotep

Main article: Imhotep

Imhotep was an Egyptian chancellor to the pharaoh Djoser of the third Dynasty of Egypt and the high priest of Ra at Heliopolis. He also designed the Pyramid of Djoser.

Around 2000 years after he died, he was deified by Egyptians and worshipped as a god of medicine and healing.

Isis

Main article: Isis

Isis, also known as Iset, was a mother goddess and one of the major gods in Egyptian mythology. She was the sister and wife of Osiris. After Osiris had been betrayed and slain by Seth, he scattered the 14 pieces of Osiris' body throughout Egypt. Isis recovered all pieces, except for his penis. She succeeded in reviving Osiris for one night, in which they conceived a child, Horus.[2][7]

Khepri

Khepri was a god of reincarnation, mostly depicted as a scarab. He lives in the Duat and is also called the "Great Soul of the Universe". He awaits the return of Ra and resurrects him every time Ra has to complete his ritual.[8]

Khnum

Main article: Khnum

Khnum is one of the older Egyptian deities and thought of to be the source of the Nile. He was also seen as the creator of the human body, having sculpted them from river clay. He's often depicted with a ram head.

Khonsu

Main article: Khonsu

Khonsu was the god of the moon and thus was depicted with a moon-bearing crown. His mother Mut and his father Amun formed what was known as the Theban Triad, a family triad at the city of Thebes.

Ma'at

Main article: Ma'at

Ma'at was a goddess of justice, truth and order. The opposite, chaos, was personified by Apep. Ma'at was often depicted with an ostrich feather on her head, representing truth. She was the wife of Thoth.

As Bayek often told his son Khemu, when someone dies their Ib (heart) is weighted against the weight of the ostrich feather of Ma'at. Only if the Ib was equal in weight or lighter than the feather, the Ba would enter Aaru.

Mut

Main article: Mut

Mut was a mother-goddess and consort of Amun, as is Amunet. She was the mother of Khonsu, god of the moon. Together with Amun and Khonsu, they were known as the Theban Triad, a family triad in the city of Thebes.

Neith

Main article: Neith

Neith was a goddess of hunt and war, and was said by some to be the mother of Sobek.

Nut

Main article: Nut

Nut was the goddess of the sky, and mother to Osiris, Isis and Seth. She was often depicted as a nude star-covered woman but was also sometimes depicted as a cow. Her husband is Geb, god of the Earth.

Osiris

Main article: Osiris

Osiris was a god of the dead, underworld, transition, resurrection, and regeneration.

Brother of Seth, and a brother-husband of Isis, Osiris was murdered by Seth and the 14 pieces of his body scattered across Egypt. Isis eventually reclaimed all the pieces, save for his penis, and revived him using the Ankh, a Piece of Eden, for one night during which they conceived Horus.

Ptah

Main article: Ptah

Ptah is the god of craftsmen and architects. He is the husband of Sekhmet and the father of Imhotep. Ptah is the god that existed before the world, and thought the world into existence. He is considered the creator of the world and everything around it.

Ra

Main article: Ra

Ra is the ancient god of the sun and thought of as the creator of man.

As a solar god, he had to fight his battle every day. Returning to the Duat to fight Apep on his solar barge to make sure the sun comes up the next day. The god Khepri would wait for Ra in the Duat to resurrect him after his fight with Apep.

Ra has always been a major deity in the Egyptian mythology, and has been known to merge with several other sun gods, like Amun, Atum, Horus, with Amun-Ra being the most well known.

Sheshat

Main article: Sheshat

Sheshat was wife and daughter of Thoth[9] and goddess of wisdom, knowledge, and writing. Usually depicted as a scribe, she was the goddess of priests who worked in libraries. Unlike most Egyptian gods she was not depicted with an animal head, but with a seven-pointed sign above her.

Sekhmet

Main article: Sekhmet
ACO Sekhmet

A manifestation of Sekhmet generated by the Animus

Sekhmet is the goddess of war and healing. She is the wife of Ptah, creator of the world. She was often depicted as a lioness. She was the creator of deserts and the protector of pharaohs.

A yearly festival was held at Yamu where they celebrated the triumph of Sekhmet over Isfet with a re-enactment of the battle, via champions of the deities.

Serapis

Main article: Serapis

Serapis was a Greco-Egyptian god introduced by Ptolemy I Soter. Serapis was a combination of Osiris and Apis. The biggest temple devoted to him was the Serapeum of Alexandria.

With more and more Greek citizens in Egypt, Ptolemy I felt that he needed to introduce a god who could be equally worshipped by Greek and Egyptian citizens.

Serqet

Main article: Serqet

Serqet was the goddess of fertility, animals, medicine, magic, and most importantly the healing of venomous animal bites. As such, Serqet was often depicted and associated with scorpions.

Serqet is ever present in Egypt as Egypt is full of venomous insects, including scorpions. She is also present in the afterlife, manifesting as giant scorpions at certain locations in Aten, Aaru, Heb Sed and the Duat.

Miners all over Egypt often created small areas to pray to Serqet, almost always containing a statue of her. Workers would pray there often for protection from scorpions and dangerous insects during their work.[2]

Seth

Main article: Seth

Seth was the brother of Osiris and Isis and the god of chaos, desert, storms, violence and foreigners. He shared his position as god of chaos with Apep. Still though, he had the task of helping Ra on his solar barge to defeat Apep. He murdered his brother Osiris and cut him into 14 pieces, after which he scattered those all over Egypt.

Seth is the only Egyptian god who has an animal head of a creature that never existed. The animal is mostly referenced as the Set animal.

Sobek

Main article: Sobek
ACO Sobek

A manifestation of Sobek generated by the Animus.

Sobek was the god of pharaonic power, fertility, and military prowess and father of all crocodiles. He was often depicted as a human with a crocodile head. He was mainly worshipped by citizens of Egypt to protect them against the dangers of the Nile.

In most of Egypt, crocodiles were considered sacred due to being the children of Sobek. One of the bigger cities Krokodilopolis was inhabited by a lot of crocodiles, including a huge sacred albino crocodile, Petsuchos.[10]

Taweret

Main article: Taweret

Tawaret is the protective goddess of childbirth and fertility. She is often depicted as a bipedal hippopotamus, with feline hands,human breasts and the back of a Nile crocodile. She was one of the household deities, a god or goddess who protects everyone inside a household, thus she was worshipped throughout Egypt with no major cult center.

Thoth

Main article: Thoth

Thoth was the god of magic, writing and science. He was also tasked with the judgment of the dead, which was also done by Anubis, and was the arbiter at disputes between gods. He was the husband of Ma'at and often depicted with a head from the holy ibis.

Eventually, he was merged with the Greek god Hermes to form Hermes Trismegistus.

Wadjet

Main article: Wadjet

Wadjet was the patron and protector of Lower Egypt. After the unification of Egypt, she became the protector of all Egypt. She was often depicted with the head of a cobra.

In the 1st century BCE, a cult arose among Egyptian citizens who weren't happy with their Greek neighbors in Faiyum. Bayek was drawn to investigate the murders the cult instigated in Karanis.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Assassin's Creed: Origins
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Assassin's Creed: OriginsDiscovery Tour
  3. Assassin's Creed: OriginsThe Curse of the Pharaohs
  4. Assassin's Creed: OriginsThe Curse of the PharaohsLaid to Rest
  5. Assassin's Creed: OriginsThe Lizard's Mask
  6. Assassin's Creed: OriginsThe Curse of the PharaohsThe Cat
  7. 7.0 7.1 Assassin's Creed 3: Accipiter
  8. Assassin's Creed: OriginsThe Curse of the PharaohsKhepri's Amulet
  9. Assassin's Creed: OriginsThe Hidden OnesAnkh
  10. Assassin's Creed: OriginsSobek's Tears
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