The civilization of ancient Egypt was suffused by the divine. Omnipresent, multi-formed, mysterious and inexhaustibly rich, the pantheon of deities dictated the essence of all aspects of life. The absolute pharaonic state depended for its authority on the enduring and rigid hierarchy of the gods which supported it, and yet the Egyptian deities also influenced the existence of individual subjects during their everyday life and in their preparation for the afterlife. This book, which includes colour photographs of representations of the gods across three millennia, examines the complex nature of Egyptian divinity and seeks to present ancient Egyptian religion in a manner which is comprehensible to the modern mind. It explores the relations between the divine beings and their creation - man - in many forms: magic, oracles, amulets and superstition; the cult of sacred animals; survival in the afterlife through funerary ritual and observance; the myth of creation; the cult of the king; and other aspects of the divine.
The photographs of sculptures and paintings from antiquities collections around the world reflect the diversity and beauty of the Egyptian pantheon and explain the continuing fascination that ancient Egypt holds today.