Egyptian Mythology

Egyptian Religion and Mythology

What was the Book of the Dead?

The collection known to us as The Book of the Dead was titled by the ancients themselves as Spells for Going Forth by Day. The importance of this text, really a relatively minor collection of spells regarding passage through the afterlife, has been greatly exaggerated. For students of mythology, however, The Book of the Dead is important because it contains information about two major gods, Ra, the sun god, and Osiris, the Lord of the Underworld. In one of the spells, involving the judgment of the dead by Osiris, the deceased’s heart is placed on one side of a scale and weighed against a feather representing the goddess Maat, herself embodying the sacred concept of maat (divine order).


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