<<<
>>>

Myths and Legends of Ancient Egypt

Page: 53

Book of the Dead are: Tem or Atmu, Nu, Ra, Khepra, Ptah, Ptah-Seker, Khnemu, Shu, Set, Horus, Thoth, Nephthys, Anubis, Amen, and Anu—in fact, the majority of the principal divinities of Egypt. Besides these there were many lesser gods and a great company of spirits, demons, and other supernatural beings. Many of these demons were very ancient forms of half-forgotten deities. It will be noticed that at practically every stage of his journey Osiris left behind him one or more of his divine companions, who henceforth were supposed to become the rulers or satraps of the regions in which he had quitted them. So might an earthly Pharaoh reward his courtiers for services rendered.

It was only during the Middle Kingdom that the conception of Osiris as judge of the dead took definite form and received general recognition. In one of the chapters of the Book of the Dead we find him seated in a large hall the roof of which is covered with fire and symbols of truth. Before him are the symbol of Anubis, the four sons of Horus, and the Devourer of the West, a monster who serves as his protector. In the rear sit the forty-two judges of the dead. The deceased makes his appearance before the god and his heart is placed in a great balance to be weighed by Anubis, Thoth, the scribe of the gods, standing by to note the result upon his tablets. Having communicated this to Osiris, the dead man, if found worthy, is presented to the deity, to whom he repeats a long prayer, in which he states that he has not committed any evil. Those who could not pass the test were hurried away, and so far as is known were in danger of being devoured by a frightful monster called Beby, which awaited them outside. The justified deceased took part in the life of Osiris and the other gods,


<<<
>>>