Ancient Egyptian Texts, Egyptian Books. Ancient Egypt

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The book is actually a collection of magical spells, many of which were derived from earlier Coffin and Pyramid Texts.



Book of Caverns

This books gives us a vision of the underworld as a series of six pits, or caverns over which the sun god passes. Most of the underworld is illustrated, while the text primarily praises Osiris. It stresses the destruction of the enemies of the sun god, and references afterlife rewards and punishments. The dead King, in order to complete his journey through the underworld, must know the secret names of the serpents and be able to identify his guardian deities. We only know of a nearly complete version in the tomb of Ramesses VI, though it appears in the upper parts of others.



Book of The Heavens

This book, developed during the late New Kingdom, describes the sun's passage through the heavens. There are actually a number of individual books, but the better documented of these include the Book of the Day, the Book of the Night and the Book of Nut. Closely related is The Book of the Celestial Cow.

For example, the Book of the Night, like other books, documents the sun's journey but set within Nut, goddess of the heavens. She swallows the sun at the close of the day and gives birth to it each morning. Passages from these books are mostly found in Ramessid period tombs. The Book of the Divine Cow begins with the "Myth of the Destruction of Mankind", the Egyptian version of the story of the great flood.

In the beginning daylight was always present, and humans and gods cohabited on earth. This was depicted as paradise, but humans rebelled against the aging sun god, Ra. Ra sent Hathor as his eye (cobra snake) to punish the rebels, who began to destroy them with fire. However, Ra ended up feeling sorry for them and so deceived Hathor into letting some humans live. Ra then rearranged heaven and the underworld and left earth on the back of the celestial cow.



Book of the Earth

Book of the Earth in four parts - describing the sun's night time passage through the underworld. It was developed in the 20th dynasty, and appears in the burial chamber of several late Ramessid tombs. It also sometimes appears on some anthropoid sarcophagi of the same period.





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