By Judson Knight
Offers historic details and interpretation on historical civilizations in Egypt, Mesopotamia, Asia Minor, China, Africa, Israel, and somewhere else.
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Extra info for Ancient Civilizations RL. Almanac
In modern America, people are used to following the lives of celebrities, stars they read about in magazines and see on television shows. In ancient Egypt, by contrast, there was only one “star,” and he was the pharaoh. ” This was the title for the king of Egypt, but the pharaoh was much more than a mere king. He was seen as a link between the gods and humankind, and the people viewed him more as a divine being than as a human. They addressed him as “son of Ra” or by other godlike names, and they considered him an earthly embodiment of Horus.
Many ancient peoples were concerned with what happened to a person after they died: the Egyptians and Chinese believed that, with proper preparation, a person would live on the earth; the Hindus believed in reincarnation; the Greeks and Romans believed that most people went to Hades, and a very few good or bad ones went either to the Elysian Fields or Tartarus; and the Christians, of course, accepted the idea of Heaven and Hell. Divide into groups, each of which pretends to hold a certain belief.
Yet Osiris decided to stay in the land of the dead, or the underworld, and became the god of that region. The Egyptians believed that like Ra, he remained in a constant ematician, a master builder, and a renowned wise man. Ironically it was he, and not Zoser, who would come to be glorified by successive generations, who worshiped him as a god because of his great genius. Imhotep built a structure composed of six mastabas on top of one another, each smaller than the one below. This became the Step Pyramid of King Zoser, built in the town of Saqqara (suh-CAR-uh) near Memphis.
Ancient Civilizations RL. Almanac by Judson Knight