The gods were everywhere in Ancient Egypt. Represented by statues,
bas-reliefs, and funerary paintings, they even walked among the
Egyptians in the person of Pharaoh, considered to be a living god,
son of the divine Ra. What better way to understand that distant
culture than by becoming familiar with the people who served those
Using as his sources the Egyptian texts and the testimony of
classical authors, Serge Sauneron illuminates the role of the
priesthood in Ancient Egypt. He re-creates the system of thought of
one of the great civilizations of antiquity, addressing such topics
as priestly functions, the world of the temples, holy festivals,
tombs, and pyramids.
Sauneron describes the ceremonies of daily worship, considered
vital in preventing the world's descent into chaos. He takes us
deep into the sacred precincts of the temples -- home to the divine
statues in which a part of the god was believed to dwell. One of
the duties of the priests was to maintain these sacred effigies, to
nourish, clothe, and protect them from attacks by evil spirits.
This edition of The Priests of Ancient Egypt, an augmented
version of the 1957 classic, was published in France in 1988, and
has been translated authoritatively by David Lorton.
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