Myths about creation from Hermopolis Magna

Written by Felgr Pavel on .

This myth focuses on elements at first, which are inevitably necessary for creation. Elementary factors were arranged to four pairs:

  • primeval water (Nun and Naunet)
  • air or power (Amun and Amaunet)
  • darkness (Kuk and Kauket)
  • shapelessness of eternity

translated also as flooding power (Heh and Hauhet). This divine personification of basic elements of world are called Ogdoad (Khemen in Egyptian). All four gods had frog's heads while the four goddesses had the heads of serpents. In certain moment these four elements merged and by a swift energy release the creation passed off.

There are two possible version what follows in this myth. Firstly the primeval mound rose from ancient waters - pressed as Isle of Flames. The god Thoth in ibis form laid a cosmic egg on this mound, it burst, the sun was born and ascended to heaven immediately. The second version says that a lotus flower (Nefertum) floated on the top of waters and when the petals opened, the sun appeared. The sun was entitled as Horus.

Myth's background

Hermopolis Magna (recent El-Ashmunein, ancient Khemenu) is situated on the western Nile bank in middle Egypt near present modern city Mallawi. It was the main iconic center of the god Thoth, who was identified with Greek god Hermes.

The earliest known version of this myth came from Middle Kingdom (approximately 2055-1650 BC). It is great sample how the local deity in connection with certain theology can progress to countrywide importance, when the importance of its iconic centre grows. In this myth Amun acts as Kematef "The one, who finished his moment". Amun was considered the main creator in Thebes (Waset) and his priests were able to remove the king in this area.

Sometimes on images with god of sun creation are eight primeval deities depicted as baboons, who greets the sunrise. It is an interesting example, that ancient Egyptians observed the world and included their observations to the religious system. The baboons are sitting on their hinders at sunrise and rising forelegs to let the first morning sun heat its bottom side. This position with raised arms and hands in front of the face was accepted as god worshipping position.

Ancient Egyptians presumed that numerals four and eight have magical significance. Both numbers meant completeness, so the creation of eight deities as four pairs made perfect sense to Hermopolis' inhabitants.


Message from the Nile

  • History of Czech institution of egyptology

    The Czech egyptology founder is Frantisek Lexa, the author of up to now evaluated work about ancient Egypt magic and Demotic grammar. Seminar for egyptology started thanks to him in Faculty of Philosophy and Arts of Charles University in Prague in 1925. Two years later Lexa became the first regular professor of egyptology in then Czechoslovakia.

  • Abusir - outstation of Czech egyptology expedition

    Abusir is an archaeological locality in Egypt named after nearby recent village Abusir. It is situated on western Nile bank on the edge of Libyan tableland approximately 20 kilometers to the south-west of Cairo. The name of this locality is derived from ancient Egypt god Osiris, from Per Usir (Busiris), "(cult) place of Osiris" (Busiris in Greek).

  • Researches in Western desert

    Czech egyptology is successful in researching not only on pyramidal fields in Abusir recently, but also in supporting and organizing smaller expeditions into egyptian Western desert. Czech expedition has been working even in slowly evanescent oasis El-Hajez since 2003, which is situated about 400 km to the south-west from Cairo.

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