Edited by Eric H. Kessler and Diana J. Wong-MingJi
Chapter 14: Cultural Mythology and Global Leadership in Egypt
Mohamed M. Mostafa and Diana J. WongMingJi INTRODUCTION The Egyptian pantheon of cultural mythologies goes back to one of humankind’s most ancient beginnings and the myths themselves are ‘reconstituted from prolific but fragmentary allusions in funerary formulas’ (Kirk, 1975: 207). Ancient Egypt extends back to 3000 BC with the beginning of the pharaohs that was followed by the Hellenistic period with the rule of Alexander the Great starting in 332 BC, the Muslim conquest in 639 AD, the Ottoman Turks in 1517, the Napoleonic invasion in 1798, the onset of being a British protectorate in the late 1800s until 1922, a ruler who started to modernize the country, and with the ending of the monarchy in 1953, Egypt became a republic. Cultural mythologies evolved through the different ages and any original versions are mired in a distant murky past. Nietzsche once stated that ‘without myth every culture loses the healthy natural power of its creativity: only a horizon defined by the myth completes and unifies a whole cultural movement’. The myths of Egypt are found in ancient monuments like pyramids and incredible artifacts that serve as tangible symbols of lives before. The monuments and remains of pharaohs indicate that their role was one of divine mediation between the gods and humanity. While some myths prevail in the national mindset, there are many variations along with different names at the local level. The selection of myths for this project provides a very select view from the wealth and variations of Egyptian...
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