Emotions and Deities in Ancient Egypt

Randa Balegh
2014 The Conference Book of the General Union of Arab Archeologists  
Emotions are strong feelings which excite a great reaction in most cases. They include fear, anger, happiness, hatred, shame and pride. In this paper we shall try to examine the different terms which express emotions and see how the Egyptians and their deities dealt with them. Emotions are a main feature of living beings, not just for people, but all kinds of living beings such as animals, and even plants which have been found to show certain physiological changes when confronted by traumatic
more » ... nted by traumatic events. A scientific experiment measured great agitation in a plant when a lobster was boiled alive next to it. Plants and animals also respond negatively to loud noises and strife in an area. Although it is only natural for living beings to experience different emotions, the concepts of emotions and how to express them or even experience them, may have differed slightly in the ancient Egyptian mind. The relative differences may arise from variants such as physiological changes or cultural differences. Our knowledge of emotions in ancient Egypt comes mainly from written texts where different emotions were expressed. As for the deities, they displayed certain emotions which were recorded in written texts. The paper will attempt to see emotions and how they were recorded, particularly in relation to the gods. Fear: Fear is one of the basic emotions felt by all living beings. It is far more basic than other emotions which require complex cognitive analyses. All beings fear certain things. In most of the literary texts, fear is expressed in relation to the gods with words that either imply that the people fear them, or it may imply that gods implant the fear of others such as the king or a powerful nation, in others. For example, In the Maxims of Ptahhotep, he says: "Do not stir up  Egypt ‫اﻟوطن‬ ‫آﺛﺎر‬ ‫ﻓﻲ‬ ‫دراﺳﺎت‬ ‫اﻟﻌرﺑﻲ‬ 16 50 Ph.D. Dissertation,
doi:10.21608/cguaa.2014.44335 fatcat:v2ka5zsjy5exzn44wcpi7snaa4