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Treasury Of Egyptian Mythology: Classic Stories of Gods, Goddesses,… (original 2013; edition 2013)
by Donna Jo Napoli (Author)
Treasury of Egyptian Mythology: Classic Stories of Gods, Goddesses, Monsters & Mortals by Donna Jo Napoli (2013)
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American author Donna Jo Napoli and British illustrator Christina Balit join forces in this marvelous collection of ancient Egyptian myths published by National Geographic. Beginning (appropriately enough) with creation, Napoli discusses the complex and interrelated pantheon of Egyptian gods and goddesses, from the sun god and creator Ra, to Ra's children Shu (god of wind) and Tefnut (goddess of moisture), and Shu and Tefnut's children, Geb (god of the earth) and Nut (goddess of the sky). From this third generation came the most famous gods and goddesses, Set (Seth), Aset (Isis), Usir (Osirus), Nebet Hut (Nepthys) and Heru Wer (Horus the Elder). The story of Set's betrayal of Usir, and of Aset's grief and her search for her brother-husband, is laid out, as is the birth and coming of age of Heru Sa Aset (Horus the Younger). Other deities discussed include Inpu (Anubis), Tehuti (Thoth), Hut Heru (Hathor), Sekhmet (Sachmis), Nit (Neith), Khnum (Chnoumis), Sobek (Souchos), and Bastet (Bast). The book concludes with a discussion of ancient funerary practices, and how the beliefs concerning death and rebirth involved many of the deities. A list of deities, timeline, afterword, and list of sources are all included at the rear, in the extensive back matter...
One of five such mythological collaborations between Napoli and Balit - other titles include: Treasury of Greek Mythology, Treasure of Norse Mythology, Tales from the Arabian Nights and Treasury of Bible Stories - Treasury of Egyptian Mythology is an immensely informative and engaging work, providing a wonderful introduction to a subject about which I, despite my interest in folklore and mythology, know fairly little. Although familiar with some (although by no means all) of the figures here, the only story I already knew was the one involving Set, Usir and Aset. It's interesting to note that Napoli uses the original Egyptian names for these figures, rather than the Greek ones - Usir rather than Osirus, for instance. Except for Ra and Bastet, which are the same (or practically the same) in both languages, I was more familiar with the Greek names (Anubis, Isis, etc), and was not even aware before picking up Napoli's book, that these were not the original names, but ancient Greek approximations. The stories themselves are fascinating, beautiful, and often mystifying. As Napoli notes in her afterword, many of these deities overlap, in terms of their areas of power and influence, so it is much more difficult to name an Egyptian god or goddess as the definitive sun god, or sky god/goddess, or goddess of childbirth, in the way one might do in other belief systems. I appreciated the discussion in the author's note about sources used - both Egyptian and Greek - and the difficulties involved in sorting out a belief system with scores of overlapping deities, and stories retold in diverse ways across various regions of Egypt, and over the course of millennia.
Although a great lover of folklore and mythology, I initially sought this collection out because I am a great admirer of the artwork of Christina Balit, whose illustrations here do not disappoint, in their beauty and enchantment. I understand that a number of other reviewers have criticized Balit for making her figures too light-skinned, and while I do not subscribe to the Afrocentrist fallacy regarding ancient Egypt - namely, that it was a sub-Saharan black civilization - I do agree that the figures could have been darker - more of the light reddish-brown one sees in so much artwork from this civilization. Leaving that one issue aside, I absolutely loved the visuals here - the vibrant colors, the stylized compositions, the use of golden accents - and was satisfied on an aesthetic level. Although published for children, this is certainly too complex of a book for the very young, so I would recommend it to middle-grade readers and above, who loves mythology, or have an interest in ancient Egypt.
This is a wonderful collection of Egyptian Myths that I usually put out during our Mythology study. Loved the creation story, many of my students might be unaware that other people believe different things about the worlds creation, could be a nice way to introduce that idea.
A wonderful collection and reference to the stories, gods, goddesses, and themes of Egyptian Mythology.
Stunning illustrations. The only problem I have with them is that the skin coloring is very light, as if these deities were Caucasian, whereas the coloring of the ancient Egyptians would have been darker. I'm not sure why the illustrator chose to do this. I would include this in my classroom library for a traditional tale unit as it would make an excellent reference book. Currently, many modern students are very interested in classical mythology, thanks to popular fiction series such as Rick Riordan. This would be a good book with which to compare the information found in fictional novels. The language is poetic in many of the stories and I would suggest using it for 3rd grade or higher.
Treasury of Egyptian Mythology is about the various gods of Egypt. Ra the God of radiance who sprang from the wet nothingness of nun nun. shu and tefnut Ra's children were the gods of water and air. Set the envious god who envied over Aset and Usir. Aset the devoted wife and mother. Who longed for Usir who Set had killed. Bastet the Cat goddess one of the many animal goddess's. Usir the god of the after life and Asets lover and Sets nemesis
My opinion on this book was that it was informing and was a very good relax read. That I could just chill and read when i have free time. I really appreciate the story telling in these myths and mortals fill me with a sense of knowledge. Egyptians I feel personally have one of the best gods out there and their technology was way ahead of their time. I feel like each of the gods embodies human personalities and desires like Set the god of envy and Sekhmet the god of vengeance and Ra the all powerful god of the universe. I would to be Geb because i can always make jokes about people always waking on me. In conclusion myths are my favorite subjects ( next to language arts :) )
An illustrated tableau of Egyptian myths, combines narrative accounts of the stories of the Sun God Ra, the Sphinx, and numerous pharaohs and queens along with historical, cultural, and geographic facts.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)299.3113Religions Other Religions By Region/Civilization Of North African Origin Ancient Egyptian
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Although I haven’t yet, I’d definitely read it again and again.
This is definitely a great read for children, but I highly recommend it for all ages! ( )