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Egyptian religion - a gift from the Nile

Egyptian religion - a gift from the Nile

Egyptian religion has always been a major focus of interest. A very ancient culture, but overall rich; Egyptian culture, along with Greek culture, has been the cradle of the West. The social hierarchy, the amazing and wide mythical letter that it presents, the strange hieroglyphics, the great monuments in the middle of a desert, the power of the pharaohs, the mummification. 

The Nile is a river that flows to the northwest of the African continent. It has had a vital importance for the Egyptian culture, such has been its influence that one could say that "Egypt is a gift of the Nile". Its immense basin (which occupies an area of approximately 3.350.000 km2) and its length (approximately 6.700km) have always caused fascination. First of all, every year there is a flood that floods the nearby lands, enriching them in minerals that later enabled the growth of vegetation and therefore of life, life in the middle of the desert! The Egyptian people settled around the Nile, their life depended largely on the river and they were very aware of this…
The ancient Egyptians developed highly complex irrigation methods to maximize the effect of the waters of the Nile. When the river overflows in mid-summer, the Egyptians diverted the waters through their canals and dams. The water thus infiltrated into the soil, leaving rich deposits of silt, guaranteeing an abundant harvest.
During the above-mentioned floods, the river carried with it a blackish colored mud, very fertile; they called it Kem. On the other hand, the desert was a lifeless, dry place, with reddish colored soil, which they called Dirt. We find two opposite poles: on the one hand, black soil, the fertile one, and on the other, red soil, the infertile one... the fertility of the soil, the dependence on the river by the Egyptians was so great, that black and red became a symbol of good and evil respectively.
From the outside, the Nile river was the object of study, especially by the Greek people. Egypt for them was a place where one could contemplate all sorts of wonders, the animals (like crocodiles and hippopotamuses - they were amazing), the vegetation, the buildings or the art of the men who lived there - their relatively developed science.
The considered father of philosophy, Thales of Miletus, seemed to have traveled to these lands and observed closely the movements and changes that took place in and around the Nile and the consequences they had. Apparently, according to some historians, Thales was inspired by the Nile when he said...
"that water is the beginning of all things and that the cosmos is animated and full of démons [souls]" (DK 11 A 1) D. LAERCIO I, 27.
When he saw how where there was water, vegetation grew and animals settled, and civilizations assumed that it was from water that everything came. Moreover, according to some testimonies, Thales was able to measure the height of the pyramids through their shadow. Besides, he must have elaborated on a theory about the floods of the Nile. All this indicates that he must have spent a lot of time in these lands to reach such conclusions, which, although they were wrong, were quite adequate and illustrated for the time in which he was (6th century BC)


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