Geography and Ancient Egyptians Religion


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Ways in Which Geography Influenced the Ancient Egyptians Religion

Ancient Egypt was among the oldest civilization in the world. The region had many geographic forms that were parts of ancient Egypt in the daily operations of the people. Egypts geography deeply related and led to Ancient Egyptians ways of lives and believes that helped it building such a diversified religious community. The prominent geographic feature in the region was the River Nile which flows from the southern part of Africa to the Red Sea. Without the Nile River. The Nile River enabled the availability of food ranging from cultivation of crops along the rich banks, fishing and growing crops, fetching drinking water, washing, water for irrigation, and means of transport from one region to another among the Egyptians (Dosoo, 2018, p.246).

Additionally, the geographical features, especially the Nile River, flooded yearly, depositing rich soil, which boosted the quality of the crops along the banks. Also, the Egyptian utilized the silt deposits along the Nile to establish the food rich zones. Again, other non-edible crops like papyrus grew along the bank of the River Nile, and the Egyptians used it for making papers for writing and record-keeping during the civilization period in the region. Therefore, the importance of the river to the people’s daily lives led to a strong connection with religion. The Egyptians developed religious feeling about the Nile River, and they started worshipping along the river. During excess flooding along the river, which destroys their crop, the Egyptians pray so that the Nile River could not eliminate many of their crops. Also, the Egyptians started using the river to seek treatment for various diseases as they believed that when one had gone through ablution in the Nile water, they would be free from the conditions. Thus, the Ancient Egyptians connections with the geographic features led to the intense feeling which developed into a religion.

The geographic features of Ancient Egypt also led to its economy and religion. The people of Egypt were polytheistic, which means they believed in the presence of many gods. The Egyptians believed in the existence of the Nile god, which they associated with the control of the river. The Nile god was knowns as Hapi, whom they believed was in charge of the Nile River and control the flood yearly. The Nile floods enable the people of ancient Egypt to plant crops which was a big part of Egypts economy and developments. Again, the other essential element of Egypts means of living was trading. Trade was very cheap for Ancient Egyptians because they utilized the Nile River to connect the people. The unique geography of Ancient Egypt enabled Egypt to become a very prosperous religious nation (Mironova, 2020, p.55). Egypts geography led to all aspects of Ancient Egyptians livelihood, as the Nile River being their main source of food, water, and transportation and the desert offering natural protection from the enemies and studying to adapt to the geography by the ancient Egyptians shaped their religious intuitions and will forever be remembered as a great civilization dominated by religious people. Also, the people of Egypt believed that when the flood failed to occur along the River Nile, the gods of flooding were not pleased, so they created ways to honour the gods to ensure a planting season was successful. The Ancient Egyptians believed that the gods created the Nile River flood when they were amazed and made drought and famine when they were angry. Therefore, the physical geography formed the religious thoughts of the ancient Egyptians, making them believe in the presences of many gods, which controlled the way season occurred. Again,the River Nile inspired a hierarchical form for the culture of the ancient Egyptian population with gods at the apex. In a certain period, the floods failed to happen due to the absence of snow in the mountains in the south due to high temperature, which melted the snow and negatively affected the ability to grow crops along the Nile River. Therefore, many theories emerged to theorize that gods controlled the flooding along the river bank.

Happy gods led to yearly flooding and healthy crops, and the Egyptians built religious institutions to honour gods. Thus, the theories led to the creations of many shrines along the banks of the River Nile. Also, the ancient people of Egypt named the Rive Nile that ‘the father of life’ and ‘the mother of all men’ considered it the manifestation of the God Hapi. The God Hapi was blessed with good life and the goddess maat created and signified truth, harmony and balance. Also, the River Nile was connected with the goddess Hathor and Osiris. The God of rebirth, Khnum, was also associated with the River Nile, and it later becomes the God of dynasties. Therefore, geographical features played an essential role in developing religious thoughts. They associated the Nile River with the God and Goddess because they believed that the gods control healthy crops along the Nile River.

Ancient Egypt associated their protection with the availability of many geographical features surrounding them. In the old days, the people of Egypt believed that their God of protection created deltas in the Nile River to protect them from their enemies. Also, the Egyptians believed that the red sea helps them by preventing any possible evasion as the sea made it difficult for enemies to access their land. Also, other physical features such as cataracts made Egyptians believe God protects them as it created difficulties for enemies to evade them. Again, the Egyptian in the old days believed that their gods and goddess created dessert to protect them from the attacks of their enemies. Thus they continue to worship the gods through sacrifices to protect them from enemies through the geographical features. Therefore, the geographical features were significant in the formation of religions among the people of ancient Egypt. Again, the Egyptians associated the harsh weather in the red sea with the presence of God, the Egyptians who uses the red sea to transport goods across the region believed that when the gods were angry, they release high tides. During the happy moments of God, there was calm weather which favours navigation across the sea. Therefore, the geographical features highly influenced the Ancient Egyptians in developing theories and religious beliefs.

The identification of most of the Egyptian gods is associated with geographical features. Also, there are many Egyptian gods, and they are always depicted in different ways. For instance, Thoth, the God of writing and messenger of the sun god, is seen as an ibis, a baboon or the moon dual nature of life, the negative and positive influences of the cosmos (Kirch, 1914, p.198). Also, the Egyptian gods were characterized by the aspects of life, human emotions and the physical world.andwere often grouped in duos to represent the Osiris, symbolizing life and order, and Seth associated with death and destruction during the angry time of the God (David & David, 2002, p.380). The above God was connected with the geographical feature, especially the Nile River, which the people of Egypt emotional attached to as it provided food and protection to the people of ancient Egypt. Therefore, the geographical feature influences the religion of ancient Egypt, and the features caused the development and emerging of faith in the region. However, if there were no geographical features in Egypt, there would be few religions in the area because the majority of the religious symbols are associated with the geographical segment. For instance, the Nile River was believed to be controlled by gods. If the Nile had not passed through the region, there would be no gods like Hapi, which when angry, punished the ancient Egyptians with drought and hunger, and when impressive, it provided the flooding which deposited the rich soil for growth of healthy crops. Therefore, the absence of River Nile would make the Egyptians focus on other economic activities where they would have identified emotionally and created theories about the forces that led to the success or failure of that economic activity. During ancient times, different communities theoretically made reasons for parties that they believe bring fortunes or cast on their daily livelihood. Before the emergence of the current religions like Christianity and Muslim, the society would develop a feeling associated with geographical features and occurrences around them (Chattopadhyaya, 2006, p.250). Also, the ancient Egyptians, just like other communities, developed the feeling of religion by the important geographical features around them. Also, the Egyptians developed and felt protected by the gods as the geographical features such as the ‘red soil,’ dessert, and deltas provided security by creating difficulty for the enemies to invade the region. However, if there would be no protection in the land due to the absence of those geographical features, the ancient people of Egypt would not have associated them with the gods or forces of religion. Therefore, the presence of gods among the ancient Egyptians was a result of many geographical features in the region; thus geographical features led to the development of religion in ancient Egypt and the absence would lead to the few gods or other gods associated with characteristics different from the geographical feature.

In summary, the geographical features contributed a lot in the development of the religion in the ancient Egypt. The geographical feature such as River Nile and the dessert features payed the critical role in religion building in the regions. The goddess of happiness, the goddess of anger and the goddess of dynasty emerged from the geographical feature. The absence of geographical feature in the region would have led to few religions believes among the ancient Egyptians. Therefore, the geographical features highly influenced the religion the development and the existence of religion among the ancient Egyptians.



Chattopadhyaya,D.P. (2006).Religion, philosophy, and science: A sketch of a global view.

David,R., & David,D.R. (2002).Religion and magic in ancient Egypt. ePenguin.

Dosoo,K. (2018). Ancient Egyptian religion.Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Religion.

Kirch,A.B. (1914).The influence of geography upon primitive religions.

Mironova,A. (2020). The role of religious festivals in the lives of ancient egyptians.LOCUS: people, society, culture, meaning,11(4), 46-64.


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