Mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut. Temple of Hathor. Hatshepsut drinking from
15th c BCE Egyptian Egyptian New Kingdom Sculpture
EGYPTIAN XVIII DYNASTY Anonymous (aka Eighteenth Dynasty Anonymous; 18th Dynasty
(c.1570 BCE - 1293 BCE)
1490 BCE-1468 BCE
15th c BCE
Egyptian New Kingdom
Deir el-Bahari. Egypt.
Horus married the sky goddess, Hathor. Hathor's name means "the dwelling of Horus" and it was explained that the sun-god resided within her, being enclosed each evening in her breast to be born again the next morning. Hathor was sometimes also described as Horus' mother. This is an example of the merging of Isis and Hathor, the type of union that was so common in the development of mythology, and was particularly common in Egyptian mythology.
Hathor is shown here in her guise as the celestial cow who nourishes mankind. She is represented with the solar disk between her horns. You can see two figures of the pharaoh, one kneeling below her drinking her milk, the other standing before her under her protection. Hathor is another form of the beneficent great Mother Goddess whose bounty sustains all people. In this case she sustains the pharaoh, who represents the people of Egypt and is the representative of the gods on earth.
We will find that these beliefs were a constant thread throughout the long course of Egyptian history, although many shifts of emphasis occurred; with the principal change being that of the shifting in emphasis from eternal life for the king alone as representative of the community to concern for individual immortality.
There also occurred a constant elaboration of gods and goddesses and a growing split between reliance of the masses on magical rituals and a turn toward ethics rather than metaphysics on the part of the cultured classes. The wonder is not that ideas changed, but rather that ancient religious and political beliefs remained so constant throughout the long history of Egypt.
EGYPTIAN XVIII DYNASTY Anonymous | Mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut. Temple of Hathor. Hatshepsut drinking from | 1490-1468 BCE | Egyptian | Egyptian New Kingdom
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