Friday, May 20, 2011

Page 8: Introduction: Temple, Land and Cosmos

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Luxor Temple, with the obelisk and pylon of Ramesses II, and, beyond, the colonnade of Amenophis III

As the interface between the divine and human spheres, the ancient Egyptian temple served as a theater in which symbolic ritual dramas were enacted. Here the mygriad gods of Egyptian belief were fed, clothed and reassured that justice, order and balance were being preserved through the ritual services performed by the pharaoh and the priests who functioned as his appointed agents. In return, the Egyptian gods gave life to the land and upheld Egypt's ordained place in the cosmos. In one sense, the ancient Egyptian temple was the source of power by which all of ancient Egyptian society ran.

Thus, it was the prerogative of ancient Egypt's kings not only to serve, but also to adorn and enrich the domains of the Egyptian gods: the spoils of military conquest, the tribute of foreign nations and much of