A Handbook of Egyptian Religion

By Adolf Erman; A. S. Griffith | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IX

THE EGYPTIAN RELIGION IN ADJACENT COUNTRIES

BEFORE we pass on to consider the last phase of Egyptian religion we must pause for a moment to glance at its spread into neighbouring countries daring the long period of its prime, and the influence it exercised on those countries.

The earliest trace of such influence has lately become known to us in Crete. On a stone vase, which dates from about the beginning of the twentieth century B.C., there is the representation of a festival celebrated in honour of a local god of harvest. The Cretan singers who are marching in this procession are led

FIG. 93. FROM AN ANCIENT CRETAN STONE VASE.

by a man who, as shown by his attire and his sistrum, is an Egyptian priest. Evidently he is officiating among the barbarians as a skilled musician.

Another trace is less certain. As we have seen, the ancient funerary cults of the Egyptians were based, primarily, on the idea that the dead must be fed by the survivors. This idea finds expression in the principal scene in all the tombs, where the deceased is represented eating his meals, either alone or with his wife. It can scarcely be a coincidence that in the tomb reliefs of northern Syria, which certainly date back to the

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