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Thoth is the Egyptian god of writing, magic, wisdom, and the moon. He was one of the most important gods of ancient Egypt alternately said to be self-created or born of the seed of Horus from the forehead of Set. As the son of these two deities, who represented order and chaos respectively, he was also the god of equilibrium and balance and associated closely... [continue reading
The age-old concept of the “divine right of kings” allowed that a country’s ruler received his or her power or authority from God. However, few, if any, were delusional enough to actually believe themselves to be a god. An exception to this was Alexander the Great of Macedon. In 334 BCE at the age of twenty-two, he and his... [continue reading
Hanuman is one of several zoomorphic characters in Indian mythology, but is the only one who is revered as a god today. The mythic texts speak of him as a monkey child of the Wind God, as possessing enormous strength, keen intellect and a mastery over the Vedas and other branches of learning. He is also an unquestioning devotee of Rama, the hero of the epic Ramayana... [continue reading
Women in the ancient Greek world had few rights in comparison to male citizens. Unable to vote, own land, or inherit, a woman’s place was in the home and her purpose in life was the rearing of children. This, though, is a general description, and when considering the role of women in ancient Greece one should remember that information regarding specific... [continue reading
All too often, the Eastern perspective on the Trinity is mistakenly overlooked by Western society in the study of Church History. This is unfortunate, for men like Gregory of Nazianzus (329–390 CE) and John of Damascus (676–749 CE) offered insightful understandings in the first centuries of early Christianity regarding the theological understanding... [continue reading
In 1821 tenÂ paintings were purchased from Mr. Henry Salt (1780-1827) and arrived at the British Museum. The eleventhÂ painting was acquired in 1823. Each painting appeared to have been mounted with a slightly different support material. Finger marks and hand prints on the backs of many of the paintings suggest that the paintings were laid face down... [continue reading
For the Greeks magic (mageia or goeteia) was a wide-ranging topic which involved spells and evil prayers (epoidai), curse tablets (katadesmoi), enhancing drugs and deadly poisons (pharmaka), amulets (periapta) and powerful love potions (philtra). The modern separation of magic, superstition, religion, science, and astrology was not so clear in the ancient... [continue reading
Anubis is the Egyptian god of mummification and the afterlife as well as the patron god of lost souls and the helpless. He is one of the oldest gods of Egypt, who most likely developed from the earlier (and much older) jackal god Wepwawet with whom he is often confused. Anubis' image is seen on royal tombs from the First Dynasty of Egypt (c. 3150-2890 BCE... [continue reading
The prosperity of the majority of Greek city-states was based on agriculture and the ability to produce the necessary surplus which allowed some citizens to pursue other trades and pastimes and to create a quantity of exported goods so that they could be exchanged for necessities the community lacked. Cereals, olives, and wine were the three most produced foodstuffs... [continue reading
Bastet is the Egyptian goddess of the home, domesticity, women's secrets, cats, fertility, and childbirth. She protected the home from evil spirits and disease, especially diseases associated with women and children. As with many Egyptian deities, she also played a role in the afterlife as a guide and helper to the dead although this was not one of her primary... [continue reading