This is a collection of five essays by scholars which cover the types of Egyptian temples and the rituals associated with them from the Old Kindgom to the Roman period. The level to which the essays are engaging for the average reader varies for individual contributions, though they all contain some interesting ideas. Some of the writers spend a lot of time in detailed descriptions of the layout of temples, which some readers may not find so interesting, but two of the essays in particular contain quite insightful arguments relating to the role of Egyptian temples, their relation to the social and economic hierarchy and the purpose of the rituals associated with them. A picture emerges from the essays of an interdependent religious, political and social order that is nigh on impossible to describe using a modern conceptual framework. Some of the writers skillfully delineate what concepts such as ` royal ka', `maat', chaos etc. may have meant to the people who conceived them. Egyptian religion was a representation of the physical environment that gave birth to it - the power of the cycles of the inundation of the Nile and of the daily rising and setting of the life-giving sun. These cyclical renewals were mirrored in the rituals of the temples and associated festivals and the Pharaoh played a central role in ensuring that the cycles were not interrupted. It is difficult to give star rating. Some of the essays would rate five stars and others three.
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