“The only active force that arises out of possession is the fear of losing the object of possession”.

proverb from an ancient Egyptian temple

Egyptian Temples

As the Egyptian community was primarily religious-oriented, places of worship called temples invariably formed a part of their polytheistic religious life. Though Egyptian temples served a variety of other purposes, worship of God was their chief purpose of the establishment.

Temple, for ancient Egyptians, was a cosmic center from which the communication between man and the gods took place. Each city had a temple built for the god of the city. As the priests became more powerful, tombs became a part of great temples.

Some temples were dedicated to major deities, some others to a number of deities. Some temples were dedicated to the sacred dead king. There were many forms of temples such as Ka temples, Sun temples, Coronation temples and others.

Two Parts of Egyptian Temples

Due to the lack of wood, the temples were built of stone. There were two parts of the temple; the outer temple could be attended by the beginning initiates, and the inner temple was reserved for those who proved themselves worthy and ready to acquire sacred knowledge.

In ancient Egypt temples, there was also sometimes an exterior complex comprised of gardens and courtyards.

Pharaoh was the high priest of all gods. He was in charge of appointing high priests and other priests to perform duties to the gods. In an elaborate ceremony, the new pharaoh would enter the temple, along with the high priests.

Once inside the most exclusive chambers of the temple, rites would be performed which would transform the mere mortal pharaoh into a deity to be revered and worshipped by the Egyptian people.

Only the Pharaoh or the high priest in duty was allowed into the innermost chamber of the temple. The worshippers were never to come beyond the outer court.They could leave their offerings there.

Servants of God

Priests were the ‘servants of the god’ and were to observe their duty by providing everything needed for the gods. The worst fate that could befall a city was failing to care for the temple of the patron god. Failure in doing hid duty would result in the god getting angry and leaving the land.

The Temple of Karnak at Luxor, The Great Temple of Abu Simbel, The Temple of Deir El Bahari, The Temple o Ramses II, The Temple of Ramses III, Great Temple of Aten, Temple of Dendera, Temple of Horus, Temple of Amenhotep I, Temple of Hathor are some the famous homes of gods in ancient Egypt.