Egyptian Cosmology * Mustafa Gadalla (isbn 0965250911)

Here we have a small but extremely interesting book. Mustafa Gadalla is an Egyptian who moved to the US but became/remained an Egyptologist. He says that several subjects about this ancient culture are taken completely incorrect my most western Egyptologists and wants to put a few things straight. Further he wanted to explain the most important aspects of the ancient Egyptian culture short and clear. And he suceeded in both aims!
It is a fairly small and thin book and I read in in only three nights. The book is divided in 5 parts and 20 short chapters, all explaining an aspect of the subject. The chapters are indeed very clear and because they are only a few pages, this book is an excellent reference book.
A few things that Gadalla want to straighten out are that the Egyptian ‘gods’ are not actually gods, but aspects of the Absolute and can therefor not be regarded as antrophomorphic deities. For this reason Gadalla doesn’t refer to them as ‘gods’, but with the original Egyptian names “neter” (male, singular), “netert” (female, singular) and “neferu” (plural).
Another point is that the names of the neferu that we all know are the names that Greek ancient historians gave the neferu and not the original names. Gadalla uses the Egyptian names, which often made me having to consult the explaining vocabulary at the end. Horus is called Heru, Osiris Asat, Isis Aset, Nefthys Nebt-Het, etc. This takes a while to get used to, but I understand the purpose.
In general I think I can say that all subject that matter are dealt with, everything is easy to read and understand, there is a proper index and the earlier mentioned explaining vocabulary, a respectable structure which in all makes this book a must-have for anyone interested in the Egyptian culture and cosmology.
Do not expect nice pictures though. There are only simple black-and-white line-drawings to show a few things. For pictures, photos, etc. you better buy one of these cheap many-pictures-little-text books and use this one for the real information.

One comment

  1. I read this book in a few hours and find it absolutely fascinating. It links old wisdom, astrology, science & new age subjects.

    As I had a very special experience in the temple of Abydos and the Osireion, I find this book enhancing it.

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