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Myths and Legends of Egypt (Myths & Legends)
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Myths and Legends of Egypt (Myths & Legends)

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  278 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
This superb in-depth survey explores animism, totemism, fetishism, creation myths, Egyptian priesthood, cult of Osiris, numerous deities, Book of the Dead, alchemy, Egyptian art and magic, legends, and a host of other fascinating topics. An erudite, clearly written work, enhanced with over 50 photographs and illustrations.
Paperback, 432 pages
Published January 20th 1994 by Senate (first published 1915)
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Found this a little hard to read. The book was published in 1915, so be prepared for some outdated theories and lots of Budge citations. Spence's rather patronising and defensive tone is annoying at times, and his mythological theories seem to be founded more on speculation than real critical analysis and evaluation of primary and secondary sources. His references to world mythologies and use of concepts like totemism and fetishism are fleeting at best, and certainly not the reasoned linkages I ...more
Joshua C.
Sep 20, 2014 Joshua C. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: art, top
A lot of the history is inaccurate. This is a very old book, so the understanding of Ancient Egyptian culture is pretty outdated. It is still fairly in line with the circumstances during the late New Kingdom around the time when the empire was really starting to finally fall apart, but most of these claims do not apply to the preceding bulk and meat of the 3,000 year era of the Ancient Egyptian Civilization. Additionally, Spence comes at his subject as a comparative mythologist, and that agenda ...more
This book was a lovely collection of Egyptian myths and literature. The translations were great. Unfortunately whenever the author started talking about his own theories I really wanted to punch him in the face. He's one of the early 20th century religious theorists who see religion as progressing from "savage" to "monotheism" with all the vaule judgements that entails. So when discussing Ancient Egyptian religion he relates it back to the "savages" of North and Central America and tries to use ...more
Paul Haspel
Jul 25, 2011 Paul Haspel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ancient-egypt
Lewis Spence's Ancient Egyptian Myths and Legends was originally published in 1915, seven years before the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun. Spence, a folklorist and student of the occult, approaches Egyptian myth in terms of the then-relatively-new study of world mythology; his debt to James Frazer's The Golden Bough is evident, as is his tendency to quarrel with then-renowned Egyptologist E.A. Wallis Budge. (This is the same Wallis Budge of whom James Spader's renegade Egyptologist in the ...more
Jul 06, 2016 Em rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You could tell that it was written in the last century off of it's writing style without even having to look at the publication date, but that was just fine with me. Some people have a harder time reading things that are written in this way, or they think it's annoying, but I had no problems with it. I picked it up research into the myths and stories of Egypt, and I got not only some stories that I had never heard before, but also a look into how these stories originated, how they effected Egypt ...more
Mar 09, 2015 ben rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This overview of Egyptian myths and legends was decent. The author's inclusion of his own opinions were annoying and inaccurate at certain points, but the original release of this may have led to that sense of ignorance. The most annoying thing for me was the telling of tales that would abruptly end because of a burned papyrus or other calamity that left the story unfinished. If not for that would likely have given three stars.
Jan 04, 2016 Sam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is very informative, if you want to power through 325 pages of dreary old-man talk. Because it was originally written in 1912, a lot of the information seems outdated; however, if you enjoy learning about ancient Egyptian lore, I found this to be an excellent read. I found the book to be a little disorganized, but it contains information that gives you a basic understanding of the ancient Egyptian culture. Definitely a good reference for any paper you may need to write.
Dominique Lamssies
This book is a lovely bunch of retellings of Egyptian myths. Unfortunantly, the stories get too colorful and the legitimate myths tend to get lost in the mix. Spence mashed up eras of myth and made assumptions that would make a person who knows a lot about Egyptian mythology cringe.

Good for some interesting stories. Not for legitimate scholarship.
This was a very interesting read. The importance of the Egyptian cultures through the ages cannot be under represented. It was incredibly interesting to see how many Judaic and therefore Chritian characteristics a social response to the Egyptian culture which was a major world cultu. Truly a wonderful excursion into myth and religion.
A.R. Beckert
Jul 14, 2013 A.R. Beckert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book, especially the number of day to day stories that were shared. Spence's voice is entertaining too, as he inserts commentary on his own writing as well as on previous works on the subject of Egyptian lore.
Rachel Smith
Read for research. Interesting, but very outdated now.
May 16, 2007 Kasey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have a little thing for Greek history. I like the Pyramids the wall drawings the whole deal. This book is fun for me. Its more like a college textbook, but that doesn't stop me.
Aug 16, 2007 Lynn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in the study of Ancient Egypt
Another dated, yet useful book.
Dec 01, 2008 Margie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love egyptian history on The Gods and Goddesses. A non fiction book that takes me there.
Maan Kawas
I enjoyed reading this interesting book though it is not a new one. I found it so informative and it encouraged me to read more about Ancestors Egypt.
Aug 16, 2007 Lynn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in the study of Ancient Egypt
Excellent reference covering multiple myths and legends. Recommended for any Egyptian library bookshelf.
This book reflects all the worst scholarship and colonial attitudes that the author shows in his text. All it has going for it is a cheap price. Stick with real Egyptologists. Give this a big miss!
Lori rated it it was ok
Mar 10, 2014
Roberto Martin
Roberto Martin rated it liked it
Oct 04, 2011
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Assem Hisham rated it liked it
Apr 04, 2015
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Jan 24, 2012
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Mar 29, 2017
Maureengilding rated it it was amazing
May 10, 2016
Quirkyreader rated it it was amazing
Dec 05, 2011
Hannah Cole
Hannah Cole rated it it was amazing
Dec 25, 2015
Nina rated it it was amazing
Nov 01, 2014
Marlene rated it really liked it
Feb 08, 2011
Melissa rated it it was ok
Jan 02, 2013
Neil rated it it was ok
Jul 04, 2013
John Ramey
John Ramey rated it liked it
Feb 24, 2015
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James Lewis Thomas Chalmers Spence was a Scottish journalist, poet, author, folklorist and student of the occult.

After graduating from Edinburgh University he pursued a career in journalism. He was an editor at The Scotsman 1899-1906, editor of The Edinburgh Magazine for a year, 1904–05, then an editor at The British Weekly, 1906-09. In this time his interest was sparked in the myth and folklore o
More about Lewis Spence...

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