Egyptian Myth
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Egyptian Myth (Very Short Introductions #106)

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  73 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Egyptian myths articulated the core values of one of the longest lasting civilizations in history, and myths of deities such as Isis and Osiris influenced contemporary cultures and became part of the Western cultural heritage. Egyptian Mythology: A Very Short Introduction explains the cultural and historical background to the fascinating and complex world of Egyptian myth,...more
Unknown Binding, 161 pages
Published May 14th 2014 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published April 22nd 2004)
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(showing 1-30 of 237)
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Steve Lew
A few years ago, when the California Academy of Sciences was still in its temporary space on Howard St. in downtown San Francisco, I went there periodically to meet with arachnology curator Charles Griswold, who was on my thesis committee. This involved coming and going through the Montgomery BART station, on top of which is a toy store. One day I spotted some funny Ancient Egypt themed finger puppets in the window of this toy store, so I picked some up without really understanding why. A few ye...more
Geraldine Pinch is one of my favourite contemporary writers in the field of Egyptology. I find her books to be well-written, well-organized and lucid on subjects that can be difficult to render into suitable prose. This book is no exception. It's written not for an academic audience but instead for anyone who wants to better understand the world of the Ancient Egyptians. I've read a great deal on this subject and I've picked up some new information through this book. I strongly recommend it to a...more
Bruce W.
As far as the Very Short Introduction series goes, this book is rather weak. The text felt more like a series of lecture notes rather than a fully developed narrative. Content was rather good, but not suitable for an "introduction" as the cursory nature of the material requires the reader to expand the material his/herself.
Natasha McNeely
The author of this book, Geraldine Pinch, did well in making a useful introduction into a large and detailed topic. This book is a great read for anyone looking to take a deeper look at Egyptian mythology. While Egyptian mythology is a difficult topic to study, this book offers a unique look into the basics of important myths.

From the tales of Horus and Set, to the death of Osiris; Egyptian Myth: A Very Short Introduction offers information to both of these myths and more. Included are also deta...more
Sarduriur F. Sverresdatter
This is an excellent primer for newcomers to Ancient Egyptian Theology. I was very pleased to see that Pinch went so far as to explain the controversy "raging" over "The Contendings of Heru and Set," and that it is likely a piece of folklore (cultural entertainment) rather than myth (holy story with liturgical value). She also explains to her readers why writers tend to go with Hellenic (Greek) rather than Kemetic (Egyptian) names. She also includes some delightful morsels of lesser-known inform...more
I took a mythology class when I was a sophomore in college, and while it was on Greek mythology and not Egyptian mythology, all I can remember from the class is that it sucked and the professor was a senile old woman who basically wrote down a list of names on her overhead projector transparencies.

I like greek mythology, but the approach the professor took didn't bother engaging with the myths at all. She was simply recounting things, allowing the only connections to be characters themselves. T...more
Amy Beth
I bought this book in Switzerland. I wasn't aware of this series and might not have ever seen in it in the US as it's Oxford Press. It's supposed to be a short introduction. I assumed that also meant simple introduction, but that is not the same. The thing I learned the most is that Egyptian myth is complex and changed over time. The myths more often have repeated themes than set in stone events. Gods also change in characteristics often. I am rereading it to try to heighten my comprehension lev...more
This came across my desk at work, so I flagged it thinking that I might not know quite as much about Egyptian mythology as I thought.

I was right. And I'm favorably impressed with this series, somehow managing a teaching style that is concise, nuanced and very readable at the same time. I'm actually interested in picking up more of their titles (if they're as good as this one), quite a large number of which actually cover topics of great interest to me.
As VSIs go, this is not one of the best examples. There is very little narrative, rather few unexpected and unbelievable facts (whereas one should rightfully expect them in anything remotely Egyptian-themed), and the style is a bit schoolish and stilted. It gives a general idea, but even within the given constraints it could give so much more.
It was a good summary of Egyptian myth that incorporates the culture and historical aspects of studying those particular myths. There is a lot of great information in here if you're intersted in Egyptian myths or the culture in general.
Kathleen O'Neal
An excellent introduction to a fascinating field of study. This book helped me to better understand the beautiful Egyptian religious iconography I observed at a museum I visited in Switzerland around the time I read this book.
One of the better books in the "Very Short Introduction" series, summarizing a foreign field of study into 10 dense (though very readable) chapters, complete with charts, summaries, lists, and a bibliography.
Little Miss Esoteric
Jul 13, 2013 Little Miss Esoteric marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Little by: Sara
August 2013, non-fiction book for Heathens Pagans and Witches. (
Super concise and interesting glimpse of Egyptian Myth. Meaning and symbolism handled with an almost poetic grace.
Very interesting, very readable. Wish I had read it prior to visiting Egypt umpteen years ago.
Jake Maguire
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