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Egyptian Myth: A Very Short Introduction

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  182 ratings  ·  25 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
Paperback, 143 pages
Published July 8th 2004 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published April 22nd 2004)
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Ahmad Sharabiani
Egyptian myth : a very short introduction (Very Short Introductions #106), Geraldine Pinch
The complex world of Egyptian myth is clearly illuminated in this fascinating new approach to ancient Egypt. ...
تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز یازدهم ماه ژانویه سال 2016 میلادی
عنوان: اساطیر مصر؛ نویسنده: جرالدین پینچ؛ مترجم: حمید عسکرزاده؛ تهران، ماهی، 1394، در 183 ص، مصور، واژه نامه دارد، نمایه دارد، کتابنامه از ص 163 تا 166؛ شابک: 9789642091010؛ موضوع: اساطیر مصر - سده 21 م
این کتاب به صورت موضوعی تنظیم شده و هر
May 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
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

As one might expect from a book in this particular series, this is a whirlwind overview of the key elements of ancient Egyptian mythology. Pinch examines some of the most important myths in detail, providing translations of the full text, and the competing and complementary roles of ancient Egyptian deities. Further, she introduces the general reader to how Egyptian mythology changed over time, and how scholars of this particular field have offered different explanations and meanings behind cert
Mobin Shakeri
Mar 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
it was a great book.
first thing first, I guess it needed more picture. the subject of the book and chapters required it to contain more pictures, and the author sticking with the the "one picture for every chapter" rule of herself didn't really worked out. you have to Google different things you encounter in the book for further understanding.
Geraldine Pinch is a great Egyptologist and a very open minded person. her approaches in the book was really appealing.
the starting of the book was very st
Steve Lew
Jan 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Sarduriur F. Sverresdatter
May 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Natasha McNeely
Sep 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: research, reviewed
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
Victor Sonkin
Sep 15, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: vsi, history, archaeology
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.
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.
Kathleen O'Neal
Jun 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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.
Dec 31, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
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.
Huma Rashid
Jul 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Informative and well organized.
Feb 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Super concise and interesting glimpse of Egyptian Myth. Meaning and symbolism handled with an almost poetic grace.
Little Miss Esoteric
May 24, 2013 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Little by: Sara
August 2013, non-fiction book for Heathens Pagans and Witches. (
Oct 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Very interesting, very readable. Wish I had read it prior to visiting Egypt umpteen years ago.
Saeed Ramazany
همون روزی که خریدم تموم کردم.
حجم و اندازهش خوب بود.
انتظار نداشته باشین که داستانهای اساطیر مصر رو بخونید. من انتظار داشتم و خب برآورده نشد. در مورد بستر ایجاد و تاریخ اسطورههای مصریاه. چه ایدههایی هست که چطور ایجاد شدند، از کجا میفهمیم که چطور بودند، منابع اصلی چیه و موارد مشابه.

بخشهای جالبش برای من، تکههای جنسی اسطورهها بود. هر چند صفحه یک بار بخشهایی از داستان اسطورهها رو میگه و به شدت بخشهای جنسیش زیاد بود. مثلا داستان خدای اولی که آلت خودش رو میزاره دهنش و با منی خودش مخلوق دیگهای رو ایجاد م
Dec 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mythology
This is a great introduction to The Myths and Gods of ancient Egypt. The importance of the cults of Isis, Osiris, and Horus help narrow down the daunting list of gods and stories. Pinch's explaination of the 'Contendings of Horus and Seth' shows the sense of humor and "human-ness" of the gods as they were perceived by the people.

The book is well organized and the highlighted sections provide easy reference for anyone using this for research.
Seth Kenlon
Feb 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An excellent overview of major religious traditions of ancient Egypt. It mostly provides context for the mythology that we know today, which is really useful to someone ilke me, who got next to no real education about ancient Egypt outside of Bible stories and a brief mention in the first week of history class.

The book is an easy read, so if you're at all interested in ancient Egypt, take a look.
Aug 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Most people think they know a little bit about Egypt, but a lot of it is misinformation. I picked this book up in the hopes of getting some of my ideas straight. It definitely helped. This isn't a simply anthology that describes the characters and stories of myth. Instead, it explores the way that myth was preserved in objects and in writing and the way that myth functioned in Egyptian life. She continually links the forms and transformations of myth to larger political and ecological situations ...more
Aaron Johnson
May 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
The volume gave a good overview of the central myths of Ra, the sun god, creation, and Horus/Osiris and related gods. It also gave a good view of they way myth and religion was used in Egypt. However, for a book of Egyptian myth, there was not much about all the other gods of Egypt. Besides occasional mentions of Sobek, Thoth, Anubis, Sekhmet (some of the more famous animal headed ones) there was no real descriptions of them or of myths about them. Perhaps they don't have any recorded myths devo ...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
Jun 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, fantasy
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.
Sep 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A thorough, friendly but not oversimplified introduction to a complex subject - really glad I read this!
Jun 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: academia, history
a solid, if somewhat cursory, survey. kind of abrupt ending, though; a conclusion would have been nice.
Fiona D'Arcy
rated it it was ok
Aug 23, 2014
rated it liked it
Jan 08, 2016
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Feb 12, 2009
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Aug 16, 2015
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Jun 24, 2015
Alyssa Nichole
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Jun 27, 2016
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