A Look at the Ancient Egyptian and Greco-Roman Practices of Preparing the Dead
1461 words 4 pages
... natives of Egypt. A certain "cult image" was buried with the deceased in Egypt in order to look after and more importantly protect one's ba from being disturbed. It also acted as a type of "purge valve" for any ba which may have been unjustly disturbed in the tomb.Burial practices aside one can note an interesting difference between these two ancient civilizations. Differences can be observed concerning how amicable the afterlife was. The Egyptians had a positive outlook. They believed that after one became Osirus, They would move into a new world, which was nice, no one had to work, and everything was very clean. One could compare their lives in the next world with the children's classic board game, Candyland. In this game all was fine and dandy, the "don't worry be happy" attitude flourished, not distant from the life in the Fields of the Blessed. On the other hand, Greco-Roman afterlife was a rather dismal place. The dead Achilles summed everything up by saying to Odysseus, "Do not try to make light of death to me, I would sooner be bound to the soil in the hire of another man, a man without lot and without much to live on, than rule over all the perished dead." Needless to say, the Homeric afterlife was no Candyland.Candyland or not, both cultures went to extremes in order to guarantee a successful voyage into the next world. The two ancient civilizations hoped that through their intricate actions the individual would be protected and prepared for their many experiences on "the other side." By looking at selections of Homer's Odyssey and The Book of the Dead, one can draw many similarities between the two cultures however, differences are also apparent due to cultural differences concerning what would happen to the departed soul.
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