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Thread: Gods in earlier civilizations

  1. #1 Gods in earlier civilizations 
    Forum Freshman Tyrannosaurus Rex's Avatar
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    Hello everyone,

    I'm not sure did i post this on proper sub-forum-so if i did,please forward it.
    I was reading about many gods like Amon Ra,Anubis,or even Quetzalcoatl.
    I was wondering why,etc. Egyptians have animal headed gods like anubis-half human half animal.
    Also why many civilizations have so much "serpent" or reptilian worshiping,more then like,mammals?

    Every comment is welcome.


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  3. #2  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Which religions have more serpent gods than mammalian?


    "[Dywyddyr] makes a grumpy bastard like me seem like a happy go lucky scamp" - PhDemon
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  4. #3  
    Forum Freshman Tyrannosaurus Rex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Which religions have more serpent gods than mammalian?
    Thanks for reply.
    Well,from what i read,central America for example.
    One of most noticeable gods is Quetzalcoatl-feathered serpent.
    In Egypt Sobek,half man half crocodile,and let's not forget China.
    China have many dragon legends and pictures through history.
    Im not sure where i read about that gods,but i'll try to find it if im not deleted my internet history.
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  5. #4  
    Ascended Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Well I think animals, or least some animal features, were chosen because they appeared to represent the embodiment of many of the characteristics of the natural forces, that the people of the time didn't really understand and viewed as mystical and magical.

    In Egyptian mythology specific animal attributes were used such as in the case of Anubis, this was a God portrayed as man with a Jackal's head and represented a guardian of the afterlife and the dead, perhaps it was the fearsomeness of this 'man-jackal' that was seen as a sense of protection for the dead, remembering here that the Egyptians believed in a transition for the dead to an afterlife, so to them the bodies of the dead were very important as can also be seen from the practice of mummification.

    But there have been many deities that have had a specific significance, for example in Greek mythology snakes were symbolic of fertility, they represented the act of creation and the creative life force.
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  6. #5  
    Forum Professor Daecon's Avatar
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    Did people back then know the difference between "reptile" and "mammal"?
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  7. #6  
    Forum Freshman Tyrannosaurus Rex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    Well I think animals, or least some animal features, were chosen because they appeared to represent the embodiment of many of the characteristics of the natural forces, that the people of the time didn't really understand and viewed as mystical and magical.

    In Egyptian mythology specific animal attributes were used such as in the case of Anubis, this was a God portrayed as man with a Jackal's head and represented a guardian of the afterlife and the dead, perhaps it was the fearsomeness of this 'man-jackal' that was seen as a sense of protection for the dead, remembering here that the Egyptians believed in a transition for the dead to an afterlife, so to them the bodies of the dead were very important as can also be seen from the practice of mummification.

    But there have been many deities that have had a specific significance, for example in Greek mythology snakes were symbolic of fertility, they represented the act of creation and the creative life force.
    Thank for your reply too.
    My friend told me to ask you,do you perhaps know what Egypt headed gods may represent?
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  8. #7  
    Ascended Member Ascended's Avatar
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    The Egyptian animal headed gods are interesting, they were many and each represented something different, quite as to why a particular animal head was chosen for a particular God is probably down to the actual way in which the Egyptians themselves viewed the different animals, I think we need to remember here that 3000 years ago people would have have had a very different relationship with animals. Like today many were consumed as food, but also this was a time that saw some animals considered sacred or even just supposedly associated with a particular God, it's perhaps from these associations that some of the Gods came to be perceived and seen as having a particular animal head.

    Though honestly it can a bit like a chicken & egg scenario in many cases, as we simply do not know which came first with regard to the portrail of such gods and their associated animals and in many cases the exact reasons why a particular animal was chosen to represent specific characteristics seen as endemic for a category of God.

    Gods such as Thoth are well known to be associated with both the Ibis and the Baboon, as such the Thoth is depicted with the head of an Ibis. Thoth is a good example because it is one of the Gods of which there is much written, we can say that Thoth was important in Egyptian mythology for many reasons from magic and the system of writing to the development of science and arbitration of the dead.
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  9. #8  
    Malignant Pimple shlunka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daecon View Post
    Did people back then know the difference between "reptile" and "mammal"?
    Course. Ones meat tasted better so we forced them into large herds.
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  10. #9  
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    A neighbor in Florida cooked an excellent rattlesnake.
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  11. #10  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
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    I am non religious. I do not believe in gods.

    Christians do not believe in Ra Amon, or Zeus, or Woden, or Hanuman, or a whole heap of gods.

    I am different from Christians in that I believe in one god less than they do.
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    Well I think animals, or least some animal features, were chosen because they appeared to represent the embodiment of many of the characteristics of the natural forces, that the people of the time didn't really understand and viewed as mystical and magical.

    In Egyptian mythology specific animal attributes were used such as in the case of Anubis, this was a God portrayed as man with a Jackal's head and represented a guardian of the afterlife and the dead, perhaps it was the fearsomeness of this 'man-jackal' that was seen as a sense of protection for the dead, remembering here that the Egyptians believed in a transition for the dead to an afterlife, so to them the bodies of the dead were very important as can also be seen from the practice of mummification.

    But there have been many deities that have had a specific significance, for example in Greek mythology snakes were symbolic of fertility, they represented the act of creation and the creative life force.
    Yes Ascended, your knowledge of ancient history sounds good.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    I am non religious. I do not believe in gods.

    Christians do not believe in Ra Amon, or Zeus, or Woden, or Hanuman, or a whole heap of gods.

    I am different from Christians in that I believe in one god less than they do.
    I take it you believe in self?
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  14. #13  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daecon View Post
    Did people back then know the difference between "reptile" and "mammal"?
    Do you know the difference between reptile, and mammal? I guess some did and some did not, much the same as we do today.
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  15. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    I am non religious. I do not believe in gods.Christians do not believe in Ra Amon, or Zeus, or Woden, or Hanuman, or a whole heap of gods.I am different from Christians in that I believe in one god less than they do.
    Perhaps. Monotheism is fuzzy in Abrahamic 'monotheistic' religions. There are all types of supernatural beings that are just lesser gods without the title 'god'...Satan, named angels ( Gabriel, Michael, etc.), all types of saints, Virgin Mary, Peter, etc. hundreds of individual gods. A duck is a duck even if we call it a chicken.
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  16. #15  
    Time Lord
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    The word "god" as we understand it to mean, is consistently appropriate to Abrahamic religions. To other religions, less so. And as for tribal cultures/traditions, where we apply our word "god" by way of translation... as in the anthropologist saying, "Oh, that's your god, that you worship? And this must be your church?"... well we're really projecting our own conceptions about what those things should mean.

    The ancient Egyptian "temples" were granaries. A little clue we may be mystifying (and perhaps backhandedly deriding) what to those people on the ground may have been rather mundane and practical. Like walking into that big bank building to, uh, worship.

    As for the animal heads. Where we see animals ("animism") today they are not so much demanding masters of men (Abrahamic gods) as embodiments of qualities. Kinda like an owl in modern western culture is our "god" of wisdom, the turkey is the "god" of idiocy. In a largely illiterate society it makes sense to convey ideas as best one can with images.
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