Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Did Ancient Egypt REALLY Build Ancient Greece?

As a Hellenic Polytheist, I have grown weary of this absurd claim. Not the claim that Greece borrowed things from its neighbors. It most certainly did. I am weary and sick of the claim that Hellas and Hellenism is nothing but a rip off of Kemet (Egypt) and Kemeticism. So, in this post, I will explain how these two ancient civilizations were fundamentally different. I would like to begin by saying that I have some Kemetic friends, and this is certainly not aimed at attacking them, their religion or their culture. It is aimed at historical honesty and reason. In fact, it may even help to give their religion back its independence in some ways. I don't have time or the room to talk about it a whole lot, but I will cover some basics. 

There are several things we can look at to show the immense difference between Egypt and Greece, one being their governments. As we know, Greece is credited with having established democracy. Egypt, however, was never a democracy, they were a dictatorship with a God-King, worshiped by his people as a God. At one point, Egypt was even a united land, while Greece maintained a division of city states, each with their own unique culture, mythology and religious practice. 

Since we're on the subject of religion, that would be another great place to start exploring since religion immensely differed in these two nations. Now, in both countries, religion was central to life. However, the beliefs, practices, mythology and Gods surrounding that were distinct in their own. The Greeks and Egyptians did not even believe in the existence of Deity the same way. According to renowned Egyptologist and Kemetic religious leader, Tamara L. Siuda, the Egyptians looked at Deity through the eyes of soft polytheism, which means that all Deities come from one Divine Source. The Greeks, however, were most certainly hard polytheists, which is the belief that all Deities are their own Divine Source. They don't come from anything other than themselves and are not dependent on any Source for their existence and powers other than themselves. The religious structure in Egypt and Greece was also completely different. The Greeks did not believe in the practice of magic like the Egyptians did. Certain spells were designed to dictate the actions of Deities, and the Greeks would have looked at this as high hubris. The Greeks were not the same or next to their Gods, they were under their authority. In Greek religion, there was also no book to gain access to the afterlife, you instead paid Kharon to boat you across, which is why the dead were buried with coins. 

Egyptian and Greek Gods also get compared to one another on a daily basis. It was not uncommon in ancient times for people to see other Gods as different manifestations or extensions of their own Gods. That is not something contested. What is not, however, a fact, is that the Greek and Egyptian Gods were the same, or that the Greek Gods came from the Egyptian Gods. If one looks hard enough, they can find comparisons between any two Gods in any pantheon. For example, one could compare Aset (Isis) to a host of other Mother Goddesses in the world, but that doesn't mean the Egyptians stole Aset from all those places. While some of the Greek Gods did not originate in Greece, they also did not originate in Egypt. For example, Dionysos, who constantly gets labeled as being a mirror copy of Wesir (Osiris), actually originated in Thrace and a place in modern Turkey called Phrygia. Apollon was also a God from Asia Minor. Aphrodite's birthplace was Kypros. In fact, because of geography, some of the Greek Gods are incompatible with Egypt. For example, there are no forests in Egypt, so where would you place Artemis since the forest is one of Her closest domains? Switching around, Gods like Khnum, Sobek, and Hapi were explicitly connected to the Nile, but there is no Nile in Greece. So where would they be placed in Greek religion? The answer is, no place. Egyptian religion was heavily tied to the surrounding land mass. It was not a universal system. There is also far more nature in Greece, which means that many of the Greek Gods could not have originated in Egypt because such natural things did not exist there. Remember, Egypt is mostly desert, and Greece flourishes with natural beauty. The sex of Deities also differed. For example, The Moon and Earth Deity is male in Egypt, while female in Greece. Somethings were not only different, but complete opposites.

The idea that the Greeks and Egyptians had a consensus on religious belief is absolutely absurd!

Architecture is another big difference when it comes to Greek and Egyptian culture. Certainly, the idea of columns that hold up roofs is a very general one, but what of the immense difference in structure and art that we see between these two cultures? Temples were not even structured the same way. Compare the Parthenon with the temple at Karnak. 

The last thing to remember is that, while the Greeks did incorporate other ideas and Gods from other cultures, they did not do so haphazardly. They did so based on whether or not it could fit into the Greek views and beliefs, and very, very few things within Kemeticism can fit into the Greek way of thought. The things they borrowed, adopted and incorporated HAD to be compatible with Greece, which means that the things they allowed into their culture were already Greek in the first place. They did not "steal" it, they simply agreed with it. 

In the Goodness of the Gods,
Courage and Honor,

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