10 Best Books About Egyptian Mythology
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Egyptian mythology is one of the most extravagant, colorful, and unique mythologies in the world. It’s also one of the most complex ones, however, as it’s formed by the combination of several different mythologies from across different cultures and different periods in Egypt’s history. So, it can be understandably as confusing as it is fascinating if you’re just getting into it.
To get the best experience out of your journey into Egyptian mythology, it’s important to find the most accurate and best-written sources on the matter. While we try to give you that in our in-depth articles, it’s also beneficial to delve into some larger books and sources too. To that end, here’s a list of the 10 best books about Egyptian mythology we’d recommend to our readers.
Egyptian Book of the Dead: The Book of Going Forth by Day by Ogden Goelet, 2015 edition
If you want to truly experience everything Egyptian mythology has to offer, what better place to start than the source? The modern editions of the original Egyptian Book of the Dead by Ogden Goelet have everything you’d expect from this historic title. We’d especially recommend the 2015 full-color edition by History of New Age & Mythology. This book offers:
- An insight into the spiritual heritage of Egyptian mythology and their outlook on life, death, and philosophy.
- Fully colorized and renovated variants of the original papyrus images.
- A detailed history of ancient Egypt as well as its importance to modern culture.
Egyptian Mythology: A Guide to the Gods, Goddesses, and Traditions of Ancient Egypt by Geraldine Pinch
For those looking for an introduction to Egyptian mythology, Geraldine Pinch’s Egyptian Mythology book is an excellent guide into Egyptian culture. It details everything that we know has happened in Egypt between 3,200 BC and 400 AD in a very clear and accessible manner. The author also discusses the nature of Egyptian myths and how they relate to the people’s culture and outlook on life. In this book you’ll get:
- Detailed and well-structured study of the seven main stages of Egypt’s history.
- A comprehensive analysis of the relationship between Egypt’s history, mythology, and philosophy.
- A well-written text that’s easy to get into and enjoy.
Egyptian Mythology: A Concise Guide to the Ancient Gods and Beliefs of Egyptian Mythology by Hourly History
Hour History’s Egyptian Mythology guide to the ancient gods and beliefs of the different Egyptian kingdoms is the perfect concise introduction to Egyptian mythology. Some people may rightly have gripes about the fact that it only skims the surface of many myths and historical facts but that’s by design – like the other books of the Hour History series, this guide is intended to get new readers familiar with the fundamentals of Egyptian mythology. Whether you get the paperback or the ebook, in them you’ll find:
- A very neatly narrated introduction to Egyptian mythology that you can further expand on with other texts.
- The key elements of Egyptian religious cosmology, practices, rituals, and beliefs.
- A great historical timeline of ancient Egypt that can serve as a basis for one’s understanding of the environment in which Egyptian mythology formed.
The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt by Richard H. Wilkinson
If you want a book that fully and separately details the story of each Egyptian deity, their origins, and evolution, Richard H. Wilkinson’s book is a great pick. It goes over almost all of the integral gods and goddesses of Egypt – from minor household deities such as Tawaret to the biggest and most powerful gods such as Ra and Amun. With this book you’ll get:
- The detailed evolution of each deity – from their inception and origins, through their worship and significance, all the way to their eventual decline.
- Hundreds of illustrations and specially commissioned drawings that can’t be seen anywhere else.
- A perfectly-structured text that’s both a comprehensive and scholastic as well as easily accessible for new readers.
Treasury of Egyptian Mythology: Classic Stories of Gods, Goddesses, Monsters & Mortals by Donna Jo Napoli and Christina Balit
For parents who want to help their kids get familiar with and excited about the wonders of the ancient world, the Treasure of Egyptian Mythology from National Geographic Kids is a great option. These nearly 200 pages of lyrically told myths and illustrations are perfect for kids in the age range of 8 to 12 years old. With this book your kid will get:
- A great introduction to Egyptian mythology with well-written stories about gods, pharaohs, and queens, as well as other myths.
- Gorgeous illustrations that perfectly showcase the colorful beauty of Egyptian myths and culture.
- Content-rich sidebars to every story that provides additional historical, geographic, and cultural context.
Tales of Ancient Egypt by Roger Lancelyn Green
Roger Lancelyn Green’s Tales of Ancient Egypt have been universally recognized for decades as a great retelling of the original Egyptian myths. And even though Green passed away in 1987, his Tales of Ancient Egypt was republished in 2011 and has found a new way into many people’s homes. In it, you’ll find 200+ illustrated pages of various Egyptian myths – from Amen-Ra’s rule over the Earth, through Isis’ and Osiris’ heartbreaking story, all the way to smaller myths and stories. In this book you can enjoy:
- A perfectly written text that’s suitable both for kids over the age of 10 as well as adults who are interested in Egyptian mythology.
- A very clear and easily understandable tie between Egyptian and Greek mythologies and the manner in which the two interacted throughout the ages.
- A convenient structure of three separate sections – Tales of the gods, Tales of magic, and Tales of adventure.
Egyptian Mythology by Sofia Visconti
Sofia Visconti brings us one of the newer entries into Egyptian mythology with her 2020 book. In its 138 pages, Visconti shows a different side of Egyptian mythology – the drama and intrigue behind the lives of Egypt’s pharaohs, queens, and the gods they worshipped. This is one of few books that don’t just examine Egyptian mythology but aim to portray it as a living world, not just as something we study in school. In this book you can enjoy:
- A full timeline of ancient Egypt – from the rise of its earlier kingdoms to its eventual fall.
- A great retelling of the classic Egyptian myths and the stories of both deities and historical figures.
- Additional facts and insight into the various practices and rituals of the ancient Egyptians.
Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt: Egyptian Mythology for Kids by Morgan E. Moroney
Another great option for kids, this 160-page book by Morgan E. Moroney is suitable for anyone between the ages of 8 and 12. Published in 2020, it includes lots of wonderful and unique artwork, as well as well-written retellings of the most famous Egyptian myths and stories. In it you’ll get:
- The 20 most famous and fascinating Egyptian myths and stories.
- A child-friendly breakdown of the relationship between Egyptian mythology and its culture and social norms.
- A great compilation of “Fast Pharaoh Facts” that delves into everything from the Egyptian hieroglyphs to Senet, the most popular board game of ancient Egypt.
Egyptian Mythology: Captivating Egyptian Myths of Egyptian Gods, Goddesses, and Legendary Creatures by Matt Clayton
Matt Clayton’s collection of Egyptian myths is a great entry point for adults and young adults alike. It includes the most popular Egyptian myths as well as some less discussed by fascinating stories. The book is divided into four segments – “Cosmological narratives” which goes over the creation of the world according to Egyptian mythology; “Myths of the Gods” which details the stories of the most famous Egyptian deities; a third section that details some historical and political myths that have been intertwined into Egyptian mythology; and a last section of what we can consider Egyptian fairy tales and magical stories. In short, with this book you’ll get:
- A perfect collection of well-written myths.
- An extensive glossary of select terms and definitions to help you understand the complexity of these Egyptian myths.
- A brief timeline of Egyptian history.
Egyptian Mythology: Classic Stories of Egyptian Myths, Gods, Goddesses, Heroes, and Monsters by Scott Lewis
Another great collection of stories for people of all ages is Scott Lewis’s Egyptian Mythology book. It manages to perfectly detail a lot of different myths and stories in just 150 compact pages without missing any of the stories’ context and detail. With this collection you’ll get:
- Both the most famous Egyptian myths as well as many lesser-known but fantastic stories.
- Many historic stories and “semi-historic” myths about the people of ancient Egypt.
- A modern vocalization of many mythological and historic Egyptian characters to make them more relatable to a modern audience.
Whether you’re a parent who wants to get their children engaged with the wonders of world history and mythology, whether you yourself want to explore more about ancient Egypt, or whether you are fairly knowledgeable on the subject and want to know even more, you’re sure to find the right book to satisfy your itch from our list above. Egyptian mythology is so vast and rich that there’s always more to read and enjoy about it, especially with a well-written book.
To learn more about Egyptian mythology, check out our engaging and informative articles here.