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How were gods named

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posted on Dec, 3 2005 @ 05:41 AM
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This sounds a bit stupid but bare with me. In ancient times how did say the Egyptians decide whiich god would do which, i know that some of their gioods were pharohs or famous doctors(like Imhotep.) Did they just see the moon and decide a god named appolo must control that just out of the blue.




posted on Dec, 3 2005 @ 12:20 PM
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I dont think anyone actually know how the Gods came to be called what they are, except for direct item names. Its kind of hard because we are neither Egyptians nor thousands of years old. Basicly all Gods and Goddesses in the ancient world have complicated storylines (interesting enough, God (as in God God) doesnt, lol!) so one cant really say that they just said "Oh, we need a mother goddess, how many vote for FIzzLEKRitLzSTICKS and how many vote for Isis?".

But what do I know, I dont know crap about religion.



posted on Dec, 3 2005 @ 03:55 PM
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Merka's got it right.

The early religions were shamanic in nature... people talked with spirits, and the spirits "told" them their names. As religions became more formalized and groups of worshippers became larger, organizations of priesthoods arose. Worship became formal and names became formal.

When tribes conquered another tribe, they would often adopt the conqurered tribe's main god by making that god a "son" or "wife" or other relative of their god. Sometimes they would merge two gods, saying 'your god is the same as mine' (Heru-Ra, for example.)

Most gods have a very complex history. It's an interesting study, really. Pick one (Horus is a good one, because he's one of the oldest as is Bast and Hathor) and look up all the scholarly references. It's a fun little armchair detective exercise, and you'll learn a lot!



posted on Dec, 4 2005 @ 07:38 PM
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Of course, there were also some that are simply taken from another city, another civilization, and altered.



posted on Dec, 9 2005 @ 12:34 AM
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Some names of gods could also come from previous rulers or heroes who were made grander over a period of time. Arthur though not quite a god, is thought to have originally been a warrior who won a great many battles and became important in mythology. As time progressed other stories grew up around him making him a king, a chosen leader, etc. He could have been as late as a roman warrior or as early as a bronze age warrior. He could also have been an amalgamation of a number of men. It is a good example of how a once living ordinary man was given godlike properties, or grew into being a godlike character and then a god over a period of many years. There would also be a need to fill, a reason to explain why the world works in a certain way and myths are built to fill these needs, same with the gods. If you needed rain you found a rain god. If you needed sun, you found a sun god. If your culture was at war and needed a unifying force you found a war god. etc.



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