"As for him who knows this book, nothing evil shall have power over him, he shall not be turned away at the gates of the West; he shall go in and out, and bread and beer and all good things shall be given to him in the presence of those who are in the Netherworld."
Spell 181, Book of the Dead of Ani
Written between four thousand and twenty-five hundred years ago, the funerary texts today referred to as the "Book of the Dead" are among the earliest religious or philosophical writings in existence. The Book of the Dead was known to the ancient Egyptians as the "Spells of Emerging in Daytime," for according to their beliefs the spirit lives on after death, emerging each morning from the tomb to walk among the living in the world it once new but on a higher plane of existence. In this sense, the "Book of the Dead" is more aptly called the Book of Life. It includes magical spells, prayers, and incantations to help the deceased transition from death to eternal life as a spirit and to protect the spirit from the dangerous forces that inhabited the Netherworld, through which it would pass each night.
The Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead introduces readers to the fascinating religious and philosophical beliefs of ancient Egypt with a modern translation of the Papyrus of Ani, one of the most beautiful and best-preserved examples of a "Book of the Dead." It describes a strange world where goddess inhabit trees, where baboons worship the sun, and where the spirit of the deceased can magically transform itself into a falcon, crocodile, or lotus blossom. Illuminating the sacred writings are nearly two hundred magnificent works of ancient Egyptian art, featuring richly colored vignettes from the Papyrus of Ani and other ancient papyri as well as stunning examples of jewelry and other symbolic funerary objects and artworks.
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Title: Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead
Author: Raymond O. Faulkner
Publisher: Fall River Press
Date Published: September 2010
Edition: Book and Accessory
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