The Great Goddesses of Egypt
University of Oklahoma Press, 1999 - 319 pages
The great goddesses of Egypt inspired magnificent temples and art and a literature that speaks of their supreme importance to the ancients--men and women, royalty and commoners. In this book Barbara S. Lesko follows the changing fortunes, over thousands of years, of the seven most significant Egyptian goddesses: Nut, Neith, Nekhbet, Wadjet, Hathor, Mut, and Isis. Some appeared in prehistory, and some were later political creations. One became a universally revered goddess of the Greco-Roman world who successfully held her own against Christianity for five hundred years.
Although they often assumed human form, some goddesses were associated with animals that Lesko traces back to African clan divinities. Understood as the sun’s heat, the Milky Way, the flood, and the mother of the king of Egypt, the great goddesses also assumed the caring role of protector for deserving humans, assisting with careers, romance, and fertility. They held out the promise of eternal life, and records show that they won fierce loyalty from their followers.