Ancient Egypt – What To Know about Dendera Temple

Temple of hathor in dendera egypt 1890
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Ancient Egypt - What To Know about Dendera Temple 1
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The temple at Dendera is less popular for tourists than many of the other places in Egypt but holds a strong historical significance. At the waning of the Egyptian civilization, the Greeks and Romans were in awe of the power and intelligence that the Egyptians developed.

They appeared to have come with a desire to conquer yet an eagerness to learn from the Egyptian advancements, adopt some of the ancient rituals and bow to their mysterious gods. They tried to incorporate much of the basis of the ancient civilization into their own. It has been argued that the temple at Dendera is in fact an homage from these subsequent civilizations, to Hathor, the goddess of light and beauty.

Dendera – Temple of Hathor

Ancient Egypt - What To Know about Dendera Temple 2
While Cleopatra reigned as Pharaoh (at the dwindling end of the ancient Egyptian civilization, approximately 100 BC) she was worshipped in the temple at Dendera – the temple had been built for Hathor, the goddess of light and beauty.

During her reign as Pharaoh from 51-30 BC, Cleopatra was also worshipped at the temple here and her name and that of her son (from Julius Caesar) had been chiseled into its stonework. Despite this temple being a tribute to the goddess of light and beauty, Cleopatra was not as beautiful as Hollywood may have led us to believe. She was believed to be of moderate beauty, certainly not the glamour that Elizabeth Taylor’s portrayal may have implied.

Temple dedicated to Hathor, at Dendera.
Temple dedicated to Hathor, at Dendera.

Apparently, once a year, to demonstrate the bond between Hathor and her mythological husband Horus, they would carry symbols of Hathor down to the temple in Edfu, which is dedicated to Horus.

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  1. The River Nile is about 6,670 km (4,160 miles) in length and is the losnget river in Africa and in the world. Although it is generally associated with Egypt, only 22% of the Nile’s course runs through Egypt.In Egypt, the River Nile creates a fertile green valley across the desert. It was by the banks of the river that one of the oldest civilizations in the world began. The ancient Egyptians lived and farmed along the Nile, using the soil to produce food for themselves and their animals.Egypt is situated in the northeast corner of the Africa. Covering 386,662 square miles, it is almost twice the size of France and the twelfth largest country in Africa. To the north of Egypt is the Mediterranean Sea, to the south is the Sudan, to the west is Libya and to the east of Egypt is the Red Sea.The Egyptian writing called hieroglyphics used pictures to represent different objects, actions, sound or ideas. There were more than 700 hieroglyphs. Some pictures stood for whole words.Egypt is a hot country and so people wore lightweight clothes which kept them cool. We can see what they wore from the many paintings and sculptures they left behind.Ancient Egyptian clothes covered most of their skin and were made from plant fibres such as linen.Pharaohs were the king or Queen of Egypt. Most pharaohs were men but some well-known pharaohs, such as Nefertiti and Cleopatra, were women.A Pharaoh was the most important and powerful person in the kingdom. He was the head of the government and high priest of every temple.The people of Egypt considered the pharaoh to be a half-man, half-god.The Pharaoh owned all of Egypt.

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