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The Dawn of Astronomy

A Study of the Temple-Worship and Mythology of the Ancient Egyptians

J. Norman Lockyer




Preface vii
The Worship of the Sun and the Moon 1
The First Glimpses of Egyptian Astronomy 9
The Astronomical Basis of the Egyptian Pantheon 20
The Two Horizons 40
The Yearly Path of The Sun-god 51
The Probable Hor-Shesu Worship 58
Methods of Determining the Orientations of Temples 67
The Earliest Solar Shrines in Egypt 73
Other Similar Shrines Elsewhere 86
The Solar Temple of Amen-Ra at Karnak 99
The Age of the Temple of Amen-Ra at Karnak 113
The Stars -- their Risings and Settings 120
The Egyptian Heavens -- the Zodiacs of Denderah 132
The Circumpolar Constellations: the Myth of Horus 144
Temples Directed to the Stars 155
Further Inquiries with Regard to the Stellar Temples 167
The Building Inscriptions 173
The Star Temples At Karxak 182
The Personification of Stars -- the Temple of Isis At Denderah 192
The Personification of Stars (Continued) -- the Temple of Hathor at Denderah   201
Star-cults 210
Star-cults (Continued) -- Amen-t and Khons 220
The Egyptian Year and the Nile 226
The Years of 360 and 365 Days 243
The Vague and the Sirian Years 249
The Sothic Cycle and the Use Made of it 207
The Calendar and its Revision 266
The "Fixed Year" and Festival Calendars 274
The Mythology of Isis and Osikis 287
The Temple-Stars 304
The History of Sun-Worship at Annu and Thebes 315
The Early Temple and Great Pyramid Builders 325
The Cult of Northern as Opposed to Southern Stars 341
The Origin of Egyptian Astronomy -- the Northern Schools 359
The Origin of Egyptian Astronomy (Continued) -- the Thebes School 371
General Conclusions as to the North and South Faces 388
The Egyptian and Babylonian Ecliptic Constellations 397
The Influence of Egypt Upon Temple-orientation in Greece 413



The Temple of Amen-Ra, looking from the Sanctuary towards the Place of Sunset at the Summer Solstice. Frontispiece

Ruins of the Ramesseum, where the Month-Tables were found 142
The Rosetta Stone 9
The God of Darkness -- Set 144
Temple of Edfû, looking East; showing Pylon and Outer Court 13
Various Forms.of Anubis 145
Great Court of Heaven, at the Entrance to the Hathor Temple at Denderah 15
Forms of Typhon 146
Temple Gate with Propylon and Obelisks 16
Mestha, Hapi, Tuamautef, Qebhsennuf 147
Hathor Temple of Dêr el-Bahari 17
Set-Horus 149
The Central Portion of the Circular Zodiac of Denderah 18
Illustration from a Theban Tomb 151
Tablet of Kings at Abydos 21
Horus and Crocodiles 152
Harpocrates 23
Horus and Crocodiles, Ptah and Crocodiles 153
Ra, Min-Ra,; Amen-Ra 24
Ground Plan of Edfû 157
Sebak-Ra, Chnemu-Ra 25
Ground Plan of the Temple of Hathor at Denderah; Plan of the Temple of Seti at Abydos 158
Anubis, or Set, Anubis-Osiris, Osiris (as a Mummy) 26
Plan of the Temple of Rameses II. in the Memnonia at Thebes 159
Osiris seated 27
Plan of Temples at Medînet-Habû 164
Various Forms of Bes -- as Warrior, Musician, and Buffoon 28
The Bent Axis of the Temple of Luxor 165
Khons-Lunus, Thoth-Lunus, the Goddess Sesheta 29
The Laying of the Foundation Stone Ceremonial 174
The Weighing of the Soul by Horus and Anubis, in Presence of Osiris 30
Plan of the Temples at Karnak, showing their Orientations to face p. 183 183
Thoth and Sesheta writing the Name of Rameses II. on the Fruit of the Persea 31
Plan of Denderah 192
Cleopatra as the Goddess Isis 32
Ruins of the Mamisi (Place of Birth) or Temple of Isis at Denderah 195
Isis (seated). 33
Ceremonial Procession in an Egyptian Temple 199
The Rising Sun Horus between Isis and Nephthys 34
Orientation of the Temple of Hathor at Denderah 202
The Goddess Nu-t 35
Capital, with Masks of Hathor with Cow's Ears 216
The Goddess Nu-t represented Double 36
The Cow of Isis 217
Various Forms of Shu 37
Hathor as a Cow 218
Forms of Ptah, the God of Memphis 38
Hathor, "The Cow of the Western Hills " 219
Apparent Movement of the Stars to an Observer at the North Pole 40
The Annual Rise and Fall of the Nile 228
Apparent Movement of the Stars to an Observer at the Equator 41
Hapi, the God of the Nile 229
The Celestial Sphere viewed from a Middle Latitude 42
Different Forms of Thoth 232
A Terrestrial Globe with Wafer attached to show the Varying Conditions of Observation in a Middle Latitude 43
Scale of the Nilometer at Rôda 235
Showing Amplitudes reckoned from the East or West Points to N.P., North Point of Horizon, and S.P South Point of Horizon 46
The Island of Rôda 236
Diagram showing the Various Amplitudes at which Stars of Different Declinations rise and set in Different Latitudes 49
Conditions of the Heliacal Rising of Sirius from 4000 B.C. to 600 A.D. 255
Earth and Sun at the Equinoxes 54
The Distribution of the 1st of Thoth (representing the Kise of Sirius) among the Egyptian Months in the 1460-year Sothic Cycle 258
Earth and Sun at the Solstices 55
Julian Dates of the 1st of Thoth (Vague) from 23 A.D. and 240 A.D. 267
Diagrams showing Position of the Sun in Relation to the Zenith of London at the Northern Winter Solstice and at the Northern Summer Solstice 56
The Month-Table at the Ramesseum 276
Azimuth Compass 67
Black Granite Statue of Sekhet fron the Temple of Mut at Thebes 288
Theodolite for Determining Azimuth and ltitudes 68
The Goddess Taurt; the Goddess Serk-t or Selk-t (both with Horus and Disk) 289
Magnetic Map of the British Isles, showing the Variation at Different Points 71
Nit (two forms of); Bast 290
Plan of the Mounds at Abydos. From Mariette 74
Anuqa; Sati 291
The Mounds and Obelisk at Annu 76
Isis Nursing Horus 292
The Colossi of the Plain at Thebes at High Nile, oriented to the Sunrise at the Winter Solstice 79
Isis, Osiris and Horus 297
Plan of Memphis 80
A "Change of Cult" at Luxor 298
East and West Pyramids and Temples at Gîzeh 81
Curves showing the Declinations of Some of the Stars used by the Egyptian Astronomers at Different Epochs 307
Temple and Temenos Walls of Tanis 82
The Temples at Tell el-Amarna 322
Temple and Temenos Walls of Saïs (Sa-el-Hagar) 83
Apis (two forms of) 330
The Temple near the Sphinx, looking West (True), showing its Relation to the South Face of the Second Pyramid 84
Mnevis 331
Stonehenge, from the North 90
The Two Great Pyramids at the Time of the Inundation 332
Stonehenge restored 91
The Step-Pyramid of Sakkarah 334
Plan of St. Peter's at Rome, showing the Door facing the Sunrise 96
The Pyramid of Mêdûm 335
St. Peter's at Rome; Façade facing the East (True) 97
The "Blunted Pyramid" of Dashûr 336
Axis of the Temple of Amen-Ra. from the Western Pylon, looking South-East 100
Ship of Hat-Shepset laden with Produce from Pun-t 346
Plan of the Temple of Amen-Ra and Some of its Surroundings, including the Sacred Lake 101
Huts Built on Piles in Pun-t 347
View to the South-West from the Sacred Lake of Amen-Ra 103
Cynocephalus Ape with Moon Emblem 349
Ruins of Door at Entrance of the Sanctuary 104
Plan of the Pyramids at Nuri 355
The Obelisks near the Oldest Part of the Temple of Amen-Ra 105
Plan of the Temples and Pyramids at Gebel Barkal 358
Inner Court and Sanctuary at Edfû 106
Statue of Chephren, found in Temple near the Sphinx 368
Plan of the Temple of Amen-Ra 118
The Temples of Philae 382
Model illustrating the Precession, of the Equinoxes 125
The Temple at Amada 383
Star-map representing the Processional Movement of the Celestial Pole from the Year 4000 B.C. to the Year 2000 A.D. 127
Chnemu 385
Northern Half of the So-called Square Zodiac of Denderah 136
The Winged Solar Disk 391
Sirius and Orion (18th Dynasty) 139
The Theseum, Athens 414
Astronomical Drawings from Bibân el-Muluk (18th Dynasty) 140
The East Front of the Parthenon, facing the Rising of the Pleiades 415

First published 1894 by Macmillan (New York & London)
Layout and design of this electronic edition © 2000 Knowledge Computing.