The Afterlife

Topics: Death, Life, Afterlife Pages: 4 (1599 words) Published: October 13, 2011
“What goes on four legs in the morning, on two legs at noon, and on three legs in the evening?”(Loy)
The answer to the sphinx’s riddle is a man. We as people crawl on four legs, walk on two feet, and then walk with a cane. Birth. Life. Death. These are the three stages we as humans go through. We are born into this world, live it to the fullest and then die of old age. Death is inevitable. We try so hard to prolong and avoid death but eventually we all die and rot away. Depending on time, culture, and religion death has a different meaning. In some places death is seen as the end of life and is feared, while in other places death is a new beginning and is welcomed with open arms. Death has journeyed far to what it means today. I would like to journey back in time to what death meant in the days of which Herodotus traveled. Herodotus journeyed from his home, Greece, to the land of the Egyptians. There he looks at mummification, a death ritual in Egypt with a Greek perspective. I would like to examine the similarities and differences between the Greeks and Egyptian death rituals through comparing their meaning of death, processes of burial, and their journey through death.

Before we can look at burial rituals we first need to understand what death meant to the Egyptians and the Greeks. The Egyptians and Greeks both believed in eternal life. The Egyptians believed that death was only a process in life, not the end of it. They believed that death was only another stage into the life of the dead, where they would live forever. They believed that a person’s soul would journey through various tests to enter the afterlife. The Egyptians believed the soul of a person would continue to live in the body the person lived in during life. So they went to great length to preserve their bodies from decay, through a process called mummification. (Egypt) The Greeks also believed in the concept of an afterlife. They believed that after death their souls would leave their body...
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