The Indebtedness of Minoan Religion to Egyptian Solar Religion: Was Sir Arthur Evans Right?

Abstract

Sir Arthur Evans believed that Minoan religion was highly indebted to Egyptian thought. He saw that the two cultures shared a solar theology expressed via similar iconographical schemes, such as the heraldic arrangement of lions on either side of a column and the astral associations of the goddess known to the Egyptians as Taweret and transmuted by the Minoans into leonine “genii.” Evans’ solar theory was not systematically developed and has scarcely been considered since. Yet it is worth reviving in view of recent finds, especially the excavations of Manfred Bietak at Tell el Dab’a, which prove that contact between the royal courts of Egypt and Crete was close indeed.

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Marinatos, N., (2010) “The Indebtedness of Minoan Religion to Egyptian Solar Religion: Was Sir Arthur Evans Right?”, Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections 1(1), p.22-28. doi: https://doi.org/10.2458/azu_jaei_v01i1_marinatos

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Nanno Marinatos (University of Illinois at Chicago)

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