Orion and Ancient Egyptian Myths
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12-12-2015, 12:27 AM
Orion and Ancient Egyptian Myths
Apologies if this thread is a repeat of past discussions, but is there credible evidence that the Egyptians took note of the constellation of Orion, specifically called the belt of Orion the 3 kings (magi or anything else) and linked Orion's belt to the star Sirius? I know that the movie Zeitgeist has a theory that the Birth account of Jesus in Matthew was an allegory made up by the positioning of the belt of Orion and how the stars point to Sirius around Dec 25. It seems like an interesting story and it is even more interesting when you see that Matthew is the only gospel that talks about Jesus, Mary and Joseph cooling their heels in Egypt for a few years until Herod dies... so there is an Egyptian link to the birth narrative.

On the flip side, when shepherds are supposed to visit the the baby, we know shepherds are only in the fields during the spring in Palestine. Granted, the shepherds are from the gospel of Luke and should be treated as a separate set of stories entirely.

Without putting a lot of stock into the Zeitgeist movie, but does anyone have any credible links or books that discuss the Egyptians and if they had any mythology surrounding these stars? If so, then it would seem that Matthew could have been inspired by the constellations or misunderstood the root of the astrological ideas and simply heard a story in Egypt about the gods and the constellation. Thanks much for any help or insight you can lend.
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12-12-2015, 03:07 AM
RE: Orion and Ancient Egyptian Myths
Wikipedia says that the stars of Orion were seen as a god by the Egyptians, a sibling of a goddess who personified Sirius (according to a book about ancient Egyptian deities). So yeah, they seem to be linked in that context.

I don't know much about that, but Orion is one of the most recognizable constellations and most ancient civilizations noticed it and thought it was important. It's common for myths to spread from one culture to another, and it was very common in ancient civilizations too. Matthew could have heard about any of the hundreds of myths existing in the area about Orion.

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13-12-2015, 11:17 PM
RE: Orion and Ancient Egyptian Myths
The answer is M42. Wink
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13-12-2015, 11:27 PM
RE: Orion and Ancient Egyptian Myths
The stars are fixed in the sky. Mostly. There is some slight parallax due to Earth's orbit, but it's far too tiny to be noticed by the human eye -- the ancient Greeks tried. Also, the stars do change formation slowly over the course of many lifetimes.

All those caveats in place, saying they point at Sirius on Dec 25 is silliness. If they point there, then as far as anyone living within a century of the event was concerned they ALWAYS pointed there.
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