LOVE IN ANCIENT EGYPT


Love is an amalgamation of neurons swarming about your brain. It is a combination of endorphins, serotonin and dopamine exchanging and reacting at the sight of the one you love.

But what was love in ancient Egypt?

Love was deeply engrained into the Egyptian consciousness. One of the most famous examples of love in Egyptian mythology is that of Osiris and Isis.

When Osiris was slain by a jealous god named Set, his body parts were strewn across Egypt. Isis, bereft and inconsolable gathered his body parts and would stop at nothing to make him live again. She breathed life into Osiris, and he was reborn. Love was the fuel in this story.

Naturally, the Egyptians held this tale close to their hearts. For the common people, marriage was supposed to be everlasting and would continue into the afterlife. Arranged marriages were, of course, common, as was the case in most ancient cultures. But love can bloom in any circumstance.

If there was infidelity, then you would risk your chances of seeing your spouse in the afterlife or even be allowed to enter. Divorce was (by most accounts) just as simple as getting married. Paperwork was involved and assets were shared.

Love poems have been recovered from pieces of papyri that emphasise a true love for a spouse or partner - sometimes comparing their true love to the joys of fishing or drinking exquisite wine.

It doesn’t take much to realise that the ancient Egyptians weren’t unlike us modern humans. Love touches us all. Sometimes it is unexpected, other times we seek it out. And other times it pains us in ways that we cannot comprehend.

For Isis, love transcended all human understanding. She travelled to the edges of the abyss and beyond to recover Osiris’ body parts.

Her love for him is one of pure, relentless passion.