According to Wikipedia:

Although the Egyptians recognized that the pharaoh was human and subject to human weakness, they simultaneously viewed him as a god, because the divine power of kingship was incarnated in him. He therefore acted as intermediary between Egypt's people and the gods. He was key to upholding Ma'at, both by maintaining justice and harmony in human society and by sustaining the gods with temples and offerings. For these reasons, he oversaw all state religious activity. However, the pharaoh's real-life influence and prestige could differ from his portrayal in official writings and depictions, and beginning in the late New Kingdom his religious importance declined drastically.

The king was also associated with many specific deities. He was identified directly with Horus, who represented kingship itself, and he was seen as the son of Ra, who ruled and regulated nature as the pharaoh ruled and regulated society. By the New Kingdom he was also associated with Amun, the supreme force in the cosmos.Upon his death, the king became fully deified. In this state, he was directly identified with Ra, and was also associated with Osiris, god of death and rebirth and the mythological father of Horus. Many mortuary temples were dedicated to the worship of deceased pharaohs as gods.

My question:

Did any of the ancient writers writing about Egypt, mention the ancient Egyptians' belief with regard to deifying their kings?

  • I think this is a better fit for History.SE. It's not asking about the mythology or folklore itself, but rather for ancient writings on it, which is the provenance of history.
    – Semaphore
    Commented Nov 29, 2021 at 23:51

1 Answer 1


Why exclude the hieroglyphic records? For example, the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut includes inscriptions on the daily ritual to honor the deified Hatshepsut and Thutmose III.

Also, during a considerable period in ancient times, hieroglyphs were not undecipherable. During the Greek occupation known as Ptolemaic period, the Ptolemaic dynasty of Greek origin crowned themselves pharaoh, and we know from the Rosetta stone that Greek, demotic and hieroglyphs were used side by side in this period.

Edit: Added some examples and sources by request

For example, the full name of Cleopatra is Cleopatra VII Thea Philopator (“Cleopatra the Father-Loving Goddess”)

We know from Greek texts that Alexander was worshipped as a god. His body was mummified and placed in a tomb in Alexandria, where it was still visible in the Roman Period. One source states Alexander requested to be referred to and perceived as the son of Zeus Ammon, and thus did not wish to be buried alongside his actual father at Aegae. See Quintus Curtius Rufus.

  • thank you codosaur.. I know that such belief, was not a secret not known by the non Egyptians ... just need some sources,outside the Egyptian inscriptions, that mention it,if there is any.
    – capri reds
    Commented Nov 28, 2021 at 17:44
  • 1
    Well, for example, the full name of Cleopatra is Cleopatra VII Thea Philopator (“Cleopatra the Father-Loving Goddess”)
    – Codosaur
    Commented Nov 28, 2021 at 18:18

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