What are the similarities and differences of the Egyptian pantheon and Norse pantheon?Using at three gods/goddesses.

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linda-allen eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I'll describe 3 deities from each religion and let you decide what is similar and different about each.

Both cultures have a supreme being. For the Egyptians, it is Amun, or Amun-Ra, which means "the hidden one." Odin, the chief Norse god, was the god of war and death. He was called Alfadir ("Allfather") because he fathered the gods. 

Both cultures believed in an afterlife. For the Egyptians, death was rebirth into a new life. Bodies were carefully prepared and buried with things they would need in this new life. The god of the dead, Anubis, would lead the spirit to a final judgment, where the person's heart was weighed against the feather of truth. If the heart was lighter, having few "sins," then the person would be granted entrance into the afterlife. In Norse mythology, the dead inhabit 3 realms: Valhalla, where warriors who died in battle dwell; Hel, where ordinary people will go; and Nifhel, a place of punishment for evil people. Odin, Freya, and Hel rule in this afterlife.

For the Egyptians, eternal life is paramount. Rebirth and continuity are symbolized by the death and rebirth of Osiris. The setting of the sun signifies his death, and its rising the next day represents his rebirth. The Norse believed that an end of all things would come and called it Ragnarok. Meaning "the destiny of the gods," Ragnarok would be a great battle in which many of the gods would die.

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