Teaching Students About Apophis, Egyptian God
The ancient Egyptian civilization is well-known for its rich mythology and pantheon of gods and goddesses. One figure that often remains overlooked, yet plays a crucial role in Egyptian mythology, is Apophis. Known as the deity of chaos, disorder, and darkness, Apophis is a fascinating character who can be used to teach students about the complexity of ancient Egyptian beliefs.
Introduction to Apophis
Apophis, also known as Apep or simply the serpent, was an evil entity that represented chaos in ancient Egypt. He was depicted as a ferocious and colossal serpent who relentlessly battled against Ra, the sun god. The struggle between Ra and Apophis symbolizes the perpetual fight between order and chaos, light and darkness.
Teaching the Mythology
To help students understand the role of Apophis in Egyptian mythology, teachers should first introduce them to the pantheon of gods and goddesses. This includes discussing major figures such as Ra, Isis, Osiris, Set, Horus, Anubis, and others. Providing context for these deities’ relationships with each other’s stories and roles within the mythology will give students a more comprehensive understanding of Apophis in contrast to other gods.
A crucial component to understanding Apophis is recognizing his relationship with Ra. Every day, Ra would voyage across the sky on his solar boat to bring light and life to creation. However, every night when he entered the underworld (Duat), he faced mortal combat with his nemesis – Apophis. Many gods like Set and Mehen stood beside Ra to protect him from being devoured by Apophis during these nightly battles.
To better understand these nightly confrontations between Ra and Apophis while engaging your students creatively:
1. Have your students create a diorama or illustration outlining this mythological struggle. This will allow them to visualize and engage with the dynamic encounters between Ra and Apophis.
2. Engage your students in a discussion about the modern-day representation of Apophis through popular culture, including books, movies, and video games. Identifying these references can give the students a sense of how ancient mythologies still impact our world today.
3. Introduce a creative writing exercise, asking your students to reimagine the story from one of the gods’ perspectives or create an alternate ending to the battle between Ra and Apophis.