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Ma'at

by Marianne Dixon
An Egyptian goddess who personified the concepts of truth, cosmic order and justice. This concept was fundamental to Egyptian life and the rule of the Pharaohs. The Kings portrayed themselves constantly as "Beloved of Ma'at" and upholders of the universal order. This role was established by their divine predecessor Horus, who defeated the forces of the chaotic god Seth.

Maat >

Judges in both human and divine spheres were known as representatives of Ma'at. At the final judgement of souls that Ma'at helped to determine the ultimate fate of the deceased. In the Hall of the Two Truths, the heart of the deceased would be weighed by Anubis against the Feather of Truth, which was Ma'at's symbol. If the verdict was favorable then the deceased could look forward to a happy afterlife; if not, the hapless soul was quickly devoured by the hybrid Ammit. Ma'at was usually depicted as a woman wearing a large ostrich feather in her headband. This Feather formed the Hieroglyph of her name and could be used by itself as an abstract representation of the goddess.

The name of Ma'at in hieroglyphs
The name of Ma'at in hieroglyphs.


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