The Book of the Faiyum is an exquisitely illustrated papyrus created during Egypt’s Ptolemaic and Roman Periods (ca. late 1st century B.C.–2nd century A.D.).
It depicts the Faiyum region and its rich religious life.
The Book of the Faiyum was clearly an important text for the ancient Egyptians—at least 30 copies have survived through the ages, including an unillustrated hieroglyphic version inscribed on the walls of Kom Ombo Temple.
In the Book, Sobek becomes assimilated with Ra, the sun god. Sobek-Ra is now the crocodile god who brings the sun to the Faiyum.
Of course, you don’t need to understand ancient Egyptian mythology to appreciate the Book of the Faiyum; even the tiniest illustrations are rendered with incredible detail.
So why was the Nile crocodile so revered, and crucial to the Egyptians’ medicine and magic? Sofia Aziz explains all in the latest issue of Nile Magazine.
Photo courtesy of the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. Acc. No. W.738
Enjoyed this article? Want to discover more about ancient Egypt? Subscribe and have Nile Magazine delivered to your door. Enjoy your Nile time!