Magic & Medicine in Ancient Egypt

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Joshua J. Mark
by
published on 08 July 2024

Magic and medicine in ancient Egypt were understood as gifts from the god Heka, who presided over both, and were used together – or interchangeably – by medical professionals in treating patients. 'Magic' was recognized as the act of drawing on natural or supernatural energies to attain a desired result from c. 6000 BCE through c. 4th century CE.

This collection presents a brief overview of the uses of magic in the medical arts as well as in spiritual defense and overall protection from harmful supernatural entities. Magic was understood as a reality of existence, a beneficial power to be utilized, throughout one's life on earth and continuing into the afterlife.

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Questions & Answers

What was the meaning of magic in ancient Egypt?

In ancient Egypt, magic was understood as the harnessing of natural or supernatural powers to achieve a desired goal.

What was the relationship between magic and medicine in ancient Egypt?

Magic and medicine were used together or separately to treat illness and injury in ancient Egypt.

Who was the god of magic and medicine in ancient Egypt?

Heka was the god of magic and medicine in ancient Egypt. Another important deity associated with both was the god Bes.

How was magic used to treat illness and injury in ancient Egypt?

Ancient Egyptian physicians used spells, charms, herbal remedies, chants, and prayers, along with more direct measures, to treat illness and injury.
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About the Author

Joshua J. Mark
Joshua J. Mark is World History Encyclopedia's co-founder and Content Director. He was previously a professor at Marist College (NY) where he taught history, philosophy, literature, and writing. He has traveled extensively and lived in Greece and Germany.

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