The Ancient Egyptians’ “Religious World”: The Foundation of Egyptian Law

  • Nico van Blerk UNISA Department of Biblical and Ancient Studies
Keywords: ancient Egypt, ancient Egyptian law, ancient Egyptian religion, maat


The aim of this paper is to indicate the importance of religion in ancient Egypt and to indicate that this was the foundation for ancient Egyptian law. In order to understand ancient Egyptian law, it is important to understand the role of religion as background to its development. Religion played an important role in the ancient Egyptians’ understanding of their world, specifically the belief in maat. Religion, and specifically maat, influenced everything they did. Their whole life and the way they operated as a society was based on the principles of maat, since living in accordance with maat would ensure eternal life, life after death. It was essentially maat which made law necessary in ancient Egypt.