was the Goddess of truth, justice and reality. She symbolized the balance
between the antitheses in Egyptian life between Upper and Lower Egypt, between
the fertile valley and the desert, and so between good and evil. She was thus
the basis of civilization and Egyptian strength. Maat was said to reign when
the kingdom was unified and when men were peaceful and content with their lot,
performing their duties of righteous conduct as laid down in the divine order.
Without Maat creation could not be sustained and the divine intention was thwarted. The pharaoh was the chief upholder of
Maat, and when he could present
her to the gods he was giving them the most precious thing, sometimes offered
instead of the ritual meal. For the gods themselves lived by Maat. She was said
to be the daughter of Ra and the wife of Tuth, having accompanied them in the
solar barque when they emerged from Nun for the first time.
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