Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures
- Author(s): Lazaridis, Nikolaos
- et al.
Ancient Egyptian ethical thought and action revolved around the notion of maat. Although there are no traces of a standard moral code surviving from ancient Egypt, moral principles are often reflected in the literature--especially works of wisdom literature, funerary books and songs, tomb biographies, and literary narratives. In these sources moral principles are mostly expressed in practical admonitions and general observations on everyday conduct, and are voiced by authoritative sages. Through the study of these sources one can observe the occurrence of a major change in ancient Egyptian ethical thought during the New Kingdom, when piety and religiosity became significant criteria for the judgment of the individual.