The Keeper of the Pharos Lighthouse


An artist's depiction of reincarnation
An artist’s depiction of reincarnation

I don’t know whether I believe in reincarnation; at least in the usual contemporary sense. Oh, I like the idea of it…and it’s quite true that there are some amazing stories people tell of past lives.

Egyptologists, however, are almost unanimously certain that the ancient Egyptians did not believe in reincarnation; presumably, they had enough going on in their afterlives already.

On the other hand, we do have ancient Greek reports of Egyptian belief in reincarnation or the “transmigration of the soul.”

Herodotus writes,

The Egyptians say that Demeter [that is, Isis] and Dionysos [that is, Osiris] are rulers of the world below; and the Egyptians are also the first who reported the doctrine that the soul of man is immortal, and that when the body dies, the soul enters into another creature which chances then to be coming to the birth, and when it…

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