Judging by the figured scenes, it is a small, graceful seated person, wearing an ostrich feather on her head, who is writing her name. But it is also the correct weight for the scales used on judgement day to weigh the heart of the deceased and to see whether he is maaty, that is to say, in conformity with Maat. According to ancient Egyptian texts, she is the daughter of Re, and she is offered to the gods by the kings who carry her in the palm of the hand like a small doll, as portrayed on most scenes at the bottom of funerary chapels.
Maat is the offering par excellence, the one who can replace all the others because she virtually includes them in herself. For these different reasons, Maat is usually considered to be the incarnation of Truth and Justice. This view is far from being farfetched for it can be justified by numerous proofs.
During judgement, the heart of the deceased is compared to Truth; the vizir, or supreme head of the tribunals of Egypt, is the "priest of Maat"; "talking according to Maat" is the opposite of "telling lies", etc.
But although the term Maat fits the various forms of the truth or its application to justice, it also designates something infinitely larger, and it would therefore appear that the words truth and justice correspond to only two of her aspects. When the demiurge created the Universe, he gave shape to a world that was permanently fixed in its appearance and relations. The creative act repeated itself, of course, since the voracity of chaotic forces continued to threaten the very existence of the created world, but inside this world everything was perfect and in conformity with the final plan of the god; no successive phases were needed to achieve perfection.
The equilibrium of this entire universe, the harmonious relationship between its elements and the cohesion that is vital to maintain the created forms, is what the Egyptians called Maat. It is the interaction of forces ensuring universal order, from its basic constituent elements (such as celestial movements, regular phenomena, the passing of days, the rising of a new sun every morning) to its more humble manifestations, those of human society, the concord of the living, religious piety, respect on earth of the order devised by the gods, hence justice in its social relations and truth in moral life.
Maat is therefore both universal order and the ethics of acting in all circumstances, according to an awareness of this universal order.
The base of this item has changed in fall 2018, the picture shows the new model, but it remains exceptionally possible that older versions are included in your order
Reproduction in hand patinated resin
Reproduction in bronze with patina
- H. 12 L. 6 P. 4 cm (Resin)
H. 4.7" W. 2.4" D. 1.6" - 0.7 lbs
Base (wood): H. 2 L. 6 P. 4 cm
H. 0.79" W. 2.36" D. 1.57"
H. 11,7 L. 6 P. 6 cm (Bronze)
H. 4.6" W. 2.4" D. 2.4" - 1.5 lbs
Base (marble): H. 2 L. 6 P. 6 cm
H. 0.79" W. 2.36" D. 2.36"
- Material of the original
- Cupreous metal
- Late Period, Persian Domination (525-333 B.C.)
- Paris - Musée du Louvre
- Mythology, Egypt
- Bronze, Resin
- Art movement
- Egyptian Antiquities