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Eye of Horus

The Eye of Horus (previously wadjet and the Eye of the Moon; and afterward as The Eye of Ra) is an ancient Egyptian symbol of protection and royal power from deities, in this case from Horus or Ra. The symbol is seen on images of his mother, Hathor, and other deities associated with her.

In the Egyptian language the word for this symbol was "wadjet" It first was the eye of one of the earliest of Egyptian deities, Wadjet, who later became associated with Bast, Mut, and Hathor as well. Wadjet was a solar deity and this symbol began as her eye, seeing everything. In early artwork Hathor is depicted with this eye as hers also.

Horus was an ancient Egyptian sky god in the form of a falcon. The right eye represents a peregrine falcon's eye and the markings around it, including the "teardrop" marking sometimes found below the eye. As the wadjet (also udjat or utchat), it also represented the sun, and was associated with his mother, Hathor, and with Wadjet another goddess, both early sun deities who became associated as aspects of one another, as well as the sun deity Ra (Re) whose cult arose last. The mirror image, or left eye, sometimes represented the moon and the god Tehuti (Thoth).

The ancients believed this symbol of indestructibility would assist in rebirth. The Eye of Horus was found under the twelfth layer of bandages on the mummy of Tutankhamun, an eighteenth dynasty pharaoh.

Hieroglyph

Eye of Horus in 18k gold
Seven different hieroglyphs are used to represent the "eye"-(human body parts). One is the common usage of the verb: 'to do' , 'make' , or 'perform' . The other frequently used hieroglyph is the Wadget, a sacred protective symbol, called the 'Eye of Horus' after his cult rose to prominence as the son of Hathor.

In arithmeticThe Eye of Horus

In the Ancient Egyptian measurement system, the Eye Of Horus defined an Old Kingdom rounded off number one (1) = 1/2 + 1/4 + 1/8 + 1/16 + 1/32 + 1/64, by throwing away 1/64. The Eye of Horus statements created 6-term rounded off numbers. The Old Kingdom definition had dropped a 7th term, a remainder 1/64, that was needed to report exact series. During the Middle Kingdom that included the eleventh through fourteenth dynasties, exact series definitions and applications were written by creating 7-terms, or more, written as Egyptian fraction series, often scaled to 1/320 hekat. For example, the Akhmim Wooden Tablet, dated to 2000 BC near the beginning of the Middle Kingdom, wrote quotients in the Eye of Horus 6-terms, while writing 7th term remainders as Egyptian fractions, scaled to 1/320 of a hekat. The metaphorical side of this information linked the Old Kingdom six fractions, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32, and 1/64 to separate parts of the eye, as noted by:
  • 1/2 was represented by smell, symbolized by the right side of the eye in a form of the nose. The pyramid text says: "Behold [the fire] rises in Abydos and it comes; I cause it to come, the Eye of Horus. It is set in order upon thy brow, O Osiris Khenti-Amenti; it is set in the shrine and rises on thy brow."
  • 1/4 was represented by sight or the sensation of light, symbolized by the pupil. The pyramid text says: "Perfect is the Eye of Horus. I have delivered the Eye of Horus, the shining one, the ornament of the Eye of Ra, the Father of the Gods."
  • 1/8 was represented by thought, symbolized by the eyebrow. The pyramid text says: "...the Eye of Horus hath made me holy...I will hide myself among you, O ye stars which are imperishable. My brow is the brow of Ra."
  • 1/16 was represented by hearing, symbolized by the left side of the eye in the form of an arrow pointing towards the ear. The pyramid text says: "That which has been shut fast/dead hath been opened by the command of the Eye of Horus, which hath delivered me. Established are the beauties on the forehead of Ra."
  • 1/32 was represented by taste, by the sprouting of wheat or grain from the planted stalk, symbolized by a curved tail. The pyramid text says: "Come, the Eye of Horus hath delivered for me my soul, my ornaments are established on the brow of Ra. Light is on the faces of those who are in the members of Osiris."
  • 1/64 was represented by touch, symbolized by a leg touching the ground, or what can also be thought of as a strong plant growing into the surface of the earth. The pyramid text says: "I shall see the Gods and the Eye of Horus burning with fire before my eyes!"
In the Middle Kingdom the 1/64 symbol denoted 'rest' and 'healing' as connected to the hekat, with the word dja being attached.

The 'Eye of Horus' fractions were further discussed in the Egyptian Mathematical Leather Roll following elementary definitions that built the Egyptian fraction system. Weights and measure subunits of a hekat were also connected to Eye of Horus numbers in the quotient, and as an exact remainder, the remainder including an Egyptian fraction and a ro unit, correcting the Eye of Horus 1/64 round off error. The ro unit, 1/320 of a hekat was cited in the Rhind Mathematical Papyrus and as applied in the medical texts, like the Ebers Papyrus. A precise mathematical derivation of ro is found in the Akhmim Wooden Tablet.

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