Humanities › History & Culture Ma'at: Who Was She? Share Flipboard Email Print CC Flickr User isawnyu History & Culture Ancient History and Culture Mythology & Religion Figures & Events Ancient Languages Greece Egypt Asia Rome American History African American History African History Asian History European History Genealogy Inventions Latin American History Medieval & Renaissance History Military History The 20th Century Women's History View More By N.S. Gill Ancient History and Latin Expert M.A., Linguistics, University of Minnesota B.A., Latin, University of Minnesota N.S. Gill is a Latinist, writer, and teacher of ancient history and Latin. She has been featured by NPR and National Geographic for her ancient history expertise. our editorial process N.S. Gill Updated February 04, 2020 Ma'at, who is symbolized by an ostrich feather or shown with one in her hair, is both a goddess, the daughter of the sun god Ra (Re) and an abstract. To the ancient Egyptians, Ma'at, everlasting and powerful, bound everything together in order. Ma'at represented truth, right, justice, world order, stability, and continuity. Ma'at represents harmony and unending cycles, Nile flooding, and the king of Egypt. This cosmic outlook rejected the idea that the universe could ever be completely destroyed. Isft (chaos) is the opposite of Ma'at. Ma'at is credited with staving off Isft. Humankind is expected to pursue justice and to operate according to the demands of Ma'at because to do otherwise is to encourage chaos. The king upholds the order of the universe by ruling well and serving the gods. From the fourth dynasty, pharaohs added "Possessor of Ma'at" to their titles. There is, however, no known temple to Ma'at prior to the New Kingdom. Ma'at is similar to the Greek goddess of justice, Dike. Alternate Spellings: Maat References "Maʿat and ΔIKH: Some Comparative Considerations of Egyptian and Greek Thought"Vincent Arieh TobinJournal of the American Research Center in Egypt, Vol. 24, (1987), pp. 113-121"Wisdom Motifs in Psalm 14 = 53: nābāl and 'ēṣāh"Robert A. BennettBulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research (1975).J Russell Versteeg "ancient Middle Eastern law" The New Oxford Companion to Law. by Peter Cane and Joanne Conaghan. Oxford University Press Inc.Emily Teeter "Maat" The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt. Ed. Donald B. Redford, Oxford University Press, Inc.