Breath of life
In Egyptian mythology, humans were first formed from clay, by the god Khnum on his potter’s wheel, then then were brought to life by the magic air of the ankh of Hathor put to the mouth of the clay-shaped humans:
In stoic philosophy, in Greece and Rome, alternatively, the concept of “pneuma” was conceptualized the “breath of life” as a mixture of the elements of air (in motion) and fire (as warmth) as animating humans.
In Jewish mythology, god took dust from the ground, formed man with it, and then brought him to life by “breathing into his nostrils”, at which point he became a “living soul”; as follows:
- “And the lord god formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.”
In modern terms, the concept of breath of life or "wind", called anemos (άνεμος) in Greek, has carried forward, etymologically, in words such as: animal, animate, animation, animate thing, albeit with the original divine connotation dropping off, and the stoic heat and air based physiology meaning being retained.
- Breath of life (disambiguation) – Wikipedia.