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A comprehensive list of

Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt


Compiled and edited by L.C.F.
MMXIII ev

Editor's Note
Dear reader, Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. No book that I hav
e read on deities of Ancient Egypt has managed to cover all of them. Some of the
m were good and some were most unsatisfactory. Those good are either out of prin
t or cost too much money. In either case they are inaccessible to many earnest r
esearchers. Urged by personal need of such a source this book was created. Mater
ial used here has been gathered up from many sources. My major source were pages
from Wikipedia and books from my own library. It was my intention to gather up
as many deities as possible, add their relevant images where possible and to giv
e reader a list of external sources that might help him with further research. T
exts were edited where needed. Reader will notice that some deities have but a f
ew sentences. This is because we either have no more material or existing materi
al wasn't found reliable. In most such cases links to external resources were le
ft for you to continue your research. I hope you enjoy this material and that yo
u will find it useful. It took me almost two years to compile the whole thing, r
ead and re-read everything that was put into this book. It is by no means perfec
t. If you spot an error please let me know. My sincere thanks goes to Wikipedia
team for keeping knowledge free. Also, I wish to thank A.U.M. for reminding me e
very once in a while that this book needs to be finished. The majority of materi
al in this book has been released under Creative Commons AttributionShare Alike
3.0 Unported. After some thought it seemed the best to leave the whole book unde
r the same license. For those unfamiliar with CC licenses please visit: http://c
reativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/
Love is the law, love under will.
L.C.F. in

in

Anno IVxxi

Contents
Articles
Introduction
Ancient Egyptian deities Egyptian mythology 1 1 21 38 38 38 39 40 42 52 53 54 56
57 58 59 63 67 72 78 79 80 85 89 92 94 94 95 96 102 106 107
Gods and Goddesses
Aken the ferryman Aker (god) Am-heh Ammit Amun Amunet Andjety Anhur Anit Anput A
nti (mythology) Anubis Anuket Apep Apis (god) Arensnuphis Ash (god) Astarte Aswa
n Aten Atum Ba-Pef Babi (mythology) Banebdjedet Bastet Bat (goddess) Bata (god)
Bes

Buchis Duamutef Eye of Ra Four sons of Horus Geb Ha (mythology) Hapi (Nile god)
Hapi (Son of Horus) Hathor Hatmehit Hedetet Heh (god) Heka (god) Hemen Hemsut He
qet Heryshaf Hesat Horus Hu (mythology) Iabet Iah Iat Ihy Imentet Imiut fetish I
mset Isis Iunit Iusaaset Kebechet Khensit Khenti-Amentiu Khenti-kheti Khepri Khn
um Khonsu Kothar-wa-Khasis
110 111 112 120 125 127 127 129 131 138 139 139 141 142 144 144 145 147 148 156
157 158 159 159 160 160 161 162 171 171 175 176 176 177 178 180 182 185

Kuk Maahes Maat Mafdet Mandulis Mehen Mehet-Weret Menhit Meret Meretseger Meskhe
net Min (god) Mnevis Montu Mut Nebethetepet Nefertem Nehebkau Nehmetawy Neith Ne
khbet Neper (mythology) Nephthys Nu (mythology) Nut (goddess) Osiris Pakhet Petb
e Petsuchos Ptah Qebehsenuef Qebui Qetesh Queen of heaven (antiquity) Ra Raet-Ta
wy Rem (mythology) Renenutet
186 187 189 195 196 197 198 199 200 201 203 205 207 208 210 214 215 217 217 218
221 222 223 231 232 236 246 248 248 249 254 255 255 257 261 267 268 268

Repyt Resheph Satet Seker Sekhmet Serapis Serket Seshat Set (mythology) Shai She
d (deity) Shesmetet Shezmu Shu (Egyptian deity) Sia (god) Sobek Sopdet Sopdu Sta
tue of Sekhmet Ta-Bitjet Tatenen Taweret Tefnut Tenenet Theban Triad Thoth Tutu
(Egyptian god) Unut Wadj-wer Wadjet Weneg (Egyptian deity) Wepset Wepwawet Weret
hekau Wosret
269 270 272 273 275 279 283 285 288 294 294 295 296 298 299 300 305 306 307 308
308 310 313 315 316 317 324 325 325 326 330 331 332 334 335 336 336
Helenic era
Harpocrates

Hermanubis Hermes Trismegistus Nilus (mythology) Osiris-Dionysus


339 341 348 349 350 350 351 351 352 353 353 354 354 355 355 356
Misc
Aaru Astennu Atef Benben Kneph Maat Kheru Matet boat Nebu Seqtet boat Tyet Was
References
Article Sources and Contributors Image Sources, Licenses and Contributors 357 36
8
Article Licenses
License 375

1
Introduction
Ancient Egyptian deities
Ancient Egyptian deities are the gods and goddesses who were worshipped in ancie
nt Egypt. The beliefs and rituals surrounding these gods formed the core of anci
ent Egyptian religion, which emerged along with them sometime in prehistory. Dei
ties represented natural forces and phenomena, and the Egyptians supported and a
ppeased them through offerings and rituals so that these forces would continue t
o function according to maat, or divine order. After the founding of the Egyptia
n state around 3100BC, the authority to perform these tasks was controlled by the
pharaoh, who claimed to be the gods' sole representative and managed the temple
s where the rituals were carried out. The gods' complex characteristics were exp
ressed in myths and in intricate relationships between deities: family ties, loo
se groups and hierarchies, and combinations of separate gods into one. Deities'
diverse appearances in artas animals, humans, objects, and combinations of differ
ent formsalso alluded, through symbolism, to their essential features.
The gods Osiris, Anubis, and Horus
In different eras, various gods were said to hold the highest position in divine
society, including the solar deity Ra, the mysterious god Amun, and the mother
goddess Isis. The highest deity was usually credited with the creation of the wo
rld and often connected with the life-giving power of the sun. Some scholars hav
e argued, based in part on Egyptian writings about these higher gods, that the E
gyptians came to recognize a single divine power that lay behind all things and
was present in all the other deities. But they never abandoned their original po
lytheistic view of the world, except possibly during the era of Atenism in the 1
4th century BC, when official religion focused exclusively on the impersonal sun
god Aten. Gods were believed to be present throughout the world, capable of inf
luencing natural events and human lives. Humans interacted with them in the temp
les and in unofficial shrines, for personal reasons as well as for the larger go
als of state rites. Egyptians prayed for divine help, used rituals to compel dei
ties to act, and called upon them for advice. Humans' relations with their gods
were a fundamental part of Egyptian society.
Definition

Ancient Egyptian deities


2
"Deity"in hieroglyphs or or nr "god"[1] nr.t "goddess"[1] The beings in ancient Egy
ptian tradition who might be labeled as deities are difficult to count. Egyptian
texts list the names of many deities whose nature is unknown and make vague, in
direct references to other gods who are not even named.[2] The Egyptologist Jame
s P. Allen estimates that more than 1,400 deities are named in Egyptian texts,[3
] whereas his colleague Christian Leitz says there are "thousands upon thousands
" of gods.[4] The Egyptian terms for these beings were nr, "god", and its feminin
e form nrt, "goddess".[5] Scholars have tried to discern the original nature of t
he gods by proposing etymologies for these words, but none of these suggestions
has gained acceptance, and the terms' origin remains obscure. The hieroglyphs th
at were used as ideograms and determinatives in writing these words show some of
the characteristics that the Egyptians connected with divinity.[6] The most com
mon of these signs is a flag flying from a pole; similar objects were placed at
the entrances of temples, representing the presence of a deity, throughout ancie
nt Egyptian history. Other such hieroglyphs include a falcon, reminiscent of sev
eral early gods who were depicted as falcons, and a seated male or female deity.
[7] The feminine form could also be written with an egg as determinative, connec
ting goddesses with creation and birth, or with a cobra, reflecting the use of t
he cobra to depict many female deities.[6] The Egyptians distinguished nrw, "gods
", from rm, "people", but the meanings of the Egyptian and the English terms do n
ot match perfectly. The term nr may have applied to any being that was in some wa
y outside the sphere of everyday life.[8] Deceased humans were called nr because
they were considered to be like the gods,[9] whereas the term was rarely applied
to many of Egypt's lesser supernatural beings, which modern scholars often call
"demons".[4] Egyptian religious art also depicts places, objects, and concepts
in human form. These personified ideas range from deities that were important in
myth and ritual to obscure beings, only mentioned once or twice, that may be li
ttle more than metaphors.[10] Confronting these blurred distinctions between god
s and other beings, scholars have proposed various definitions of a "deity". One
widely accepted definition,[4] suggested by Jan Assmann, says that a deity has
a cult, is involved in some aspect of the universe, and is described in mytholog
y or other forms of written tradition.[11] According to a different definition,
by Dimitri Meeks, nr applied to any being that was the focus of ritual. From this
perspective, "gods" included the king, who was called a god after his coronatio
n rites, and deceased souls, who entered the divine realm through funeral ceremo
nies. Likewise, the preeminence of the great gods was maintained by the ritual d
evotion that was performed for them across Egypt.[12]
Origins
The first written evidence of deities in Egypt comes from the Early Dynastic Per
iod (c. 31002686 BC).[13] Deities must have emerged sometime in the preceding Pre
dynastic Period (before 3100 BC) and grown out of prehistoric religious beliefs.
Predynastic artwork depicts a variety of animal and human figures. Some of thes
e images, such as stars and cattle, are reminiscent of important features of Egy
ptian religion in later times, but in most cases there is not enough evidence to
say whether the images are connected with deities. As Egyptian society grew mor
e sophisticated, clearer signs of religious activity appeared.[14] The earliest
known temples appeared in the last centuries of the predynastic era,[15] along w
ith images that resemble the iconographies of known deities: the falcon

Ancient Egyptian deities that represents Horus and several other gods, the cross
ed arrows that stand for Neith,[16] and the enigmatic "Set animal" that represen
ts Set.[17] Many Egyptologists and anthropologists have suggested theories about
how the gods developed in these early times.[18] Gustave Jquier, for instance, t
hought the Egyptians first revered primitive fetishes, then deities in animal fo
rm, and finally deities in human form, whereas Henri Frankfort argued that the g
ods must have been envisioned in human form from the beginning.[16] Some of thes
e theories are now regarded as too simplistic,[19] and more current ones, such a
s Siegfried Morenz' hypothesis that deities emerged as humans began to distingui
sh themselves from and personify their environment, are difficult to prove.[16]
Predynastic Egypt originally consisted of small, independent villages.[20] Becau
se many deities in later times were strongly tied to particular towns and region
s, many scholars have suggested that the pantheon formed as disparate communitie
s coalesced into larger states, spreading and intermingling the worship of the o
ld local deities. But others have argued that the most important predynastic god
s were, like other elements of Egyptian culture, present all across the country
despite the political divisions within it.[21] The final step in the formation o
f Egyptian religion was the unification of Egypt, in which rulers from Upper Egy
pt made themselves pharaohs of the entire country.[14] These sacred kings and th
eir subordinates assumed the exclusive right to interact with the gods,[22] and
kingship became the unifying focus of the religion.[14] New gods continued to em
erge after this transformation. Some important deities like Isis and Amun are no
t known to have appeared until the Old Kingdom (c. 26862181 BC).[23] Places and c
oncepts could suddenly inspire the creation of a deity to represent them,[24] an
d deities were sometimes created to serve as opposite-sex counterparts to establ
ished gods or goddesses.[25] Kings were said to be divine, although only a few c
ontinued to be worshipped long after their deaths. Some non-royal humans were sa
id to have the favor of the gods and were venerated accordingly.[26] This venera
tion was usually short-lived, but the court architects Imhotep and Amenhotep son
of Hapu were regarded as gods centuries after their lifetimes,[27] as were some
other officials.[28]
Late Predynastic statue of the baboon god Hedj-Wer
3
Through contact with neighboring civilizations, the Egyptians also adopted forei
gn deities. Dedun, who is first mentioned in the Old Kingdom, may have come from
Nubia, and Baal and Astarte, among others, were adopted from Canaanite religion
during the New Kingdom (c. 15501070 BC).[29] In Greek and Roman times, from 332
BC to the early centuries AD, deities from across the Mediterranean world were r
evered in Egypt, but the native gods remained, and they often absorbed the cults
of these newcomers into their own worship.[30]
Characteristics
Modern knowledge of Egyptian beliefs about the gods is mostly drawn from religio
us writings produced by the nation's scribes and priests. These people were the
elite of Egyptian society and were very distinct from the general populace, most
of whom were illiterate. Little is known about how well this broader population
knew or understood the sophisticated ideas that the elite developed.[31] Common
ers' perceptions of the divine may have differed from those of the priests. The
populace may, for example, have mistaken the religion's symbolic statements abou
t the gods and their actions for literal truth.[32] But overall, what little is
known about popular religious belief is consistent with the elite tradition. The
two traditions form a largely cohesive vision of the gods and their nature.[33]

Ancient Egyptian deities


4
Roles
Most Egyptian deities represent natural or social phenomena. The gods were gener
ally said to be immanent in these phenomenato be present within nature.[34] The t
ypes of phenomena they represented include physical places and objects as well a
s abstract concepts and forces.[35] The god Shu was the deification of all the w
orld's air; the goddess Meretseger oversaw a limited region of the earth, the Th
eban Necropolis; and the god Sia personified the abstract notion of perception.[
36] Major gods often had many roles and were involved in several types of phenom
ena. For instance, Thoth was a god of the moon. Because the moon was essential t
o the reckoning of the calendar, he was also in charge of timekeeping, calculati
on, writing, and the scribes who performed these activities in Egyptian society.
[37] Gods could share the same role in nature; Ra, Atum, Khepri, Horus, and othe
r deities acted as sun gods.[38] Despite their diverse functions, most gods had
an overarching role in common: maintaining maat, the universal order that was a
central principle of Egyptian religion and was itself personified as a goddess.[
39] But some deities represented disruption to maat. Most prominently, Apep was
the force of chaos, constantly threatening to annihilate the order of the univer
se, and Set was an ambivalent member of divine society who could both fight diso
rder and foment it.[40]
Not all aspects of existence were seen as deities. Although many deities were co
nnected with the Nile, the river that was essential to Egyptian civilization, no
god personified it in the way that Ra personified the sun.[41] Short-lived phen
omena, like rainbows or eclipses, were not represented by gods;[42] neither were
elements like fire and water or many other components of the world.[43] The rol
es of each deity were fluid, and each god could expand its nature to take on new
characteristics. As a result, gods' roles are difficult to categorize or define
. But despite their flexibility, the gods always had limited abilities and spher
es of influence. Not even the creator god could reach beyond the boundaries of t
he cosmos that he created, and even Isis, though she was said to be the cleveres
t of the gods, was not omniscient.[44] Richard H. Wilkinson, however, argues tha
t some texts from the late New Kingdom suggest that, as beliefs about the god Am
un evolved, he was thought to approach omniscience and omnipresence and to trans
cend the limits of the world in a way that other deities did not.[45] The deitie
s with the most limited and specialized domains are often called "minor diviniti
es" or "demons" in modern writing, although there is no firm definition for thes
e terms.[46] Among these lesser deities, Egyptologist Claude Traunecker draws a
distinction between "genies"the specialized patron spirits of certain places, obj
ects, or activitiesand demons, who have a more dangerous character. Many demons a
re hostile, causing illness and other troubles among humans.[47] Their power can
also be protective; they may guard certain places in the Duat, the realm of the
dead, or advise and watch over humans. Demons often act as servants and messeng
ers to the greater gods, but their position in the hierarchy is not fixed. The p
rotective deities Bes and Taweret originally had minor, demon-like roles, but ov
er time they came to be credited with great influence.[46]
Isis, a mother goddess and a patroness of kingship, holds Pharaoh Seti I in her
lap.

Ancient Egyptian deities


5
Behavior
Divine behavior was believed to govern all of nature.[48] Except for the few dei
ties who disrupted the divine order,[40] the gods' actions maintained maat and c
reated and sustained all living things.[39] They did this work using a force the
Egyptians called heka, a term usually translated as "magic". Heka was a fundame
ntal power that the creator god used to form the world and the gods themselves.[
49] The gods' actions in the present are described and praised in hymns and fune
rary texts.[50] In contrast, mythology mainly concerns the gods' actions during
a vaguely imagined past in which the gods were present on earth and interacted d
irectly with humans. The events of this past time set the pattern for the events
of the present. Periodic occurrences were tied to events in the mythic past; th
e succession of each new pharaoh, for instance, reenacted Horus' accession to th
e throne of his father Osiris.[51] Myths are metaphors for the gods' actions, wh
ich humans cannot fully understand. They contain seemingly contradictory ideas,
each expressing a particular perspective on divine events. The contradictions in
myth are part of the Egyptians' many-faceted approach to religious beliefwhat He
nri Frankfort called a "multiplicity of approaches" to understanding the gods.[5
2] In myth, the gods behave much like humans. They feel emotion; they can eat, d
rink, fight, weep, sicken, and die.[53] Some have unique character traits.[54] S
et The sky goddess Nut swallows the sun, which travels through her body is aggre
ssive and impulsive, and Thoth, patron of knowledge, is prone to at night to be
reborn at dawn. long-winded speeches. Yet overall, the gods are more like archet
ypes than well drawn characters.[55] Their behavior is inconsistent, and their t
houghts and motivations are rarely stated.[56] Most myths about them lack highly
developed characters and plots, because the symbolic meaning of the myths was m
ore important than elaborate storytelling.[57] The first divine act is the creat
ion of the cosmos, described in several creation myths. They focus on different
gods, each of which may act as creator deities.[58] The eight gods of the Ogdoad
, who represent the chaos that precedes creation, give birth to the sun god, who
establishes order in the newly formed world; Ptah, who embodies thought and cre
ativity, gives form to all things by envisioning and naming them;[59] Atum produ
ces all things as emanations of himself;[3] and Amun, according to the myths pro
moted by his priesthood, preceded and created the other creator gods.[60] These
and other versions of the events of creation were not seen as contradictory. Eac
h gives a different perspective on the complex process by which the organized un
iverse and its many deities emerged from undifferentiated chaos.[61] The period
following creation, in which a series of gods rule as kings over the divine soci
ety, is the setting for most myths. The gods struggle against the forces of chao
s and among each other before withdrawing from the human world and installing th
e historical kings of Egypt to rule in their place.[62] A recurring theme in the
se myths is the effort of the gods to maintain maat against the forces of disord
er. They fight vicious battles with the forces of chaos at the start of creation
. Ra and Apep, battling each other each night, continue this struggle into the p
resent.[63] Another prominent theme is the gods' death. The clearest instance of
a god dying is the myth of Osiris' murder, in which that god is resurrected as
ruler of the Duat.[64][65]</ref> The sun god is also said to grow old during his
daily journey across the sky, sink into the Duat at night, and emerge as a youn
g child at dawn. In the process he comes into contact with the rejuvenating wate
r of primordial chaos. Funerary texts that depict Ra's journey through the Duat
also show the corpses of gods who are enlivened along with him. No deity was tru
ly immortal; instead the gods periodically died and were reborn by repeating the
events of creation, thus renewing the whole world.[] But it was always possible
for this cycle to be disrupted and for chaos to return. Some poorly understood
Egyptian texts even suggest that this calamity is destined to happenthat the crea
tor god will one day dissolve the order of the world, leaving only himself and O
siris amid the primordial chaos.[66]

Ancient Egyptian deities


6
Locations
Gods were linked with specific regions of the universe. In Egyptian tradition, t
he world includes the earth, the sky, and the Duat. Surrounding them is the dark
formlessness that existed before creation.[67] The gods in general were said to
dwell in the sky, although gods whose roles were linked with other parts of the
universe were said to live in those places instead. Most events of mythology, s
et in a time before the gods' withdrawal from the human realm, take place in an
earthly setting. The deities there sometimes interact with those in Deities pers
onifying provinces of Egypt the sky. The Duat, in contrast, is treated as a remo
te and inaccessible place, and the gods who dwell there have difficulty communic
ating with those in the world of the living.[68] The space outside the cosmos is
also said to be very distant. It too is inhabited by deities, some hostile and
some beneficial to the other gods and their orderly world.[69] In the time after
myth, the gods were said to be either in the sky or invisibly present within th
e world. Temples were their main means of contact with humanity. Each day, it wa
s believed, the gods moved from the divine realm to their temples, their homes i
n the human world. There they inhabited the cult images, the statues that depict
ed deities and allowed humans to interact with them in temple rituals. This move
ment between realms was sometimes described as a journey between the sky and the
earth. As temples were the focal points of Egyptian cities, the god in a city's
main temple was the patron god for the city and the surrounding region.[70] Dei
ties' spheres of influence on earth centered on the towns and regions they presi
ded over.[67] Many gods had more than one cult center, and their local ties chan
ged over time. They could establish themselves in new cities, or their range of
influence could contract. Therefore, a given deity's main cult center in histori
cal times is not necessarily his or her place of origin.[71]
Names and epithets
In Egyptian belief, names express the fundamental nature of the things to which
they refer. In keeping with this belief, the names of deities often relate to th
eir roles or origins. The name of the predatory goddess Sekhmet means "powerful
one", the name of the mysterious god Amun means "hidden one", and the name of th
e goddess Nekhbet, who was worshipped in the city of Nekheb, means "she of Nekhe
b". But many other names have no certain meaning, even when the gods who bear th
em are closely tied to a single role. The names of the sky goddess Nut and the e
arth god Geb do not resemble the Egyptian terms for sky and earth.[72] The Egypt
ians also devised false etymologies giving more meanings to divine names.[72] A
passage in the Coffin Texts renders the name of the funerary god Sokar as sk r,
meaning "cleaning of the mouth", to link his name with his role in the Opening o
f the Mouth ritual,[73] while one in the Pyramid Texts says the name is based on
words shouted by Osiris, connecting Sokar with the most important funerary deit
y.[74] The gods were believed to have many names. Among them were secret names t
hat conveyed their true natures more profoundly than others. To know the true na
me of a deity was to have power over it. The importance of names is demonstrated
by a myth in which Isis poisons the superior god Ra and refuses to cure him unl
ess he reveals his secret name to her. Upon learning the name, she tells it to h
er son, Horus, and by learning it they gain greater knowledge and power.[75] In
addition to their names, gods were given epithets, like "possessor of splendor",
"ruler of Abydos", or "lord of the sky", that describe some aspect of their rol
es or their worship. Because of the gods' multiple and overlapping roles, deitie
s can have many epithetswith more important gods accumulating more titlesand the s
ame epithet can apply to many deities. The host of divine names and titles expre
sses the gods' multifarious nature.[76]

Ancient Egyptian deities


7
Relationships
Egyptian deities are connected in a complex and shifting array of relationships.
A god's connections and interactions with other deities helped define its chara
cter. Thus Isis, as the mother and protector of Horus, was a great healer as wel
l as the patroness of kings. Such relationships were the base material from whic
h myths were formed.[77] Family relationships are a common type of connection be
tween gods. Deities often form male and female pairs, reflecting the importance
of procreation in Egyptian religious thought.[79] Families of three deities, wit
h a father, mother, and child, represent the creation of new life and the succes
sion of the father by the child, a pattern that connects divine families with ro
yal succession.[80] Osiris, Isis, and Horus formed the quintessential family of
this type. The pattern they set grew more widespread over time, so that many dei
ties in local cult centers, like Ptah, Sekhmet, and their child Nefertum at Memp
his and Amun, Mut, and Khonsu at Thebes, were assembled into family triads.[81]
Genealogical connections like these are changeable, in keeping with the multiple
perspectives in Egyptian belief.[82] Hathor, as a fertility goddess, could act
as mother to any child god, including the child form of the sun god, although in
other circumstances she was the sun god's daughter.[83]
The gods Ptah and Sekhmet flank the king, who [78] takes the role of their child
, Nefertum.
Other divine groups were composed of deities with interrelated roles, or who tog
ether represented a region of the Egyptian mythological cosmos. There were sets
of gods for the hours of the day and night and for each nome (province) of Egypt
. Some of these groups contain a specific, symbolically important number of deit
ies.[84] Paired gods can stand for opposite but interrelated concepts that are p
art of a greater unity. Ra, who is dynamic and light-producing, and Osiris, who
is static and shrouded in darkness, merge into a single god each night.[85] Grou
ps of three are linked with plurality in ancient Egyptian thought, and groups of
four connote completeness.[84] Rulers in the late New Kingdom promoted a partic
ularly important group of three gods above all others: Amun, Ra, and Ptah. These
deities stood for the plurality of all gods, as well as for their own cult cent
ers (the three major cities of Thebes, Heliopolis, and Memphis) and for many thr
eefold sets of concepts in Egyptian religious thought.[86] Sometimes Set, the pa
tron god of the Nineteenth Dynasty kings[87] and the embodiment of disorder with
in the world, was added to this group, which emphasized a single coherent vision
of the pantheon.[88] Nine, the product of three and three, represents a multitu
de, so the Egyptians called several large groups "enneads",[89] or sets of nine,
even if they had more than nine members. The most prominent ennead was the Enne
ad of Heliopolis, an extended family of deities descended from the creator god A
tum, which incorporates many important gods.[84] The term "ennead" was often ext
ended to include all of Egypt's deities.[90] This divine assemblage had a vague
and changeable hierarchy. Gods with broad influence in the cosmos or who were my
thologically older than others had higher positions in divine society. At the ap
ex of this society was the king of the gods, who was usually identified with the
creator deity.[90] In different periods of Egyptian history, different gods wer
e most frequently said to hold this exalted position. Horus was the most importa
nt god in the Early Dynastic Period, Ra rose to preeminence in the Old Kingdom,
Amun was supreme in the New, and in the Ptolemaic and Roman periods, Isis was th
e divine queen and creator goddess.[91]

Ancient Egyptian deities


8
Manifestations and combinations
The gods were believed to manifest themselves in many forms.[94] The Egyptians h
ad a complex conception of the human soul, made up of several parts. The spirits
of the gods were composed of many of these same elements.[95] The ba was the co
mponent of the human or divine soul that affected the world around it. Any visib
le manifestation of a god's power could be called its ba; thus, the sun was call
ed the ba of Ra.[96] A depiction of a deity was considered a ka, another compone
nt of its being, which acted as a vessel for that deity's ba to inhabit. The cul
t images of gods that were the focus of temple rituals, as well as the sacred an
imals that represented certain deities, were believed to house divine bas in thi
s way.[97] Gods could be ascribed many bas and kas, which were sometimes given n
ames representing different aspects of the god's nature.[98] Everything in exist
ence was said to be one of the kas of Atum the creator god, who originally conta
ined all things within himself,[99] and one deity could be called the ba of anot
her, meaning that the first god is a manifestation of the other's power.[100] Di
vine body parts could also act as separate deities, like the Eye of Ra and the H
and of Atum, both of which were personified as goddesses.[101]
Amun-Ra-Kamutef, a form of Amun with the solar characteristics of Ra Nationally
important deities gave rise to local manifestations of themselves, [102] and the
procreative powers which sometimes absorbed the characteristics of older region
al gods. Horus [92] connected with Min. The solar had many forms that were tied
to particular places, including Horus of Nekhen, disk on his headdress is taken
from Horus of Buhen, and Horus of Edfu.[103] Such local manifestations could be
Ra, and his erect phallus comes from [93] the iconography of Min. treated almost
as separate beings. During the New Kingdom, one man was accused of stealing clo
thes by an oracle that was supposed to communicate messages from Amun of Pe-Khen
ty. He consulted two other local oracles of Amun hoping to receive a different j
udgment.[104] Gods' manifestations also differed according to their roles. Horus
could be a powerful sky god or a vulnerable child, and these forms were sometim
es counted as independent deities.[105]
Gods combined with each other as easily as they divided themselves. A god could
be called the ba of another, or two or more deities could be joined into one god
with a combined name and iconography.[106] Local gods were linked with greater
ones, and deities with similar functions were combined. Ra was connected with th
e local deity Sobek to form Sobek-Ra; with his fellow patron of kings, Amun, to
form Amun-Ra; with the solar form of Horus to form Ra-Horakhty; and with several
solar deities as Horemakhet-Khepri-Ra-Atum.[107] On rare occasion, even deities
of different sexes were joined in this way, producing combinations like OsirisNeith and Mut-Min.[108] This linking of deities is called syncretism. Unlike oth
er situations for which this term is used, the Egyptian practice was not meant t
o fuse competing belief systems, although foreign deities could be syncretized w
ith native ones.[107] Instead, syncretism acknowledged the overlap between the r
oles of the gods involved, and it extended the sphere of influence for each of t
hem. Syncretic combinations were not permanent; a god who was involved in one co
mbination continued to appear separately and to form new combinations with other
deities.[108] But closely connected deities did sometimes merge. During the Old
Kingdom, Horus absorbed several local falcon gods, such as Khenty-irty and Khen
ty-khety.[109]

Ancient Egyptian deities


9
The Aten and possible monotheism
In the reign of Akhenaten (c. 13531336 BC) in the mid-New Kingdom, a single solar
deity, the Aten, became the sole focus of the state religion. Akhenaten ceased
to fund the temples of other deities and erased the gods' names and images on mo
numents, targeting Amun in particular. This new religious system, sometimes call
ed Atenism, differed dramatically from the polytheistic worship of many gods in
all other periods. Whereas, in earlier times, newly important gods were integrat
ed into existing religious beliefs, Atenism insisted on a single understanding o
f the divine that excluded the traditional multiplicity of perspectives.[110] Ye
t Atenism may not have been full monotheism, which totally excludes belief in ot
her deities. There is evidence suggesting that the general populace was still al
lowed to worship other gods in private. The picture is further complicated by At
enism's apparent tolerance for some other deities, like Shu. For these reasons,
the Egyptologist Dominic Montserrat suggested that Akhenaten was monolatrous, wo
rshipping a single deity, but not necessarily monotheistic. In any case, Atenism
's aberrant theology did not take root among the Egyptian populace, and Akhenate
n's successors returned to traditional beliefs.[111]
Unity of the divine in traditional religion
Scholars have long debated whether traditional Egyptian religion ever asserted t
hat the multiple gods were, on a deeper level, unified. Reasons for this debate
include the practice of syncretism, which might suggest that all the separate go
ds could ultimately merge into one, and the tendency of Egyptian texts to credit
a particular god with power that surpasses all other deities. Another point of
contention is the appearance of the word "god" in wisdom literature, where the t
erm does not refer to a specific deity or group of deities.[112] In the early 20
th century, for instance, E. A. Wallis Budge believed that Egyptian commoners we
re polytheistic, but knowledge of the true monotheistic nature of the religion w
as reserved for the elite, who wrote the wisdom literature. His contemporary Jam
es Henry Breasted thought Egyptian religion was instead pantheistic, with the po
wer of the sun god present in all other gods, while Hermann Junker argued that E
gyptian civilization had been originally monotheistic and became polytheistic in
the course of its history.[113] In 1971, the Egyptologist Erik Hornung publishe
d a study[115] rebutting these views. He points out that in any given period man
y deities, even minor ones, were described as superior to all others. He also ar
gues that the unspecified "god" in the wisdom texts is a generic term for whiche
ver deity the reader chooses to revere.[116] Although the combinations, manifest
ations, and iconographies of each god were constantly shifting, they were always
restricted to a finite number of forms, never becoming fully interchangeable in
a monotheistic or pantheistic way. Henotheism, Hornung says, describes Egyptian
religion better than other labels. An Egyptian could worship any deity at a par
ticular time and credit it with supreme power in that moment, without denying th
e other gods or merging them all with the god that he or she focused on. Hornung
concludes that the gods were fully unified only in myth, at the time before cre
ation, after which the multitude of gods emerged from a uniform nonexistence.[11
7] Hornung's arguments have greatly influenced other scholars of Egyptian religi
on, but some still believe that at times the gods were more unified than he allo
ws.[52] Jan Assmann maintains that the notion of a single deity developed slowly
through the New Kingdom, beginning with a focus on Amun-Ra as the all-important
sun god.[118] In his view, Atenism was an extreme outgrowth of this trend. It e
quated the single deity with the sun and dismissed all other gods. Then, in the
backlash against
The god Bes with the attributes of many other deities. Images like this one repr
esent the presence of a multitude of divine powers within a [114] single being.
Atenism, priestly theologians described the universal god in a different way, on

e that coexisted with traditional polytheism. The one god was believed to transc
end the world and all the other deities, while at the same time, the

Ancient Egyptian deities multiple gods were aspects of the one. According to Ass
mann, this one god was especially equated with Amun, the dominant god in the lat
e New Kingdom, whereas for the rest of Egyptian history the universal deity coul
d be identified with many other gods.[119] James P. Allen says that coexisting n
otions of one god and many gods would fit well with the "multiplicity of approac
hes" in Egyptian thought, as well as with the henotheistic practice of ordinary
worshippers. He says that the Egyptians may have recognized the unity of the div
ine by "identifying their uniform notion of 'god' with a particular god, dependi
ng on the particular situation."[3]
10
Descriptions and depictions
Egyptian writings describe the gods' bodies in detail. They are made of precious
materials; their flesh is gold, their bones are silver, and their hair is lapis
lazuli. They give off a scent that the Egyptians likened to the incense used in
rituals. Some texts give precise descriptions of particular deities, including
their height and eye color. Yet these characteristics are not fixed; in myths, g
ods change their appearances to suit their own purposes.[120] Egyptian texts oft
en refer to deities' true, underlying forms as "mysterious". The Egyptians' visu
al representations of their gods are therefore not literal. They symbolize speci
fic aspects of each deity's character, functioning much like the ideograms in hi
eroglyphic writing.[121] For this reason, the funerary god Anubis is commonly sh
own in Egyptian art as a dog or jackal, a creature whose scavenging habits threa
ten the preservation of buried mummies, in an effort to counter this threat and
employ it for protection. His black coloring alludes to the color of mummified f
lesh and to the fertile black soil that Egyptians saw as a symbol of resurrectio
n.[122] Most gods were depicted in several ways. Hathor can be shown as a cow, a
cobra, a lioness, or a woman with bovine horns or ears. By depicting a given go
d in different ways, the Egyptians expressed different aspects of its essential
nature.[121] The gods are depicted in a finite number of these symbolic forms, s
o that deities can often be distinguished from one another by their iconographie
s. These forms include men and women (anthropomorphism), animals (zoomorphism),
and, more rarely, inanimate objects. Combinations of forms, such as gods with hu
man bodies and animal heads, are common.[7] New forms and increasingly complex c
ombinations arose in the course of history.[114] Some gods can only be distingui
shed from others if they are labeled in writing, as with Isis and Hathor.[123] B
ecause of the close connection between these goddesses, they could both wear the
cow-horn headdress that was originally Hathor's alone.[124] Certain features of
divine images are more useful than others in determining a god's identity. The
head of a given divine image is particularly significant.[125] In a hybrid image
, the head represents the original form of the being depicted, so that, as the E
gyptologist Henry Fischer put it, "a lion-headed goddess is a lion-goddess in hu
man form, while a royal sphinx, conversely, is a man who has assumed the form of
a lion."[126] Divine headdresses, which range from the same types of crowns use
d by human kings to large hieroglyphs worn on gods' heads, are another important
indicator. In contrast, the objects held in gods' hands tend to be generic.[125
] Male deities hold was staffs, goddesses hold stalks of papyrus, and both sexes
carry ankh signs, representing the Egyptian word for "life", to symbolize their
life-giving power.[127] The forms in which the gods are shown, although diverse
, are limited in many ways. Many creatures that are widespread in Egypt were nev
er used in divine iconography, whereas a few, such as falcons, cobras, and cattl
e, can each represent many deities. Animals that were absent from Egypt in the e
arly stages of its history were not used as divine images. For instance, the hor
se, which was only introduced in the Second Intermediate Period (c. 16501550 BC),
never represented a god. Similarly, the clothes worn by anthropomorphic deities
in all periods changed little from the styles used in the Old Kingdom: a kilt,
false beard, and often a shirt for male gods and a long, tight-fitting
Statue of the crocodile god Sobek in fully animal form

dress for goddesses.[128][129]</ref>

Ancient Egyptian deities The basic anthropomorphic form varies. Child gods are d
epicted nude, as are some adult gods when their procreative powers are emphasize
d.[130] Certain male deities are given heavy bellies and breasts, signifying eit
her androgyny or prosperity and abundance.[131] Whereas most male gods have red
skin and most goddesses are yellowthe same colors used to depict Egyptian men and
womensome are given unusual, symbolic skin colors.[132] Thus the blue skin and p
aunchy figure of the god Hapi alluded to the Nile flood he represented and the n
ourishing fertility it brought.[133] A few deities, such as Osiris, Ptah, and Mi
n, have a "mummiform" appearance, with their limbs tightly swathed in cloth.[134
] Although these gods resemble mummies, the earliest examples predate the clothwrapped style of mummification, and this form may instead hark back to the earli
est, limbless depictions of deities.[135] Among the inanimate objects that repre
sent deities are the disk-like emblems for the sun and the moon.[136] Some objec
ts associated with a specific god, like the shield and crossed bows representing
Neith () or the emblem of Min () symbolized the cults of those deities in Predy
nastic times.[137] In many cases, the nature of the original object is mysteriou
s.[138]
11
Interactions with humans
Relationship with the pharaoh
In official writings, pharaohs are said to be divine, and they are constantly de
picted in the company of the deities of the pantheon. Each pharaoh and his prede
cessors were considered the successors of the gods who had ruled Egypt in mythic
prehistory.[139] Living kings were equated with Horus and called the "son" of m
any deities, particularly Osiris and Ra; deceased kings were equated with these
elder gods.[140] Pharaohs had their own mortuary temples where rituals were perf
ormed for them during their lives and after their deaths.[141] But few pharaohs
were worshipped as gods long after their lifetimes, and Ramesses III presents of
ferings to Amun non-official texts portray kings in a human light. For these rea
sons, scholars disagree about how genuinely most Egyptians believed the king to
be a god. He may only have been considered divine when he was performing ceremon
ies.[142] However much it was believed, the king's divine status was the rationa
le for his role as Egypt's representative to the gods, as he formed a link betwe
en the divine and human realms.[143] The Egyptians believed the gods needed temp
les to dwell in, as well as the periodic performance of rituals and presentation
of offerings to nourish them. These things were provided by the cults that the
king oversaw, with their priests and laborers.[144] Yet, according to royal ideo
logy, temple-building was exclusively the pharaoh's work, as were the rituals th
at priests usually performed in his stead.[145] These acts were a part of the ki
ng's fundamental role: maintaining maat.[146] The king and the nation he represe
nted provided the gods with maat so they could continue to perform their functio
ns, which maintained maat in the cosmos so humans could continue to live.[147]

Ancient Egyptian deities


12
Presence in the human world
Although the Egyptians believed their gods to be present in the world around the
m, contact between the human and divine realms was mostly limited to specific ci
rcumstances.[148] In literature, gods may appear to humans in a physical form, b
ut in real life the Egyptians were limited to more indirect means of communicati
on.[149] The ba of a god was said to periodically leave the divine realm to dwel
l in the images of that god.[150] By inhabiting these images, the gods left thei
r concealed state and took on a physical form.[70] To the Egyptians, a place or
object that was sr"sacred"was isolated and ritually pure, and thus fit for a god to
inhabit.[151] Temple statues and reliefs, as well as particular sacred animals,
like the Apis bull, served as divine intermediaries in this way.[152] Dreams an
d trances provided a very different venue for interaction. In these states, it w
as believed, people could come close to the gods and sometimes receive messages
from them.[153] Finally, according to Egyptian afterlife beliefs, human souls pa
ss into the divine realm after death. The Egyptians therefore believed that in d
eath they would exist on the same level as their gods and fully understand their
mysterious nature.[154] Temples, where the state rituals were carried out, were
filled with images of the gods. The most important temple image was the cult st
atue in the inner sanctuary. These statues, generally less than life-size, were
made of the same precious materials that were said to form the gods' bodies. Man
y temples had several sanctuaries, each with a cult statue representing one of t
he gods in a group such as a family triad.[150][155]</ref> The city's primary go
d was envisioned as its lord, employing many of the residents as servants in the
divine household that the temple represented. The gods residing in all the temp
les of Egypt collectively represented the entire Egyptian pantheon.[156] But man
y deitiesincluding some important gods as well as those that were minor or hostil
ewere never given temples of their own, although some were represented in the tem
ples of other gods.[157]
Ramesses II (second from right) with the gods Ptah, Amun, and Ra in the sanctuar
y of the Great Temple at Abu Simbel
To insulate the sacred power in the sanctuary from the impurities of the outside
world, the Egyptians enclosed temple sanctuaries and greatly restricted access
to them. People other than kings and high priests were thus denied contact with
cult statues. The only exception was during festival processions, when the statu
e was carried out of the temple but still enclosed in a portable shrine.[158] Pe
ople did have less direct means of interaction. The more public parts of temples
often incorporated small places for prayer, from doorways to freestanding chape
ls near the back of the temple building.[159] Communities also built and managed
small chapels for their own use, and some families had shrines inside their hom
es.[160] Despite the gulf that separated humanity from the divine, the Egyptians
were surrounded by opportunities to approach their gods.[161]
Intervention in human lives
Egyptian gods were involved in human lives as well as in the overarching order o
f nature. This divine influence applied mainly to Egypt, as foreign peoples were
traditionally believed to be outside the divine order. But in the New Kingdom,
when other nations were under Egyptian control, foreigners were said to be under
the sun god's benign rule in the same way that Egyptians were.[162] Thoth, as t
he overseer of time, was said to allot fixed lifespans to both humans and gods.[
163] Other gods were also said to govern the length of human lives, including Me
skhenet, who presided over birth, and Shai, the personification of fate.[164] Th
us the time and manner of death was the main meaning of the Egyptian concept of
fate, although to some extent, these deities governed other events in life as we
ll. Several texts refer to gods influencing or inspiring human decisions, workin

g through a person's "heart"the seat of emotion and intellect in Egyptian belief.


Deities were also believed to give commands, instructing the king in the govern
ance of his realm and regulating the management of their temples. Egyptian texts
rarely mention direct commands given to private persons, and these

Ancient Egyptian deities commands never evolved into a set of divinely enforced
moral codes.[165] Morality in ancient Egypt was based on the concept of maat, wh
ich, when applied to human society, meant that everyone should live in an orderl
y way that did not interfere with the well-being of other people. Because deitie
s were the upholders of maat, morality was connected with them. For example, the
gods judged humans' moral righteousness after death, and by the New Kingdom, a
verdict of innocence in this judgment was believed to be necessary for admittanc
e into the afterlife. But in general, morality was based on practical ways to up
hold maat in daily life, rather than on strict rules that the gods laid out.[166
] Humans had free will to ignore divine guidance and the behavior required by ma
at, but by doing so they could bring divine punishment upon themselves.[167] A d
eity carried out this punishment using its ba, the force that manifested the god
's power in the human world. Natural disasters and human ailments were seen as t
he work of angry divine bas.[168] Conversely, the gods could cure righteous peop
le of illness or even extend their lifespans.[169] Both these types of intervent
ion were eventually represented by deities: Shed, who emerged in the New Kingdom
to represent divine rescue from harm,[170] and Petbe, an apotropaic god from th
e late eras of Egyptian history who was believed to avenge wrongdoing.[171]
13
Amulet of the god Shed
Egyptian texts take different views on whether the gods are responsible when hum
ans suffer unjustly. Misfortune was often seen as a product of isfet, the cosmic
disorder that was the opposite of maat, and therefore the gods were not guilty
of causing evil events. Some deities who were closely connected with isfet, such
as Set, could be blamed for disorder within the world without placing guilt on
the other gods. But some writings do accuse the deities of causing human misery,
while others give theodicies in the gods' defense.[172] Beginning in the Middle
Kingdom, several texts connected the issue of evil in the world with a myth in
which the creator god fights a human rebellion against his rule and then withdra
ws from the earth. Because of this human misbehavior, the creator is distant fro
m his creation, allowing suffering to exist. New Kingdom writings do not questio
n the just nature of the gods as strongly as those of the Middle Kingdom. They e
mphasize humans' direct, personal relationships with deities and the gods' power
to intervene in human events. People in this era put faith in specific gods who
they hoped would help and protect them through their lives. As a result, uphold
ing the ideals of maat grew less important than gaining the gods' favor as a way
to guarantee a good life.[173] Even the pharaohs were regarded as dependent on
divine aid, and after the New Kingdom came to an end, government was increasingl
y influenced by oracles communicating the gods' will.[174]
Worship
Official religious practices, which maintained maat for the benefit of all Egypt
, were related to, but distinct from, the religious practices of ordinary people
,[175] who sought the gods' help for their personal problems.[176] Official reli
gion involved a variety of rituals, based in temples. Some rites were performed
every day, whereas others were festivals, taking place at longer intervals and o
ften limited to a particular temple or deity.[160] The gods received their offer
ings in daily ceremonies, in which their statues were clothed, anointed, and pre
sented with food as hymns were recited in their honor.[177] These offerings, in
addition to maintaining maat for the gods, celebrated deities' life-giving gener
osity and encouraged them to remain benevolent rather than vengeful.[178] Festiv
als often involved a ceremonial procession in which a cult image was carried out
of the temple in a barque-shaped shrine. These processions served various purpo
ses.[179] In Roman times, when local deities of all kinds were believed to have
power over the Nile inundation, processions in many communities carried temple i
mages to the riverbanks so the gods could invoke a large and fruitful flood.[180
] Processions also traveled between temples, as when the image of Hathor from De

ndera Temple visited her consort Horus at the Temple of Edfu.[179]

Ancient Egyptian deities Rituals for a god were often based in that deity's myth
ology. Such rituals were meant to be repetitions of the events of the mythic pas
t, renewing the beneficial effects of the original events.[181] In the Khoiak fe
stival in honor of Osiris, his death and resurrection were ritually reenacted at
a time when crops were beginning to sprout. The returning greenery symbolized t
he renewal of the god's own life.[182] Personal interaction with the gods took m
any forms. People who wanted information or advice consulted oracles, run by tem
ples, that were supposed to convey gods' answers to questions. Private rituals i
nvoked the gods' power to accomplish personal goals, from healing sickness to cu
rsing enemies.[184] These rituals used heka, the same force of magic that the go
ds used, which the creator was said to have given to humans so they could fend o
ff misfortune. The performer of a private rite often took on the role of a god i
n a myth, or even threatened a deity, to involve the gods in accomplishing the g
oal.[185] Such rituals coexisted with private offerings and prayers, and all thr
ee were accepted means of obtaining divine help.[186]
[183] Prayer and private offerings are generally called A woman worships Ra-Hora
khty, who blesses her with rays of light. "personal piety": acts that reflect a
close relationship between an individual and a god. Evidence of personal piety i
s scant before the New Kingdom. Votive offerings and personal names, many of whi
ch are theophoric, suggest that commoners felt some connection between themselve
s and their gods. But firm evidence of devotion to deities became visible only i
n the New Kingdom, reaching a peak late in that era.[187] Scholars disagree abou
t the meaning of this changewhether direct interaction with the gods was a new de
velopment or an outgrowth of older traditions.[188] Egyptians now expressed thei
r devotion through a new variety of activities in and around temples.[189] They
recorded their prayers and their thanks for divine help on stelae. They gave off
erings of figurines that represented the gods they were praying to, or that symb
olized the result they desired; thus a relief image of Hathor and a statuette of
a woman could both represent a prayer for fertility. Occasionally, a person too
k a particular god as a patron, dedicating his or her property or labor to the g
od's cult. These practices continued into the latest periods of Egyptian history
.[190] Some of the major deities from myth and official religion were rarely inv
oked in popular worship, but many of the great state gods were important in popu
lar tradition.[33]
14
The worship of some Egyptian gods spread to neighboring lands, especially to Can
aan and Nubia during the New Kingdom, when those regions were under pharaonic co
ntrol. In Canaan, the exported deities, including Hathor, Amun, and Set, were of
ten syncretized with native gods, who in turn spread to Egypt.[191] The Egyptian
deities may not have had permanent temples in Canaan,[192] and their importance
there waned after Egypt lost control of the region.[191] In contrast, many temp
les to the major Egyptian gods and deified pharaohs were built in Nubia. After t
he end of Egyptian rule there, the imported gods, particularly Amun, remained pa
rt of the religion of Nubia's independent Kushite Kingdom.[191] Some deities rea
ched farther. Taweret became a goddess in Minoan Crete,[193] and Amun's oracle a
t Siwa Oasis was known to and consulted by people across the Mediterranean regio
n.[194]

Ancient Egyptian deities


15
Under the Greek Ptolemaic Dynasty and then Roman rule, Greeks and Romans introdu
ced their own deities to Egypt. These newcomers equated the Egyptian gods with t
heir own, as part of the Greco-Roman tradition of interpretatio graeca. But the
worship of the native gods was not swallowed up by that of foreign ones. Instead
, Greek and Roman gods were adopted as manifestations of Egyptian ones, and thei
r cults sometimes incorporated Greek language and philosophy.[195] Meanwhile, th
e worship of some Egyptian deitiesparticularly Isis, the form of Horus named Harp
ocrates, and the fused Greco-Egyptian god Serapisspread beyond Egypt and across t
he Roman world.[124] In the mixture of traditions in late Roman religion, Thoth
was transmuted into the legendary esoteric teacher Hermes Trismegistus,[196] Isi
s was venerated from Britain to Mesopotamia,[197] and Roman emperors, like Ptole
maic kings before them, invoked her and her husband Serapis to endorse their aut
hority.[198]
Jupiter Ammon, a combination of Amun with the Roman god Jupiter
Temples and cults in Egypt itself began to decline as the Roman economy deterior
ated in the third century AD, and beginning in the fourth century, Christians su
ppressed all veneration of Egyptian deities.[199] The last formal cults, at Phil
ae, died out in the fifth or sixth century.[200][201] Most beliefs surrounding t
he gods themselves disappeared within a few hundred years, remaining in magical
texts into the seventh and eighth centuries. But many of the practices involved
in their worship, such as processions and oracles, were adapted to fit Christian
ideology and persisted as part of the Coptic Church.[199] Given the great chang
es and diverse influences in Egyptian culture since that time, scholars disagree
about whether any modern Coptic practices are descended from those of pharaonic
religion. But many festivals and other traditions in Egypt, both Christian and
Muslim, resemble the worship of Egypt's ancient gods.[202]
Notes and citations
Notes
[1] Allen 2000, p. 461 [2] Wilkinson 2003, p. 72 [3] Allen 1997, pp. 4454, 59 [4]
Leitz, Christian, "Deities and Demons: Egypt" in Johnston 2004, pp. 393394 [5] H
ornung 1982, p. 42 [6] Dunand and Zivie-Coche 2005, pp. 811 [7] Wilkinson 2003, p
p. 2628 [8] Baines 2001, p. 216 [9] Hornung 1982, p. 62 [10] Baines 2001, pp. 7679
[11] Assmann 2001, pp. 78, 83 [12] Dunand and Zivie-Coche 2005, pp. 1112 [13] Wil
kinson 1999, pp. 261262 [14] Wilkinson 2003, p. 1215 [15] Gundlach, Rolf, "Temples
", in Redford 2001, vol. III, p. 363 [16] Traunecker 2001, pp. 2526 [17] Hart 200
5, p. 143 [18] Silverman, David P., "Divinity and Deities in Ancient Egypt", in
Shafer 1991, pp. 1013 [19] David 2002, p. 57 [20] David 2002, p. 50 [21] Wilkinso
n 1999, pp. 264265 [22] Traunecker 2001, p. 29 [23] Wilkinson 2003, pp. 92, 146 [
24] Hornung 1982, p. 74 [25] Wilkinson 2003, p. 74 [26] Wildung 1977, pp. 13, 31

Ancient Egyptian deities


[27] Wildung 1977, pp. 31, 83 [28] Baines, John, "Society, Morality, and Religio
us Practice", in Shafer 1991, pp. 158159 [29] Silverman, David P., "Divinity and
Deities in Ancient Egypt", in Shafer 1991, p. 58 [30] Frankfurter, David, "Histo
ries: Egypt, Later Period" in Johnston 2004, p. 160 [31] Englund, Gertie, "Gods
as a Frame of Reference: On Thinking and Concepts of Thought in Ancient Egypt",
in Englund 1989, pp. 910 [32] Tobin 1989, p. 18 [33] Englund, Gertie, "Gods as a
Frame of Reference: On Thinking and Concepts of Thought in Ancient Egypt", in En
glund 1989, pp. 1920, 2627 [34] Allen 2000, pp. 4345 [35] Dunand and Zivie-Coche 20
05, p. 26 [36] Hart 2005, pp. 91, 147 [37] Assmann 2001, pp. 8081 [38] David 2002
, pp. 58, 227 [39] Tobin 1989, pp. 197200 [40] Traunecker 2001, pp. 8586 [41] Horn
ung 1982, pp. 7779 [42] Assmann 2001, p. 63 [43] David 2002, pp. 5758 [44] Hornung
1982, pp. 9899, 166169 [45] Wilkinson 2003, p. 39 [46] Meeks, Dimitri, "Demons",
in Redford 2001, vol. I, pp. 375378 [47] Traunecker 2001, pp. 6669 [48] Assmann 20
01, p. 68 [49] Hornung 1982, pp. 207209 [50] Assmann 2001, pp. 5764 [51] Pinch 200
4, pp. 57, 68, 84, 86 [52] Traunecker 2001, pp. 1012 [53] Meeks and Favard-Meeks
1996, pp. 63, 7072, 80 [54] Wilkinson 2003, p. 31 [55] Meeks and Favard-Meeks 199
6, pp. 101102, 107 [56] Assmann 2001, p. 112 [57] Tobin 1989, pp. 3840 [58] David
2002, pp. 8183 [59] Lesko, Leonard H., "Ancient Egyptian Cosmogonies and Cosmolog
y", in Shafer 1991, pp. 9196 [60] Lesko, Leonard H., "Ancient Egyptian Cosmogonie
s and Cosmology", in Shafer 1991, pp. 104106 [61] Tobin 1989, pp. 5859 [62] Pinch
2004, pp. 76, 85 [63] Meeks and Favard-Meeks 1996, pp. 1617, 1922 [64] Meeks and F
avard-Meeks 1996, pp. 2122, 7880 [65] Egyptian texts do not expressly state that O
siris dies, and the same is true of other gods. The Egyptians avoided direct sta
tements about inauspicious events such as the death of a beneficial deity. Never
theless, the myth makes it clear that Osiris is murdered, and other pieces of ev
idence like the appearance of divine corpses in the Duat indicate that other god
s die as well. By the Late Period (c. 664323 BC), several sites across Egypt were
said to be the burial places of particular deities.<ref name="Hornung 152">Horn
ung 1982, pp. 152162 [66] Dunand and Zivie-Coche 2005, pp. 6670 [67] Hornung 1982,
pp. 166169 [68] Meeks and Favard-Meeks 1996, pp. 8182, 8790 [69] Hornung 1982, pp.
178182 [70] Assmann 2001, pp. 1719, 4347 [71] Silverman, David P., "Divinity and D
eities in Ancient Egypt", in Shafer 1991, pp. 3841 [72] Hornung 1982, pp. 6668, 72
[73] Graindorge, Catherine, "Sokar", in Redford 2001, vol. III, pp. 305307 [74]
Wilkinson 2003, p. 210 [75] Meeks and Favard-Meeks 1996, pp. 97100 [76] Hornung 1
982, pp. 86, 9091 [77] Assmann 2001, pp. 101, 112, 134 [78] Wilkinson 2003, p. 75
[79] Tobin 1989, p. 5152 [80] Traunecker 2001, pp. 5859 [81] Dunand and Zivie-Coc
he 2005, pp. 2931
16

Ancient Egyptian deities


[82] Hornung 1982, p. 146 [83] Pinch 2004, pp. 137138 [84] Wilkinson 2003, pp. 747
9, 8385 [85] Englund, Gertie, "The Treatment of Opposites in Temple Thinking and
Wisdom Literature", in Englund 1989, pp. 7779, 81 [86] Assmann 2001, pp. 238239 [8
7] David 2002, p. 247 [88] Baines, John, "Society, Morality, and Religious Pract
ice", in Shafer 1991, p. 188 [89] The Egyptian word for "group of nine" was pst.
The Greek-derived term ennead, which has the same meaning, is commonly used to t
ranslate it. UNIQ-ref-0-1b0e9ec0a0287589-QINU [90] Meeks and Favard-Meeks 1996,
pp. 3436 [91] Wilkinson 2003, p. 67 [92] Traunecker, Claude, "Kamutef", in Redfor
d 2001, vol. II, pp. 221222 [93] Hornung 1982, p. 126 [94] Meeks and Favard-Meeks
1996, pp. 5354 [95] Traunecker 2001, pp. 2023, 3334 [96] Allen, James P., "Ba", in
Redford 2001, vol. I, pp. 161162 [97] Luft, Ulrich H., "Religion", in Redford 20
01, vol. III, p. 140 [98] Traunecker 2001, p. 33 [99] Wilkinson 2003, p. 99 [100
] Hornung 1982, p. 93 [101] Pinch 2004, pp. 111, 128 [102] Hornung 1982, pp. 7374
[103] Hart 2005, p. 75 [104] Frankfurter 1998, pp. 102, 145, 152 [105] Pinch 20
04, p. 143 [106] Dunand and Zivie-Coche 2005, p. 27 [107] Wilkinson 2003, pp. 333
5 [108] Hornung 1982, pp. 92, 9697 [109] Wilkinson 2003, pp. 203 [110] Teeter 201
1, pp. 182186 [111] Montserrat 2000, pp. 23, 28, 3641 [112] Wilkinson 2003, pp. 353
8 [113] Hornung 1982, pp. 2427 [114] Dunand and Zivie-Coche 2005, pp. 1720 [115] D
er Eine und die Vielen, revised several times since 1971. Its English translatio
n, Conceptions of God in Egypt: The One and the Many, is listed in the "Works ci
ted" section of this article. [116] Hornung 1982, pp. 5659, 234235 [117] Hornung 1
982, pp. 235237, 252256 [118] Tobin 1989, pp. 156158 [119] Assmann 2001, pp. 198201,
237243 [120] Meeks and Favard-Meeks 1996, pp. 5559 [121] Hornung 1982, pp. 110117
[122] Hart 2005, p. 25 [123] Bohme, Marie-Ange, "Divinity", in Redford 2001, vol.
I, pp. 401405 [124] Griffiths, J. Gwyn, "Isis", in Redford 2001, vol. II, pp. 18
8190 [125] Hornung 1982, pp. 118122 [126] Quoted in Wilkinson 2003, p. 27 [127] Tr
aunecker 2001, pp. 5051 [128] Traunecker 2001, pp. 46, 54 [129] Divine clothing w
as sometimes affected by changes in human dress. In the New Kingdom, goddesses w
ere depicted with the same vulture-shaped headdress used by queens in that perio
d, UNIQ-ref-1-1b0e9ec0a0287589-QINU and in Roman times, many apotropaic gods wer
e shown in legionary armor.<ref>Frankfurter 1998, p. 3 [130] Meeks and Favard-Me
eks 1996, p. 60 [131] Traunecker 2001, p. 45 [132] Robins, Gay, "Color Symbolism
", in Redford 2001, pp. 291293 [133] Pinch 2004, p. 136 [134] Traunecker 2001, pp
. 4850 [135] Hornung 1982, p. 107 [136] Wilkinson 2003, pp. 236241
17

Ancient Egyptian deities


[137] Wilkinson 1999, pp. 290291 [138] Silverman, David P., "Divinity and Deities
in Ancient Egypt", in Shafer 1991, p. 22 [139] Pinch 2004, pp. 8587, 156157 [140]
Wilkinson 2003, pp. 6063, 75 [141] Teeter 2011, p. 51 [142] Wildung 1977, pp. 13
[143] Morenz 1973, pp. 4041 [144] Teeter 2011, pp. 2830, 4153 [145] Meeks and Favar
d-Meeks 1996, pp. 123125 [146] Assmann 2001, pp. 45 [147] Frandsen, Paul John, "Tr
ade and Cult", in Englund 1989, pp. 96, 100105 [148] Wilkinson 2003, p. 42 [149]
Dunand and Zivie-Coche 2005, pp. 2123 [150] Teeter 2011, pp. 3945 [151] Traunecker
2001, p. 30 [152] Meeks and Favard-Meeks 1994, pp. 125126, 129 [153] Teeter 2011
, p. 101 [154] Tobin 1989, p. 54 [155] No surviving statues of deities are known
for certain to have been cult images, although a few have the right characteris
tics to have served that purpose.<ref>Kozloff, Arielle P., "Sculpture: Divine Sc
ulpture", in Redford 2001, pp. 242243 [156] Assmann 2001, pp. 2730, 5152 [157] Wilk
inson 2003, pp. 42, 162, 223224 [158] Dunand and Zivie-Coche 2005, pp. 111, 116118
[159] Teeter 2011, pp. 7783 [160] Thompson, Stephen E., "Cults: An Overview", in
Redford 2001, vol. I, pp. 326332 [161] Teeter 2011, pp. 7677 [162] Morenz 1973, p
p. 4952, 57 [163] Hornung 1982, p. 155 [164] Hart 2005, pp. 92, 146 [165] Morenz
1973, pp. 6067, 72 [166] Tobin 1989, pp. 180183, 190 [167] Baines, John, "Society,
Morality, and Religious Practice", in Shafer 1991, pp. 163164 [168] Traunecker 2
001, p. 33, 98 [169] Dunand and Zivie-Coche 2005, pp. 138139 [170] Ockinga, Boyo,
"Piety", in Redford 2001, pp. 4446 [171] Frankfurter 1998, pp. 116119 [172] Baine
s, John, "Society, Morality, and Religious Practice", in Shafer 1991, pp. 163164,
186187 [173] Enmarch, Roland, " Theodicy (http:/ / www. escholarship. org/ uc/ i
tem/ 7tz9v6jt)", 2008, in Dieleman and Wendrich, pp. 13 [174] Assmann 2001, p. 24
2 [175] Baines, John, "Society, Morality, and Religious Practice", in Shafer 199
1, pp. 126127 [176] Teeter 2011, p. 76 [177] Dunand and Zivie-Coche 2005, pp. 9091
[178] Hornung 1982, pp. 203206, 214 [179] Dunand and Zivie-Coche 2005, p. 9596 [1
80] Frankfurter 1998, p. 42 [181] Tobin 1989, pp. 2830 [182] Teeter 2011, pp. 5863
[183] Wilkinson 2003, p. 33 [184] Baines, John, "Society, Morality, and Religio
us Practice", in Shafer 1991, pp. 165172 [185] Ritner, Robert K., "Magic: An Over
view", in Redford 2001, vol. II, pp. 321326 [186] David 2002, pp. 270272, 283286 [1
87] Baines, John, "Society, Morality, and Religious Practice", in Shafer 1991, p
p. 173179 [188] Luiselli, Michela, " Personal Piety (modern theories related to)
(http:/ / escholarship. org/ uc/ item/ 49q0397q)", 2008, in Dieleman and Wendric
h, pp. 14 [189] Baines, John, "Society, Morality, and Religious Practice", in Sha
fer 1991, pp. 180184 [190] Teeter 2011, pp. 7890, 102103 [191] Morenz 1973, pp. 2352
43 [192] Traunecker 2001, pp. 108110 [193] Wilkinson 2003, p. 186
18

Ancient Egyptian deities


[194] Mills, Anthony J., "Western Desert", in Redford 2001, vol. III, p. 500 [19
5] Johnston 2003, pp. 160161, 392393 [196] Struck, Peter T., "Esotericism and Myst
icism: Hermeticism", in Johnston 2003, pp. 650652 [197] Wilkinson 2003, p. 143 [1
98] Dunand and Zivie-Coche 2005, pp. 218221 [199] Frankfurter, David, "Histories:
Egypt, Later period", in Johnston 2003, pp. 161163 [200] Kockelmann, Holger, " P
hilae (http:/ / escholarship. org/ uc/ item/ 1456t8bn)", 2012, in Dieleman and W
endrich, pp. 68 [201] It was long thought that Philae was closed by the armies of
Justinian I between AD 535 and 537. Recent scholarship has challenged that view
and argued that the temple cult ceased to function in the late fifth century, s
ometime after the last dated signs of activity in 456 or 457. UNIQ-ref-2-1b0e9ec
0a0287589-QINU [202] Naguib, Saphinaz-Amal, " Survivals of Pharaonic Religious P
ractices in Contemporary Coptic Christianity (http:/ / escholarship. org/ uc/ it
em/ 27v9z5m8)", 2008, in Dieleman and Wendrich, pp. 25
19
Citations
Works cited
Allen, James P. (Jul/Aug 1999). "Monotheism: The Egyptian Roots". Archaeology Od
yssey 2 (3). Allen, James P. (2000). Middle Egyptian: An Introduction to the Lan
guage and Culture of Hieroglyphs. Cambridge University Press. ISBN0-521-77483-7.
Assmann, Jan (2001) [1984]. The Search for God in Ancient Egypt. Translated by D
avid Lorton. Cornell University Press. ISBN0-8014-3786-5. Baines, John (2001) [19
85]. Fecundity Figures: Egyptian personification and the iconology of a genre. G
riffith Institute. ISBN0-900416-78-5. David, Rosalie (2002). Religion and Magic i
n Ancient Egypt. Penguin. ISBN0-14-026252-0. Dieleman, Jacco; Wendrich, Willeke (
eds.). "UCLA Encyclopedia of Egyptology" (http://www.escholarship. org/uc/nelc_u
ee). Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, UC Los Angeles. Retrieve
d April 4, 2013. Dunand, Franoise; Christiane Zivie-Coche (2005) [2002]. Gods and
Men in Egypt: 3000 BCE to 395 CE. Translated by David Lorton. Cornell Universit
y Press. ISBN0-8014-8853-2. Englund, Gertie, ed. (1989). The Religion of the Anci
ent Egyptians: Cognitive Structures and Popular Expressions. S. Academiae Ubsali
ensis. ISBN91-554-2433-3. Frankfurter, David (1998). Religion in Roman Egypt: Ass
imilation and Resistance. Princeton University Press. ISBN0-691-07054-7. Hart, Ge
orge (2005). The Routledge Dictionary of Egyptian Gods and Goddesses, Second Edi
tion. Routledge. ISBN0-203-02362-5. Hornung, Erik (1982) [1971]. Conceptions of G
od in Egypt: The One and the Many. Translated by John Baines. Cornell University
Press. ISBN0-8014-1223-4. Johnston, Sarah Iles, ed. (2004). Religions of the Anc
ient World: A Guide. The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. ISBN0-674-015
17-7. Montserrat, Dominic (2000). Akhenaten: History, Fantasy, and Ancient Egypt
. Routledge. ISBN0-415-18549-1. Meeks, Dimitri; Christine Favard-Meeks (1996) [19
93]. Daily Life of the Egyptian Gods. Translated by G. M. Goshgarian. Cornell Un
iversity Press. ISBN0-8014-8248-8. Morenz, Siegfried (1973) [1960]. Ancient Egypt
ian Religion. Translated by Ann E. Keep. Methuen. ISBN0-8014-8029-9. Pinch, Geral
dine (2004). Egyptian Mythology: A Guide to the Gods, Goddesses, and Traditions
of Ancient Egypt. Oxford University Press. ISBN0-19-517024-5.

Ancient Egyptian deities Redford, Donald B., ed. (2001). The Oxford Encyclopedia
of Ancient Egypt. Oxford University Press. ISBN0-19-510234-7. Shafer, Byron E.,
ed. (1991). Religion in Ancient Egypt: Gods, Myths, and Personal Practice. Corne
ll University Press. ISBN0-8014-9786-8. Teeter, Emily (2011). Religion and Ritual
in Ancient Egypt. Cambridge University Press. ISBN978-0-521-61300-2. Tobin, Vinc
ent Arieh (1989). Theological Principles of Egyptian Religion. P. Lang. ISBN0-820
4-1082-9. Traunecker, Claude (2001) [1992]. The Gods of Egypt. Translated by Dav
id Lorton. Cornell University Press. ISBN0-8014-3834-9. Wildung, Dietrich (1977).
Egyptian Saints: Deification in Pharaonic Egypt. New York University Press. ISB
N0-8147-9169-7. Wilkinson, Richard H. (2003). The Complete Gods and Goddesses of
Ancient Egypt. Thames & Hudson. ISBN0-500-05120-8. Wilkinson, Toby (1999). Early
Dynastic Egypt. Routledge. ISBN0-415-18633-1.
20
Further reading
Leitz, Christian, ed. (2002). Lexikon der gyptischen Gtter und Gtterbezeichnungen (
in German). Peeters. Vol. I: ISBN 90-429-1146-8; Vol. II: ISBN 90-429-1147-6; Vo
l. III: ISBN 90-429-1148-4; Vol. IV: ISBN 90-429-1149-2; Vol. V: ISBN 90-429-115
0-6; Vol. VI: ISBN 90-429-1151-4; Vol. VII: ISBN 90-429-1152-2; Vol. VIII: ISBN
90-429-1376-2.
External links
Gods and goddesses in ancient Egyptian belief (http://www.digitalegypt.ucl.ac.uk
/religion/deitiesindex. html) at Digital Egypt for Universities

Egyptian mythology
21
Egyptian mythology
Egyptian mythology is the collection of myths from ancient Egypt, which describe
the actions of the Egyptian gods as a means of understanding the world. The bel
iefs that these myths express are an important part of ancient Egyptian religion
. Myths appear frequently in Egyptian writings and art, particularly in short st
ories and in religious material such as hymns, ritual texts, funerary texts, and
temple decoration. These sources rarely contain a complete account of a myth an
d often describe only brief fragments. Inspired by the cycles of nature, the Egy
ptians saw time in the present as a series of recurring patterns, whereas the ea
rliest periods of time were linear. Myths are set in these earliest times, and m
yth sets the pattern for the cycles of the present. Present events repeat the ev
ents of myth, and in doing so renew maat, the fundamental order of the universe.
Amongst the most important episodes from the mythic past are the creation myths
, in which the gods form the universe out of primordial chaos; the stories of th
e reign of the Nun, the embodiment of the primordial waters, lifts the barque of
the sun sun god Ra upon the earth; and the Osiris myth, god Ra into the sky at
the moment of creation. concerning the struggles of the gods Osiris, Isis, and H
orus against the disruptive god Set. Events from the present that might be regar
ded as myths include Ra's daily journey through the world and its otherworldly c
ounterpart, the Duat. Recurring themes in these mythic episodes include the conf
lict between the upholders of maat and the forces of disorder, the importance of
the pharaoh in maintaining maat, and the continual death and regeneration of th
e gods. The details of these sacred events differ greatly from one text to anoth
er and often seem contradictory. Egyptian myths are primarily metaphorical, tran
slating the essence and behavior of deities into terms that humans can understan
d. Each variant of a myth represents a different symbolic perspective, enriching
the Egyptians' understanding of the gods and the world. Mythology profoundly in
fluenced Egyptian culture. It inspired or influenced many religious rituals and
provided the ideological basis for kingship. Scenes and symbols from myth appear
ed in art in tombs, temples, and amulets. In literature, myths or elements of th
em were used in stories that range from humor to allegory, demonstrating that th
e Egyptians adapted mythology to serve a wide variety of purposes.

Egyptian mythology
22
Origins
The development of Egyptian myth is difficult to trace. Egyptologists must make
educated guesses about its earliest phases, based on written sources that appear
ed much later.[1] One obvious influence on myth is the Egyptians' natural surrou
ndings. Each day the sun rose and set, bringing light to the land and regulating
human activity; each year the Nile flooded, renewing the fertility of the soil
and allowing the highly productive farming that sustained Egyptian civilization.
Thus the Egyptians saw water and the sun as symbols of life and thought of time
as a series of natural cycles. This orderly pattern was at constant risk of dis
ruption: unusually low floods resulted in famine, and high floods destroyed crop
s and buildings.[2] The hospitable Nile valley was surrounded by harsh desert, p
opulated by peoples the Egyptians regarded as uncivilized enemies of order.[3] F
or these reasons, the Egyptians saw their land as an isolated place of stability
, or maat, surrounded and endangered by chaos. These themesorder, chaos, and rene
walappear repeatedly in Egyptian religious thought.[4] Another possible source fo
r mythology is ritual. Many rituals make reference to myths and are sometimes ba
sed directly on them.[5] But it is difficult to determine whether a culture's my
ths developed before rituals or vice versa.[6] Questions about this relationship
between myth and ritual have spawned much discussion among Egyptologists and sc
holars of comparative religion in general. In ancient Egypt, the earliest eviden
ce of religious practices predates written myths.[5] Rituals early in Egyptian h
istory included only a few motifs from myth. For these reasons, some scholars ha
ve argued that, in Egypt, rituals emerged before myths.[6] But because the early
evidence is so sparse, the question may never be resolved for certain.[5] In pr
ivate rituals, which are often called "magical", the myth and the ritual are par
ticularly closely tied. Many of the myth-like stories that appear in the rituals
' texts are not found in other sources. Even the widespread motif of the goddess
Isis rescuing her poisoned son Horus appears only in this type of text. The Egy
ptologist David Frankfurter argues that these rituals adapt basic mythic traditi
ons to fit the specific ritual, creating elaborate new stories based on myth.[7]
In contrast, J. F. Borghouts says of magical texts that there is "not a shred o
f evidence that a specific kind of 'unorthodox' mythology was coined for this gen
re."[8] Much of Egyptian mythology consists of origin myths, explaining the begi
nnings of various elements of the world, including human institutions and natura
l phenomena. Kingship arises among the gods at the beginning of time and later p
assed to the human pharaohs; warfare originates when humans begin fighting each
other after the sun god's withdrawal into the sky.[9] Myths also describe the su
pposed beginnings of less fundamental traditions. In a minor mythic episode, Hor
us becomes angry with his mother Isis and cuts off her head. Isis replaces her l
ost head with that of a cow. This event explains why Isis was sometimes depicted
with the horns of a cow as part of her headdress.[10] Some myths may have been
inspired by historical events. The unification of Egypt under the pharaohs, at t
he end of the Predynastic Period around 3100 BC, made the king the focus of Egyp
tian religion, and thus the ideology of kingship became an important part of myt
hology.[11] In the wake of unification, gods that were once local patron deities
gained national importance, forming new relationships that linked the local dei
ties into a unified national tradition. Geraldine Pinch suggests that early myth
s may have formed from these relationships.[12] Egyptian sources link the mythic
al strife between the gods Horus and Set with a conflict between the regions of
Upper and Lower Egypt, which may have happened in the late Predynastic era or in
the Early Dynastic Period.[13][14] After these early times, most changes to myt
hology developed and adapted preexisting concepts rather than creating new ones,
although there were exceptions.[15] Many scholars have suggested that the myth
of the sun god withdrawing into the sky, leaving humans to fight among themselve
s, was inspired by the breakdown of royal authority and national unity at the en
d of the Old Kingdom (c. 2686 BC 2181 BC).[16] In the New Kingdom (c. 15501070 BC

), minor myths developed around deities like Yam and Anat who had been adopted f
rom Canaanite religion. In contrast, during the Greek and Roman eras (332 BC641 A
D), Greco-Roman culture had little influence on Egyptian mythology.[17]

Egyptian mythology
23
Definition and scope
Scholars have difficulty defining which ancient Egyptian beliefs are myth. The b
asic definition of myth suggested by the Egyptologist John Baines is "a sacred o
r culturally central narrative". In Egypt, the narratives that are central to cu
lture and religion are almost entirely about events among the gods.[18] Actual n
arratives about the gods' actions are rare in Egyptian texts, particularly from
early periods, and most references to such events are mere mentions or allusions
. Some Egyptologists, like Baines, argue that narratives complete enough to be c
alled "myths" existed in all periods, but that Egyptian tradition did not favor
writing them down. Others, like Jan Assmann, have said that true myths were rare
in Egypt and may only have emerged partway through its history, developing out
of the fragments of narration that appear in the earliest writings.[19] Recently
, however, Vincent Arieh Tobin[20] and Susanne Bickel have suggested that length
y narration was not needed in Egyptian mythology because of its complex and flex
ible nature.[21] Tobin argues that narrative is even alien to myth, because narr
atives tend to form a simple and fixed perspective on the events they describe.
If narration is not needed for myth, any statement that conveys an idea about th
e nature or actions of a god can be called "mythic".[20]
Content and meaning
Like myths in many other cultures, Egyptian myths serve to justify human traditi
ons and to address fundamental questions about the world,[22] such as the nature
of disorder and the ultimate fate of the universe.[15] The Egyptians explained
these profound issues through statements about the gods.[21] Egyptian deities re
present natural phenomena, from physical objects like the earth or the sun to ab
stract forces like knowledge and creativity. The actions and interactions of the
gods, the Egyptians believed, govern the behavior of all of these forces and el
ements.[23] For the most part, the Egyptians did not describe these mysterious p
rocesses in explicit theological writings. Instead, the relationships and intera
ctions of the gods illustrated such processes implicitly.[24] Most of Egypt's go
ds, including many of the major ones, do not have significant roles in mythic na
rratives,[25] although their nature and relationships with other deities are oft
en established in lists or bare statements without narration.[26] For the gods w
ho are deeply involved in narratives, mythic events are very important expressio
ns of their roles in the cosmos. Therefore, if only narratives are myths, mythol
ogy is a major element in Egyptian religious understanding, but not as essential
as it is in many other cultures.[27] The true realm of the gods is mysterious a
nd inaccessible to humans. Mythological stories use symbolism to make the events
in this realm comprehensible.[29] Not every detail of a mythic account has symb
olic significance. Some images and incidents, even in religious texts, are meant
simply as visual or dramatic embellishments of broader, more meaningful myths.[
30][31] Few complete stories appear in Egyptian mythological sources. These sour
ces often contain nothing more than allusions to the events to The sky depicted
as a cow goddess supported by which they relate, and texts that contain actual n
arratives tell only other deities. This image combines several portions of a lar
ger story. Thus, for any given myth the Egyptians may coexisting visions of the
sky: as a roof, as the have had only the general outlines of a story, from which
fragments surface of a sea, as a cow, and as a goddess in [28] [25] human form.
describing particular incidents were drawn. Moreover, the gods are not well-def
ined characters, and the motivations for their sometimes inconsistent actions ar
e rarely given.[32] Egyptian myths are not, therefore, fully developed tales. Th
eir importance lay in their underlying meaning, not their characteristics as sto
ries. Instead of coalescing into lengthy, fixed narratives, they remained highly
flexible and non-dogmatic.[29]

Egyptian mythology So flexible were Egyptian myths that they could seemingly con
flict with each other. Many descriptions of the creation of the world and the mo
vements of the sun occur in Egyptian texts, some very different from each other.
[33] The relationships between gods were fluid, so that, for instance, the godde
ss Hathor could be called the mother, wife, or daughter of the sun god Ra.[34] S
eparate deities could even be syncretized, or linked, as a single being. Thus th
e creator god Atum was combined with Ra to form Ra-Atum.[35] One commonly sugges
ted reason for inconsistencies in myth is that religious ideas differed over tim
e and in different regions.[36] The local cults of various deities developed the
ologies centered on their own patron gods.[37] As the influence of different cul
ts shifted, some mythological systems attained national dominance. In the Old Ki
ngdom (c. 26862181 BC) the most important of these systems was the cults of Ra an
d Atum, centered at Heliopolis. They formed a mythical family, the Ennead, that
was said to have created the world. It included the most important deities of th
e time but gave primacy to Atum and Ra.[38] The Egyptians also overlaid old reli
gious ideas with new ones. For instance, the god Ptah, whose cult was centered a
t Memphis, was also said to be the creator of the world. Ptah's creation myth in
corporates older myths by saying that it is the Ennead who carry out Ptah's crea
tive commands.[39] Thus, the myth makes Ptah older and greater than the Ennead.
Many scholars have seen this myth as a political attempt to assert the superiori
ty of Memphis' god over those of Heliopolis.[40] By combining concepts in this w
ay, the Egyptians produced an immensely complicated set of deities and myths.[41
] Egyptologists in the early twentieth century thought that politically motivate
d changes like these were the principal reason for the contradictory imagery in
Egyptian myth. However, in the 1940s, Henri Frankfort, realizing the symbolic na
ture of Egyptian mythology, argued that apparently contradictory ideas are part
of the "multiplicity of approaches" that the Egyptians used to understand the di
vine realm. Frankfort's arguments are the basis for much of the more recent anal
ysis of Egyptian beliefs.[42] Political changes affected Egyptian beliefs, but t
he ideas that emerged through those changes also have deeper meaning. Multiple v
ersions of the same myth express different aspects of the same phenomenon; diffe
rent gods that behave in a similar way reflect the close connections between nat
ural forces. The varying symbols of Egyptian mythology express ideas too complex
to be seen through a single lens.[29]
24
Sources
The sources that are available range from solemn hymns to entertaining stories.
Without a single, canonical version of any myth, the Egyptians adapted the broad
traditions of myth to fit the varied purposes of their writings.[43] Most Egypt
ians were illiterate and may therefore have had an elaborate oral tradition that
transmitted myths through spoken storytelling. Susanne Bickel suggests that the
existence of this tradition helps explain why many texts related to myth give l
ittle detail: the myths were already known to every Egyptian.[44] Very little ev
idence of this oral tradition has survived, and modern knowledge of Egyptian myt
hs is drawn from written and pictorial sources. Only a small proportion of these
sources has survived to the present, so much of the mythological information th
at was once written down has been lost.[26] This information is not equally abun
dant in all periods, so the beliefs that Egyptians held in some eras of their hi
story are more poorly understood than the beliefs in better documented times.[45
]
Religious sources
Many gods appear in artwork from the Early Dynastic Period of Egypt's history (c
. 31002686 BC), but little about the gods' actions can be gleaned from these sour
ces because they include minimal writing. The Egyptians began using writing more
extensively in the Old Kingdom, in which appeared the first major source of Egy
ptian mythology: the Pyramid Texts. These texts are a collection of several hund
red incantations inscribed in the interiors of pyramids beginning in the 24th ce

ntury BC. They were the first Egyptian funerary texts, intended to ensure that t
he kings buried in the pyramid would pass safely through the afterlife. Many of
the incantations allude to myths related to the afterlife, including creation my
ths and the myth of Osiris. Many of the texts are likely much older than their f
irst known written copies, and they therefore provide clues about the early stag
es of Egyptian religious

Egyptian mythology belief.[46] During the First Intermediate Period (c. 21812055
BC), the Pyramid Texts developed into the Coffin Texts, which contain similar ma
terial and were available to non-royals. Succeeding funerary texts, like the Boo
k of the Dead in the New Kingdom and the Books of Breathing from the Late Period
(664323 BC) and after, developed out of these earlier collections. The New Kingd
om also saw the development of another type of funerary text, containing detaile
d and cohesive descriptions of the nocturnal journey of the sun god. Texts of th
is type include the Amduat, the Book of Gates, and the Book of Caverns.[43] Temp
les, whose surviving remains date mostly from the New Kingdom and later, are ano
ther important source of myth. Many temples had a per-ankh, or temple library, s
toring papyri for rituals and other uses. Some of these papyri contain hymns, wh
ich, in praising a god for its actions, often refer to the myths that define tho
se actions. Other temple papyri describe rituals, many of which are based partly
on myth.[47] Scattered remnants of these papyrus collections have survived to t
he present. It is possible that the collections included more Temple decoration
at Dendera, depicting the systematic records of myths, but no evidence of such t
exts has goddesses Isis and Nephthys watching over the [26] survived. Mythologic
al texts and illustrations, similar to those on corpse of their brother Osiris t
emple papyri, also appear in the decoration of the temple buildings. The elabora
tely decorated and well preserved temples of the Ptolemaic and Roman periods (30
5 BCAD 380) are an especially rich source of myth.[48] The Egyptians also perform
ed rituals for personal goals such as protection from or healing of illness. The
se rituals are often called "magical" rather than religious, but they were belie
ved to work on the same principles as temple ceremonies, evoking mythical events
as the basis for the ritual.[49] Information from religious sources is limited
by a system of traditional restrictions on what they could describe and depict.
The murder of the god Osiris, for instance, is never explicitly described in Egy
ptian writings.[26] The Egyptians believed that words and images could affect re
ality, so they avoided the risk of making such negative events real.[50] The con
ventions of Egyptian art were also poorly suited for portraying whole narratives
, so most myth-related artwork consists of sparse individual scenes.[26]
25
Other sources
References to myth also appear in non-religious Egyptian literature, beginning i
n the Middle Kingdom. Many of these references are mere allusions to mythic moti
fs, but several stories are based entirely on mythic narratives. These more dire
ct renderings of myth are particularly common in the Late and Greco-Roman period
s when, according to scholars such as Heike Sternberg, Egyptian myths reached th
eir most fully developed state.[51] The attitudes toward myth in nonreligious Eg
yptian texts vary greatly. Some stories resemble the narratives from magical tex
ts, while others are more clearly meant as entertainment and even contain humoro
us episodes.[51] A final source of Egyptian myth is the writings of Greek and Ro
man writers like Herodotus and Diodorus Siculus, who described Egyptian religion
in the last centuries of its existence. Prominent among these writers is Plutar
ch, whose work De Iside et Osiride contains, among other things, the longest anc
ient account of the myth of Osiris.[52] These authors' knowledge of Egyptian rel
igion was limited because they were excluded from many religious practices, and
their statements about Egyptian beliefs are affected by their biases about Egypt
's culture.[26]

Egyptian mythology
26
Cosmology
Maat
The Egyptian word maat refers to the fundamental order of the universe in Egypti
an belief. Established at the creation of the world, maat distinguishes the worl
d from the chaos that preceded and surrounds it. Maat encompasses both the prope
r behavior of humans and the normal functioning of the forces of nature, both of
which make life and happiness possible. Because the actions of the gods govern
natural forces and myths express those actions, Egyptian mythology represents th
e proper functioning of the world and the sustenance of life itself.[53] To the
Egyptians, the most important human maintainer of maat is the pharaoh. In myth t
he pharaoh is the son of a variety of deities. As such, he is their designated r
epresentative, obligated to maintain order in human society just as they do in n
ature, and to continue the rituals that sustain them and their activities.[54]
Shape of the world
In Egyptian belief, the disorder that predates the ordered world exists beyond t
he world as an infinite expanse of formless water, personified by the god Nun. T
he earth, personified by the god Geb, is a flat piece of land over which arches
the sky, usually represented by the goddess Nut. The two are separated by the pe
rsonification of air, Shu. The sun god Ra is said to travel through the sky, acr
oss the body of Nut, enlivening the world with his light. At night Ra passes bey
ond the western horizon into the Duat, a mysterious region that borders the form
lessness of Nun. At dawn he emerges from the Duat in the eastern horizon.[55]
The air god Shu, assisted by other gods, holds up Nut, the sky, as Geb, the eart
h, lies beneath.
The nature of the sky and the location of the Duat are uncertain. Egyptian texts
variously describe the nighttime sun as traveling beneath the earth and within
the body of Nut. The Egyptologist James P. Allen believes that these explanation
s of the sun's movements are dissimilar but coexisting ideas. In Allen's view, N
ut represents the visible surface of the waters of Nun, with the stars floating
on this surface. The sun, therefore, sails across the water in a circle, each ni
ght passing beyond the horizon to reach the skies that arch beneath the inverted
land of the Duat.[56] Leonard H. Lesko, however, believes that the Egyptians sa
w the sky as a solid canopy and described the sun as traveling through the Duat
above the surface of the sky, from west to east, during the night.[57] Joanne Co
nman, modifying Lesko's model, argues that this solid sky is a moving, concave d
ome overarching a deeply convex earth. The sun and the stars move along with thi
s dome, and their passage below the horizon is simply their movement over areas
of the earth that the Egyptians could not see. These regions would then be the D
uat.[58] The fertile lands of the Nile Valley (Upper Egypt) and Delta (Lower Egy
pt) lie at the center of the world in Egyptian cosmology. Outside them are the i
nfertile deserts, which are associated with the chaos that lies beyond the world
.[59] Somewhere beyond them is the horizon, the akhet. There, two mountains, in
the east and the west, mark the places where the sun enters and exits the Duat.[
60] Foreign nations are associated with the hostile deserts in Egyptian ideology
. Foreign people, likewise, are generally lumped in with the "nine bows", people
who threaten pharaonic rule and the stability of maat, although peoples allied
with or subject to Egypt may be viewed more positively.[61] For these reasons, e
vents in Egyptian mythology rarely take place in foreign lands. While some stori
es pertain to the sky or the Duat, Egypt itself is usually the scene

Egyptian mythology for the actions of the gods. Often, even the myths set in Egy
pt seem to take place on a plane of existence separate from that inhabited by li
ving humans, although in other stories, humans and gods interact. In either case
, the Egyptian gods are deeply tied to their home land.[59]
27
Time
The Egyptians' vision of time was influenced by their environment. Each day the
sun rose and set, bringing light to the land and regulating human activity; each
year the Nile flooded, renewing the fertility of the soil and allowing the high
ly productive agriculture that sustained Egyptian civilization. These periodic e
vents inspired the Egyptians to see all of time as a series of recurring pattern
s regulated by maat, renewing the gods and the universe.[62] Although the Egypti
ans recognized that different historical eras differ in their particulars, mythi
c patterns dominate the Egyptian perception of history.[63] Many Egyptian storie
s about the gods are characterized as having taken place in a primeval time when
the gods were manifest on the earth and ruled over it. After this time, the Egy
ptians believed, authority on earth passed to human pharaohs.[64] This primeval
era seems to predate the start of the sun's journey and the recurring patterns o
f the present world. At the other end of time is the end of the cycles and the d
issolution of the world. Because these distant periods lend themselves to linear
narrative better than the cycles of the present, John Baines sees them as the o
nly periods in which true myths take place.[65] Yet, to some extent, the cyclica
l aspect of time was present in the mythic past as well. Egyptians saw even stor
ies that were set in that time as being perpetually true. The myths were made re
al every time the events to which they were related occurred. These events were
celebrated with rituals, which often evoked myths.[66] Ritual allowed time to pe
riodically return to the mythic past and renew life in the universe.[67]
Major myths
Some of the most important categories of myths are described below. Because of t
he fragmentary nature of Egyptian myths, there is little indication in Egyptian
sources of a chronological sequence of mythical events.[68] Nevertheless, the ca
tegories are arranged in a very loose chronological order.
Creation
Among the most important myths were those describing the creation of the world.
The Egyptian developed many accounts of the creation, which differ greatly in th
e events they describe. In particular, the deities credited with creating the wo
rld vary in each account. This difference partly reflects the desire of Egypt's
cities and priesthoods to exalt their own patron gods by attributing creation to
them. Yet the differing accounts were not regarded as contradictory; instead, t
he Egyptians saw the creation process as having many aspects and involving many
divine forces.[69] One common feature of the myths is the emergence of the world
from the waters of chaos that surround it. This event represents the establishm
ent of maat and the origin of life. One fragmentary tradition centers on the eig
ht gods of the Ogdoad, who represent the characteristics of the primeval water i
tself. Their actions give rise to the sun (represented in creation myths by vari
ous gods, especially Ra), whose birth forms a space of light and dryness within
the dark water.[70] The sun rises from the first mound of dry land, another comm
on motif in the creation myths, which was likely inspired by the sight of mounds
of earth emerging as the Nile flood receded. With the
The sun rises over the circular mound of creation as goddesses pour out the prim
eval waters around it

Egyptian mythology emergence of the sun god, the establisher of maat, the world
has its first ruler.[71] Accounts from the first millennium BC focus on the acti
ons of the creator god in subduing the forces of chaos that threaten the newly o
rdered world.[72] Atum, a god closely connected with the sun and the primeval mo
und, is the focus of a creation myth dating back at least to the Old Kingdom. At
um, who incorporates all the elements of the world, exists within the waters as
a potential being. At the time of creation he emerges to produce other gods, res
ulting in a set of nine deities, the Ennead, which includes Geb, Nut, and other
key elements of the world. The Ennead can by extension stand for all the gods, s
o its creation represents the differentiation of Atum's unified potential being
into the multiplicity of elements present within the world.[73] Over time, the E
gyptians developed more abstract perspectives on the creation process. By the ti
me of the Coffin Texts, they described the formation of the world as the realiza
tion of a concept first developed within the mind of the creator god. The force
of heka, or magic, which links things in the divine realm and things in the phys
ical world, is the power that links the creator's original concept with its phys
ical realization. Heka itself can be personified as a god, but this intellectual
process of creation is not associated with that god alone. An inscription from
the Third Intermediate Period (c. 1070664 BC), whose text may be much older, desc
ribes the process in detail and attributes it to the god Ptah, whose close assoc
iation with craftsmen makes him a suitable deity to give a physical form to the
original creative vision. Hymns from the New Kingdom describe the god Amun, a my
sterious power that lies behind even the other gods, as the ultimate source of t
his creative vision.[74] The origin of humans is not a major feature of Egyptian
creation stories. In some texts the first humans spring from tears that Ra-Atum
or his feminine aspect, the Eye of Ra, sheds in a moment of weakness and distre
ss, foreshadowing humans' flawed nature and sorrowful lives. Others say humans a
re molded from clay by the god Khnum. But overall, the focus of the creation myt
hs is the establishment of cosmic order rather than the special place of humans
within it.[75]
28
The reign of the sun god
In the period of the mythic past after the creation, Ra dwells on earth as king
of the gods and of humans. This period is the closest thing to a golden age in E
gyptian tradition, the period of stability that the Egyptians constantly sought
to evoke and imitate. Yet the stories about Ra's reign focus on conflicts betwee
n him and forces that disrupt his rule, reflecting the king's role in Egyptian i
deology as enforcer of maat.[76] In an episode known in different versions from
temple texts, some of the gods defy Ra's authority, and he destroys them with th
e help and advice of other gods like Thoth and Horus the Elder.[77][78]</ref> At
one point he faces dissent even from an extension of himself, the Eye of Ra, wh
ich can act independently of him in the form of a goddess. The Eye goddess becom
es angry with Ra and runs away from him, wandering wild and dangerous in the lan
ds outside Egypt. Weakened by her absence, Ra sends one of the other godsShu, Tho
th, or Anhur, in different accountsto retrieve her, by force or persuasion. Becau
se the Eye of Ra is associated with the star Sothis, whose heliacal rising signa
led the start of the Nile flood, the return of the Eye goddess to Egypt coincide
s with the life-giving inundation. Upon her return, the goddess becomes the cons
ort of Ra or of the god who has retrieved her. Her pacification restores order a
nd renews life.[79] As Ra grows older and weaker, humanity, too, turns against h
im. In an episode often called "The Destruction of Mankind", related in The Book
of the Heavenly Cow, Ra discovers that humanity is plotting rebellion against h
im and sends his Eye to punish them. She slays many people, but Ra apparently de
cides that he does not want her to destroy all of humanity. He has beer dyed red
to resemble blood and spreads it over the field. The Eye goddess drinks the bee
r, becomes drunk, and ceases her rampage. Ra then withdraws into the sky, weary
of ruling on earth, and begins his daily journey through the heavens and the Dua
t. The surviving humans are dismayed, and they attack the people among them who

plotted against Ra. This event is the origin of warfare, death, and humans' cons
tant struggle to protect maat from the destructive actions of other people.[80]

Egyptian mythology In The Book of the Heavenly Cow, the results of the destructi
on of mankind seem to mark the end of the direct reign of the gods and of the li
near time of myth. The beginning of Ra's journey is the beginning of the cyclica
l time of the present.[65] Yet in other sources, mythic time continues after thi
s change. Egyptian accounts give sequences of divine rulers who take the place o
f the sun god as king on earth, each reigning for many thousands of years.[81] A
lthough accounts differ as to which gods reigned and in what order, the successi
on from Ra-Atum to his descendants Shu and Gebin which the kingship passes to the
male in each generation of the Enneadis common. Both of them face revolts that p
arallel those in the reign of the sun god, but the revolt that receives the most
attention in Egyptian sources is the one in the reign of Geb's heir Osiris.[82]
29
Osiris myth
The collection of episodes surrounding Osiris' death and succession is the most
elaborate of all Egyptian myths, and it had the most widespread influence in Egy
ptian culture.[83] In the first portion of the myth, Osiris, who is associated w
ith both fertility and kingship, is killed and his position usurped by his broth
er Set. In some versions of the myth, Osiris is actually dismembered and the pie
ces of his corpse scattered across Egypt. Osiris' sister and wife, Isis, finds h
er husband's body and restores it to wholeness.[84] She is assisted by funerary
deities such as Nephthys and Anubis, and the process of Osiris' restoration refl
ects Egyptian traditions of embalming and burial. Isis then briefly revives Osir
is to conceive an heir with him: the god Horus.[85] The next portion of the myth
concerns Horus' birth and childhood. Isis gives birth to and raises her son in
secluded places, hidden from the menace of Set. The episodes in this phase of th
e myth concern Isis' efforts to protect her son from Set or other hostile beings
, or to heal him from sickness or injury. In these episodes Isis is the epitome
of maternal devotion and a powerful practitioner of healing magic.[86] In the th
ird phase of the story, Horus competes with Set for the kingship. Their struggle
encompasses a great number of separate episodes and ranges in character from vi
olent conflict to a legal judgment by the assembled gods.[87] In one important e
pisode, Set tears out one or both of Horus' eyes, which are later restored by th
e healing efforts of Thoth or Hathor. For this reason, the Eye of Horus is a pro
minent symbol of life and well-being in Egyptian iconography. Because Horus is a
sky god, with one eye equated with the sun and the other with the moon, the des
truction and restoration of the single eye explains why the moon is less bright
than the sun.[88]
Statues of Osiris and of Isis nursing the infant Horus
Texts present two different resolutions for the divine contest: one in which Egy
pt is divided between the two claimants, and another in which Horus becomes sole
ruler. In the latter version, the ascension of Horus, Osiris' rightful heir, sy
mbolizes the reestablishment of maat after the unrighteous rule of Set. With ord
er restored, Horus can perform the funerary rites for his father that are his du
ty as son and heir. Through this service Osiris is given new life in the Duat, w
hose ruler he becomes. The relationship between Osiris as king of the dead and H
orus as king of the living stands for the relationship between every king and hi
s deceased predecessors. Osiris, meanwhile, represents the regeneration of life.
On earth he is credited with the annual growth of crops, and in the Duat he is
involved in the rebirth of the sun and of deceased human souls.[89] Although Hor
us to some extent represents any living pharaoh, he is not the end of the lineag
e of ruling gods. He is succeeded first by gods and then by spirits that represe
nt dim memories of Egypt's Predynastic rulers, the souls of Nekhen and Pe. They
link the entirely mythical rulers to the final part of the sequence, the lineage
of Egypt's historical kings.[64]

Egyptian mythology
30
Birth of the royal child
Several disparate Egyptian texts address a similar theme: the birth of a divinel
y fathered child who is heir to the kingship. The earliest known appearance of s
uch a story does not appear to be a myth but an entertaining folktale, found in
the Middle Kingdom Westcar Papyrus, about the birth of the first three kings of
Egypt's Fifth Dynasty. In that story, the three kings are the offspring of Ra an
d a human woman. The same theme appears in a firmly religious context in the New
Kingdom, when the rulers Hatshepsut, Amenhotep III, and Ramesses II depicted in
temple reliefs their own conception and birth, in which the god Amun is the fat
her and the historical queen the mother. By stating that the king originated amo
ng the gods and was deliberately created by the most important god of the period
, the story gives a mythical background to the king's coronation, which appears
alongside the birth story. The divine connection legitimizes the king's rule and
provides a rationale for his role as intercessor between gods and humans.[90] S
imilar scenes appear in many post-New Kingdom temples, but this time the events
they depict involve the gods alone. In this period, most temples were dedicated
to a mythical family of deities, usually a father, mother, and son. In these ver
sions of the story, the birth is that of the son in each triad.[91] Each of thes
e child gods is the heir to the throne, who will restore stability to the countr
y. This shift in focus from the human king to the gods who are associated with h
im reflects a decline in the status of the pharaoh in the late stages of Egyptia
n history.[90]
The journey of the sun
Ra's movements through the sky and the Duat are not fully narrated in Egyptian s
ources,[92] although funerary texts like the Amduat, Book of Gates, and Book of
Caverns relate the nighttime half of the journey in sequences of vignettes.[93]
This journey is key to Ra's nature and to the sustenance of all life.[31] In tra
veling across the sky, Ra brings light to the earth, sustaining all things that
live there. He reaches the peak of his strength at noon and then ages and weaken
s as he moves toward sunset. In the evening, Ra takes the form of Atum, the crea
tor god, oldest of all things in the world. According to early Egyptian texts, a
t the end of the day he spits out all the other deities, whom he devoured at sun
rise. Here they represent the stars, and the story explains why the stars are vi
sible at night and seemingly absent during the day.[94] At sunset Ra passes thro
ugh the akhet, the horizon, in the west. At times the horizon is described as a
gate or door that leads to the Duat. At others, the sky goddess Nut is said to s
wallow the sun god, so that his journey through the Duat is likened to a journey
through her body.[95] In funerary texts, the Duat and the deities in it are por
trayed in elaborate, detailed, and widely varying imagery. These images are symb
olic of the awesome and enigmatic nature of the Duat, where both the gods and th
e dead are renewed by contact with the original powers of creation. Indeed, alth
ough Egyptian texts avoid saying it explicitly, Ra's entry into the Duat is seen
as his death.[96]

Egyptian mythology
31
Certain themes appear repeatedly in depictions of the journey. Ra overcomes nume
rous obstacles in his course, representative of the effort necessary to maintain
maat. The greatest challenge is the opposition of Apep, a serpent god who repre
sents the destructive aspect of disorder, and who threatens to destroy the sun g
od and plunge creation into chaos.[97] In many of the texts, Ra overcomes these
obstacles with the assistance of other deities who travel with him; they stand f
or various Ra (at center) travels through the underworld in his barque, accompan
ied by other powers that are necessary to uphold Ra's gods authority.[98] In his
passage Ra also brings light to the Duat, enlivening the blessed dead who dwell
there. In contrast, his enemiespeople who have undermined maatare tormented and t
hrown into dark pits or lakes of fire.[99] The key event in the journey is the m
eeting of Ra and Osiris. In the New Kingdom, this event developed into a complex
symbol of the Egyptian conception of life and time. Osiris, relegated to the Du
at, is like a mummified body within its tomb. Ra, endlessly moving, is like the
ba, or soul, of a deceased human, which may travel during the day but must retur
n to its body each night. When Ra and Osiris meet, they merge into a single bein
g. Their pairing reflects the Egyptian vision of time as a continuous repeating
pattern, with one member (Osiris) being always static and the other (Ra) living
in a constant cycle. Once he has united with Osiris' regenerative power, Ra cont
inues on his journey with renewed vitality.[67] This renewal makes possible Ra's
emergence at dawn, which is seen as the rebirth of the sunexpressed by a metapho
r in which Nut gives birth to Ra after she has swallowed himand the repetition of
the first sunrise at the moment of creation. At this moment, the rising sun god
swallows the stars once more, absorbing their power.[94] In this revitalized st
ate, Ra is depicted as a child or as the scarab beetle god Khepri, both of which
represent rebirth in Egyptian iconography.[100]
End of the universe
Egyptian texts typically treat the dissolution of the world as a possibility to
be avoided, and for that reason they do not often describe it in detail. However
, many texts allude to the idea that the world, after countless cycles of renewa
l, is destined to end. This end is described in a passage in the Coffin Texts an
d a more explicit one in the Book of the Dead, in which Atum says that he will o
ne day dissolve the ordered world and return to his primeval, inert state within
the waters of chaos. All things other than the creator will cease to exist, exc
ept Osiris, who will survive along with him.[101] Details about this eschatologi
cal prospect are left unclear, including the fate of the dead who are associated
with Osiris.[102] Yet with the creator god and the god of renewal together in t
he waters that gave rise to the orderly world, there is the potential for a new
creation to arise in the same manner as the old.[103]

Egyptian mythology
32
Influence in Egyptian culture
In religion
Because the Egyptians rarely described theological ideas explicitly, the implici
t ideas of mythology formed much of the basis for Egyptian religion. The purpose
of Egyptian religion was the maintenance of maat, and the concepts that myths e
xpress were believed to be essential to maat. The rituals of Egyptian religion w
ere meant to make the mythic events, and the concepts they represented, real onc
e more, thereby renewing maat.[66] The rituals were believed to achieve this eff
ect through the force of heka, the same connection between the physical and divi
ne realms that enabled the original creation.[105] For this reason, Egyptian rit
uals often included actions that symbolized mythical events.[66] Temple rites in
cluded the destruction of models representing malign gods like Set or Apophis, p
rivate magical spells Set and Horus support the pharaoh. The called upon Isis to
heal the sick as she did for Horus,[106] and funerary reconciled rival gods oft
en stand for the unity of [104] rites such as the Opening of the Mouth ceremony[
107] and ritual Egypt under the rule of its king. [108] offerings to the dead ev
oked the myth of Osiris' resurrection. Yet rituals rarely, if ever, involved dra
matic reenactments of myths. There are borderline cases, like a ceremony alludin
g to the Osiris myth in which two women took on the roles of Isis and Nephthys,
but scholars disagree about whether these performances formed sequences of event
s.[109] Much of Egyptian ritual was focused on more basic activities like giving
offerings to the gods, with mythic themes serving as ideological background rat
her than as the focus of a rite.[110] Nevertheless, myth and ritual strongly inf
luenced each other. Myths could inspire rituals, like the ceremony with Isis and
Nephthys; and rituals that did not originally have a mythic meaning could be re
interpreted as having one, as in the case of offering ceremonies, in which food
and other items given to the gods or the dead were equated with the Eye of Horus
.[111] Kingship was a key element of Egyptian religion, through the king's role
as link between humanity and the gods. Myths explain the background for this con
nection between royalty and divinity. The myths about the Ennead establish the k
ing as heir to the lineage of rulers reaching back to the creator; the myth of d
ivine birth states that the king is the son and heir of a god; and the myths abo
ut Osiris and Horus emphasize that rightful succession to the throne is essentia
l to the maintenance of maat. Thus, mythology provided the rationale for the ver
y nature of Egyptian government.[112]
In art
Illustrations of gods and mythical events appear extensively alongside religious
writing in tombs, temples, and funerary texts.[43] Mythological scenes in Egypt
ian artwork are rarely placed in sequence as a narrative, but individual scenes,
particularly depicting the resurrection of Osiris, do sometimes appear in relig
ious artwork.[113] Allusions to myth were very widespread in Egyptian art and ar
chitecture. In temple design, the central path of the temple axis was likened to
the sun god's path across the sky, and the sanctuary at the end of the path rep
resented the place of creation from which he rose.
Funerary amulet in the shape of a scarab

Egyptian mythology Temple decoration was filled with solar emblems that undersco
red this relationship. Similarly, the corridors of tombs were linked with the go
d's journey through the Duat, and the burial chamber with the tomb of Osiris.[11
4] The pyramid, the best-known of all Egyptian architectural forms, may have bee
n inspired by mythic symbolism, for it represented the mound of creation and the
original sunrise, appropriate for a monument intended to assure the owner's reb
irth after death.[115] Symbols in Egyptian tradition were frequently reinterpret
ed, so that the meanings of mythical symbols could change and multiply over time
like the myths themselves.[116] More ordinary works of art were also designed t
o evoke mythic themes, like the amulets that Egyptians commonly wore to invoke d
ivine powers. The Eye of Horus, for instance, was a very common shape for protec
tive amulets because it represented Horus' well-being after the restoration of h
is lost eye.[117] Scarab-shaped amulets symbolized the regeneration of life, ref
erring to the god Khepri, the form that the sun god was said to take at dawn.[11
8]
33
In literature
Themes and motifs from mythology appear frequently in Egyptian literature, even
outside of religious writings. An early instruction text, the "Teaching for King
Merykara" from the Middle Kingdom, contains a brief reference to a myth of some
kind, possibly the Destruction of Mankind; the earliest known Egyptian short st
ory, "Tale of the Shipwrecked Sailor", incorporates ideas about the gods and the
eventual dissolution of the world into a story set in the past. Some later stor
ies take much of their plot from mythical events: "Tale of the Two Brothers" ada
pts parts of the Osiris myth into a fantastic story about ordinary people, and "
The Blinding of Truth by Falsehood" transforms the conflict between Horus and Se
t into an allegory.[119] A fragment of a text about the actions of Horus and Set
dates to the Middle Kingdom, suggesting that stories about the gods arose in th
at era. Several texts of this type are known from the New Kingdom, and many more
were written in the Late and Greco-Roman periods. Although these texts are more
clearly derived from myth than those mentioned above, they still adapt the myth
s for non-religious purposes. "The Contendings of Horus and Seth", from the New
Kingdom, tells the story of the conflict between the two gods, often with a humo
rous and seemingly irreverent tone. The Roman-era "Myth of the Eye of the Sun" i
ncorporates fables into a framing story taken from myth. The goals of written fi
ction could also affect the narratives in magical texts, as with the New Kingdom
story "Isis, the Rich Woman's Son, and the Fisherman's Wife", which conveys a m
oral message unconnected to its magical purpose. The variety of ways that these
stories treat mythology demonstrates the wide range of purposes that myth could
serve in Egyptian culture.[120]
Notes and citations
Notes
[1] Anthes in Kramer 1961, pp. 2930 [2] David 2002, pp. 12 [3] O'Connor, David, "E
gypt's View of 'Others'", in Tait 2003, pp. 155, 178179 [4] Tobin 1989, pp. 1011 [
5] Morenz 1973, pp. 8184 [6] Baines 1991, p. 83 [7] Frankfurter in Meyer and Mire
cki 2001, pp. 472474 [8] Pinch 2004, p. 17 [9] Assmann 2001, pp. 113, 115, 119122
[10] Griffiths, J. Gwyn, "Isis", in Redford 2001, vol. II, pp. 188190 [11] Anthes
in Kramer 1961, pp. 3336 [12] Pinch 2004, pp. 67 [13] Meltzer, Edmund S., "Horus"
, in Redford 2001, vol. II, pp. 119122 [14] Horus and Set, portrayed together, of
ten stand for the pairing of Upper and Lower Egypt, although either god can stan
d for either region. Both of them were patrons of cities in both halves of the c
ountry. The conflict between the two deities may allude to the presumed conflict
that preceded the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt at the start of Egyptian
history, or it may be tied to an apparent conflict between worshippers of Horus
and Set near the end of the Second Dynasty.Anthes in Kramer 1961, pp. 2930

Egyptian mythology
[15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22] [23] [24] [25] [26] [27] [28] [29] [30]
[31] [32] [33] [34] [35] [36] [37] [38] [39] [40] [41] [42] [43] [44] [45] [46]
[47] [48] [49] [50] [51] [52] [53] [54] [55] [56] [57] [58] [59] [60] [61] [62]
[63] [64] [65] [66] [67] [68] [69] [70] Bickel in Johnston 2003, p. 580 Assmann
2001, p. 116 Meeks and Favard-Meeks 1996, pp. 4951 Baines, in Loprieno 1996, p. 3
61 Baines 1991, pp. 8185, 104 Tobin, Vincent Arieh, "Myths: An Overview", in Redf
ord 2001, vol. II, pp. 464468 Bickel in Johnston 2003, p. 578 Pinch 2004, pp. 12 A
ssmann 2001, pp. 8081 Assmann 2001, pp. 107112 Tobin 1989, pp. 3839 Baines 1991, pp
. 100104 Baines 1991, pp. 104105 Anthes in Kramer 1961, pp. 1820 Tobin 1989, pp. 18
, 2326 Assmann 2001, p. 117 Tobin 1989, pp. 4849 Assmann 2001, p. 112 Hornung 1992
, pp. 4145, 96 Vischak, Deborah, "Hathor", in Redford 2001, vol. II, pp.8285 Anthe
s in Kramer 1961, pp. 2425 Allen 1989, pp. 6263 Traunecker 2001, pp. 101103 David 2
002, pp. 28, 8485 Anthes in Kramer 1960, pp. 6263 Allen 1989, pp. 4546 Tobin 1989,
pp. 1617 Traunecker 2001, pp. 1011 Traunecker 2001, pp. 15 Bickel in Johnston 2003,
p. 379 Baines 1991, pp. 84, 90 Pinch 2004, pp. 611 Morenz 1971, pp. 218219 Pinch
2004, pp. 3738 Ritner 1993, pp. 243249 Pinch 2004, p. 6 Baines, in Loprieno 1996,
pp. 365376 Pinch 2004, pp. 35, 3942 Tobin 1989, pp. 7982, 197199 Pinch 2004, p. 156
Allen 1989, pp. 37 Allen, James P., "The Egyptian Concept of the World", in O'Con
nor and Quirke 2003, pp. 2529 Lesko, in Shafer 1991, pp. 117120 Conman 2003, pp. 3
337 Meeks and Favard-Meeks 1994, pp. 8288, 91 Lurker 1980, pp. 6465, 82 O'Connor, D
avid, "Egypt's View of 'Others'", in Tait 2003, pp. 155156, 169171 David 2002, pp.
12 Hornung 1992, pp. 151154 Pinch 2004, p. 85 Baines, in Loprieno 1996, pp. 364365
Tobin 1989, pp. 2731 Assmann 2001, pp. 7780 Pinch 2004, p. 57 David 2002, pp. 81,
89 Dunand and Zivie-Coche 2005, pp. 4550
34
[71] Meeks and Favard-Meeks, pp. 1921 [72] Bickel in Johnston 2003, p. 580 [73] A
llen 1989, pp. 811

Egyptian mythology
[74] [75] [76] [77] [78] [79] [80] [81] [82] [83] [84] [85] [86] [87] [88] [89]
[90] [91] [92] [93] [94] [95] Allen 1989, pp. 3642, 60 Pinch 2004, pp. 6668 Pinch
2004, p. 69 Meeks and Favard-Meeks 1994, pp. 2225 Horus the Elder is often treate
d as a separate deity from Horus, the child born to Isis.<ref>Pinch 2004, p. 143
Pinch 2004, pp. 7174 Assmann 2001, pp. 113116 Uphill, E. P., "The Ancient Egyptia
n View of World History", in Tait 2003, pp. 1726 Pinch 2004, pp. 7678 Assmann 2001
, p. 124 Hart 1990, pp. 3033 Pinch 2004, pp. 7980 Assmann 2001, pp. 131134 Hart 199
0, pp. 3638 Kaper, Olaf E., "Myths: Lunar Cycle", in Redford 2001, vol. II, pp. 4
80482 Assmann 2001, pp. 129, 141145 Assmann 2001, pp. 116119 Feucht, Erika, "Birth"
, in Redford 2001, p. 193 Baines in Loprieno 1996, p. 364 Hornung 1992, p. 96 Pi
nch 2004, pp. 9192 Hornung 1992, pp. 9697, 113
35
[96] Tobin 1989, pp. 49, 136138 [97] Hart 1990, pp. 5254 [98] Quirke 2001, pp. 4546
[99] Hornung 1992, pp. 95, 99101 [100] Hart 1990, pp. 57, 61 [101] Hornung 1982,
pp. 162165 [102] Dunand and Zivie-Coche 2005, pp. 6768 [103] Meeks and Favard-Mee
ks 1996, pp. 1819 [104] te Velde, Herman, "Seth", in Redford 2001, vol. III, pp.
269270 [105] Ritner 1993, pp. 246249 [106] Ritner 1993, p. 150 [107] Roth, Ann Mac
y, "Opening of the Mouth" in Redford 2001, vol. II, pp. 605608 [108] Assmann 2001
, pp. 4951 [109] O'Rourke, Paul F., "Drama", in Redford 2001, vol. I, pp. 407409 [
110] Baines 1991, p. 101 [111] Morenz 1973, p. 84 [112] Tobin 1989, pp. 9095 [113
] Baines 1991, p. 103 [114] Wilkinson 1992, pp. 2729, 6970 [115] Quirke 2001, p. 1
15 [116] Wilkinson 1992, pp. 1112 [117] Andrews, Carol A. R., "Amulets", in Redfo
rd 2001, vol. I, pp. 7582 [118] Lurker 1980, pp. 74, 104105 [119] Baines in Loprie
no 1996, pp. 367369, 373374 [120] Baines in Loprieno 1996, pp. 366, 371373, 377
Citations

Egyptian mythology
36
Works cited
Allen, James P. (1988). Genesis in Egypt: The Philosophy of Ancient Egyptian Cre
ation Accounts. Yale Egyptological Seminar. ISBN0-912532-14-9. Anthes, Rudolf (19
61). "Mythology in Ancient Egypt". In Kramer, Samuel Noah. Mythologies of the An
cient World. Anchor Books. Assmann, Jan (2001) [1984]. The Search for God in Anc
ient Egypt. Translated by David Lorton. Cornell University Press. ISBN0-8014-3786
-5. Baines, John (April 1991). "Egyptian Myth and Discourse: Myth, Gods, and the
Early Written and Iconographic Record". Journal Near Eastern Studies 50 (2). JS
TOR 545669 (http://www.jstor.org/stable/545669). Baines, John (1996). "Myth and L
iterature". In Loprieno, Antonio. Ancient Egyptian Literature: History and Forms
. Cornell University Press. ISBN90-04-09925-5. Bickel, Susanne (2004). "Myth and
Sacred Narratives: Egypt". In Johnston, Sarah Iles. Religions of the Ancient Wor
ld: A Guide. The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. ISBN0-674-01517-7. Da
vid, Rosalie (2002). Religion and Magic in Ancient Egypt. Penguin. ISBN0-14-02625
2-0. Dunand, Franoise; Christiane Zivie-Coche (2005) [2002]. Gods and Men in Egyp
t: 3000 BCE to 395 CE. Translated by David Lorton. Cornell University Press. ISB
N0-8014-8853-2. Frankfurter, David (1995). "Narrating Power: The Theory and Pract
ice of the Magical Historiola in Ritual Spells". In Meyer, Marvin; Mirecki, Paul
. Ancient Magic and Ritual Power. E. J. Brill. ISBN0-8014-2550-6. Hart, George (1
990). Egyptian Myths. University of Texas Press. ISBN0-292-72076-9. Hornung, Erik
(1982) [1971]. Conceptions of God in Egypt: The One and the Many. Translated by
John Baines. Cornell University Press. ISBN0-8014-1223-4. Hornung, Erik (1992).
Idea into Image: Essays on Ancient Egyptian Thought. Translated by Elizabeth Bre
deck. Timken. ISBN0-943221-11-0. Lesko, Leonard H. (1991). "Ancient Egyptian Cosm
ogonies and Cosmology". In Shafer, Byron E. Religion in Ancient Egypt: Gods, Myt
hs, and Personal Practice. Cornell University Press. ISBN0-8014-2550-6. Lurker, M
anfred (1980) [1972]. An Illustrated Dictionary of the Gods and Symbols of Ancie
nt Egypt. Translated by Barbara Cummings. Thames & Hudson. ISBN0-500-27253-0. Mee
ks, Dimitri; Christine Favard-Meeks (1996) [1993]. Daily Life of the Egyptian Go
ds. Translated by G. M. Goshgarian. Cornell University Press. ISBN0-8014-8248-8.
Morenz, Siegfried (1973) [1960]. Egyptian Religion. Translated by Ann E. Keep. M
ethuen. ISBN0801480299. O'Connor, David; Quirke, Stephen, eds. (2003). Mysterious
Lands. UCL Press. ISBN1-84472-004-7. Pinch, Geraldine (2004). Egyptian Mythology
: A Guide to the Gods, Goddesses, and Traditions of Ancient Egypt. Oxford Univer
sity Press. ISBN0-19-517024-5. Quirke, Stephen (2001). The Cult of Ra: Sun Worshi
p in Ancient Egypt. Thames and Hudson. ISBN0-500-05107-0. Redford, Donald B., ed.
(2001). The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt. Oxford University Press. ISBN0
-19-510234-7. Ritner, Robert Kriech (1993). The Mechanics of Ancient Egyptian Ma
gical Practice. The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. ISBN0-918986
-75-3. Tait, John, ed. (2003). 'Never Had the Like Occurred': Egypt's View of It
s Past. UCL Press. ISBN1-84472-007-1. Tobin, Vincent Arieh (1989). Theological Pr
inciples of Egyptian Religion. P. Lang. ISBN0-8204-1082-9.

Egyptian mythology Traunecker, Claude (2001) [1992]. The Gods of Egypt. Translat
ed by David Lorton. Cornell University Press. ISBN0-8014-3834-9. Wilkinson, Richa
rd H. (1993). Symbol and Magic in Egyptian Art. Thames & Hudson. ISBN0-500-236631.
37
Further reading
Armour, Robert A (2001) [1986]. Gods and Myths of Ancient Egypt. The American Un
iversity in Cairo Press. ISBN977-424-669-1. Ions, Veronica (1982) [1968]. Egyptia
n Mythology. Peter Bedrick Books. ISBN0-911745-07-6. James, T. G. H (1971). Myths
and Legends of Ancient Egypt. Grosset & Dunlap. ISBN0-448-00866-1. Sternberg, He
ike (1985). Mythische Motive and Mythenbildung in den agyptischen Tempein und Pa
pyri der Griechisch-Romischen Zeit (in German). Harrassowitz. ISBN3-447-02497-6.
Tyldesley, Joyce (2010). Myths and Legends of Ancient Egypt. Allen Lanes. ISBN1-8
4614-369-1.

38
Gods and Goddesses
Aken the ferryman
The chief deity in Egyptian mythology, Ra, when considered as a sun god, was tho
ught to traverse the daytime sky in a boat, and cross the underworld at night in
another one, named Meseket. As the mythology developed, so did the idea that th
e boat Meseket was controlled by a separate ferryman, who became known as Aken.
In Egyptian mythology, the underworld was composed of the general area, named Du
at, and a more pleasant area to which the morally righteous were permitted, name
d Aaru. At the point in history at which Aken arose, Anubis had become merely th
e god of embalming, and Osiris, though lord of the whole underworld, dwelt speci
fically in Aaru. Consequently, Aken was identified as the ruling the area outsid
e of Aaru, Duat in general, on Osiris' behalf. The Egyptian word for part of the
soul Ba was also used as a word meaning ram, therefore, Aken was usually depict
ed as being ram-headed. As both an underworld deity, and subservient to Osiris,
Aken became known as Cherti (also spelt Kherty), meaning (one who is) subservien
t. The main center of his cult became Letopolis, and it is considered a possibil
ity that his cult caused the development of the myth of the ferryman in other Me
diterranean mythologies, such as that of Charon.
Aker (god)
Akerin hieroglyphs [1]

kr

Aker
In Egyptian mythology, Aker (also spelt Akar) was one of the earliest gods worsh
ipped, and was the deification of the horizon. There are strong indications that
Aker was worshipped before other known Egyptian gods of the earth, such as Geb.
[citation needed] Aker itself means (one who) curves because it was perceived th
at the horizon bends all around us. The Pyramid texts make an assertive statemen
t that the Akeru (= 'those of the horizon', from the plural of aker) will not se
ize the pharaoh, stressing the power of the Egyptian pharaoh over the surroundin
g non-Egyptian peoples. As the horizon, Aker was also seen as symbolic of the bo
rders between each day, and so was originally depicted as a narrow strip of land
(i.e. a horizon), with heads on either side, facing away from one another, a sy
mbol of borders.

Aker (god) These heads were usually those of lions. Over time, the heads became
full figures of lions (still facing away from each other), one representing the
concept of yesterday (Sef in Egyptian), and the other the concept of tomorrow (D
uau in Egyptian).[2] Consequently, Aker often became referred to as Ruti, the Eg
yptian word meaning two lions. Between them would often appear the hieroglyph fo
r horizon, which was the sun's disc placed between two mountains. Sometimes the
lions were depicted as being covered with leopard-like spots, leading some to th
ink it a depiction of the extinct Barbary lion, which, unlike African species, h
ad a spotted coat. Since the horizon was where night became day, Aker was said t
o guard the entrance and exit to the underworld, opening them for the sun to pas
s through during the night. As the guard, it was said that the dead had to reque
st Aker to open the underworld's gates, so that they might enter. Also, as all w
ho had died had to pass Aker, it was said that Aker annulled the causes of death
, such as extracting the poison from any snakes that had bitten the deceased, or
from any scorpions that had stung them. As the Egyptians believed that the gate
s of the morning and evening were guarded by Aker, they sometimes placed twin st
atues of lions at the doors of their palaces and tombs. This was to guard the ho
useholds and tombs from evil spirits and other malevolent beings. This practice
was adopted by the Greeks and Romans, and is still unknowingly followed by some
today. Unlike most of the other Egyptian deities, the worship of Aker remained p
opular well into the Greco-Roman era. Aker had no temples of his own like the ma
in gods in the Egyptian religion, since he was more connected to the primeval co
ncepts of the very old earth powers.
39
References
[1] George Hart, The Routledge dictionary of Egyptian gods and goddesses, Psycho
logy Press, 2005, via Google Books (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=yTNxvA
rA5YIC& lpg=PA12& dq=am-heh god underworld& pg=PA12#v=onepage& q=am-heh god unde
rworld& f=false)
Am-heh
Am-hehin hieroglyphs
Am-heh devourer of millions
In Egyptian mythology, Am-heh was a minor god from the underworld, whose name me
ans "devourer of millions". He was depicted as a man with the head of a dog who
lived in a lake of fire. Am-heh could only be controlled by the god Atum.[1] He
is sometimes confused with Ammit, another underworld creature who ate the hearts
of dead who did not pass the scales of Ma'at.[citation needed]
References
[1] George Hart, The Routledge dictionary of Egyptian gods and goddesses, Psycho
logy Press, 2005, via Google Books (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=yTNxvA
rA5YIC& lpg=PA12& dq=am-heh god underworld& pg=PA12#v=onepage& q=am-heh god unde
rworld& f=false)

Ammit
40
Ammit
Ammitin hieroglyphs
ammt devourer of the dead
Ammit (/mt/; "devourer" or "soul-eater"; also spelled Ammut or Ahemait) was a femal
e demon in ancient Egyptian religion with a body that was part lion, hippopotamu
s and crocodilethe three largest "man-eating" animals known to ancient Egyptians.
A funerary deity, her titles included "Devourer of the Dead", "Eater of Hearts"
, and "Great of Death". Ammit lived near the scales of justice in Duat, the Egyp
tian underworld. In the Hall of Two Truths, Anubis weighed the heart of a person
against the feather of Ma'at, the goddess of truth, which was depicted as an os
trich feather (the feather was often pictured in Ma'at's headdress). If the hear
t was judged to be not pure, Ammit would devour it, and the person undergoing ju
dgement was not allowed to continue their voyage towards Osiris and immortality.
Once Ammit swallowed the heart, the soul was believed to become restless foreve
r; this was called "to die a second time". Ammit was also sometimes said to stan
d by a lake of fire. In some traditions, the unworthy hearts were cast into the
fiery lake to be destroyed. Some scholars believe Ammit and the lake represent t
he same concept of destruction.
This detail scene from the Papyrus of Hunefer (ca. 1375 B.C.) shows Hunefer's he
art being weighed on the scale of Maat against the feather of truth, by the jack
al-headed Anubis. The ibis-headed Thoth, scribe of the gods, records the result.
If his heart is lighter than the feather, Hunefer is allowed to pass into the a
fterlife. If not, he is eaten by the waiting Ammit. Vignettes such as these were
a common illustration in [1] Egyptian books of the dead.
Ammit was not worshipped; instead she embodied all that the Egyptians feared, th
reatening to bind them to eternal restlessness if they did not follow the princi
ple of Ma'at. Ammit has been linkedWikipedia:Avoid weasel words with the goddess
Tawaret, who has a similar physical appearance and, as a companion of Bes, also
protected others from evil. Other authorsWikipedia:Avoid weasel words have note
d that Ammit's lion characteristics, and the lake of fire, may be pointers to a
connection with the goddess Sekhmet. The relation to afterlife punishment and la
ke of fire location are also shared with the baboon deity

Ammit Babi.
41
References
Media related to Ammit at Wikimedia Commons

Amun
42
Amun
Amun
Typical depiction of Amun during the New Kingdom, with two plumes on his head, t
he ankh symbol and the was sceptre. King of the Gods Name in hieroglyphs Major c
ult center Symbol Consort Thebes two vertical plumes, the ram-headed Sphinx (Cri
osphinx) Amunet Wosret Mut Khonsu
Offspring

Amun (also Amon, Amen, Greek mm , Hmm ) as a local deity of Thebes. He as a
he Old Ki gdom together ith his spouse Amau et. With the 11th dy asty (c. 21st
ce tury BC), he rose to the positio of patro deity of Thebes by replaci g Mo t
hu.[1] After the rebellio of Thebes agai st the Hyksos a d ith the rule of Ahm
ose I, Amu acquired atio al importa ce, expressed i his fusio ith the Su g
od, Ra, as Amu -Ra. Amu -Ra retai ed chief importa ce i the Egyptia pa theo t
hroughout the Ne Ki gdom (ith the exceptio of the "Ate ist heresy" u der Akhe
ate ). Amu -Ra i this period (16th to 11th ce turies BC) held the positio of
tra sce de tal, self-created[2] creator deity "par excelle ce", he as the champ
io of the poor or troubled a d ce tral to perso al piety.[3] His positio as Ki
g of Gods developed to the poi t of virtual mo otheism here other gods became
ma ifestatio s of him. With Osiris, Amu -Ra is the most idely recorded of the E
gyptia gods.[3] As the chief deity of the Egyptia Empire, Amu -Ra also came to
be orshipped outside of Egypt, i A cie t Libya a d Nubia, a d as Zeus Ammo c
ame to be ide tified ith Zeus i A cie t Greece.

Amu
43
Early history
Amu a d Amau et are me tio ed i the Old Egyptia pyramid texts.[4] Amu a d Am
au et formed o e quarter of the a cie t Ogdoad of Hermopolis, represe ti g the p
rimordial co cept or eleme t of air or i visibility (correspo di g to Shu i the
E ead), he ce Amu 's later fu ctio as a i d deity, a d the ame Amu (ritte
im , pro ou ced Ama a i a cie t Egyptia [5]), mea i g "hidde ".[6] It as th
ought that Amu created himself a d the his surrou di gs.[7] Amu rose to the p
ositio of tutelary deity of Thebes after the e d of the First I termediate Peri
od, u der the 11th dy asty. As the patro of Thebes, his spouse as Mut. I Theb
es, Amu as father, Mut as mother a d the Moo god Kho su formed a divi e family
or "Theba Triad".
Temple at Kar ak
The history of Amu as the patro god of Thebes begi s i the 20th ce tury BC, 
ith the co structio of the Preci ct of Amu -Re at Kar ak u der Se usret I. The
city of Thebes does ot appear to have bee of great sig ifica ce before the 11t
h dy asty. Major co structio ork i the Preci ct of Amu -Re took place duri g
the 18th dy asty he Thebes became the capital of the u ified A cie t Egypt. Co
structio of the Hypostyle Hall may have also bega duri g the 18th dy asty, th
ough most buildi g as u dertake u der Seti I a d Ramesses II. Mere ptah commem
orated his victories over the Sea Peoples o the alls of the Cachette Court, th
e start of the processio al route to the Luxor Temple. This Great I scriptio (
hich has o lost about a third of its co te t) shos the ki g's campaig s a d e
ve tual retur ith booty a d priso ers. Next to this i scriptio is the Victory
Stela, hich is largely a copy of the more famous Israel Stela fou d i the Wes
t Ba k fu erary complex of Mere ptah.[8] Mere ptah's so Seti II added 2 small o
belisks i fro t of the Seco d Pylo , a d a triple bark-shri e to the orth of t
he processio al ave ue i the same area. This as co structed of sa dsto e, ith
a chapel to Amu fla ked by those of Mut a d Kho su. The last major cha ge to t
he Preci ct of Amu -Re's layout as the additio of the first pylo a d the mass
ive e closure alls that surrou ded the hole Preci ct, both co structed by Nect
a eboI.

Amun
44
New Kingdom
Identification with Min and Ra
When the army of the founder of the Eighteenth dynasty expelled the Hyksos ruler
s from Egypt, the victor's city of origin, Thebes, became the most important cit
y in Egypt, the capital of a new dynasty. The local patron deity of Thebes, Amun
, therefore became nationally important. The pharaohs of that new dynasty attrib
uted all their successful enterprises to Amun, and they lavished much of their w
ealth and captured spoil on the construction of temples dedicated to Amun. The v
ictory accomplished by pharaohs who worshipped Amun against the "foreign rulers"
, brought him to be seen as a champion of the less fortunate, upholding the righ
ts of justice for the poor.[3] By aiding those who traveled in his name, he beca
me the Protector of the road. Since he upheld Ma'at (truth, justice, and goodnes
s),[3] those who prayed to Amun were required first to demonstrate that they wer
e worthy by confessing their sins. Votive stelae from the artisans' village at D
eir el-Medina record:
Bas-relief depicting Amun as pharaoh
"[Amun] who comes at the voice of the poor in distress, who gives breath to him
who is wretched..You are Amun, the Lord of the silent, who comes at the voice of
the poor; when I call to you in my distress You come and rescue me...Though the
servant was disposed to do evil, the Lord is disposed to forgive. The Lord of T
hebes spends not a whole day in anger; His wrath passes in a moment; none remain
s. His breath comes back to us in mercy..May your ka be kind; may you forgive; I
t shall not happen again."[9]

Amun
45
Subsequently, when Egypt conquered Kush, they identified the chief deity of the
Kushites as Amun. This Kush deity was depicted as ram-headed, more specifically
a woolly ram with curved horns. Amun thus became associated with the ram arising
from the aged appearance of the Kush ram deity. A solar deity in the form of a
ram can be traced to the pre-literate Kerma culture in Nubia, contemporary to th
e Old Kingdom of Egypt. The later (Meroitic period) name of Nubian Amun was Aman
i, attested in numerous personal names such as Tanwetamani, Arkamani, Amanitore,
Amanishakheto, Natakamani. Since rams were considered a symbol of virility, Amu
n also became thought of as a fertility deity, and so started to absorb the iden
tity of Min, becoming Amun-Min. This association with virility led to Amun-Min g
aining the epithet Kamutef, meaning Bull of his mother,[10] in which form he was
found depicted on the walls of Karnak, ithyphallic, and with a scourge, as Min
was.
Amun-Min as Amun-Ra ka-Mut-ef from the temple at Deir el Medina.

Amun
46
As the cult of Amun grew in importance, Amun became identified with the chief de
ity who was worshipped in other areas during that period, the sun god Ra. This i
dentification led to another merger of identities, with Amun becoming Amun-Ra. I
n the Hymn to Amun-Ra he is described as "Lord of truth, father of the gods, mak
er of men, creator of all animals, Lord of things that are, creator of the staff
of life."[11]
Atenist heresy
During the latter part of the eighteenth dynasty, the pharaoh Akhenaten (also kn
own as Amenhotep IV) disliked the power of the temple of Amun and advanced the w
orship of the Aten, a deity whose power was manifested in the sun disk, both lit
erally and symbolically. He defaced the symbols of many of the old deities, and
based his religious practices upon the deity, the Aten. He moved his capital awa
y from Thebes, but this abrupt change was very unpopular with the priests of Amu
n, who now found themselves without any of their former power. The religion of E
gypt was inexorably tied to the leadership of the country, the pharaoh being the
leader of both. The pharaoh was the highest priest in the temple of the capital
, and the next lower level of religious leaders were important advisers to the p
haraoh, many being administrators of the bureaucracy that ran the country. The i
ntroduction of Atenism under Akhenaton constructed a "monotheist" worship of Ate
n in direct competition with that of Amun. Praises of Amun on stelae are strikin
gly similar in language to those later used, in particular the Hymn to the Aten:
Re-Horakhty ("Ra (who is the) Horus of the two Horizons"), the fusion of Ra and
Horus, in depiction typical of the New Kingdom. Re-Horakhty was in turn identifi
ed with Amun.
"When thou crossest the sky, all faces behold thee, but when thou departest, tho
u are hidden from their faces ... When thou settest in the western mountain, the
n they sleep in the manner of death ... The fashioner of that which the soil pro
duces, ... a mother of profit to gods and men; a patient craftsmen, greatly wear
ying himself as their maker..valiant herdsman, driving his cattle, their refuge
and the making of their living..The sole Lord, who reaches the end of the lands
every day, as one who sees them that tread thereon ... Every land chatters at hi
s rising every day, in order to praise him."[12] When Akhenaten died, the priest
s of Amun-Ra reasserted themselves. His name was struck from Egyptian records, a
ll of his religious and governmental changes were undone, and the capital was re
turned to Thebes. The return to the previous capital and its patron deity was ac
complished so swiftly that it seemed this almost monotheistic cult and its gover
nmental reforms had never existed. Worship of Aten ceased and worship of Amun-Ra
was restored. The priests of Amun even persuaded his young son, Tutankhaten, wh
ose name meant "the living image of Aten"and who later would become a pharaohto ch
ange his name to Tutankhamun, "the living image of Amun".
Theology
In the New Kingdom, Amun became successively identified with all other Egyptian
deities, to the point of virtual monotheism (which was then attacked by means of
the "counter-monotheism" of Atenism). Primarily, the god of wind Amun came to b
e identified with the solar god Ra and the god of fertility and creation Min, so
that Amun-Ra had the main characteristic of a solar god, creator god and fertil
ity god. He also adopted the aspect of the ram from the Nubian solar god, beside
s numerous other titles and aspects.

Amun As Amun-Re he was petitioned for mercy by those who believed suffering had
come about as a result of their own or others wrongdoing. Amon-Re "who hears the
prayer, who comes at the cry of the poor and distressed...Beware of him! Repeat
him to son and daughter, to great and small; relate him to generations of gener
ations who have not yet come into being; relate him to fishes in the deep, to bi
rds in heaven; repeat him to him who does not know him and to him who knows him.
..Though it may be that the servant is normal in doing wrong, yet the Lord is no
rmal in being merciful. The Lord of Thebes does not spend an entire day angry. A
s for his anger in the completion of a moment there is no remnant..As thy Ka end
ures! thou wilt be merciful!"[13] In the Leiden hymns, Amun, Ptah, and Re are re
garded as a trinity who are distinct gods but with unity in plurality.[14] "The
three gods are one yet the Egyptian elsewhere insists on the separate identity o
f each of the three."[15] This unity in plurality is expressed in one text: "All
gods are three: Amun, Re and Ptah, whom none equals. He who hides his name as A
mun, he appears to the face as Re, his body is Ptah."[16] The hidden aspect of A
mun and his likely association with the wind caused Henri Frankfort to draw para
llels with a passage from the Gospel of John: "The wind blows where it wishes, a
nd you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is
going."[ John3:8 [17]][18] A Leiden hymn to Amun describes how he calms stormy s
eas for the troubled sailor: "The tempest moves aside for the sailor who remembe
rs the name of Amon. The storm becomes a sweet breeze for he who invokes His nam
e... Amon is more effective than millions for he who places Him in his heart. Th
anks to Him the single man becomes stronger than a crowd."[19]
47
Third Intermediate Period
Theban High Priests of Amun
While not regarded as a dynasty, the High Priests of Amun at Thebes were neverth
eless of such power and influence that they were effectively the rulers of Upper
Egypt from 1080 to c. 943 BC. By the time Herihor was proclaimed as the first r
uling High Priest of Amun in 1080 BCin the 19th Year of Ramesses XIthe Amun priest
hood exercised an effective stranglehold on Egypt's economy. The Amun priests ow
ned two-thirds of all the temple lands in Egypt and 90 percent of her ships plus
many other resources.[20] Consequently, the Amun priests were as powerful as Ph
araoh, if not more so. One of the sons of the High Priest Pinedjem I would event
ually assume the throne and rule Egypt for almost half a decade as pharaoh Psuse
nnes I, while the Theban High Priest Psusennes III would take the throne as king
Psusennes IIthe final ruler of the 21st Dynasty.
The sarcophagus of a priestess of Amon-Ra, c. 1000 BC Smithsonian's National Mus
eum of Natural History

Amun
48
Decline
In the 10th century BC, the overwhelming dominance of Amun over all of Egypt gra
dually began to decline. In Thebes, however, his worship continued unabated, esp
ecially under the Nubian Twenty-fifth Dynasty of Egypt, as Amun was by now seen
as a national god in Nubia. The Temple of Amun, Jebel Barkal, founded during the
New Kingdom, came to be the center of the religious ideology of the Kingdom of
Kush. The Victory Stele of Piye at Gebel Barkal (8th century BC) now distinguish
es between an "Amun of Napata" and an "Amun of Thebes". Tantamani (died 653 BC),
the last pharaoh of the Nubian dynasty, still bore a theophoric name referring
to Amun in the Nubian form Amani.
This Third Intermediate Period amulet from the Walters Art Museum depicts Amun f
used with the solar deity, Re, thereby making the supreme solar deity Amun-Re.

Amun
49
Iron Age and Classical Antiquity
Nubia, Sudan and Libya
In areas outside of Egypt where the Egyptians had previously brought the cult of
Amun his worship continued into Classical Antiquity. In Nubia, where his name w
as pronounced Amane or Amani, he remained a national deity, with his priests, at
Meroe and Nobatia,[21] regulating the whole government of the country via an or
acle, choosing the ruler, and directing military expeditions. According to Diodo
rus Siculus, these religious leaders even were able to compel kings to commit su
icide, although this tradition stopped when Arkamane, in the 3rd century BC, sle
w them. In Sudan, excavation of an Amun temple at Dangeil began in 2000 under th
e directorship of Drs Salah Mohamed Ahmed and Julie R. Anderson of the National
Corporation for Antiquities and Museums (NCAM), Sudan and the British Museum, UK
, respectively. The temple was found to have been destroyed by fire and Accelera
tor Mass Depiction of Amun in a relief at Karnak (15th Spectrometry (AMS) and C1
4 dating of the charred roof beams have century BC) placed construction of the m
ost recent incarnation of the temple in the 1st century AD. This date is further
confirmed by the associated ceramics and inscriptions. Following its destructio
n, the temple gradually decayed and collapsed.[22] In Libya there remained a sol
itary oracle of Amun in the Libyan Desert at the oasis of Siwa.[23] The worship
of Ammon was introduced into Greece at an early period, probably through the med
ium of the Greek colony in Cyrene, which must have formed a connection with the
great oracle of Ammon in the Oasis soon after its establishment. Iarbas, a mytho
logical king of Libya, was also considered a son of Hammon.

Levant
Amun is mentioned as a deity in the Hebrew Bible, and in the Nevi'im, texts pres
umably written in the 7th century BC, the name
No Amown occurs twice in reference t
hebes,[24] by the KJV rendered just as No: Jeremiah 46:25:25 The Lord of hosts,
the God of Israel, said: Behold, I am bringing punishment upon Amon of Thebes, an
d Pharaoh and Egypt and her gods and her kings, upon Pharaoh and those who trust
in him. English Standard Version: Nahum 3:8 "Art thou better than populous No,
that was situate among the rivers, that had the waters round about it, whose ram
part was the sea, and her wall was from the sea?"

Amun
50
Greece
Ammon had a temple and a statue, the gift of Pindar (d. 443 BC), at Thebes,[25]
and another at Sparta, the inhabitants of which, as Pausanias says,[26] consulte
d the oracle of Ammon in Libya from early times more than the other Greeks. At A
phytis, Chalcidice, Ammon was worshipped, from the time of Lysander (d. 395 BC),
as zealously as in Ammonium. Pindar the poet honoured the god with a hymn. At M
egalopolis the god was represented with the head of a ram (Paus. viii.32 1), and
the Greeks of Cyrenaica dedicated at Delphi a chariot with a statue of Ammon. S
uch was its reputation among the Classical Greeks that Alexander the Great journ
eyed there after the battle of Issus and during his occupation of Egypt, where h
e was declared "the son of Amun" by the oracle. Alexander thereafter considered
himself divine. Even during this occupation, Amun, identified by these Greeks as
a form of Zeus,[27] continued to be the principal local deity of Thebes.
Several words derive from Amun via the Greek form, Ammon, such as ammonia and am
monite. The Romans called the ammonium chloride they collected from deposits nea
r the Temple of Jupiter Amun in ancient Libya sal ammoniacus (salt of Amun) beca
use of proximity to the nearby temple.[28] Ammonia, as well as being the chemica
l, is a genus name in the foraminifera. Both these foraminiferans (shelled Proto
zoa) and ammonites (extinct shelled cephalopods) bear spiral shells resembling a
ram's, and Ammon's, horns. The regions of the hippocampus in the brain are call
ed the cornu ammonis literally "Amun's Horns", due to the horned appearance of the
dark and light bands of cellular layers. In Paradise Lost, Milton identifies Am
mon with the biblical Ham (Cham) and states that the gentiles called him the Lib
yan Jove.
Zeus Ammon. Roman copy of a Greek original from the late 5th centrury B.C. The G
reeks of the lower Nile Delta and Cyrenaica combined features of supreme god Zeu
s with features of the Egyptian god Ammon-Ra. Staatliche Antikensammlungen Munic
h.
References
[1] Warburton (2012:211). [2] Michael Brennan Dick, Born in heaven, made on eart
h: the making of the cult image in the ancient Near East, Eisenbrauns, 1999 ISBN
1575060248, p. 184 (fn. 80) (http:/ / books. google. co. uk/ books?id=VP3o2908v
10C& pg=PA185& lpg=PA185& dq=Amun+ religious+ self-creation+ definition& source=
bl& ots=KZRcLTyiix& sig=c1YxVb8j2eAplPGPweBDAZVnjHQ& hl=en& ei=vN3nTr3WLpLb8QOx_
o2bCg& sa=X& oi=book_result& ct=result& resnum=8& sqi=2& ved=0CFcQ6AEwBw#v=onepa
ge& q=Amun religious self-creation definition& f=false) [3] Vincent Arieh Tobin,
Oxford Guide: The Essential Guide to Egyptian Mythology, Edited by Donald B. Re
dford, p. 20, Berkley books, ISBN 0-425-19096-X [4] Die Altaegyptischen Pyramide
ntexte nach den Papierabdrucken und Photographien des Berliner Museums (1908), n
o 446 (http:/ / www. lib. uchicago. edu/ cgi-bin/ eos/ eos_page. pl?DPI=100& cal
lnum=PJ1553. A1_1908_cop3& object=242). [5] Egypt and the Egyptians pg. 123 (htt
p:/ / books. google. ca/ books?id=Lo8BI6vUv18C& pg=PA123& dq=amun+ amana+ egypti
an& hl=en& sa=X& ei=hU7eULGLMenB0QHdnoCoBQ& ved=0CEcQ6AEwAg#v=onepage& q=amana &
f=false) [6] Stewert, Desmond and editors of the Newsweek Book Division "The Py
ramids and Sphinx" 1971 pp. 6062 [7] http:/ / www. ancientegyptonline. co. uk/ am
un. html [8] Blyth, 2007, p.164 [9] Ancient Egyptian Literature: Volume II: The
New Kingdom, Miriam Lichtheim, p105-106, University of California Press, 1976, I
SBN 0-520-03615-8 [11] Budge, E.A. Wallis,""An Introduction to Egyptian Literatu
re", p.214, Dover edition 1997, first pub. 1914, ISBN 0-486-29502-8 [12] John A.
Wilson, "The Burden of Egypt", p. 211, University of Chicago Press, 1951, 4th i
mp 1963, Republished as "The Culture of Ancient Egypt", ISBN 978-0-226-90152-7 U
chicago.edu (http:/ / www. press. uchicago. edu/ presssite/ metadata. epl?mode=s
ynopsis& bookkey=67334)

Amun
[13] "The Burden of Egypt", John A. Wilson, p300, University of Chicago Press, 1
951, 4th imp 1963, Republished as "The Culture of Ancient Egypt", ISBN 978-0-226
-90152-7 Uchicago.edu (http:/ / www. press. uchicago. edu/ presssite/ metadata.
epl?mode=synopsis& bookkey=67334) [14] Egyptian Religion: Siegried Morenz, Trans
lated by Ann E. Keep, Cornell University Press, 1992, p.144-145,ISBN 0-8014-8029
-9 [15] "Before Philosophy", Henri Frankfort, John A. Wilson, Thorkild Jacobsen,
p. 75, Pelican, 1951 [16] "Of God and Gods", Jan Assmann. p. 64, University of
Wisconsin Press, 2008, ISBN 029922554 [17] http:/ / www. biblegateway. com/ bibl
e?passage=John%203:8;& version=NASB; [18] "Before Philosophy", Henri Frankfort (
contributor), p. 18, Penguin, 1951 [19] The Living Wisdom of Ancient Egypt, Chri
stian Jacq, p. 143, Simon & Schuster, 1999, ISBN 0-671-02219-9 [20] Peter Clayto
n, Chronicle of the Pharaohs, Thames & Hudson Ltd., 1994. p.175 [21] Herodotus,
The Histories ii.29 [23] Pausanias, Description of Greece x.13 3 [24] Strong's C
oncordance / Gesenius' Lexicon (http:/ / cf. blueletterbible. org/ lang/ lexicon
/ lexicon. cfm?Strongs=0528& version=NIV) [25] Pausanias, Description of Greece
ix.16 1 [26] Pausanias, Description of Greece iii.18 2 [27] Jerem. xlvi.25
51
Sources
Adolf Erman, Handbook of Egyptian Religion (London, 1907) David Klotz, Adoration
of the Ram: Five Hymns to Amun-Re from Hibis Temple (New Haven, 2006) David War
burton, Architecture, Power, and Religion: Hatshepsut, Amun and Karnak in Contex
t, 2012, ISBN 9783643902351. E. A. W. Budge, Tutankhamen: Amenism, Atenism, and
Egyptian Monotheism (http://sacred-texts.com/egy/tut/ tut00.htm) (1923). Ed. Mey
er, article "Ammon" in W. H. Roscher's Lexikon der griechischen und rmischen Myth
ologie Pietschmann, articles "Ammon" and "Ammoneion" in Pauly-Wissowa, Realencyc
lopdie. This articleincorporates text from a publication now in the public domain:Ch
isholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopdia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University
Press.
External links
Wim van den Dungen, Leiden Hymns to Amun (http://www.maat.sofiatopia.org/amun.ht
m) (Spanish) Karnak 3D :: Detailed 3D-reconstruction of the Great Temple of Amun
at Karnak (http://www. karnak3d.net), Marc Mateos, 2007 Amun with features of T
utankhamun (http://www.flickr.com/photos/schumata/3478852986/) (statue, c. 133212
92 BC, Penn Museum)

Amunet
52
Amunet
For the Stargate character, see Amonet (Stargate). For the Egyptian goddess of t
he west, see Imentet.
Amunetin hieroglyphs
imnt the hidden one [1][2] imnt the hidden one
bas relief of Amunet in Luxor.
Amunet (/m nt/; also spelled Amonet or Amaunet) was a primordial goddess in Ancient Eg
yptian religion. She is a member of the Ogdoad and the consort of Amun.
Etymology
Her name, meaning "the female hidden one", was simply the feminine form of Amun'
s own name. Therefore, it is likely that she was never an independent deity, but
was created as his female counterpart.[2]
Myths
The Egyptians identified her with Neith as the mother of the god Ra. By at least
the Twelfth dynasty she was overshadowed as Amun's consort by Mut, but she rema
ined locally important in the region of Thebes where Amun was worshipped, and th
ere she was seen as a protector of the pharaoh. At Karnak, Amun's cult center, p
riests were dedicated to Amunet's service. The goddess also played a part in roy
al ceremonies such as the Sed festival. Amunet was depicted as a woman wearing t
he Red Crown and carrying a staff of papyrus.

Amunet
53
References
[1] George Hart, The Routledge dictionary of Egyptian gods and goddesses, Psycho
logy Press, 2005, via Google Books (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=yTNxvA
rA5YIC& lpg=PA12& dq=am-heh god underworld& pg=PA12#v=onepage& q=am-heh god unde
rworld& f=false) [2] Wilkinson, Richard H. (2003). The Complete Gods and Goddess
es of Ancient Egypt. Thames & Hudson. pp. 136137
Andjety
Andjety in hieroglyphs
Andjety is an Ancient Egyptian deity whose name is associated with the city of A
ndjet, which in the Greek language was called Busiris.[1] This deity is also kno
wn by the alternative names Anezti or Anedjti.[2] Andjety is considered one of t
he earliest Egyptian gods, possibly with roots in Predynastic Egypt.[3] Andjety
is thought to have been a precursor of Osiris.[4] Like Osiris he is depicted hol
ding the crook and flail and has a crown similar to Osiris's Atef crown. King Sn
eferu of the 4th dynasty, builder of the first true pyramid, is shown wearing th
e crown of Andjety. In the Pyramid texts[5] the king's power is associated with
Andjety. In the temple of Seti I the king is shown offering incense to Osiris-An
djety who is accompanied by Isis.[6]
Writings mentioning Andjety
[Coffin Text (CT) V-385].... I immerse the waterways as Osiris,Lord of corruptio
n,as Adjety,bull of vultures. [CT I-255]............... "Oh Horus Lord of Life,f
are downstream and upstream from Andjety,make inspection of those who are in Dje
du,come and go in Rosetau,clear the vision of those who are in the underworld.Fa
rer upstream from Rosetau to Abydos,the primeval place of the Lord of All. [CT I
V-331] ..............O Thoth vindicate Osiris against his foes in :--- the great
tribunal which is in the two banks of the kite on the night of the drowning of
the great god in Adjety. [Pyramid texts (PT)182] ..."In your name the one who is
in Andjet headman of his nomes" [PT 220] ..................May your staff be th
e head of the spirits,as Anubis who presides over the Westerners,and Andjety who
presides over the eastern nomes [PT 614] :..............." Horus has revived yo
u in this your name of Andjety[7]
References
[1] philosophy-theology (http:/ / henadology. wordpress. com/ theology/ netjeru/
andjety/ ) 17/09/2011 [2] Wolfram Research provision (http:/ / www. wolframalph
a. com/ entities/ mythology_and_mythological/ andjety/ a4/ 20/ p5/ ) retrieved 1
9/09/2011 [3] Sjef Wilcockx (http:/ / www. egyptology. nl/ pdf/ magic/ 2ndprevw.
pdf) retrieved 17/09/2011 [4] The origins of Osiris and his cult By John Gwyn G
riffiths (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=vYIeAAAAIAAJ& printsec=frontcove
r#v=onepage& q& f=false) [5] translation of the pyramid texts (http:/ / www. sbl
-site. org/ assets/ pdfs/ onlinebooks/ PDF/ OnlineBooks/ AllenPyramid. pdf) retr
ieved 18/09/2011 [6] "The Routledge dictionary of Egyptian gods and goddesses",
George Hart 2nd ed, p23, Routledge, 2005, ISBN 0-415-36116-8 [7] all writings qu
oted from Sjef Willcockx (http:/ / www. egyptology. nl/ pdf/ magic/ 2ndprevw. pd
f) retrieved 17/09/2011

Anhur
54
Anhur
In early Egyptian mythology, Anhur (also spelled Onuris, Onouris, An-Her, Anhure
t, Han-Her, Inhert) was originally a god of war who was worshipped in the Egypti
an area of Abydos, and particularly in Thinis. Myths told that he had brought hi
s wife, Menhit, who was his female counterpart, from Nubia, and his name reflect
s thisit means (one who) leads back the distant one.[2] One of his titles was Sla
yer of Enemies. Anhur was depicted as a bearded man wearing a robe and a headdre
ss with four feathers, holding a spear or lance, or occasionally as a lion-heade
d god (representing strength and power). In some depictions, the robe was more s
imilar to a kilt.[3]
Anhur was depicted wearing a headdress of two or four tall [1] feathers.

Anhur
55
Due to his position as a war god, he was patron of the ancient Egyptian army, an
d the personification of royal warriors. Indeed, at festivals honoring him, mock
battles were staged. During the Roman era the Emperor Tiberius was depicted on
the walls of Egyptian temples wearing the distinctive four-plumed crown of Anhur
. Anhur's name also could mean Sky Bearer and, due to the shared headdress, Anhu
r was later identified with Shu, becoming Anhur-Shu.
High Priests of Anhur
Amenhotep, from the time of Thutmose IV. Amenhotep's wife Henut was a songstress
of Anhur. Their sons Hat and Kenna were Chariot Warriors of His Majesty. Known
from a stela now in the British Museum (EA 902).[4] Hori [5] Minmose, son of the
High Priest of Anhur Hori and his wife Inty. From the reign of Ramesses II. [5]
Anhurmose, from the time of Merenptah. [5][6] Sishepset, from the time of Rames
ses III [6] Harsiese, mentioned on an ostracon in Abydos [6]
Amulet of Anhur
In popular culture
Anhur is a playable character in the Multiplayer online battle arena, SMITE. Anh
ur is a ranged carry and is nicknamed the Slayer of Enemies.[7] Anhur is also a
chaotic god in the computer game Nethack/SLASH'EM
References
[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] Wilkinson, Richard H. (2003). The Complete Gods and
Goddesses of Ancient Egypt. Thames & Hudson. p. 118 The Way to Eternity: Egyptia
n Myth, F. Fleming & A. Lothian, p. 56 Turner and Coulter, Dictionary of ancient
deities, 2001 Topographical Bibliography Vol VIII, retrieved from Griffith Inst
itute website (http:/ / www. griffith. ox. ac. uk/ gri/ 2. html) May 2010 Kitche
n, K.A., Rammeside Inscriptions, Translated & Annotated, Translations, Volume II
I, Blackwell Publishers, 1996 Porter and Moss Topographical Bibliography; Volume
V Upper Egypt Griffith Institute http:/ / www. smitewiki. com/ Anhur
External links
Iconography of Onuris (http://www.religionswissenschaft.unizh.ch/idd/prepublicat
ions/e_idd_onuris.pdf) (PDF; article)

Anit
56
Anit
Anit, also spelled Enit, and it is a name of an ancient Egyptian goddess. She wa
s depicted as a female wearing a headdress similar to that of Meskhenet. She is
often referred to as the consort of Menthu.[1]
External links
image of Anit-The gods of the Egyptians or, Studies in Egyptian mythology. [2] E
. A. Wallis Budge Published 1904 [3] retrieved 18/09/2011
References
[1] W. Max Muller, Egyptian Mythology, Kessinger Publishing 2004, ISBN 0-7661-86
01-6, p.130 [2] http:/ / www. archive. org/ stream/ godsofegyptianso02budg#page/
60/ mode/ 2up [3] openlibrary (http:/ / openlibrary. org/ books/ OL17976394M/ T
he_gods_of_the_Egyptians)
(copyrighted text) From Fetish to God in Ancient Egypt By E. A. Wallis Budge (ht
tp:/ / books. google. co. uk/ books?id=mx5IaCC9KJYC& pg=PA60& lpg=PA60& dq=godde
ss+ Anit& source=bl& ots=JatQ2wJx4E& sig=TuR8dDwY-ChnnfJSY6PIeH8Sueg& hl=en& ei=
1Zp1Tq7lH8mm0QX76eWdCA& sa=X& oi=book_result& ct=result&resnum=8&ved=0CEYQ6AEwBw
#v=onepage&q=goddess Anit&f=false) retrieved 18/09/2011

Anput
57
Anput
Anput is a goddess in ancient Egyptian religion. Her name is also rendered Input
, Inpewt and Yineput.[1] Her name is written in hieroglyphs as inpwt.[2]
Anput
Wife of Anubis Consort Anubis
Mythology
Anput is a female counterpart of the god Anubis.[3] She is also a goddess of the
seventeenth nome of Upper Egypt.[4]
References
[1] Caroline Seawright: Anubis, God of Embalming and Guide and Friend of the Dea
d... (http:/ / www. thekeep. org/ ~kunoichi/ kunoichi/ themestream/ anubis. html
) [2] Caroline Seawright: Anubis, God of Embalming and Guide and Friend of the D
ead... (http:/ / www. thekeep. org/ ~kunoichi/ kunoichi/ themestream/ anubis. ht
ml) [3] Wilkinson, Richard H. (2003). The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient
Egypt. Thames & Hudson. p. 190 [4] Terence DuQuesne (2007), Anubis, Upwawet, an
d Other Deities: Personal Worship and Official Religion in Ancient Egypt, p. 20
Hathor, Pharaoh Menkaura, and Anput

Anti (mythology)
58
Anti (mythology)
In Egyptian mythology, Anti (Antaeus in Greek, but probably not connected to the
Antaeus in Greek mythology) was a god whose worship centred at Antaeopolis, in
the northern part of Upper Egypt. His worship is quite ancient, dating from at l
east the 2nd dynasty, at which point he already had priests dedicated to his cul
t. Originally, Anti appears to have been the patron of the ancient area around B
adari, which was the centre of the cult of Horus. Due to lack of surviving infor
mation, it is not very well known what the original function of Anti was, or whe
ther he was more than just a title of Horus referring to some specific function.
[1] Over time, he became considered simply as the god of ferrymen, and was conse
quently depicted as a falcon standing on a boat, a reference to Horus, who was o
riginally considered as a falcon. As god of ferrymen, he gained the title Nemty,
meaning (one who) travels. His later cult centre Antaeopolis was known as Per-N
emty (House of Nemty). Anti appears in the tale The Contendings of Horus and Set
h which describes the settlement of the inheritance of Osiris, seen as a metapho
r for the conquest of Lower Egypt by Upper Egypt (whose patron was Seth), at the
beginning of the Old Kingdom. In this tale, one of Seth's attempts to gain powe
r consists of his gathering together the gods, and providing good arguments, con
vincing all of them (in later traditions, all except Thoth). Seth fears magical
intervention by Isis, Horus' wife (in early Egyptian mythology), and so holds th
e gathering on an island, instructing Anti not to allow anyone resembling Isis t
o be ferried there. However, Isis disguises herself as an old woman, and unknowi
ngly Anti takes her across after being paid a gold ring, having rejected the fir
st offer of gruel, resulting in the disruption of the council by her use of magi
c. Anti is punished for his error, by having his toes cut off, which is more sev
ere than it appears, since as a falcon, he would no longer be able to perch, and
thus would not be able to reside on the boat.[2]
References
[1] Toby A. H. Wilkinson, Early Dynastic Egypt, Routledge 1999, ISBN 0-415-26011
-6, p.315 [2] "The Contendings of Horus and Seth" in William Kelly Simpson (ed.)
, The Literature of Ancient Egypt, 1972

Anubis
59
Anubis
Anubis
The Egyptian god Anubis (a modern rendition inspired by New Kingdom tomb paintin
gs) Protector of the dead and embalming Name in hieroglyphs Major cult center Sy
mbol Consort Parents Lycopolis, Cynopolis the fetish, the flail Anput Ra (early
myth) Nephthys and Set, or Osiris (in some accounts) (later) Horus (in some acco
unts) Kebechet [1]
Siblings Offspring

Anubis (/nubs/ or /njubs/;[2] Ancient Greek: ) s the Greek name[3] fr a jack
cated wth mmmfcatn and the afterlfe n ancent Egyptan relgn. He s
the sn f Nephthys and Set accrdng t the Egyptan mythlgy. Accrdng t t
he Akkadan transcrptn n the Amarna letters, Ans' name was vcalzed n E
gyptan as Anapa.[4] The ldest knwn mentn f Ans s n the Old Kngdm py
ramd texts, where he s asscated wth the ral f the pharah.[] At ths t
me, Ans was the mst mprtant gd f the dead t he was replaced drng the
Mddle Kngdm y Osrs.[5] He takes names n cnnectn wth hs fnerary rl
e, sch as He wh s pn hs mntan, whch nderscres hs mprtance as a pr
tectr f the deceased and ther tms, and the ttle He wh s n the place f
emalmng, asscatng hm wth the prcess f mmmfcatn.[] Lke many ance
nt Egyptan detes, Ans assmes dfferent rles n vars cntexts. Ans
als attends the weghng scale n the Afterlfe drng the "Weghng Of The Hea
rt".[6] Ans' wfe s a gddess called Anpt. Hs daghter s the gddess Kee
chet.

Ans
60
Prtrayal
Ans was asscated wth the mmmfcatn and prtectn f the dead fr the
r jrney nt the afterlfe. He was sally prtrayed as a half hman, half jac
kal, r n fll jackal frm wearng a rn and hldng a flal n the crk f
ts arm.[] The jackal [Nte: recent genetc stdes shw that the Egyptan jack
al s actally a frm f the grey wlf and has ths een renamed the "Egyptan W
lf"[]] was strngly asscated wth cemeteres n ancent Egypt, snce t was a
scavenger whch threatened t ncver hman des and eat ther flesh.[7] The
dstnctve lack clr f Ans "dd nt have t d wth the jackal [per se] 
t wth the clr f rttng flesh and wth the lack sl f the Nle valley, s
ymlzng rerth."[7] The nly knwn depctn f hm n flly hman frm s 
n the tm f Ramesses II n Ayds.[8] Ans s depcted n fnerary cntexts
where he s shwn attendng t the mmmes f the deceased r sttng atp a tm
 prtectng t. In fact, drng emalmng, the "head emalmer" wre an Ans c
stme. The crtcal weghng f the heart scene n the Bk f the Dead als sh
ws Ans perfrmng the measrement that determned the wrthness f the dece
ased t enter the realm f the dead (the nderwrld, knwn as Dat). New Kngdm
tm-seals als depct Ans sttng atp the nne ws that symlze hs dm
natn ver the enemes f Egypt.[]
Emalmer
One f the rles f Ans was "Gardan f the Scales".[9] Decdng the weght
f "trth" y weghng the Heart aganst Ma'at, wh was ften depcted as an st
rch feather, Ans dctated the fate f sls. In ths manner, he was a Lrd 
f the Underwrld, nly srped y Osrs. Ans s a sn f Ra n early myths,
t later he ecame knwn as sn f Set and Nephthys, and he helped Iss mmmfy
Osrs.[7] Indeed, when the Myth f Osrs and Iss emerged, t was sad that w
hen Osrs had een klled y Set, Osrs' rgans were gven t Ans as a gft
. Wth ths cnnectn, Ans ecame the patrn gd f emalmers: drng the f
nerary rtes f mmmfcatn, llstratns frm the Bk f the Dead ften sh
w a prest wearng the jackal mask spprtng the prght mmmy.
Perceptns tsde Egypt
In later tmes, drng the Ptlemac perd, Ans was merged wth the Greek g
d Hermes, ecmng [10] The centre f ths clt was n ten-ha/Sa-ka/ Cynpls,
a place whse Greek name smply means Hermans. "cty f dgs". In Bk XI f
"The Glden Ass" y Aples, we fnd evdence that the wrshp f ths gd was
mantaned n Rme at least p t the 2nd centry. Indeed, Hermans als appe
ars n the alchemcal and hermetcal lteratre f the Mddle Ages and the Rena
ssance. Althgh the Greeks and Rmans typcally scrned Egypt's anmal-headed g
ds as zarre and prmtve (Ans was knwn t e mckngly called "Barker" 
y the Greeks), Ans was smetmes asscated wth Srs n the heavens, and C
erers n Hades. In hs dalges,[11] Plat has Scrates tter, "y the dg" (
ka me tn kna), "y the dg f Egypt", "y the dg, the gd f the Egyptans",
[12] fr emphass. Ans s als knwn as the gd f mmmfcatn and death nlke ther jackals, Ans' head was lack t resemle hs stats as gd f de
ath.

Ans
61
Brth
Usally, Ans s prtrayed as the sn f Nephthys and Set, Osrs'
the gd f the desert and darkness. One myth says that Nephthys gt
k and the resltant sedctn rght frth Ans. Yet anther says
ed herself as Iss and sedced Osrs and sseqently gave rth t

rther and
Osrs drn
she dsgs
Ans.[]

Ans state frm the Tm f Ttankhamn (Car Msem).


Ans attendng the mmmy f the deceased.
State f Hermans (Vatcan Msems)
Ans mask, Remer- nd Pelzaes-Msem Hldeshem
A wrshpper kneelng efre Ans, Walters Art Msem
Mscnceptns n Pplar Meda
The 2008 cmc dcmentary Relgls refers t Ans, as "Anp the Baptzer" a
nd says that he perfrmed aptsms n Egyptan mythlgy. There s n evdence f
r aptsm and t s wdely held y Egyptlgsts that Ans' rle was asscat
ed wth the mmmfcatn and prtectn f the dead fr ther jrney nt the
afterlfe. Ans and Wepwawet (Upat) led the deceased t the halls f Maat wh
ere they wld e jdged. Ans versaw the prcess and ensred that the wegh
ng f the heart was cndcted crrectly. He then led the nncent n t a heaven
ly exstence and aandned the glty t Ammt.[13]

Ans
62
Weghng f the heart
The weghng f the heart ceremny was an mprtant factr f the Egyptan myth
lgy. In ths ceremny, the heart was weghed y Ans, aganst an strch feat
her representng Maat r trth. If the heart was heaver than the feather the s
l wld e devred y Ammt.[14]
References
[1] The Rtledge Dctnary f Egyptan Gds and Gddesses, G. Hart ISBN 0-41534495-6, [2] Merram-Wester's Cllegate Dctnary, Eleventh Edtn. MerramWester, 2007. p. 56 [5] Charles Freeman, The Legacy f Ancent Egypt, Facts n
Fle, Inc. 1997. p.91 [7] Freeman, p. ct., p.91 [8] http:/ / www. ancent-egyp
t. rg/ ndex. html [11] e.g. Replc 399e, 592a [12] Grgas, 482 [14] http:/
/ www. rtshmsem. rg/ explre/ yng_explrers/ dscver/ msem_explrer/
ancent_egypt/ death/ weghng_the_heart. aspx
External lnks
Ans Archaewk.rg (http://www.archaewk.rg/Ans)

Anket
63
Anket
Anket
The gddess Anket, depcted as a wman wth a tall, plmed headdress Gddess f
the rver Name n herglyphs Majr clt center Parents Elephantne, Sehel Khn
m and Satet
In Egyptan mythlgy, Anket (als spelt Anqet, and n Greek, Anks) was rg
nally the persnfcatn and gddess f the Nle rver, n areas sch as Elepha
ntne, at the start f the Nle's jrney thrgh Egypt, and n neary regns 
f Na. Anket was part f a trad wth the gd Khnm, and the gddess Sats. I
t s pssle that Anket was cnsdered the daghter f Khnm and Sats n ths
trad, r she may have een a jnr cnsrt t Khnm nstead. [1] Anket was d
epcted as a wman wth a headdress f feathers [1] (thght y mst Egyptlgs
ts t e a detal dervng frm Na). [ctatn needed] Her sacred anmal was
the gazelle. A temple dedcated t Anket was erected n the Island f Sehel. I
nscrptns shw that a shrne r altar was dedcated t her at ths ste y the
13th dynasty Pharah Sekhtep III. Mch later, drng the 18th dynasty, Amenh
tep II dedcated a chapel t the gddess. [2] Drng the New Kngdm, Ankets cu
lt at Elephantine included a river procession of the goddess during the first mo
nth of Shemu. Inscriptions mention the processional festival of Khnum and Anuket
during this time period. [3] Ceremonially, when the Nile started its annual flo
od, the Festival of Anuket began. People threw coins, gold, jewelry, and preciou
s gifts into the river, in thanks for the life-giving water and returning benefi
ts derived from the wealth provided by her fertility to the goddess. The taboo h
eld in several parts of Egypt, against eating certain fish which were considered
sacred, was lifted during this time, suggesting that a fish species of the Nile
was a totem for Anuket and that they were consumed as part of the ritual of her
major religious festival.[citation needed]

Anuket
64
References
[1] Geraldine Pinch, Egyptian Mythology: A Guide to the Gods, Goddesses, and Tra
ditions of Ancient Egypt, Oxford University Press, 2004, p 186 [2] Kathryn A. Ba
rd, Encyclopedia of the archaeology of ancient Egypt, Psychology Press, 1999, p
178 [3] Zahi A. Hawass, Lyla Pinch Brock, Egyptology at the Dawn of the Twenty-f
irst Century: Archaeology, American Univ in Cairo Press, 2003, p 443

Apep
65
Apep
Apep
Atum and snake Apep Parents Siblings Neith Ra

Apep (/ pp/ or / pp/) or Apophis (/pfs/; Ancient Greek: ; als spelled Apep
d n ancent Egyptan relgn, the defcatn f darkness and chas (zft n Egyp
tan), and ths ppnent f lght and Ma'at (rder/trth), whse exstence was 
eleved frm the 8th Dynasty (mentned at Malla) nwards. Hs name s recnstr
and srvved n later Cptc
cted y Egyptlgsts as *App, as t was wrtten pp(y)
as
Aphph.[1]
Developme t
[2]
<ref ame="
[1]
Apep i hieroglyphs
Ra as the solar deity, bri ger of light, a d thus the upholder of Ma'at. Apep 
as vieed as the greatest e emy of Ra, a d thus as give the title E emy of Ra.
As the perso ificatio of all that as evil, Apep as see as a gia t s ake/ser
pe t, or occasio ally as a drago i later years, leadi g to such titles as Serp
e t from the Nile a d Evil Lizard. Some elaboratio s eve said that he stretched
16 yards i le gth a d had a head made of fli t. It is to be oted that already
o a Naqada I (ca. 4000 BC) C-are bol ( o i Cairo) a s ake as pai ted o t
he i side rim combi ed ith other desert a d aquatic a imals as a possible e emy
of a deity, possibly a solar deity, ho is i visibly hu ti g i a big roi g ve
ssel.[3] Also, comparable hostile s akes as e emies of the su god existed u der
other ames (i the Pyramid Texts a d Coffi Texts) already before the ame Ape
p occurred. The etymology of his ame ( pp) is perhaps to be sought i some est-se
mitic la guage here a ord root pp mea i g 'to slither' existed. A verb root
pp do
es at a y rate ot exist elsehere i A cie t Egyptia . (It is ot to be co fuse
d ith the verb p/ pp: 'to fly across the sky, to travel') Apep's ame much later cam
e to be falsely co ected etymologically i Egyptia ith a differe t root mea i
g (he ho as) spat out; the Roma s referred to Apep by this tra slatio of his
ame. Apophis as a large golde s ake k o to be miles lo g. He as so large
that he attempted to sallo the su every day. Set eve tually became thought of
as the god of evil, a d gradually took o all the characteristics of Apep. Co s
eque tly, Apep's ide tity as eve tually e tirely subsumed by that of Set.[4]

Apep
Battles ith Ra
Tales of Apep's battles agai st Ra ere elaborated duri g the Ne Ki gdom.[6] Si
ce early everyo e ca see that the su is ot attacked by a gia t s ake duri g
the day, every day, storytellers said that Apep must lie just belo the horizo
. This appropriately made him a part of the u derorld. I some stories Apep ai
ted for Ra i a ester mou tai called Bakhu, here the su set, a d i others
Apep lurked just before da , i the Te th regio of the Night. The ide ra ge o
f Apep's possible locatio gai ed him the title World E circler. It as thought
that his terrifyi g roar ould cause the u derorld to rumble. Myths sometimes s
ay that Apep as trapped there, because he had bee the previous chief god a d s
uffered a coup d'etat by Ra, or because he as evil a d had bee impriso ed. I
his battles, Apep as thought to use a magical gaze to hyp otize Ra a d his e to
urage, attempti g to devour them hilst choki g the river o hich they traveled
through the u derorld ith his coils. Sometimes Apep had assista ce from other
demo s, amed Sek a d Mot. Ra as assisted by a umber of defe ders ho travell
ed ith him, the most poerful bei g Set, ho sat at the helm. I a bid to expla
i certai atural phe ome a it as said that occasio ally Apep got the upper ha
d. The damage to order caused thu derstorms a d earthquakes. I deed: it as eve
thought that sometimes Apep actually ma aged to sallo Ra duri g the day, cau
si g a solar eclipse, but si ce Ra's defe ders quickly cut him free of Apep, the
eclipse alays e ded ithi a fe mi utes. O the occasio s he Apep as said
to have bee killed, he as able to retur each ight (si ce he lived i the or
ld of the dead already). I Ate ism it is Ate ho kills the mo ster si ce Ate
is the o ly god i the belief system.
Set speared Apep
The su god Ra, i the form of Great Cat, slays [5] the s ake Apep
Hoever, i other myths, it as the cat goddess Bast, daughter of Ra, ho sle A
pep i her cat form o e ight, hu ti g him do ith her all seei g eye.
Worship
Ra as so very much orshipped, a d Apep orshipped agai st. His victory each i
ght as thought to be e sured by the prayers of the Egyptia priests a d orship
ers at temples. The Egyptia s practiced a umber of rituals a d superstitio s th
at ere thought to ard off Apep, a d aid Ra to co ti ue his jour ey across the
sky. I a a ual rite, called the Ba ishi g of Chaos, priests ould build a ef
figy of Apep that as thought to co tai all of the evil a d dark ess i Egypt,
a d bur it to protect everyo e from Apep's evil for a other year, i a similar
ma er to moder rituals such as Zozobra. The Egyptia priests eve had a detail
ed guide to fighti g Apep, referred to as The Books of Overthroi g Apep (or the
Book of Apophis, i Greek).[7] The chapters described a gradual process of dism
emberme t a d disposal, a d i clude: Spitti g Upo Apep Defili g Apep ith the L
eft Foot Taki g a La ce to Smite Apep

Apep Fetteri g Apep Taki g a K ife to Smite Apep Putti g Fire Upo Apep I addit
io to stories about Ra's i i gs, this guide had i structio s for maki g ax m
odels, or small drai gs, of the serpe t, hich ould be spat o , mutilated a d
bur t, hilst reciti g spells that ould kill Apep. Feari g that eve the image
of Apep could give poer to the demo a y re deri g ould alays i clude a other
deity to subdue the mo ster. As Apep as thought to live i the u derorld, he
as sometimes thought of as a Eater of Souls. Thus the dead also eeded protect
io , so they ere sometimes buried ith spells that could destroy Apep. The Book
of the Dead does ot freque tly describe occasio s he Ra defeated the chaos s
ake explicitly called Apep. O ly BD Spells 7 a d 39 ca be explai ed as such.[8
]
Notes
[1] Erma , Adolf, a d Herma Grapo, eds. 19261953. Wrterbuch der aegyptische Sp
rache im Auftrage der deutsche Akademie . 6 vols. Leipzig: J. C. Hi richs'sche
Buchha dlu ge . (Repri ted Berli : Akademie-Verlag GmbH, 1971). [2] Hieroglyph
as per Budge Gods of the A cie t Egyptia s (1969), Vol. I, 180. [3] C.Wolterma ,
i Jaarbericht va Ex Orie te Lux, Leide Nr.37 (2002). [4] H. Te Velde, Seth,
God of Co fusio (Leide , 1977), 105-7. [5] tomb of I herkha, Deir el-Medi a [6]
J. Assma , Egyptia Solar Religio i the Ne Ki gdom, tra sl. by A. Alcock (L
o do , 1995), 49-57. [7] P.Kousoulis, Magic a d Religio as Performative Theolog
ical U ity: the Apotropaic Ritual of Overthroi g Apophis, Ph.D. dissertatio , U
iversity of Liverpool (Liverpool, 1999), chapters 3-5. [8] J.F.Borghouts, Book
of the Dead [39]: From Shouti g to Structure (Studie zum Altaegyptische Tote b
uch 10, Wiesbade , 2007).
Exter al li ks
Apep, Water S ake-Demo of Chaos, E emy of Ra... (http://.thekeep.org/~ku oic
hi/ku oichi/ themestream/apep.html) a cie t Egypt: The Mythology - Apep (http://
.egyptia myths. et/apep.htm)

Apis (god)
72
Apis (god)
, or , or , or Apis i

hieroglyphs

Statue of Apis, 30th Dy asty, Louvre


I Egyptia mythology, Apis or Hapis (alter atively spelled Hapi-a kh), is a bul
l-deity that as orshipped i the Memphis regio . Accordi g to Ma etho, his or
ship as i stituted by Kaiechos of the Seco d Dy asty. Hape (Apis) is amed o v
ery early mo ume ts, but little is k o of the divi e a imal before the Ne Ki
gdom. Ceremo ial burials of bulls i dicate that ritual sacrifice as part of the
orship of the early co deities a d a bull might represe t a ki g ho became a
deity after death. He as e titled "the re eal of the life" of the Memphite go
d Ptah: but after death he became Osorapis, i.e. the Osiris Apis, just as dead h
uma s ere assimilated to Osiris, the ki g of the u derorld. This Osorapis as
ide tified ith the Helle istic Serapis, a d may ell be ide tical ith him. Gre
ek riters make the Apis a i car atio of Osiris, ig ori g the co ectio ith
Ptah.

Apis (god) Apis as the most importa t of all the sacred a imals i Egypt, a d,
as ith the others, its importa ce i creased as time e t o . Greek a d Roma au
thors have much to say about Apis, the marks by hich the black bull-calf as re
cog ized, the ma er of his co ceptio by a ray from heave , his house at Memphi
s ith court for disporti g himself, the mode of prog osticatio from his actio
s, the mour i g at his death, his costly burial, a d the rejoici gs throughout t
he cou try he a e Apis as fou d. Mariette's excavatio of the Serapeum at M
emphis revealed the tombs of over sixty a imals, ra gi g from the time of Ame op
his III to that of Ptolemy Alexa der. At first each a imal as buried i a separ
ate tomb ith a chapel built above it. Khamuis, the priestly so of Ramesses II
(c. 1300 B.C.), excavated a great gallery to be li ed ith the tomb chambers; a
other similar gallery as added by Psammetichus I. The careful stateme t of the
ages of the a imals i the later i sta ces, ith the reg al dates for their birt
h, e thro izatio , a d death have thro much light o the chro ology from the T
e ty-seco d dy asty o ards. The ame of the mother-co a d the place of birth
ofte are recorded. The sarcophagi are of imme se size, a d the burial must have
e tailed e ormous expe se. It is therefore remarkable that the priests co trive
d to bury o e of the a imals i the fourth year of Cambyses.
74
Herald of Ptah
The cult of the Apis bull started at the very begi i g of Egyptia history, pro
bably as a fertility god co ected to grai a d the herds. I a fu erary co text
, the Apis as a protector of the deceased, a d li ked to the pharaoh. This a im
al as chose because it symbolized the ki gs curageus heart, great strength, v
rlty, and ghtng srt. The As bull was cnsdered t be a manestatn
 the harah, as bulls were symbls  strength and ertlty, qualtes whc
h are clsely lnked wth kngsh ("strng bull  hs mther Hathr" was a cm
mn ttle r gds and harahs).
Occasnally, the As bull was ctured wth her sun-dsk between hs hrns, be
ng ne  ew detes asscated wth her symbl. When the dsk was dected n
hs head wth hs hrns belw and the trangle n hs rehead, an ankh was sug
gested. It als s a symbl clsely asscated wth hs mther. The As bull s
unque as he s the nly Egytan dety reresented slely as an anmal, and ne
ver as a human wth an anmals headerhas, because rm the earlest  Egyta
n relgus ractces, they were anmals sacrced t the cw gddess and rere
sented the resurrected, renewal  le (Hay and later Osrs). As was rgn
ally the Herald (wHm)  Ptah, the che gd n the area arund Memhs. As a ma
nestatn  Ptah, As als was cnsdered t be a symbl  the harah, emb
dyng the qualtes  kngsh.
The symbl resemblng an ankh that the markngs  an As bull wuld have creat
ed n hs head when dected wth hs mthers sun dsk

As (gd)
76
The bvnes n the regn n whch Ptah was wrshed exhbted whte atternn
g n ther manly black bdes, and s a bele grew u that the As bull had t
 have a certan set  markngs sutable t ts rle. It was requred t have a
whte trangle un ts rehead, a whte vulture wng utlne n ts back, a s
carab mark under ts tngue, a whte crescent mn shae n ts rght lank, and
duble hars n ts tal. The bull whch matched these markngs was selected r
m the herd, brught t a temle, gven a harem  cws, and wrshed as an as
ect  Ptah. Hs mther was beleved t have been cnceved by a lash  lght
nng rm the heavens, r rm mnbeams, and als was treated secally. At the
temle, As was used as an racle, hs mvements beng nterreted as rhec
es. Hs breath was beleved t cure dsease, and hs resence t bless thse ar
und wth vrlty. He was gven a wndw n the temle thrugh whch he culd be
seen, and n certan hldays was led thrugh the streets  the cty, bedecked
wth jewelry and lwers.
Ka  Osrs
When Osrs absrbed the dentty  Ptah, becmng Ptah-Seker-Osrs, the As
bull became cnsdered an asect  Osrs rather than Ptah. Snce Osrs was l
rd  the dead, the As then became knwn as the lvng deceased ne. As he nw
reresented Osrs, when the As bull reached the age  twenty-eght, the age
when Osrs was sad t have been klled by Set, symblc  the lunar mnth, a
nd the new mn, the bull was ut t death wth a great sacrcal ceremny. Th
ere s evdence that arts  the bdy  the As bull were eaten by the hara
h and the rests t absrb the Ass great strength. Smetmes the bdy  the
bull was mummed and xed n a standng stn n a undatn made  w
den lanks. Bulls hrns embellsh sme  the tmbs  ancent harahs, and th
e As bull was ten dected n rvate cns as a werul rtectr. As a
rm  Osrs, lrd  the dead, t was beleved that t be under the rtect
n  the As bull wuld gve the ersn cntrl ver the ur wnds n the ate
rle. By the New Kngdm, the remans  the As bulls were nterred at the ce
metery  Saqqara. The earlest knwn bural n Saqqara was errmed n the re
gn  Amenhte III by hs sn Thutmss; aterwards, seven mre bulls were bur
ed nearby. Ramesses II ntated As burals n what s nw knwn as the Serae
um, an undergrund cmlex  bural chambers at Saqqara r the sacred bulls, a
ste used thrugh the rest  Egytan hstry nt the regn  Cleatra VII.
A stele cmmemratng the bural  a sacrcal bull
bearng the cngrahy  Hathr The As was a gd t be venerated r hs exc
ellent kndness and r hs mercy twards all strangers. As was the mst ul
ar  the three great bull cults  ancent Egyt (the thers beng the bulls Mn
ewer and Bakha.) Unlke the cults  mst  the ther Egytan detes, the wr
sh  the As bull was cntnued by the Greeks and ater them by the Rmans,
and lasted untl almst 400 A.D.

As (gd)
77
Frm bull t man
Under Ptlemy Ster, erts were made t ntegrate Egytan relgn wth that
 ther Hellenc rulers. Ptlemys lcy was t nd a dety that shuld wn t
he reverence alke  bth grus, deste the curses  the Egytan rests ag
anst the gds  the revus regn rulers (.e. Set wh was lauded by the Hy
kss). Alexander had attemted t use Amun r ths urse, but he was mre r
mnent n Uer Egyt, whch was nt s ular wth thse n Lwer Egyt, where
the Greeks had strnger nluence. Nevertheless, the Greeks had lttle resect
r anmal-headed gures, and s a Greek statue was chsen as the dl, and r
clamed as anthrmrhc equvalent  the hghly ular As. It was named A
ser-ha (.e. Osrs-As), whch became Seras, and was sad t be Osrs n
ull, rather than just hs Ka. The earlest mentn  a Seras s n the authe
ntc death scene  Alexander, rm the ryal dares (Arran, Anabass, VII. 26
). Here, Seras has a temle at Babyln, and s  such mrtance that he aln
e s named as beng cnsulted n behal  the dyng kng. Hs resence n Babyl
n wuld radcally alter ercetns  the mythlges  ths era, thugh rt
unately, t has been dscvered that the uncnnected Bablynan gd Ea was ttle
d Seras, meanng kng  the dee, and t s ths Seras whch s reerred t
n the dares. The sgncance  ths Seras n the Hellenc syche, due t
ts nvlvement n Alexanders death, may have als cntrbuted t the chce 
 Osrs-As as the che Ptlemac gd.
Bust  the Hellenstc-Egytan gd Seras, Rman cy  an rgnal by Bryax
s whch std at the Seraen  Alexandra, Vatcan Museums.
Accrdng t Plutarch, Ptlemy stle the statue rm Sne, havng been nstruc
ted n a dream by the unknwn gd, t Egytan endant reresents lns r As
[1] brng the statue t Alexandra, where the statue was Bull. The Walters Art M
useum. rnunced t be Seras by tw relgus exerts. One  the exerts was
ne  the Eumldae, the ancent amly rm whse members the herhant 
the Eleusnan Mysteres had been chsen snce bere hstry, and the ther was
the schlarly Egytan rest Maneth, whch gave weght t the judgement bth
r the Egytans and the Greeks. Plutarch may nt hwever be crrect, as sme E
gytlgsts allege that the Sne n the tale s really the hll  Snen,
a name gven t the ste  the already exstng Seraeum at Memhs. Als, acc
rdng t Tactus, Seras (.e. As exlctly dented as Osrs n ull) h
ad been the gd  the vllage  Rhacts, bere t suddenly exanded nt the
great catal  Alexandra. The statue sutably dected a gure resemblng H
ades r Plut, bth beng kngs  the Greek underwrld, and was shwn enthrned
wth the mdus, whch s a basket/gran-measure, n hs head, snce t was a G
reek symbl r the land  the dead. He als held a scetre n hs hand ndcat
ng hs rulersh, wth Cerberus, gatekeeer  the underwrld, restng at hs 
eet, and t als had what aeared t be a serent at ts base, ttng the Egy
tan symbl  rulersh, the uraeus.

As (gd) Wth hs (.e., Osrs) we, Iss, and ther sn (at ths nt n
hstry) Hrus (n the rm  Harcrates), Seras wn an mrtant lace n t
he Greek wrld, reachng Ancent Rme, wth Anubs beng dented as Cerberus.
The cult survved untl 385 AD, when Chrstans destryed the Seraeum  Alexa
ndra, and subsequently the cult was rbdden by the Thedsan decree.
78
Reerences External lnks
The Vrtual Egytan Museum: As (htt://www.vrtual-egytan-museum.rg/Cllec
tn/FullVst/ Cllectn.FullVst-JFR.html?../Cntent/MET.LL.00887.html&0) Thi
s articleincorporates text from a publication now in the public domain:Chisholm, H
ugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopdia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
Arensnuphis
or Irihemesznefer in hieroglyphs
[1]
Arensnuphis (in Egyptian: Iryhemesnefer, r-ms-nfr, "the good companion") is a deity
from the Kingdom of Kush in ancient Nubia, first attested at Musawwarat el-Sufr
a in the 3rd century BC. His worship spread to the Egyptian-controlled portion o
f Nubia in the Ptolemaic Period (30530 BC). His mythological role is unknown; he
was depicted as a lion and as a human with a crown of feathers and sometimes a s
pear.[2] Arensnuphis was worshipped at Philae, where he was called the "companio
n" of the Egyptian goddess Isis, and at Dendur. The Egyptians syncretized him wi
th their gods Anhur and Shu.[2]
References
[1] Erman, Adolf & Grapow, Hermann (ed.): Wrterbuch der Aegyptischen Sprache., Im
Auftrage der Deutschen Akademien. Berlin: Akademie Verlag (1971), I, p.105., II
, p.254 [2] Wilkinson, Richard H. (2003). The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Anc
ient Egypt. Thames & Hudson. p. 98

Ash (god)
79
Ash (god)
Ash was the ancient Egyptian god of oases,[] as well as the Vineyards of the wes
tern Nile Delta[] and thus was viewed as a benign deity. Flinders-Petrie in his
1923 expedition to the Saqqara (also spelt Sakkara) found several references to
Ash in Old Kingdom wine jar seals: I am refreshed by this Ash was a common inscr
iption. In particular, he was identified by the Ancient Egyptians as the god of
the Libu and Tinhu tribes,[] known as the people of the oasis. Consequently Ash
was known as the lord of Libya, the western border areas occupied by the Libu an
d Tinhu tribes,[1] corresponds roughly with the area of modern Libya. It is also
possible that he was worshiped in Ombos, as their original chief deity.[] In Eg
yptian mythology, as god of the oases, Ash was associated with Set, who was orig
inally god of the desert, and was seen as protector of the Sahara. The first kno
wn reference to Ash dates to the Protodynastic Period, but by the late 2nd Dynas
ty, his importance had grown, and he was seen as protector of the royal estates,
since the related god Set, in Lower Egypt, was regarded as the patron deity of
royalty itself. Ash's importance was such that he was mentioned even until the 2
6th Dynasty. Ash was usually depicted as a human,[] whose head was one of the de
sert creatures, variously being shown as a lion, vulture, hawk,[] snake, or the
unidentified Set-animal.[2] Indeed, depictions of Ash are the earliest known dep
ictions[citation needed], in ancient Egyptian art, to show a deity as a human wi
th the head of an animal. Some depictions of Ash show him as having multiple hea
ds, unlike other Egyptian deities, although some compound depictions were occasi
onally shown connecting gods to Min. In an article in the journal Ancient Egypt
(in 1923), and again in an appendix to her book, The Splendor that was Egypt, Ma
rgaret Murray expands on such depictions, and draws a parallel to a Scythian dei
ty, who is referenced in Sebastian Mnster's Cosmographia universalis. The idea of
Ash as an import god is contested, as he was the god of Ombos long before Set's
introduction sometime in the 2nd Dynasty. One of his titles is "Nebuty" or "He
of Nebut" indicating this position.[] Ash is sometimes seen as another name for
Setsimilarly as one might give the name Ta-Bitjet for Serket, Dunanwy for Anti, o
r Sefkhet-Abwy for Sheshat.
References
[1] Francoise Dunand, Christiane Zivie-Coche, Gods and Men in Egypt: 3000 BCE to
395 CE, Cornell University Press 2005, ISBN 0-8014-8853-2, p.344 [2] Dunand, Zi
vie, op.cit., p.344

Astarte
80
Astarte
Deities of the ancient Near East
Religions of the ancient Near East

Astarte /strti/ (Ancient Greek: , "A



") i
e G eek name of
e Me opo
amian
n, Akkadian, Babylonian) Semi
ic godde I
a known
oug ou

e Nea Ea
a
nd Ea
e n Medi
e anean f om
e ea ly B onze Age
o Cla ical
ime . I
i one
of a numbe of name a ocia
ed wi

e c ief godde o female divini
y of

o e people .[1] S e i found a Uga i
ic
(trt , Astarte riding in a chariot with four
branches "Atart" or "Athtart"); n Phencan as
(trt, "Ashtart"); n prtrdng f
f, n the reverse f a Jla Herew ( Ashtret, snglar, r Ashtart, plral); and ap
ears Maesa cn frm Sdn rgnally n Akkadan as
D, the grammatcally masclne
name f the gddess Ishtar; the frm Astart s sed t descre her age.[2] Th
e name appears als n Etrscan as
Un-Astre (Pyrg Talets), Ishtar r Ashtart.
Overvew
Astarte was cnnected wth fertlty, sexalty, and war. Her symls were the l
n, the hrse, the sphnx, the dve, and a star wthn a crcle ndcatng the
planet Vens. Pctral representatns ften shw her naked. She has een knwn
as the defed evenng star.[2] Astarte (Ishtar) was accepted y the Greeks nd
er the name f Aphrdte r, alternatvely, Artems. The sland f Cyprs, ne 
f Astarte's greatest fath centers, sppled the name Cyprs as Aphrdte's mst
cmmn yname. Other majr centers f Astarte's wrshp were the Phencan ct
y states f Sdn, Tyre, and Byls. Cns frm Sdn prtray a chart n whch
a gle appears, presmaly a stne representng Astarte. "She was ften depct
ed n Sdnan cns as standng n the prw f a galley, leanng frward wth r
ght hand tstretched, eng ths the rgnal f all fgreheads fr salng s
hps." [3] In Sdn, she shared a temple wth Eshmn. Cns frm Bert shw Ps
edn, Astarte, and Eshmn wrshpped tgether.

Astarte
81
Other fath centers were Cythera, Malta, and Eryx n Scly frm whch she ecam
e knwn t the Rmans as Vens Erycna. A lngal nscrptn n the Pyrg Ta
lets datng t at 500BC found near Caere in Etruria equates Astarte with Etrus
can Uni-Astre that is, Juno. At Carthage Astarte was worshipped alongside the go
ddess Tanit. Donald Harden in The Phoenicians discusses a statuette of Astarte f
rom Tutugi (Galera) near Granada in Spain dating to the 7th or 6th century BC in
which Astarte sits on a throne flanked by sphinxes holding a bowl beneath her p
ierced breasts. A hollow in the statue would have been filled with milk through
the head and gentle heating would have melted wax plugging the holes in her brea
sts, producing an apparent miracle when the milk emerged. The Aramean goddess At
argatis (Semitic form Ataratah) may rgnally have een eqated wth Astarte, t
the frst element f the name Atargats appears t e related t the Ugartc f
rm f Asherah's name: Athrat.
Lady f Galera
Astarte n Ugart
Astarte appears n Ugartc texts nder the name Athtart', t s lttle mentne
d n thse texts. Athtart and Anat tgether hld ack Baal frm attackng the ther
detes. Astarte als asks Baal t "scatter" Yamm "Sea" after Baal's vctry. Atht
art s called the "Face f Baal".
Astarte n Egypt
Astarte arrved n Ancent Egypt drng the 18th dynasty alng wth ther dete
s wh were wrshpped y nrthwest Semtc peple. She was especally wrshpped
n her aspect as a warrr gddess, ften pared wth the gddess Anat. In the
Cntest Between Hrs and Set, these tw gddesses appear as daghters f Ra and
are gven n marrage t the gd Set, here dentfed wth the Semtc name Had
ad. Astarte als was dentfed wth the lness warrr gddess Sekhmet, t se
emngly mre ften cnflated, at least n part, wth Iss t jdge frm the many
mages fnd f Astarte scklng a small chld. Indeed there s a state f the
6th centry BC n the Car Msem, whch nrmally wld e taken as prtrayng
Iss wth her chld Hrs n her knee and whch n every detal f cngraphy
fllws nrmal Egyptan cnventns, t the dedcatry nscrptn reads: "Gers
aphn, sn f Azr, sn f Slrt, man f Lydda, fr hs Lady, fr Astarte." See G
. Daressy, (1905) pl. LXI (CGC 39291). Pltarch, n hs On Iss and Osrs, nd
cates that the Kng and Qeen f Byls, wh, nknwngly, have the dy f Osr
s n a pllar n ther hall, are Melcarths (.e. Melqart) and Astarte (thgh
he ntes sme nstead call the Qeen Sass r Nemans, whch Pltarch nterprets
as crrespndng t the Greek name Athenas)Wkpeda:Dspted statement[ctat
n needed].

Astarte
82
Astarte n Phenca
In the descrptn f the Phencan panthen ascred t Sanchnathn, Astarte
appears as a daghter f Epges (Greek: Urans) and Ge (Earth), and sster f
the gd Els. After Els verthrws and anshes hs father Epges, as sme k
nd f trck Epges sends Els hs "vrgn daghter" Astarte alng wth her s
sters Asherah and the gddess wh wll later e called Ba`alat Geal, "the Lady
f Byls". It seems that ths trck des nt wrk, as all three ecme wves f
ther rther Els. Astarte ears Els chldren wh appear nder Greek names as
seven daghters called the Ttandes r Artemdes and tw sns named Pths "L
ngng" and Ers "Desre". Later wth Els' cnsent, Astarte and Hadad regn ver
the land tgether. Astarte pts the head f a ll n her wn head t symlze
Her sveregnty. Wanderng thrgh the wrld, Astarte takes p a star that has
fallen frm the sky (a meterte) and cnsecrates t at Tyre. Ashterth Karnam
(Astarte was called Ashterth n the Herew Ble) was a cty n the land f Bas
han east f the Jrdan Rver, mentned n Geness 14:5 and Jsha 12:4 (where 
t s rendered slely as Ashterth). The name translates lterally t 'Ashterth
f the Hrns', wth 'Ashterth' eng a Canaante ferttlty gddess and 'hrns
' eng symlc f mntan peaks. Fgrnes f Astarte have een fnd at var
s archaelgcal stes n Israel, shwng the gddess wth tw hrns.[4]
Fgrne f Astarte wth a hrned headdress
Astarte's mst cmmn syml was the crescent mn (r hrns), accrdng t rel
gs stdes schlar Jeffrey Brtn Rssell, n hs k The Devl: Perceptns
f Evl frm Antqty t Prmtve Chrstanty.[5]

Astarte n Jdah
Ashtreth s mentned n the Herew Ble as a fregn, nn-Jdahte gddess, t
he prncpal gddess f the Sdnans r Phencans, representng the prdctv
e pwer f natre. It s generally accepted that the Masretc "vwel pntng"
adpted c. 135 AD, ndcatng the prnncatn Atre ("Ashtoreth," "Ashtoret") is a
deliberate distortion of "Ashtart", and that this is probably because the two la
st syllables have been pointed with the vowels belonging to be, ("bosheth," abomina
tion), to indicate that that word should be substituted when reading.[6] The plu
ral form is pointed Atr ("Ashtaroth"). The biblical Ashtoreth should not be confused
with the goddess Asherah, the form of the names being quite distinct, and both a
ppearing quite distinctly in the Book of 1st Kings. (In Biblical Hebrew, as in o
ther older Semitic languages, Asherah begins with an aleph or glottal stop conso
nant , while Ashtreth egns wth an ayn r vced pharyngeal cnsnant , ndcatn
he lack f any plasle etymlgcal cnnectn etween the tw names.) The 
lcal wrters may, hwever, have cnflated sme attrtes and ttles f the tw
, as seems t have ccrred thrght the 1st mllennm Levant.[7] Fr nstanc
e, the ttle "Qeen f heaven" as mentned n Jeremah has een cnnected wth
th. (In later Jewsh mythlgy, she ecame a female demn f lst; fr what se
ems t e the se f the Herew plral frm Atr in this sense, see Astaroth).

Astarte
83
Other associations
Some ancient sources assert that in the territory of Sidon the temple of Astarte
was sacred to Europa. According to an old Cretan story, Europa was a Phoenician
princess whom Zeus, having transformed himself into a white bull, abducted, and
carried to Crete.[8] Some scholars claim that the cult of the Minoan snake godd
ess who is identified with Ariadne (the "utterly pure") [9] was similar to the c
ult of Astarte. Her cult as Aphrodite was transmitted to Cythera and then to Gre
ece.[10] Herodotus wrote that the religious community of Aphrodite originated in
Phoenicia and came to Greeks from there. He also wrote about the world's larges
t temple of Aphrodite, in one of the Phoenician cities. Her name is the second n
ame in an energy chant sometimes used in Wicca: "Isis, Astarte, Diana, Hecate, D
emeter, Kali, Inanna."[11]
References
[1] Merlin Stone. "When God Was A Woman". (Harvest/HBJ 1976) [2] K. van der Toor
n, Bob Becking, Pieter Willem van der Horst, Dictionary of Deities and Demons in
the Bible (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=yCkRz5pfxz0C& printsec=fro
ntcover& dq=Dictionary+ Deities+ Demons& source=bl& ots=aFsyi0kZXx& sig=7NeCRZZc
71dN4J4szNvmVy1eKhY& hl=en& ei=r0osTM36F5SwccrDsLIJ& sa=X& oi=book_result& ct=re
sult& resnum=3& ved=0CCgQ6AEwAg#v=onepage& q& f=false), p. 109-10. [3] (Snaith,
The Interpreter's Bible, 1954, Vol. 3, p. 103) [4] Raphael Patai. The Hebrew God
dess (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=VfAX_wkMM4IC& pg=PA57& dq=astarte+ h
orns& hl=en& ei=hwTwTcOpJJKesQOfgo2ZDg& sa=X& oi=book_result& ct=result& resnum=
2& ved=0CC8Q6AEwAQ#v=onepage& q=astarte horns& f=false). (Wayne State University
Press 1990). ISBN 0-8143-2271-9 p. 57. [5] Jeffrey Burton Russell. The Devil: P
erceptions of Evil from Antiquity to Primitive Christianity. (Cornell University
Press 1977). ISBN 0-8014-9409-5 p. 94. [6] John Day, "Yahweh and the gods and g
oddesses of Canaan", p.128 (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=y-gfwlltlR
wC& dq=Yahweh+ and+ the+ gods+ and+ goddesses+ of+ Canaan& printsec=frontcover&
source=bn& hl=en& ei=ZlAsTMPnDYuecfK9pdcJ& sa=X& oi=book_result& ct=result& resn
um=4& ved=0CCgQ6AEwAw#v=onepage& q& f=false) [7] Mark S. Smith, "The early histo
ry of God", p.129 (http:/ / books. google. com. au/ books?id=1yM3AuBh4AsC& dq=Ma
rk+ Smith+ Early+ history+ of+ god& printsec=frontcover& source=bn& hl=en& ei=Lk
ssTOSGLsa3cevF_JEJ& sa=X& oi=book_result& ct=result& resnum=4& ved=0CDMQ6AEwAw#v
=onepage& q& f=false) [8] Lucian of Samosata. De Dea Syria. [9] Barry B. Powell.
Classical Myth with new translation of ancient texts by H. M. Howe. Upper Saddl
e River. New Jersey. Prentice Hall Inc. 1998. p. 368. [10] R. Wunderlich. The Se
cret of Creta. Efstathiadis Group. Athens 1987. p. 134. [11] BURNING TIMES/CHANT
(http:/ / www. sacred-texts. com/ bos/ bos508. htm), Charles Murphy, in Interne
t Book of Shadows, (Various Authors), [1999], at sacred-texts.com
Donald Harden, The Phoenicians (2nd ed., revised, London, Penguin 1980). ISBN 014-021375-9 Georges Daressy, Statues de Divinits (http://books.google.com/books?i
d=OVYPAQAAMAAJ& printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false), (CGC 38001-39384), vol
. II (Cairo, Imprimerie de l'Institut franais d'archologie orientale, 1905). Gerd
Scherm, Brigitte Tast, Astarte und Venus. Eine foto-lyrische Annherung (Schellert
en 1996), ISBN 3-88842-603-0.

Astarte
84
External links
Britannica Online Encyclopedia - Astarte (ancient deity) (http://www.britannica.
com/EBchecked/topic/ 39661/Astarte) Goddess Astarte: Goddess of Fertility, Beaut
y, War, and Love (http://www.matrifocus.com/IMB04/spotlight. htm) Jewish Encyclo
pedia - Astarte worship among the Hebrews (http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/art
icles/ 2048-astarte-worship-among-the-hebrews)

Aten
89
Aten
Alternative use: the Aten asteroids, named after 2062 Aten Aten (also Aton, Egyp
tian jtn) is the disk of the sun in ancient Egyptian mythology, and originally a
n aspect of Ra. The deified Aten is the focus of the monolatristic, henotheistic
, or monotheistic religion of Atenism established by Amenhotep IV, who later too
k the name Akhenaten in worship and recognition of Aten. In his poem "Great Hymn
to the Aten", Akhenaten praises Aten as the creator, and giver of life. The wor
ship of Aten was eradicated by Horemheb.
Aten
Overview
The Aten, the sun-disk, is first referred to as a deity in The Story of Sinuhe f
rom the 12th dynasty,[1] in which the deceased king is described as rising as go
d to the heavens and uniting with the sun-disk, the divine body merging with its
maker.[2] By analogy, the term "silver aten" was sometimes used to refer to the
moon.[3] The solar Aten was extensively worshipped as a god in the reign of Ame
nhotep III, when it was depicted as a falcon-headed man much like Ra. In the rei
gn of Amenhotep III's successor, Amenhotep IV, the Aten became the central god o
f Egyptian state religion, and Amenhotep IV changed his name to Akhenaten to ref
lect his close link with the new supreme deity.[1]
The full title of Akhenaten's god was "The Ra-Horus who rejoices in the horizon,
in his/her Name of the Light which is seen in the sun disc." (This is the title
of the god as it appears on the numerous stelae which were placed to mark the b
oundaries of Akhenaten's new capital at Akhetaten, modern Amarna.) This lengthy
name was often shortened to Ra-Horus-Aten or just Aten in many texts, but the go
d of Akhenaten raised to supremacy is considered a synthesis of very ancient god
s viewed in a new and different way. The god is also considered to be both mascu
line and feminine simultaneously. All creation was thought to emanate from the g
od and to exist within the god. In particular, the god was not depicted in anthr
opomorphic (human) form, but as rays of light extending from the sun's disk.
Furthermore, the god's name came to be written within a cartouche, along with th
e titles normally given to a Pharaoh, another break with ancient tradition. Ra-H
orus, more usually referred to as Ra-Horakhty (Ra, who is Horus of the two horiz
ons), is a synthesis of two other gods, both of which are attested from very ear
ly on. During the Amarna period, this synthesis was seen as the invisible source
of energy of the sun god, of which the visible manifestation was the Aten, the
solar disk. Thus Ra-Horus-Aten was a development of old ideas which came gradual
ly. The real change, as some see it, was the apparent abandonment of all other g
ods, especially Amun, and the debatable introduction of monotheism by Akhenaten.
[4] The syncretism is readily apparent in the Great Hymn to

Aten the Aten in which Re-Herakhty, Shu and Aten are merged into the creator god
.[5] Others see Akhenaten as a practitioner of an Aten monolatry,[6] as he did n
ot actively deny the existence of other gods; he simply refrained from worshippi
ng any but the Aten.
90
Royal Titulary
During the Amarna Period, the Aten was given a Royal Titulary (as he was conside
red to be king of all), with his names drawn in a cartouche. There were two form
s of this title, the first had the names of other gods, and the second later one
which was more 'singular' and referred only to the Aten himself. The early form
has Re-Horakhti who rejoices in the Horizon, in his name Shu which is the Aten.
The later form has Re, ruler of the two horizons who rejoices in the Horizon, i
n his name of light which is the Aten.
Variant translations
High relief and low relief illustrations of the Aten show it with a curved surfa
ce (see for example the photograph illustrating this article), therefore, the la
te scholar Hugh Nibley insisted that a more correct translation would be globe,
orb or sphere, rather than disk. The three-dimensional spherical shape of the At
en is even more evident when such reliefs are viewed in person, rather than mere
ly in photographs. There is a possibility that Aten's three-dimensional spherica
l shape depicts an eye of Horus/Ra. In the other early monotheistic religion Zor
oastrianism the sun is called Ahura Mazda's eye. These two theories are compatib
le with each other, since an eye is an orb.
Variant vocalizations
Egyptologists have vocalized the word variously as Aten, Aton, Atonu, and Itn.
Pharaoh Akhenaten and his family adoring the Aten, second from the left is Merit
aten who was the daughter of Akhenaten.
Names derived from Aten
Akhenaten: "Effective spirit of the Aten." Akhetaten: "Horizon of the Aten," Akh
enaten's capital. The archaeological site is known as Amarna.

Aten Ankhesenpaaten: "Her life is of the Aten." Beketaten: "Handmaid of the Aten
." Meritaten: "She who is beloved of the Aten." Meketaten: "Behold the Aten" or
"Protected by Aten." Neferneferuaten: "The most beautiful one of Aten."
91
Small Temple of the Aten at Akhetaten
Paatenemheb: "The Aten on jubilee.Wikipedia:Please clarify" Tutankhaten: "Living
image of the Aten." Original name of Tutankhamun.
References
[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] Wilkinson, Richard H. (2003). The Complete Gods and
Goddesses of Ancient Egypt. Thames & Hudson. pp. 236240 M. Lichtheim, Ancient Egy
ptian Literature, Vol.1, 1980, p.223 Fleming, Fergus, and Alan Lothian (1997). T
he Way to Eternity: Egyptian Myth. Duncan Baird Publishers. p. 52 Jan Assmann, R
eligion and Cultural Memory: Ten Studies, Stanford University Press 2005, p.59 M
. Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature, Vol.2, 1980, p.96 Dominic Montserrat,
Akhenaten: History, Fantasy and Ancient Egypt, Routledge 2000, ISBN 0-415-185491, pp.36ff. see Collier, Mark and Manley, Bill. How to Read Egyptian Hieroglyphs
: 2nd Edition. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998, p. 29

Atum
92
Atum
Atum
Atum, finisher of the world God of creation Name in hieroglyphs Major cult cente
r Consort Heliopolis Iusaas [1]
Atum (/-tum/), sometimes rendered as Atem or Tem, is an important deity in Egypti
an mythology.
Name
Atum's name is thought to be derived from the word tem which means to complete o
r finish. Thus he has been interpreted as being the 'complete one' and also the
finisher of the world, which he returns to watery chaos at the end of the creati
ve cycle. As creator he was seen as the underlying substance of the world, the d
eities and all things being made of his flesh or alternatively being his ka.[2]
Origins
Atum is one of the most important and frequently mentioned deities from earliest
times, as evidenced by his prominence in the Pyramid Texts, where he is portray
ed as both a creator and father to the king.[2]

Atum
93
Role
In the Heliopolitan creation myth, Atum was considered to be the first god, havi
ng created himself, sitting on a mound (benben) (or identified with the mound it
self), from the primordial waters (Nu).[3] Early myths state that Atum created t
he god Shu and goddess Tefnut by spitting them out of his mouth.[4] In the Old K
ingdom the Egyptians believed that Atum lifted the dead king's soul from his pyr
amid to the starry heavens.[5] He was also a solar deity, associated with the pr
imary sun god Ra. Atum was linked specifically with the evening sun, while Ra or
the closely linked god Khepri were connected with the sun at morning and midday
.[6] In the Book of the Dead, which was still current in the Graeco-Roman period
, the sun god Atum is said to have ascended from chaos-waters with the appearanc
e of a snake, the animal renewing itself every morning.[7][8][9] Atum is the god
of pre-existence and post-existence. In the binary solar cycle, the serpentine
Atum is contrasted with the ram-headed scarab Kheprithe young sun god, whose name
is derived from the Egyptian hpr "to come into existence". Khepri-Atum encompas
sed sunrise and sunset, thus reflecting the entire solar cycle.[10]
Relationship to other gods
Atum was a self-created deity, the first being to emerge from the darkness and e
ndless watery abyss that girdled the world before creation. A product of the ene
rgy and matter contained in this chaos, he created divine and human beings throu
gh loneliness: alone in the universe, he produced from his own sneeze, or in som
e accounts, semen, Shu, the god of air, and Tefnut, the goddess of moisture. The
brother and sister, and husband and wife curious about the primeval waters that
surrounded them went to explore the waters and disappeared into the darkness. U
nable to bear his loss, Atum sent a fiery messenger to find his children. The te
ars of joy he shed on their return were the first human beings.[11]
Iconography
He is usually depicted as a man wearing either the royal head-cloth or the dual
white and red crown of Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt, reinforcing his connection w
ith kingship. Sometimes he also is shown as a serpent, the form which he returns
to at the end of the creative cycle, and also occasionally as a mongoose, lion,
bull, lizard, or ape.[2]
Worship
Atum's cult centered on the city of Heliopolis (Egyptian: Annu).[2]
References
[1] [2] [4] [5] [6] [7] Wilkinson, Richard H. (2003). The Complete Gods and Godd
esses of Ancient Egypt. Thames & Hudson. p. 150 Wilkinson, Richard H. (2003). Th
e Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt. Thames & Hudson. pp. 99101 Egypti
an gods Atum (http:/ / www. philae. nu/ akhet/ NetjeruA. html#Atum) URL accessed
December 30, 2006. http:/ / www. philae. nu/ akhet/ NetjeruA. html#Atum retriev
ed November 9, 2006 Wilkinson, Richard H. (2003). The Complete Gods and Goddesse
s of Ancient Egypt. Thames & Hudson. pp. 205 Dictionary of Deities and Demons in
the Bible (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=yCkRz5pfxz0C& pg=PA121#v=onepa
ge& q& f=false) 2nd edition, 1999, p. 121 [8] Ellis, Normandi
Dreams of Isis: A
Woman's Spiritual Sojourn (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=NJ9j6EE_dL0C& p
g=PA128& dq=ouroboros+ atum& hl=en& ei=HP3kTOXcEcvrsga1r6CtCw& sa=X& oi=book_res
ult& ct=result& resnum=2& ved=0CCgQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage& q=ouroboros atum& f=false)
p. 128 [9] Bernal, Martin Black Athena: the Afroasiatic roots of classical civil
ization (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=yFLm_M_OdK4C& pg=PA468& lpg=PA468
#v=onepage& q=Atum Ouroboros& f=false) p. 468 [10] Dictionary of Deities and Dem
ons in the Bible (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=yCkRz5pfxz0C& pg=PA123#v
=onepage& q& f=false) 2nd edition, 1999, p. 123 [11] Pinch, Geraldine (2004). Eg

yptian Mythology: A Guide to the Gods, Goddesses, and Traditions of Ancient Egyp
t. Oxford University Press. pp. 6364

Atum
94
External links
Atum - Archaeowiki.org (http://www.archaeowiki.org/Atum)
Ba-Pef
Ba-Pef was a minor underworld god in Egyptian mythology. The name literally mean
s that Ba, meaning that soul (ba ). Ba-Pef is commonly portrayed as an obscure m
alevolent deity known from the Old Kingdom. During the Old and Middle Kingdom th
e priesthood of Bapef was held by queens.[1][2] According to references among th
e Pyramid Texts he had a cult following and was associated in some way with pain
or spiritual anguish affecting the pharaoh. [citation needed]
References
[1] Robyn A. Gillam, Priestesses of Hathor: Their Function, Decline and Disappea
rance, Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt, Vol. 32, (1995), pp. 21
3, JSTOR (http:/ / www. jstor. org/ stable/ 40000840) [2] Wolfgang Helck, Eberha
rd Otto, Wolfhart Westendorf, Stele-Zypresse, Otto Harrassowitz Verlag, 1986, p
394
Michael Jordon, Encyclopedia of Gods, Kyle Cathie Limited, 2002
Babi (mythology)
In Egyptian mythology, Babi, also Baba,[1][2] was the deification of the baboon,
one of the animals present in Egypt. His name is usually translated as Bull of
the baboons, and roughly means Alpha male of all baboons, i.e. chief of the babo
ons.[] Since Baboons exhibit many human characteristics, it was believed in earl
y times, at least since the Predynastic Period, that they were deceased ancestor
s. In particular, the alpha males were identified as deceased rulers, referred t
o as the great white one (Hez-ur in Egyptian), since Hamadryas baboon (the speci
es prevalent in Egypt) alpha males have a notable light grey streak. For example
, Narmer is depicted in some images as having transformed into a baboon. Since b
aboons were considered to be the dead, Babi was viewed as an underworld deity. B
aboons are extremely aggressive, and omnivorous, and so Babi was viewed as being
very bloodthirsty, and living on entrails.[][3] Consequently, he was viewed as
devouring the souls of the unrighteous after they had been weighed against Ma'at
(the concept of truth/order),[4] and was thus said to stand by a lake of fire,
representing destruction. Since this judging of righteousness was an important p
art of the underworld, Babi was said to be the first-born son of Osiris,[5] the
god of the dead in the same regions in which people believed in Babi. Baboons al
so have noticeably high sex drives, in addition to their high level of genital m
arking, and so Babi was considered the god of virility of the dead. He was usual
ly portrayed with an erection, and due to the association with the judging of so
uls, was sometimes depicted as using it as the mast of the ferry which conveyed
the righteous to Aaru, a series of islands.[] Babi was also prayed to, in order
to ensure that an individual would not suffer from impotence after death.

Babi (mythology)
95
References
Banebdjedet
Banebdjedet in hieroglyphs
[1]
Banebdjedet (Banebdjed) was an Ancient Egyptian ram god with a cult centre at Me
ndes. Khnum was the equivalent god in Upper Egypt. His wife was the goddess Hatm
ehit ("Foremost of the Fishes") who was perhaps the original deity of Mendes.[2]
Their offspring was "Horus the Child" and they formed the so called "Mendesian
Triad".[3] The words for "ram" and "soul" sounded the same in Egyptian so ram de
ities were at times regarded as appearances of other gods.[2] Typically Banebdje
det was depicted with four rams' heads to represent the four Ba's of the sun god
. He may also be linked to the first four gods to rule over Egypt (Osiris, Geb,
Shu and Ra-Atum), with large granite shrines to each in the Mendes sanctuary.[2]
The Book of the Heavenly Cow describes the "Ram of Mendes" as being the Ba of O
siris but this was not an exclusive association. A story dated to the New Kingdo
m describes him as being consulted by the "Divine Tribunal" to Banebdjedet judge
between Horus and Seth but he proposes that Neith do it instead as an act of di
plomacy. As the dispute continues it is Banebdjedet who suggests that Seth be gi
ven the throne as he is the elder brother.[2] In a chapel in the Ramesseum, a st
ela records how the god Ptah took the form of Banebdjedet, in view of his virili
ty, in order to have union with the woman who would conceive Rameses II. It was
the sexual connotations associated with his cult that led early Christians to de
monise Banebdjedet.[2]
Notes
[1] Hermann Ranke: Die gyptische Persnennamen. Verlag von J. J. Augustin in Glcksta
dt, 1935. , p.89 [2] Handbook of Egyptian mythology, Geraldine Pinch, p 114-115,
Oxford University Press, 2004, ISBN 0-19-517024-5 [3] "Mistress of the House, M
istress of Heaven: women in ancient Egypt", Anne K. Capel, Glenn Markoe, p 72, C
incinnati Art Museum, Brooklyn Museum, Hudson Hills, 1996, ISBN 1-55595-129-5

Bastet
96
Bastet
Bastet
Bastet the goddess of cats Bastet the Goddess of Cats, Lower Egypt, the sun and
the moon Name in hieroglyphs Unicode: Major cult center Symbol Consort Parents S
iblings Offspring Bubastis the cat, woman with cat as an head, the sistrum Ptah
Ra Tefnut, Shu, Serqet, Sekhmet (in some occasions), Hathor (in some occasions)
Maahes

Bast refers to a cat goddess of ancient Egyptian religion who was worshipped as
early as the Second Dynasty (2890 BC). She was the goddess of warfare in Lower E
gypt, the Nile River delta region, before unification of the cultures that becam
e Ancient Egypt. Her name also is spelled Baast, Ubasti, and Baset.[1] The two c
ultures that united had deities that shared similar roles and usually the same i
magery. In Upper Egypt Sekhmet was the parallel warrior lioness deity to Bast. O
ften similar deities merged into one with the unification, but that did not occu
r with these deities with such strong roots in their cultures, instead these god
desses began to diverge. During the twenty-second dynasty c.945-715 BC, Bast wor
ship had changed from being a lioness warrior deity into being a major protector
deity represented as a cat.[2] Bastet, the name associated with this later iden
tity, is the name commonly used by scholars today to refer to this deity.

Bastet
97
Name
Bastet, the form of the name which is most commonly adopted by Egyptologists tod
ay because of its use in later dynasties, is a modern convention offering one po
ssible reconstruction. In early Egyptian, her name appears to have been
. In Egyptian
writing, the second marks a feminine ending, but was not usually pronounced, an
d the aleph

may have moved to a position before the accented syllable, as witnessed by the A
ramaic spelling
.[3]
By the first millennium, then,
[3]
would have been something like *Ubaste (< *Ubastat) in Egyptian speech,
later becoming Coptic Oubaste.
During later dynasties, Bast was assigned a lesser role in the pantheon bearing
the name Bastet, but retained. During the eighteenth dynasty Thebes became the c
apital of Ancient Egypt. As they rose to great power the priests of the temple o
f Amun, dedicated to the primary local deity, advanced the stature of their titu
lar deity to national prominence and shifted the relative stature of others in t
he Egyptian pantheon. Diminishing her status, they began referring to Bast with
the added suffix, as "Bastet" and their use of the new name was well documented,
becoming very familiar to researchers. by the twenty-second dynasty the transit
ion had occurred in all regions. The town of Bast's cult (see below) was known i
n Greek as Boubastis (). The Herew renderng f the name fr ths twn s P-eset
f Bastet"), spelled wtht Vrtnsle.[3] What the name f the gddess means
remans ncertan.[3] One recent sggestn y Stephen Qrke (Ancent Egyptan
Relgn) explans t as meanng "She f the ntment jar". Ths tes n wth t
he servatn that her name was wrtten wth the herglyph "ntment jar" (
) and
that she was asscated wth prtectve ntments, amng ther thngs.[3] She wa
s the gddess f prtectn aganst cntags dseases and evl sprts.[4] She
s als knwn as The Eye f Ra.
Frm lness-gddess t cat-gddess
Frm the thrd mllennm BC, when Bast egns t appear n r recrd, she s d
epcted as ether a ferce lness r a wman wth the head f a lness.[5] Ima
ges f Bast were created frm a lcal stne, named alaaster tday.[ctatn nee
ded] The lness was the fercest hnter amng the anmals n Afrca, hntng n
cperatve grps f related females. Orgnally she was vewed as the prtect
r gddess f Lwer Egypt. As prtectr, she was seen as defender f the pharah
, and cnseqently f the later chef male dety, Ra, wh was als a slar dety
, ganng her the ttles Lady f Flame and Eye f Ra. Her rle n the Egyptan p
anthen ecame dmnshed as Sekhmet, a smlar lness war dety, ecame mre d
mnant n the nfed cltre f Lwer and Upper Egypt knwn as the Tw Lands.[
ctatn needed] In the frst mllennm BC, when dmestcated cats were pplar
ly kept as pets, drng the eghteenth dynasty Bastet egan t e represented as
a wman wth the head f a cat and ltmately, y the twenty-secnd dynsty emer
ged as the Egyptan cat-gddess par excellence.[5] In the Mddle Kngdm, the d

mestc cat appeared as Bast cred nm l nd f


er
he New Kngdm he w dep
c
ed wm n w
h
he he d f c
r lne , c rryng cred r

le n
d x r  ke
.[6]


e

98

u


w lc l de
y wh e cul
w cen
red n
he c
y f u
 , nw Tell

, whch l y n
he Del
ne r wh
 knwn Z g zg
d y.[5][6] The
w
n, knwn n Egyp
 n pr-

( l 
r n l
er
ed Per-
), c rre her n
me, l
er lly me nng "Hu e f 
". I
w knwn n Greek u
 () and tra
ed nt Herew as P-eset. In the lcal Bk f Ezekel 30:17, the twn appear
s n the Herew frm Peseth.[5]
Temple
Herdts, a Greek hstran wh travelled n Egypt n the ffth centry BC, des
cres Bast's temple at sme length: "Save fr the entrance, t stands n an sl
and; tw separate channels apprach t frm the Nle, and after cmng p t the
entry f the temple, they rn rnd t n ppste sdes; each f them a hndre
d feet wde, and vershadwed y trees. The temple s n the mdst f the cty,
the whle crct f whch cmmands a vew dwn nt t; fr the cty's level ha
s een rased, t that f the temple has een left as t was frm the frst, s
that t can e seen nt frm wtht. A stne wall, carven wth fgres, rns
rnd t; wthn s a grve f very tall trees grwng rnd a great shrne, whe
ren s the mage f the gddess; the temple s a sqare, each sde measrng a
frlng. A rad, paved wth stne, f at three frlngs' length leads t the
entrance, rnnng eastward thrgh the market place, twards the temple f Herme
s; ths rad s at fr hndred feet wde, and rdered y trees reachng t
heaven."[7] The descrptn ffered y Herdts and several Egyptan texts sgg
est that water srrnded the temple n three (t f fr) sdes, frmng a typ
e f lake knwn as sher, nt t dssmlar frm that srrndng the Temple 
f the mther gddess Mt n Karnak at Thees.[5] Lakes knwn as sher were typ
cal f temples devted t a nmer f lenne gddesses wh are sad t represen
t ne rgnal gddess, daghter f the Sn-Gd Re / Eye f Re: Bast, Mt, Tefn
t, Hathr, and Sakhmet.[5] Each f them had t e appeased y a specfc set f
rtals.[5] One myth relates that a lness, fery and wrathfl, was nce cled
dwn y the water f the lake, transfrmed nt a gentle cat, and settled n th
e temple.[5]
Festval
Herdts als relates that f the many slemn festvals held n Egypt, the mst
mprtant and mst pplar ne was that celerated n Basts n hnr f the
gddess, whm he calls Basts and eqates wth the Greek gddess Artems.[8][
9] Each year n the day f her festval, the twn s sad t have attracted sme
700,000 vstrs ("as the peple f the place say"), th men and wmen (t n
t chldren), wh arrved n nmers crwded shps. The wmen engaged n msc,
sng, and dance n ther way t the place, great sacrfces were made and prdg
s amnts f wne were drnk, mre than was the case thrght the year.[10]
Ths accrds well wth Egyptan srces whch prescre that lenne gddesses
are t e appeased wth the "feasts f drnkenness".[3] The gddess Bast was sm
etmes depcted hldng a ceremnal sstrm n ne hand and an aegs n the th
erthe aegs sally resemlng a cllar r grget emellshed wth a lness head
. Bast was a lness gddess f the sn thrght mst f Ancent Egyptan hst
ry, t later when she was changed nt a cat gddess (Bastet). She als was ch
anged t a gddess f the mn y Greeks ccpyng Ancent Egypt tward the end
f ts cvlzatn. In Greek mythlgy, Bast als s knwn as Alrs.

Bastet
99
Hstry and cnnectn t ther detes
The lness represented the war gddess and prtectr f th lands that wld 
nte as Ancent Egypt. As dvne mther, and mre especally as prtectr, fr L
wer Egypt, Bast ecame strngly asscated wth Wadjet, the patrn gddess f L
wer Egypt. She eventally ecame Wadjet-Bast, parallelng the smlar par f p
atrn (Nekhet) and lness prtectr (Sekhmet) fr Upper Egypt. Bast fght an
evl snake named Apep. As the ferce ln gd Maahes f neary Na later ecam
e part f Egyptan mythlgy and assgned the rle f the sn f Bast, drng th
e tme f the New Kngdm, Bast was held t e the daghter f Amn Ra, a newly
ascendng dety n the Egyptan panthen drng that late dynasty. Bast ecame 
dentfed as hs mther n the Lwer Egypt, near the delta. Smlarly the ferce
lness war gddess Sekhmet, ecame dentfed as the mther f Maashes n the
Upper Egypt. Cats n ancent Egypt were revered hghly, partly de t ther al
ty t Wadjet-Bast, wth a lness head f Bast, the cmat vermn sch as mce,
rats - whch threatened key fd spples slar dsk, and the cra that repres
ents Wadjet -, and snakes, especally cras. Cats f ryalty were, n sme nst
ances, knwn t e dressed n glden jewelry and were allwed t eat frm ther
wners' plates. Trner and Batesn estmate that drng the twenty-secnd dynast
y c.945-715 BC, Bast wrshp changed frm eng a lness dety nt eng a maj
r cat dety.[2] Wth the nfcatn f the tw Egypts, many smlar detes we
re merged nt ne r the ther, the sgnfcance f Bast and Sekhmet, t the re
gnal cltres that merged, reslted n a retentn f th, necesstatng a ch
ange t ne r the ther. The Ancent Egyptan panthen was evlvng cnstantly.
Drng the eghteenth dynasty Thees ecame the captal f Ancent Egypt and e
case f that, ther patrn dety ecame paramnt.The prests f the temple f
Amn shfted the relatve statre f ther detes n the Egyptan panthen. Dm
nshng the stats f Bast, they egan referrng t her wth the added sffx,
as "Bastet" and ther se f the new name ecame very famlar t Egyptlgsts.
In the temple at Per-Bast sme cats were fnd t have een mmmfed and re
d, many next t ther wners. Mre than 300,000 mmmfed cats were dscvered w
hen Bast's temple at Per-Bast was excavated. The man srce f nfrmatn a
t the Bast clt cmes frm Herdts wh vsted Basts arnd 450 BC drng a
fter the changes n the clt. He eqated Bastet wth the Greek Gddess Artems.
He wrte extensvely at the clt. Trner and Batesn sggest that the stats
f the cat was rghly eqvalent t that f the cw n mdern Inda. The death
f a cat mght leave a famly n great mrnng and thse wh cld wld have t
hem emalmed r red n cat cemeteres - pntng t the great prevalence f t
he clt f Bastet. Extensve rals f cat remans were fnd nt nly at Bas
ts, t als at Ben Hasan and Saqqara. In 1888, a farmer ncvered a plt f m
any hndreds f thsands f cats n Ben Hasan.[2]

Bastet
100
Later perceptn
Later scres smetmes renamed her Bastet, a varatn n Bast cnsstng f an
addtnal femnne sffx t the ne already present (the "t" f Bast), thgh
t t have een added t emphasze prnncatn; perhaps t s a dmntve name
appled as she receded n the ascendancy f Sekhmet n the Egyptan panthen. S
nce Bast lterally meant, (female) f the ntment jar,[ctatn needed] Her na
me was related wth the lavsh jars n whch Egyptans stred ther perfme. Bas
t ths gradally ecame regarded as the gddess f perfmes, earnng the ttle,
perfmed prtectr. In cnnectn wth ths, when Ans ecame the gd f emal
mng, Bast, as gddess f ntment, came t e regarded as hs wfe. The assca
tn f Bast as mther f Ans, was rken years later when Ans ecame den
tfed as the sn f Nephthys. Lwer Egypt's lss n the wars etween Upper and
Lwer Egypt led t a decrease n the fercty f Bast. Ths, y the Mddle Kngd
m she came t e regarded as a dmestc cat rather than a lness. Occasnally
, hwever, she was depcted hldng a lness mask, hntng at her ptental fer
cty and perhaps, a remnder f her rgn. Becase dmestc cats tend t e te
nder and prtectve f ther ffsprng, Bast als was regarded as a gd mther,
and she was smetmes depcted wth nmers kttens. Cnseqently, a wman wh
wanted chldren smetmes wre an amlet shwng the gddess wth kttens, the
nmer f whch ndcated her wn desred nmer f chldren. Eventally, her p
stn as patrn and prtectr f Lwer Egypt led t her eng dentfed wth t
he mre sstantal gddess Mt, whse clt had rsen t pwer wth that f Amn
, and eventally eng syncretzed wth her as Mt-Wadjet-Bast. Shrtly after, 
n the cnstantly evlvng panthen, Mt als asred the denttes f the Sekh
met-Nekhet parng as well. Ths mergng f denttes f smlar gddesses has
led t cnsderale cnfsn, leadng t sme attrtng t Bast the ttle M
stress f the Sstrm (mre prperly elngng t Hathr, wh had ecme thght
f as an aspect f the later emergng Iss, as had Mt), and the Greek dea f
her as a lnar gddess (mre prperly an attrte f Mt) rather than the slar
dety she was. The natve Egyptan rlers were replaced y Greeks drng an cc
patn f Egypt n a dynasty that lasted almst fve hndred years. These new r
lers adpted many Egyptan elefs and cstms, t always "nterpreted" them 
n relatn t ther Greek cltre. These asscatns sght t lnk the antq
ty f Egyptan cltre t the newer Greek cltre, therey lendng parallel rt
s and a sense f cntnty. Indeed, mch cnfsn ccrred wth sseqent gen
eratns; the dentty f Bast slwly merged amng the Greeks drng ther ccp
atn f Egypt, wh smetmes named her Alrs (Greek fr cat), thnkng f Bas
t as a versn f Artems, ther wn mn gddess.
Ancent Egyptan state f Bastet after ecmng represented as a dmestc cat
The Gayer-Andersn cat, eleved t e a representatn f Bastet
Ths, t ft ther wn csmlgy, t the Greeks Bast s thght f as the sster
f Hrs, whm they dentfed as Apll (Artems' rther), and cnseqently,
the daghter f the later emergng detes, Iss and Ra. Rman ccpatn f Egy
pt fllwed n 30 BC, and ther panthen f detes als was dentfed wth the
Greek nterpretatns f the Ancent Egyptans. The ntrdctn f Chrstant
y and Mslm elefs fllwed as well, and y the sxth centry AD nly a few ve
stges f Ancent Egyptan relgs elefs remaned, althgh the clt f Iss
had spread t the ends f the Rman Empre.

Bastet
101
In pplar cltre
Bast s a recrrng character prtrayed n vars wrks y Nel Gaman, ncld
ng The Sandman and Amercan Gds Bast s a recrrng character n The Kane Chrn
cles trlgy y Rck Rrdan. The gddess gards the hse n whch the prtag
nsts Carter and Sade resde, and serves the rle f ther prtectr. Basts
s the name f the genetcally engneered Lynx cmpann f the man antagnst
f the graphc nvel Watchmen. Bastet s a playale character n the Mltplayer
nlne attle arena, SMITE. Bastet s a melee assassn and s ncknamed the Gd
dess f Cat.[11] Bastet was a featred crsed Egyptan artfact n the 1998 CBS
TV seres "Early Edtn" n seasn 2 epsde 15 ttled "Mms the Wrd". Bastet
was shwn n The Three Lves f Thmasna as a cat dety wh rled ver the sl
s f all cats wh had tlved ther nne lves. In the 1995 televsn seres A
laddn, Mrage s ne f Aladdn's recrrng enemes. In an epsde f The West
Wng, "The Stackhse Flster", C. J. Cregg eleves that characters have ee
n crsed y the gddess ecase she had rken a small ceramc Bastet state gf
ted t the presdent ne year earler n Car. The werecats frm Werewlf: The
Apcalypse are called Bastet.
Ntes
[1] Badaw, Cherne. Ftprnt Egypt. Ftprnt Travel Gdes, 2004. [2] Serpell
, "Dmestcatn and Hstry f the Cat", p. 184. [3] Te Velde, "Bastet", p. 165
. [4] http:/ / www. shra. net/ egypt-gddess. htm#Bastet [5] Te Velde, "Bastet"
, p. 164. [6] Bastet (http:/ / www. egyptanmsem. gv. eg/ astet. html) Egypt
an Msem [7] Herdts, Bk 2, chapter 138. [8] Herdts, Bk 2, chapter 59
. [9] Herdts, Bk 2, chapter 137. [10] Herdts, Bk 2, chapter 60. [11] h
ttp:/ / www. smtewk. cm/ Bastet
References
Prmary srces
Herdts, ed. H. Sten (et al.) and tr. AD Gdley (1920), Herdts 1. Bks 1
and 2. Le Classcal Lrary. Camrdge, Mass. Egyptan temples
Secndary srces
Velde, Herman te (1999). "Bastet". In Karel van der Trn, B Beckng and Pete
r W. van der Hrst. Dctnary f Demns and Detes n the Ble (2nd ed.). Le
den: Brll Academc. pp.1645. ISBN90-04-11119-0. Serpell, James A. "Domestication a
nd History of the Cat" (http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=& id=kO5y0fnLUD4C
&oi=fnd&pg=PA179&dq=Herodotus+cat+Egyptians++Bubastis&ots=EoA4iT0pVp& sig=TqZF4m
Yt-fLrbkH05hxwCBvniZk#v=onepage&q=Herodotus cat Egyptians Bubastis&f=false). In
Dennis C. Turner and Paul Patrick Gordon Bateson. The Domestic Cat: the Biology
of its Behaviour. pp.177192.

Bastet
102
Further reading
Malek, Jaromir (1993). The Cat in Ancient Egypt. London: British Museum Press. O
tto, Eberhard (1972-1992). "Bastet". In W. Helck, et al. Lexicon der gyptologie 1
. Wiesbaden. pp.62830. Quaegebeur, J. (1991). "Le culte de Boubastis - Bastet en E
gypte grco-romaine". In L. Delvaux and E. Warmenbol. Les divins chat d'Egypte. Le
uven. pp.11727. Quirke, Stephen (1992). Ancient Egyptian Religion. London: British
Museum Press. Bakr, Mohamed I. and Brandl, Helmut (2010). "Bubastis and the Tem
ple of Bastet". In M. I. Bakr, H. Brandl, F. Kalloniatis (eds.). Egyptian Antiqu
ities from Kufur Nigm and Bubastis. Berlin. pp.2736.
External links
Exhaustive scholarly essay on the goddess (http://www.per-bast.org/) "Temple to
cat god found in Egypt" (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8468803.stm), BB
C News.
Bat (goddess)
Bat was a cow goddess in Egyptian mythology depicted as a human face with cow ea
rs and horns. By the time of the Middle Kingdom, her identity and attributes wer
e subsumed within the goddess Hathor.[1]
Worship
The worship of Bat dates to earliest times and may have its origins in Late Pale
olithic cattle herding. Bat was the chief goddess of Seshesh, otherwise known as
Hu or Diospolis Parva, the 7th nome of Upper Egypt.
The ancient Egyptian goddess Bat as she appears on the Narmer Palette.

Bat (goddess)
103
Name
The epithet Bat may be linked to the word ba with the feminine suffix 't'. A per
son's ba roughly equates to his or her personality or emanation and is often tra
nslated as 'soul'. The word can also be read as 'power' or 'god'.
Depictions in ancient Egyptian culture
Although it was rare for Bat to be clearly depicted in painting or sculpture, so
me notable artifacts (like the upper portions of the Narmer Palette) include dep
ictions of the goddess in bovine form. In other instances she was pictured as a
celestial bovine creature surrounded by stars or as a human woman. More commonly
, Bat was depicted on amulets, with a human face, but with bovine features, such
as the ears of a cow and the inward-curving horns of the type of cattle first h
erded by the Egyptians. Bat became strongly associated with the sistrum, and the
center of her cult was known as the 'Mansion of the Sistrum'.[2] The sistrum is
a musical instrument, shaped like an ankh,[1] that was one of the most frequent
ly used sacred instruments in ancient Egyptian temples. Some instruments would i
nclude depictions of Bat, with her head and neck as the handle and base and ratt
les placed between her horns. The imagery is repeated on each side, having two f
aces, as mentioned in the Pyramid Texts:.
The Narmer Palette, one of the earliest palette artifacts from Egypt, where Bat
flanks the top of both sides and on the obverse is at the bottom as well
I am Praise; I am Majesty; I am Bat with Her Two Faces; I am the One Who Is Save
d, and I have saved myself from all things evil.[3]

Bat (goddess)
104
Both Hathor (left) and Bat flank Menkaure in this fourth Dynasty triad statue. T
he goddesses provide the authority for him to be king and are identified by thei
r crowns. The emblem on Bat's crown represents the sistrum, though the crown als
o includes her zoomorphic face and the feather of Ma'at. - Cairo Museum
Relation to Hathor

Bat (goddess)
105 The imagery of Bat as a divine cow was remarkably similar to that of Hathor,
a parallel goddess from Lower Egypt. In two dimensional images, both goddesses
often are depicted straight on, facing the onlooker and not in profile in accord
ance with the usual Egyptian convention. The significant difference in their dep
ictions is that Bat's horns curve inward and Hathor's curve outward slightly. It
is possible that this could be based in the different breeds of cattle herded a
t different times. Hathor's cult center was in the 6th Nome of Upper Egypt, adja
cent to the 7th where Bat was the cow goddess, which may indicate that they were
once the same goddess in Predynastic Egypt. By the Middle Kingdom, the cult of
Hathor had again absorbed that of Bat in a manner similar to other mergers in th
e Egyptian pantheon.
In the second season of the HBO series True Blood, a statue similar to Naqada de
pictions of Bat is used as a sacred depiction of Dionysus for the maenad Maryann
Forrester's orgiastic cult. Sam Merlotte's attraction to the statue upon first
meeting Maryann causes her to see him as the perfect sacrifice for her ritual to
bring Dionysus to life, a major driving force for the season's plot.
Predynastic Naqada fertility figurine holding her arms in a fashion that resembl
es the inward curving horns of Bat [4][5][6]
In popular culture
References
[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] Wilkinson, Richard H. The Complete Gods and Goddesses of
Ancient Egypt, p.172 Thames & Hudson. 2003. ISBN 0-500-05120-8 Hart, George. Th
e Routledge Dictionary of Egyptian Gods and Goddesses, p. 47 2nd Edition Routled
ge. 2005. ISBN 0-415-34495-6 R. O. Faulkner, The Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts,
Oxford 1969, p. 181, Utterance 506 (http:/ / www. world-science. net/ exclusive
s/ exclusives-nfrm/ 051217_egypt1. htm) (http:/ / www. mnsu. edu/ emuseum/ prehi
story/ egypt/ archaeology/ sites/ naqada. htm) (http:/ / www. homestead. com/ wy
singer/ neolithic. html)
External links
The goddess Bat - discussion on Philae (http://209.85.135.104/search?q=cache:UyW
EDKm1Yl4J:www. philae.nu/akhet/FirstGods.html+Bat+goddess+Egypt&hl=de&ct=clnk&cd
=4&gl=de) The goddess Bat - discussion on Egyptian Myths (http://209.85.135.104/
search?q=cache:w79VS2GFBJoJ:www.egyptianmyths.net/bat.htm+Bat+Egypt&hl=de&ct=cl
nk&cd=1& gl=de)

Bata (god)
106
Bata (god)
Bata from Saka is an Egyptian bull-god of the New Kingdom, who represents togeth
er with Anubis the 17th Upper Egyptian Nome.
History
Until the middle of the Eighteenth Dynasty Bata was represented as a ram and lat
er as a bull. Bata is probably identical with the death god Bt of the Egyptian O
ld Kingdom, known from the Saqqara necropolis, for instance from the Mastaba of
Ti. Bata is not mentioned in the Pyramid Texts and Coffin Texts.
In literature
Bata is the name of the protagonist in the Tale of Two Brothers, a copy of which
survives on the New Kingdom Papyrus DOrney, where he 
he r
her f Anu .
He  l  men
ned n
he P
lem c P pyru Jumlh c.

lgr phy
Su n T. Hll : On
he N
ure f 
,
he Her f
he P pyru dOrney, n: C
hrnque dgyp
e 59, 1984, 248-257
Ex
ern l lnk
T le f Tw r
her [1]
Reference
[1] h

p:/ / www. re h fm. rg. l/ d/ egyp


/
ex
/ npu_ nd_
. h
m

e
107

e
P r
f
he my
h ere n
Fer
le Cre cen

*Me p
m n my
hlgy

Ancen
Ar  n my
hlgy Ancen
Lev n
ne my
hlgy Pre-Jud c Ar  n gd

Ag l Agll All h Al-Q um l-Lt, al-'Ilhat Astarte Atargats (Syran) Atarsaman
Beelshamen Bes (Egypt-Arac) Dh'l-Halasa Dsares, Dh Shar' Hal Itar, Athtar
Malakel

Mant Manaf Na, Ne Nasr Nergal Nha Ortalt Rda Shams, Samas Sn, Nanna-Sen Swa
' Theandrs Uzz Wadd Ya'q Yaghth Yarhl/Malakel Yatha demns
Bl, Bal, Bl-amn
l, Ilh (NW Semtc)

Bes
108 Bes (/s/; also spelled as Bisu) is an Ancient Egyptian deity worshipped as a
protector of households, and in particular, of mothers and children and childbi
rth. Bes later came to be regarded as the defender of everything good and the en
emy of all that is bad. While past studies identified Bes as a Middle Kingdom im
port from Nubia, more recent research indicates that he was present in Egypt sin
ce the start of Old Kingdom. Mentions of Bes can be traced to pre-dynastic Nile
Valley cultures; however his cult did not become widespread until the beginning
of the New Kingdom.
Iconography
Modern scholars such as James Romano claim that in its earliest inceptions, Bes
was a representation of a lion rearing up on its hind legs.[1] After the Third I
ntermediate Period, Bes is often seen as just the head or the face, often worn a
s amulets. The god Bes came from the Great Lakes Region of Africa, coming from t
he Twa people (a pygmy group) in Congo or Rwanda. The ancient Twa were about the
same height as the depictions of Bes. Dawn Prince-Hughes lists Bes as fitting w
ith other archetypal long-haired Bigfoot-like ape-man figures from ancient North
ern Africa, "a squat, bandy-legged figure depicted with fur about his body, a pr
ominent brow, and short, pug nose." [2]
Bes relief at the Dendera Temple, Egypt
Worship
Images of the deity were kept in homes and he was depicted quite differently fro
m the other gods. Normally Egyptian gods were shown in profile, but instead Bes
appeared in portrait, ithyphallic, and sometimes in a soldier's tunic, so as to
appear ready to launch an attack on any approaching evil. He scared away demons
from houses, so his statue was put up as a protector. Bes was a household protec
tor, throughout ancient Egyptian history becoming responsible for such varied ta
sks as killing snakes, fighting off evil spirits, watching after children, and a
iding (by fighting off evil spirits) women in labour (and thus present with Tawe
ret at births).
Bes statue from Egypt in the Muse du Louvre, Paris
Since he drove off evil, Bes also came to symbolize the good things in life musi
c, dance, and sexual pleasure. Later, in the Ptolemaic period of Egyptian histor
y, chambers were constructed, painted with images of Bes and his wife Beset, tho
ught by Egyptologists to have been for the purpose of curing fertility problems
or general healing rituals. Many instances of Bes masks and costumes from the Ne
w Kingdom and later have been uncovered. These show considerable wear, thought t
o be too great for occasional use at festivals, and are therefore thought to hav
e been used by professional performers, or given out for rent. In the New Kingdo
m, tattoos of Bes could be found on the thighs of dancers, musicians and servant
girls.

Bes
109 Like many Egyptian gods, the worship of Bes was exported overseas, and he, i
n particular, proved popular with the Phoenicians and the ancient Cypriots. The
cult of Saint Bessus in northern Italy may represent the Christianization of the
cult associated with Bes; St. Bessus was also invoked for fertility, and Bessus
and Bes are both associated with an ostrich feather in their iconography.[] The
Balearic island of Ibiza derives its actual name from this God, brought along w
ith the first Phoenician settlers 654 BC. These settlers, amazed at the lack of
any sort of venomous creatures on the island thought it to be the island of Bes
(< > ym *m). Later Rmans called t Ess.
Bes state frm Amanths (Cyprs) n the Istanl Archaelgcal Msems
Mask depctng Bes, early 4th-1st centry BC. The Walters Art Msem.

Bes
110
Blgraphy
The Cmplete Gds and Gddesses f Ancent Egypt, Rchard H. Wlknsn. ISBN 0-5
00-05120-8 The Oxfrd Hstry f Ancent Egypt, Ian Shaw. ISBN 0-19-28
References
Bes | Frm The Cmplete Gds and Gddesses f Ancent Egypt [3]
[1] The Cmplete Gds and Gddesses f Ancent Egypt, Wlknsn p. Thames & H
dsn, pg.103 ISBN 0-500-05120-8 [2] Dawn Prnce-Hghes, The Archetype f the Ape
-man: The Phenmenlgcal Archaelgy f a Relc Hmnd Ancestr (http:/ / k
s. ggle. cm/ ks?d=BrAUg2VTrEC& prntsec=frntcver& dq=tsmshan+ mnkey
+ masks), pg. 98 [3] http:/ / www. egyptan-gds. nf/ 2011/ 03/ es. html
Bchs
In Egyptan mythlgy, Bchs (als spelt Bakh, Bchs, and Bakha) was the manf
estatn f the defcatn f Ka (pwer/lfe-frce) f the war gd Menth,[1] w
rshpped n the regn f Hermnths. A wld ll was chsen and sad t e the
Bkhs ncarnatn f Menth, n whch rle t was wrshpped as sch. Over tm
e, the crtera fr chsng the ll ecame mre rgd, fxng themselves n wh
at had een smply the general appearance f lls n the regn, eng a whte
dy and lack face. When these lls, r ther mthers, ded, they were mmmf
ed, and placed n a specal cemetery knwn as the Bchem. The mthers f these
lls were cnsdered aspects f Hathr, the mther f these detes. Eventally
, the Bakha was dentfed as a frm f the Aps, and cnseqently ecame cnsd
ered an ncarnatn f Osrs. The last ral f a Bchs ll n the Bchem a
t Hermnths ccrred n 340 A.D.[2][3] The wrshp f the ll n ths frm las
ted ntl at 362 AD, when t was destryed y rsng Chrstanty n the Rma
n Empre.
A stele cmmemratng the ral f a Bakha earng the cngraphy f Hathr
References
[1] W. Max Mller, Egyptan Mythlgy, Kessnger Plshng 2004, p.160 [2] Dav
d Frankfrter, Relgn n Rman Egypt: Assmlatn and Resstance, Prncetn U
nversty Press 1998, p.72 [3] M. W. Daly, Carl F. Petry, The Camrdge Hstry
f Egypt, Camrdge Unversty Press 1998, p.28

Bchs
111
External lnks
The last fnerary stela f a Bchs ll (http://www.reshafm.rg. l/ad/egypt/t
exts/khs.htm) Brtsh Msem page at Bchs (http://www.rtshmsem. rg
/explre/hghlghts/hghlght_jects/aes/s/ sandstne_stela_f_ptlemy_.aspx)
Smlar mage f a ll n the ttm f the verse f the Narmer Palette frm
the Predynastc perd
Damtef
Damtef, sn f Hrs
Damtef n herglyphs
Damtef was ne f the Fr Sns f Hrs[1] and a prtectn gd f the Canp
c jars.[2] Cmmnly he s sad t e the sn f the gd Hrs the Elder (Her-r
) and the gddess Iss. There s anther myth that descres Damtef and hs r
thers as sns f Osrs. Accrdng t ths myth they were rn frm a lly flw
er that arse frm the prmaeval cean.

Damtef The name Damtef means "Wh adres hs mther".


112
Prtrayal
Frst Damtef was represented as a hman wrapped n mmmy andages. Frm the Ne
w Kngdm he s shwn wth the head f a jackal.[3] In sme cases hs appearance
s cnfsed r exchanged wth that f Qeehsenef s he has the head f a falc
n and Qeehsenef has the head f a jackal. Damtef sally was depcted n cf
fns and as the ld f canpc jars. Many mages f the Jdgement f the Dead sh
w hm tgether wth hs rthers n frnt f Osrs n a small lly flwer.
Meanng as Prtectn Gd f Canpc Jars
Tgether wth the three ther sns f Hrs Imsety, Hap and Qeehsenef he prt
ected the mmmfed nternal rgans. Hs dty was t prtect the stmach.[4] Hs
prtectr s the gddess Neth.[5]
References
[1] The fr Sns f Hrs, Damtef als Tamtef (http:/ / www. reshafm. rg.
l/ ad/ egypt/ relgn/ sns_f_hrs. htm) [3] Damtef (Tamtef, Glden Daw
n, Thmmathph) (http:/ / www. egyptanmyths. net/ damtef. htm) [4] Damtef.
(see: Fr sns f Hrs), Fr sns f Hrs. (http:/ / egyptlgyscrles. c
m/ 2012/ 01/ 21/ lst-f-egyptan-detes-d-f-gh/ ) [5] Damtef: Alternate name
[s (http:/ / www2. s. mch. ed/ chc/ mmmy/ Afterlfe/ Gds/ Gdstextx. htm
l): Tamtef; Glden Dawn, Thmmathph]
Eye f Ra
The Eye f Ra r Eye f Re s a eng n ancent Egyptan mythlgy that fnct
ns as a femnne cnterpart t the sn gd Ra and a vlent frce that sdes
hs enemes. The Eye s an extensn f Ra's pwer, eqated wth the dsk f the
sn, t t als ehaves as an ndependent entty, whch can e persnfed y
a wde varety f Egyptan gddesses, ncldng Hathr, Sekhmet, Bastet, Wadjet,
and Mt. The Eye gddess acts as mther, slng, cnsrt, and daghter f the
sn gd. She s hs partner n the creatve cycle n whch he egets the renewed
frm f hmself that s rn at dawn. The Eye's vlent aspect defends Ra agan
st the agents f dsrder that threaten hs rle. Ths dangers aspect f the E
ye gddess s ften represented y a lness r y the raes, r cra, a sym
l f prtectn and ryal athrty. As an aptrpac pwer, the Eye s ften eq
ated wth the Eye f Hrs, whch n ther cases s a separate cncept.
The Eye f Ra cld e eqated wth the dsk f the sn, wth the cras cled
arnd the dsk, and wth the whte and red crwns f Upper and Lwer Egypt.
The Eye f Ra was nvlved n many areas f ancent Egyptan relgn, ncldng
n the clts f the many gddesses wh are eqated wth t. Its lfe-gvng pw
er was celerated n temple rtals, and ts dangers aspect was nvked n the
prtectn f the pharah, f sacred places, and f rdnary peple and ther h
mes.

Eye f Ra
113
Rles
Slar
The Egyptans ften referred t the sn and the mn as the "eye"s f partclar
gds. The rght eye f the gd Hrs, fr nstance, was eqated wth the sn, a
nd hs left eye eqated wth the mn. At tmes the Egyptans called the lnar e
ye the "Eye f Hrs", a cncept wth ts wn cmplex mythlgy and symlsm, a
nd called the slar eye the "Eye f Ra"Ra eng the preemnent sn gd n ancent
Egyptan relgn. Hwever, n Egyptan elef, many terms and cncepts are fl
d, s the sn cld als e called the "Eye f Hrs".[1] The yellw r red ds
k-lke sn emlem n Egyptan art represents the Eye f Ra. Becase f the great
mprtance f the sn n Egyptan relgn, ths emlem s amng the mst cmm
n relgs symls n all f Egyptan art.[2] Althgh Egyptlgsts sally ca
ll ths emlem the "sn dsk", ts cnvex shape n Egyptan relef sclptre sg
gests that the Egyptans may have envsned t as a sphere.[3] The emlem ften
appears atp the heads f slar-asscated detes, ncldng Ra hmself, t n
dcate ther lnks wth the sn. The dsk cld even e regarded as Ra's physca
l frm.[2] At ther tmes, the sn gd, n vars frms, s depcted nsde the
dsk shape as f enclsed wthn t.[4] The Egyptans ften descred the sn's
mvement acrss the sky as the mvement f a arqe carryng Ra and hs entra
ge f ther gds, and the sn dsk can ether e eqated wth ths slar arqe
r depcted cntanng the arqe nsde t.[3] The dsk s ften called Ra's "d
aghter" n Egyptan texts.[1] As the sn, the Eye f Ra s a srce f heat and
lght, and t s asscated wth fre and flames. It s als eqated wth the r
ed lght that appears efre snrse, and wth the mrnng star that precedes an
d sgnals the sn's arrval.[5]
Prcreatve
The eyes f Egyptan detes, althgh they are aspects f the pwer f the gds
wh wn them, smetmes take actve rles n mythlgy, pssly ecase the w
rd fr "eye" n Egyptan, jrt, resemles anther wrd meanng "d" r "act". The
presence f the femnne sffx -t n jrt may explan why these ndependent eye
s were thght f as female. The Eye f Ra, n partclar, s deeply nvlved n
the sn gd's creatve actns.[6] In Egyptan mythlgy, the sn's emergence f
rm the hrzn each mrnng s lkened t Ra's rth, an event that revtalzes
hm and the rder f the csms. Ra emerges frm the dy f a gddess wh repr
esents the skysally Nt. Depctns f the rsng sn ften shw Ra as a chld
cntaned wthn the slar dsk. In ths cntext, the dsk may represent the wm
 frm whch he s rn r the placenta that emerges wth hm. The Eye f Ra, th
erefre, can als take the frm f a gddess: the mther wh rngs Ra frth fr
m her wm r a sster wh s rn alngsde hm lke a placenta. Ra was smetm
es sad t enter the dy f the sky gddess at snset, mpregnatng her and set
tng the stage fr hs rerth at snrse. Cnseqently, the Eye, as wm and m
ther f the chld frm f Ra, s als the cnsrt f the adlt Ra. The adlt Ra,
lkewse, s the father f the Eye wh s rn at snrse. The Eye s ths a fe
mnne cnterpart t Ra's masclne creatve pwer, part f a rader Egyptan
tendency t express creatn and renewal n terms f sexal reprdctn. Ra gv
es rse t hs daghter, the Eye, wh n trn gves rse t hm, her sn, n a c
ycle f cnstant regeneratn.[7] Ra s nt nqe n ths relatnshp wth the
Eye. Other slar gds may nteract n a smlar way wth the nmers gddesses
asscated wth the Eye. Hathr, a gddess f the sky, the sn, and fertlty,
s ften called the Eye f Ra, and she als has a relatnshp wth Hrs, wh a
ls has slar cnnectns, that s smlar t the relatnshp etween Ra and h
s Eye.[8] Hathr can even e called "the Eye f Hrs"ne f several ways n whc
h the dstnctns etween the tw eyes are lrred.[1] The Eye can als act as
an extensn f and cmpann t Atm, a creatr gd clsely asscated wth Ra.
Smetmes ths eye s called the Eye f Atm, althgh at ther tmes the Eye 

f Ra and the Eye f Atm are dstnct, wth Ra's Eye the sn and Atm's Eye the
mn.[9]

Eye f Ra
114
A myth at the Eye, knwn frm allsns n the Cffn Texts frm the Mddle K
ngdm (c. 20551650 BC) and a mre cmplete accnt n the Bremner-Rhnd Papyrs
frm the Late Perd (664332 BC), demnstrates the Eye's clse cnnectn wth Ra
and Atm and her alty t act ndependently. The myth takes place efre the
creatn f the wrld, when the slar creatrether Ra r Atms alne. Sh and Te
fnt, the chldren f ths creatr gd, have drfted away frm hm n the waters
f N, the chas that exsts efre creatn n Egyptan elef, s he sends 
t hs Eye t fnd them. The Eye retrns wth Sh and Tefnt t s nfrated t
see that the creatr has develped a new eye, whch has taken her place. The cr
eatr gd The raes n the ryal headdress f Amenempe appeases her y gvng
her an exalted pstn n hs frehead n the frm f the raes, the emlemat
c cra that appears freqently n Egyptan art, partclarly n ryal crwns. T
he eqatn f the Eye wth the raes and the crwn nderlnes the Eye's rle a
s a cmpann t Ra and t the pharah, wth whm Ra s lnked. Upn the retrn
f Sh and Tefnt, the creatr gd s sad t have shed tears, althgh whether
they are prmpted y happness at hs chldren's retrn r dstress at the Eye's
anger s nclear. These tears gve rse t the frst hmans. In a varant f th
e stry, t s the Eye that weeps nstead, s the Eye s the prgentr f hman
knd.[10] The tears f the Eye f Ra are part f a mre general cnnectn etwe
en the Eye and mstre. In addtn t representng the mrnng star, the Eye c
an als e eqated wth the star Sths (Srs). Every smmer, at the start f
the Egyptan year, Sths' helacal rsng, n whch the star rse ave the hr
zn jst efre the sn tself, heralded the start f the Nle nndatn, whc
h watered and fertlzed Egypt's farmland. Therefre, the Eye f Ra precedes and
represents the fldwaters that restre fertlty t all f Egypt.[11]
Aggressve and prtectve
The Eye f Ra als represents the destrctve aspect f Ra's pwer: the heat f
the sn, whch n Egypt can e s harsh that the Egyptans smetmes lkened t
t arrws sht y a gd t destry evlders. The raes s a lgcal syml fr
ths dangers pwer. In art, the sn dsk mage ften ncrprates ne r tw
rae cled arnd t. The slar raes represents the Eye as a dangers frce
that encrcles the sn gd and gards aganst hs enemes, spttng flames lke
venm.[12] Fr rae are smetmes sad t srrnd Ra's arqe. Cllectvely
called "Hathr f the Fr Faces", they represent the Eye's vglance n all dr
ectns.[13] Ra's enemes are the frces f chas, whch threaten maat, the csm
c rder that he creates. They nclde th hmans wh spread dsrder and csm
c pwers lke Apep, the emdment f chas, whm Ra s sad t cmat every ng
ht.[14] The malevlent gaze f Apep's wn Eye s a ptent weapn aganst Ra, and
Ra's Eye s ne f the few pwers that can cnteract t. Sme nclear passages
n the Cffn Texts sggest that Apep was thght capale f njrng r steal
ng the Eye f Ra frm ts master drng the cmat.[15] In ther texts, the Eye'
s fery reath asssts n Apep's destrctn.[16] Ths aptrpac fnctn f th
e Eye f Ra s anther pnt f verlap wth the Eye f Hrs, whch was smlar
ly eleved t ward ff evl.[1] The Eye's aggressn may even extend t detes
wh, nlke Apep, are nt regarded as evl. Evdence n early fnerary texts s
ggests that at dawn, Ra was eleved t swallw the mlttde f ther gds, wh
n ths nstance are eqated wth the stars, whch vansh at snrse and reappe
ar at snset. In dng s, he asrs the gds' pwer, therey renewng hs wn
vtalty, efre spttng them t agan at nghtfall. The slar Eye s sad t
assst n ths effrt, slaghterng the gds fr Ra t eat. The red lght f daw
n therefre sgnfes the ld prdced y ths slaghter.[17] In anther myth,
related n the Bk f the Heavenly Cw frm the New Kngdm (c. 15501070 BC), R
a ses the Eye as a weapn aganst hmans wh have reelled aganst hs athrt
y. He sends the EyeHathr, n her

Eye f Ra aggressve manfestatn as the lness gddess Sekhmett massacre them


. She des s, t after the frst day f her rampage, Ra decdes t prevent her
frm kllng all hmanty. He rders that eer e dyed red and pred t ver
the land. The Eye gddess drnks the eer, mstakng t fr ld, and n her n
erated state retrns t Ra wtht ntcng her ntended vctms. Thrgh her
drnkenness she has een retrned t a harmless frm.[18] The slar Eye's vlat
le natre can make her dffclt even fr her master t cntrl. In a thrd myth
, knwn n several varants, the Eye gddess ecmes pset wth Ra and rns away
frm hm. In sme versns the prvcatn fr her anger seems t e her replac
ement wth a new eye after the search fr Sh and Tefnt, t n thers her ree
lln seems t take place after the wrld s flly frmed. Wth the slar Eye g
ne, Ra s vlnerale t hs enemes and ereft f a large part f hs pwer. The
Eye's asence and Ra's weakened state may e a mythlgcal reference t slar
eclpses.[19] Meanwhle, the Eye wanders n a dstant landNa r Lyaas a wld
felne, as dangers and ncntrlled as the frces f chas that she s meant t
 sde. T restre rder, ne f the gds ges t t retreve her. In ne fra
gmentary versn, the war gd Anhr searches fr the Eye, whch takes the frm 
f the gddess Menht, sng hs sklls as a hnter. In ther accnts, t s Sh
wh searches fr Tefnt, wh n ths case represents the Eye rather than an nd
ependent dety. In a thrd versn, knwn frm a Late Perd papyrs ded "The
Myth f the Eye f the Sn", Thth, the messenger and cnclatr f the Egypt
an panthen, persades the gddess t retrn thrgh a cmnatn f lectres,
entcement, and entertanng stres. Hs effrts are nt nfrmly sccessfl;
at ne pnt, the gddess s s enraged y Thth's wrds that she transfrms fr
m a relatvely engn cat nt a fre-reathng lness, makng Thth jmp.[20]
When the gddess s at last placated, the retrevng gd escrts her ack t Egy
pt. Her retrn marks the egnnng f the nndatn and the new year. The pacf
ed Eye dety s nce mre a prcreatve cnsrt fr the sn gd, r, n sme ve
rsns f the stry, fr the gd wh rngs her ack. Menht ecmes the cnsrt
f Anhr, Tefnt s pared wth Sh, and Thth's spse s smetmes Nehemtawy,
a mnr gddess asscated wth ths pacfed frm f the Eye.[20] In many case
s, the Eye gddess and her cnsrt then prdce a dvne chld wh ecmes the n
ew sn gd. The gddess' transfrmatn frm hstle t peacefl s a key step 
n the renewal f the sn gd and the kngshp that he represents.[21]
115

Eye f Ra
116
Manfestatns
The characterstcs f the Eye f Ra were an mprtant part f the Egyptan cnc
eptn f female dvnty n general,[22] and the Eye was eqated wth many gdd
esses, rangng frm very prmnent detes lke Hathr t scre nes lke Mest
jet, a ln gddess wh appears n nly ne knwn nscrptn.[23] The Egyptans
asscated many gds wh tk feld frm wth the sn, and many lness detes
, lke Sekhmet, Menht, and Tefnt, were eqated wth the Eye. Bastet was depct
ed as th a dmestc cat and a lness, and wth these tw frms she cld repr
esent th the peacefl and vlent aspects f the Eye. Yet anther gddess f t
he slar Eye was Mt, the cnsrt f the gd Amn, wh was asscated wth Ra. S
he, t, cld appear n th lenne and cat frm.[24] Lkewse, cra gddesse
s ften represented the Eye. Amng them was Wadjet, a ttelary dety f Lwer Eg
ypt wh was clsely asscated wth ryal crwns and the prtectn f the kng.
[25] Other Eye-asscated cra gddesses nclde the fertlty dety Renentet,
the magcan gddess Weret-heka, and Meretseger, the dvne prtectr f the 
ral grnds near the cty f Thees.[26] The detes asscated wth the Eye w
ere nt restrcted t felne and serpent frms. Hathr's sal anmal frm s a
cw, as s that f the Sekhmet as a wman wth the head f a lness, wearng th
e sn dsk and raes clsely lnked Eye gddess Mehet-Weret.[27] Nekhet, a vl
tre gddess, was clsely cnnected wth Wadjet, wth the Eye, and wth [28] the
crwns f Egypt. Many Eye gddesses appear manly n hman frm, ncldng Net
h, an arrw-shtng dety smetmes sad t e the mther f the sn gd,[29] a
nd Satet and Anket, wh were lnked wth the Nle cataracts and the nndatn.
[30] Other sch gddesses nclde Sths, the defed frm f the star f the sa
me name, and Maat, the persnfcatn f csmc rder, wh was cnnected wth t
he Eye ecase she was sad t e the daghter f Ra.[31] Even Iss, wh s sa
lly the cmpann f Osrs rather than Ra,[32] r Astarte, a dety f fertlty
and warfare wh was mprted frm Canaan rather than natve t Egypt, cld e
eqated wth the slar Eye.[33] Freqently, tw Eye-related gddesses appear tg
ether, representng dfferent aspects f the Eye. The jxtapsed detes ften s
tand fr the prcreatve and aggressve sdes f the Eye's character,[34] as Hat
hr and Sekhmet smetmes d.[35] Wadjet and Nekhet can stand fr Lwer and Upp
er Egypt, respectvely, alng wth the Red Crwn and Whte Crwn that represent
the tw lands. Smlarly, Mt, whse man clt center was n Thees, smetmes s
erved as an Upper Egyptan cnterpart f Sekhmet, wh was wrshpped n Memphs
n Lwer Egypt.[36] These gddesses and ther cngraphes freqently mngled.
Many cmnatns sch as Hathr-Tefnt,[37] Mt-Sekhmet,[28] and Bastet-Sths
appear n Egyptan texts.[38] Wadjet cld smetmes e depcted wth a ln he
ad rather than that f a cra, Nekhet cld take n cra frm as a cnterpar
t f Wadjet, and a great many f these gddesses wre the sn dsk n ther head
s, smetmes wth the addtn f a raes r the cw hrns frm Hathr's typca
l headdress.[39] Begnnng n the Mddle Kngdm, the herglyph fr a raes c
ld e sed as a lggram r determnatve fr the wrd "gddess" n any cntext
, ecase vrtally any gddess cld e lnked wth the Eye's cmplex set f at
trtes.[13]

Eye f Ra
117
Wrshp
The Eye f Ra was nvked n many areas f Egyptan relgn, and ts mythlgy
was ncrprated nt the wrshp f many f the gddesses dentfed wth t. I
n the Ptlemac Perd, the new year and the Nle fld that came alng wth t
were celerated as the retrn f the Eye after her wanderngs n fregn lands.
The Egyptans lt shrnes alng the rver cntanng mages f anmals and dwa
rfs rejcng at the gddess' arrval.[40] At the temple f Mnt at Medamd, t
was Mnt's cnsrt Raettawy wh was eqated wth Hathr and the Eye f Ra. Her
arrval n the new year, n fertle, mstre-earng frm, set the stage fr h
er sseqent marrage t Mnt and the rth f ther mythlgcal chld. The t
emple's new year festval celerated her hmecmng wth drnkng and dancng, p
arallelng the gddess' nerated state after her pacfcatn.[41] In ther c
tes, tw gddesses were wrshpped as the ellgerent and peacefl frms f the
Eye, as wth Ayet and Nehemtawy at Heraklepls r Satet and Anket at Aswan.[
34] In anther temple rtal, the pharah played a ceremnal game n hnr f t
he Eye gddesses Hathr, Sekhmet, r Tefnt, n whch he strck a all symlz
ng the Eye f Apep wth a cl made frm a type f wd that was sad t have sp
rng frm the Eye f Ra. The rtal represents, n a playfl frm, the attle f
Ra's Eye wth ts greatest fe.[42] The cncept f the slar Eye as mther, cn
srt, and daghter f a gd was ncrprated nt ryal delgy. Pharahs tk
n the rle f Ra, and ther cnsrts were asscated wth the Eye and the gdde
sses eqated wth t. The sn dsks and rae that were ncrprated nt qeens
' headdresses drng the New Kngdm reflect ths mythlgcal te. The prestes
ses wh acted as ceremnal "wves" f partclar gds drng the Thrd Intermed
ate Perd, sch as the Gd's Wfe f Amn, had a smlar relatnshp wth the
gds they served.[43] The vlent frm f the Eye was als nvked n relgs
rtal and symlsm as an agent f prtectn. The raes n ryal and dvne
headdresses alldes t the rle f the Eye gddesses as prtectrs f gds and k
ngs.[44] Fr smlar reasns, rae appear n rws atp shrnes and ther strc
tres, srrndng and symlcally gardng them aganst hstle pwers. Many t
emple rtals called pn Eye gddesses t defend the temple precnct r the res
dent dety. Often, the texts f sch rtals specfcally mentn a set f fr
defensve rae. These rae are smetmes dentfed wth vars cmnatns
f gddesses asscated wth the Eye, t n all cases they are als manfestat
ns f "Hathr f the Fr Faces", whse prtectn f the slar arqe s exte
nded n these rtals t specfc places n earth.[45]
Freze f rae at the pyramd cmplex f Djser
The Eye f Ra cld als e nvked t defend rdnary peple. Sme aptrpac a
mlets n the shape f the Eye f Hrs ear the fgre f a gddess n ne sde
. These amlets are mst lkely an allsn t the cnnectn etween the Eye f
Hrs and the Eye f Ra, nvkng ther pwer fr persnal prtectn.[46] In a
ddtn, certan magcal spells frm the New Kngdm nvlve the placement f cl
ay mdel rae arnd a hse r a rm, nvkng the prtectn f the slar r
aes as n the temple rtals. These rae are ntended t ward ff evl sprts
and the nghtmares that they were eleved t case, r ther enemes f the h
se's ccpant.[47] The spell says the mdels have "fre n ther mths". Mdel
s lke thse n the spells have een fnd n the remans f ancent Egyptan t
wns, and they nclde wls n frnt f ther mths where fel cld e rnt,
althgh the knwn examples d nt shw sgns f rnng.[48] Whether lteral r
metaphrcal, the fre n the cras' mths, lke the flames spat y the Eye 
f Ra, was meant t dspel the nctrnal darkness and rn the dangers engs t
hat mve wthn t.[49] The Eye's mprtance extends t the afterlfe as well. E
gyptan fnerary texts asscate deceased sls wth Ra n hs nghtly travels t
hrgh the Dat, the realm f the dead, and wth hs rerth at dawn. In these t

exts the Eye and ts vars manfestatns ften appear, prtectng and gvng
rth t the deceased as they d fr Ra.[50] A spell n the Cffn Texts states
that Bastet, as the Eye, llmnates the Dat lke a trch, allwng the decease
d t pass safely

Eye f Ra thrgh ts depths.[51]


118
Ctatns
[1] Darnell 1997, pp. 3537 [2] Wlknsn 2003, pp. 206209 [3] Lesk, n Shafer 199
1, p. 118 [4] Try 1986, p. 22 [5] Ges 2008, pp. 168173 [6] Pnch 2004, pp. 1281
29 [7] Try 1986, pp. 2123, 2527 [8] Try 1986, pp. 2123 [9] Pnch 2004, p. 112 [10
] Pnch 2004, pp. 6667 [11] Darnell 1997, pp. 4246 [12] Pnch 2004, pp. 129130, 199
[13] Rtner 1990, p. 39 [14] Pnch 2004, pp. 183184 [15] Brghts 1973, pp. 1141
17, 120 [16] Ges 2008, pp. 335337 [17] Ges 2008, pp. 338341 [18] [19] [20] [21
] [22] [23] [24] [25] [26] [27] [28] [29] [30] [31] [32] [33] [34] [35] [36] [37
] [38] [39] [40] [41] [42] [43] [44] [45] [46] [47] [48] [49] [50] [51] Pnch 20
04, pp. 7475 Pnch 2004, pp. 71, 130 Pnch 2004, pp. 7173 Try, n van Djk 1997,
p. 314 Try 1986, pp. 4546 Wlknsn 2003, pp. 140, 179 Wlknsn 2003, pp. 153155
, 176183 Wlknsn 2003, p. 227 Try 1986, p. 71 Wlknsn 2003, pp. 144, 174 Tr
y, n van Djk 1997, pp. 308309 Wlknsn 2003, p. 157 Pnch 2004, pp. 186187 Darn
ell 1997, pp. 37, 4446 Wlknsn 2003, p. 147 Pnch 2004, p. 108 Pnch 2004, p. 1
30 Try 1986, p. 24 Wlknsn 2003, pp. 153154, 213214 Pnch 2004, p. 197 Darnell
1997, p. 47 Wlknsn 2003, pp. 155, 179, 214, 227 Pnch 2004, pp. 9091 Darnell 1
995, pp. 4753, 62, 66 Brghts 1973, pp. 122, 137140 Try 1986, pp. 96100, 121127 P
nch 2004, pp. 198199 Rtner 1990, pp. 3439 Darnell 1997, pp. 3940 Rtner 1990, pp.
3336 Szpakwska 2003, pp. 113114, 121 Rtner 1990, pp. 3639 Ges 2008, pp. 198203
Darnell 1997, p. 41

Eye f Ra
119
Wrks cted
Brghts, J. F. (1973). "The Evl Eye f Apps". The Jrnal f Egyptan Archa
elgy 59. JSTOR 3856104 (http://www.jstor.org/stable/3856104). Darnell, John Col
eman (1995). "Hathor Returns to Medamd". Studien zur Altgyptischen Kultur 22. JSTO
R 25152711 (http://www.jstor.org/stable/25152711). Darnell, John Coleman (1997).
"The Apotropaic Goddess in the Eye". Studien zur Altgyptischen Kultur 24. JSTOR 2
5152728 (http://www.jstor.org/stable/25152728). Goebs, Katja (2008). Crowns in E
gyptian Funerary Literature: Royalty, Rebirth, and Destruction. Griffith Institu
te. ISBN978-0900416873. Lesko, Leonard H. (1991). "Ancient Egyptian Cosmogonies a
nd Cosmology". In Shafer, Byron E. Religion in Ancient Egypt: Gods, Myths, and P
ersonal Practice. Cornell University Press. ISBN0-8014-2550-6. Pinch, Geraldine (
2004). Egyptian Mythology: A Guide to the Gods, Goddesses, and Traditions of Anc
ient Egypt. Oxford University Press. ISBN0-19-517024-5. Ritner, Robert K. (1990).
"O. Gardiner 363: A Spell Against Night Terrors". Journal of the American Resea
rch Center in Egypt 27. JSTOR 40000071 (http://www.jstor.org/stable/40000071). Sz
pakowska, Kasia (2003). "Playing with Fire: Initial Observations on the Religiou
s Uses of Clay Cobras from Amarna". Journal of the American Research Center in E
gypt 40. JSTOR 40000294 (http://www.jstor.org/ stable/40000294). Troy, Lana (1986
). Patterns of Queenship in Ancient Egyptian Myth and History. Acta Universitati
s Upsaliensis. ISBN91-554-1919-4. Troy, Lana (1997). "Mut Enthroned". In van Dijk
, Jacobus. Essays on Ancient Egypt in Honor of Herman Te Velde. Styx Publication
s. ISBN90-5693-014-1. Wilkinson, Richard H. (2003). The Complete Gods and Goddess
es of Ancient Egypt. Thames & Hudson. ISBN0-500-05120-8.
Further reading
de Cenival, Franoise (1988). Le Mythe de l'oeil du soleil (in French). Sommerhaus
en. ISBN3-924151-02-4. Hornung, Erik (1997). Der gyptische Mythos von der Himmelsk
uh, 2d ed (in German). Vandehoeck & Ruprecht. ISBN3-525-53737-9.

Four sons of Horus


120
Four sons of Horus
One of the four sons of Horus was Hapi. The four sons of Horus were a group of f
our gods in Egyptian religion, who were essentially the personifications of the
four canopic jars, which accompanied mummified bodies.[1] Since the heart was th
ought to embody the soul, it was left inside the body.[2] The brain was thought
only to be the origin of mucus, so it was reduced to liquid, removed with metal
hooks, and discarded.[3] This left the stomach (and small intestines), liver, la
rge intestines, and lungs, which were removed, embalmed and stored, each organ i
n its own jar. There were times when embalmers deviated from this scheme: during
the 21st Dynasty they embalmed and wrapped the viscera and returned them to the
body, while the Canopic jars remained empty symbols.[1]
The four sons of Horus (from left): Imsety, Duamutef, Hapi, Qebehsenuef.
The earliest reference to the sons of Horus is found in the Pyramid Texts[4] whe
re they are described as friends of the king, as they assist the king in his asc
ension to heaven in the eastern sky by means of ladders.[5] Their association wi
th Horus specifically goes back to the Old Kingdom when they were said not only
to be his children but also his souls. As the king, or Pharaoh was seen as a man
ifestation of, or especially protected by, Horus, these parts of the deceased ph
araoh, referred to as the Osiris, were seen as parts of Horus, or rather, his ch
ildren,[6] an association that did not diminish with each successive pharaoh. Si
nce Horus was their father, so Isis, Horus's original wife in the early mytholog
ical phase, was usually seen as their mother,[7] though in the details of the fu
nerary ritual each son, and therefore each canopic jar, was protected by a parti
cular goddess. Just as the sons of Horus protected the contents of a canopic jar
, the king's organs, so they in turn were protected. As they were male in accord
ance with the principles of male/female duality their protectors were female. Im
sety in human form, protected the liver and was protected by Isis. Hapi in baboo
n form, protected the lungs and was protected by Nephthys. Duamutef in jackal fo
rm, protected the stomach and was protected by Neith. Qebehsenuef in hawk form,
protected the large intestines and was protected by Serket.[8][9]
The classic depiction of the four sons of Horus on Middle Kingdom coffins show I
msety and Duamutef on the eastern side of the coffin and Hapi and Qebehsenuef on
the western side. The eastern side is decorated with a pair of eyes and the mum
my was turned on its side to face the east and the rising sun; therefore, this s
ide is sometimes referred to as the front. The sons of Horus also became associa
ted with the cardinal compass points, so that Hapi was the north, Imsety the sou
th, Duamutef the east and Qebehsenuef the west.[10] Until the end of the 18th Dy
nasty the canopic jars had the head of the king, but later they were shown with
animal heads.[2] Inscriptions on coffins and sarcophagi from earliest times show
ed them usually in animal form.

Four sons of Horus


121
Hapi
Hapi in hieroglyphs
Hapi (xapi) the baboon headed son of Horus protected the lungs of the deceased a
nd was in turn protected by the goddess Nephthys.[11] The spelling of his name i
ncludes a hieroglyph which is thought to be connected with steering a boat, alth
ough its exact nature is not known. For this reason he was sometimes connected w
ith navigation, although early references call him the great runner: "You are th
e great runner; come, that you may join up my father N and not be far in this yo
ur name of Hapi, for you are the greatest of my children so says Horus"[12] In S
pell 151 of the Book of the Dead Hapi is given the following words to say: "I ha
ve come to be your protection. I have bound your head and your limbs for you. I
have smitten your enemies beneath you for you, and given you your head, eternall
y."[13] Spell 148 in the Book of the Dead directly associates all four of Horus'
s sons, described as the four pillars of Shu and one of the four rudders of heav
en, with the four cardinal points of the compass. Hapi was associated with the n
orth.[14]
Imsety
Imsety in hieroglyphs
Imsety the human headed son of Horus, protected the liver of the deceased and wa
s in turn protected by the goddess Isis.[11] It seems that his role was to help
revivify the corpse of the dead person, as he is asked to lift them up by Horus:
"You have come to N; betake yourself beneath him and lift him up, do not be far
from him, (even) N, in your name of Imsety."[12] To stand up meant to be active
and thus alive while to be prone signified death. In Spell 151 of the Book of t
he Dead Imsety is given the following words to say: "I am your son, Osiris, I ha
ve come to be your protection. I have strengthened your house enduringly. As Pta
h decreed in accordance with what Ra himself decrees."[13] Again the theme of ma
king alive and revivifying is alluded to through the metaphor of making his hous
e flourish. He does this with the authority of two creator gods Ptah and Ra (or
Re). Spell 148 in the Book of the Dead directly associates all four of Horus's s
ons to the four cardinal points. Imsety was associated with the south.[14]

Four sons of Horus


122
Duamutef
Duamutef in hieroglyphs
Duamutef, the jackal headed son of Horus, protected the stomach of the deceased
and was in turn protected by the goddess Neith.[11] It seems that his role was t
o worship the dead person, and his name means literally "he who worships his mot
her". In the Coffin Texts Horus calls upon him, "Come and worship my father N fo
r me, just as you went that you might worship my mother Isis in your name Duamut
ef."[12] Isis had a dual role. Not only was she the wife of Osiris and the mothe
r of Horus, but she was also the consort of Horus the Elder and thus the mother
of the sons of Horus. This ambiguity is added to when Duamutef calls Osiris, rat
her than Horus his father, although kinship terms were used very loosely, and "f
ather" can be used as "ancestor" and "son" as "descendant".[15] In Spell 151 of
the Book of the Dead Duamutef is given the following words to say: "I have come
to rescue my father Osiris from his assailant ."[13] The text does not make it c
lear who might assail Osiris, although there are two major candidates. The obvio
us one is Set, the murderer of Osiris.[16] Somehow the son who worships his moth
er Isis is able to assist in overcoming Set. The other possibility is Apophis, t
he serpent demon who prevents the Sun's passage and thus the resurrection of Osi
ris.[17] Either way, Duamutef through his worship of Isis has the power to prote
ct the deceased from harm.
Duamutef, son of Horus
Duamutef was also considered one of the four pillars of Shu, a rudder of heaven,
and was associated with the east.[14]
Qebehsenuef
Qebehseneuf in hieroglyphs
Qebehsenuef was the falcon-headed son of Horus, and protected the intestines of
the deceased. He was in turn protected by the goddess Serket.[11] It appears tha
t his role was to refresh the dead person, and his name means literally "he who
libates his siblings". Horus commands him, "Come refresh my father; betake yours
elf to him in your name of Qebehsenuef. You have come that you may make coolness
for him after you ... "[12] Libation or showering with cool water was a traditi
onal form of worship in Ancient Egypt. There are many images of the pharaoh pres
enting libation to the gods. There is a sense of a dual function of cleansing an
d refreshing them. After Set murdered Osiris he cut the body into pieces and sca
ttered them around the Delta.[16] This was anathema to the Egyptians and the ser
vice that Qebehsenuef gives to the dead is to reassemble their parts so they can
be properly preserved. In Spell 151 of the Book of the Dead he is given the fol
lowing words to say: "I am your son, Osiris, I have come to be your protection.
I have united your bones for you, I have assembled your limbs for you. have brou
ght you your heart, and placed it for you at its place in your body."[13] Qebehs
enuef was the god associated with the west.[14]

Four sons of Horus


123
Baboon, Jackal, Falcon and Human
The reasons for attributing these four animals to the sons of Horus is not known
, although we may point to other associations which these animals have in Egypti
an mythology. The baboon is associated with the moon and Thoth, the god of wisdo
m and knowledge, and also the baboons which chatter when the sun rises raising t
heir hands as if in worship.[18] The jackal (or possibly dog) is linked to Anubi
s and the act of embalming and also Wepwawet the "opener of the ways" who seeks
out the paths of the dead.[19] The hawk is associated with Horus himself and als
o Seker the mummified necropolis god. Imseti, the human, may be linked to Osiris
himself or Onuris the hunter.[20]
The Egyptians themselves linked them with the ancient kings of Lower and Upper E
gypt, the Souls of Pe and Nekhen. In Spells 112 and 113 of the Book of the Dead
which have their origins in the earlier Coffin Texts Spells 157 and 158, it is d
escribed how Horus has his eye injured, and because of this is given the sons of
Horus: As for Imsety, Hapy, Duamutef, Qebehsenuef, their father is Horus, their
mother Isis. And Horus said to Ra, place two brothers in Pe, two brothers in Ne
khen from this my troupe, and to be with me assigned for eternity. The land may
flourish, the turmoil be quenched. It happened for Horus who is upon his papyrus
-column. I know the powers of Pe; it is Horus, it is Imsety, it is Hapy.[21] The
injury of Horus's eye is part of the myth cycle known as the Contending of Horu
s and Set recounting how they fought over the crown of Egypt.[22] In a unique il
lustration in the tomb of Ay the sons of Horus are shown wearing the red and whi
te crowns as the Souls of Pe and Nekhen, the souls of the royal ancestors. The a
ttributes of the sons of Horus are not limited to their role as the protectors o
f canopic jars. they appear as the four rudders of heaven in Spell 148 of the Bo
ok of the Dead, as four of the seven celestial spirits summoned by Anubis in Spe
ll 17 of the Book of the Dead and through this are linked to the circumpolar sta
rs of the Great Bear (or Plough): "The tribunal around Osiris is Imset, Hapy, Du
amutef, Qebehsenuf, these are at the back of the Plough constellation of the nor
thern sky."[23]
The heads of the "four sons of Horus" as canopic jar stoppers, on display at the
British Museum
Notes
[1] Aufderheide, p. 258 [2] Germer, p. 462 [3] Germer, pp. 460461 [4] Assmann, p.
357 [5] Eyma, p. 218 [6] Assmann, p. 467 [7] Griffiths, p. 49 [8] Aufderheider,
p. 237 [9] Taylor, pp. 201ff [10] Lurker, p. 104 [11] O'Connor, p. 121 [12] Fau
lkner, pp. 520523 [13] "Book of the Dead, Chapter 151", (http:/ / www. digitalegy
pt. ucl. ac. uk/ literature/ religious/ hpres151. html) Digital Egypt for Univer
sities, University College, London, accessed 2 December 2011 [14] Budge, p. 240
[15] Pinch, p. 204 [16] Budge, p. 361 [17] Budge, p. 359 [18] Kummer, p. 4 [19]
Malkowski and Schwaller de Lubicz, p. 305

Four sons of Horus


[20] Hart, p. 113 [21] "Book of the Dead, Chapter 112", (http:/ / www. digitaleg
ypt. ucl. ac. uk/ literature/ religious/ hprs112. html) Digital Egypt for Univer
sities, University College, London, accessed 2 December 2011 [22] Sellers, p. 63
[23] "Book of the Dead, Chapter 17", (http:/ / www. digitalegypt. ucl. ac. uk/
literature/ religious/ bd17. html) Digital Egypt for Universities, University Co
llege, London, accessed 2 December 2011
124
References
Aufderheide, Arthur C. (2003). The Scientific Study of Mummies. Cambridge: Cambr
idge University Press. ISBN0-521-81826-5. Assmann, Jan (2005). Death and Salvatio
n in Ancient Egypt. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. ISBN0-8014-4241-9. British
Museum (1855). Synopsis of the Contents of the British Museum. London: R. & A. T
aylor. OCLC 182918120 (http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/182918120). Budge, Sir Edwar
d Wallis (2010) [1925]. The Mummy; a Handbook of Egyptian Funerary Archaeology.
New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN978-1-108-01825-8. Faulkner, Raymond Ol
iver (2004). The Ancient Egyptian Coffin Texts. Oxford: Aris and Phillips. ISBN085668-754-5. Germer, Renate (1998). "Mummification". In Regine Schulz and Matthi
as Seidel (eds). Egypt The World of the Pharaohs. Cologne: Knemann. ISBN3-89508-91
3-3. Griffiths, John Gwyn (1961). The Conflict of Horus and Seth from Egyptian a
nd Classical Sources: A Study in Ancient Mythology. Liverpool: Liverpool Univers
ity Press. OCLC 510538 (http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/ 510538). Hart, George (2005
). Routledge Dictionary of Egyptian Gods and Goddesses. London: Routledge. ISBN0415-34495-6. Kummer, Hans (1995). In Quest of the Sacred Baboon. Chichester: Pri
nceton University Press. ISBN0-691-04838-X. Lurker, Manfred (1974). Lexikon der Gt
ter und Symbole der alten gypter (in German). Bern: Scherz. OCLC 742376579 (http:
//www.worldcat.org/oclc/742376579). Malkowski, Edward F.; R A Schwaller de Lubic
z (2007). The Spiritual Technology of Ancient Egypt : Sacred Science and the Mys
tery of Consciousness. Rochester, Vt.: Inner Traditions. ISBN1-59477-186-3. O'Con
nor, David (1998). Amenhotep III: Perspectives on His Reign. Ann Arbor: Universi
ty of Michigan Press. ISBN0-472-10742-9. Pinch, Geraldine (2002). Handbook of Egy
ptian Mythology. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-Clio. ISBN1-57607-242-8. Simpson, Wil
liam Kelly, ed. (1972). The Literature of Ancient Egypt. New Haven: Yale Univers
ity Press. ISBN0-300-01482-1. Sellers, Jane B. The Death of Gods in Ancient Egypt
. Raleigh N.C.: Lulu Books. ISBN1-4116-0176-9.
Further reading
Faulkner, Raymond Oliver (2000). The Egyptian Book of the Dead: The Book of Goin
g Forth by Day. San Francisco: Chronicle Books. OCLC 46998261 (http://www.worldca
t.org/oclc/46998261). Remler, Pat (2004). Egyptian Mythology. Oxford: Oxford Uni
versity Press. ISBN0-19-517024-5.

Geb
125
Geb
Geb
God of the Earth Consort Nut Parents Shu and Tefnut Siblings Nut
Geb in hieroglyphs
Geb was the Egyptian god of the Earth and a member of the Ennead of Heliopolis.
It was believed in ancient Egypt that Geb's laughter were earthquakes and that h
e allowed crops to grow.
Name
The name was pronounced as such from the Greek period onward and was formerly er
roneously read as Seb[1] or as Keb. The original Egyptian was perhaps "Gebeb"/"K
ebeb". It was spelled with either initial -g- (all periods), or with -k-point (g
j). The latter initial root consonant occurs once in the Middle Kingdom Coffin T
exts, more often in 21st Dynasty mythological papyri as well as in a text from t
he Ptolemaic tomb of Petosiris at Tuna el-Gebel or was written with initial hard
-k-, as e.g. in a 30th Dynasty papyrus text in the Brooklyn Museum dealing with
descriptions of and remedies against snakes.
Role and development
The oldest representation in a fragmentary relief of the god, was as an anthropo
morphic bearded being accompanied by his name, and dating from king Djoser's rei
gn, 3rd Dynasty, and was found in Heliopolis. In later times he could also be de
picted as a ram, a bull or a crocodile (the latter in a vignet of the Book of th
e Dead - papyrus of the lady Heryweben in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo). Frequentl
y described mythologically as father of snakes (one of the names for snake was s
3-t3 - 'son of the earth' and in a Coffin Texts-spell Geb was described as fathe
r of the snake Nehebkau, while his mother was in that case Neith) and therefore
depicted sometimes as such. In mythology Geb also often occurs as a primeval div
ine king of Egypt from whom his son Osiris and his grandson Horus inherited the
land after many contendings with the disruptive god Set, brother and killer of O
siris. Geb could also be regarded as personified fertile earth and barren desert
, the latter containing the dead or setting them free from their tombs, metaphor
ically described as 'Geb opening his jaws', or imprisoning those there not worth
y to go to the fertile North-Eastern heavenly Field of Reeds. In the latter case
, one of his otherworldly attributes was an ominous jackal-headed stave (called
wsr.t) rising from the ground unto which enemies could be bound. In the Heliopol
itan Ennead (a group of nine gods created in the beginning by the one god Atum o
r Ra), Geb is the husband of Nut, the sky or visible daytime and nightly firmame
nt, the son of the earlier primordial elements Tefnut (moisture) and Shu ('empti
ness'), and the father to the four lesser gods of the system Osiris, Seth, Isis
and Nephthys. In this context, Geb was believed to have originally been engaged
in eternal sex with Nut, and had to be separated from her by Shu, god of the air
.[2] Consequently, in mythological depictions, Geb was shown as a man reclining,
sometimes with his phallus still pointed towards Nut. As time progressed, the d
eity became more associated with the habitable land of Egypt and also as one of
its early rulers. As a chthonic deity he (like Min) became naturally associated
with the underworld and with vegetation -barley being said to grow upon his ribs
- and was depicted with plants and other green patches on his body.

Geb His association with vegetation, and sometimes with the underworld and royal
ty brought Geb the occasional interpretation that he was the husband of Renenute
t, a minor goddess of the harvest and also mythological caretaker (the meaning o
f her name is 'nursing snake') of the young king in the shape of a cobra, who he
rself could also be regarded as the mother of Nehebkau, a primeval snake god ass
ociated with the underworld. He is also equated by classical authors as the Gree
k Titan Cronus.
126
Goose
Some Egyptologists, (specifically Jan Bergman, Terence Duquesne or Richard H. Wi
lkinson) have stated that Geb was associated with a mythological divine creator
goose who had laid a world egg from which the sun and/or the world had sprung. T
his theory is assumed to be incorrect and to be a result of confusing the divine
name "Geb" with that of a Whitefronted Goose (Anser albifrons), also called ori
ginally gb(b): 'lame one, stumbler'.[3] This bird-sign is used only as a phonogr
am in order to spell the name of the god (H.te Sky goddess Nut and Geb with the
head of a snake. Velde, in: Lexikon der Aegyptologie II, lemma: Geb). An alterna
tive ancient name for this goose species was trp meaning similarly 'walk like a
drunk', 'stumbler'. The Whitefronted Goose is never found as a cultic symbol or
holy bird of Geb. The mythological creator 'goose' referred to above, was called
Ngg wr 'Great Honker' and always depicted as a Nilegoose/Foxgoose (Alopochen ae
gyptiacus) who ornitologically belongs to a separate genus and whose Egyptian na
me was smn, Coptic smon. A coloured vignet irrefutably depicts a Nile Goose with
an opened beak (Ngg wr!) in a context of solar creation on a mythological papyr
us dating from the 21st Dynasty.[4] Similar images of this divine bird are to be
found on temple walls (Karnak, Deir el-Bahari), showing a scene of the king sta
nding on a papyrus raft and ritually plucking papyrus for the Theban god Amun-Re
-Kamutef. The latter Theban creator god could be embodied in a Nilegoose, but ne
ver in a Whitefronted Goose. In Underworld Books a diacritic goose-sign (most pr
obably denoting then an Anser albifrons) was sometimes depicted on top of the he
ad of a standing anonymous male anthropomorphic deity, pointing to Geb's identit
y. Geb himself was never depicted as a Nile Goose, as later was Amun, called on
some New Kingdom stelae explicitly:'Amun, the beautiful smn-goose (Nile Goose).[
5] The only clear pictorial confusion between the hieroglyphs of a Whitefronted
Goose (in the normal hieroglyphic spelling of the name Geb, often followed by th
e additional -b-sign) and a Nile Goose in the spelling of the name Geb occurs in
the rock cut tomb of the provincial governor Sarenput II (12th Dynasty, Middle
Kingdom) on the Qubba el-Hawa desert-ridge (opposite Aswan), namely on the left
(southern) wall near the open doorway, in the first line of the brightly painted
funerary offering formula. This confusion is to be compared with the frequent h
acking out by Ekhnaton's agents of the sign of the Pintail Duck (meaning 'son')
in the royal title 'Son of Re', especially in Theban temples, where they confuse
d the duck sign with that of a Nilegoose regarded as a form of the then forbidde
n god Amon.[6]

Geb
127
Notes
[1] cf. E.A.Wallis Budge, The Gods of the Egyptians. Studies in Egyptian Mytholo
gy (London, 1904; republ.Dover Publications, New York, 1969) [2] Meskell, Lynn A
rchaeologies of social life: age, sex, class et cetera in ancient Egypt Wiley Bl
ackwell (20 Oct 1999) ISBN 978-0-631-21299-7 p.103 [3] C.Wolterman, "On the Name
s of Birds and Hieroglyphic Sign-List G 22, G 35 and H 3" in: "Jaarbericht van h
et Vooraziatisch-Egyptisch genootschap Ex Oriente Lux" no.32 (1991-1992)(Leiden,
1993), p.122, note 8 [4] text: drs. Carles Wolterman, Amstelveen, Holland [5] t
ext: drs. Carles Wolterman, Amstelveen, Holland [6] text: drs. Carles Wolterman,
Amstelveen, Holland
Ha (mythology)
In Egyptian mythology, Ha was a god of the deserts to the west of Egypt. He was
associated with the underworld (Duat) and pictured as a man wearing the symbol f
or desert hills on his head. Ha was said to protect Egypt from enemies such as i
nvading tribes from Libya.[1] The dinosaur Hagryphus ("Ha's griffin") was named
after Ha; it was discovered in Utah and Ha's association with "the Western Deser
t" was carried over to the New World.[2]
References
[1] Wilkinson, Richard H. (2003). The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egy
pt. Thames & Hudson. p. 106 [2] Zanno, L. E. and Sampson, S. D. 2005. A new ovir
aptorosaur (Theropoda; Maniraptora) from the Late Cretaceous (Campanian) of Utah
. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 25 (4):897904, December 2005
Hapi (Nile god)
Hapi, shown as a pair of genies symbolically tying together upper and lower Egyp
t.
Hapi in hieroglyphs
Hapi was the god of the annual flooding of the Nile in ancient Egyptian religion
. The flood deposited rich silt on the river's banks, allowing the Egyptians to
grow crops.[1] Some of the titles of Hapi were, Lord of the Fishes and Birds of
the Marshes and Lord of the River Bringing Vegetation. He is typically depicted
as a man with a large belly wearing a loincloth, having long hair and having pen
dulous, female-like breasts.[2]

Hapi (Nile god)


128
Mythology
The annual flooding of the Nile occasionally was said to be the Arrival of Hapi.
[1] Since this flooding provided fertile soil in an area that was otherwise dese
rt, Hapi, as its patron, symbolised fertility. Due to his fertile nature he was
sometimes considered the "father of the gods",[1] and was considered to be a car
ing father who helped to maintain the balance of the cosmos, the world or univer
se regarded as an orderly, harmonious system.[1] He was thought to live within a
cavern at the supposed source of the Nile near Aswan.[3] The cult of Hapi was m
ainly located at the First Cataract named Elephantine. His priests were involved
in rituals to ensure the steady levels of flow required from the annual flood.
At Elephantine the official nilometer, a measuring device, was carefully monitor
ed to predict the level of the flood, and his priests must have been intimately
concerned with its monitoring. It may be the case that originally, Hapi (or a va
riation on it), was an earlier name used for the Nile itself, since it was said
(inaccurately) that the Nile began between Mu-Hapi and Kher-Hapi, at the souther
n edge of Egypt where the two tributaries entered the region.[citation needed] N
evertheless Hapi was not regarded as the god of the Nile itself but of the inund
ation event.[1] He was also considered a "friend of Geb" the Egyptian god of the
earth,[4] and the "lord of Neper", the god of grain.[5]
Another depiction of Hapi, bearing offerings
Iconography
Although male and wearing the false beard, Hapi was pictured with pendulous brea
sts and a large belly, as representations of the fertility of the Nile. He also
was usually given blue [2] or green skin, representing water. Other attributes v
aried, depending upon the region of Egypt in which the depictions exist. In Lowe
r Egypt, he was adorned with papyrus plants and attended by frogs, present in th
e region, and symbols of it. Whereas in Upper Egypt, it was the lotus and crocod
iles which were more present in the Nile, thus these were the symbols of the reg
ion, and those associated with Hapi there. Hapi often was pictured carrying offe
rings of food or pouring water from an amphora, but also, very rarely, was depic
ted as a hippopotamus. During the Nineteenth dynasty Hapi is often depicted as a
pair of figures, each holding and tying together the long stem of two plants re
presenting Upper and Lower Egypt, symbolically binding the two halves of the cou
ntry around a hieroglyph meaning "union".[2] This symbolic representation was of
ten carved at the base of seated statues of the pharaoh.[2]
Hymn
The Hymn to the Flood says: Lightmaker who comes from the dark Fattener of herds
Might that fashions all None can live without him People are clothed with the f
lax of his fields Thou makest all the land to drink unceasingly, as thou descend
est on thy way from the heavens.

Hapi (Nile god)


129
References
[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] Wilkinson, p.106 Wilkinson, p.107 Wilkinson, p.108 Wilkinson
, p.105 Wilkinson, p.117
Wilkinson, Richard H. (2003). The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt.
Thames & Hudson. ISBN0-500-05120-8.
External links
Hapi, God of the Nile, Fertility, the North and South (http://www.thekeep.org/~k
unoichi/kunoichi/ themestream/hapi.html) Egyptian God - Hapi: Father of the gods
(http://www.egyptartsite.com/hapi.html) Ancient Egypt: The Mythology - Hapi (ht
tp://www.egyptianmyths.net/hapi.htm)
Hapi (Son of Horus)
This article is about the funerary deity. Hapi can also refer to Hapi, a Nile go
d, or Hapi-ankh, bull deity of Memphis.
Hapi in hieroglyphs
Hapi, sometimes transliterated as Hapy, is one of the Four sons of Horus in anci
ent Egyptian religion, depicted in funerary literature as protecting the throne
of Osiris in the Underworld. He is not to be confused with another god of the sa
me name. He is commonly depicted with the head of a hamadryas baboon, and is tas
ked with protecting the lungs of the deceased, hence the common depiction of a h
amadryas baboon head sculpted as the lid of the canopic jar that held the lungs.
Hapi is in turn protected by the goddess Nephthys.[1] When his image appears on
the side of a coffin, he is usually aligned with the side intended to face nort
h.[2] When embalming practices changed during the Third Intermediate Period and
the mummified organs were placed back inside the body, an amulet of Hapi would b
e included in the body cavity.[2] The spelling of his name includes a hieroglyph
which is thought to be connected with steering a boat, although its exact natur
e is not known. For this reason he was sometimes connected with navigation, alth
ough early references call him the great runner, as below from Spell 521 of the
Coffin Texts.

You are the great runner; come, that you may join up my father N and not be far
in this your name of Hapi, for you are the greatest of my [3] children - so says
Horus"

In Spell 151 of the Book of the Dead he is given the following words to say:
I have come that I may be your protection, O N; I have knit together your head a
nd your members, I have smitten your enemies beneath you, [4] and I have given y
ou your head forever.
As one of the four pillars of Shu and one of the four rudders of heaven he was a
ssociated with the North, and is specifically referenced as such in Spell 148 in
the Book of the Dead.

Hapi (Son of Horus)


130
Hapi-(lung) Canopic jar of "Lady Senebtisi" God Hapi is spelled in Egyptian lang
uage hieroglyphs: "h-p-(det.Rudder)"
God Hapi is spelled: "h-(Rudder)pii-(two reeds)"
Hapi in the bersee-Museum
References
[1] David B. O'Connor, Eric H. Cline, Amenhotep III: Perspectives on His Reign,
University of Michigan Press 1998, ISBN 0-472-08833-5, p.121. [2] Wilkinson, Ric
hard H. The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt. p.88 Thames & Hudson.
2003. ISBN 0-500-05120-8 [3] Raymond Oliver Faulkner, The Ancient Egyptian Coffi
n Texts, p.521. David Brown Book Company 2004 [4] Raymond Oliver Faulkner, The A
ncient Egyptian Coffin Texts, David Brown Book Company 2004

Hathor
131
Hathor
Hathor
The goddess Hathor wearing her headdress, a pair of cow horns with a sun disk. S
ky-goddess of love, beauty, motherhood, foreign lands, mining, and music. Name i
n hieroglyphs
Major cult center Symbol Consort Parents Offspring
Dendera the sistrum Ra, Horus Ra or Ptah Ihy, Horus [1]

Hathor (/h / o /hr/;[2] Egyptian: wt-r, "mansion of Horus")[1] is an Ancient Egypt


dess who personified the principles of joy, feminine love, and motherhood.[3] Sh
e was one of the most important and popular deities throughout the history of An
cient Egypt. Hathor was worshiped by Royalty and common people alike in whose to
mbs she is depicted as "Mistress of the West" welcoming the dead into the next l
ife.[4] In other roles she was a goddess of music, dance, foreign lands and fert
ility who helped women in childbirth,[4] as well as the patron goddess of miners
.[] The cult of Hathor predates the historic period, and the roots of devotion t
o her are therefore difficult to trace, though it may be a development of predyn
astic cults which venerated fertility, and nature in general, represented by cow
s.[5] Hathor is commonly depicted as a cow goddess with head horns in which is s
et a sun disk with Uraeus. Twin feathers are also sometimes shown in later perio
ds as well as a menat necklace.[5] Hathor may be the cow goddess who is depicted
from an early date on the Narmer Palette and on a stone urn dating from the 1st
dynasty that suggests a role as sky-goddess and a relationship to Horus who, as
a sun god, is "housed" in her.[5] The Ancient Egyptians viewed reality as multi
-layered in which deities who merge for various reasons, while retaining diverge
nt attributes and myths, were not seen as contradictory but complementary.[6] In
a complicated relationship Hathor is at times the mother, daughter and wife of
Ra and, like Isis, is at times described as the mother of Horus, and associated
with Bast.[5]

Hathor The cult of Osiris promised eternal life to those deemed morally worthy.
Originally the justified dead, male or female, became an Osiris but by early Rom
an times females became identified with Hathor and men with Osiris.[7] The Ancie
nt Greeks identified Hathor with the goddess Aphrodite and the Romans as Venus.[
8]
132
Early depictions
Hathor is ambiguously depicted until the 4th dynasty.[9] In the historical era H
athor is shown using the imagery of a cow deity. Artifacts from pre-dynastic tim
es depict cow deities using the same symbolism as used in later times for Hathor
and Egyptologists speculate that these deities may be one and the same or precu
rsors to Hathor.[10] A cow deity appears on the belt of the King on the Narmer P
alette dated to the pre-dynastic era, and this may be Hathor or, in another guis
e, the goddess Bat with whom she is linked and later supplanted. At times they a
re regarded as one and the same goddess, though likely having separate origins,
and reflections of the same divine concept. The evidence pointing to the deity b
eing Hathor in particular is based on a passage from the Pyramid texts which sta
tes that the King's apron comes from Hathor.[11]
Cow deities appear on the Kings belt and the top of the Narmer Palette
A stone urn recovered from Hierakonpolis and dated to the 1st dynasty has on its
rim the face of a cow deity with stars on its ears and horns that may relate to
Hathor's, or Bat's, role as a sky-goddess.[5] Another artifact from the 1st dyn
asty shows a cow lying down on an ivory engraving with the inscription "Hathor i
n the Marshes" indicating her association with vegetation and the papyrus marsh
in particular. From the Old Kingdom she was also called Lady of the Sycamore in
her capacity as a tree deity.[5]

Hathor
133
Relationships, associations, images, and symbols
Hathor had a complex relationship with Ra. At times she is the eye of Ra and con
sidered his daughter, but she is also considered Ra's mother. She absorbed this
role from another cow goddess 'Mht wrt' ("Great flood") who was the mother of Ra
in a creation myth and carried him between her horns. As a mother she gave birt
h to Ra each morning on the eastern horizon and as wife she conceives through un
ion with him each day.[5] Hathor, along with the goddess Nut, was associated wit
h the Milky Way during the third millennium B.C. when, during the fall and sprin
g equinoxes, it aligned over and touched the earth where the sun rose and fell.[
12] The four legs of the celestial cow represented Nut or Hathor could, in one a
ccount, be seen as the pillars on which the sky was supported with the stars on
their bellies constituting the Milky Way on which the solar barque of Ra, repres
enting the sun, sailed.[13]
Hathor as a cow, wearing her necklace and showing her sacred eye Papyrus of Ani.
The Milky Way was seen as a waterway in the heavens, sailed upon by both the sun
deity and the moon, leading the ancient Egyptians to describe it as The Nile in
the Sky.[14] Due to this, and the name mehturt, she was identified as responsib
le for the yearly inundation of the Nile. Another consequence of this name is th
at she was seen as a herald of Milky Way seen as it may have appeared to Ancient
Egyptians imminent birth, as when the amniotic sac breaks and floods its waters
, it is a medical indicator that the child is due to be born extremely soon. Ano
ther interpretation of the Milky Way was that it was the primal snake, Wadjet, t
he protector of Egypt who was closely associated with Hathor and other early dei
ties among the various aspects of the great mother goddess, including Mut and Na
unet. Hathor also was favoured as a protector in desert regions (see Serabit elKhadim). Hathor's identity as a cow, perhaps depicted as such on the Narmer Pale
tte, meant that she became identified with another ancient cow-goddess of fertil
ity, Bat. It still remains an unanswered question amongst Egyptologists as to wh
y Bat survived as an independent goddess for so long. Bat was, in some respects,
connected to the Ba, an aspect of the soul, and so Hathor gained an association
with the afterlife. It was said that, with her motherly character, Hathor greet
ed the souls of the dead in Duat, and proffered them with refreshments of food a
nd drink. She also was described sometimes as mistress of the necropolis. The as
similation of Bat, who was associated with the sistrum, a musical instrument, br
ought with it an association with music. In this later form, Hathor's cult becam
e centred in Dendera in Upper Egypt and it was led by priestesses and priests wh
o also were dancers, singers and other entertainers.

Hathor
134
Hathor also became associated with the menat, the turquoise musical necklace oft
en worn by women. A hymn to Hathor says: Thou art the Mistress of Jubilation, th
e Queen of the Dance, the Mistress of Music, the Queen of the Harp Playing, the
Lady of the Choral Dance, the Queen of Wreath Weaving, the Mistress of Inebriety
Without End. Essentially, Hathor had become a goddess of joy, and so she was de
eply loved by the general population, and truly revered by women, who aspired to
embody her multifaceted role as wife, mother, and lover. Sculpture of Hathor as
a cow, with all of her symbols, the sun disk, the cobra, as In this capacity, s
he gained the titles of Lady well as her necklace and crown. of the House of Jub
ilation, and The One Who Fills the Sanctuary with Joy. The worship of Hathor was
so popular that a lot of festivals were dedicated to her honor than any other E
gyptian deity, and more children were named after this goddess than any other de
ity. Even Hathor's priesthood was unusual, in that both women and men became her
priests.
Temples
As Hathor's cult developed from prehistoric cow cults it is not possible to say
conclusively where devotion to her first took place. Dendera in Upper Egypt was
a significant early site where she was worshiped as "Mistress of Dendera". From
the Old Kingdom era she had cult sites in Meir and Kusae with the Giza-Saqqara a
rea perhaps being the centre of devotion. At the start of the first Intermediate
period Dendera appears to have become the main cult site where she was consider
ed to be the mother as well as the consort of "Horus of Edfu". Deir el-Bahri, on
the west bank of Thebes, was also an important site of Hathor that developed fr
om a pre-existing cow cult.[5] Temples (and chapels) dedicated to Hathor: The Te
mple of Hathor and Ma'at at Deir el-Medina, West Bank, Luxor. The Temple of Hath
or at Philae Island, Aswan. The Hathor Chapel at the Mortuary Temple of Queen Ha
tshepsut. West Bank, Luxor. The temple of Hathor at Timna valley, Israel
Dendera Temple, showing Hathor on the capitals of a column.

Hathor
135
Bloodthirsty warrior
The Middle Kingdom was founded when Upper Egypt's pharaoh, Mentuhotep II, took c
ontrol over Lower Egypt, which had become independent during the First Intermedi
ate Period, by force. This unification had been achieved by a brutal war that wa
s to last some twenty-eight years with many casualties, but when it ceased, calm
returned, and the reign of the next pharaoh, Mentuhotep III, was peaceful, and
Egypt once again became prosperous. A tale, (see "The Book of the Heavenly Cow")
, from the perspective of Lower Egypt, developed around this experience of protr
acted war. In the tale following the war, Ra (representing the pharaoh of Upper
Egypt) was no longer respected by the people (of Lower Egypt) and they ceased to
obey his authority.
Hathor among the deities greeting the newly dead pharaoh, Thutmose IV, from his
tomb in the Valley of the Kings, Luxor, Egypt.
The myth states that Ra communicated through Hathor's third Eye (Maat) and told
her that some people in the land were planning to assassinate him. Hathor was so
angry that the people she had created would be audacious enough to plan that sh
e became Sekhmet (war goddess of Upper Egypt) to destroy them. Hathor (as Sekhme
t) became bloodthirsty and the slaughter was great because she could not be stop
ped. As the slaughter continued, Ra saw the chaos down below and decided to stop
the blood-thirsty Sekhmet. So he poured huge quantities of blood-coloured beer
on the ground to trick Sekhmet. She drank so much of itthinking it to be bloodthat
she became drunk and returned to her former gentle self as Hathor.
Hesat
Hesatin hieroglyphs
s

In Egyp
 n my
hlgy, He
( l  pel
He he
, nd He re
) w
he m nfe

n f H
hr,
he dvne ky-cw, n e r
hly frm. Lke H
hr, he w een

he wfe f R . Snce he w
he mre e r
hly cw-gdde , Mlk w d
 
e
he eer f He
. A d ry cw, He
w een
he we
-nur e f
he 
he
r gd ,
he ne wh cre
e ll nur hmen
. Thu he w pc
ured dvne w
h
e cw, c rryng
r y f fd n her hrn , w
h mlk flwng frm her udder
. In
h e r
hly frm, he w , du l
c lly, d
 e
he m
her f Anu
,
he gd f
he de d, nce, 
 he, nur her,
h
rng lfe, nd Anu
 , de
h,
h

ke 
. Snce R  e r
hly m nfe

n w
he Mnev u
ll,
he
hree f Anu n,
he Mnev f
her, nd He
m
her, were
den
fed f mly
r d, nd wr hpped uch.

H
hr
136
Nee
he
epe

Nee
he
epe
in hieroglyphs
nb.t htp.t mistress of the offering
In Egyptian mythology, Nebethetepet was the manifestation of Hathor at Heliopoli
s. She was associated with the sun-god Atum. Her name means mistress of the offe
ring.[15]

Hathor outside the Nile river in Egypt


Hathor was worshipped in Canaan in the eleventh century BC, which at that time w
as ruled by Egypt, at her holy city of Hazor, or Tel Hazor which the Old Testame
nt claims was destroyed by Joshua (Joshua 11:13, 21). A major temple to Hathor w
as constructed by Seti II at the copper mines at Timna in Edomite Seir. Serabit
el-Khadim (Arabic:
( )
Arabic, also transliterated Serabit al-Khadim, Serabit
cality in the south-west Sinai Peninsula where turquoise was mined extensively i
n antiquity, mainly by the ancient Egyptians. Archaeological excavation, initial
ly by Sir Flinders Petrie, revealed the ancient mining camps and a long-lived Te
mple of Hathor. The Greeks, who became rulers of Egypt for three hundred years b
efore the Roman domination in 31 BC, also loved Hathor and equated her with thei
r own goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite.
Temple to Hathor at Timna.
Temple of Hathor, Dendera
Temple of Hathor, Dendera
Temple of Hathor, Dendera
Temple of Hathor, Dendera
Temple of Hathor, Dendera
Temple of Hathor, Dendera
Temple of Hathor, Dendera
Bes at the Temple of Hathor, Dendera

Hathor
137
Notes
[1] Hathor and Thoth: two key figures of the ancient Egyptian religion, Claas Jo
uco Bleeker, pp. 22102, BRILL, 1973, ISBN 978-90-04-03734-2 [2] "Hathor" at Dicti
onary.com (http:/ / dictionary. reference. com/ browse/ hathor?r=66) [3] The anc
ient Egyptian pyramid texts, Peter Der Manuelian, translated by James P. Allen,
p. 432, BRILL, 2005, ISBN 90-04-13777-7 (also commonly translated as "House of H
orus") [4] The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt, Lorna Oakes, Southwate
r, pp. 157159, ISBN 1-84476-279-3 [5] Oxford Guide to Egyptian Mythology, Donald
B. Redford (Editor), pp. 157161, Berkley Reference, 2003, ISBN 0-425-19096-X [6]
Oxford Guide to Egyptian Mythology, Donald B. Redford (Editor), p. 106, Berkley
Reference, 2003, ISBN 0-425-19096-X [7] Oxford Guide to Egyptian Mythology, Dona
ld B. Redford (Editor), p. 172, Berkley Reference, 2003, ISBN 0-425-19096-X [8]
"Isis in the Ancient World", Reginald Eldred Witt, p. 125, JHU Press, 1997 ISBN
0-8018-5642-6 [9] Early Dynastic Egypt: Strategies, Society and Security, Toby A
. H. Wilkinson, p. 312, Routledge, 2001, ISBN 0-415-26011-6 [10] Religion in anc
ient Egypt: gods, myths, and personal practice, Byron Esely Shafer, John Baines,
Leonard H. Lesko, David P. Silverman, p. 24 Fordham University, Taylor & Franci
s, 1991, ISBN 0-415-07030-9 [11] Early Dynastic Egypt: Strategies, Society and S
ecurity, Toby A. H. Wilkinson, p. 283, Routledge, 2001, ISBN 0-415-26011-6 [12]
Searching for ancient Egypt: art, architecture, and artifacts from the Universit
y of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Pennsylv
ania. Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, David P. Silverman, Edward Brovars
ki, p. 41, Cornell University Press, 1997, ISBN 0-8014-3482-3 [13] The tree of l
ife: an archaeological study, E. O. James, p. 66, BRILL, 1967, ISBN 90-04-016120 [14] Changing position of the Milky Way (http:/ / cathygary. com/ Astronomy/ M
ilkyWay_Luxor3. html) in Luxor (Thebes), Egypt: 6,500 BCE to 19,300 CE Regular Y
ears and the Precessional Cycle [15] George Hart, The Routledge dictionary of Eg
yptian gods and goddesses, Psychology Press, 2005, via Google Books (http:/ / bo
oks. google. com/ books?id=yTNxvArA5YIC& lpg=PA12& dq=am-heh god underworld& pg=
PA12#v=onepage& q=am-heh god underworld& f=false)
External links
Hathor Article by Caroline Seawright (http://www.thekeep.org/~kunoichi/kunoichi/
themestream/hathor. html) Het-Hert site, another name for Hathor (http://www.het
hert.org)

Hatmehit
138
Hatmehit
Hatmehit in hieroglyphs
Hatmehit, or Hatmehyt (reconstructed to have been pronounced *Hwt-Mayat n Egypta
n) n the ancent Egyptan relgn was a fsh-gddess n the area arnd the de
lta cty f Per-anedjedet, Mendes. In ancent Egyptan art Hatmeht was depct
ed ether as a fsh, r a wman wth a fsh emlem r crwn n her head. She was
a gddess f lfe and prtectn.
Name
Her name translates as Fremst f Fsh r Chef f Fsh. She may have sme cnn
ectn t Hathr, ne f the ldest detes f Egypt wh als went y the name M
eht, meanng great fld. Ths may pssly e de t eng seen as a remnant 
f the prmal waters f creatn frm whch all thngs arse. Other gddesses ass
cated wth the prmal waters f creatn are Mt and Nanet. When the clt f
Osrs arse, the peple f Mendes reacted y dentfyng Osrs as havng ache
ved hs athrty y eng the hsand f Hatmeht. In partclar, t was the Ba
f Osrs, knwn as Banejed (lterally meanng Ba f the lrd f the djed, ref
errng t Osrs), whch was sad t have marred Hatmeht. When Hrs ecame c
nsdered the sn f Osrs, a frm knwn as Harpcrates (Har-pa-khered n Egypt
an), Hatmeht was cnseqently sad t e hs mther. As wfe f Osrs, and mt
her f Hrs, she eventally ecame dentfed as a frm f Iss.
Srces
Rchard Wlknsn: The Cmplete Gds and Gddesses f Ancent Egypt. Lndn, Tha
mes and Hdsn, 2003. ISBN 978-0-500-05120-7, p.228229
External lnks
Icngraphy f Hatmeht (PDF-artcle) [1]
References
[1] http:/ / www. relgnswssenschaft. nzh. ch/ dd/ preplcatns/ e_dd_
hatmeht. pdf

Hedetet
139
Hedetet
Hededet n herglyphs
[1]
Hededet r Hedjedjet (dd.t) is a scorpion goddess of the ancient Egyptian religio
n. She resembles Serket in many ways, but was in later periods merged into Isis.
She was depicted with the head of a scorpion, nursing a baby.[2] She is mention
ed in the Book of the Dead.
Sources
[1] Erman, Adolf & Grapow, Hermann (ed.): Wrterbuch der Aegyptischen Sprache., Im
Auftrage der Deutschen Akademien, Berlin: Akademie Verlag (1971), III., p.206,
III., p.206 [2] Richard Wilkinson: The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Eg
ypt. London, Thames and Hudson, 2003. ISBN 978-0-500-05120-7, p.230
Heh (god)
Huh in hieroglyphs
In Egyptian mythology, Heh (also Huh, Hah, Hauh, Huah, Hahuh) was the deificatio
n of infinity or eternity in the Ogdoad, his name itself meaning "endlessness".
His female counterpart was known as Hauhet, which is simply the feminine form of
his name. Like the other concepts in the Ogdoad, his male form was often depict
ed as a frog, or a frog-headed human, and his female form as a snake or snake-he
aded human. The other common representation depicts him crouching, holding a pal
m stem in each hand (or just one), sometimes with a palm stem in his hair, as pa
lm stems represented long life to the Egyptians, the years being represented by
notches on it. Depictions of this form also had a shen ring at the base of each
palm stem, which represented infinity. Depictions of Huh were also used in hiero
glyphs to represent one million, which was essentially considered equivalent to
infinity in Egyptian mathematics. Thus this deity is also known as the "god of m
illions of years".

Heh (god)
140
Origins and mythology
The primary meaning of the term e was "million" or "millions"; subsequently, a per
sonification of e was adopted as the Egyptian god of infinity. Together with his f
emale counterpart auet, e represented a member of the Ogdoad of eight primeval deiti
es whose worship was centred at Hermopolis Magna.
Forms and iconography
The god e was usually depicted anthropomorphically, as in the hieroglyphic charact
er, as a male figure with divine beard and lappet wig. Normally kneeling (one kn
ee raised), the god typically holds in each hand a notched palm branch. (These w
ere employed in the temples for ceremonial time-keeping, which use explains the
use of the palm branch as the hieroglyphic symbol for rnp.t, "year"). Occasional
ly, an additional palm branch is worn on the god's head.
Cult and worship
The personified, somewhat abstract god of eternity e possessed no known cult centr
e or sanctuary; rather, his veneration revolved around Heh symbolism and persona
l belief. The god's image and its iconographic elements reflected the wish for m
illions of years of life or rule; as such, the figure of e finds frequent represen
tation in amulets, prestige items and royal iconography from the late Old Kingdo
m period onwards.
Bibliography
Barta, Winfried [1992], "Die Bedeutung der Personifikation Huh im Unterschied zu
den Personifikationen Hah und Nun", Gttinger Miszellen 127 (1992), pp. 712.

Heka (god)
141
Heka (god)
Heka (/hk/; Egyptian: k; l  pel
Hke) w
he defc
n f m gc n Egyp
 n my

hlgy, h n me eng
he Egyp
 n wrd fr "m gc". Accrdng
 Egyp
 n wr

ng (Cffn
ex
, pell 261), Hek ex
ed "efre du l
y h d ye
cme n
 e
ng." The
erm "Hek " w l  u ed fr
he pr c
ce f m gc l r
u l. The Cp

c wrd "hk"  derved frm


he Ancen
Egyp
 n. Hek l
er lly me n c
v

ng
he K ,
he pec
f
he ul whch emded per n l
y. Egyp
 n
hugh

c
v
ng
he pwer f
he ul w hw m gc wrked. "Hek " l  mpled gre

pwer nd nfluence, p r
cul rly n
he c e f dr wng upn
he K f
he g
d . Hek c
ed
ge
her w
h Hu,
he prncple f dvne u

er nce, nd S ,
he
cncep
f dvne mn cence,
 cre
e
he   f cre
ve pwer 
h n
h
e mr
l wrld nd
he wrld f
he gd . A
he ne wh c
v
e K , Hek w
l  d
 e
he n f A
um,
he cre
r f
hng n gener l, r cc n l
ly
he n f Khnum, wh cre
ed pecfc ndvdu l  ( n
her pec
f
he
ul). A
he n f Khnum, h m
her w d
 e Menh
. The herglyph fr
h n me fe
ured
w
f fl x w
hn p r f r  ed rm ; hwever, 
l 
v guely re emle p r f en
wned n ke w
hn mene rm . Cn equen
ly
, Hek w d
 h ve 

led nd cnquered
w erpen
, nd w u u lly dep
c
ed m n chkng
w g n
en
wned erpen
. Medcne nd dc
r were
h
ugh

 e frm f m gc, nd  Hek  pre
hd perfrmed
he e c
v
e .
Hek (k)
Egyp
 n eleved
h
w
h Hek ,
he c
v
n f
he K , n pec
f
he 
ul f 
h gd nd hum n , ( nd dvne per nfc
n f m gc),
hey culd n
fluence
he gd nd g n pr
ec
n, he lng nd
r n frm
n. He l
h nd wh
lene f eng were cred
 Hek . There  n wrd fr relgn n
he ncen

Egyp
 n l ngu ge, mund ne nd relgu wrld vew were n
d
nc
;
hu H
ek w n
ecul r pr c
ce u
r
her relgu  erv nce. Every pec

f lfe, every wrd, pl n
, nm l nd r
u l w cnnec
ed

he pwer nd u
h
r
y f
he gd .[] In ncen
Egyp
, medcne cn 
ed f fur cmpnen
;
h
e prmev l p
ency
h
empwered
he cre
r-gd w den
fed w
h Hek , wh
w ccmp ned y m gc l r
u l knwn Se h w held w
hn cred
ex
c ll
ed Rw. In dd
n Pekhre
, medcn l pre crp
n , were gven
 p
en

 
rng relef. Th m gc w u ed n
emple r
u l well nfrm l 
u
n
y pre
. The e r
u l , lng w
h medc l pr c
ce , frmed n n
egr
ed

her py fr 
h phy c l nd pr
u l he l
h. M gc w l  u ed fr pr
ec

n g n

he ngry de
e , je lu gh
, fregn demn nd rcerer wh w
ere
hugh

 c u e llne , ccden
, pver
y nd nfer
l
y.[1]

Hek (gd)
142
Reference Ex
ern l lnk
"Hke." Encyclped My
hc frm Encyclped My
hc Onlne. (h

p://www.p n
h
en.rg/ r
cle /h/hke. h
ml) (Acce ed Feru ry 18, 2010).
Hemen
In Egyp
 n my
hlgy, Hemen w f lcngd.
Pl ce f wr hp
Of
en wr hpped dvne en

y unfed w
h Hru , Hru -Hemen lrd f A
phyn [1] r Hr kh
e-Hemen f Hef
[2][3][4] W. M. Flnder Pe
re refer
 He
men gd f Tuphum.[5] Hemen  l  u ed fr
he n me f
wn f ncen

Egyp
( men
ned y Flnder Pe
re durng h
ude f Ayd ).[6]
Sme ex mple f r
f c
cn
nng reference
 Hemen
Hemen  men
ned n lm
ed numer f n crp
n nd
ex
. Sme f
he e
nclude: Ankh
f, mn rch d
ed

he fr
n
ermed
e perd,  hwn n
pec
ng flee
, kllng hppp
mu n Hef
durng fe
v
e nd ffern
g
he hppp
mu
 Hemen.[7] A rund
pped
el frm
he 13
h dyn
y nvk
e P
h-Sk r-O r nd Hru -Hemen lrd f A phyn . The
el w frmerly 
n
he V. Glen hchev cllec
n, u
 nw n M cw, n
he S

e Pu hkn Mu
eum f Fne Ar
.[8]
T h rq fferng efre Hemen. S

ue frm
he Luvre.
Dfferen
per pec
ve hwng Hemen n mre de
l. The chef culp
r U erh
w
h lved

he end f
he 18
h dy n
y / egnnng 19
h dyn
y men
n "c u 
ng cul


ue
 re
n
her hrne". Hemen f Hef
 ne f
he gd l

ed mng
h e U erh
w re pn le fr.[9]
S

ue frm
he
me f Amenh
ep III; Nw n Avgnn, Mu e C lve
.[10][11] In
h
e 22nd dyn
y Hemen f Hef
 men
ned n r cle. A m n n med Iken ppe
r efre Hemen n Hef
nd
he gd y "Iken  rgh
! He p d (e
c.)".[12]
T h rq  hwn efre
he gd Hemen n

ue whch  nw n
he Luvre. In
c 300 C Hemen cul

ll c
ve

e
ed y n n crp
n f n ff
c l n med Hrnefer.[13] In
he Grff
h In

u
e l
ng: A
ne jec
w
h
Hemen p ly h wk-he ded hwng
ex
f Amenph IIIelved f Hemen lrd f

he ed-fe
v l.[14]

Hemen
143

ee l 
Sed fe
v l
Reference
[1] The Grff
h In

u
e (h

p:/ / www. grff


h. x. c. uk/ gr/ 8
e201
2
50. pdf) [2] Tex
f Hr-nefer (h

p:/ / www. re h fm. rg. l/ d/ egyp


/
ex

/ hrnefer. h
m) [3] The Grff
h In

u
e (h

p:/ / www. grff


h. x. c. u
k/ gr/ 8_
e001
050. pdf) frmerly n V. Glen hchev clln. 4157, nw n M c
w, S

e Pu hkn Mu eum f Fne Ar
[4] Henr Wld, S

ue de Hr-Nfer u Mu e d
e e ux-Ar
de L u nne, IFAO 54 (1954) pp.173-222 v Tex
f Hrnefer (h

p
:/ / www. re h fm. rg. l/ d/ egyp
/
ex
/ hrnefer. h
m) [5] W. M. Flnder
Pe
re, The m kng f Egyp
, M cmll n (1939), p 68 v qu
e frm Pe
re The M
kng f Egyp
(h

p:/ / wy nger. hme


e d. cm/
er ne
er. h
ml) 20/09/2011 [
6] Men
ned n Je n C p r
, Prm
ve r
n Egyp
, 1905, cce ed
Prm
v
e Ar
n Egyp
(h

p:/ / www. rchve. rg/


re m/ prm
ve r
n00c p #p ge/ 2
57/ mde/ 1up) re
reved 12/09/2011 [7] J.M.A. J n en, Annu l Egyp
lgc l 
lgr phy, 1947 [8] Grff
h In

u
e wrkng dcumen
n S
el , p ge 208. (h

p:/ / www. grff


h. x. c. uk/ gr/ 8
e201
250. pdf) re
reved 20/09/2011 [9
] Elz e
h Frd, Jhn  ne , gr phc l
ex
frm R me d Egyp
, 2007 [10
] lc
n(l
ed 14
h n p ge) S

ue f De
e ), Oxfrd: Grff
h In

u
e,
1999, ISN 0-900416-69-6 (h

p:/ / m lfne.
rpd. cm/ jmk . h
ml) re
rev
ed 20/09/2011 [11] (w
h D. M gee nd E. Mle ) Tpgr phc l lgr phy f An
cen
Egyp
 n Herglyphc Tex
, S

ue , Relef nd P n
ng , v, Ojec

f Prven nce N
Knwn, P r
2. Prv
e S

ue (Dyn
y XVIII

he Rm n Pe
rd). S

ue f De
e . Oxfrd: Grff
h In

u
e. 1999. ISN 0-900416-69-6d
e crp
n f

ue frm p ge 1041 f Grff
h In

u
e f Oxfrd (h

p:/ / w
ww. grff
h. x. c. uk/ gr/ 3pm8
5. pdf) re
reved 20/09/2011 [12] Km Ryh
l
, A P r f Or cle Pe

n Addre ed
 Hru -f-
he-C mp, The Jurn l f Eg
yp
 n Arch elgy, Vl. 79 (1993), pp. 189-198 [13] Tex
f Hr-nefer (h

p:/ /
www. re h fm. rg. l/ d/ egyp
/
ex
/ hrnefer. h
m) [14] (w
h D. M gee n
d E. Mle ) Tpgr phc l lgr phy f Ancen
Egyp
 n Herglyphc Tex
, S


ue , Relef nd P n
ng , v, Ojec
f Prven nce N
Knwn, P r
2. Pr
v
e S

ue (Dyn
y XVIII

he Rm n Perd). S

ue f De
e . Oxfrd: G
rff
h In

u
e. 1999. ISN 0-900416-69-6de crp
n f

ue frm p ge 1041
f Grff
h In

u
e f Oxfrd (h

p:/ / www. grff


h. x. c. uk/ gr/ 3pm8

5. pdf) re
reved 20/09/2011

Hem u

144
Hem u

In Egyp
 n my
hlgy, Hem u
(r Hemu e
) w
he gdde f f
e nd pr
ec

n. She  repre en

ve f
he k . Her he ddre e r held, ve whch r
e
w cr ed rrw .
Heqe

Heqe
n herglyph
T
he Egyp
 n ,
he frg w yml f lfe nd fer
l
y, nce mlln f

hem were rn f


er
he nnu l nund
n f
he Nle, whch rugh
fer
l
y


he 
herw e  rren l nd . Cn equen
ly, n Egyp
 n my
hlgy,
here eg n

 e frg-gdde , wh repre en


ed fer
l
y, referred
 y Egyp
lg

Heqe
( l  Heq
, Hek
, Heke
e
c., mre r rely Heg
, Hege
e
c.[1]), wr

en w
h
he de
ermn
ve frg.[2]
N me nd depc
n
Her n me w pr ly prnunced mre lke *aqtat n Mddle Egyptan, hence her lat
er Greek cnterpart ( ee Heca
e).[3] Hee
wa u ually depic
ed a a f og, o a wom
an wi
a f og' ead, o mo e a ely a a f og on
e end of a p allu
o expli
ci
ly indica
e e a ocia
ion wi
fe
ili
y. S e wa of
en efe ed
o a
e
wife of K num.[4]
Wo ip of Hee

T e beginning of e cul
da
e
o
e ea ly dyna
ic pe iod a
lea
. He name
wa pa
of
e name of ome ig -bo n Second Dyna
y individual bu ied a
Hel
wan and wa men
ioned on a
ela of Wepemnof e
and in
e Py amid Tex
. Ea ly
f og
a
ue

e a e of
en
oug

o be depic
ion of e .[5] La
e , a a fe
il
i
y godde , a ocia
ed explici
ly wi

e la

age of
e flooding of
e N
ile, and o wi

e ge mina
ion of co n, e became a ocia
ed wi

e final

age of c ildbi
. T i a ocia
ion, w ic appea
o ave a i en du ing
e M
iddle Kingdom, gained e
e
i
le S e w o a
en
e bi
.[6] Some claim
a

even
oug no ancien
Egyp
ian
e m fo "midwife" i known fo ce
ainmidwive o
f
en called
em elve
e Se van
of Hee
, and
a
e p ie
e e we e
ai
ned in midwife y.[7] Women of
en wo e amule
of e du ing c ildbi
, w ic de
pic
ed Hee
a a f og, i

ing in a lo
u . Hee
wa con ide ed
e wife of K n
um, w o fo med
e bodie of new c ild en on i po

e ' w eel.[8] In
e my

of O i i developed, i
wa aid
a
i
wa Hee
w o b ea
ed life in
o
e ne
w body of Ho u a
bi
, a e wa
e godde of
e la
momen
of bi
. A

e bi
of Ho u became mo e in
ima
ely a ocia
ed wi

e e u ec
ion of
O i i , o Hee
' ole became one mo e clo ely a ocia
ed wi
e u ec
ion. Ev
en
ually,
i a ocia
ion led
o e amule
gaining
e p a e I am
e e u
ec
ion, and con euen
ly
e amule
we e u ed by ea ly C i
ian .[9]

Hee

145
Foo
no
e
[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] A mou , op.ci
., p.116 E man, op.ci
. vol. 3
, 169.10 McKec nie, Paul, and P ilippe Guillaume. P
olemy II P iladelp u and Hi
Wo ld. Leiden: B ill, 2008. page 133. Co

e ell, op.ci
., p.213 Wilkin on, Tob
y, p. 286 cf.
e ole of Hee
in
e
o y of T e Bi
of
e Royal C ild en
f om
e We
ca Papy u . Lic
eim, op.ci
. p.220 F anklin, op.ci
., p.86 Wilki
n on, Ric a d H. (2003). T e Comple
e God and Godde e of Ancien
Egyp
. T ame
& Hud on. p. 229 Loui e A. S ie , "T e F og on Lamp f om Ka ani ," in Medieva
l and Middle Ea
e n S
udie (B ill, 1972), p. 357 online. (

p:/ / book . goog


le. com/ book ?id=9YUAAAAIAAJ& lpg=PA357& v=f og "I am
e e u ec
ion"& pg=P
A357#v= nippe
& =f og "I am
e e u ec
ion"& f=fal e)
Refe ence
Robe
A. A mou , God and My
of Ancien
Egyp
, Ame ican Univ. in Cai oP e
2001 E man, Jo ann Pe
e Adolf, and He mann G apow, ed . 19261953. W
e buc de a
egyp
i c en Sp ac e im Auf
age de deu
c en Akademien. 6 vol . Leipzig: J. C.
Hin ic schen Buchhandlungen. (Reprinted Berlin: Aademie-Verlag GmbH, 1971). Art
hur Cotterell, The Macmillan Illustrated Encyclopedia of Myths & Legends, Macmil
lan 1989 Toby A. H. Wilinson, Early Dynastic Egypt, Routledge 1999 Rosalind Fra
nlin, Baby Lore: Superstitions and Old Wives Tales from the World Over Related
to Pregnancy, Birth and Babycare, Diggory Press 2005 M. Lichtheim, Ancient Egypt
ian Literature, Vol.1, 1973
Heryshaf
Harsaphes

Heryshaf
146
Heryshaf in hieroglyphs

In Egyptian mythology, Heryshaf, or Hershef, (Egyptian ry-=f "He who is on his lak
e"),[1] transcribed in Greek as Harsaphes () was an ancent ram-gd whse clt was cen
ered n Heraklepls Magna (nw Ihnasyyah al-Madnah). He was dentfed wth
Ra and Osrs n Egyptan mythlgy,[2] and t Heracles n Greek mythlgy. The
dentfcatn wth Heracles may e related t the fact that n later tmes hs
name was smetmes reanalysed as ry-f.t "He who is over strength." One of his titl
es was Ruler of the Riverbanks. Heryshaf was a creator and fertility god who was b
orn from the primeval waters. He was pictured as a man with the head of a ram, o
r as a ram.
References
[1] Forty, Jo. Mythology: A Visual Encyclopedia, Sterling Publishing Co., 2001,
p. 84. [2] Forty, Jo. Mythology: A Visual Encyclopedia, Sterling Publishing Co.,
2001, p. 84.
Hart, George (2005). "Heryshaf" (http://books.google.com/ Silver statue of Herys
haf in the Louvre books?id=GG3qfiUY3xQC&pg=PA68&lpg=PA68& dq=heryshaf&source=bl&
ots=Hy0-rVuOjk& sig=1OPKPV3ZM_HxbCxuvFxdnzCU5sw&hl=en&ei=ejkpS8KfBpSn8Aadrt2qDQ&
sa=X&oi=book_result& ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CA0Q6AEwAjgy). The Routledge dictio
nary of Egyptian gods and goddesses (2nd ed.). London, New York: Routledge. pp.686
9. ISBN978-0-415-36116-3. OCLC 57281093 (http://www. worldcat.org/oclc/57281093).
Retrieved 16 December 2009.

Hesat
147
Hesat
Hesat is an ancient Egyptian goddess in the form of a cow. She was said to provi
de humanity with milk (called "the beer of Hesat") and in particular to suckle t
he pharaoh and several ancient Egyptian bull gods. In the Pyramid Texts she is s
aid to be the mother of Anubis and of the deceased king. She was especially conn
ected with Mnevis, the living bull god worshipped at Heliopolis, and the actual
mothers of Mnevis bulls were buried in a cemetery dedicated to Hesat. In Ptolema
ic times (30430 BC) she was closely linked with the goddess Isis.[1]
References
[1] Wilkinson, Richard H. (2003). The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egy
pt. Thames & Hudson. pp. 173174

Horus
148
Horus
Horus
Horus was often the ancient Egyptians' national patron god. He was usually depic
ted as a falcon-headed man wearing the pschent, or a red and white crown, as a s
ymbol of kingship over the entire kingdom of Egypt. Major cult center Symbol Con
sort Parents Siblings Offspring Nekhen, Behdet Edfu The wedjat eye Hathor (in on
e version) Osiris and Isis in some myths, and Nut and Geb in others. Osiris, Isi
s, Set, and Nephthys (in some accounts) Imsety, Hapi, Duamutef, Qebehsenuef and
Ihy

Horus (Arabic:
wrs) is one of the oldest and most significant deities in ancient Egyp
ian religion, who was worshipped from at least the late Predynastic period throu
gh to Greco-Roman times. Different forms of Horus are recorded in history, and t
hese are treated as distinct gods by Egypt specialists.[1] These various forms m
ay possibly be different perceptions of the same multi-layered deity in which ce
rtain attributes or syncretic relationships are emphasized, not necessarily in o
pposition but complementary to one another, consistent with how the Ancient Egyp
tians viewed the multiple facets of reality.[2] He was most often depicted as a
falcon, most likely a lanner or peregrine, or as a man with a falcon head.[3] Th
e earliest recorded form of Horus is the patron deity of Nekhen in Upper Egypt,
who is the first known national god, specifically related to the king who in tim
e came to be regarded as a manifestation of Horus in life and Osiris in death.[1
] The most commonly encountered family relationship describes Horus as the son o
f Isis and Osiris but in another tradition Hathor is regarded as his mother and
sometimes as his wife.[1] Horus served many functions in the Egyptian pantheon,
most notably being the god of the sun, war and protection.

Horus
149
Etymology
r "Horus" in hieroglyphs
Horus is recorded in Egyptian hieroglyphs as r.w; the pronunciation has been reco
nstructed as *r, meanng "falcn". Addtnal meanngs are thght t have een "
the dstant ne" r "ne wh s ave, ver".[4] By Cptc tmes, the name ecam
e Hr. It as adopted i to Greek as Hros. The origi al ame also survives i later Egy
ptia ames such as Har-si-ese literally "Horus, so of Isis". Horus as also k
o as Nekhe y, mea i g "falco ". Some have proposed that Nekhe y may have bee
a other falco -god, orshipped at Nekhe (city of the hak), ith hich Horus a
s ide tified from early o . Horus may be sho as a falco o the Narmer Palette
dati g from the time of u ificatio of Upper a d Loer Egypt.
Note of Cha ges Over Time
I early Egypt, Horus as the brother of Isis, Osiris, Set a d Nephthys. As diff
ere t cults formed, he became the so of Isis. Isis remai ed the sister of Osiri
s, Set, a d Nephthys.
Horus a d the Pharaoh
Pyramid texts ca. the 25th ce tury BC describe the ature of the Pharaoh i diff
ere t characters as both Horus a d Osiris. The Pharaoh as Horus i life became t
he Pharaoh as Osiris i death, here he as u ited ith the rest of the gods. Ne
 i car atio s of Horus succeeded the deceased pharaoh o earth i the form of
e Pharaohs. The li eage of Horus, the eve tual product of u io s betee the ch
ildre of Atum, may have bee a mea s to explai a d justify Pharao ic poer; Th
e gods produced by Atum ere all represe tative of cosmic a d terrestrial forces
i Egyptia life; by ide tifyi g Horus as the offspri g of these forces, the i
de tifyi g him ith Atum himself, a d fi ally ide tifyi g the Pharaoh ith Horus
, the Pharaoh theologically had domi io over all the orld. The otio of Horus
as the Pharaoh seems to have bee superseded by the co cept of the Pharaoh as t
he so of Ra duri g the Fifth Dy asty of Egypt.[5]
Origi mythology
Horus as bor to the goddess Isis after she retrieved all the dismembered body
parts of her murdered husba d Osiris, except his pe is hich as thro i to the
Nile a d eate by a catfish,[6][7] or sometimes by a crab, a d accordi g to Plu
tarch's accou t (see Osiris) used her magic poers to resurrect Osiris a d fashi
o a gold phallus[8] to co ceive her so (older Egyptia accou ts have the pe is
of Osiris survivi g). O ce Isis k e she as preg a t ith Horus, she fled to t
he Nile Delta marshla ds to hide from her brother Set ho jealously killed Osiri
s a d ho she k e ould a t to kill their so .[] There Isis bore a divi e so ,
Horus.

Horus
152
Mythological roles
r -r-3ty "Ra-Horakhty" in hieroglyphs
Sky god
Since Horus was said to be the sky, he was considered to also contain the sun an
d moon. It became said that the sun was his right eye and the moon his left, and
that they traversed the sky when he, a falcon, flew across it. Later, the reaso
n that the moon was not as bright as the sun was explained by a tale, known as t
he contestings of Horus and Set, originating as a metaphor for the conquest of U
pper Egypt by Lower Egypt in about 3000 BCE. In this tale, it was said that Set,
the patron of Upper Egypt, and Horus, the patron of Lower Egypt, had battled fo
r Egypt brutally, with neither side victorious, until eventually the gods sided
with Horus. As Horus was the ultimate victor he became known as Harsiesis, Heruur or Har-Wer (r.w wr 'Horus the Great'), but more usually translated as Horus th
e Elder. In the struggle Set had lost a testicle, explaining why the desert, whi
ch Set represented, is infertile. Horus' left eye had also been gouged out, then
a new eye was created by part of Khonsu, the moon god, and was replaced. Horus
was occasionally shown in art as a naked boy with a finger in his mouth sitting
on a lotus with his mother. In the form of a youth, Horus was referred to as Nef
erhor. This is also spelled Nefer Hor, Nephoros or Nopheros (nfr r.w) meaning 'Th
e Good Horus'. The Eye of Horus is an ancient Egyptian symbol of protection and
royal power from deities, in this case from Horus or Ra. The symbol is seen on i
mages of Horus' mother, Isis, and on other deities associated with her. In the E
gyptian language, the word for this symbol was "Wedjat".[9][10] It was the eye o
f one of the earliest of Egyptian deities, Wadjet, who later became associated w
ith Bast, Mut, and Hathor as well. Wedjat was a solar deity and this symbol bega
n as her eye, an all seeing eye. In early artwork, Hathor is also depicted with
this eye.[11] Funerary amulets were often made in the shape of the Eye of Horus.
The Wedjat or Eye of Horus is "the central element" of seven "gold, faience, ca
rnelian and lapis lazuli" bracelets found on the mummy of Shoshenq II.[12] The W
edjat "was intended to protect the king [here] in the afterlife"[12] and to ward
off evil. Ancient Egyptian and Near Eastern sailors would frequently paint the
symbol on the bow of their vessel to ensure safe sea travel.[13]

Horus
153
Horus, patron deity of Hierakonpolis (near Edfu), the predynastic capital of Upp
er Egypt. Its head was executed by means of beating the gold then connecting it
with the copper body. A uraeus is fixed to the diadem which supports two tall op
enwork feathers. The eyes are inlaid with Gold and obsidian. (6th dynasty).
Horus represented in relief with Wadjet and wearing the double crown Temple of H
atshepsut
Horus relief in the Temple of Edfu
Wedjat, Eye of Horus
God of war and hunting
Horus was also said to be a god of war and hunting. The Horus falcon is shown up
on a standard on the predynastic Hunters Palette in the "lion hunt". Thus he bec
ame a symbol of majesty and power as well as the model of the pharaohs. The Phar
aohs were said to be Horus in human form. Furthermore Nemty, another war god, wa
s later identified as Horus.[14]
Horus depicted as a falcon

Horus
154
Conflict between Horus and Set
Horus was told by his mother, Isis, to protect the people of Egypt from Set, the
god of the desert, who had killed his father Osiris.[15][16] Horus had many bat
tles with Set, not only to avenge his father, but to choose the rightful ruler o
f Egypt. In these battles, Horus came to be associated with Lower Egypt, and bec
ame its patron. According to Papyrus Chester-Beatty I, Set is depicted as trying
to prove his dominance by seducing Horus and then having intercourse Horus, (Lo
uvre Museum), 'Shen rings' in his with him. However, Horus places his hand betwe
en his thighs and grasp catches Set's semen, then subsequently throws it in the
river, so that he may not be said to have been inseminated by Set. Horus then de
liberately spreads his own semen on some lettuce, which was Set's favorite food.
After Set had eaten the lettuce, they went to the gods to try to settle the arg
ument over the rule of Egypt. The gods first listened to Set's claim of dominanc
e over Horus, and call his semen forth, but it answered from the river, invalida
ting his claim. Then, the gods listened to Horus' claim of having dominated Set,
and call his semen forth, and it answered from inside Set.[17][18] However, Set
still refused to relent, and the other gods were getting tired from over eighty
years of fighting and challenges. Horus and Set challenged each other to a boat
race, where they each raced in a boat made of stone. Horus and Set agreed, and
the race started. But Horus had an edge: his boat was made of wood painted to re
semble stone, rather than true stone. Set's boat, being made of heavy stone, san
k, but Horus's did not. Horus then won the race, and Set stepped down and offici
ally gave Horus the throne of Egypt.[20] But after the New Kingdom, Set still wa
s considered Lord of the desert and its oases.[21] This myth, along with others,
could be seen as an explanation of how the two kingdoms of Egypt (Upper and Low
er) came to be united. Horus was seen as the God of Upper Egypt, and Set as the
God of Lower Egypt. In this myth, the respective Upper and Lower deities have a
fight, through which Horus is the victor. However, some of Horus (representing U
pper Egypt) enters into Set (Lower Egypt) thus explaining why Upper Egypt is dom
inant over Lower Egypt. [22] [23] Set's regions were then considered to be of th
e desert.
Figure of a Horus Falcon, between circa 300 and circa 250 BC [19] (Greco-Roman).
The Walters Art Museum.
Heru-pa-khered (Horus the Younger)
Horus the Younger, Harpocrates to the Ptolemaic Greeks, is represented in the fo
rm of a youth wearing a lock of hair (a sign of youth) on the right of his head
while sucking his finger. In addition, he usually wears the united crowns of Egy
pt, the crown of upper Egypt and the crown of lower Egypt. He is a form of the r
ising sun, representing its earliest light.
Heru-ur (Horus the Elder)
In this form he represented the god of light and the husband of Hathor. He was o
ne of the oldest gods of ancient Egypt. He became the patron of Nekhen (Hierakon
polis) and the first national god (God of the Kingdom). Later, he also became th
e patron of the pharaohs, and was called the son of truth.[citation needed] sign
ifying his role as an important upholder of Maat. He was seen as a great falcon
with outstretched wings whose right eye was the sun and the left one was the moo
n. In this form, he was sometimes given the title Kemwer, meaning (the) great bl
ack (one). The Greek form of Heru-ur (or Har wer) is Haroeris. Other variants in
clude Hor Merti 'Horus of the two eyes' and Horkhenti Irti.[24]

Horus
155
Horus in Thelema
In the cosmology of Aleister Crowley's religio-philosophical system of Thelema,
the god Horus is the third god to speak via a chapter of The Book of the Law, in
his guise or manifestation as Ra-Hoor-Khuit. Regarded by Thelemites as the Lord
of the Aeon, he is symbolized as a throned man with the head of a hawk who carr
ies a wand. He is associated with the Sun and the active energies of Thelemic ma
gick. The 'Aeon (Thelema) of Horus' in the modern age is held by Crowley to mark
the turning away from the past patriarchal religions (Aeon of Osiris) and matri
archal religions (Aeon of Isis) towards a new era of freedom and the reign of th
e 'Crowned and Conquering Child'.
Misconceptions in Popular Media
The documentary movie Religulous (2008), the internet movie Zeitgeist(2007) and
the book The Christ Conspiracy claim that Horus was born of a virgin. Egyptian t
exts demonstrate that Horus mother was the goddess Isis, and not a human virgin.
Horus was conceived when Isis resurrected the dismembered god Osiris and had int
ercourse with him, which precludes the idea of virginity, and certainly partheno
genesis.[25]
References
[1] "The Oxford Guide: Essential Guide to Egyptian Mythology", Edited by Donald
B. Redford, Horus: by Edmund S. Meltzer, p164168, Berley, 2003, ISBN 0-425-19096
-X [2] "The Oxford Guide: Essential Guide to Egyptian Mythology", Edited by Dona
ld B. Redford, p106 & p165, Berley, 2003, ISBN 0-425-19096-X [3] Wilinson, Ric
hard H. (2003). The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt. Thames & Hudso
n. p. 202. [4] Meltzer, Edmund S. (2002). Horus. In D. B. Redford (Ed.), The anc
ient gods spea: A guide to Egyptian religion (pp. 164). New Yor: Oxford Univer
sity Press, USA. [5] Samuel Noah Kramer. Mythologies of the Ancient World. Quadr
angle Boos: Chicago, 1961. pp. 3543 [9] Pommerening, Tanja, Die altgyptischen Hoh
lmae (Studien zur Altgyptischen Kultur, Beiheft 10), Hamburg, Helmut Buse Verlag,
2005 [10] M. Stostad, "Art History" [11] Lady of the West at hethert.org (http
:/ / www. hethert. org/ ladyofthewest. html) [12] Silverman, op. cit., p.228 [13
] Charles Freeman, The Legacy of Ancient Egypt, Facts on File, Inc. 1997. p.91 [
14] The Contendings of Horus and Seth (http:/ / www. reshafim. org. il/ ad/ egyp
t/ texts/ horus_and_seth. htm) [15] Ancient Egyptian Culture (http:/ / www. mnsu
. edu/ emuseum/ prehistory/ egypt/ religion/ godslist. html) [16] Ancient Egypt:
the Mythology Horus (http:/ / www. egyptianmyths. net/ horus. htm) [17] Theolog
y WebSite: The 80 Years of Contention Between Horus and Set (http:/ / www. theol
ogywebsite. com/ etext/ egypt/ horus. shtml) [18] Fleming, Fergus, and Alan Loth
ian. The Way to Eternity: Egyptian Myth. Duncan Baird Publishers, 1997. pp. 8081
[20] Mythology, published by DBP, Chapter: Egypts divine ingship [21] Set, God
of Confusion, by TeVelde [22] = Stocdale, Nancy. "Menes." World History: Ancie
nt and Medieval Eras. ABC-CLIO, 2012. Web. 9 Oct. 2012. [23] Pinch, Geraldine. "
Horus." World History: Ancient and Medieval Eras. ABC-CLIO, 2012. Web. 9 Oct. 20
12. [24] Patricia Turner, Charles Russell Coulter, Dictionary of ancient deities
, 2001 [25] Britannica Online: Horus (Egyptian God) (http:/ / www. britannica. c
om/ EBcheced/ topic/ 272528/ Horus)
External lins
UCAR educational article about Horus (http://www.windows.ucar.edu/tour/lin=/myt
hology/horus_sun. html&edu=high)

Hu (mythology)
156
Hu (mythology)
Hu "w" in hieroglyphs
In Egyptian mythology, Hu (w) is the deification of the first word, the word of c
reation, that Atum was said to have exclaimed upon ejaculating or, alternatively
, his self-castration, in his masturbatory act of creating the Ennead. Hu is men
tioned already in the Old Kingdom Pyramid texts (PT 251, PT 697) as companion of
the deceased pharaoh. Together with Sia, he was depicted in the retinue of Thot
, with whom he was also occasionally identified. In the Middle Kingdom, all gods
participated in Hu and Sia, and were associated with Ptah who created the unive
rse by uttering the word of creation. Hu was depicted in human shape, as a falco
n, or as a man with a ram's head.
Hu and Renenutet
In the New Kingdom, both Hu and Sia together with Heke, Irer and Sedjem were mem
bers of the fourteen creative powers of Amun-Ra. By the time of Ptolemaic Egypt,
Hu had merged with Shu (air).
References
Wilkinson, R. H., Die Welt der Gtter im Alten gypten. Glaube - Macht - Mythologie,
Stuttgart 2003

Iabet
157
Iabet
Iabet
Iabet is depicted on the left. Next to her is king Ramses III. Goddess of the ea
st Major cult center Consort Panopolis Min Iabeth
Iabet (Iabtet, Iab, Abet, Abtet, Ab) is a goddess in Egyptian mythology, counter
part of Imentet.
Mythology
She is a cleanser of the sun god Ra, and goddess of east. Her main husband is fe
rtility god Min. She was worshiped in Panopolis, with her husband.[1] In the Amd
uat, Iabet is depicted as a woman with her arms by her sides, under the name of
Iab. Along with eleven other goddesses, including Isis and her grandmother Tefnu
t, the group was known as "Those who give praises to Ra as he passes over Wernes
".
Nefertiabet
One princess Nefertiabet is named after this goddess. Her father was pharaoh Khu
fu.[2]
Literature
[1] Caroline Seawright: Iabet, Cleanser of Ra, Personification of East [2] Aidan
Dodson & Dyan Hilton, The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt, Thames & Hu
dson (2004) ISBN 0-500-05128-3, p. 60

Iah
158
Iah
"Iah" in hieroglyphs
[1]
Iah ( Egyptian: J , transliterated as Yah, Jah, Jah(w), Joh or Aah [2]) is a god of
the moon in ancient Egyptian religion. His name simply means moon. By the New K
ingdom he was less prominent as a moon deity than the other gods with lunar conn
ections, Thoth and Khonsu. As a result of the functional connection between them
he could be identified with either of those deities. He was sometimes considere
d an adult form of Khonsu and was increasingly absorbed by him. Iah continued to
appear in amulets and occasional other representations, similar to Khonsu in ap
pearance, with the same lunar symbols on his head and occasionally the same tigh
t garments. He differed in usually wearing a full wig instead of a child's sidel
ock, and sometimes an Atef crown topped by another symbol.[3] As time went on, I
ah also became Iah-Djuhty, meaning "god of the new moon."[4] Iah was also assimi
lated with Osiris, god of the dead, perhaps because, in its monthly cycle, the m
oon appears to renew itself. Iah also seems to have assumed the lunar aspect of
Thoth, god of knowledge, writing and calculation; the segments of the moon were
used as fractional symbols in writing.[5] One queen was called Iah.
References
[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] Allen, James P. (2000). Middle Egyptian: An Introduction to
the Language and Culture of Hieroglyphs. Cambridge University Press. p. 436 Edza
rd, Dietz-Otto. Reallexikon der Assyriologie und vorderasiatischen Archologie, p.
364 Wilkinson, Richard H. (2003). The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Eg
ypt. Thames & Hudson. p. 111 Remler, Pat. (2000). Egyptian Mythology A to Z: A Y
oung Reader's Companion. Facts On File. p. 1 S. Quirke and A.J. Spencer, The Bri
tish Museum Book of Ancient Egypt. London, The British Museum Press, 1992

Iat
159
Iat
Iat
Milk and, by association, of nurturing and childbirth Major cult center Egypt
Iat in hieroglyphs
[1]
Iat is an Egyptian minor goddess of milk and, by association, of nurturing and c
hildbirth.[] The name of the goddess resembles iatet which is Egyptian word for
"milk". The goddess is seldom mentioned in ancient Egyptian texts, and that's wh
y very little is known about her. Some mentioning of Iat can be found in the Pyr
amid Texts like where a king is saying "my foster-mother is Iat, and it is she wh
o nourishes me, it is indeed she who bore me".[]
References
[1] Erman, Adolf & Grapow, Hermann: Wrterbuch der Aegyptischen Sprache., Im Auftr
age der Deutschen Akademien, Berlin: Akademie Verlag (1971), I., p.26
Ihy
Ihy is a god in ancient Egyptian mythology who represents the ecstasy of playing
the sistrum. His name may mean "sistrum player", referring to his function, or
"calf", alluding to his relationship with the cow goddess Hathor who was often s
aid to be his mother. Other goddesses might be called his mother, however, inclu
ding Isis, Sekhmet, and Neith. The god Horus was usually said to be Ihy's father
, although at times Ra took that role instead. Ihy was depicted as a child holdi
ng a sistrum or as a nude child with his finger in this mouth. He was worshiped
alongside Horus and Hathor at Dendera.[1]
References
[1] Wilkinson, Richard H. (2003). The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egy
pt. Thames & Hudson. pp. 132133

Imentet
160
Imentet
Imentet was a goddess in Ancient Egyptian religion representing the necropoleis
west of the Nile. She is depicted as a woman wearing the hieroglyph for "west" o
n her head, and often appears in tombs welcoming the deceased into the afterlife
. However, she was so closely linked with Hathor and Isis in their afterlife rol
es that she may be less an independent deity than an alternate form of those two
goddesses.[1]
References
[1] Wilkinson, Richard H. (2003). The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egy
pt. Thames & Hudson. pp. 145146
Imentet greeting Pharaoh Horemheb in his tomb
Imiut fetish
The Imiut fetish has been documented throughout the history of Ancient Egypt. Th
is was a stuffed, headless animal skin, often a feline or bull, which was tied b
y the tail to a pole terminating in a lotus bud, inserted into a stand. The feti
sh was present in Egyptian funerary rites from the earliest ages. Although its o
rigin and purpose is unknown, the imiut fetish dates as far back as to the First
Dynasty (3100-2890 BC).
History
In very early Egyptian mythology, the deity Imiut (meaning, "He who is in his wr
appings") may have been a god of the underworld, although insufficient records s
urvive to explain whether this was the case. An early example found in 1914 by a
n expedition of the Metropolitan Museum of Art near the pyramid of Senusret I (c
. 1971-1928 BCE) was placed in a shrine.[1] Since it was later connected to the
god Anubis, it is sometimes called the Anubis fetish. One idea is that it came t
o symbolise Anubis as an The imiut fetish embalmer, although this is unlikely to
be the original understanding, as Anubis was originally a god of the dead, rath
er than just embalming. There are depictions of the imiut fetish on ancient Egyp
tian temples, and sometimes there were models of it included with the funerary e
quipment, most notably the two found in the burial chamber of Tutankhamun by How
ard Carter.

Imiut fetish
161
Notes
Imset
Imseti in hieroglyphs
In Egyptian mythology, Imseti (also transcribed Imset, Amset, Amsety, Mesti, and
Mesta) was a funerary deity, one of the Four sons of Horus, who were associated
with the canopic jars, specifically the one which contained the liver. Unlike h
is brothers, Imsety was not associated with any animal and was always depicted a
s human. Isis was considered his protector.
Representation of Imset

Isis
162
Isis
Isis
The goddess Isis portrayed as a woman, wearing a headdress shaped like a throne
and with an Ankh in her hand Goddess of motherhood, magic and fertility Major cu
lt center Symbol Consort Parents Siblings Philae, Abydos the throne, the sun dis
k with cow's horns, the sycamore tree Osiris Geb and Nut Osiris, Set, and Nephth
ys
Isis (Ancient Greek: , rgnal Egyptan prnncatn mre lkely "Aset" r "Iset")
s a gddess n Ancent Egyptan relgs elefs, whse wrshp spread thrg
ht the Grec-Rman wrld. She was wrshpped as the deal mther and wfe as w
ell as the patrness f natre and magc. She was the frend f slaves, snners,
artsans, and the dwntrdden, and she lstened t the prayers f the wealthy,
madens, arstcrats, and rlers.[1] Iss s ften depcted as the mther f Hr
s, the hawk-headed gd f war and prtectn (althgh n sme tradtns Hrs
's mther was Hathr). Iss s als knwn as prtectr f the dead and gddess 
f chldren.
Temple f Iss n Phlae, Egypt
The name Iss means "Thrne".[2] Her headdress s a thrne. As the persnfcat
n f the thrne, she was an mprtant representatn f the pharah's pwer. Th
e pharah was depcted as her chld, wh sat n the thrne she prvded. Her cl
t was pplar thrght Egypt, t her mst mprtant temples were at Behet E
l-Hagar n the Nle delta, and, egnnng n the regn wth Nectane I (380362 B
CE), n the sland f Phlae n Upper Egypt. In the typcal frm f her myth, Is
s was the frst daghter f Ge, gd f the Earth, and Nt, gddess f the Sky,
and she was rn n the frth ntercalary day. She marred her rther, Osrs
, and she cnceved Hrs wth hm. Iss was nstrmental n the resrrectn f
Osrs when he was mrdered y Set. Usng her magcal sklls, she restred hs
dy t lfe after havng gathered the dy parts that had een strewn at the
earth y Set.[3]

Iss Ths myth ecame very mprtant drng the Grec-Rman perd. Fr example
t was eleved that the Nle Rver flded every year ecase f the tears f s
rrw whch Iss wept fr Osrs. Osrs's death and rerth was relved each ye
ar thrgh rtals. The wrshp f Iss eventally spread thrght the Grec-R
man wrld, cntnng ntl the sppressn f pagansm n the Chrstan era.[4
] The pplar mtf f Iss scklng her sn Hrs, hwever, lved n n a Chrs
tanzed cntext as the pplar mage f Mary scklng the nfant sn Jess frm
the ffth centry nward.[5][6]
163
Etymlgy
OR Iss n herglyphs
The name Iss s the Greek versn f her name, wth a fnal -s added t the r
gnal Egyptan frm ecase f the grammatcal reqrements f the Greek langag
e (-s ften eng a marker f the nmnatve case n ancent Greek). The Egypta
n name was recrded as s.t or .
nd me n
"(She f
he Thrne"). The
rue Egyp

n prnunc
n rem n uncer
n, hwever, ec u e herglyph d n
ndc
e
vwel .  ed n recen

ude whch pre en
u w
h pprxm
n  ed n c
n
empr ry l ngu ge ( pecfc lly, Greek) nd Cp
c evdence,
he recn
ruc

ed prnunc
n f her n me  *U
[*ys]. Osrs's name, *Usr als starts wth th
e thrne glyph s.[7] Fr cnvenence, Egyptlgsts artrarly chse t prnn
ce her name as "ee-set". Smetmes they may als say "ee-say" ecase the fnal
"t" n her name was a femnne sffx, whch s knwn t have een drpped n sp
eech drng the last stages f the Egyptan and Greek langages.
Prncpal featres f the clt
Orgns
Mst Egyptan detes were frst wrshpped y very lcal clts, and they retan
ed thse lcal centres f wrshp even as ther pplarty spread, s that mst
majr ctes and twns n Egypt were knwn as the hme f a partclar dety. Th
e rgns f the clt f Iss are ncertan, t t s eleved that she was r
gnally an ndependent and pplar dety n predynastc tmes, prr t 3100 BCE
, at Seennyts n the Nle delta.[3] The frst wrtten references t Iss date
ack t the Ffth dynasty f Iss depcted wth tstretched wngs (wall Egypt.
Based n the asscatn f her name wth the thrne, sme pantng, c. 1360 BCE
) early Egyptlgsts eleved that Iss's rgnal fnctn was that f thrnemther.[ctatn needed] Hwever, mre recent schlarshp sggests that aspects
f that rle came later y asscatn. In many Afrcan tres, the thrne s kn
wn as the mther f the kng, and that cncept fts well wth ether thery, p
ssly gvng nsght nt the thnkng f ancent Egyptans.

Iss
164
Classcal Egyptan perd
Drng the Old Kngdm perd, Iss was represented as the wfe r assstant t
the deceased pharah. Ths she had a fnerary asscatn, her name appearng v
er eghty tmes n the pharah's fneral texts (the Pyramd Texts). Ths assca
tn wth the pharah's wfe s cnsstent wth the rle f Iss as the spse 
f Hrs, the gd asscated wth the pharah as hs prtectr, and then later as
the defcatn f the pharah hmself. Bt n addtn, Iss was als represen
ted as the mther f the "fr sns f Hrs", the fr detes wh prtected th
e canpc jars cntanng the pharah's nternal rgans. Mre specfcally, Iss
was vewed as the prtectr f the lver-jar-dety, Imsety.[8] By the Mddle K
ngdm perd, as the fneral texts egan t e sed y memers f Egyptan sce
ty ther than the ryal famly, the rle f Iss as prtectr als grew, t ncl
de the prtectn f nles and even cmmners.[ctatn needed] By the New Kn
gdm perd, n many places, Iss was mre prmnent than her spse. She was se
en as the mther f the pharah, and was ften depcted reastfeedng the phara
h. It s therzed that ths dsplacement happened thrgh the mergng f clts
frm the vars clt centers as Egyptan relgn ecame mre standardzed.[ct
atn needed] When the clt f Ra rse t prmnence, wth ts clt center at He
lpls, Ra was dentfed wth the smlar dety, Hrs. Bt Hathr had een p
ared wth Ra n sme regns, as the mther f the gd. Snce Iss was pared w
th Hrs, and Hrs was dentfed wth Ra, Iss egan t e merged wth Hathr
as Iss-Hathr. By mergng wth Hathr, Iss ecame the mther f Hrs, as wel
l as hs wfe. Eventally the mther rle dsplaced the rle f spse. Ths, th
e rle f spse t Iss was pen and n the Helpls panthen, Iss ecame th
e wfe f Osrs and the mther f Hrs/Ra. Ths recnclatn f themes led t
 the evltn f the myth f Iss and Osrs.[8]
Temples and presthd
In Egypt, Iss wld have receved the same srt f rtals as ther Egyptan De
tes, ncldng daly fferngs. She was served y th prests and prestesses
thrght the hstry f her clt. By the Grec-Rman era, many f her prests
and prestesses had a reptatn fr wsdm and healng, and were Iss nrsng
Hrs (Lvre) sad t have ther specal pwers, ncldng dream nterpretatn
and the alty t cntrl the weather, whch they dd y radng r nt cm
ng ther har.[ctatn needed] The latter was eleved ecase the Egyptans c
nsdered knts t have magcal pwers. The clt f Iss and Osrs cntned p
ntl the 6th centry CE n the sland f Phlae n Upper Nle. The Thedsan d
ecree (n at 380 CE) t destry all pagan temples was nt enfrced there nt
l the tme f Jstnan. Ths tleratn was de t an ld treaty made etween t
he Blemyes-Nadae and the emperr Dcletan. Every year they vsted Elephant
ne and at certan ntervals tk the mage f Iss p rver t the land f the B
lemyes fr raclar prpses efre retrnng t. Jstnan sent Narses t destr
y the sanctares, wth the prests eng arrested and the dvne mages taken
t Cnstantnple.[9] Phlae was the last f the ancent Egyptan temples t e
clsed.

Iss
165
Icngraphy
Asscatns
"tyet" Knt f Iss n herglyphs
De t the asscatn etween knts and magcal pwer, a syml f Iss was the
tet r tyet (meanng welfare/lfe), als called the Knt f Iss, Bckle f Is
s, r the Bld f Iss, whch s shwn t the rght. In many respects the tyet
resemles an ankh, except that ts arms pnt dwnward, and when sed as sch,
seems t represent the dea f eternal lfe r resrrectn. The meanng f Bl
d f Iss s mre scre, t the tyet ften was sed as a fnerary amlet made
f red wd, stne, r glass, s ths may smply have een a descrptn f the
appearance f the materals sed.[10][11][12] The star Spdet (Srs) s assc
ated wth Iss. The appearance f the star sgnfed the advent f a new year a
nd Iss was lkewse cnsdered the gddess f rerth and rencarnatn, and as
a prtectr f the dead. The Bk f the Dead tlnes a partclar rtal that
wld prtect the dead, enalng travel anywhere n the nderwrld, and mst f
the ttles Iss hlds sgnfy her as the gddess f prtectn f the dead. Pr
aly de t assmlatn wth the gddess Aphrdte (Vens), drng the Rman p
erd, the rse was sed n her wrshp. The demand fr rses thrght the emp
re trned rse prdctn nt an mprtant ndstry.
Depctns
In art, rgnally Iss was pctred as a wman wearng a lng sheath dress and
crwned wth the herglyphc sgn fr a thrne. Smetmes she s depcted as h
ldng a lts, r, as a sycamre tree. One pharah, Thtmse III, s depcted n
hs tm as nrsng frm a sycamre tree that had a reast. After she assmlat
ed many f the rles f Hathr, Iss's headdress s replaced wth that f Hathr
: the hrns f a cw n her head, wth the slar dsk etween them, and ften w
th her rgnal thrne syml atp the slar dsk. Smetmes she als s represe
nted as a cw, r wth a cw's head. She s ften depcted wth her yng chld,
Hrs (the pharah), wth a crwn, and a vltre. Occasnally she s represent
ed as a kte flyng ave the dy f Osrs r wth the dead Osrs she wrks h
er magc t rng hm ack t lfe. Mst ften Iss s seen hldng nly the gen
erc ankh sgn and a smple staff, t n late mages she s seen smetmes wth
tems sally asscated manly wth Hathr, the sacred sstrm rattle and the
fertlty-earng menat necklace. In The Bk f Cmng Frth By Day Iss s dep
cted standng n the prw f the Slar Barqe wth her arms tstretched.[1]
Iss nrsng Hrs, wearng the headdress f Hathr.
Mythlgy

Iss
166
Sster-wfe t Osrs
Drng the Old Kngdm perd, the panthens f ndvdal Egyptan ctes vare
d y regn. Drng the 5th dynasty, Iss entered the panthen f the cty f He
lpls. She was represented as a daghter f Nt and Ge, and sster t Osrs
, Nephthys, and Set. The tw ssters, Iss and Nephthys, ften were depcted n
cffns, wth wngs tstretched, as prtectrs aganst evl. As a fnerary det
y, she was asscated wth Osrs, lrd f the nderwrld, and was cnsdered h
s wfe.
[13] Iss Nrsng Hrs. The Walters Art Msem.
A later myth, when the clt f Osrs ganed mre athrty, tells the stry f
Ans, the gd f the nderwrld. The tale descres hw Nephthys was dened a
chld y Set and dsgsed herself as the mch mre attractve Iss t sedce h
m. The plt scceeded resltng n the rth f Ans. In fear f Set's retr
tn, Nephthys persaded Iss t adpt Ans, s that Set wld nt fnd t an
d kll the chld. The tale descres th why Ans s seen as an nderwrld de
ty (he ecmes the adpted sn f Osrs), and why he cld nt nhert Osrs'
s pstn (as he was nt actally the sn f Osrs t hs rther Set), neatl
y preservng Osrs's pstn as lrd f the nderwrld. It shld e rememere
d, hwever, that ths new myth was nly a later creatn f the Osran clt wh
wanted t depct Set n an evl pstn, as the enemy f Osrs. The mst exte
nsve accnt f the Iss-Osrs stry knwn tday s Pltarch's Greek descrpt
n wrtten n the 1st centry CE, sally knwn nder ts Latn ttle De Isde e
t Osrde.[14]
Rare terractta mage f Iss lamentng the lss f Osrs (eghteenth dynasty)
Mse d Lvre, Pars.
In that versn, Set held a anqet fr Osrs n whch he rght n a eatf
l x and sad that whever cld ft n the x perfectly wld get t keep t.
Set had measred Osrs n hs sleep and made sre that he was the nly ne wh
cld ft the x. Several tred t see whether they ft. Once t was Osrs's
trn t see f he cld ft n the x, Set clsed the ld n hm s that the 
x was nw a cffn fr Osrs. Set flng the x n the Nle s that t wld dr
ft far away. Iss went lkng fr the x s that Osrs cld have a prper 
ral. She fnd the x n a tree n Byls, a cty alng the Phencan cast,
and rght t ack t Egypt, hdng t n a swamp. Bt Set went hntng that n
ght and fnd the x. Enraged, Set chpped Osrs's dy nt frteen peces
and scattered them all ver Egypt t ensre that Iss cld never fnd Osrs ag
an fr a prper ral.[15][16]

Iss Iss and her sster Nephthys went lkng fr these peces, t cld nly
fnd thrteen f the frteen. Fsh had swallwed the last pece, hs phalls, s
 Iss made hm a new ne wth magc, pttng hs dy ack tgether after whch
they cnceved Hrs. The nmer f peces s descred n temple walls vars
ly as frteen and sxteen, and ccasnally frty-tw, ne fr each nme r ds
trct.[16]
167
Mther f Hrs
Yet anther set f late myths detal the adventres f Iss after the rth f O
srs's psthms sn, Hrs. Iss was sad t have gven rth t Hrs at Khe
mms, thght t e lcated n the Nle Delta.[17] Many dangers faced Hrs afte
r rth, and Iss fled wth the newrn t escape the wrath f Set, the mrderer
f her hsand. In ne nstance, Iss heals Hrs frm a lethal scrpn stng;
she als perfrms ther mracles n relatn t the cpp, r the plaqes f H
rs. Iss prtected and rased Hrs ntl he was ld engh t face Set, and s
seqently, ecame the pharah f Egypt.
Magc
It was sad that Iss trcked Ra (.e. Amn-Ra/Atm-Ra) nt tellng her hs "se
cret name," y casng a snake t te hm, fr whch nly Iss had the cre. Kn
wng the secret name f a dety enaled ne t have pwer f the dety. The se
f secret names ecame central n many late Egyptan magc spells. By the late
Egyptan hstrcal perd, after the ccpatns y the Greeks and the Rmans,
Iss ecame the mst mprtant and mst pwerfl dety f the Egyptan panthen
ecase f her magcal sklls. Magc s central t the entre mythlgy f Iss,
argaly mre s than any ther Egyptan dety. Iss had a central rle n Egyp
tan magc spells and rtal, especally thse f prtectn and healng. In man
y spells, she als s cmpletely merged even wth Hrs, where nvcatns f Is
s are sppsed t nvlve Hrs's pwers atmatcally as well. In Egyptan hs
try the mage f a wnded Hrs ecame a standard featre f Iss's healng sp
ells, whch typcally nvked the cratve pwers f the mlk f Iss.[18]
Grec-Rman wrld
Interpretat graeca
Usng the cmparatve methdlgy knwn as nterpretat graeca, the Greek hst
ran Herdts (5th centry BCE) descred Iss y cmparsn wth the Greek gd
dess Demeter, whse mysteres at Eless ffered ntates gdance n the after
lfe and a vsn f rerth. Herdts says that Iss was the nly gddess wrs
hped y all Egyptans alke.[19]
Iss (seated rght) welcmng the Greek herne I as she s rne nt Egypt n
the shlders f the persnfed Nle, as depcted n a Rman wall pantng fr
m Pmpe

Iss
168 After the cnqest f Egypt y Alexander the Great and the Hellenzatn f
the Egyptan cltre ntated y Ptlemy I Ster, Iss ecame knwn as Qeen f
Heaven.[20] Other Medterranean gddesses, sch as Demeter, Astarte, and Aphrd
te, ecame dentfed wth Iss, as was the Araan gddess Al-Ozza r Al-Uzza
(
al zz )
hrugh ml r
y f n me, nce e
ymlgy w
hugh

 reve l
he
l r prmrd l n
ure f
he
hng n med.[21] An l 
er

ue f I  frm

he 3rd cen
ury CE, fund n Ohrd, n
he Repulc f M cedn ,  depc
ed
n
he ver e f
he M cedn n 10 den r  nkn
e,  ued n 1996.[22]
Terr c

fgure f I  -Aphrd
e frm P
lem c Egyp

I  n
he Rm n Empre
T c
u wr
e
h
f
er
he n
n f Julu C e r,
emple n hnur
f I  h d een decreed, u
w u pended y Augu
u p r
f h prgr m

 re
re
r d
n l Rm n relgn. The emperr C lgul , hwever, w pen

 E
ern relgn , nd
he N vgum I d , prce n n hnr f I  , w
e
l hed n Rme durng h regn.[23] Accrdng

he Jew h h
r n J
ephu , C lgul dnned fem le g r nd
k p r
n
he my
ere he n

u
ed.
Ve p  n, lng w
h T
u , pr c
 ed ncu
n n
he Rm n I eum. Dm
 n
ul
n
her I eum lng w
h Ser peum. In relef n
he Arch f Tr j n,
h
e emperr ppe r efre I  nd Hru , pre en
ng
hem w
h v
ve fferng 
f wne.[23] H dr n decr
ed h vll
Tur w
h I  c cene . G leru reg
rded I  h pr
ec
r.[24] The relgn f I 
hu pre d
hrughu

he
Rm n Empre durng
he frm
ve cen
ure f Chr
 n
y. W ll p n
ng nd
jec
reve l her perv ve pre ence
Pmpe, pre erved y
he erup
n f
Ve uvu n 79 CE. In Rme,
emple were ul
nd el k erec
ed n her hnu
r. In Greece,
he cul
f I  w n
rduced

r d
n l cen
re f wr hp
n Del , Delph, Eleu  nd A
hen , well n nr
hern Greece. H rur f
I  were
 e fund n
he Ar  n Se nd
he l ck Se . In crp
n hw f
llwer n G ul, Sp n, P nnn , Germ ny, Ar  , A  Mnr, Pr
ug l nd m n
y hrne even n r
n.[25] T c
u n
erpre
gdde mng
he Germ nc S
ue frm f I  wh e yml ( gnum) w hp.[26] ruce Lncln reg r
d
he den

y f
h Germ nc gdde "elu ve."[27]
Rm n I  hldng 
rum nd nche nd we rng g rmen

ed w
h ch r
c
er
c kn
, frm
he
me f H dr n (117138 CE)
The Greek n
qu r n Plu
rch wr
e
re
 e n I  nd O r ,[28] m jr
urce fr Imper l
helgy cncernng I  .[14] Plu
rch de cre I  "
gdde excep
n lly w e nd lver f w dm,
 whm, her n me
le

eem
 ndc
e, knwledge nd under
ndng re n
he hghe
degree pprpr

e... ." The

ue f A
hen n S  w den
fed w
h I  , nd ccrdng

 Plu
rch w n cred "I m ll
h
h een, nd  , nd h ll e, nd my
re n mr
l h ye
uncvered."[29] A
S  , hwever,
he p
rn gdde f

he ncen
cul
w Ne
h, m ny f wh e
r 
h d egun
 e

ru
ed
 I
 durng
he Greek ccup
n. The Rm n wr
er Apuleu recrded pec
f
h
e cul
f I  n
he 2nd cen
ury CE, ncludng
he N vgum I d , n h nve
l The Glden A . The pr
gn
Lucu pr y
 I  Regn C el, "Queen 
f He ven":

I  Yu ee me here, Lucu , n n wer


 yur pr yer. I m n
ure,
he unver
l M
her, m
re f ll
he elemen
, prmrd l chld f
me, veregn f
ll
hng pr
u l, queen f
he de d, queen f
he ce n, queen l  f
he 
mmr
l ,
he ngle m nfe

n f ll gd nd gdde e
h
re, my nd g
vern
he hnng hegh
f He ven ,
he whle me e reeze . Thugh I m wr
hpped n m ny pec
, knwn y cun
le n me ...
he Egyp
 n wh excel n
ncen
le rnng nd wr hp c ll me y my
rue n me...Queen I  .[30] Accrdn
g
 Apuleu ,
he e 
her n me nclude m nfe

n f
he gdde Cere ,
"
he rgn l nur
urng p ren
"; He venly Venu (Venu C ele
 );
he " 
er
f Pheu ",
h
 , D n r Ar
em he  wr hpped
Ephe u ; r Pr e
rpn (Greek Per ephne)
he
rple gdde f
he underwrld.[31] Frm
he m
ddle Imper l perd,
he

le C ele
 , "He venly" r "Cele
 l", 

ch
ed
 ever l gdde e emdyng pec
f ngle, upreme He venly Gdde .
The De C ele
 w den
fed w
h
he cn
ell
n Vrg (
he Vrgn), wh
hld
he dvne  l nce f ju
ce.
169
Run f
he Temple f I  n Del
Grec-Rm n
emple
On
he Greek  l nd f Del Drc Temple f I  w ul
n hgh ver-l
kng hll

he egnnng f
he Rm n perd
 vener
e
he f ml r
rn
y
f I  ,
he Alex ndr n Ser p nd H rpcr
e . The cre
n f
h
emple 
gnfc n
Del  p r
cul rly knwn
he r
hpl ce f
he Greek gd
Ar
em nd Apll wh h d
emple f
her wn n
he  l nd lng efre
he
e
mple
 I  w ul
. In
he Rm n Empre, well-pre erved ex mple w d cv
ered n Pmpe.The nly nc
u ry f I  (f num I d ) den
fed w
h cer

n
y n Rm n r
n  lc
ed n Lndnum (pre en
-d y Lndn).[32]
L
e n
qu
y
The cul
f I  w p r
f
he yncre
c
endence f relgn n
he Grec-R
m n wrld f l
e n
qu
y. The n me I dr nd I dr n Greek me n "gf

f I  " ( ml r
 "Thedr ", "Gd gf
"). The cred m ge f I  w
h

he Hru Chld n Rme f


en ec me mdel fr
he Chr
 n M dnn w
h
he
Chld Je u nd m ny f
he ep
he
f
he Egyp
 n M
her f Gd c me
 e u
ed fr
he Chr
 n M
her f Gd.[33]
N
e
[1] R.E W

, I  n
he Ancen
Wrld, p. 7, 1997, ISN 978-0-8018-5642-6 [3]
Vernc In , Egyp
 n My
hlgy, P ul H mlyn, 1968, ISN 978-0-600-02365-4 [4]
Henry Ch dwck, The Church n Ancen
Sce
y: Frm G llee
 Gregry
he Gre

, Oxfrd Unver 
y Pre , 2003, p. 526, ISN 978-0-19-926577-0 I  n l ck
nd wh
e m rle (Rm n, 2nd cen
ury CE)
[5] Lver nce, Rwen (2007). Chr
 n Ar
(h

p:/ / k . ggle. cm/ k ?


d=FgQ2
HIgXZEC& pg=PA117#v=nep ge& q& f=f l e). C mrdge, MA: H rv rd Unver

y Pre . p. 117. ISN 978-0-674-02479-3 [7] The n me "I  " urvved n Cp
c
d lec
se r s, as well as n cmpnd names sch as "Har-s-Ese", whch me
ans "Hrs, sn f Iss". [8] Jyce Tyldesley (2011), The Pengn Bk f Myths
and Legends f Ancent Egypt.

Iss
[9] Jhn Bagnell Bry, "Hstry f the Later Rman Empre frm the Death f The
dss I. t the Death f Jstnan", The Sppressn f Pagansm, ch22, p. 371,
Crer Dver Plcatns, 1958, ISBN 0-486-20399-9 [10] http:/ / www. metmse
m. rg/ tah/ wrks-f-art/ 00. 4. 39 [11] http:/ / dctnary. reference. cm/
rwse/ tyet [12] http:/ / www. mmages. cm/ prevew. asp?mage=00033225001 [
14] D.S. Rchter, "Pltarch On Iss and Osrs: Text, Clt, and Cltral Apprpr
atn", Transactns f the Amercan Phllgcal Asscatn (2001) 131:191216
[15] Mercantante, Anthny S. Wh's What n Egyptan Mythlgy MetrBks (NY); 2
nd edtn (March 2002) ISBN 978-1-58663-611-1 p.114 [16] Pnch, Geraldne Hand
k f Egyptan Mythlgy ABC-CLIO Ltd; 31 Ag 2002 ISBN 978-1-57607-242-4 p. 79
(http:/ / ks. ggle. c. k/ ks?d=N-mTqRTrmgC& pg=PA79& dq=ss+ frt
een+ peces+ pens& nm=100& as_rr=3& e=6AJOSpSJIPcygS6nvXRAg& clent=frefx
-a) [17] Grffths, J. Gwyn. (2002). "Iss". In D. B. Redfrd (Ed.), The ancent
gds speak: A gde t Egyptan relgn. p. 169. New Yrk: Oxfrd Unversty P
ress. [18] Slverman, Ancent Egypt, 135 [19] Herdts, Hstres. 2.42 and 156
. [20] R.E Wtt, Iss n the Ancent Wrld, 1997, ISBN 0-8018-5642-6 [21] Ths 
s partclarly characterstc f Stc phlsphy. See n general Davde Del Bel
l, Frgtten Paths: Etymlgy and the Allegrcal Mndset (Cathlc Unversty
f Amerca Press, 2007). [22] Natnal Bank f the Replc f Macedna (http:/
/ www. nrm. gv. mk). Macednan crrency. Bankntes n crclatn: 10 Denars
(http:/ / www. nrm. gv. mk/ defalt-en. asp?ItemID=A82826138490824E874DC0F6B8
BCE3DE). Retreved n 30 March 2009. [23] R.E Wtt, Iss n the Ancent Wrld, C
h17: "The Gddess Darlng f the Rman Emperrs", p. 235, 1997, ISBN 0-8018-5642
-6 [24] R.E Wtt, Iss n the Ancent Wrld, p.51, 1997, ISBN 0-8018-5642-6 [25]
R.E Wtt, Iss n the Ancent Wrld (http:/ / ks. ggle. e/ ks?d=WpOTn
GH6X9wC& pg=PA7& lpg=PA7& dq=ss+ temples+ lst& srce=we& ts=M996VmWah& s
g=4FfzV78P7y-w9PepvsRysB6BM& hl=en#PPA44,M1), 1997, ISBN 0-8018-5642-6 [26] Ta
cts, Germana 9. [27] Brce Lncln, Gds and Demns, Prests and Schlars: Cr
tcal Explratns n the Hstry f Relgns (Unversty f Chcag Press, 20
12), p. 21. [28] "Pltarch: Iss and Osrs" (http:/ / penelpe. chcag. ed/
Thayer/ E/ Rman/ Texts/ Pltarch/ Mrala/ Iss_and_Osrs*/ hme. html). Le
Classcal Lrary. [29] Pltarch, translated y Frank Cle Batt, Iss and Os
rs (http:/ / penelpe. chcag. ed/ Thayer/ E/ Rman/ Texts/ Pltarch/ Mral
a/ Iss_and_Osrs*/ A. html), 1936, vl. 5 Le Classcal Lrary [30] Aples
, Metamrphses 11.2. [31] Stephen Benk, The Vrgn Gddess: Stdes n the Pag
an and Chrstan rts f Marlgy (Brll, 2004), pp. 112114: see als pp. 31, 5
1. [32] Martn Heng, Relgn n Rman Brtan (Taylr & Francs, 1984, 2005),
p. 100. [33] Natnal Gegraphc Vde Mysteres f the Ble: Rvals f Jess (
http:/ / vde. natnalgegraphc. cm/ vde/ player/ natnal-gegraphc-chan
nel/ shws/ mysteres-f-the-le/ ngc-rvals-f-jess. html). See 28 mn 50s
170
References
Prmary srces
Ovd, Metamrphses .588747 Eses, Chrncn 32.913, 40.79, 43.1216
Secndary srces
Ian Shaw (2000) The Oxfrd Hstry f Ancent Egypt Rsale Davd (1998) Hand
k t Lfe n Ancent Egypt Lews Spences (1990) Ancent Egyptan Myths and Legen
ds Pltarch, (1936) De Isde et Osrde, edted y Frank C. Batt Rchard H. W
lknsn (2003) The Cmplete Gds and Gddesses f Ancent Egypt Ian Shaw & Pal
T. Nchlsn (1995) The Brtsh Msem Dctnary f Ancent Egypt
Kckelmann, Hlger, Prasng the gddess: a cmparatve and anntated re-edtn
f sx demtc hymns and prases addressed t Iss (Berln; New Yrk: Walter de
Gryter, 2008). M. Isdra Frrest, Iss Magc (Prtland, Oregn: Aegns Hs
e, 2013)

Iss
171
External lnks
Brtannca Onlne Encyclpeda (http://www.rtannca.cm/EBchecked/tpc/295449
/Iss) Dctnary f Greek and Rman graphy and mythlgy (http://www.perses
.tfts.ed/hpper/ text?dc=Perses:text:1999.04.0104:entry=ss--1) The Gld
en Bgh y James Frazer The Laments f Iss and Nephthys
Int
Int was a mnr gddess n ancent Egyptan relgn, whse name means "She f
Armant". She s the cnsrt f Menth.[1]
References
[1] Wlknsn, Rchard H. (2003). The Cmplete Gds and Gddesses f Ancent Egy
pt. Thames & Hdsn. p. 150
Isaaset
Isaset (/jsst/; "the great one who comes forth") or Iusas /ajuss/ is the name of a
mal goddess in Ancient Egyptian religion. She also is described as "the grandmot
her of all of the deities". This allusion is without any reference to a grandfat
her, so there might have been a very early, but now lost, myth with parthenogene
sis as the means of the birth of the deities from the region where her cult aros
e near the delta of the Nile. Many alternative spellings of her name include Ius
aaset, Juesaes, Ausaas, and Jusas, as well as in Greek Saosis / seo ss/.
Art
In Ancient Egyptian art, Iusaaset appears as a woman wearing the horned vulture
crown with the uraeus and the solar disk in it, and she carries an ankh in one h
and and a scepter in the other. The Egyptian vulture, most sacred to the ancient
Egyptians and symbolizing Nekhbet, one of the Two Ladies protecting Egypt, was
thought to reproduce though parthenogenesis also. This association might be the
basis for the similar view about the motherhood of Iusaaset. The vultures also w
ere considered extremely good mothers. The horns, the uraeus, and the solar disk
make a religious connection to Bat and Hathor.

Iusaaset
174 Because of Iusaasets lin to the vulture and uraeus, it can be assumed that s
he lins together both upper and lower Egypt, much lie the goddess Mut who she
is also associated with. Although her origins are unclear, Iusaaset seems to be
attested quite early in the Egyptian pantheon, being associated with creation an
d the creation of the deities. Many myths relate that she was seen as the mother
of the first deities and the grandmother of the following deities, having watch
ed over the birth of the ones that were her grandchildren. She remains as a prim
ary deity in the pantheon throughout all eras of the culture, even through the P
ersian, Hysos, Gree, and Roman occupations, and regardless of changes in the s
pecific myths.
Association with acacia tree
Iusaaset was associated with the acacia tree,[1] considered the tree of life, an
d thus with the oldest one nown being situated just north of Heliopolis and, th
ereby, which became identified as the birthplace of the deities. Iusaaset was sa
id to own this tree. The acacia tree was renowned for its strength, hardiness, m
edical properties, and edibility. Many useful applications gave it a central imp
ortance in the culture.
The grandmother of the deities, Iusaaset, shown with her horned Egyptian vulture
crown with the uraeus and the solar dis in it
Changes in myths
One belief held that Iusaaset and Atum were the parents of Shu and Tefnut, the f
irst deities. In this myth she often was described as his shadow, sister, or wif
e. Later other goddesses also became associated with Atum and one variant even r
elates that he gave birth to the deities, although that variant seems to have be
en rejected by many cultural and religious centers. During the Old Kingdom the E
gyptians believed that Atum lifted the dead pharaohs soul from the tomb to the
starry heavens.[2] By the time of the New Kingdom, the Atum myth had merged in t
he Egyptian pantheon with that of Ra, who later was described as a creator and a
solar deity as his cult arose. Their two identities were joined into Atum-Ra. A
fter they were combined, Ra was seen as the whole sun and Atum came to be seen a
s the sun when it sets in the west (depicted as an old man leaning on his staff)
, while Khepri was seen as the sun when it was rising. At these later times Iusa
aset sometimes is described as the eye of Ra.
Sources
Vandier, Jacques. 1964-66. "Iousas et (Hathor)-Nbet-Htpet." Revue dgyptologie 16-18.
[1] Iusas (http:/ / henadology. wordpress. com/ theology/ netjeru/ iusaas/ ) [2]
Information about Atem (http:/ / www. philae. nu/ ahet/ NetjeruA. html#Atum)

Kebechet
175
Kebechet
Kebechet
Goddess of embalming liquid Name in hieroglyphs Symbol Consort Parents Ostrich o
r snae None Anubis [1]
In Egyptian mythology, Kebechet (spelt in hieroglyphs as Qeb-Hwt, and also trans
literated as Khebhut, Kebehut, Qbhout, and Kabehchet) is a goddess, a deification
of embalming liquid. Her name means cooling water.[2]
Myths
Kebechet is a daughter of Anubis.[3] Kebechet was thought to give water to the s
pirits of the dead while they waited for the mummification process to be complet
e. She was probably related to mummification where she would fortify the body ag
ainst corruption, so it would stay fresh for reanimation by the deceaseds a. K
ebechet was depicted as a snae.
Anubis, father of Kebechet
References
[1] Rosa Thode, El panten egipcio, Qebehut en egiptologia.org (http:/ / www. egip
tologia. org/ mitologia/ panteon/ qebehut. htm) [2] Caroline Seawright: Anubis,
God of Embalming and Guide and Friend of the Dead... (http:/ / www. theeep. org
/ ~unoichi/ unoichi/ themestream/ anubis. html) [3] Richard H. Wilinson: Die
Welt der Gtter im Alten gypten - Glaube, Macht, Mythologie -. S. 223.

Khensit
176
Khensit
In Egyptian mythology, Chensit (also spelled Khensit), which means placenta, was
the patron goddess of the twentieth nome of Lower Egypt. Chensit was the wife o
f Sopdu and the daughter of Ra, and was depicted as an uraeus.
Khenti-Amentiu
Khenti-Amentiu, also Khentiamentiu, Khenti-Amenti, Kenti-Amentiu and many other
spellings, is an ancient Egyptian deity whose name was also used as a title for
Osiris and Anubis. The name means Foremost of the Westerners or Chief or the
Westerners, where Westerners refers to the dead.[1] Khenti-Amentiu was depict
ed as a jacal-headed deity at Abydos in Upper Egypt, who stood guard over the c
ity of the dead. Khenti-Amentiu is attested early at Abydos, perhaps even earlie
r than the unification of Egypt at the start of the Early Dynastic period. The n
ame appears on the necropolis seals for the first dynasty pharaohs Den and Qaa,
and a temple dating to predynastic times was founded in Abydos for this god.[2]
In later times, Khenti-amentius name was taen up as a title for Osiris and An
ubis, who were also funerary gods. Osiris also became the patron god of Abydos,
taing Khenti-amentius place.[1] However, the Egyptologist John D. Ray suggests
that Khenti-amentiu is the same deity as Osiris, who was simply nown by a diff
erent name before the middle of the Old Kingdom, when Osiris name first appears
.[3]
References
[1] Wilinson, Richard H. The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt. pp.
119, 187. Thames & Hudson. 2003. ISBN 0-500-05120-8 [2] Wilinson, Toby A. H. Ea
rly Dynastic Egypt. p. 249. Routledge, 1999. ISBN 0-203-20421-2 [3] Ray, John D.
Reflections of Osiris: Lives from Ancient Egypt. p. 154. Oxford University Pres
s. 2002. ISBN 978-0195158717

Khenti-heti
177
Khenti-heti
In Egyptian mythology, Khenti-heti (also spelt Chenti-cheti), was a crocodile-g
od, though he was later represented as a falcon-god. His name means "foremost re
treater".

Khepri
178
Khepri
Khepri
Khepri is often represented as a scarab, or a scarab-headed man, holding aloft t
he morning sun. God of rebirth and the sunrise Name in hieroglyphs Major cult ce
nter Symbol Siblings Heliopolis scarab beetle, blue lotus Atum, Ra
Khepri in hieroglyphs
Khepri (also spelled Khepera, Kheper, Khepra, Chepri) is a god in ancient Egypti
an religion. Khepri was connected with the scarab beetle (heprer), because the
scarab rolls balls of dung across the ground, an act that the Egyptians saw as a
symbol of the forces that move the sun across the sy. Khepri was thus a solar
deity. Young dung beetles, having been laid as eggs within the dung ball, emerge
from it fully formed. Therefore, Khepri also represented creation and rebirth,
and he was specifically connected with the rising sun and the mythical creation
of the world. The Egyptian connected his name with the Egyptian language verb h
eper, meaning "develop" or "come into being".[1] There was no cult devoted to Kh
epri, and he was largely subordinate to the greater sun god Ra. Often, Khepri an
d another solar deity, Atum, were seen as aspects of Ra: Khepri was the morning
sun, Ra was the midday sun, and Atum was the sun in the evening.[1] Khepri was p
rincipally depicted as a scarab beetle, though in some tomb paintings and funera
ry papyri he is represented as a human male with a scarab as a head. He is also
depicted as a scarab in a solar barque held aloft by Nun. The scarab amulets tha
t the Egyptians used as jewelry and as seals represent Khepri.[2]

Khepri
179
In Fiction
The Khepri are featured prominently as a race in China Mivilles Bas Lag novels
.
References
[1] Wilinson, Richard H. (2003). The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egy
pt. Thames & Hudson. pp. 230233 [2] Hart, George (2005). The Routledge Dictionary
of Egyptian Gods and Goddesses. Routledge. pp. 8485

Khnum
180
Khnum
Khnum
the Egyptian god Khnum was usually depicted with the head of a ram. God of creat
ion and the waters Name in hieroglyphs Major cult center Symbol Consort Elephant
ine the potters wheel Satis or Neith
Khnum (/num/; also spelled Khnemu) was one of the earliest Egyptian deities, origi
nally the god of the source of the Nile River. Since the annual flooding of the
Nile brought with it silt and clay, and its water brought life to its surroundin
gs, he was thought to be the creator of the bodies of human children, which he m
ade at a potter's wheel, from clay, and placed in their mothers' wombs. He later
was described as having moulded the other deities, and he had the titles Divine
Potter and Lord of created things from himself.
General information
Khnum is the third aspect of Ra. He is the god of rebirth, creation and the even
ing sun, although this is usually the function of Atum. The worship of Khnum cen
tred on two principal riverside sites, Elephantine Island and Esna, which were r
egarded as sacred sites. At Elephantine, he was worshipped alongside Anuket and
Satis as the guardian of the source of the Nile River. His significance led to e
arly theophoric names of him, for children, such as Khnum-Khufwy Khnum is my Pro
tector, the full name of Khufu, builder of the Great Pyramid.[1] Khnum has also
been related to the deity Min.[2]

Khnum
181
Temple at Elephantine
The temple at Elephantine was dedicated to Khnum, his consort Satis and their da
ughter Anukis. The temple dates back to at least the Middle Kingdom. By the 11th
dynasty Khnum, Satis and Anukis are all attested at Elephantine. During the New
Kingdom finds from the time of Ramesses II show Khnum was still worshipped ther
e.[3] Opposite Elephantine, on the east bank at Aswan, Khnum, Satis and Anukis a
re shown on a chapel wall dating to the Ptolemaic time.[3]
Temple at Esna
In Esna (Latopolis), known as Iunyt or Ta-senet to the Ancient Egyptians, a temp
le was dedicated to Khnum, Neith and Heka, and other deities.[3] The temple date
s to the Ptolemaic period. Khnum is sometimes depicted as crocodile headed god.
Nebt-uu and Menhit are Khnum's principal consorts and Heka is his eldest son and
successor. Both Khnum and Neith are referred to as creator deities in the texts
at Esna. Khnum is sometimes referred to as the "father of the fathers" and Neit
h as the "mother of the mothers". They later become the parents of Re, who is al
so referred to as Khnum-Re.[4]
Other
The Beit el-Wali temple of Ramesses II contained statues of Khnum, Satis and Anu
kis, along with statues of Isis and Horus.[3] In other locations, such as Her-we
r (Tuna el-Gebel perhaps), as the moulder and creator of the human body, he was
sometimes regarded as the consort of Heket, or of Meskhenet, whose responsibilit
y was breathing life into children at the moment of birth, as the Ka[citation ne
eded]
Artistic conventions
In art, he was usually depicted as a ram-headed man at a potter's wheel, with re
cently created children's bodies standing on the wheel, although he also appeare
d in his earlier guise as a water-god, holding a jar from which flowed a stream
of water. However, he occasionally appeared in a compound image, depicting the e
lements, in which he, representing water, was shown as one of four heads of a ma
n, with the others being, Geb representing earth, Shu representing the air, and Os
iris representing death.
Khnum in popular culture
As with the other Egyptian Gods, Khnum has appeared at least once in the video g
ame series Serious Sam. In the game series' mythology, the ram-headed God was a
member of a race called Khnum. They appear as bosses throughout the most recent
additions of the series, and due to their durability and ability to cast fire ma
gic, they are perceived as immortal god-like entities. Khnum was the name of one
of the special abilities (stands) in Jojo's Bizarre Adventures Part III: Stardu
st Crusaders. Character Oingo used this ability to change his appearance, height
, weight, and scent at will to gain advantage over enemies. Along with Khnum the
themes of eight other Egyptian Gods were used as abilities in the manga's chapt
ers concerning Egypt.

Khnum
182
References
[1] Shaw, Ian. The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt. Oxford University Press. 200
0. ISBN 0-19-280458-8 [3] Wilkinson, Richard H., The Complete Temples of Ancient
Egypt, Thames and Hudson, 2000, ISBN 0-500-05100-3 [4] Kathryn Bard, Encycloped
ia of the Archaeology of Ancient Egypt, Psychology Press, 1999
Khonsu
Khonsu
Khonsu in human form God of youth and the moon Name in hieroglyphs Major cult ce
nter Symbol Parents Thebes the moon disk, the sidelock Amun and Mut
Khonsu, the ancient Egyptian moon-god, was depicted either as a falcon wearing t
he moon-disk on his head (left) or as the child of Amun and Mut.
Khonsu (alternately Chonsu, Khensu, Khons, Chons or Khonshu) is an Ancient Egypt
ian god whose main role was associated with the moon. His name means "traveller"
and this may relate to the nightly travel of the moon across the sky. Along wit
h Thoth he marked the passage of time. Khonsu was instrumental in the creation o
f new life in all living creatures. At Thebes he formed part of a family triad w
ith Mut as his mother and Amun his father. At Kom Ombo he was worshipped as son
of Sobek and Hathor.[1]

Khonsu
183
Mythology
His name reflects the fact that the Moon (referred to as Iah in Egyptian) travel
s across the night sky, for it means traveller, and also had the titles Embracer
, Pathfinder, and Defender, as he was thought to watch overnight travelers. As t
he god of light in the night, Khonsu was invoked to protect against wild animals
, increase male virility, and to aid with healing. It was said that when Khonsu
caused the crescent moon to shine, women conceived, cattle became fertile, and a
ll nostrils and every throat was filled with fresh air. Khonsu can also be under
stood to mean king's placenta, and consequently in early times, he was considere
d to slay the king's (i.e. the pharaoh's) enemies, and extract their innards for
the king's use, metaphorically creating something resembling a placenta for the
king. This bloodthirsty aspect leads him to be referred to, in such as the Pyra
mid texts, as the (one who) lives on hearts. He also became associated with more
literal placentas, becoming seen as a deification of the royal placenta, and so
a god involved with childbirth.
Attributes
Khonsu is typically depicted as a mummy with the symbol of childhood, a sidelock
of hair, as well as the menat necklace with crook and flail. He has close links
to other divine children such as Horus and Shu. He is sometimes shown wearing a
falcon's head like Horus, with whom he is associated as a protector and healer,
adorned with the sun disk and crescent moon.[1] He is mentioned in the Pyramid
Texts and Coffin Texts, in which he is depicted in a fierce aspect, but he does
not rise to prominence until the New Kingdom, when he is described as the "Great
est God of the Great Gods". Most of the construction of the temple complex at Ka
rnak was centered on Khonsu during the Ramesside Period.[1] His temple at Karnak
is in a relatively good state of preservation, and on one of the walls is depic
ted a cosmogeny in which Khonsu is described as the great snake who fertilizes t
he Cosmic Egg in the creation of the world.[2] Khonsu's reputation as a healer s
pread outside Egypt; a stele records how a princess of Bekhten was instantly cur
ed of an illness upon the arrival of an image of Khonsu.[3] King Ptolemy IV, aft
er he was cured of an illness, called himself "Beloved of Khonsu Who Protects Hi
s Majesty and Drives Away Evil Spirits". Locations of Khonsu's cult were Memphis
, Hibis and Edfu.[1]
Evolution
Khonsu of Thebes The "Maker" of men's destinies Chonsu-pa-ri-sekher-em-"Uas-t" in
hieroglyphs

Khonsu
184
Khonsu gradually replaced the war-god Monthu as the son of Mut in Theban thought
during the Middle Kingdom, because the pool at the temple of Mut was in the sha
pe of a crescent moon. The father who had adopted Khonsu was thought to be Amun,
who had already been changed into a more significant god by the rise of Thebes,
and had his wife changed to Mut. As these two were both considered extremely be
nign deities, Menthu gradually lost his more aggressive aspects. In art, Khonsu
was depicted as a man with the head of a hawk, wearing the crescent of the new m
oon Pylon of the Temple of Khonsu at Karnak subtending the disc of the full moon
. His head was shaven except for the side-lock worn by Egyptian children, signif
ying his role as Khonsu the Child. Occasionally he was depicted as a youth holdi
ng the flail of the pharaoh, wearing a menat necklace. He was sometimes pictured
on the back of a goose, ram, or two crocodiles. His sacred animal was the baboo
n, considered a lunar animal by the ancient Egyptians.
Notes
[1] "The Oxford Guide: Essential Guide to Egyptian Mythology", Edited by Donald
B. Redford, p186-187, Berkley, 2003, ISBN 0-425-19096-X [2] "Handbook of Egyptia
n Mythology", Geraldine Pinch, p156, ABC-CLIO, 2002, ISBN 1-57607-242-8 [3] This
incident is mentioned in the opening of chapter one of Bolesaw Prus' 1895 histor
ical novel Pharaoh.
External links
Media related to Khonsu at Wikimedia Commons

Kothar-wa-Khasis
185
Kothar-wa-Khasis
Deities of the ancient Near East
Religions of the ancient Near East

Kothar-wa-Khasis (Hebrew:
) is a Canaanite god whose name means "Skillful-and-Wis
roit-and-Perceptive" or "Deft-and-Clever". Another of his names means "Deft-with
-both-hands". Kothar is smith, craftsman, engineer, architect, and inventor. He
is also soothsayer and magician, creating sacred words and spells, in part becau
se there is an association in many cultures of metalworking deities with magic.
The god-name Ka-sha-lu in texts from Ebla suggests that he was known in Syria as
early as the late third millennium. Kothar aids Baal in his battles, as recount
ed in the Myth of Baal, by creating and naming two magic weapons with which Baal
defeats Yam. Kothar also creates beautiful furniture adorned with silver and gol
d as gifts for Athirat. And he builds Baal's palace of silver, gold, lapis lazuli
, and fragrant cedar wood. One of his significant actions is as the opener of th
e window through which Baal's rains can come and go to fertilize the earth and pr
ovide for the continuance of life. Kothar's abode is Egypt, written in Ugaritic
as HKPT - read perhaps as "hikaptah" - derived from the Egyptian for "the house
of the ka of Ptah" used for Memphis and paralleled in a poem with KPTR - represe
nting Caphtor. Memphis is the site of the temple of Ptah, the Egyptian god respo
nsible for crafts, whose name means "the Opener". In his book on the Myth of Baa
l, Mark Smith notes that there is a possible pun involved in Kothar's epithet "T
he Opener". According to the Phoenician mythology related by Mochos of Sidon, as
cited in Damascius's De principiis (Attridge and Oden 1981:102-03), Chusor, Kot
har's name in Phoenician Greek, was the first "opener." Assuming the West Semiti
c root *pth, "to open," Albright argues that this title represents word-play on
the name of the Egyptian god Ptah. Smith further explains Kothar's double abodes
as reflexes of metal or craft trade both from Egypt and from the Mediterranean
Sea to Ugarit, as Kothar is imputed to be the divine patron of these skills. Kot
har had a minor role in ancient Egyptian religion, as the mythological builder o
f chapels for Egypt's more important deities.
References
Gibson, J. C. L., originally edited by G. R. Driver. Canaanite Myths and Legends
. Edinburgh: T. and T. Clark, Ltd., 1956, 1977. Meeks, Dimitri, and Christine Fa
vard-Meeks. Daily Life of the Egyptian Gods. Translated by G. M. Goshgarian. Cor
nell University Press. 1996. Smith, Mark S. The Ugaritic Baal Cycle. Volume 1: I
ntroduction with Text, Translation & Commentary of KTU 1.11.2. Supplements to Vet
us Testamentum, Volume LV. Leiden, The Netherlands: E. J. Brill, 1994.

Kuk
186
Kuk
Kuk (also spelled as Kek and Keku) is the deification of the primordial concept
of darkness in Egyptian mythology. In the Ogdoad cosmogony, his name meant darkn
ess. As a concept, Kuk was viewed as androgynous, his female form being known as
Kauket (also spelled as Keket), which is simply the female form of the word Kuk
.[1] Like all four dualistic concepts in the Ogdoad, Kuk's male form was depicte
d as a frog, or as a frog-headed man, and the female form as a snake, or a snake
-headed woman. As a symbol of darkness, Kuk also represented obscurity and the u
nknown, and thus chaos.[2] Also, Kuk was seen as that which occurred before ligh
t, thus was known as the bringer-in of light.
References

Maahes
187
Maahes
Maahes
Maahes the God of War Major cult center Taremu & Per-Bast Symbol Parents the lio
n Ptah & Bastet
Maahes in hieroglyphs
[1]
Maahes (also spelled Mihos, Miysis, Mios, Maihes, and Mahes) was an ancient Egyp
tian lion-headed god of war,[2] whose name means "he who is true beside her". He
was seen as the son of the feline goddess (Bast in Lower Egypt or Sekhmet in Up
per Egypt) whose nature he shared. Maahes was a deity associated with war and we
ather, as well as that of knives, lotuses, and devouring captives. His cult was
centred in Taremu and Per-Bast.
Origin
The first recorded reference to Maahes is from the New Kingdom. Some Egyptologis
ts have suggested that Maahes was of foreign origin; [3] indeed there is some ev
idence that he may have been identical with the lion-god Apedemak worshipped in
Nubia and Egypt's Western Desert. As a lion-god and patron, he was also consider
ed the son of Ra and of Bast,[4] the feline war goddess and patron of Lower Egyp
t as well as Sekhmet, the lioness war goddess and patron of Upper Egypt. Since h
is cult was centred in Per-Bast (Bubastis in Greek) or in Taremu (Leontopolis in
Greek), he was more known as the son of Bast. As he became a tutelary deity of
Egypt, his father was said to be the chief male deity at the time - either Ptah,
or Ra who had by this time already merged with Atum into Atum-Ra. In his role o
f son of Ra, Maahes fought the serpent Apep during Ra's nightly voyage. Consider
ed to have powerful attributes, feline deities were associated with the pharaohs
, and became patrons of Egypt. The male lion hieroglyphic was used in words such
as "prince", "mashead", "strength", and "power".
Name
The name of Maahes begins with the hieroglyphs for the male lion, although in is
olation it also means (one who can) see in front. However, the first glyph also
is part of the glyph for Ma'at, meaning truth and order and so it came to be tha
t Maahes was considered to be the devourer of the guilty and protector of the in
nocent. Some of the titles of Maahes were Lord of Slaughter,[5] Wielder of the K
nife, and The Scarlet Lord.
Depictions
Maahes was pictured as a man with the head of a male lion, occasionally holding
a knife and wearing the double crown of Egypt, or the atef crown. [6] Sometimes
he was identified with Nefertem[7] and was shown with a bouquet of lotuses near
him, but he also was depicted as a lion devouring a captive.

Maahes
188
Sacred animals
Tame lions were kept in a temple dedicated to Maahes in Taremu, where Bast/Sekhm
et were worshipped, his temple was adjacent to that of Bast. [8] The ancient Gre
ek historian Aelian wrote: "In Egypt, they worship lions, and there is a city ca
lled after them. (...) The lions have temples and numerous spaces in which to ro
am; the flesh of oxen is supplied to them daily (...) and the lions eat to the a
ccompaniment of song in the Egyptian language", thus the Greek name of the city
Leontopolis was derived.
References
Manfred Lurker, Dictionary of Gods and Goddesses, Devils and Demons, Routledge 1
987, ISBN 0-7102-0877-4 Alan W. Shorter, (1937) The Egyptian Gods: A Handbook, R
outledge 1978, ISBN 0-7100-0037-5
Footnotes
[1] Erman, Adolf & Grapow, Hermann: Wrterbuch der Aegyptischen Sprache., Im Auftr
age der Deutschen Akademien, Berlin: Akademie Verlag (1971) , II., p.12, II., p.
12 [2] Lurker, op.cit., p.215 [3] Walter Yust ed., Encyclopdia Britannica: A New
Survey of Universal Knowledge, 1956, p.54 [4] Shorter, op.cit,, p.134 [5] Lurker
, op.cit., p.215 . The epithet was used for many Egyptian gods: Thoth (cf. Erik
Hornung, The Secret Lore of Egypt: Its Impact on the West, 2001, p.6), Wepwawet
(cf. Egypt: Temple of the Whole World : Studies in Honour of Jan Assmann, Brill
2003, ISBN 90-04-13240-6, p.106), Set (cf. Homer William Smith, Man and His Gods
, 1952 p.20) etc. [6] Shorter, op.cit., p.134 [7] Shorter, op.cit., p.134 [8] Ca
roline Seawright, Maahes, God of War and Protection, The Leonine Lord of Slaught
er...- map of temples (http:/ / www. thekeep. org/ ~kunoichi/ kunoichi/ themestr
eam/ maahes. html)
External links
Caroline Seawright, Maahes, God of War and Protection, The Leonine Lord of Slaug
hter... (http://www. thekeep.org/~kunoichi/kunoichi/themestream/maahes.html)

Maat
189
Maat
Maat
Maat was both the goddess and the personification of truth and justice. Her ostr
ich feather represents truth. Goddess of truth and justice Major cult center Sym
bol Consort Parents All ancient Egyptian cities the ostrich feather Thoth (in so
me accounts) Ra
Maat or ma'at (thought to have been pronounced *[mu.at]),[1] als spelled mt r may
et, was the ancent Egyptan cncept f trth, alance, rder, law, mralty, an
d jstce. Maat was als persnfed as a gddess reglatng the stars, seasns,
and the actns f th mrtals and the detes, wh set the rder f the nve
rse frm chas at the mment f creatn. Her (delgcal) cnterpart was Isfe
t. The earlest srvvng recrds ndcatng Maat s the nrm fr natre and sc
ety, n ths wrld and the next, were recrded drng the Old Kngdm, the earl
est sstantal srvvng examples eng fnd n the Pyramd Texts f Unas (ca
. 2375 BCE and 2345 BCE).[2] Later, as a gddess n ther tradtns f the Egyp
tan panthen, where mst gddesses were pared wth a male aspect, her mascln
e cnterpart was Thth and ther attrtes are the same. After the rse f Ra
they were depcted tgether n the Slar Barqe. After her rle n creatn and
cntnsly preventng the nverse frm retrnng t chas, her prmary rle 
n Egyptan mythlgy dealt wth the weghng f sls that tk place n the nd
erwrld, Dat.[3] Her feather was the measre that determned whether the sls
(cnsdered t resde n the heart) f the departed wld reach the paradse f
afterlfe sccessflly. Pharahs are ften depcted wth the emlems f Maat t
emphasse ther rle n phldng the laws f the Creatr.[4]

Maat
190
Maat as a prncple
Maat as a prncple was frmed t meet the cmplex needs f the emergent Egypta
n state that emraced dverse peples wth cnflctng nterests.[5] The develp
ment f sch rles sght t avert chas and t ecame the ass f Egyptan law
. Frm an early perd the Kng wld descre hmself as the "Lrd f Maat" wh
decreed wth hs mth the Maat he cnceved n hs heart. The sgnfcance f
Maat develped t the pnt that t emraced all aspects f exstence, ncldng
the asc eqlrm f the nverse, the relatnshp etween cnsttent par
ts, the cycle f the seasns, heavenly mvements, relgs servatns and fa
r dealngs, hnesty and trthflness n scal nteractns.[6] The ancent Egyp
tans had a deep cnvctn f an nderlyng hlness and nty wthn the nve
rse. Csmc harmny was acheved y crrect plc and rtal lfe. Any dstra
nce n csmc harmny cld have cnseqences fr the ndvdal as well as the
state. An mps Kng cld rng at famne r lasphemy lndness t an nd
vdal.[7] In ppstn t the rght rder expressed n the cncept f Maat s
the cncept f Isfet: chas, les and vlence.[8]
Maat wearng feather f trth
In addtn t the mprtance f the Maat, several ther prncples wthn ance
nt Egyptan law were essental, ncldng an adherence t tradtn as ppsed t
 change, the mprtance f rhetrcal skll, and the sgnfcance f achevng
mpartalty, and scal jstce. In ne Mddle Kngdm (2062 t c. 1664 BCE) te
xt the Creatr declares "I made every man lke hs fellw". Maat called the rch
t help the less frtnate rather than explt them, eched n tm declaratn
s: "I have gven read t the hngry and clthed the naked" and "I was a hsand
t the wdw and father t the rphan".[9] T the Egyptan mnd, Maat nd all
thngs tgether n an ndestrctle nty: the nverse, the natral wrld, th
e state, and the ndvdal were all seen as parts f the wder rder generated
y Maat. The nderlyng cncepts f Tasm and Cnfcansm resemle Maat at tm
es.[10] Many f these cncepts were cdfed nt laws, and many f the cncepts
ften were dscssed y ancent Egyptan phlsphers and ffcals wh referre
d t the sprtal text knwn as the Bk f the Dead.
Maat and the law
There s lttle srvvng lteratre that descres the practce f ancent Egyp
tan law. Maat was the sprt n whch jstce was appled rather than the deta
led legalstc expstn f rles (as fnd n Msac law f the 1st mllennm
BCE). Maat was the nrm and asc vales that frmed the ackdrp fr the appl
catn f jstce that had t e carred t n the sprt f trth and farness
. Frm the 5th dynasty (c. 2510-2370 BCE) nwards the Vzer respnsle fr js
tce was called the Prest f Maat and n later perds jdges wre mages f Ma
at.[11] Later schlars and phlsphers als wld emdy cncepts frm the wsd
m lteratre, r Seayt.[12] These sprtal texts dealt wth cmmn scal r
prfessnal statns and hw each was est t e reslved r addressed n the
sprt f Maat. It was very practcal advce, and hghly case-ased, s that fe
w specfc and general rles cld e derved frm them. Drng the Greek perd
n Egyptan hstry, Greek law exsted alngsde Egyptan law. The Egyptan law
preserved the rghts f wmen wh were allwed t act ndependently f men and
wn sstantal persnal prperty and n tme ths nflenced the mre restrct
ve cnventns f the Greeks and Rmans.[13] When the Rmans tk cntrl

Maat f Egypt, the Rman legal system whch exsted thrght the Rman Empre
was mpsed n Egypt.
191
Maat and scres
Scres held prestgs pstns n ancent Egyptan scety n vew f ther
mprtance n the transmssn f relgs, pltcal and cmmercal nfrmat
n.[14] Thth was the patrn f scres wh s descred as the ne "wh reveals
Maat and reckns Maat; wh lves Maat and gves Maat t the der f Maat".[15] I
n texts sch as the Instrctn f Amenempe the scre s rged t fllw the p
recepts f Maat n hs prvate lfe as well as hs wrk.[16] The exhrtatns t
lve accrdng t Maat are sch that these knds f nstrctnal texts have e
en descred as "Maat Lteratre".[17]
Maat as a gddess
Gddess [18][19] Maat n herglyphs
Maat was the gddess f harmny, jstce, and trth represented as a yng wman
,[20] sttng r standng, hldng a was scepter, the syml f pwer, n ne ha
nd and an ankh, the syml f eternal lfe, n the ther. Smetmes she s depc
ted wth wngs n each arm r as a wman wth an strch feather n her head.[21
] Depctns f Maat as a gddess are recrded frm as early as the mddle f th
e Old Kngdm (c. 2680 t 2190 BCE).[22] The sn-gd Ra came frm the prmaeval
mnd f creatn nly after he set hs daghter Maat n place f Isfet (chas).
Kngs nherted the dty t ensre Maat remaned n place and they wth Ra are
sad t "lve n Maat", wth Akhenaten (r. 1372-1355 BCE) n partclar emphass
ng the cncept t a degree that, Jhn D. Ray asserts, the kngs cntemprares
vewed as ntlerance and fanatcsm.[23] Sme kngs ncrprated Maat nt the
r names, eng referred t as Lrds f Maat,[24] r Mer-Maat (Belved f Maat).
When elefs at Thth arse n the Egyptan panthen and started t cnsme
the earler elefs at Hermpls at the Ogdad, t was sad that she was the
mther f the Ogdad and Thth the father. In the Dat, the Egyptan nderwrld
, the hearts f the dead were sad t e weghed aganst her sngle "Feather f
Ma'at", symlcally representng the cncept f Maat, n the Hall f Tw Trths
. A heart whch was nwrthy was devred y the gddess Ammt and ts wner cn
demned t reman n the Dat. The heart was cnsdered the lcatn f the sl
y ancent Egyptans. Thse peple wth gd and pre hearts were sent n t Aar
. Osrs came t e seen as the gardan f the gates f Aar after he ecame p
art f the Egyptan panthen and dsplaced Ans n the Ogdad tradtn. The w
eghng f the heart, pctred n papyrs n the Bk f the Dead typcally, r
n tm scenes, shws Ans verseeng the weghng and the lness Ammt seate
d awatng the reslts s she cld cnsme thse wh faled. The mage wld e
the vertcal heart n ne flat srface f the alance scale and the vertcal Sh
-feather standng n the ther alance scale srface. Other tradtns hld tha
t Ans rght the sl efre the psthms Osrs wh perfrmed the weghn
g.

Maat
192
Temples f Maat
The earlest evdence fr a dedcated temple s n the New Kngdm (c. 1569 t 1
081 BCE) era, despte the great mprtance placed n Maat. Amenhtep III cmmss
ned a temple n the Karnak cmplex, whlst textal evdence ndcates that th
er temples f Maat were lcated n Memphs and at Der el-Medna.[25]
Maat themes fnd n the The Bk f Gng Frth y Day and n tm nscrptns
One aspect f ancent Egyptan fnerary lteratre whch ften s mstaken fr a
cdfed ethc f Maat s Spell (Chapter) 125 f the Bk f the Dead r Papyr
s f An (knwn t the ancent Egyptans as The Bk f Gng Frth y Day). The
lnes f these texts are ften cllectvely called the "Frty-Tw Declaratns
f Prty". These declaratns vared smewhat frm tm t tm and s cannt 
e cnsdered a canncal A sectn f the Egyptan Bk f the Dead wrtten n p
apyrs shwng the "Weghng f defntn f Maat. Rather, they appear the Hear
t" n the Dat sng the feather f Maat as the measre n alance t express ea
ch tm wner's ndvdal practces n lfe t please Maat, as well as wrds f
asltn frm msdeeds r mstakes, made y the tm wner n lfe cld e d
eclared as nt havng een dne, and thrgh the pwer f the wrtten wrd, wpe
partclar msdeed frm the afterlfe recrd f the deceased. Many f the lnes
are smlar, hwever, and they can help t gve the stdent a "flavr" fr the
srts f thngs whch Maat gverned essentally everythng, frm the mst frmal
t the mst mndane aspects f lfe. The dctrne f Maat s represented n the
declaratns t Rekht-mert-f-ent-Maat and the 42 Negatve Cnfessns lsted
n the Papyrs f An. The fllwng are taken frm plc dman translatns m
ade y E. A. Walls Bdge n the early part f the 20th centry; mre recent tra
nslatns may dffer n the lght f mdern schlarshp.
42 Negatve Cnfessns (Papyrs f An)
1. I have nt cmmtted sn. 2. I have nt cmmtted rery wth vlence. 3. I
have nt stlen. 4. I have nt slan men and wmen. 5. I have nt stlen gran.
6. I have nt prlned fferngs. 7. I have nt stlen the prperty f the gd
. 8. I have nt ttered les. 9. I have nt carred away fd. 10. I have nt t
tered crses. 11. I have nt cmmtted adltery, I have nt lan wth men. 12. I
have made nne t weep. 13. I have nt eaten the heart [.e I have nt greved
selessly, r felt remrse].

Maat 14. I have nt attacked any man. 15. I am nt a man f decet. 16. I have n
t stlen cltvated land. 17. I have nt een an eavesdrpper. 18. I have sland
ered [n man]. 19. I have nt een angry wtht jst case. 20. I have nt dea
ched the wfe f any man. 21. I have nt deached the wfe f [any] man. (repe
ats the prevs affrmatn t addressed t a dfferent gd). 22. I have nt p
llted myself. 23. I have terrrsed nne. 24. I have nt transgressed [the Law
]. 25. I have nt een wrth. 26. I have nt sht my ears t the wrds f trth.
27. I have nt lasphemed. 28. I am nt a man f vlence. 29. I am nt a strr
er p f strfe (r a dstrer f the peace). 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 3
8. 39. 40. 41. 42. I have nt acted (r jdged) wth nde haste. I have nt pr
ed nt matters. I have nt mltpled my wrds n speakng. I have wrnged nne
, I have dne n evl. I have nt wrked wtchcraft aganst the Kng (r lasphe
med aganst the Kng). I have never stpped [the flw f] water. I have never ra
sed my vce (spken arrgantly, r n anger). I have nt crsed (r lasphemed
) Gd. I have nt acted wth evl rage. I have nt stlen the read f the gds.
I have nt carred away the khenf cakes frm the Sprts f the dead. I have n
t snatched away the read f the chld, nr treated wth cntempt the gd f my
cty. I have nt slan the cattle elngng t the gd.[26]
193
Assessrs f Maat
"The Assessrs f Maat" are the 42 detes lsted n the Papyrs f Nesen, t
whm the deceased make the Negatve Cnfessn n the Papyrs f An.[27]
Ntes
[1] Infrmatn taken frm phnetc symls fr Maat, and explanatns n hw t
prnnce ased pn mdern reals, revealed n (Cller and Manley pp. 24, 154)
[3] Bdge. The Gds f the Egyptans Vl. 1 p. 418. [7] Jhn Rmer, "Testament",
pp. 41-42, Gld Plshng, 1988. [8] "Relgn and Cltral Memry: Ten Std
es", Jan Assmann, Translated y Rdney Lvngstne, p. 34, Stanfrd Unversty P
ress, 2006, ISBN 080474523. [12] See Rss VerSteeg, Law n Ancent Egypt 19 (Car
lna Academc Press 2002) [14] Black, p. 130 [15] Black, p. 131 [16] Black, p.
132 [17] Black, p. 157 [18] Herglyphs can e fnd n (Cller and Manley pp.
27, 29, 154) [19] (Bdge The Gds f the Egyptans Vl. 1 p. 416)

Maat
[21] [22] [23] [25] [27] Bdge The Gds f the Egyptans Vl. 1 p. 416) "The Oxf
rd Gde: Essental Gde t Egyptan Mythlgy", Edted y Dnald B. Redfrd,
p. 190, Berkeley, 2003, ISBN 0-423-19096-X "Reflectns n Osrs", Jhn D. Ray,
p. 64, Prfle ks,2002, ISBN 186197 490 6 "The Essental Gde t Egyptan M
ythlgy:The Oxfrd Gde", p190, Berkeley Reference, 2003, ISBN 0-425-19096-X (
Bdge The Gds f the Egyptans Vl. 1 pp. 418-20)
194
References
Black, James Rger. "The Instrctn f Amenempe: A Crtcal Edtn and Cmmen
tary--Prlegmenn and Prlge", Dssertatn Unversty f Wscnsn-Madsn,
2002 (https://mywespace.wsc.ed/jrlack/we/ dss.html) Bdge, E. A. Walls. T
he Egyptan Bk f the Dead: (The Papyrs f An) Egyptan Text Translteratn
and Translatn. New Yrk: Dver Plcatns, 1967. Orgnally plshed n 18
95. Bdge, E. A. Walls. The Gds f the Egyptans: Stdes n Egyptan Mythlg
y Volume 1. New York: Dover Publications, 1969. Originally published in 1904. Coll
ier, Mark and Manly, Bill. How to Read Egyptian Hieroglyphs: Revised Edition. Be
rkeley: University of California Press, 1998. Faulkner, Raymond. The Egyptian Bo
ok of the Dead. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1994. ISBN 0-8118-6489-3 Mancini
, Anna. Maat Revealed: Philosophy of Justice in Ancient Egypt. New York: Buenos
Books America, 2004. Strudwick, Helen. The Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt. Singap
ore: De Agostini UK, 2006. Journey through the afterlife, Ancient Egyptian Book
of the Dead edited by John H. Taylor ( the British Museum Press 2010. London ISB
N 0-7141-1989-2 )

Mafdet
195
Mafdet
Mafdet
Mafdet's head on the bed where Sennedjem is placed Parents Ra
In early Egyptian mythology, Mafdet (also spelled Maftet) was a goddess who prot
ected against snakes and scorpions and was often represented as either some sort
of feline or mongoose.[1] She is present in the Egyptian pantheon as early as t
he First Dynasty. Mafdet was the deification of legal justice, or possibly of ex
ecution.[2] She was also associated with the protection of the king's chambers a
nd other sacred places, and with protection against venomous animals, which were
seen as transgressors against Ma'at. Since venomous animals such as scorpions a
nd snakes are killed by felines, Mafdet was seen as a feline goddess, although i
t is uncertain whether alternately, she also was meant to be a cat, civet, or a
mongoose.[3] In reflection of the manner in which these animals kill snakes and
she was given titles such as, slayer of serpents. The goddess was prominent duri
ng the reign of the First Dynasty pharaoh Den, whose image appears on stone vess
el fragments from his tomb and is mentioned in a dedicatory entry in the Palermo
Stone.[4] She is also mentioned in the Old Kingdom Pyramid Texts as protecting
the sun god Re from poisonous snakes.[5]
Art
In art, Mafdet was shown as a feline, a woman with a feline head, or a feline wi
th the head of a woman. She also was depicted as a feline running up the side of
an executioner's staff. It was said that Mafdet ripped out the hearts of wrongdoers, delivering them to the pharaoh's feet, in a similar manner as domestic ca
ts who present people with rodents or birds that they have killed or maimed. Dur
ing the New Kingdom, Mafdet was seen as ruling over the judgment hall in Duat wh
ere the enemies of the pharaoh were decapitated with Mafdet's claw. Her cult was
eventually replaced by that of Bast, another cat-goddess, a lioness warrior who
was seen as the pharaoh's protector, but her feline imagery continued to be ass
ociated with the pharaohs in their personal items and the bed upon which their m
ummies were placed.

Mafdet
196
References
[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] Wilkinson, Richard H. The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Anc
ient Egypt. p. 196. Thames & Hudson. 2003. ISBN 0-500-05120-8 Wilkinson, Toby A.
H. Early Dynastic Egypt. p. 251. Routledge, 1999. ISBN 0-203-20421-2 Wilkinson,
Richard H. The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt. p. 196. Thames & H
udson. 2003. ISBN 0-500-05120-8 Wilkinson, Toby A. H. Early Dynastic Egypt. p. 2
49-250. Routledge, 1999. ISBN 0-203-20421-2 Wilkinson, Richard H. The Complete G
ods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt. p. 196. Thames & Hudson. 2003. ISBN 0-500-05
120-8
Mandulis
The Temple of Kalabsha in Nubia was dedicated to Mandulis which was a Nubian for
m of Horus.[1] A cult dedicated to Mandulis can also be found in Egypt, at Phila
e. Mandulis was often depicted wearing an elaborate headdress of ram's horns, co
bras and plumes surmounted by sun discs.[2] He was sometimes shown in the form o
f a hawk, but wearing a human head.[3]
References
[1] Lorna Oakes, Pyramids, Temples and Tombs of Ancient Egypt: An Illustrated At
las of the Land of the Pharaohs, Hermes House:Anness Publishing Ltd, 2003. p.209
[2] Oakes, p.209 [3] Oakes, p.209 An image of Mandulis from the Temple of Kalab
sha in Nubia

Mehen
197
Mehen
In Ancient Egypt the name Mehen meaning 'coiled one' refers to a mythological sn
ake-god and to a game.[1]
Snake god
The earliest references to Mehen occur in the Coffin Texts.[2] Mehen is a protec
tive deity who is depicted as a snake which coils around the sun god Ra during h
is journey through the night, for instance in the Amduat.[3] In the German-Egypt
ian dictionary by R. Hannig[4] it is said that the Mehen (mn) or the Mehenet (mnt)
snake is equivalent to the Ouroboros.
Relationship between snake-god and Mehen game
The precise relationship between the deity and the Mehen game is unknown. For in
stance it is not known whether the game derives from the mythological character,
or the character derives from the game. It is known that the object known as me
hen depicts a game rather than a religious fetish as studies of paintings in tom
bs and game boards and equipment demonstrate this. The rules and method of playi
ng the game are unknown, although rules have been created in modern times based
on assessments of how it may have been played.
References
[1] [2] [3] [4] Discussion of the game by (http:/ / www. digitalegypt. ucl. ac.
uk/ naqada/ gameboard. html) University College London The Complete Gods and God
desses of Ancient Egypt by R. Wilkinson ISBN 0-500-05120-8 The Ancient Egyptian
Books of the Afterlife by Erik Hornung ISBN 0-8014-8515-0 Hannig, R. 1995. Die S
prache der Pharaonen: Groes Handwrterbuch gyptisch-Deutsch
External links
Mehen (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/4148) at BoardGameGeek

Mehet-Weret
198
Mehet-Weret
Mehetweret in hieroglyphs
[1]
Mehet-Weret (m.t-wr.t) is a goddess of the sky in Ancient Egyptian religion. Her
name means "Great Flood". She was mentioned in the Pyramid Texts. In Ancient Egy
ptian creation myths, she gives birth to the sun at the beginning of time, and i
n art she is portrayed as a cow with a sun disk between her horns. She is associ
ated with the goddesses Neith, Hathor, and Isis, all of whom have similar charac
teristics, and like them she could be called the "Eye of Ra".[2]
Mehetweret in Tutankhamun's tomb
References
[1] Wrterbuch, II, p.122 [2] Wilkinson, Richard H. (2003). The Complete Gods and
Goddesses of Ancient Egypt. Thames & Hudson. p. 174

Menhit
199
Menhit
Menhit in hieroglyphs
[1]
Menhit /mn ht/ (also spelt Menchit) was originally a foreign war goddess in Egyptian
mythology, and the female counterpart, and thus wife, to Anhur. Her name depicts
a warrior status, as it means (she who) massacres. Due to the aggressive attrib
utes possessed by and hunting methods used by lionesses, most things connected t
o warfare in Egypt were depicted as leonine, and Menhit was no exception, being
depicted as a lioness-goddess. She also was believed to advance ahead of the Egy
ptian armies and cut down their enemies with fiery arrows, similar to other war
deities[2] She was less known to the people as Crown goddess.[3] In the 3rd Nome
of Upper Egypt, particularly at Esna, Menhit was said to be the wife of Khnum a
nd the mother of Heka. As the centre of her cult was toward the southern border
of Egypt, in Upper Egypt, she became strongly identified with Sekhmet, who was o
riginally the lion-goddess of war for Upper Egypt, after unification of the two
Egyptian kingdoms, this goddess began to be considered simply another aspect of
Sekhmet.[2]
Menhit on the left with Khnum on the right, shown on the outside wall of the tem
ple at Esna
References
[1] Wrterbuch, II., p.84 [2] Hans Bonnet: Menhit, in: Lexikon der gyptischen Relig
ionsgeschichte (English: Lexicon of Egyptian History of Religion) p.451f [3] Rol
f Felde: gyptische Gottheiten (English: Egyptian Gods) p.34
Literature
Rolf Felde: gyptische Gottheiten. Wiesbaden 1995 Hans Bonnet: Lexikon der gyptisch
en Religionsgeschichte, Hamburg 2000; ISBN 3-937872-08-6

Meret
200
Meret
In Egyptian mythology, Meret (also spelled Mert) was a goddess who was strongly
associated with rejoicing, such as singing and dancing.
In myth
Meret was a token wife occasionally given to Hapy, the god of the Nile. Her name
being a reference to this, meaning simply the beloved. As token wife, she was u
sually depicted with the same associations as Hapy, having on her head either th
e blue lotus for Upper Egypt, or the papyrus plant for Lower Egypt. Since Hapy w
as the source of bountifulness, Meret was usually depicted with an offering bowl
, as she was seen, being his wife, as the symbolic recipient of his generosity.
Amongst the lower classes, where nationalism was less important than successful
harvest, she was more strongly considered the wife of Hapy than the protectresse
s of Lower and Upper Egypt, which were more normally his wife in the upper class
es. As a deity whose role was to be the symbolic receiver of bounty from the inu
ndation of the Nile, she was strongly associated with rejoicing, such as singing
and dancing.[1] Later stories tell that Meret was the goddess of the eighth hou
r, in the Book of Gates.
References
[1] Lurker, Manfred. Dictionary of Gods and Goddesses, Devils and Demons, p. 231
. Routledge, 1987. ISBN 0-7102-0877-4.

Meretseger
201
Meretseger
Meretseger
Meretseger in Egyptian means She who loves the Silence Goddess of tomb builders
and Protector of Royal Tombs Major cult center Valley of the Kings, Theban Necro
polis Symbol Cobra snake
In Egyptian mythology, Meretseger (also spelt Mertseger), meaning "she who loves
silence" exerted great authority during the New Kingdom era over the Theban Nec
ropolis and was considered to be both a dangerous and merciful goddess.[1] She w
as closely connected with al-Qurn, the pyramid-shaped peak in the Valley of the
Kings.[2] As a cobra-goddess she is sometimes associated with Hathor.[3] She was
the patron deity of the workers in Deir el-Medina who built the tombs. She puni
shed workers who committed crimes, but healed those who repented. In one instanc
e Meretseger is petitioned to bring relief to one in pain. She answer the prayer
by bringing "sweet breezes"[4] A draftsman named Neferabu dedicated a stela to
her: "An ignorant man (I was), without my heart, who did not know good from evil
. I was doing misdeeds against the Peak and she taught me a lesson...The peak st
rikes with the stroke of a savage lion. She is after him who offends her."[5]
The pyramid-shaped mountain overlooking the Valley of the Kings.
Merestseger takes pity on the man and "She turned to me in mercy, She caused me
to forget the sickness that has been upon me".[6] As a cobra, she spat poison at
anyone who tried to vandalise or rob the royal tombs. In art she was portrayed
as either a coiled cobra, or as a woman-headed cobra, or rarely as a triple head
ed cobra, where one head was that of a cobra, one of a woman, and one of a vultu
re. Her close association with the Valley of the Kings prevented her becoming an
ything more than a local deity, and when the valley ceased being in use, so she
also ceased being worshipped.[1]

Meretseger
202
References
[1] The Routledge dictionary of Egyptian gods and goddesses, George Hart, p. 91.
Routledge 2005, ISBN 0-415-34495-6 [2] The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancie
nt Egypt, Richard H. Wilkinson, p. 224. Thames & Hudson 2003, ISBN 0-500-05120-8
[3] "Essays on ancient Egypt in honour of Herman te Velde", Herman te Velde, Ja
cobus van Dijk, p71, Brill Publishers, 1997, ISBN 90-5693-014-1 [4] ^ "Egyptian
Myths, George Hart, p46, University of Texas Press, 1990, ISBN 0-292-72076-9 [5]
"The great goddesses of Egypt", Barbara S. Lesko, p77, University of Oklahoma P
ress, 1999, ISBN 0-8061-3202-7 [6] "Historia Religionum: Handbook for the Histor
y of Religions" By G. Widengren, C. J. Bleeker, p101, Brill Publishers, 1988, IS
BN 90-04-08928-4

Meskhenet
203
Meskhenet
Meskhenet
Meskhenet as a woman with a symbolic cow's uterus on her head Goddess of childbi
rth Symbol Consort Cow's uterus Andjety
In Ancient Egyptian mythology, Meskhenet, (also spelt Mesenet, Meskhent, and Mes
hkent) was the goddess of childbirth, and the creator of each child's Ka, a part
of their soul, which she breathed into them at the moment of birth. She was wor
shipped from the earliest of times by Egyptians.
In mythology
In ancient Egypt, women delivered babies while squatting on a pair of bricks, kn
own as birth bricks, and Meskhenet was the goddess associated with this form of
delivery. Consequently, in art, she was sometimes depicted as a brick with a wom
an's head, wearing a cow's uterus upon it. At other times she was depicted as a
woman with a symbolic cow's uterus on her headdress.[1] Since she was responsibl
e for creating the Ka, she was associated with fate. Thus later she was sometime
s said to be paired with Shai, who became a god of destiny after the deity evolv
ed out of an abstract concept.[1] Meskhenet features prominently in the last of
the folktales in the Westcar Papyrus. The story tells of the birth of Userkaf, S
ahure, and Neferirkare Kakai, the first three kings of the Fifth Dynasty, who in
the story are said to be triplets. Just after each child is born, Meskhenet app
ears and prophesies that he will become king of Egypt.[1]

Meskhenet
204
Gallery
Meskhenet as a birth brick
Userkaf, one of the legendary triplets
Sahure, another one of the legendary triplets
References

Min (god)
205
Min (god)
Min
The fertility dark-skinned god Min, with an erect penis and a flail God of ferti
lity Name in hieroglyphs Major cult center Symbol Consort Qift the lettuce, the
phallus Iabet Repit Isis and Osiris Horus
Parents Siblings
Min is an Ancient Egyptian god whose cult originated in predynastic times (4th m
illennium BCE).[] He was represented in many different forms, but was often repr
esented in male human form, shown with an erect penis which he holds in his left
hand and an upheld right arm holding a flail. As Khem or Min, he was the god of
reproduction; as Khnum, he was the creator of all things, "the maker of gods an
d men".[1]
Myths and function
As a god of fertility, he was shown as having black skin. His cult was strongest
in Coptos and Akhmim (Panopolis), where in his honour great festivals were held
celebrating his coming forth with a public procession and presentation of offerin
gs.[] His other associations include the eastern desert and links to the god Hor
us. Flinders Petrie excavated two large statues of Min at Qift which are now in
the Ashmolean Museum and it is thought by some that they are pre-dynastic. Altho
ugh not mentioned by name a reference to 'he whose arm is raised in the East' in
the Pyramid Texts is thought to refer to Min.[2] His importance grew in the Mid
dle Kingdom when he became even more closely linked with Horus as the deity MinHorus. By the New Kingdom he was also fused with Amen in the deity Min-Amen-kamu
tef (Min-Amen - bull of his mother). Min's shrine was crowned with a pair of bul
l horns.[3] As the central deity of fertility and possibly orgiastic rites Min b
ecame identified by the Greeks with the god Pan. One feature of Min worship was
the wild prickly lettuce Lactuca virosa and Lactuca serriola of which is the dom
estic

Min (god) version Lactuca sativa which has aphrodisiac and opiate qualities and
produce latex when cut, possibly identified with semen. He also had connections
with Nubia. However, his main centres of worship were Qift (Coptos) and Akhmim (
Khemmis). As a god of male sexual potency, he was honoured during the coronation
rites of the New Kingdom, when the Pharaoh was expected to sow his seed general
ly thought to have been plant seeds, although there have been controversial sugg
estions that the Pharaoh was expected to demonstrate that he could ejaculate and
thus ensure the annual flooding of the Nile. At the beginning of the harvest se
ason, his image was taken out of the temple and brought to the fields in the fes
tival of the departure of Min, when they blessed the harvest, and played games n
aked in his honour, the most important of these being the climbing of a huge (te
nt) pole. In Egyptian art, Min was depicted as wearing a crown with feathers, an
d often holding his penis erect in his left hand and a flail (referring to his a
uthority, or rather that of the Pharaohs) in his upward facing right hand. Aroun
d his forehead, Min wears a red ribbon that trails to the ground, claimed by som
e to represent sexual energy. The symbols of Min were the white bull, a barbed a
rrow, and a bed of lettuce, that the Egyptians believed to be an aphrodisiac, as
Egyptian lettuce was tall, straight, and released a milk-like substance when ru
bbed, characteristics superficially similar to the penis. Even some war goddesse
s were depicted with the body of Min (including the phallus), and this also led
to depictions, ostensibly of Min, with the head of a lioness. Min usually was de
picted in an ithyphallic (with an erect and uncovered phallus) style. Christians
routinely defaced his monuments in temples they co-opted and Victorian Egyptolo
gists would take only waist-up photographs of Min, or otherwise find ways to cov
er his protruding penis. However, to the ancient Egyptians, Min was not a matter
of scandal - they had very relaxed standards of nudity: in their warm climate,
farmers, servants, and entertainers often worked partially or completely naked,
and children did not wear any clothes until they came of age. In the 19th centur
y, there was an alleged erroneous transcription of the Egyptian for Min as m ("kh
em"). Since Khem was worshipped most significantly in Akhmim, the separate ident
ity of Khem was reinforced, Akhmim being understood as simply a corruption of Kh
em. However, Akhmim is an alleged corruption of m-mnw, meaning Shrine of Min, via
the demotic form mn.
206
Family
In Hymn to Min it is said: "Min, Lord of the Processions, God of the High Plumes
, Son of Osiris and Isis, Venerated in Ipu..." It is not strange that to him are
given fertility gods for parents. Min's wives were Iabet and Repyt (Repit).
References External links
Site on Min, with some pictures (http://www.thekeep.org/~kunoichi/kunoichi/theme
stream/min.html)

Mnevis
207
Mnevis
In late Egyptian mythology, Mnevis (also written Mer-wer) was an aspect of the c
hief god in the region of Heliopolis, Atum-Ra. The origin and meaning of its nam
e is currently unknown. Mnevis was identified as being a living bull. This may b
e a vestige of the sacrifice of kings after a period of reign, who were seen as
the sons of Bat or Hathor, the ancient cow deity of the early solar cults. Thus,
seen as a symbol of the later sun god, Ra, the Mnevis was often depicted, in ar
t, with the solar disc of their mother, Hathor between its horns. A suitable bul
l was selected from the area, said to be the living Mnevis bull, and was taken t
o a special temple, where it was worshipped and its movement used as an oracle.
Since the fertile soil of the Nile was so black that the word for black (Khem) b
ecame the Egyptian word for Egypt, and bulls in this region had a tendency to bl
ack colouring, the bull selected to be the Mnevis was traditionally completely b
lack, thus being referred to as Kemwer, meaning great black (one). When a comple
tely black bull could not be found, they chose one that was completely white, in
contrast.
References
Bronze statuette of the bull-headed god of Heliopolis, ca. 4th/3rd century BC.

Montu
208
Montu
Monthu or Menthu
the Egyptian war-god Monthu. He was usually depicted as a falcon-headed man with
two plumes and a sun disk. He was also said to have the head of a bull when enr
aged. God of warfare, the sun and valor Name in hieroglyphs Major cult center Sy
mbol Consort Hermonthis, Thebes the sun disk, the knife Raet-Tawy
In Ancient Egyptian religion, Montu was a falcon-god of war. Monthu's name, show
n in Egyptian hieroglyphs to the right, is technically transcribed as mntw. Beca
use of the difficulty in transcribing Egyptian, it is often realized as Mont, Mo
nthu, Montju, or Menthu. Montu was an ancient god, his name meaning nomad, origi
nally a manifestation of the scorching effect of the sun, Ra, and as such often
appeared under the epithet Montu-Ra. The destructiveness of this characteristic
led to him gaining characteristics of a warrior, and eventually becoming a war-g
od. Because of the association of raging bulls with strength and war, Montu was
also said to manifest himself in a white bull with a black face, which was refer
red to as the Bakha. Egypt's greatest general-kings called themselves Mighty Bul
ls, the sons of Montu. In the famous narrative of the Battle of Kadesh, Ramesses
II was said to have seen the enemy and "raged at them like Montu, Lord of Thebe
s".

Montu
209 In Ancient Egyptian art, he was pictured as a falcon-headed or bull-headed m
an who wore the sun-disc, with two plumes on his head, the falcon representing t
he sky, and the bull representing strength and war. He would hold various weapon
ry, including scimitars, bows and arrows, and knives in his hands. The Temple of
Montu at Medamud was probably begun during the Old Kingdom era. During the New
Kingdom, large and impressive temples to Montu were constructed in Armant. In fa
ct, the Greek name of the city of Armant was Hermonthis, meaning the land of Mon
tu. Earlier temples to Montu include one located adjacent to the Middle Kingdom
fortress of Uronarti below the Second Cataract of the Nile, dating to the ninete
enth century BCE. Montu had several consorts, including the goddess Tjenenyet, t
he goddess Iunit, and a female form of Ra, Raettawy.[1]
Bronze amulette on display at the Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon.
Mentuhotep, a name given to several pharaohs in the Middle Kingdom, means "Montu
is satisfied".
References
[1] Wilkinson, Richard H. (2003). The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egy
pt. Thames & Hudson. pp. 150, 203

Mut
210
Mut
Mut
A
n
s
s

contemporary image of goddess Mut, depicted as a woman wearing the double crow
plus a royal vulture headdress, associating her with Nekhbet. Goddess of queen
and lady of heaven Name in hieroglyphs Major cult center Symbol Consort Parent
Offspring Thebes the vulture Amun none (self-created) Khonsu

Mut Mut, which meant mother in the ancient Egyptian language,[1] was an ancient
Egyptian mother goddess with multiple aspects that changed over the thousands of
years of the culture. Alternative spellings are Maut and Mout. She was consider
ed a primal deity, associated with the waters from which everything was born thr
ough parthenogenesis. She also was depicted as a woman with the crowns of Egypt
upon her head. The rulers of Egypt each supported her worship in their own way t
o emphasize their own authority and right to rule through an association with Mu
t. Some of Mut's many titles included World-Mother, Eye of Ra, Queen of the Godd
esses, Lady of Heaven, Mother of the Gods, and She Who Gives Birth, But Was Hers
elf Not Born of Any.
211
Changes of mythological position
Mut was a title of the primordial waters of the cosmos, Naunet, in the Ogdoad co
smogony during what is called the Old Kingdom, the third Nineteenth dynasty stat
ue of Mut, part of a through sixth dynasties, dated between 2,686 to 2,134 BCE H
owever, double statue, c. 1279-1213 BCE, Luxor Museum the distinction between mo
therhood and cosmic water later diversified and lead to the separation of these
identities, and Mut gained aspects of a creator goddess, since she was the mothe
r from which the cosmos emerged. The hieroglyph for Mut's name, and for mother i
tself, was that of a white vulture, which the Egyptians believed were very mater
nal creatures. Indeed, since Egyptian white vultures have no significant differi
ng markings between female and male of the species, being without sexual dimorph
ism, the Egyptians believed they were all females, who conceived their offspring
by the wind herself, another parthenogenic concept. Much later new myths held t
hat since Mut had no parents, but was created from nothing; consequently, she co
uld not have children and so adopted one instead. Making up a complete triad of
deities for the later pantheon of Thebes, it was said that Mut had adopted Menth
u, god of war. This choice of completion for the triad should have proved popula
r, but because the isheru, the sacred lake outside Mut's ancient temple in Karna
k at Thebes, was the shape of a crescent moon, Khonsu, the moon god eventually r
eplaced Menthu as Mut's adopted son. Lower and upper Egypt both already had patr
on deitiesWadjet and Nekhbetrespectively, indeed they also had lioness protector d
eitiesBast and Sekhmetrespectively. When Thebes rose to greater prominence, Mut ab
sorbed these warrior goddesses as some of her aspects. First, Mut became Mut-Wad
jet-Bast, then Mut-Sekhmet-Bast (Wadjet having merged into Bast), then Mut also
assimilated Menhit, who was also a lioness goddess, and her adopted son's wife,
becoming Mut-Sekhmet-Bast-Menhit, and finally becoming Mut-Nekhbet. Later in anc
ient Egyptian mythology deities of the pantheon were identified as equal pairs,
female and male counterparts, having the same functions. In the later Middle Kin
gdom, when Thebes grew in importance, its patron, Amun also became more signific
ant, and so Amaunet, who had been his female counterpart, was replaced with a mo
re substantial mother-goddess, namely Mut, who became his wife. In that phase, M
ut and Amun had a son, Khonsu, another moon deity.
Schist statuette of Mut, Late Period, Dynasty XXVI, c. 664-525 BCE

Mut
212 The authority of Thebes waned later and Amun was assimilated into Ra. Mut, t
he doting mother, was assimilated into Hathor, the cow-goddess and mother of Hor
us who had become identified as Ra's wife. Subsequently, when Ra assimilated Atu
m, the Ennead was absorbed as well, and so Mut-Hathor became identified as Isis
(either as Isis-Hathor or Mut-Isis-Nekhbet), the most important of the females i
n the Ennead (the nine), and the patron of the queen. The Ennead proved to be a
much more successful identity and the compound triad of Mut, Hathor, and Isis, b
ecame known as Isis alonea cult that endured into the 7th century A.D. and spread
to Greece, Rome, and Britain.
Depictions
sculpture of Sekmet the lioness deity in the eighteenth dynasty temple to Mut
In art, Mut was pictured as a woman with the wings of a white vulture, holding a
n ankh, wearing the united crown of Upper and Lower Egypt and a dress of bright
red or blue, with the feather of the goddess Ma'at at her feet. Alternatively, a
s a result of her assimilations, Mut is sometimes depicted as a cobra, a cat, a
cow, or as a lioness as well as the white vulture.
In Karnak
There are temples dedicated to Mut still standing in modern-day Egypt and Sudan,
reflecting the widespread worship of her, but the center of her cult became the
temple in Karnak. That temple had the statue that was regarded as an embodiment
of her real ka. Her devotions included daily rituals by the pharaoh and her pri
estesses. Interior reliefs depict scenes of the priestesses, currently the only
known remaining example of worship in ancient Egypt that was exclusively adminis
tered by women. Usually the queen, who always carried the royal lineage among th
e rulers of Egypt, served as the chief priestess in the temple rituals. The phar
aoh participated also and would become a deity after Precinct of Mut at the Karn
ak temple complex death. In the case when the pharaoh was female, records of one
example indicate that she had her daughter serve as the high priestess in her p
lace. Often priests served in the administration of temples and oracles where pr
iestesses performed the traditional religious rites. These rituals included musi
c and drinking. The pharaoh Hatshepsut had the ancient temple to Mut at Karnak r
ebuilt during her rule in the Eighteenth Dynasty. Previous excavators had though
t that Amenhotep III had the temple built because of the hundreds of statues fou
nd there of Sekhmet that bore his name. However, Hatshepsut, who completed an en
ormous number of temples and public buildings, had completed the work seventy-fi
ve years earlier. She began the custom of depicting Mut with the crown of both U
pper and Lower Egypt. It is thought that Amenhotep III removed most signs of Hat
shepsut, while taking credit for the projects she had built. Hatshepsut was a ph
araoh who brought Mut to the fore again in the Egyptian pantheon, identifying st
rongly with the goddess. She stated that she was a descendant of Mut. She also a
ssociated herself with the image of Sekhmet, as the more aggressive aspect of th
e goddess, having served as a very successful warrior during the early portion o
f her reign as pharaoh. Later in the same dynasty, Akhenaten suppressed the wors
hip of Mut as well as the other deities when he promoted the monotheistic worshi
p of his sun god, Aten. Tutankhamun later re-established her worship and his suc
cessors

Mut continued to associate themselves with Mut afterward. Ramesses II added more
work on the Mut temple during the nineteenth dynasy, as well as rebuilding an e
arlier temple in the same area, rededicating it to Amun and himself. He placed i
t so that people would have to pass his temple on their way to that of Mut. Kush
ite pharaohs expanded the Mut temple and modified the Ramesses temple for use as
the shrine of the celebrated birth of Amun and Khonsu, trying to integrate them
selves into divine succession. They also installed their own priestesses among t
he ranks of the priestesses who officiated at the temple of Mut. The Greek Ptole
maic dynasty added its own decorations and priestesses at the temple as well and
used the authority of Mut to emphasize their own interests. Later, the Roman em
peror Tiberius rebuilt the site after a severe flood and his successors supporte
d the temple until it fell into disuse, sometime around the third century A.D. S
ome of the later Roman officials used the stones from the temple for their own b
uilding projects, often without altering the images carved upon them.
213
Personal piety
In the wake of Akhenaten's revolution, and the subsequent restoration of traditi
onal beliefs and practices, the emphasis in personal piety moved towards greater
reliance on divine, rather than human, protection for the individual. During th
e reign of Rameses II a follower of the goddess Mut donated all his property to
her temple and recorded in his tomb: And he [Kiki] found Mut at the head of the
gods, Fate and fortune in her hand, Lifetime and breath of life are hers to comm
and...I have not chosen a protector among men. I have not sought myself a protec
tor among the great...My heart is filled with my mistress. I have no fear of any
one. I spend the night in quiet sleep, because I have a protector.[2]
References
[1] Velde, Herman te (2002). Mut. In D. B. Redford (Ed.), The ancient gods speak
: A guide to Egyptian religion (pp. 238). New York: Oxford University Press, USA
. [2] "Of God and Gods", Jan Assmann, p. 83-84, University of Wisconsin Press, 2
008, ISBN 0-299-22554-2
Jennifer Pinkowski - Egypt's Ageless Goddess (Archaeology magazine September/Oct
ober 2006)

Nebethetepet
214
Nebethetepet
Nebethetepet in hieroglyphs
Nebethetepet (nb.t-tp.t) is an ancient Egyptian goddess. Her name means "Lady of
the Offerings" or "Satisfied Lady". She was worshipped in Heliopolis as a female
counterpart of Atum, similarly to Iusaaset; was also associated with Hathor. Sh
e personified Atum's hand, the female principle of creation; she had no other si
gnificance.[1]
Sources
[1] Richard Wilkinson: The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt. London,
Thames and Hudson, 2003. ISBN 978-0-500-05120-7, p.156
A stela or Tablet depicting a pharoh making offerings to Re-Horakhty and Nebet-H
etepet (circa 924-889 B.C.)

Nefertem
215
Nefertem
Nefertem
the Memphite god Nefertem with a water-lily headdress as a symbol of fragrance a
nd beauty. God of healing and beauty Major cult center Symbol Parents Siblings M
emphis the water-lily Ptah and Sekhmet Maahes (in some accounts)
Nefertem (/nfr tm/; possibly "beautiful one who closes" or "one who does not close"; a
lso spelled Nefertum or Nefer-temu) was, in Egyptian mythology, originally a lot
us flower at the creation of the world, who had arisen from the primal waters.[1
] Nefertem represented both the first sunlight and the delightful smell of the E
gyptian blue lotus flower, having arisen from the primal waters within an Egypti
an blue water-lily, Nymphaea caerulea. Some of the titles of Nefertem were "He W
ho is Beautiful" and "Water-Lily of the Sun", and a version of the Book of the D
ead says, "Rise like Nefertem from the blue water lily, to the nostrils of Ra (t
he creator and sungod), and come forth upon the horizon each day." Nefertem the
child comes from his earth father Nun's black primordial waters, and his sky mot
her is Nut. When he matures, he is Ra. Nefertum was eventually seen as the son o
f the creator god Ptah, and the goddesses Sekhmet and Bastet were sometimes call
ed his mother. In art, Nefertum is usually depicted as a beautiful young man hav
ing Nefertem blue water-lily flowers around his head. As the son of Bast, he als
o sometimes has the head of a lion or is a lion or cat reclining. The ancient Eg
yptians often carried small statuettes of him as good-luck charms.

Nefertem
216
Gallery
Nefertem, The Walters Art Museum.
References
[1] Nefertem page at Ancient Egypt: the Mythology (http:/ / www. egyptianmyths.
net/ nefertem. htm) retrieved June 21, 2008.

Nehebkau
217
Nehebkau
In Egyptian mythology, Nehebkau (also spelt Nehebu-Kau, and Neheb Ka) was origin
ally the explanation of the cause of binding of Ka and Ba after death. Thus his
name, which means (one who) brings together Ka. Since these aspects of the soul
were said to bind after death, Nehebkau was said to have guarded the entrance to
Duat, the underworld. was one of the more important glyphs in his name, and alt
hough it was technically a variation on the glyph for two arms raised in prayer,
it also resembles a two-headed snake, and so Nehebkau became depicted in art as
a snake with two heads (occasionally with only one). As a two-headed snake, he
was viewed as fierce, being able to attack from two directions, and not having t
o fear as much confrontations. Consequently sometimes it was said that Atum, the
chief god in these areas, had to keep his finger on him to prevent Nehebkau fro
m getting out of control. Alternatively, in areas where Ra was the chief god, it
was said that Nehebkau was one of the warriors who protected Ra whilst he was i
n the underworld, during Ra's nightly travel, as a sun god, under the earth. Whe
n he was seen as a snake, he was also thought to have some power over snake-bite
s, and by extension, other poisonous bites, such as those of scorpions, thus som
etimes being identified as the son of Serket, the scorpion-goddess of protection
against these things. Alternatively, as a snake, since he was connected to an a
spect of the soul, he was sometimes seen as the son of Renenutet, a snake-goddes
s, who distributed the Ren, another aspect of the soul, and of the earth (Geb),
on which snakes crawl. Ka is also the Egyptian word for sustenance, and is assoc
iated with spirit.
Nehmetawy
Nehmetawy in hieroglyphs
Nehmetawy (nm.t- w3; "she who embraces those in need"[1]) is an ancient Egyptian god
dess. She is not very widely known. She was the wife of snake god Nehebu-kau, or
in other places of worship, like in Hermopolis, the wife of Thoth. Her depictio
ns are anthropomorph, with a sistrum-shaped headdress, often with a child in her
lap.[2]
Sources
[1] Wrterbuch, II., p.297 [2] Richard Wilkinson: The Complete Gods and Goddesses
of Ancient Egypt. London, Thames and Hudson, 2003. ISBN 978-0500051207 p.156

Neith
218
Neith
Neith
the Egyptian goddess Neith bearing her war goddess symbols, the crossed arrows a
nd shield on her head, the ankh and the was staff. She sometimes wears the Red C
rown of Lower Egypt. Name in hieroglyphs Major cult center Symbol Consort Offspr
ing Sais the bow, the shield, the crossed arrows Khnum or Set (mythology) Sobek
or Ra and Apep

Neith (/ne/ o /ni/; al o pelled Ni


, Ne
, o Nei
) wa an ea ly godde in
e Egy
p
ian pan
eon. S e wa
e pa
on dei
y of Sai , w e e e cul
wa cen
e ed in

e We
e n Nile Del
a of Egyp
and a

e
ed a ea ly a
e Fi
Dyna
y.[1]
T e Ancien
Egyp
ian name of
i ci
y wa Zau. Nei
al o wa one of
e
ee

u
ela y dei
ie of
e ancien
Egyp
ian ou
e n ci
y of Ta- ene
o Iuny
now
known a E na (A abic: )
, G eek: (Latpls), r (Ps 
 ), 

he es
b k f
he Rver Ne, sme 55km south of Luxor, in the modern Qena
Governorate.
Name and symbolism
Neith was a goddess of war and of hunting and had as her symbol, two arrows cros
sed over a shield. Her symbol also identified the city of Sais.[2] This symbol w
as displayed on top of her head in Egyptian art. In her form as a goddess of war
, she was said to make the weapons of warriors and to guard their bodies when th
ey died. Her name also may be interpreted as meaning water. In time, this led to
her being considered as the personification of the primordial waters of creatio
n. She is identified as a great mother goddess in this role as a creator. Neith'
s symbol and part of her hieroglyph also bore a resemblance to a loom, and so la
ter in the history of Egyptian myths, she also became goddess of weaving, and ga
ined this version of her name, Neith, which means weaver. At this time her role
as a creator changed from being water-based to that of the deity who wove all of
the world and existence into being on her loom.

Neith In art, Neith sometimes appears as a woman with a weavers shu

e
 her
he d, hd g b d rrs  her h ds. A

her
mes she s dec
ed s
m 
h
he he d f  ess, s s ke, r s c. Sme
mes Ne
h  s
urs g b by crcde, d she  s

ed "Nurse f Crc
c
ured s m
des". As
he ers fc
 f
he c ce
f
he rmrd  
ers f cre

 
he Ogd d
hegy, she h d  ge der. As m
her f R , she  s sme
mes
descrbed s
he "Gre
C h g ve br
h
 R ". Ne
h  s c sdered
 be
gddess f sdm d  s e ed
 s rb
er 
he dsu
e be
ee Hru
s d Se
h.
219
A

rbu
es
As gddess f e v g d
he dmes
c r
s she  s r
ec
r f me d
gu rd f m rr ge, s ry  me f
e med
hemseves f
er Ne
h,  her
h r. S ce she s  s gddess f  r, d
hus h d dd
  ssc


h de
h, 
 s s d
h
she ve
he b d ges d shruds r by
he mum
mfed de d s gf


hem, d
hus she beg
 be veed s r
ec
r f
 e f
he Fur s s f Hrus, secfc y, f Du mu
ef,
he defc
 f
h
e c c j r s
r g
he s
m ch, s ce
he bdme (f
e ms
ke y ssc
e
d s
he s
m ch)  s
he ms
vu er be r
 f
he bdy d rme
rge

dur g b

e. I
 s s d
h
she sh
rrs
y ev sr
s h

cke
d
he c c j r she r
ec
ed.
Aegs f Ne
h, Te
y-sx
h dy s
y f Egy
. Museum f F e Ar
s f y .

My
hgy
I
he 
e 
he f
he Ogd d my
hs, she bec me de
fed s
he m
her f
R d Ae. Whe she  s de
fed s 
er gddess, she  s s veed s

he m
her f Sbek,
he crcde.[3] I
 s
hs ssc
 
h 
er, .e.

he Ne,
h
ed
 her sme
mes be g c sdered
he fe f Kh um, d ss
c
ed 
h
he surce f
he Rver Ne. She  s ssc
ed 
h
he Ne Perc
h s e s
he gddess f
he
r d 
h
cu
ce
er. As
he gddess f cre

 d e v g, she  s s d
 ree ve
he rd  her m d y. A 
er
r   f
he
eme
Es recrds ccu
f cre
  hch Ne
h br
gs fr
h frm
he rmev  
ers f
he Nu
he frs
 d ex h. A
h

she c ceved  her he r


cmes 
 be g  cud g
he
hr
y gds. H v g
 k  husb d she h s bee descrbed s "Vrg M
her Gddess": U que Gddes
s, mys
erus d gre
h c me
 be 
he beg  g d c used every
h g

cme
 be... the divine mother of Re, who shines on the horizon...[4] Proclus (41248
AD) wrote that the adyton of the temple of Neith in Sais (of which nothing now
remains) carried the following inscription: I am the things that are, that will
be, and that have been. No one has ever laid open the garment by which I am conc
ealed. The fruit which I brought forth was the sun.[5]
Egyptian war goddess Neith wearing the Deshret crown of northern (lower) Egypt,
which bears the cobra of Wadjet

Neith It was said that Neith interceded in the kingly war between Horus and Set,
over the Egyptian throne, recommending that Horus rule. A great festival, calle
d the Feast of Lamps, was held annually in her honor and, according to Herodotus
, her devotees burned a multitude of lights in the open air all night during the
celebration.
220
Syncretic relationships
A Hellenistic royal family ruled over Egypt for three centuries, a period called
the Ptolemaic dynasty until the Roman conquest in 30 B.C. Anouke, a goddess fro
m Asia Minor was worshiped by immigrants to ancient Egypt. This war goddess was
shown wearing a curved and feathered crown and carrying a spear, or bow and arro
ws. Within Egypt, she was later assimilated and identified as Neith, who by that
time had developed her aspects as a war goddess. The Greek historian, Herodotus
(c. 484-425 BC), noted that the Egyptian citizens of Sais in Egypt worshipped N
eith and that they identified her with Athena. The Timaeus, a Socratic dialogue
written by Plato, mirrors that identification with Athena, possibly as a result
of the identification of both goddesses with war and weaving.[6] E. A. Wallis Bu
dge argued that the spread of Christianity in Egypt was influenced by the likene
ss of attributes between the Mother of Christ and goddesses such as Isis and Nei
th. Partheno-genesis was associated with Neith long before the birth of Christ a
nd other properties belonging to her and Isis were transferred to the Mother of
Christ by way of the apocryphal gospels as a mark of honour.[7]
Louvre Statuette of Neith
References
[1] [2] [3] [6] [7] Shaw & Nicholson, op, cit., p.250 The Way to Eternity: Egypt
ian Myth, F. Fleming & A. Lothian, p. 62. Fleming & Lothian, op. cit. Timaeus 21
e "The Gods of the Egyptians: Vol 2", E. A. Wallis Budge, p. 220-221, Dover ed 1
969, org pub 1904, ISBN 0-486-22056-7

Nekhbet
221
Nekhbet
Nekhbet (/nk bt/;[1] also spelt Nekhebit) was an early predynastic local goddess in E
gyptian mythology who was the patron of the city of Nekheb, her name meaning of
Nekheb. Ultimately, she became the patron of Upper Egypt and one of the two patr
on deities for all of Ancient Egypt when it was unified.
Mythology
She was seen as a goddess who had chosen to adopt the city, and consequently dep
icted as the Egyptian white vulture, a creature that the Egyptians thought only
existed as females (not knowing that, lacking sexual dimorphism, the males are i
dentical). They were presumed to be reproducing via parthenogenesis. Egypts des

r ce  s
he shr e f Nekhbe

Nekheb,
he rg  ecrs r c
y f

he de d. I
 s
he cm  c
y
 Nekhe ,
he regus d 
c  c 

 f Uer Egy


he e d Nekhbe

h s
ff d she r g. f
he Predy s

c erd (c. 32003100 BC) d rb by, s dur g


he E ry Dy s
c Perd (c
. 31002686 BC). The rg  se

eme

he Nekhe s
e d
es frm N q d I r

he 
e B d r cu
ures. A

s hegh
, frm bu
3400 BC, Nekhe h d
e
s
5,000 d ssby s m y s 10,000  h b

s. The res
esses f Nekhbe

ere c ed muu (m


hers) d re rbes f Egy
 vu
ure fe
hers. 
er,
s 
h W dje
, Nekhbe
s ss
er, bec me 
r f
he h r hs,  her c se bec
m g
he ers fc
 f Uer Egy
. The m ges f
hese
 rm  gddesse
s bec me
he r
ec
 g de
es fr  f Egy
, s k  s
he "T  des"
d  e f
he

es f e ch ruer  s
he Neb
y me, hch  s ssc
ed 

h
hese gddesses d beg  g s [s/he] f
he T  des... 
h
he rem  d
er f
h


e. I r
, Nekhbe
 s dec
ed s
he h
e vu
ure (rerese

g urfc
 ),  ys see 
he fr
f h r hs dube cr  g 
h W d
je
. Nekhbe
usu y  s dec
ed hver g, 
h her  gs sre d bve
he ry
 m ge, cu
ch g she symb (rerese
 g  f 
y, , r every
h g), fr
eque
y  b
h f her c s. As 
r f
he h r h, she  s sme
mes see

 be
he m
her f
he dv e sec
f
he h r h, d 
 s 
hs c  c

y
h
she  s M
her f M
hers, d
he Gre
Wh
e C f Nekheb. The vu
ure
hergyh  s
he u 
er  sg used fr
he g

 su d (3)  cud g r


ds such s m
her, rserus, gr dm
her, d ruer. I sme 
e
ex
s f
he
Bk f
he De d, Nekhbe
s referred
 s F
her f F
hers, M
her f M
her
s, h h
h exs
ed frm
he Beg  g, d s Cre
rx f
hs Wrd. Whe  r
 g beg
 ccur 
he Egy
 
he , gv g ms
f
he gddesses husb
d, Nekhbe
 s s d
 becme
he fe f H y, de
y f
he  u d
 f

he Ne. Gve
he e ry d c s

ssc
 f Nekhbe

h be g gd m

her,  
er my
hs she  s s d
 h ve d
ed chdre .

Nekhbe

222
Refere ces
H s B e
: Nechbe
. I : exk der gy
sche Reg sgeschch
e. Nk, H mb
urg 2000, ISBN 3-937872-08-6, S. 507f. Wfg g Heck, Eberh rd O

: Nechbe
. I
: Ke es exk der gy
ge. H rr ss
z, Wesb de 1999, ISBN 3-447-04027
-0, S. 199. Aex dr v eve : Gru drss des  ufes der S
er e D s sge
e
Nu
buch. The C rs
e Nebuhr I s

u
e f A ce
E s
er S
udes (u.a.), Kopenh
agen 2007, ISBN 978-87-635-0406-5. Alexandra von Lieven: Der Himmel ber Esna Eine
Fallstudie zur religisen Astronomie in gypten am Beispiel der kosmologischen Deck
en- und Architravinschriften im Tempel von Esna. Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 2000, I
SBN 3-447-04324-5. M. Werbrouck: Fouilles de El Kab II. 1940, S. 46ff.
Neper (mythology)
For the dimensionless unit, see Neper. For Nepit as an information entropy unit,
see Nat (information).
[1]
Neper in hieroglyphs
In Egyptian mythology, Neper (alts. Nepra or Nepri) was a god of grain, while Ne
pit was a goddess of grain, and the female counterpart of Neper. [2]
In myth
Pictured in human form, Nepri is often depicted as a child suckled by Renenutet.
[3] Nepri's body was dotted to represent grains of corn. The hieroglyphs that wr
ite his name similarly include the symbols of grain. Naturally, as lord of the m
outh, Neper's mother was identified as Renenutet, who gave out the Ren, a person
's true name, and who was also identified as source of nourishment. In particula
r, Neper was especially associated with the most used types of grain, namely bar
ley and emmer wheat. His name simply means lord of the mouth, a reference to the
function of grain as sustenance. Once the myth of Osiris and Isis had begun to
be told, since Osiris was now a life-death-rebirth deity, in common with many cu
ltures, his story was associated with the annual harvest, and the annual disappe
arance of any visible life in the crop. Thus, at this point, Neper became consid
ered merely an aspect of Osiris, a much more significant god, gaining the title
(one who) lives after dying.
References
[1] Wrterbuch, II., p.249 [2] Pinch, Geraldine. Egyptian Mythology p.171., Oxford
University Press, USA (April 8, 2004) ISBN 0-19-517024-5. [3] "Conceptions of G
od In Ancient Egypt: The One and the Many", Erik Hornung (translated by John Bai
nes), p. 276, Cornell University Press, 1996, ISBN 10801483840

Nephthys
223
Nephthys
Nephthys
Nephthys was normally portrayed as a young woman, wearing a headdress in the sha
pe of a house and basket Name in hieroglyphs Major cult center Symbol Consort Pa
rents Siblings none specifically, Diospolis Parva the house, mummy wrappings Set
Geb and Nut Isis, Osiris, Horus, and Set

Nephthys ((/nps/ or /nfs/) or Nebthet /nb t/ (Arabic:


Nyftys) is a membe
opolis in Egyptian mythology, a daughter of Nut and Geb. Nephthys was typically
paired with her sister Isis in funerary rites[1] because of their role as protec
tors of the mummy and the god Osiris and as the sister-wife of Set.

Nephthys
224
Etymology
Nephthys is the Greek form of an epithet (transliterated as Nebet-het, and Nebthet, from Egyptian hieroglyphs).The origin of the goddess Nephthys is unclear bu
t the literal translation of her name is usually given as "Lady of the House," w
hich has caused some to mistakenly identify her with the notion of a "housewife,
" or as the primary lady who ruled a domestic household. This is a pervasive err
or repeated in many commentaries concerning this deity. Her name means quite spe
cifically, "Lady of the [Temple] Enclosure" which associates her with the role o
f priestess. This title, which may be more of an epithet describing her function
than a given name, probably indicates the association of Nephthys with one part
icular temple or some specific aspect of the Egyptian temple ritual. Along with
her sister Isis, Nephthys represented the temple pylon or trapezoidal tower gate
way entrance to the temple which also displayed the flagstaff. This entrance way
symbolised the horizon or akhet.
Nephthys - Muse du Louvre, Paris, France
Function
At the time of the Fifth Dynasty Pyramid Texts, Nephthys appears as a goddess of
the Heliopolitan Ennead. She is the sister of Isis and companion of the war-lik
e deity, Set. As sister of Isis and especially Osiris, Nephthys is a protective
goddess who symbolizes the death experience, just as Isis represented the (re-)b
irth experience. Nephthys was known in some ancient Egyptian temple theologies a
nd cosmologies as the "Useful Goddess" or the "Excellent Goddess".[2] These late
Ancient Egyptian temple texts describe a goddess who represented divine assista
nce and protective guardianship. Nephthys is regarded as the mother of the funer
ary-deity Anubis (Inpu) in some myths.[3][4] Alternatively Anubis appears as the
son of Bastet[5] or Isis.[6] As the primary "nursing mother" of the incarnate P
haraonic-god, Horus, Nephthys also was considered to be the nurse of the reignin
g Pharaoh himself.[7] Though other goddesses could assume this role, Nephthys wa
s most usually portrayed in this function. In contrast Nephthys is sometimes fea
tured as a rather ferocious and dangerous divinity, capable of incinerating the
enemies of the Pharaoh with her fiery breath.[8] New Kingdom Ramesside Pharaohs,
in particular, were enamored of Mother Nephthys, as is attested in various stel
ae and a wealth of inscriptions at Karnak and Luxor, where Nephthys was a member
of that great city's Ennead and her altars were present in the massive complex.
[9] Nephthys was typically paired with her sister Isis in funerary rites[1] beca
use of their role as protectors of the mummy and the god Osiris and as the siste
r-wife of Seth. Less well understood than her sister Isis, Nephthys was no less
important in Egyptian Religion as confirmed by the work of E. Hornung,[10] along
with the work of several noted scholars. "Ascend and descend; descend with Neph
thys, sink into darkness with the Night-bark. Ascend and descend; ascend with Is
is, rise with the Day-bark." Pyramid Text Utterance 222 line 210.[11]

Nephthys
227
Symbolism
In the funerary role, Nephthys often was depicted as a bird of prey called a kit
e, or as a woman with falcon wings, usually outstretched as a symbol of protecti
on. Nephthys's association with the kite or the Egyptian hawk (and its piercing,
mournful cries) evidently reminded the ancients of the lamentations usually off
ered for the dead by wailing women. In this capacity, it is easy to see how Neph
thys could be associated with death and putrefaction in the Pyramid Texts. She w
as, almost without fail, depicted as crowned by the hieroglyphics signifying her
name, which were a combination of signs for the sacred temple enclosure (hwt),
along with the sign for neb, or mistress (Lady), on top of the enclosure sign.[1
2] Nephthys was clearly viewed as a morbid-but-crucial force of heavenly transit
ion, i.e., the Pharaoh becomes strong for his journey to the afterlife through t
he intervention of Isis and Nephthys. The same divine power could be applied lat
er to all of the dead, who were advised to consider Nephthys a necessary compani
on. According to the Pyramid Texts, Nephthys, along with Isis, was a force befor
e whom demons trembled in fear, and whose magical spells were necessary for navi
gating the various levels of Duat, as the region of the afterlife was termed. It
should here be noted that Nephthys was not necessarily viewed as the polar oppo
site of Isis, but rather as a different reflection of the same reality: eternal
life in transition. Thus, Nephthys was also seen in the Pyramid Texts as a suppo
rtive cosmic force occupying the night-bark on the journey of Ra, the majestic s
un god, particularly when he entered Duat at the transitional time of dusk, or t
wilight. Isis was Ra's companion at the coming of dawn.
Nephthys and Set
Though it commonly has been assumed that Nepthys was married to Set and they hav
e a son Anubis, recent Egyptological research has called this into question. Lev
ai notes that while Plutarchs De Isde e
Osrde me
 s
he de
ys m rr ge,

here s very 

e secfc y  k g Neh


hys d Se

he rg  e ry
Egy
 surces. She rgues
h

he 
er evde ce sugges
s
h
: he Neh

hyss m rr ge
 Se
 s  r
f Egy
 my
hgy, 
 s 
 r
f
he m
y
h f
he murder d resurrec
 f Osrs. She  s 
 red 
h Se

he v
  , bu

h Se
s 
her sec
,
he be eve
fgure h  s
he ker f A
hs. Ths  s
he sec
f Se
rshed 
he es
er  ses dur g
he Rm
erd, here he s dec
ed 
h Neh
hys s c-ruer.[13]

Neh
hys
228
The s v g ss
er f Osrs
Neh
hys  ys mr

re 
he Osr my
h-cyce. I
s Neh
hys h
sss
s Iss  g
her g d mur  g
he dsmembered r
 s f
he bdy f Os
rs, f
er hs murder by
he e vus Se
. Neh
hys s serves s
he ursem d
d 
chfu gu rd f
he  f
Hrus. The Pyr md Tex
s refer
 Iss s

he "br
h-m
her" d
 Neh
hys s
he " urs g-m
her" f Hrus. Neh
hys  s

es
ed s  e f
he fur "Gre
Chefs" ru g 
he Osr cu
-ce
er f
Busrs, 
he De
[14] d she e rs
 h ve ccued h r ry s



he hy c
y f Abyds. N cu
s

es
ed fr her
here,
hugh she cer

 y fgured s gddess f gre
mr
ce 
he u  r
es c duc
ed, he
re
 chse fem es r res
esses  yed
he res f Iss d Neh
hys d
erfrmed
he e br
e  me

 s f Iss d Neh
hys. There,
Abyds,
Neh
hys j ed Iss s mur er 
he shr e k  s
he Osre .[15] These
"Fes
v  S gs f Iss d Neh
hys" ere r
u  eeme
s f m y such Osr
r
es  m jr ce
Egy
 cu
-ce
ers. As mr
u ry gddess (  g 
h
Iss, Ne
h, d Serqe
), Neh
hys  s  e f
he r
ec
resses f
he C c
j rs f
he H . H ,  e f
he S s f Hrus, gu rded
he emb med u gs. Th
us e f d Neh
hys e ded 
h
he e
he
, "Neh
hys f
he Bed f fe,"[16]
 drec
refere ce
 her rege er
ve rr
es 
he emb m g
be. I

he c
y f Memhs, Neh
hys  s duy h red 
h
he

e "Quee f
he Emb 
mers Sh," d
here ssc
ed 
h
he j ck -he ded gd A ubs s 
r .[1
7] Neh
hys  s s c sdered fes
ve de
y hse r
es cud m d
e
he 
ber  c sum
 f beer. I v rus reefs
Edfu, De der , d Behbe
, Ne
h
hys s dec
ed recev g  vsh beer-ffer gs frm
he Ph r h, hch she 
ud "re
ur ", us g her er s beer-gddess "
h
[
he h r h] m y h ve jy

h  Iss - Grec-Rm er  
ed m ge   e d
emer shrud - c.
300-200 B.C. h gver." Esehere
Edfu, fr ex me, Neh
hys s gddess 
h Me
r
Museum f Ar
gves
he Ph r h er
 see "
h
hch s hdd
e by m gh
." Ths f
s e 
h mre ge er 
ex
u 
hemes
h
c sder
Neh
hys
 be gddess hse u que dm   s d rk ess, r
he erus edges
f
he deser
. Neh
hys cud s e r s  e f
he gddesses h sss
s

chdbr
h. O e ce
Egy
 my
h reserved 
he P yrus Wes
c r recu

s
he s
ry f Iss, Neh
hys, Meskhe e
, d Heqe
s
r ve g d cers  dsg
use, sss
 g
he fe f res
f Amu -Re s she re res
 br g fr
h s
 s h re des
 ed fr f me d fr
u e. Neh
hyss he  g sks d s

us
s drec
cu
er r
f Iss, s
eeed, s her ss
er  "rds f er," re e
vde ced by
he bu d ce f f e ce mue
s c rved  her ke ess, d by her
rese ce  v re
y f m gc   yr
h
sugh

 summ her f musy 
ru
s
c qu 
es

he d f mr
s.[18]
Neh
hys - Grec-Rm er  
ed m ge   e d
emer shrud - c. 300200 B.C. Me
r
Museum f Ar

Neh
hys
229
Ne K gdm cu
s f Neh
hys
The R messde Ph r hs ere  r
cu ry dev
ed
 Se
s rerg
ves d, 

he 19
h Dy s
y,
eme f Neh
hys c ed
he "Huse f Neh
hys f R messesMer mu "  s bu
r refurbshed 
he
 f Seermeru, md y be
ee Oxyr
hy chs d Her kes, 
he u
skr
s f
he F yyum d qu
e e r

he
mder s
e f Desh sheh. Here, s P yrus Wbur 
es  
s e 
h f
x

 recrds d  d ssessme
s,
he
eme f Neh
hys  s secfc fu d

by R messes II, c
ed  cse rxm
y
 (r 
h )
he rec c
f
he
e csure f Se
. T be cer
 ,
he Huse f Neh
hys  s  e f ff
y  dvdu
,  d-  g
emes de e
ed fr
hs r
 f
he Mdde Egy
 ds
r
c
 P yrus Wbur. The feds d 
her hd gs be g g
 Neh
hyss
e
me ere u der
he u
hr
y f
 Neh
hys-rhe
s ( med Pe mer d Meryb
rse) d  e (me
 ed)   b res
f
he gddess. Whe cer
 y ff
ed

h
he "Huse f Se
,"
he Neh
hys
eme
Seermeru d 
s r
 ed 
ds (sever  cres) ce ry ere u der dm s
r
 ds
 c
frm
he Se
 s


u
 .[19] The Neh
hys
eme  s u que es
bshme
 
s  rgh
,
 dee de
e

y. Accrd g
 P yrus Wbur,[20] 
her "Huse f Neh
h
ys f R messes-Mer mu " seems
 h ve exs
ed

he r
h, 
he
 f Su,
cser

he F yyum reg . A 
her
eme f Neh
hys seems
 h ve exs
ed 

he
 f Pu djem. The P yrus Bg recrds cm 
dged by rh
e
f
he
eme f Se

h

 reg rd g u due
x
  hs reg rd. Af

er m k g 
rduc
ry e 
 "Re-Hr kh
e, Se
, d Neh
hys" fr
he u

m
e resu
 f
hs ssue by
he ry  Vzer,
he rhe
( med Pr emh b
)  me
s hs rk d. He 
es hs bvus dm s
r
 f
he "Huse f Se

" d dds: "I m s res sbe fr


he sh, d I m res sbe kese f
r
he Huse f Neh
hys,  g 
h he  f 
her
emes."[21] As "Neh
hys
f R messes-Mer mu ,"
he gddess d her shr es ere u der
he  r
cu r e d
rseme
f R messes II. The fu d
 s f
he Se
d Neh
hys
emes
See
rmeru f y ere dscvered d de
fed 
he 1980s, d
he Neh
hys
em
e  s sef-sus
  g
eme cmex 
h
he Se
e csure.[22] There c
be 

e dub

h
cu
f Neh
hys exs
ed 
he
eme d gre

 f
Her kes, r
h f Seermeru. A e r fe-szed s

ue f Neh
hys (curre

y hused 
he uvre) b s
s curusy 
ered  scr
 . The b s 
m g
e rg y  s s

 ed
Med e
-H bu, s  r
f
he cu
c ceebr
 f

he Ph r  c "Sed-Fes
v ," bu
 s
r sferred
sme 

 Her ke
s d
he
eme f Hershef. The cu
-m ges  scr
 rg y er
 ed

 "Neh
hys, Frems
f
he Sed [Fes
v ] 
he B
h f A s" (
Med e

-H bu), bu
 s re- scrbed r re-dedc
ed
 "Neh
hys, Frems
f
he [B

hs f] Her kes." A "rhe


f Neh
hys" s  deed

es
ed fr
he
 
f Her kes 
he 30
h Dy s
y.[23]
Chef gddess f Nme VII
Neh
hys  s c sdered
he u que r
ec
ress f
he S cred Phe x, r
he Be
u Brd. Ths re m y h ve s
emmed frm e ry ssc
  her
ve He
s, hch  s re  ed fr 
s "Huse f
he Be u"
eme. I
hs re, Ne
h
hys  s gve
he me "Neh
hys-Khereske
," d e 
h f
eme
ex
s fr
m Edfu, De der , Ph e, Km Omb, E Q  , Es , d 
hers crrbr
e
he 

e de
fc
 f Neh
hys s
he sureme gddess f Uer Egy
 Nme VII,
here 
her shr e exs
ed  h r f
he Be u. Neh
hys s  s
he gdde
ss f
he "M s f
he Ss
rum"  H
-Sekhem (Gr. Dss P rv ),
he che
f c
y f Nme VII. There, Neh
hys  s
he rm ry r
ec
ress f
he resde

Osr rec, f
he Be u Brd, d f
he c  Hrus/Osrs m fes

 ,

he gd Neferh
e.[24] Neh
hys  s ms
dey d usu y rshed  ce

Egy
s  r
f c sr
um f
eme de
es. Therefre, 
shud 
sur
rse us
h
her cu
m ges cud key be fu d s  r
f
he dv e e
ur
ge 
emes
Kh rg , Kes, Der e-H g r, K
s, De der , Ph e, Sebe y


s, Busrs, She hur, E Q  , e
s, Hes, Abyds, Thebes, D keh O
ss, d  deed
hrughu
Egy
.[25] I ms
c ses, Neh
hys fu d her

Neh
hys
yc   ce s  r
f
r d  gsde Osrs d Iss, r Iss d
Hrus, r Iss d M , r s  r
f qu r
e
f de
es. I
s erh s 
h
s  y
h
Neh
hys bes
fufed her re s mr


  de
y hs
e de  fu c
  s
 rvde erfu sss
ce
 her ssc
es  gre

v re
y f
eme cu
s
ruy "Usefu" d "Excee
" gddess, s her rm ry
e
he
s refec
.
230
Refere ces
[1] Abeer E-Sh h y bks.gge.c.uk (h

:/ / bks. gge. c. uk/ bks?


d=TIzHcd0sKQC& g=PA73& g=PA73& dq=Djer
y+ egy
& surce=b& 
s=EMs5635Ev&
sg=-252mNHYUVvTvbqqD1HR4S9k& h=e & e=TjDmTuqGD-OQ4gS9PW4Cg& s =X& =bk
_resu
& c
=resu
& res um=10& ved=0CGgQ6AECQ#v= e ge& q=Djer
y egy
& f=f s
e) The fu er ry r
f A ce
Egy
: brdge

he re m f
he here f
er (10
6  ges) Amerc U vers
y  C r Press, 2005 ISBN 977-17-2353-7 [Re
reved
2011-12-12] [2] P. Ws , A P
em c exk : A excgr hc  S
udy f
he
Tex
s 
he Teme f Edfu, OA 78, 1997 [3] G. A. W  rgh
, Sesh
d
he
Ph r h, The Jur  f Egy
 Arch egy, V. 26, (Feb., 1941), . 30-40 [
4] Vrg  Schm, The A ce
Egy
 s, M rsh  C ve dsh, 2007, . 27 [5] A
. K. Eym , A De
-m  Yebu, U vers -Pubshers, 2003; P ge 219 
he r

ce O Ts  Egy
 Medc  Hs
ry by Hedvg Gyry [6] D d B. Redfrd,
The 
er ry M
f f
he Exsed Chd (cf. Ex.  1-10), Nume , V. 14, F sc.
3. (Nv. 1967), . 209-228. The dscuss f Iss s
he m
her f A ubs 
e rs   ges 222 d 223 [7] K.A. K
che , R messde I scr
 s, 1993, B ck
e [8] S u er , Eeh
 e, Be
r ge Bf. 6, 46 .d.; Tr u ecker, K r k VII,
184 . 2; C uve, Ess , 152 .7 [9] B. Pr
er/R. Mss, Tgr hc  Bb
gr hy f A ce
Egy
 Hergyhc Tex
s, Reefs, d P 
 gs. II. Theb
Temes. Oxfrd Sec d Ed
 [10] Versuch ber Neh
hys,  : A. B. yd [Hrsg
.], S
udes  Ph r  c Reg d Sce
y  H ur f J. G. Grff
hs,  d
 1992, 186-188 [11] A ce
Egy
 Pyr md Tex
s, R.O. F uk er, Oxfrd U 
vers
y Press 1969. [12] J mes P. Ae , Pe
er Der M ue , The Pyr md Tex
s
 SB, 2005 [13] ev , Jessc . "Neh
hys d Se
h: A
my f My
hc  M rr
ge", P er rese
ed
The 58
h A u  Mee
 g f
he Amerc Rese rch Ce
er
 Egy
, Wy dh m Ted H
e, Ted, Oh, Ar 20, 2007. (h

:/ / . 
c demc. cm/ me
/ 176897_ dex. h
m) [14] The Bk f
he De d, Theb Rece
s [15] Byr Esey Sh fer, De
er Ar d, Temes  A ce
Egy
, .112, 200
5 [16] Tomb of Tuthmosis III, Dynasty XVIII [17] J. Berlandini, p. 41-62, Varia
Memphitica, VI - La stle de Parherounemyef, BIFAO 82 [18] A. Gutbub, J. Bergman, N
ephthys dcouverte dans un papyrus magique in Mlanges, Publications de la recherche
, universit de Montpellier, Montpellier, FRANCE, 1984 [19] 'Land Tenure in the Ra
messide Period' by S. Katary, 1989 [20] Section 1. 28 [21] Papyrus Bologna 1094,
5, 8-7, 1 [22] 'Les Deesses de l'Egypte Pharaonique', R. LaChaud, 1992, Duroche
r-Champollion [23] Forgeau, 'Pretres Isiaques,' BIFAO 84, 155-157 [24] Sauneron,
Beitrage Bf. 6, 46; C. Traunecker, Le temple d'El-Qal'a. Relevs des scnes et des
textes. I' Sanctuaire central. Sanctuaire nord. Salle des offrandes 1 112 [25] B
IFAO website

Nu (mythology)
231
Nu (mythology)
Naunet redirects here. Nu (/nu/; "watery one") or Nun (/nn/ or /nun/; "inert one")
is the deification of the primordial watery abyss in Egyptian mythology. In the
Ogdoad cosmogony, the word nu means "abyss". The Ancient Egyptians envisaged the
oceanic abyss of the Nun as surrounding a bubble in which the sphere of life is
encapsulated, representing the deepest mystery of their cosmogony.[1] In Ancien
t Egyptian creation accounts the original mound of land comes forth from the wat
ers of the Nun.[2] The Nun is the source of all that appears in a differentiated
world, encompassing all aspects of divine and earthly existence. In the Ennead
cosmogony Nun is perceived as transcendent at the point of creation alongside At
um the creator god.[1] Nu was shown usually as male but also had aspects that co
uld be represented as female or male. Nunet (/nu nt/; also spelt Naunet) is the femal
e aspect, which is the name Nu with a female gender ending. The male aspect, Nun
, is written with a male gender ending. As with the primordial concepts of the O
gdoad, Nu's male aspect was depicted as a frog, or a frog-headed man. In Ancient
Egyptian art, Nun also appears as a bearded man, with blue-green skin, represen
ting water. Naunet is represented as a snake or snake-headed woman. Beginning wi
th the Middle Kingdom Nun is described as "the Father of the Gods" and he is dep
icted on temple walls throughout the rest of Ancient Egyptian religious history.
[1] The Ogdoad includes with Naunet and Nun, Amaunet and Amun, Hauhet and Heh, a
nd Kauket with Kuk. Like the other Ogdoad deities, Nu did not Naunet and Nun hav
e temples or any center of worship. Even so, Nu was sometimes represented by a s
acred lake, or, as at Abydos, by an underground stream. In the 12th Hour of the
Book of Gates Nu is depicted with upraised arms holding a "solar bark" (or barqu
e, a boat). The boat is occupied by eight deities, with the scarab deity Khepri
standing in the middle surrounded by the seven other deities. During the late pe
riod when Egypt became occupied the negative aspect of the Nun (chaos) became th
e dominant perception, reflecting the forces of disorder that were set loose in
the country.[1]
Notes
[1] "The Oxford Essential Guide to Egyptian Mythology", Daniel R. McBride, Berkl
ey, 2003, ISBN 0-425-19096-X [2] "Ancient Egypt", David P. Silverman, p. 120, Ox
ford University Press US, 2003, ISBN 0-19-521952-X

Nut (goddess)
232
Nut (goddess)
Nut
Nut, goddess of sky supported by Shu the god of air, and the ram-headed Heh deit
ies, while the earth god Geb reclines beneath Goddess of Sky Name in hieroglyphs
Symbol Consort Parents Siblings Offspring sky, star Geb Shu and Tefnut Geb Osir
is, Isis, Set, Nephthys, and sometimes Horus
Nut (/nt/ or /nut/)[1] or Neuth (/nu/ o /nju/; al o pelled Nui
o Newe
) wa
e go
dde of
e ky in
e Ennead of Egyp
ian my
ology. S e wa een a a
a -cov
e ed nude woman a c ing ove
e ea
,[2] o a a cow.
Godde of
e ky
Nu
(nw
) in ie oglyp
Nu
i a daug
e of S u and Tefnu
. S e i Geb' i
e . S e a fou o five c
ild en: O i i , Se
, I i , Nep
y , and ome
ime Ho u . He name i
an la
e
d
o mean ' ky'[3][4] and e i con ide ed one of
e olde
dei
ie among
e
Egyp
ian pan
eon,[5] wi
e o igin being found on
e c ea
ion
o y of Helio
poli . S e wa o iginally
e godde of
e nig

ime ky, bu
even
ually becam
e efe ed
o a imply
e ky godde . He eadd e wa
e ie oglyp ic of p
a
of e name, a po
, w ic may al o ymbolize
e u
e u . Mo
ly depic
ed in
nude uman fo m, Nu
wa al o ome
ime depic
ed in
e fo m of a cow w o e g ea

body fo med
e ky and eaven , a ycamo e
ee, o a a gian
ow, uckling
many pigle
( ep e en
ing
e
a ).

Nu
(godde )
233
O igin
A ac ed ymbol of Nu
wa
e ladde , u ed by O i i
o en
e e eavenly kie
. T i ladde - ymbol wa called mae
and wa placed in
omb
o p o
ec

e de
cea ed, and
o invoke
e aid of
e dei
y of
e dead. Nu
and e b o
e , Geb
, may be con ide ed enigma in
e wo ld of my
ology. In di ec
con
a

o mo

o
e my
ologie w ic u ually develop a ky fa
e a ocia
ed wi
an Ea

mo
e (o Mo
e Na
u e), e pe onified
e ky and e
e Ea
.[6] Nu
appe
a in
e c ea
ion my
of Heliopoli w ic involve eve al godde e w o play
impo
an
ole : G ea
godde Nu
wi
e wing
e
c ed ac o a coffin Tef
nu
(Tefene
) i a pe onifica
ion of moi
u e, w o ma
ed wi
S u (Ai ) and
e
n gave bi

o Sky a
e godde Nu
, w o ma
ed wi
e b o
e Ea
, a Geb
. F om
e union of Geb and Nu
came, among o
e ,
e mo
popula of Egyp
ian
godde e , I i ,
e mo
e of Ho u , w o e
o y i cen
al
o
a
of e b o

e - u band,
e e u ec
ion god O i i . O i i i killed by i b o
e Se

and ca

e ed ove
e Ea
in 14 piece w ic I i ga
e up and pu
back
o
ge
e . O i i
en climb a ladde in
o i mo
e Nu
fo afe
y and even
uall
y become king of
e dead.[7] A uge cul
developed abou
O i i
a
la
ed we
ll in
o Roman
ime . I i wa e u band' ueen in
e unde wo ld and
e
eo
logical ba i fo
e ole of
e ueen on ea
. I
can be aid
a
e wa a
ve ion of
e g ea
godde Ha
o . Like Ha
o e no
only ad dea
and ebi

a ocia
ion , bu
wa
e p o
ec
o of c ild en and
e godde of c ildbi

.[7]
My
of Nu
and Ra
Ra,
e un god, wa
e econd
o ule
e wo ld, acco ding
o
e eign of
e
god . Ra wa a
ong ule bu
e fea ed anyone
aking i
one. W en e di
cove ed
a
Nu
wa
o ave c ild en e wa fu iou . He dec eed, "Nu
all no

give bi
any day of
e yea ." A

a

ime,
e yea wa only 360 day . Nu

poke
o T o
, god of wi dom, and e ad a plan. T o
gambled wi
K on u, go
d of
e moon, w o e lig
ivaled
a
of Ra' . Eve y
ime K on u lo
, e ad

o give T o
ome of i moonlig
. K on u lo
o many
ime
a
T o
ad
enoug moonlig

o make 5 ex
a day . Since
e e T e ky godde Nu
depic
ed
a a cow day we e no
pa
of
e yea , Nu
could ave e c ild en. S e ad 5:
O i i , Ho u
e Elde , Se
, I i , and Nep
y . W en Ra found ou
, e wa fu i
ou . He epa a
ed Nu
f om e u band Geb fo all e
e ni
y. He fa
e , S u, wa

o keep
em apa
. S
ill, Nu
did no
eg e
e deci ion.[ci
a
ion
needed]
Some of
e
i
le of Nu
we e: Cove e of
e Sky: Nu
wa aid
o be cove ed i
n
a
ouc ing
e diffe en
poin
of e body. S e W o P o
ec
: Among e j
ob wa
o envelop and p o
ec
Ra,
e un god.[8] Mi
e of All o "S e w o B
o e
e God ": O iginally, Nu
wa aid
o be laying on
op of Geb (Ea
) and c
on
inually aving in
e cou e. Du ing
i
ime e bi
ed fou c ild en: O i i
, I i , Se
, and Nep
y .[9] A fif
c ild named A ue i i men
ioned by Plu
a
c .[10] He wa
e Egyp
ian coun
e pa

o
e G eek god Apollo, w o wa made
ync e
ic wi
Ho u in
e Helleni
ic e a a 'Ho u
e Elde '.[11] T e P
olema
ic
emple of Edfu

Nu
(godde ) i dedica
ed
o Ho u
e Elde and
e e e i called
e on of
Nu
and Geb, b o
e of O i i , and
e elde
on of Geb.[12] S e W o Hold a T
ou and Soul : Becau e of e ole in
e e-bi
ing of Ra eve y mo ning and in
e on O i i ' e u ec
ion, Nu
became a key god in many of
e my
abou

e af
e -life.[8]
234
Role
Nu
wa
e godde of
e ky and all eavenly bodie , a ymbol of p o
ec
ing

e dead w en
ey en
e
e af
e life. Acco ding
o
e Egyp
ian , du ing
e d
ay,
e eavenly bodie uc a
e un and moonwould make
ei way ac o e bod
y. T en, a
du k,
ey would be wallowed, pa
oug e belly du ing
e nig

, and be ebo n a
dawn.[13] Nu
i al o
e ba ie epa a
ing
e fo ce of
c ao f om
e o de ed co mo in
e wo ld. S e wa pic
u ed a a woman a c ed o
n e
oe and finge
ip ove
e ea
; e body po
ayed a a
a -filled k
y. Nu
s f gers d
es ere beeved

uch
he
The Sky Gddess Nu
rched r
ec
vey ver
he E r
h d  f 
s  h b

s
fur c rd  
s r drec
 s f r
h, su
h, e s
, d es
. Bec use f h
er re  s v g Osrs, Nu
 s see s fre d d r
ec
r f
he de d, h
 e ed
 her s chd e s
 
s m
her: "O my M
her Nu
, s
re
ch Y
ursef ver me,
h
I m y be  ced m g
he mersh be s
rs hch re  Y
u, d
h
I m y 
de." Nu
 s
hugh

 dr 
he de d 
 her s
r-f
ed sky, d refresh
hem 
h fd d  e: "I m Nu
, d I h ve cme s
h

I m y e fd d r
ec
yu frm 
h gs ev."[14] She  s f
e  
ed 

he  sde d f
he s rch gus, r
ec
 g
he dece sed. The v u
f
mbs
f
e ere  
ed d rk bue 
h m y s
rs s rerese

 f Nu
. The B
k f
he De d s ys, "H ,
hu Syc mre Tree f
he Gddess Nu
! Gve me f
he

er d f
he r hch s 
hee. I embr ce
h

hr e hch s  U u,
d I kee gu rd ver
he Egg f Nekek-ur. I
furshe
h, d I fursh; 
v
e
h, d I ve; 
s uffe
h
he r, d I s uff
he r, I
he Osrs A , h
se rd s
ru
h,  e ce."[14]
Refere ces
[2] My
hgy, A Ius
r
ed E cyced f
he Pr c  My
hs d Reg s
f
he Wrd, by Rch rd C ve dsh ISBN 1-84056-070-3, 1998 [3] The hergyhc
s (
 rgh
) se 
r u
. Egy
 s ever r
e Nu
. (Cer d M ey
. 155) The de
erm
ve hergyh s fr sky r he ve ,
he sky (hergy
Gr 
h). [4] Wr
erbuch der gy
sche Sr che, ed
ed by Adf Erm d Herm
,  214, 1957 [5] The Oxfrd E cyced f A ce
Egy
, by e rd H. esk
, 2001 [6] Wme f A ce
Egy
d
he Sky Gddess Nu
, by Sus Ter Hs
The Jur  f Amerc Fkre 1987 Amerc Fkre Sce
y. [7] "Egy

gddesses" The Oxfrd Cm 
 Wrd my
hgy. D vd eem g. Oxfrd U ver
s
y Press, 2004. Oxfrd Refere ce O  e. Oxfrd U vers
y Press. Su
he s
M
ssur S

e U vers
y. 7 M y 2009 [8] The Oxfrd E cyced f A ce
Egy

, by e rd H. esk, 2001. [9] C rk, R. T. Ru de. My


h d Symb  A ce

Egy
.  d : Th mes d Huds , 1959. [10] The Mr  - Iss & Osrs, 355 F
, Uchc g.edu (h

:/ / e ee. uchc g. edu/ Th yer/ E/ Rm / Tex


s/ Pu

rch/ Mr  / Iss_ d_Osrs*/ A. h
m)

Nu
(gddess)
[11] E cyc ed Br
c , Gge Bks (h

:/ / bks. gge. cm/ bks?


d=U21BAAAAcAAJ& g=PA384& dq=Aruers& h=e & e=6HqNTMjqKMH48AbjhKDkC& s =X& 
=bk_resu
& c
=resu
& res um=7& ved=0CEIQ6AEBg#v= e ge& q=Aruers,
he A
 f
he Egy
 my
hgy& f=f se) [12] Emm S H , H rcr
es d O

her Chd De


es  A ce
Egy
 Scu
ure, Jur  f
he Amerc Rese rc
h Ce
er  Egy
V. 14, (1977), . 55-58, re
reved frm JSTOR.rg (h

:/ /
. js
r. rg/ s
be/ 40000367) [13] H r
, Gerge Ru
edge dc
 ry f Eg
y
 gds d gddesses Ru
edge; 2 ed
 (15 M rch 2005) ISBN 978-0-415-34
495-1 .111 Bks.gge.c.uk (h

:/ / bks. gge. c. uk/ bks?d=bM


bU
sCNC& g=PA110& dq=egy
 + gddess+ u
+ ch s& e=-TS6mdJjKQSZ1929C& c
e
=frefx- & cd=6#v= e ge& q=egy
 gddess u
ch s& f=f se) [14] "P 
yrus f A : Egy
 Bk f
he De d", Sr W s Budge, NuVs Pubc
 s
,  ge 57, 2007, ISBN 1-59547-914-7
235
Cer, M rk d M ey, B. H
 Re d Egy
 Hergyhs: Revsed Ed

. Berkeey: U vers
y f C fr  Press, 1998. "Egy
 gddesses" The Oxf
rd Cm 
 Wrd my
hgy. D vd eem g. Oxfrd U vers
y Press, 2004. O
xfrd Refere ce O  e. Oxfrd U vers
y Press. Su
he s
Mssur S

e U ver
s
y. 7 M y 2009. "P yrus f A : Egy
 Bk f
he De d", Sr W s Budge,
NuVs Pubc
 s,  ge 57, 2007. The Oxfrd E cyced f A ce
Egy
,
by e rd H. esk, 2001. Wme f A ce
Egy
d
he Sky Gddess Nu
, by S
us Ter Hs, The Jur  f Amerc Fkre, 1987. Ches
s f fe (h

s
://r s.kueuve .be/b
s
re m/123456789/246455/1/Ches
s), by H rc Wems, 19
88,  ges 131-144, 165, 168, 174, 194-196, 243.
Ex
er   ks
Med re
ed
 Nu
(gddess)
Wkmed Cmm s

Osrs
236
Osrs
Osrs
Osrs, rd f
he de d. Hs gree sk symbzes re-br
h. Gd f
he f
er
fe N me  hergyhs M jr cu
ce
er Symb C sr
P re
s Sb gs Abyds
Crk d f  Iss Geb d Nu
Iss, Se
, Neh
hys, ( d Aruers s er Pu
r
ch)

Osrs (/ sars/; Ancient Greek: , als Usrs; the Egyptan langage name s var
slterated Asar, Asar, Aser, Asar, Asr, Wesr, Usr, Usre r Asare) s an
Egyptan gd, sally dentfed as the gd f the afterlfe, the nderwrld and
the dead. He was classcally depcted as a green-sknned man wth a pharah's 
eard, partally mmmy-wrapped at the legs, wearng a dstnctve crwn wth tw
large strch feathers at ether sde, and hldng a symlc crk and flal. O
srs was at tmes cnsdered the ldest sn f the Earth gd Ge,[1] and the sk
y gddess Nt, as well as eng rther and hsand f Iss, wth Hrs eng c
nsdered hs psthmsly egtten sn.[1] He was als asscated wth the epth
et Khent-Ament, whch means "Fremst f the Westerners" a reference t hs k
ngshp n the land f the dead.[1] As rler f the dead, Osrs was als smet
mes called "kng f the lvng", snce the Ancent Egyptans cnsdered the les
sed dead "the lvng nes".[2] Osrs s frst attested n the mddle f the Ff
th dynasty f Egypt, althgh t s lkely that he was wrshpped mch earler;[
3] the term Khent-Ament dates t at least the frst dynasty, als as a phara
nc ttle. Mst nfrmatn we have n the myths f Osrs s derved frm alls
ns cntaned n the Pyramd Texts at the end f the Ffth Dynasty, later New K
ngdm srce dcments sch as the Shaaka Stne and the Cntendng f Hrs an
d Seth, and mch later, n narratve style frm the wrtngs f Greek athrs n
cldng Pltarch[4] and Ddrs Scls.[5] Osrs was cnsdered nt nly a me
rcfl jdge f the dead n the afterlfe, t als the nderwrld agency that g
ranted all lfe, ncldng sprtng vegetatn and the fertle fldng f the
Nle Rver. He was descred as the "Lrd f lve",[6] "He Wh s Permanently Be
ngn and Ythfl"[7] and the "Lrd f Slence".[8] The Kngs f Egypt

Osrs were asscated wth Osrs n death as Osrs rse frm the dead they w
ld, n nn wth hm, nhert eternal lfe thrgh a prcess f mtatve mag
c. By the New Kngdm all peple, nt jst pharahs, were eleved t e assca
ted wth Osrs at death, f they ncrred the csts f the assmlatn rtals
.[9] Thrgh the hpe f new lfe after death, Osrs egan t e asscated wt
h the cycles served n natre, n partclar vegetatn and the annal fldn
g f the Nle, thrgh hs lnks wth Orn and Srs at the start f the new y
ear.[7] Osrs was wdely wrshpped as Lrd f the Dead ntl the sppressn 
f the Egyptan relgn drng the Chrstan era.[10][11]
237
Appearance
Osrs s represented n hs mst develped frm f cngraphy wearng the Atef
crwn, whch s smlar t the Whte crwn f Upper Egypt, t wth the addt
n f tw crlng strch feathers at each sde (see als Atef crwn (herglyph)
). He als carres the crk and flal. The crk s thght t represent Osrs
as a shepherd gd. The symlsm f the flal s mre ncertan wth shepherds
whp, fly-whsk, r asscatn wth the gd Andjety f the nnth nme f Lwer
Egypt prpsed.[7] He was cmmnly depcted as a green (the clr f rerth) r
lack (alldng t the fertlty f the Nle fldplan) cmplexned pharah,
n mmmfrm (wearng the trappngs f mmmfcatn frm chest dwnward).[12] H
e was als depcted rarely as a lnar gd wth a crwn encmpassng the mn.
Early mythlgy
The Pyramd Texts descre early cnceptns f an afterlfe n terms f eternal
travellng wth the sn gd amngst the stars. Amngst these mrtary texts, at
the egnnng f the 4th dynasty, s fnd: "An fferng the kng gves and An
s". By the end f the 5th dynasty, the frmla n all tms ecmes "An ffer
ng the kng gves and Osrs".[13]
Father f Hrs
Osrs s the mythlgcal father f the gd Hrs, whse cnceptn s descre
d n the Osrs myth, a central myth n ancent Egyptan elef. The myth descr
ed Osrs as havng een klled y hs rther Set, wh wanted Osrs' thrne.
Iss jned the fragmented peces f Osrs, t the nly dy part mssng was
the phalls. Iss fashned a glden phalls, and refly rght Osrs ack t
lfe y se f a spell that she learned frm her father. Ths spell gave her t
me t ecme pregnant y Osrs efre he agan ded. Iss later gave rth t H
rs. As sch, snce Hrs was rn after Osrs' resrrectn, Hrs ecame th
ght f as a representatn f new egnnngs and the vanqsher f the evl Set
. Ptah-Seker (wh reslted frm the dentfcatn f Ptah wth Seker), gd f r
e-ncarnatn, ths gradally ecame dentfed wth Osrs, the tw ecmng Pt
ah-Seker-Osrs. As the sn was thght t spend the nght n the nderwrld, an
d was sseqently re-ncarnated every mrnng, Ptah-Seker-Osrs was dentfed
as th kng f the nderwrld, and gd f rencarnatn.
The gds Osrs, Ans, and Hrs, frm a tm pantng.

Osrs
238
Ram gd
Banedjed (3-n-d) in hieroglyphs
Osiris' soul, or rather his Ba, was occasionally worshipped in its own right, al
most as if it were a distinct god, especially in the Delta city of Mendes. This
aspect of Osiris was referred to as Banebdjedet, which is grammatically feminine
(also spelt "Banebded" or "Banebdjed"), literally "the ba of the lord of the dj
ed, which roughly means The soul of the lord of the pillar of stability. The dje
d, a type of pillar, was usually understood as the backbone of Osiris, and, at t
he same time, as the Nile, the backbone of Egypt. The Nile, supplying water, and
Osiris (strongly connected to the vegetation) who died only to be resurrected,
represented continuity and stability. As Banebdjed, Osiris was given epithets su
ch as Lord of the Sky and Life of the (sun god) Ra, since Ra, when he had become
identified with Atum, was considered Osiris' ancestor, from whom his regal auth
ority is inherited. Ba does not mean "soul" in the western sense, and has to do
with power, reputation, force of character, especially in the case of a god. Sin
ce the ba was associated with power, and also happened to be a word for ram in E
gyptian, Banebdjed was depicted as a ram, or as Ram-headed. A living, sacred ram
, was kept at Mendes and worshipped as the incarnation of the god, and upon deat
h, the rams were mummified and buried in a ram-specific necropolis. Banebdjed wa
s consequently said to be Horus' father, as Banebdjed was an aspect of Osiris. R
egarding the association of Osiris with the ram, the god's traditional crook and
flail are the instruments of the shepherd, which has suggested to some scholars
also an origin for Osiris in herding tribes of the upper Nile. The crook and fl
ail were originally symbols of the minor agricultural deity Andjety, and passed
to Osiris later. From Osiris, they eventually passed to Egyptian kings in genera
l as symbols of divine authority.
Mythology
The family of Osiris. Osiris on a lapis lazuli pillar in the middle, flanked by
Horus on the left and Isis on the right (22nd dynasty, Louvre, Paris)
The cult of Osiris (who was a god chiefly of regeneration and rebirth) had a par
ticularly strong interest in the concept of immortality. Plutarch recounts one v
ersion of the myth in which Set (Osiris' brother), along with the Queen of

Osiris Ethiopia, conspired with 72 accomplices to plot the assassination of Osir


is.[14] Set fooled Osiris into getting into a box, which Set then shut, sealed w
ith lead, and threw into the Nile (sarcophagi were based on[citation needed] the
box in this myth). Osiris' wife, Isis, searched for his remains until she final
ly found him embedded in a tamarind tree trunk, which was holding up the roof of
a palace in Byblos on the Phoenician coast. She managed to remove the coffin an
d open it, but Osiris was already dead. In one version of the myth, she used a s
pell learned from her father and brought him back to life so he could impregnate
her. Afterwards he died again and she hid his body in the desert. Months later,
she gave birth to Horus. While she raised Horus, Set was hunting one night and
came across the body of Osiris. Enraged, he tore the body into fourteen pieces a
nd scattered them throughout the land. Isis gathered up all the parts of the bod
y, less the phallus (which was eaten by a catfish) and bandaged them together fo
r a proper burial. The gods were impressed by the devotion of Isis and resurrect
ed Osiris as the god of the underworld. Because of his death and resurrection, O
siris was associated with the flooding and retreating of the Nile and thus with
the crops along the Nile valley. Diodorus Siculus gives another version of the m
yth in which Osiris was described as an ancient king who taught the Egyptians th
e arts of civilization, including agriculture, then travelled the world with his
sister Isis, the satyrs, and the nine muses, before finally returning to Egypt.
Osiris was then murdered by his evil brother Typhon, who was identified with Se
t. Typhon divided the body into twenty-six pieces, which he distributed amongst
his fellow conspirators in order to implicate them in the murder. Isis and Hercu
les (Horus) avenged the death of Osiris and slew Typhon. Isis recovered all the
parts of Osiris' body, except the phallus, and secretly buried them. She made re
plicas of them and distributed them to several locations, which then became cent
res of Osiris worship.[15][16]
241
Death and institution as god of the dead
Plutarch and others have noted that the sacrifices to Osiris were "gloomy, solem
n, and mournful..." (Isis and Osiris, 69) and that the great mystery festival, c
elebrated in two phases, began at Abydos on the 17th of Athyr[20] (November 13)
commemorating the death of the god, which was also the same day that grain was p
lanted in the ground. "The death of the grain and the death of the god were one
and the same: the cereal was identified with the god who came from heaven; he wa
s the bread by which man lives. The resurrection of the god symbolized the rebir
th of the grain." (Larson 17) The annual festival involved the construction of "
Osiris Beds" formed in shape of Osiris, filled with soil and sown with seed.[21]
The germinating seed symbolized Osiris rising from the dead. An almost pristine
example was found in the tomb of Tutankhamun by Howard Carter.[22] The first ph
ase of the festival was a public drama depicting the murder and dismemberment of
Osiris, the search of his body by Isis, his triumphal return as the resurrected
god, and the battle in which Horus defeated Set. This was all presented by skil
led actors as a literary history, and was the main method of recruiting cult mem
bership.
Osiris "The God Of The Resurrection", rising [19] from his bier.
Osiris-Nepra, with wheat growing from his body. [17] From a bas-relief at Philae
. The sprouting [18] wheat implied resurrection.
According to Julius Firmicus Maternus of the fourth century, this play was re-en
acted each year by worshippers who "beat their breasts and

Osiris gashed their shoulders.... When they pretend that the mutilated remains o
f the god have been found and rejoined...they turn from mourning to rejoicing."
(De Errore Profanorum). The passion of Osiris was reflected in his name 'Wenenne
fer" ("the one who continues to be perfect"), which also alludes to his post mor
tem power.[12]
242
Ikhernofret Stela
Much of the extant information about the Passion of Osiris can be found on the I
khernofret Stela at Abydos erected in the 12th Dynasty by Ikhernofret (also I-Kh
er-Nefert), possibly a priest of Osiris or other official (the titles of Ikherno
fret are described in his stela from Abydos) during the reign of Senwosret III (
Pharaoh Sesostris, about 1875 BC). The Passion Plays were held in the last month
of the inundation (the annual Nile flood, coinciding with Spring, and held at A
bydos/Abedjou which was the traditional place where the body of Osiris/Wesir dri
fted ashore after having been drowned in the Nile.[] The part of the myth recoun
ting the chopping up of the body into 14 pieces by Set is not recounted in this
particular stela. Although it is attested to be a part of the rituals by a versi
on of the Papyrus Jumilhac, in which it took Isis 12 days to reassemble the piec
es, coinciding with the festival of ploughing.[23] Some elements of the ceremony
were held in the temple, while others involved public participation in a form o
f theatre. The Stela of I-Kher-Nefert recounts the programme of events of the pu
blic elements over the five days of the Festival: The First Day, The Procession
of Wepwawet: A mock battle was enacted during which the enemies of Osiris are de
feated. A procession was led by the god Wepwawet ("opener of the way"). The Seco
nd Day, The Great Procession of Osiris: The body of Osiris was taken from his te
mple to his tomb. The boat he was transported in, the "Neshmet" bark, had to be
defended against his enemies. The Third Day, Osiris is Mourned and the Enemies o
f the Land are Destroyed. The Fourth Day, Night Vigil: Prayers and recitations a
re made and funeral rites performed. The Fifth Day, Osiris is Reborn: Osiris is
reborn at dawn and crowned with the crown of Ma'at. A statue of Osiris is brough
t to the temple.[]
Wheat and clay rituals
Contrasting with the public "theatrical" ceremonies sourced from the I-Kher-Nefe
rt stele (from the Middle Kingdom), more esoteric ceremonies were performed insi
de the temples by priests witnessed only by chosen initiates. Plutarch mentions
that (for much later period) two days after the beginning of the festival "the p
riests bring forth a sacred chest containing a small golden coffer, into which t
hey pour some potable water...and a great shout arises from the company for joy
that Osiris is found (or resurrected). Then they knead some fertile soil with th
e water...and fashion therefrom a crescent-shaped figure, which they cloth and a
dorn, this indicating that they regard these gods as the substance of Earth and
Water." (Isis and Osiris, 39). Yet his accounts were still obscure, for he also
wrote, "I pass over the cutting of the wood" - opting not to describe it, since
he considered it as a most sacred ritual (Ibid. 21). In the Osirian temple at De
nderah, an inscription (translated by Budge, Chapter XV, Osiris and the Egyptian
Resurrection) describes in detail
Rare sample of Egyptian terra cotta sculpture, could be Isis mourning Osiris, (r
aising her right arm over her head, a typical mourning sign). Muse du Louvre, Par
is.

Osiris the making of wheat paste models of each dismembered piece of Osiris to b
e sent out to the town where each piece is discovered by Isis. At the temple of
Mendes, figures of Osiris were made from wheat and paste placed in a trough on t
he day of the murder, then water was added for several days, until finally the m
ixture was kneaded into a mold of Osiris and taken to the temple to be buried (t
he sacred grain for these cakes were grown only in the temple fields). Molds wer
e made from the wood of a red tree in the forms of the sixteen dismembered parts
of Osiris, the cakes of 'divine' bread were made from each mold, placed in a si
lver chest and set near the head of the god with the inward parts of Osiris as d
escribed in the Book of the Dead (XVII). On the first day of the Festival of Plo
ughing, where the goddess Isis appeared in her shrine where she was stripped nak
ed, paste made from the grain were placed in her bed and moistened with water, r
epresenting the fecund earth. All of these sacred rituals were "climaxed by the
eating of sacramental god, the eucharist by which the celebrants were transforme
d, in their persuasion, into replicas of their god-man" (Larson 20).
243
Judgment
The idea of divine justice being exercised after death for wrongdoing during lif
e is first encountered during the Old Kingdom, in a 6th dynasty tomb containing
fragments of what would be described later as the Negative Confessions.[24] With
the rise of the cult of Osiris during the Middle Kingdom the democratization of
religion offered to even his humblest followers the prospect of eternal life, wit
h moral fitness becoming the dominant factor in determining a person's suitabili
ty. At death a person faced judgment by a tribunal of forty-two divine judges. I
f Judgment scene from the Book of the Dead. In the three scenes from the Book of
the Dead (version from ~1375 BC) the dead man (Hunefer) is taken into the judge
ment hall they led a life in conformance with the by the jackal-headed Anubis. T
he next scene is the weighing of his heart against the precepts of the goddess M
a'at, who feather of Ma'at, with Ammut waiting the result, and Thoth recording.
Next, the represented truth and right living, the triumphant Henefer, having pas
sed the test, is presented by the falcon-headed Horus to person was welcomed int
o the Osiris, seated in his shrine with Isis and Nephthys. (British Museum) king
dom of Osiris. If found guilty, the person was thrown to a "devourer" and didn't
share in eternal life.[25] The person who is taken by the devourer is subject f
irst to terrifying punishment and then annihilated. These depictions of punishme
nt may have influenced medieval perceptions of the inferno in hell via early Chr
istian and Coptic texts.[26] Purification for those who are considered justified
may be found in the descriptions of "Flame Island", where they experience the t
riumph over evil and rebirth. For the damned, complete destruction into a state
of non-being awaits, but there is no suggestion of eternal torture.[27][28] Divi
ne pardon at judgement was always a central concern for the Ancient Egyptians.[2
9] During the reign of Seti I, Osiris was also invoked in royal decrees to pursu
e the living when wrongdoing was observed, but kept secret and not reported.[30]

Osiris
244
Greco-Roman era
Hellenisation
Eventually, in Egypt, the Hellenic pharaohs decided to produce a deity that woul
d be acceptable to both the local Egyptian population, and the influx of Helleni
c visitors, to bring the two groups together, rather than allow a source of rebe
llion to grow. Thus Osiris was identified explicitly with Apis, really an aspect
of Ptah, who had already been identified as Osiris by this point, and a syncret
ism of the two was created, known as Serapis, and depicted as a standard Greek g
od.
Bust of Serapis.
Destruction of cult
The cult of Osiris continued until the 6th century AD on the island of Philae in
Upper Nile. The Theodosian decrees of the 390s, to destroy all pagan temples, w
ere not enforced there. The worship of Isis and Osiris was allowed to continue a
t Philae until the time of Justinian, by treaty between the Blemmyes-Nobadae and
Diocletian. Every year they visited Elephantine, and at certain intervals took
the image of Isis up river to the land of the Blemmyes for oracular purposes. Th
e practices ended when Justinian I sent Narses to destroy sanctuaries, arrest pr
iests, and seize divine images, which were taken to
Philae Island.
Constantinople.[31]

Osiris
245
Notes
[1] "How to Read Egyptian Hieroglyphs", Mark Collier & Bill Manley, British Muse
um Press, p. 41, 1998, ISBN 0-7141-1910-5 [2] "Conceptions of God In Ancient Egy
pt: The One and the Many", Erik Hornung (translated by John Baines), p. 233, Cor
nell University Press, 1996, ISBN 10801483840 [3] Griffiths, John Gwyn (1980). T
he Origins of Osiris and His Cult. Brill. p. 44 [4] "Isis and Osiris", Plutarch,
translated by Frank Cole Babbitt, 1936, vol. 5 Loeb Classical Library. Penelope
.uchicago.edu (http:/ / penelope. uchicago. edu/ Thayer/ E/ Roman/ Texts/ Plutar
ch/ Moralia/ Isis_and_Osiris*/ home. html) [5] "The Historical Library of Diodor
us Siculus", vol. 1, translated by G. Booth, 1814. Google Books (http:/ / books.
google. com/ books?id=agd-eLVNRMMC& printsec=titlepage) [6] "The Gods of the Eg
yptians", E. A. Wallis Budge, p. 259, Dover 1969, org. pub. 1904, ISBN 0-486-220
56-7 [7] The Oxford Guide: Essential Guide to Egyptian Mythology, Edited by Dona
ld B. Redford, p302-307, Berkley, 2003, ISBN 0-425-19096-X [8] "The Burden of Eg
ypt", J. A. Wilson, p. 302, University of Chicago Press, 4th imp 1963 [9] "Man,
Myth and Magic", Osiris, vol. 5, p. 2087-2088, S.G.F. Brandon, BPC Publishing, 1
971. [11] "History of the Later Roman Empire from the Death of Theodosius I. to
the Death of Justinian", The Suppression of Paganism ch22, p371, John Bagnell Bu
ry, Courier Dover Publications, 1958, ISBN 0-486-20399-9 [12] "How to Read Egypt
ian Hieroglyphs", Mark Collier & Bill Manley, British Museum Press, p. 42, 1998,
ISBN 0-7141-1910-5 [13] "Architecture of the Afterlife: Understanding Egypts yr
md
mbs", A M cy R
h, Arch egy Odyssey, Sr g 1998 [15] "Osrs", M ,
My
h & M gc, S.G.F Br d , V5 P2088, BPC Pubsh g. [16] "The Hs
rc  
br ry f Ddrus Scuus",
r s
ed by Gerge B
h 1814. re
reved 3 Ju e 2
007. Gge Bks (h

:/ / bks. gge. cm/ bks?d= gd-eVNRMMC& r


sec=


e ge#PPA27,M1) [17] "Egy
 de s f
he fu
ure fe.", E. A W s Budge
, ch 
er 1, E. A W s Budge, rg ub 1900 [18] "Ru
edge Dc
 ry f Egy

 Gds d Gddesses", Gerge H r


, 119, Ru
edge, 2005 ISBN 0-415-34495-6 [
19] "Egy
 de s f
he fu
ure fe.", E. A W s Budge, ch 
er 2, E. A W 
s Budge, rg ub 1900 [21] Br
c U
m
e Ed
 2003 DVD [23] J. V de
r, "e P yrus Jumh c", .136-137, P rs, 1961 [24] "S
udes  Cm r
ve Re
g ", Ge er  ed
r, E. C Messe ger, Ess y by A. M  S. J, v 2/5, . 23
, C
hc Tru
h Sce
y, 1934 [25] Reg d M gc  A ce
Egy
, Rs e
D vd, 158-159, Pe gu , 2002, ISBN 01402622520 [26] "The Esse
  Gude
 Eg
y
 My
hgy: The Oxfrd Gude", "He", 161-162, J cbus V Djk, Berkey
Refere ce, 2003, ISBN 0-425-19096-X [27] "The Dv e Verdc
", Jh Gy Grff

hs, 233, Br Pubc


 s, 1991, ISBN 90-04-09231-5 [29] "Egy
 Reg "
, J Assm , The E cyced f Chrs
 
y, 77, v2, Wm. B Eerdm s Pubs
h g, 1999, ISBN 90-04-11695-8 [30] "The Burde f Egy
", J.A Ws , 243, U 
vers
y f Chc g Press, 4
h m 1963 [31] "Hs
ry f
he 
er Rm Emre f
rm
he De
h f Thedsus I.

he De
h f Jus
  ", The Suress f P
g sm ch. 22, . 371, Jh B g e Bury, Curer Dver Pubc
 s, 1958, ISBN
0-486-20399-9
Freem s ry d 
s A ce
Mys
c R
es. .35-36, by C. W. Leadbeater, Gramercy,
1998 ISBN 0-517-20267-0
References
Martin A. Larson, The Story of Christian Origins (1977, 711 pp.ISBN 0-88331-090-2
). C. W. Leadbeater, Freemasonry and its Ancient Mystic Rites (Gramercy, 1998)
ISBN 0-517-20267-0
External links
Ancient Egyptian God Osiris (http://www.aldokkan.com/religion/osiris.htm)

Pakhet
246
Pakhet
Pakhet in hieroglyphs
In Egyptian mythology, Pakhet, Egyptian P.t, meaning she who scratches (also spel
t Pachet, Pehkhet, Phastet, and Pasht) is a lioness goddess of war.
Origin and mythology
Pakhet is likely to be a regional lioness deity, Goddess of the Mouth of the Wad
i, related to those that hunted in the wadi, near water at the boundary of the d
esert. Another title is She Who Opens the Ways of the Stormy Rains, which probab
ly relates to the flash floods in the narrow valley, that occur from storms in t
he area. She appeared in the Egyptian pantheon during the Middle Kingdom. As wit
h Bastet and Sekhmet, Pakhet is associated with Hathor and, thereby, is a sun de
ity as well, wearing the solar disk as part of her crown. It became said that ra
ther than a simple domestic protector against vermin and venomous creatures or a
fierce warrior, she was a huntress, perhaps as a caracal, who wandered the dese
rt alone at night looking for prey, gaining the title Night huntress with sharp
eye and pointed claw. This desert aspect led to her being associated with desert
storms, as was Sekhmet. She also was said to be a protector of motherhood, as w
as Bastet. In art, she was depicted as a feline-headed woman or as a feline, oft
en depicted killing snakes with her sharp claws. The exact nature of the feline
varied between a desert wildcat, which was more similar to Bastet, or a caracal,
resembling Sekhmet.
Hatshepsut and Pakhet. Speos Artemidos.
Temples near al Minya
The most famous temple of Pakhet was an underground, cavernous shrine that was b
uilt by Hatshepsut near al Minya,[1] among thirty-nine ancient tombs of Middle K
ingdom monarchs of the Oryx nome, who governed from Hebenu, in an area where man
y quarries exist. This is in the middle of Egypt, on the east bank of the Nile.
A tomb on the east bank is not traditional (the west was), but the terrain to th
e west was most difficult. A more ancient temple to this goddess at the location
is known but has not survived. Hatshepsut is known to have restored temples in
this region that had been damaged by the Hyksos invaders.
The rock cut temple of Pakhet by Hatshepsut in Speos Artemidos.

Pakhet Its remarkable catacombs have been excavated. Great numbers of mummified
cats have been found buried there. Many are thought to have been brought great d
istances to be buried ceremonially during rituals at the cult center. Some refer
ences associate this goddess as Pakhet-Weret-Hekau, (Weret Hekau meaning she who
has great magic), implying the association with a goddess such as Hathor or Isi
s. Another title is Horus Pakht; the presence of many mumified hawks at the site
would further the association with Hathor who was the mother of Horus, the hawk
, the pharaoh, and the sun.[2] Her hunting nature led to the Greeks, who later o
ccupied Egypt for three hundred years, identifying Pakhet with Artemis. Conseque
ntly, this underground temple became known to them as Speos Artemidos, the Cave
of Artemis, a name that persists even though Artermis is not an Egyptian goddess
. The Greeks attempted to align the Egyptian deities with their own, while retai
ning the traditions of the Egyptian religion. Later, Egypt was conquered by the
Romans, just after 30 AD, and they retained many of the Greek place names. Chris
tians and other religious sects occupied some parts of the site during the Roman
period. Arabic place names were established after the 600s. Hatshepsut and her
daughter Neferure have been identified as the builders of a smaller temple dedic
ated to Pakhet nearby, which was defaced by subsequent pharaohs. It was complete
d during the reign of Alexander II and is now called Speos Batn el-Bakarah.[3]
247
Coffin text incantation
The Faulkner translation of Ancient Egyptian Coffin Texts, Spell 470 reads, O Yo
u of the dawn who wake and sleep, O You who are in limpness, dwelling aforetime
in Nedit, I have appeared as Pakhet the Great, whose eyes are keen and whose cla
ws are sharp, the lioness who sees and catches by night....[4]
References
[1] [2] [3] [4] www.maat-ka-ra.de (http:/ / www. maat-ka-ra. de/ english/ bauwer
ke/ speos_artemidos/ speos_artemidos. htm) wwww.ladyoftheflame.co.uk (http:/ / w
ww. ladyoftheflame. co. uk/ Deities. htm) H.W. Fairman & B. Grdseloff (http:/ /
www. jstor. org/ pss/ 3855434) www.per-bast.org (http:/ / www. per-bast. org/ ba
st/ essay14. html)
External links
Per-Bast.org: About Pasht... (http://per-bast.org/bast/essay14.html)

Petbe
248
Petbe
In Egyptian mythology, Petbe was the god of revenge, worshiped in the area aroun
d Akhmin, in central Egypt. His name translates as Sky-Ba, roughly meaning Soul
of the Sky, or Mood of the sky. However, Petbe may be a Chaldean deity introduce
d by immigrant workers from the Levant, with his name being a corruption of the
hybrid phrase Pet-(Ba'al), meaning Lord of the sky. Early Christians compared Pe
tbe to the Greek god Cronus.

Petsuchos
Petsuchos (Greek: ) was (the Greek rendtn f) the name gven t the lve crcd
rcdlpls n Ancent Egypt, whch was wrshpped as a manfestatn f the E
gyptan gd Sek (Greek: ). The name Petschs means "sn f Sek", as the Ancent E
gyptan wrd "pet" has a meanng f "sn" r "ffsprng". Petsch were wrshp
ed as gds, and were adrned wth jewels and gld. When the Petschs ded, t w
as replaced y anther. Ther carcasses were mmmfed, lke thse f pharahs a
nd hgh prests.
In pplar cltre
In the PC game Age f Mythlgy, they appear as nts whch attack wth slar he
at rays that are reflected frm a mrrr n ther crwns.

Ptah
249
Ptah
Ptah
Ptah, n the frm f a mmmfed man, standng n the syml fr Ma'at, hldng
a scepter r staff that ears the cmned ankh-djed-was symls. Gd f creat
n, the arts and fertlty Name n herglyphs Majr clt center Syml Cnsrt P
arents Memphs the djed pllar, the ll Bastet / Sekhmet nne (self-created)
In Egyptan mythlgy, Ptah (/pt/;[1] Egyptian: pt, probably vocalized as Pita in anci
ent Egyptian [2]) is the demiurge of Memphis, god of craftsmen and architects. I
n the triad of Memphis, he is the husband of Sekhmet and the father of Nefertum.
He was also regarded as the father of the sage Imhotep. The Greeks knew him as
the god Hephaestus, and in this form Manetho made him the first king of Egypt.

Ptah
250
Origin and Symbolism
Ptah is the patron of craftsmanship, metalworking, carpenters, shipbuilders, and
sculpture. From the Middle Kingdom onwards, he was one of five major Egyptian g
ods with Ra, Isis, Osiris and Amun. He wears many epithets that describe his rol
e in Egyptian mythology and its importance in society at the time: Ptah the beau
tiful face Ptah lord of truth Ptah master of justice Ptah who listens to prayers
Ptah master of ceremonies Ptah lord of eternity
Ptah is the creator god par excellence: He is considered the demiurge who existe
d before all things, and by his willingness, thought the world. It was first con
ceived by Thought, and realized by the Word: Ptah conceives the world by the tho
ught of his heart and gives life Statue of Ptah - Egyptian Museum of Turin. thro
ugh the magic of his Word. That which Ptah commanded was created, with which the
constituents of nature, fauna, and flora, are contained. He also plays a role i
n the preservation of the world and the permanence of the royal function. In the
Twenty-Fifth Dynasty, the Nubian pharaoh Shabaka would transcribe on a stela kn
own as the Shabaka Stone, an old theological document found in the archives of t
he library of the temple of the god at Memphis. This document has been known as
the Memphite Theology, and shows the god Ptah, the god responsible for the creat
ion of the universe by thought and by the Word.
Representations and hypostases
Like many deities of ancient Egypt he takes many forms, through one of his parti
cular aspects or through syncretism of ancient deities of the Memphite region. H
e is sometimes represented as a dwarf, naked and deformed, whose popularity woul
d continue to grow during the Late Period. Frequently associated with the god Be
s, his worship then exceeded the borders of the country and was exported through
out the eastern Mediterranean. Thanks to the Phoenicians, we find figures of Pta
h in Carthage. Ptah is generally represented in the guise of a man with green sk
in, contained in a shroud sticking to the skin, wearing the divine beard, and ho
lding a sceptre combining three powerful symbols of Egyptian mythology: The Was
sceptre The sign of life, Ankh The Djed pillar These three combined symbols indi
cate the three creative powers of the god: power (was), life (ankh) and stabilit
y (djed).

Ptah
251 From the Old Kingdom, he quickly absorbs the appearance of Sokar and Tatenen
, ancient deities of the Memphite region. His form of Sokar is found contained i
n its white shroud wearing the Atef crown, an attribute of Osiris. In this capac
ity, he represents the god of the necropolis of Saqqara and other famous sites w
here the royal pyramids were built. Gradually he formed with Osiris a new deity
called Ptah-Sokar-Osiris. Statuettes representing the human form, half-human, ha
lf-hawk, or simply in its falcon form will be systematically placed in tombs to
accompany and protect the dead on their journey to the West. His Tatenen form is
represented by a young and vigorous man wearing a crown with two tall plumes th
at surround the solar disk. He thus embodies the underground fire that rumbles a
nd raises the earth. As such, he was particularly revered by metalworkers and bl
acksmiths, but he was equally feared because it was him who caused earthquakes a
nd tremors of the earth's crust. In this form also, Ptah is the master of ceremo
nies for Heb Sed, a ceremony traditionally attesting to the first thirty years o
f the Pharaoh's reign.
The god Ptah could be opposite the sun god Re, or Aten during the Amarna period,
where he embodied the divine essence with which the sun god was fed to come int
o existence, that is to say to be born, according to the Memphite mythological t
exts. In the holy of holies of his temple in Memphis, as well as in his great sa
cred boat, he drove in procession to regularly visit the region during major hol
idays. Ptah was also symbolized by two birds with human heads adorned with solar
disks, symbols of the souls of the god Re: the Ba. The two Ba are also identifi
ed as the twin gods Shu and Tefnut and are associated with the djed pillar of Me
mphis.[3] Finally, Ptah is embodied in the sacred bull, Apis. Frequently referre
d to as a herald of Re, the sacred animal is the link with the god Re from the N
ew Kingdom. He even received worship in Memphis, probably at the heart of the gr
eat temple of Ptah, and its death was buried with all the honours due to a livin
g god in the Serapeum of Saqqara. Ptah was assimilated by the Greeks to the god
Hephaistos and then by the Romans to Vulcan.
Stucco relief of Ptah with staff and ankh and djed. Late Period or Ptolemaic Dyn
asty, 4th to 3rd century BC.
Development of the Cult
As god of craftsmen, the cult of the god Ptah quickly spread throughout Egypt. W
ith the major royal projects of the Old Kingdom, the High Priests of Ptah were p
articularly sought after and worked in concert with the Vizier, somehow filling
the role of chief architect and master craftsmen, responsible for the decoration
of the royal funerary complexes. In the New Kingdom, the cult of the god would
develop in different ways, especially in Memphis, his homeland, but also in Theb
es, where the workers of the royal tomb honoured him for his quality as patron o
f craftsmen. It is for this reason that the oratory of Ptah who listens to praye
rs was built near the site of Deir el-Medina, the village where the workers and
crafstmen were confined. At Memphis, the role of
Colossal statue of the god Ptah-Tatenen holding hands with Ramses II found at Me
mphis - Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen

Ptah intercessor with men was particularly visible in the appearance of the encl
osure that protected the sanctuary of the god. Large ears were carved on the wal
ls and symbolized his role as god who listens to men. With the Nineteenth Dynast
y, his cult grew and he became one of the four great gods of the empire of Ramse
s. He was worshipped at Pi-Ramesses as master of ceremonies and coronations. Wit
h the Third Intermediate Period, Ptah returned to the centre of the monarchy whe
re the coronation of the Pharaoh was held again in his temple. The Ptolemies con
tinued this tradition and the high priests of Ptah were then increasingly associ
ated with the royal family. Some of whom even married princesses of blood, clear
ly indicating the prominent role they played in the Ptolemaic court.
252
Main places of worship
Temple dedicated to Ptah Ptah Ptah who listens to prayers Location Pi-Ramses Mem
phis Memphis
Ptah whos is south of his Wall Memphis Ptah-Sokar Ptah-Sokar Ptah who listens to
prayers Ptah Ptah Ptah lord of truth Abydos Kom el-Hettan (Thebes) Deir el-Medi
na (Thebes) Karnak (Thebes) Gerf Hussein (Nubia) Abu Simbel (Nubia)
Photos
Profile of the god Ptah - Relief of the small temple of Hathor at Memphis
Colossal triad representing Ptah-Ramses II-Sekhmet Gardens of the Egyptian Museu
m of Cairo
Pectoral of Tutankhamun representing the young king between the goddess Sekhmet
and Ptah Egyptian Museum of Cairo
Statuette of Ptah-Sokar-Osiris The Louvre

Ptah
253
Votive stele dedicated to the god Ptah in the temple of Deir el-Medina. New King
dom, XX Dynasty, c. 1150 B.C.

Legacy
The English name Egypt derives from an ancient Egyptian name for Memphis, Hikupt
ah, which means "Home of the Soul of Ptah". This entered Ancient Greek as (Agpts)
hch entered Latn as gypts, whch develped nt Englsh as Egypt.
Lteratre
Battscme G. Gnn, Instrctn f Ptah-Htep and the Instrctn f Ke'Gemn:
The Oldest Bks n the Wrld. 1998 Ggle ks [4] Benedkt Rthhler, Nee Geda
nken zm Denkmal memphtscher Thelge. Hedelerg, 2006 www..n-hedelerg
.de/archv/7030 [5] Alan-Perre Zve, Memphs et ses ncrples a Nvel Empre
. dtns d CNRS, 1988
References
[1] "Ptah" n the Amercan Hertage Dctnary (http:/ / edcatn. yah. cm/
reference/ dctnary/ entry/ Ptah) [2] Ancent Egyptan, a lngstc ntrdct
n, pg 34 (http:/ / ks. ggle. ca/ ks?d=kW8Mzj0XRgC& prntsec=frntcv
er& dq=ancent+ egyptan+ lpren& hl=en& sa=X& e=1TFT62UFNHM6QG53djYBg& ved=
0CDQQ6AEwAA#v=nepage& q=ptah& f=false) [3] Cf. J. Berlandn, Cntrtn l'td
e d pler-djed memphte, p.23-33 et pl. 1 A & pl. 2 A [4] http:/ / ks. gg
le. ca/ ks?d=SyO6c4GNAC& prntsec=frntcver& dq=ptah+ egypt& srce=l& 
ts=kkPXWD_Oa4& sg=wkBnnyL1F6aBfdkk0kMNK4dfI& hl=en& sa=X& e=6xM5UO7hM-n6wL6
1D4AQ& ved=0CEQQ6AEwBA#v=nepage& q=ptah%20egypt& f=false [5] http:/ / www. .
n-hedelerg. de/ archv/ 7030

Qeehsenef
254
Qeehsenef
Canpc jar Depctng Qeehsenef
Qeehsenef n herglyphs
Qeehsenef (Hs name s varsly translterated as Keehsennf, Keechsenef, Q
eshenf, Qeehsenf r Kaexnf, meanng 'He wh refreshes hs rthers') was 
ne f the sns f Hrs n Egyptan mythlgy, the gd f prtectn and f the
West.[1] In the preparatn f mmmes, hs canpc jar was sed fr the ntest
nes. He s seen as a mmmy wth a falcn head. He was sad t e prtected y th
e gddess Serket. [Qehsennf sath:] "I am thy sn, O Osrs An, trmphant. I
have cme t prtect thee. I have cllected thy nes, and I have gathered tge
ther thy memers. I have rght thy heart and I have placed t pn ts thrne
wthn thy dy. I have made thy hse t flrsh after thee, O th wh lvest
fr ever."[2] Tgether wth Maa-atef-f, Kher-eq-f, and Hrs-Khent-maa, the
fr sns f Hrs (the ther three were Imset, Hap and Damtef) were knwn as
the Seven Shnng Ones, prtectrs f the dy f Osrs.
References
[1] (http:/ / www. sacred-texts. cm/ egy/ ed/ ed39. htm) Bdge, E. Walls.
The Bk f the Dead: The Papyrs f An. (1895) [2] Plates XXXIII and XXXIV (ht
tp:/ / www. sacred-texts. cm/ egy/ ed/ ed39. htm)

Qe
255
Qe
Qe s the Egyptan gd f the Nrth Wnd. He s a male and n art, Qe appe
ars as a man wth fr ram heads, r a wnged, fr-headed ram. He s als assc
ated wth the lands eynd the thrd cataract.
Qetesh
QeteshWkpeda:Manal_f_Style/Prnncatn s a gddess adpted nt Egyptan
mythlgy frm the Canaante relgn, pplar drng the New Kngdm. She was
a fertlty gddess f sacred ecstasy and sexal pleasre.[1] The name was pra
ly vcalzed y Egyptans as *Qta frm the Semtc rt Q-D- meanng 'hly'. Her
cty f wrshp was natrally Qadesh.
Qetesh n the Trple Gddess Stne.

Qetesh
256
Representatn
In the Qetesh stele, she s represented as a frntal nde standng n a ln et
ween Mn f Egypt and the Canaante warrr gd Resheph. She s hldng snakes 
n ne hand and a lts flwer n the ther as symls f creatn. She s assc
ated wth Anat, Astarte, and Asherah. She als has elements asscated wth the
gddesses f Myceneae, the Mnans f Crete, and certan Kasste gddesses f th
e metals trade n Tn, Cpper and Brnze etween Lthal and Dlmn. On sme vers
ns f the Qetesh stele her regster wth Mn and Resheph s placed ver anthe
r regster shwng gfts eng presented t Anat the gddess f War and elw a
regster lstng the lands elngng t Mn and Resheph. Qdsh-Astarte-Anat s
a representatn f a sngle gddess wh s a cmnatn f three gddesses: Qe
tesh (Athrat "Asherah"), Astarte, and Anat. It was a cmmn practce fr Canaan
tes and Egyptans t merge dfferent detes thrgh a prcess f synchrnzat
n, therey, trnng them nt ne sngle entty. The "Trple-Gddess Stne", th
at was nce wned y Wnchester Cllege, shws the gddess Qetesh wth the nscr
ptn "Qdsh-Astarte-Anat", shwng ther asscatn as eng ne gddess, an
d Qetesh (Qdsh) n place f Athrat. Relgs schlar Sal M. Olyan (athr 
f Asherah and the Clt f Yahweh n Israel), calls the representatn n the Qd
sh-Astarte-Anat plaqe "a trple-fsn hypstass", and cnsders Qdsh t e
an epthet f Athrat y a prcess f elmnatn, fr Astarte and Anat appear
after Qdsh n the nscrptn.[2][3]
Qetesh wearng the headdress f Hathr.
Epthets
She s called "Mstress f All the Gds", "Lady f the Stars f Heaven", "Belve
d f Ptah", "Great f magc, mstress f the stars", and "Eye f Ra, wtht her
eqal".[4] Qadsh s als sed as an epthet f Athrat, the Great Mther Gdde
ss f the Canaantes.[5]
In pplar cltre
Qetesh s the name gven t the Ga'ld that nce pssessed Vala Mal Dran, a re
crrng and then reglar character n Seasns 9 and 10, respectvely f the sce
nce fctn televsn seres Stargate SG-1.

Qetesh
257
References
[1] The Amercan jrnal f rlgy and sexlgy (http:/ / ks. ggle. cm/ 
ks?d=VD1YAAAAMAAJ& pg=PA71& lpg=PA71& dq=Kadesh+ cty+ Qetesh& srce=l& ts
=ABxEeP9HPV& sg=6SM95eUz2QAt2BvpD2xhrfBaSm8& hl=en& e=gE_eTpn0JY22tweKs9j3Ag&
sa=X& =k_reslt& ct=reslt& resnm=1& ved=0CCMQ6AEwAA#v=nepage& q=Kadesh c
ty Qetesh& f=false) [2] The Ugartc Baal cycle: Vlme 2 y Mark S. Smth - Pa
ge 295 [3] The Orgns f Blcal Mnthesm: Israel's Plythestc Backgrnd
and the Ugartc Texts y Mark S. Smth - Page 237 [4] The "Hly One" y Jhanna
Stckey (http:/ / www. matrfcs. cm/ LAM07/ sptlght. htm) [5] Qadsh, the
Hly One, Gddess f Sexalty-Canaante gddess Egyptan Gddess Qedeshet Qades
h Kedesh Fertlty Gddess Mther Gddess thala tk Phencan Gddesses, the
Os... (http:/ / www. thalatk. cm/ OGOD/ qadsh. html)
External lnks
Jhanna Stckey, The "Hly One" (http://www.matrfcs.cm/LAM07/sptlght.htm),
MatrFcs, 2007
Qeen f heaven (antqty)
Qeen f Heaven was a ttle gven t a nmer f ancent sky gddesses n the an
cent Medterranean and Near East, n partclar Anat, Iss, Innana, Astarte, He
ra and pssly Asherah (y the prphet Jeremah). Elsewhere, Nrdc Frgg als
re ths ttle. In Grec-Rman tmes Hera, and her Rman aspect Jn re ths
ttle. Frms and cntent f wrshp vared. The ttle Qeen f Heaven s sed y
Cathlcs and Orthdx Chrstans fr Mary.
A state f Iss nrsng her sn, hsed n the Lvre

Qeen f heaven (antqty)


258
Iss
Iss was venerated frst n Egypt. As per the Greek hstran Herdts, wrtng
n the ffth centry BCE, Iss was the nly gddess wrshped y all Egyptans
alke,[1] and whse nflence was s wdespread y that pnt, that she had ec
me cmpletely syncretc wth the Greek gddess Demeter.[2] It s after the cnq
est f Egypt y Alexander the Great, and the Hellenzatn f the Egyptan clt
re ntated y Ptlemy I Ster, that she eventally ecame knwn as 'Qeen f H
eaven'.[3] Lcs Aples cnfrmed ths n Bk 11, Chap 47 f hs nvel knwn
as The Glden Ass, n whch hs character prayed t the "Qeen f Heaven". The
passage says that the gddess herself respnded t hs prayer, n whch she expl
ctly dentfed herself as th the Qeen f Heaven and Iss. Then wth a weep
ng cntenance, I made ths rsn t the pssant Gddess, sayng: O lessed Q
een f Heaven...
Aples wrte at the Qeen f Heaven referrng t Qeen Iss
Ths the dvne shape reathng t the pleasant spce f fertle Araa, dsda
ned nt wth her dvne vce t tter these wrds nt me: Behld Lcs I am c
me, thy weepng and prayers has mved me t sccr thee. I am she that s the n
atral mther f all thngs, mstress and gverness f all the elements, the n
tal prgeny f wrlds, chef f pwers dvne, Qeen f Heaven... and the Egypt
ans whch are excellent n all knd f ancent dctrne, and y ther prper ce
remnes accstmed t wrshp me, d call me Qeen Iss.[4]
Inanna
Inanna was the Smeran Gddess f lve and war. Despte her asscatn wth ma
tng and fertlty f hmans and anmals, Inanna was nt a mther gddess, and 
s rarely asscated wth chldrth.[5] Inanna was als asscated wth ran and
strms and wth the planet Vens.[6] Qeen f Heaven s a ttle sed fr gddes
ses central t many relgns f antqty. Inanna's name s cmmnly derved fr
m Nn-anna "Qeen f Heaven" (frm Smeran NIN "lady", AN "sky"),[7] althgh
the cnefrm sgn fr her name (Brger 2003 nr. 153, U+12239 ) s nt hstrcal
ly a lgatre f the tw. In sme tradtns Inanna was sad t e a granddaght
er f the creatr gddess Namm r Namma.[ctatn needed]. These dffcltes h
ave led sme early Assyrlgsts t sggest that Inanna may have een rgnall
y a Prt-Ephratean gddess, pssly related t the Hrran mther gddess The
Ishtar Gate refers t Ishtar Hannahannah, accepted nly latterly nt the Smer
an panthen, an dea prevsly knwn as Innana spprted y her ythflness,
and that, nlke the ther Smeran dvntes, she at frst had n sphere f re
spnsltes.[8] The vew that there was a Prt-Ephratean sstrate langage
n Sthern Iraq efre Smeran s nt wdely accepted y mdern Assyrlgst
s.[9] In Smer Inanna was haled as "Qeen f Heaven" n the 3rd mllennm BC.
In Akkad t the nrth, she was wrshpped later as Ishtar. In the Smeran Desce
nt f Inanna, when Inanna s challenged at the termst gates f the nderwrld
, she reples I am Inanna, Qeen f Heaven, On my way t the East. Her clt was
deeply emedded n Mesptama and amng the Canaantes t the west.

Qeen f heaven (antqty)


259

Astarte
The gddess, the Qeen f Heaven, whse wrshp Jeremah s vehemently ppsed,
may have een pssly Astarte. Astarte s the name f a gddess as knwn frm N
rthwestern Semtc regns, cgnate n name, rgn and fnctns wth the gdd
ess Ishtar n Mesptaman texts. Anther translteratn s  h
ar
; 
hr nam
fr
h dd nld Hbrw ( translterated Ashtreth), Ugartc trt (also At
tart, transliterated Atirat), Akkadian DAs-tar-t (also Astartu) and Etruscan UniAstre (Pyrgi Tablets). According to scholar Mark S. Smith, Astarte may be the Ir
on Age (after 1200 BC) incarnation of the Bronze Age (to 1200 BC) Asherah.[10] A
starte was connected with fertility, sexuality, and war. Her symbols were the li
on, the horse, the sphinx, the dove, and a star within a circle indicating the p
lanet Venus. Pictorial representations often show her Astarte riding in a chario
t with four branches naked. Astarte was accepted by the Greeks under the name of
protruding from roof, on the reverse of a Julia Aphrodite. The island of Cyprus
, one of Astarte's greatest faith centers, Maesa coin from Sidon supplied the na
me Cypris as Aphrodite's most common byname. Asherah was worshipped in ancient I
srael as the consort of El and in Judah as the consort of Yahweh and Queen of He
aven (the Hebrews baked small cakes for her festival):[11] "Seest thou not what
they do in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? The children gat
her wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to m
ake cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other god
s, that they may provoke me to anger." [12] "... to burn incense unto the queen
of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, as we have done, we, and ou
r fathers, our kings, and our princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the street
s of Jerusalem ..."[13]

Hebrew Bible references


Worship of a "Queen of Heaven", in Hebrew Malkath haShamayim ( ) s recrded n th
the Prphet Jeremah, crca 628 BC, n the cntext f the Prphet cndemnng s
ch relgs wrshp as lasphemy and a vlatn f the teachngs f the Gd f
Israel. In Jeremah 7:18: "The chldren gather wd, the fathers lght the fre
, and the wmen knead the dgh and make cakes f read fr the Qeen f Heaven.
They pr t drnk fferngs t ther gds t prvke me t anger."[14] In Jer
emah 44:15-18: "Then all the men wh knew that ther wves were rnng ncense
t ther gds, alng wth all the wmen wh were presenta large assemlyand all t
he peple lvng n Lwer and Upper Egypt, sad t Jeremah, "We wll nt lsten
t the message y have spken t s n the name f the LORD! We wll certanly
d everythng we sad we wld: We wll rn ncense t the Qeen f Heaven and
wll pr t drnk fferngs t her jst as we and r fathers, r kngs and
r ffcals dd n the twns f Jdah and n the streets f Jersalem. At that
tme we had plenty f fd and were well ff and sffered n harm. Bt ever sn
ce we stpped rnng ncense t the Qeen f Heaven and prng t drnk ffer
ngs t her, we have had nthng and have een pershng y swrd and famne." "
[15] It shld e rememered n ths cntext that there was a temple f Yahweh 
n Egypt at that tme that was central t the Jewsh cmmnty at Elephantne n
whch Yahweh was wrshpped n cnjnctn wth the gddess Anath (als named n
the temple papyr as Anath-Bethel and Anath-Iah).[16] The gddesses Asherah, A
nath and Astarte frst appear as dstnct and separate detes n the talets d
scvered n the rns f the lrary f Ugart (mdern Ras Shamra, Syra), alth
gh sme Blcal schlars wh have nt explred the earler dcmented evdence
tend t jmle all these gddesses tgether.

Qeen f heaven (antqty) Jhn Day states that "there s nthng n frst-mll
ennm BC texts that sngles t Asherah as 'Qeen f Heaven' r asscates her
partclarly wth the heavens at all."[17]
260
References
[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] Hstres 2.42 Hstres 2.156 R.E Wtt, "Iss 
n the Ancent Wrld", 1997, ISBN 0-8018-5642-6 http:/ / www. sacred-texts. cm/
cla/ ga/ ga48. htm Fre, Slvestr. Vces Frm the Clay: the develpment f As
syr-Baylnan Lteratre. Unversty f Oklahma Press, Nrman, 1965. Jacsen
, Thrkld. The Treasres f Darkness: a Hstry f Mesptaman Relgn. Yale
Unversty Press, New Haven and Lndn, 1976. Wlksten, Dane and Nah Kramer,
Samel, "Inanna: Qeen f Heaven and Earth" - a mdern, petc renterpretatn
f Inanna myths Harrs, Rvkah (1991), "Inanna-Ishtar as Paradx and a Cncden
ce f Oppstes" (Hstry f Relgns, Vl. 30, N. 3 (Fe., 1991)), pp. 261-27
8 [9] R, Gnzal (1999), "On the Alleged "Pre-Smeran Sstratm" (Jrnal
f Cnefrm Stdes, Vl. 51, 1999 (1999)), pp. 1-16 [11] Wllam G. Dever, "D
d Gd Have a Wfe?" (Eerdmans, ISBN 0-8028-2852-3,2005) - see revews f ths 
k y Patrck D. Mller (http:/ / www. krevews. rg/ pdf/ 4910_6305. pdf), Y
arah Amt (http:/ / www. krevews. rg/ pdf/ 4910_5127. pdf). [12] Jeremah
7:1718 [13] Jeremah 44:17 [14] Blegateway, Jeremah 7, 18 (http:/ / www. le
gateway. cm/ passage/ ?k_d=30& chapter=7& verse=18& versn=31& cntext=ver
se). [15] Blegateway, Jeremah 44 (http:/ / www. legateway. cm/ passage/ ?
k_d=30& chapter=44& versn=31& cntext=chapter). [16] Dr. Raphael Pata: "T
he Herew Gddess": Dke Unversty Press: thrd edtn [17] Day, Jhn. Yahweh
and the gds and gddesses f Canaan. Cntnm Internatnal Plshng Grp Sheffe (26 Dec 2002). ISBN 978-0-8264-6830-7, p.146.

Ra
261
Ra
Ra / Re
In one of his many forms, Ra has the head of a falcon and the sun-disk resting o
n his head. God of the Sun Name in hieroglyphs or or Major cult center Symbol Co
nsort Parents Siblings Offspring Heliopolis The sun disc None (sometimes referre
d as Hathor) Ocean Nun Apep Shu, Tefnut, Bastet, some say Sekhmet
Ra /r/[1] or Re /re/ (Egyptian:
, r) was the ancient Egyptian solar deity. By the Fifth Dynasty (2494 to 2345
BC) he had become a major god in ancient Egyptian religion, identified primarily
with the midday sun. The meaning of the name is uncertain, but it is thought th
at if not a word for 'sun' it may be a variant of or linked to words meaning 'cr
eative power' and 'creator'.[2] The major cult centre of Ra was Heliopolis (call
ed Iunu, "Place of Pillars", in Egyptian),[3] where he was identified with the l
ocal sun-god Atum. Through Atum, or as Atum-Ra, he was also seen as the first be
ing and the originator of the Ennead, consisting of Shu and Tefnut, Geb and Nut,
Osiris, Set, Isis and Nephthys. In later Egyptian dynastic times, Ra was merged
with the god Horus, as Re-Horakhty ("Ra, who is Horus of the Two Horizons"). He
was believed to rule in all parts of the created world the sky, the earth, and
the underworld.[3] He was associated with the falcon or hawk. When in the New Ki
ngdom the god Amun rose to prominence he was fused with Ra as Amun-Ra. During th
e Amarna Period, Akhenaten suppressed the cult of Ra in favour of another solar
deity, the Aten, the deified solar disc, but after the death of Akhenaten the cu
lt of Ra was restored. The cult of the Mnevis bull, an embodiment of Ra, had its
centre in Heliopolis and there was a formal burial ground for the sacrificed bu
lls north of the city.

Ra All forms of life were believed to have been created by Ra, who called each o
f them into existence by speaking their secret names. Alternatively humans were
created from Ra's tears and sweat, hence the Egyptians call themselves the "Catt
le of Ra." In the myth of the Celestial Cow it is recounted how mankind plotted
against Ra and how he sent his eye as the goddess Sekhmet to punish them. When s
he became bloodthirsty she was pacified by mixing beer with red dye.
262
Role
Ra and the sun
To the Egyptians, the sun represented light, warmth, and growth. This made the s
un deity very important, as the sun was seen as the ruler of all that he created
. The sun disk was either seen as the body or eye of Ra. Ra was the father of Sh
u and Tefnut, whom he created. Shu was the god of the wind, and Tefnut was the g
oddess of the rain. Sekhmet was the Eye of Ra and was created by the fire in Ra'
s eye. She was a violent lioness.
Ra in the underworld
Ra was thought to travel on two solar boats called the Mandjet (the Boat of Mill
ions of Years), or morning boat and the Mesektet, or evening boat.[] These boats
took him on his journey through the sky and the Duat, the literal underworld of
Egypt. While Ra was on the Mesektet, he was in his ram-headed form.[] When Ra t
raveled in his sun boat he was accompanied by various other deities including Si
a (perception) and Hu (command) as well as Heka (magic power). Sometimes members
of the Ennead helped him on his journey, including Set who overcame the serpent
Apophis and Mehen who defended against the monsters of the underworld. When Ra
was in the underworld, he would visit all of his various forms.[] Apophis, the G
od of chaos, was an enormous serpent who attempted to stop the sun boat's journe
y every night by consuming it or by stopping it in its tracks with a hypnotic st
are. During the evening, the Egyptians believed that Ra set as Atum or in the fo
rm of a ram. The Mesektet, or the Night boat, would carry him through the underw
orld and back towards the east in preparation for his rebirth. These myths of Ra
represented the sun rising as the rebirth of the sun by the sky goddess Nut; th
us attributing the concept of rebirth and renewal to Ra and strengthening his ro
le as a creator god as well. When Ra was in the underworld, he merged with Osiri
s, the God of the dead, and through it became the god of the dead as well.[]
Ra as creator
With the Ancient Egyptian's complicated polytheistic beliefs, Ra was worshipped
as the creator god to some Ancient Egyptians, specifically his followers at Heli
opolis.[] It was believed that Ra wept, and from the tears he wept came man.[] T
hese cult-followers believed that Ra was self-created, while followers of Ptah b
elieved that Ra was created by Ptah.[] It is believed that this is the reason fo
r pyramids of Old Kingdom worshippers at Heliopolis rarely mentioning Ra.[] In a
passage of the Book of the Dead, Ra cuts himself, and his blood transforms into
two intellectual personifications: Hu, or authority, and Sia, or mind.[] Ra is
also accredited with the creation of the seasons, months, plants, and animals.[4
]

Ra
263
Iconography
Ra was represented in a variety of forms. The most usual form was a man with the
head of a hawk and a solar disk on top and a coiled serpent around the disk.[]
Other common forms are a man with the head of a beetle (in his form as Khepri),
or a man with the head of a ram. Ra was also pictured as a full-bodied ram, beet
le, phoenix, heron, serpent, bull, cat, or lion, among others.[5] He was most co
mmonly featured with a ram's head in the Underworld.[] In this form, Ra is descr
ibed as being the "ram of the west" or "ram in charge of his harem.[] In some li
terature, Ra is described as an aging king with golden flesh, silver bones, and
hair of lapis lazuli.[]
Worship
The chief cult centre of Ra was Heliopolis (called Iunu, "Place of Pillars", in
Egyptian),[3] where he was identified with the local sun-god Atum. Through Atum,
or as Atum-Ra he was also seen as the first being and the originator of the Enn
ead, consisting of Shu and Tefnut, Geb and Nut, Osiris, Set, Isis and Nephthys.
Oddly enough, this was the home of the Ennead that was believed to be headed by
Atum, with whom he was merged. The holiday of 'The Receiving of Ra' was celebrat
ed on May 26 in the Gregorian calendar.
Ra on the Solar boat.
His local cult began to grow from roughly the second dynasty, establishing Ra as
a sun deity. By the fourth dynasty the pharaohs were seen as Ra's manifestation
s on earth, referred to as "Sons of Ra". His worship increased massively in the
fifth dynasty, when Ra became a state deity and pharaohs had specially aligned p
yramids, obelisks, and solar temples built in his honor. The rulers of the fifth
dynasty told their followers that they were sons of Ra himself and the wife of
the high priest of Heliopolis.[] These pharaohs spent most of Egypt's money on s
un temples.[] The first Pyramid Texts began to arise, giving Ra more and more si
gnificance in the journey of the pharaoh through the Underworld.[] During the Mi
ddle Kingdom era, Ra was increasingly affiliated and combined with other chief d
eities, especially Amun and Osiris. At the time of the New Kingdom, the worship
of Ra had became more complicated and grander. The walls of tombs were dedicated
to extremely detailed texts that depicted Ra's journey through the underworld.
Ra was said to carry the prayers and blessings of the living with the souls of t
he dead on the sun boat. The idea that Ra aged with the sun became more popular
during the rise of the New Kingdom. Many acts of worship included hymns, prayers
, and spells to help Ra and the sun boat overcome Apep. The rise of Christianity
in the Roman Empire put an end to the worship of Ra by the citizens of Egypt,[6
] and as Ra's popularity suddenly died out, the study of Ra became of purely aca
demic interest even among the Egyptian priests.[7]

Ra
264
Relationship to other gods
Gods merged with Ra
As with most widely worshiped Egyptian deities, Ra's identity was often combined
with other gods, forming an interconnection between deities. Amun and Amun-Ra A
mun was a member of the Ogdoad, representing creation energies with Amaunet, a v
ery early patron of Thebes. He was believed to create via breath, and thus was i
dentified with the wind rather than the sun. As the cults of Amun and Ra became
increasingly popular in Upper Ra and Amun, from the tomb of Ramses IV. and Lower
Egypt respectively they were combined to create Amun-Ra, a solar creator god. I
t is hard to distinguish exactly when this combination happened, but references
to Amun-Ra appeared in pyramid texts as early as the fifth dynasty. The most com
mon belief is that Amun-Ra was invented as a new state deity by the Theban ruler
s of the New Kingdom to unite worshipers of Amun with the older cult of Ra aroun
d the 18th dynasty.[] Amun-Ra was given the official title "king of the gods" by
worshippers, and images show the combined deity as a red-eyed man with a lion's
head that had a surrounding solar disk.[] Atum and Atum-Ra Atum-Ra (or Ra-Atum)
was another composite deity formed from two completely separate deities, howeve
r Ra shared more similarities with Atum than with Amun. Atum was more closely li
nked with the sun, and was also a creator god of the Ennead. Both Ra and Atum we
re regarded as the father of the deities and pharaohs, and were widely worshiped
. In older myths, Atum was the creator of Tefnut and Shu, and he was born from o
cean Nun. Ra-Horakhty In later Egyptian mythology, Ra-Horakhty was more of a tit
le or manifestation than a composite deity. It translates as "Ra (who is) Horus
of the Horizons". It was intended to link Horakhty (as a sunrise-oriented aspect
of Horus) to Ra. It has been suggested that Ra-Horakhty simply refers to the su
n's journey from horizon to horizon as Ra, or that it means to show Ra as a symb
olic deity of hope and rebirth. (See earlier section: Ra and the sun). Khepri an
d Khnum Khepri was a scarab beetle who rolled up the sun in the mornings, and wa
s sometimes seen as the morning manifestation of Ra. Similarly, the ram-headed g
od Khnum was also seen as the evening manifestation of Ra. The idea of different
deities (or c. 1298-1235 BCE Imentet and Ra from the tomb different aspects of
Ra) ruling over different times of the day of Nefertari. was fairly common, but
variable. With Khepri and Khnum taking precedence over sunrise and sunset, Ra of
ten was the representation of midday when the sun reached its peak at noon. Some
times different aspects of Horus were used instead of Ra's aspects.

Ra Raet-Tawy Raet or Raet-Tawy was a female aspect of Ra; she did not have much
of importance independently of him. In some myths she was considered to be eithe
r Ra's wife or his daughter.[8]
265
Gods created by Ra
Bastet Bastet is sometimes known as the "cat of Ra".[] She is also his daughter
and is associated with Ra's instrument of vengeance, the sun-god's eye.[] Bastet
is known for decapitating the serpent Apophis (Ra's sworn enemy and the "God" o
f Chaos) to protect Ra.[] In one myth, Ra sent Bastet as a lioness to Nubia.[] S
ekhmet Sekhmet is another daughter of Ra.[] Sekhemet was depicted as a lioness o
r large cat, and was an "eye of Ra", or an instrument of the sun god's vengeance
.[] In one myth, Sekhmet was so filled with rage that Ra was forced to turn her
into a cow so that she would not cause unnecessary harm.[] In another myth, Ra f
ears that mankind is plotting against him and sends Hathor (another daughter of
Ra) to exterminate the human race.[] In the morning Sekhmet goes to finish the j
ob and drinks what appears to be blood.[] It turns out to be red beer, and she i
s too intoxicated to finish the slaughter.[] Hathor Hathor is another daughter o
f Ra.[] When Ra feared that mankind was plotting against him, he sent Hathor as
an "eye of Ra" to exterminate the human race, later sending Sekhmet to finish th
e job.[] In one myth, Hathor danced naked in front of Ra until he laughed to cur
e him of a fit of sulking.[] When Ra was without Hathor, he fell into a state of
deep depression.[9]
Rival gods
Ptah Ptah is rarely mentioned in the literature of Old Kingdom Pyramids.[] This
is believed by some to be a result of the Ra-worshipping people of Heliopolis be
ing the main writers of these inscriptions.[] Followers of Ra were known to be j
ealous of Ptah.[] While some believed that Ra created himself, others believed t
hat Ptah created him.[10] Isis Isis frequently schemed against Ra, as she wanted
her son Horus to have the power.[] In one myth, Isis created a serpent to poiso
n Ra and only gave him the antidote when he revealed his true name to her.[] Ra
now feared Isis, as with his secret name revealed she could use all her power ag
ainst him and have Horus take over the throne.[] Apep Apep also called Apophis,
was the god of chaos and Ra's greatest enemy. He was said to lie just below the
horizon line, trying to devour Ra as Ra descended into the underworld. As he swa
llowed Ra, this led to the setting of the sun and when he had completely swallow
ed Ra this lead to nighttime. He never succeeded in completely swallowing Ra how
ever as he eventually spit Ra back out, causing the sun to rise.

Ra
266
In popular culture
Ra is the main villain of the 1994 film Stargate. In it, he is an alien that ens
laves ancient Egyptians and brings them to a planet halfway across the universe
using a device known as a Stargate. In Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost
Ark, Indiana Jones must use the headpiece of the Staff of Ra to find the locati
on of the Ark of the Covenant, which is hidden in Tanis. In The Kane Chronicles
by Rick Riordan, Ra first appears in The Throne of Fire as a senile old man. In
The Serpent's Shadow, he is reborn with his mind intact and willingly abdicates
his throne so that Horus can take over. In the multiplayer online battle arena v
ideo game Smite, Ra is a playable god. In season four of the Syfy reality televi
sion series Face Off, the contestant Eric F. created a Ra mummy based on the Evi
l Dead franchise. In Yu-Gi-Oh!, Ra is an Egyptian God Card called "The Winged Dr
agon Of Ra" or "Sun Dragon Ra."
References
[1] [3] [5] [6] Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition. Merri
am-Webster, 2007. p. 1023 The Routledge Dictionary of Egyptian Gods and Goddesse
s, George Hart ISBN 0-415-34495-6 The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egy
pt, Wilkinson ISBN 0-500-05120-8 Quirke, S. (2001). The cult of Ra: Sun-worship
in ancient Egypt. (pp. 144). New York: Thames and Hudson.
[7] Mller, M. (2002). Ra. In D. B. Redford (Ed.), The ancient gods speak: A guide
to Egyptian religion (pp. 328). New York: Oxford University Press, USA. [10] Th
e World Almanac and Book of Facts 2011. p. 708.
Further reading
Collier, Mark and Manley, Bill. How to Read Egyptian Hieroglyphs: Revised Editio
n. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998. Salaman, Clement, Van Oyen, D
orine, Wharton, William D, and Mah, Jean-Pierre. The Way of Hermes: New Translati
ons of the Corpus Hermeticum and The Definitions of Hermes Trismegistus to Ascle
pius. Rochester: Inner Traditions, 1999.

Raet-Tawy
267
Raet-Tawy
Raet / Raet-Tawy
A statue of Raet. Female aspect of Ra Name in hieroglyphs Major cult center Cons
ort Medamud, el Tod, Thebes Montu
Raet (r .t) or Raet-Tawy (r .t-t3.w) is an ancient Egyptian solar goddess, the female a
spect of Ra. Her name is simply the female form of Ra's name; the longer name Ra
et-Tawy means "Raet of the Two Lands" (Upper and Lower Egypt).
Origins
First appears during the reign of the Fifth Dynasty, Raet is likely to have been
a companion of Ra from the start, and did not have a separate origin. Although
she was called the lady of the sky and the gods, she never reached the importanc
e of Hathor, who was also considered the wife of Ra (or, in other myths, his dau
ghter).[1]
Cult
Raet was also considered a wife of Montu,[2] and she formed a triad with him and
Harpocrates in Karnak and Medamud. Her feast day was in the fourth month of the
reaping season.[1] The centers of her cult were at Medamud, El-Tod, and Thebes.
A demotic manual from the Roman period with hymns to Raet has survived in fragm
ents.[3]

Raet-Tawy
268
Iconography
Images of Raet are rare. When she is depicted, she is shown as a woman with cow
horns holding a sun disk on her head, similar to the headdress of Hathor. The he
address is adorned with a uraeus or with feathers.[1]
References
[1] Richard Wilkinson: The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt. London,
Thames and Hudson, 2003. ISBN 978-0500051207 p.164 [2] Wrterbuch, p.402
Rem (mythology)
Rem in hieroglyphs
[]
Rem
the
and
med

( "to weep"), also Rem-Rem, Remi,


realm of weeping[1] is a fish god
with his tears,[2] producing both
to be the personification of Ra's

or Remi the Weeper, who lives in Rem-Rem,


in Egyptian mythology who fertilizes the l
vegetation and the reptiles.[3] He is assu
tears.[]

References
Renenutet
Renenutet (also transliterated as Ernutet, and Renenet) was a goddess of nourish
ment and the harvest in ancient Egyptian religion.[1] The importance of the harv
est caused people to make many offerings to Renenutet during harvest time. Initi
ally, her cult was centered in Terenuthis. Renenutet was envisioned, particularl
y in art, as a cobra, or as a woman with the head of a cobra. Sometimes, as the
goddess of nourishment, Renenutet was seen as Star pattern; Nepret, Renenutet an
d Hu as cobras. having a husband, Sobek. He was represented as the Nile River, t
he annual flooding of which deposited the fertile silt that enabled abundant har
vests. More usually, Renenutet was seen as the mother of Nehebkau, who occasiona
lly was represented as a snake also. When considered the mother of Nehebkau, Ren
enutet was seen as having a husband, Geb, who represented the Earth. Later, as a
snake-goddess worshiped over the whole of Lower Egypt, Renenutet was increasing
ly associated with Wadjet, Lower Egypt's powerful protector and another snake go
ddess represented as a cobra. Eventually Renenutet was identified as an alternat
e form of Wadjet, whose gaze was said to slaughter enemies. Wadjet is the cobra
on the crown of the pharaohs.

Renenutet
269
Hymn
The Hymn of Renenutet says: I will make the Nile swell for you, without there be
ing a year of lack and exhaustion in the whole land, so the plants will flourish
, bending under their fruit. The land of Egypt is beginning to stir again, the s
hores are shining wonderfully, and wealth and well-being dwell with them, as it
had been before.
References
Repyt
Repyt was an ancient Egyptian goddess.[1] She was normally portrayed as a liones
s goddess of Egypt.
References

Resheph
270
Resheph
Resheph with long hair
Rp in hieroglyphs

Resheph (Raap, Reef, Reshef; Canaanite/Hebrew rp


) was a Canaante dety f plage an
ar. In Egyptan cngraphy Resheph s depcted wearng the crwn f Upper Egypt
(Whte Crwn), srmnted n frnt y the head f a gazelle. He has lnks wth
Thean war gd Mnt and was thght f as a gardan dety n attle y many Eg
yptan pharahs. Althgh the cngraphy f Resheph shares the gazelle wth tha
t f the Egyptan-Canaante Shed, Izak Crnels wrtes that "the rest f the at
trtes are ttally dfferent." [1] Accrdng t myth, Resheph exerted a engn
nflence aganst dsease.

Resheph
271
In Ugartc Texts
In Ugart, Resheph was dentfed wth Nergal, n Idaln, Cyprs, wth Apll.[
2] Resheph s mentned n Ugartc mythlgcal texts sch as the epc f Krta
[3] and The Mare and Hrn.[4] In Phencan nscrptns he s called rshp gn '
Resheph f the Garden' and `l chtz 'lrd f the arrw'. Phencan-Httte l
ngals[ctatn needed] refer t hm as 'deer gd' and 'gazelle gd'. In Ktn,
Cyprs, Resheph had the epthet f , interpreted as "arrow" by Javier Teixidor,[2
] who consequently interprets Resheph as a god of plague, comparable to Apollo w
hose arrows bring plague to the Danaans (Iliad I.42-55). Resheph became popular
in Egypt under Amenhotep II (18th dynasty), where he served as god of horses and
Resheph with Qetesh and Min. chariots. Originally adopted into the royal cult,
Resheph became a popular deity in the Ramesside Period, at the same time disappe
aring from royal inscriptions. In this later period, Resheph is often accompanie
d by Qetesh and Min. The ancient town of Arsuf in central Israel still incorpora
tes the name Resheph, thousands of years after his worship ceased.
In Eblaite Texts
Resheph is found in the third millennium tablets from Ebla (Tell Mardikh) as Ras
ap or Ra-sa-ap. He is listed as the divinity of the cities of Atanni, Gunu, Tuni
p, and Shechem. Rasap is also one of the chief gods of the city of Ebla having o
ne of the four city gates named in his honor.[5]
In Hebrew Bible
The Hebrew of Habakkuk 3:5 names Dabir and Resheph marching defeated before El's
parade from Teman and Mount Paran. Dabir and Resheph are normally translated as
Pestilence and Plague. Due to the literary discoveries at Tell Mardikh, for the
first time Dabir is attested as a divinity outside the Hebrew Bible.[6] This di
scovery is significant for the proper translation of Biblical passages. The name
Resheph appears as a word in Classical Hebrew with the meaning "flame, lightnin
g" (Psalm 78:48) and "a burning fever, a plague" by which the body is "inflamed"
, Deuteronomy 32:24 but could be understood as archaic language in some instance
s as a proper name such as in Hab. 3:5 and Job 5:7 in the phrase "sons of Reshep
h soar in flight". Resheph as a personal name, a grandson of Ephraim, occurs in
1 Chronicles 7:25.

Resheph
272
Notes
[2] [3] [4] [5] [6] Javier Teixidor, The Phoenician Inscriptions of the Cesnola
Collection. Metropolitan Museum Journal 11, 1976, 65 tablet 1/CAT 1.14, column 1
, lines 18-20; tablet 2/CAT 1.15, column 2, line 6 CAT 1.100, lines 30-31 Giovan
ni Pettinato, The Archives of Ebla: An Empire Inscribed in Clay. Doubleday & Com
pany, Inc., 1981 ISBN-0-385-13152-6 TM.75.G.1464
References
Wolfgang Helck: Die Beziehungen gyptens zu Vorderasien im 3. und 2. Jahrtausend v
. Chr., (gyptologische Abhandlungen, Band 5) 2. Auflage, Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden
1971 ISBN 3-447-01298-6 (Zu Reschef in gypten: S. 450-454)
Satet
In Egyptian mythology, Satet (also spelt Satis, Satjit, Sates, and Sati) was the
deification of the floods of the Nile River. Her cult originated in the ancient
city of Swenet, now called Aswan on the southern edge of Egypt. Her name means
she who shoots forth referring to the annual flooding of the river. She was an e
arly war, hunting, and fertility deity who was seen as the mother of the Nile Ri
ver, Anuket, and a protector of southern Egypt. One of her titles was She Who Ru
ns Like an Arrow, which is thought to refer to the river current, and her symbol
s became the arrow and the running river. Satet was pictured as a woman wearing
the conical crown of Upper Egypt, the Hedjet, with gazelle or antelope horns, or
as an antelope, a fast moving creature living near the banks of the river in th
e southern portion of Ancient Egypt. She also was depicted with a bow and arrows
. Other interpretations say her primary role was that of the war goddess, a guar
dian of Egypt's southern (Nubian) frontier and killing the enemies of the Pharao
h with her arrows.
She usually is depicted as holding an ankh also, due to her association with the
life giving flooding of the Nile. Consequently, Satet acted as a fertility godd
ess, thus granting the wishes of those who sought love. Satet is also described
as offering jars of purifying water.
Satis being worshiped by the pharaoh Sobekhotep III of the thirteenth dynasty, a
portion of her conical crown, the Hedjet, adorned with antelope horns shows in
the fragment - c. 1760 B.C. - Brooklyn Museum
Later she became regarded as one of the consorts of Khnum, the god identified as
the guardian of the source of the Nile, with whom she was worshipped at Elephan
tine (the First nome of Egypt), indeed the centre of her cult was nearby, at Sah
al, another island of the Nile. Since she was most dominant at the southern end
of Egypt, she became regarded as the guard of Egypt's southern border with Nubia
.

Satet Satet's child was Anuket, goddess of the Nile River herself, who formed th
e third part of the Elephantine triad of deities when formed. Satet was also con
nected with the Eye of Ra.[1]
273
References
[1] Pinch, Geraldine (2004) Egyptian Mythology: A Guide to the Gods, Goddesses,
and Traditions of Ancient Egypt. Oxford University Press. pp. 186187
Seker
For the name, see eker. For the places in Azerbaijan, see kr. For the Stargate SG-1
character, see Sokar (Stargate)
Seker-Osiris
Seker in hieroglyphs
Seker (/skr/; also spelled Sokar) is a falcon god of the Memphite necropolis. Altho
ugh the meaning of his name remains uncertain, the Egyptians in the Pyramid Text
s linked his name to the anguished cry of Osiris to Isis 'Sy-k-ri' ('hurry to me
'),[1] in the underworld. Seker is strongly linked with two other gods, Ptah the
chief god of Memphis and Osiris the god of the dead. In later periods this conn
ection was expressed as the triple god Ptah-Seker-Osiris. Seker was usually depi
cted as a mummified hawk and sometimes as mound from which the head of a hawk ap
pears. Here he is called 'he who is on his sand'. Sometimes he is shown on his h
ennu barque which was an elaborate sledge for negotiating the sandy necropolis.
One of his titles was 'He of Restau' which means the place of 'openings' or tomb

Seker entrances. In the New Kingdom Book of the Underworld, the Amduat, he is sh
own standing on the back of a serpent between two spread wings, as an expression
of freedom this suggests a connection with resurrection or perhaps a satisfacto
ry transit of the underworld.[1] Despite this the region of the underworld assoc
iated with Seker was seen as difficult, sandy terrain called the Imhet (meaning
'filled up').[2] Seker, possibly through his association with Ptah, also has a c
onnection with craftsmen. In the Book of the Dead he is said to fashion silver b
owls[1] and a silver coffin of Sheshonq II has been discovered at Tanis decorate
d with the iconography of Seker.[3] In the 1956 movie The Ten Commandments, the
Pharaoh Rameses II invokes the same deity to bring his deceased firstborn son ba
ck to life, while portrayed as wearing dark blue robe with a silver bow. Seker's
cult centre was in Memphis where festivals in his honour were held in the fourt
h month of the akhet (spring) season. The god was depicted as assisting in vario
us tasks such as digging ditches and canals. From the New Kingdom a similar fest
ival was held in Thebes.[3]
274
References
[1] The Routledge Dictionary of Egyptian Gods and Goddesses, George Hart ISBN 0415-34495-6 [2] The Egyptian Amduat, Erik Hornung and Theodore Abt ISBN 3-952260
8-4-3 [3] The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt, Wilkinson ISBN 0-500
-05120-8

Sekhmet
275
Sekhmet
Sekhmet
Sekhmet with head of lioness and a solar disk and uraeus on her head Goddess of
medicine Name in hieroglyphs Major cult center Symbol Consort Parents Siblings M
emphis, Leontopolis Sun disk, red linen Ptah Ra Presumably Hathor, Bast, Serket,
Shu and Tefnut

In Egyptian mythology, Sekhmet /sk mt/[1] or Sachmis (/skms/; also spelled Sakhmet, Sek
et, or Sakhet, among other spellings) was originally the warrior goddess as well
as goddess of healing for Upper Egypt. She is depicted as a lioness, the fierce
st hunter known to the Egyptians. It was said that her breath created the desert
. She was seen as the protector of the pharaohs and led them in warfare. Her cul
t was so dominant in the culture that when the first pharaoh of the twelfth dyna
sty, Amenemhat I, moved the capital of Egypt to Itjtawy, the centre for her cult
was moved as well. Religion, the royal lineage, and the authority to govern wer
e intrinsically interwoven in Ancient Egypt during its approximately three thous
and years of existence. Sekhmet also is a solar deity, sometimes called the daug
hter of the sun god Ra and often associated with the goddesses Hathor and Bast.
She bears the solar disk and the uraeus which associates her with Wadjet and roy
alty. With these associations she can be construed as being a divine arbiter of
the goddess Ma'at (Justice, or Order) in the Judgment Hall of Osiris, associatin
g her with the Wedjat (later the Eye of Ra), and connecting her with Tefnut as w
ell.

Sekhmet
276
Etymology
Sekhmet's name comes from the Ancient Egyptian word "sekhem" which means "power"
. Sekhmet's name suits her function and means "the (one who is) powerful". She a
lso was given titles such as the "(One) Before Whom Evil Trembles", "Mistress of
Dread", "Lady of Slaughter" and "She Who Mauls".
This golden cultic object is called an aegis. It is devoted to Sekhmet, highligh
ting her solar attributes. Walters Art Museum, Baltimore.
History
In order to placate Sekhmet's wrath, her priestesses performed a ritual before a
different statue of the goddess on each day of the year. This practice resulted
in many images of the goddess being preserved. Most of her statuettes were rigi
dly crafted and do not exhibit any expression of movements or dynamism; this des
ign was made to make them last a long time rather than to express any form of fu
nctions or actions she is associated with. It is estimated that more than seven
hundred statues of Sekhmet once stood in one funerary temple alone, that of Amen
hotep III, on the west bank of the Nile. She was envisioned as a fierce lioness,
and in art, was depicted as such, or as a woman with the head of a lioness, who
was dressed in red, the colour of blood. Sometimes the dress she wears exhibits
a rosetta pattern over each breast, an ancient leonine motif, which can be trac
ed to observation of the shoulder-knot hairs on lions. Occasionally, Sekhmet was
also portrayed in her statuettes and engravings with minimal clothing or naked.
Tame lions were kept in temples dedicated to Sekhmet at Leontopolis.
Sekhmet from the temple of Mut at Luxor, granite, 14031365 BC, in the National Mu
seum, Copenhagen
Festivals and evolution
To pacify Sekhmet, festivals were celebrated at the end of battle, so that the d
estruction would come to an end. During an annual festival held at the beginning
of the year, a festival of intoxication,

Sekhmet
277
the Egyptians danced and played music to soothe the wildness of the goddess and
drank great quantities of wine ritually to imitate the extreme drunkenness that
stopped the wrath of the goddesswhen she almost destroyed humankind. This may rel
ate to averting excessive flooding during the inundation at the beginning of eac
h year as well, when the Nile ran blood-red with the silt from upstream and Sekh
met had to swallow the overflow to save humankind. In 2006, Betsy Bryan, an arch
aeologist with Johns Hopkins University excavating at the temple of Mut presente
d her findings about the festival that included illustrations of the priestesses
being served to excess and its adverse effects being ministered to by temple at
tendants.[2] Participation in the festival was great, including the priestesses
and the population. Historical records of tens of thousands attending the festiv
al exist. These findings were made in the temple of Mut because when Thebes rose
to greater prominence, Mut absorbed some characteristics of Sekhmet. These temp
le excavations at Luxor discovered a "porch of drunkenness" built onto the templ
e by the Pharaoh Hatshepsut, during the height of her twenty year reign. In a my
th about the end of Ra's rule on the earth, Ra sends Hathor or Sekhmet to destro
y mortals who conspired against him. In the myth, Sekhmet's blood-lust was not q
uelled at the end of battle and led to her destroying almost all of humanity, so
Ra poured out beer dyed with red ochre or hematite so that it resembled blood.
Mistaking the beer for blood, she became so drunk that she gave up the slaughter
and returned peacefully to Ra.[3] Sekhmet later was considered to be the mother
of Maahes, a deity who appeared during the New Kingdom period. He was seen as a
lion prince, the son of the goddess. The late origin of Maahes in the Egyptian
pantheon may be the incorporation of a Nubian deity of ancient origin in that cu
lture, arriving during trade and warfare or even, during a period of domination
by Nubia. During the Greek dominance in Egypt, note was made of a temple for Maa
hes that was an auxiliary facility to a large temple to Sekhmet at Taremu in the
delta region (likely a temple for Bast originally), a city which the Greeks cal
led Leontopolis, where by that time, an enclosure was provided to house lions.
Image from a ritual Menat necklace, depicting a ritual being performed before a
statue of Sekhmet on her throne, she also is flanked by the goddess Wadjet as th
e cobra and the goddess Nekhbet as the white vulture, symbols of lower and upper
Egypt respectively who always were depicted on the crown of Egypt and referred
to as the two ladies, and the supplicant holds a complete menat and a sistrum fo
r the ritual, circa 870 B.C. (Berlin, Altes Museum, catalogue number 23733)
The warrior goddess Sekhmet, shown with her sun disk and cobra crown from a reli
ef at the Temple of Kom Ombo.
In popular culture
Death metal band Nile referenced Sekhmet in the title track of their album "Ithy
phallic", and in "The Eye Of Ra" on their album Those Whom the Gods Detest. Deat
h metal band Behemoth referenced Sekhmet in the song "Christgrinding Avenue" on
their album The Apostasy. Sekhmet is used in The 39 Clues book Beyond the Grave
and is the reason why the characters travel to Cairo.

Sekhmet Sekhmet is also featured in The Red Pyramid written by Rick Riordan as a
minor antagonist. Sekhmet is the subject of "Lionheart" a song about the goddes
s by the symphonic power metal band, Amberian Dawn from their The Clouds of Nort
hland Thunder album. Sekhmet is also mentioned in Stargate SG-1. A young girl An
na is created by a German doctor, who is son of a Nazi. Sam, Daniel and Teal'c f
ind artifacts belonging the Goa'uld Sekhmet. Sekhmet is also featured in the Sta
rgate SG-1 game Stargate SG-1 Unleashed. In Tutenstein, an animated TV series ab
out Ancient Egypt, Sekhmet is featured in one of the episodes. She goes on a ram
page in the museum and the building site to make people build a pyramid for Tut.
The space vessel "Sekhmet" is a level in the video game Jet Force Gemini, a thi
rd person shooter developed by Rare in 1999. Sekhmet is also the name of an alie
n Aragami in the PlayStation Portable game, God Eater. In the BBC TV series Sher
lock episode "The Great Game", John Watson believes a cat named Sekhmet is respo
nsible for the death of her owner.
278
References
[2] "Sex and booze figured in Egyptian rites" (http:/ / www. msnbc. msn. com/ id
/ 15475319/ ), archaeologists find evidence for ancient version of Girls Gone Wil
d. Frm MNBC, O
br 30, 2006 [3] Lh
hm, Mram (2006) [1976]. nn
Ey

an L
ra
r, Vlm Tw: Th Nw Kndm. Unvr 
y f Calfrna r . 
. 197199
Ex
rnal lnk
nn
Ey
:
h My
hly - khm
(h

://www.y
anmy
h .n
/ khm
.h
m
) Tml f khm
(h

://www. khm

ml.m/ndx.h
m), n Ca
 rn ,
Nvada "nn
war dd
a
 nar
hd n Ey
" (h

://www.mddl-a

-nln.m/nl h/?d=15916), arhal


nar
h x
a
 f
h ln-h
add war dd khm
n
ml f harah mnh
 III. 2006-03-06

ra
279

ra
ra (, Attc/Inan Greek) r Saraps (, Dran Greek) s a Graec-Egyptan
as devsed drng the 3rd centry BC n the rders f Ptlemy I f Egypt as a me
ans t nfy the Greeks and Egyptans n hs realm. The gd was depcted as Gree
k n appearance, t wth Egyptan trappngs, and cmned cngraphy frm a gr
eat many clts, sgnfyng th andance and resrrectn. A serapem (Greek se
rapen) was any temple r relgs precnct devted t Seraps. The clts f
Seraps was spread as a matter f delerate plcy y the Ptlemac kngs, wh
als lt an mmense Serapem n Alexandra. Seraps cntned t ncrease n p
plarty drng the Rman perd, ften replacng Osrs as the cnsrt f Iss
n temples tsde Egypt. In 389, a m led y the Patrarch Thephls f Alex
andra destryed the Alexandran Serapem, t the clt srvved ntl all frms
f relgn ther than Ncene Chrstanty were sppressed r alshed nder T
hedss I n 391.
Marle st f Seraps wearng a mds (Lvre)

At the gd


"Seraps" s the nly frm sed n Latn,[1] t th Ancent Greek: Sraps and Anc
Greek: Sraps appear n Greek, as well as Ancent Greek:  Ser   B c
r .
 ed
eme  s
he Ser eum f Aex dr .[2] U der P
emy S
er, effr
s er
e m de
 
egr
e Egy
 reg 
h
h
f
her Hee c ruers. P
em
ys cy  s
 f d de
y
h
shud 
he revere ce ke f b
h gru
s, des
e
he curses f
he Egy
 res
s g  s

he gds f
he revus f
reg ruers (e.g. Se
, h  s  uded by
he Hykss). Aex der
he Gre
h d

em
ed
 use Amu fr
hs urse, bu
he  s mre rm e
 Uer Egy

, d 
s u r 
h
hse  er Egy
, here
he Greeks h d s
r ger 
fue ce. The Greeks h d 

e resec
fr Ths e d
be r g Ser ss ke e
ss ud m -he ded fgures, d s Greek-s
ye
hrmrhc s

ue h ve
bee r by member f e
e Egy
  s chse s
he d, d rc med
s
he equv e
f
he hghy sce
y. W 
ers Ar
Museum, B 
mre. u r
As.[3] I
 s med Aser-h  (.e. Osrs-As), hch bec me Ser s, d 
s s d
 be Osrs  fu, r
her
h jus
hs K (fe frce).

Ser s
280
Hs
ry
The e res
me
 f Ser s s 
he dsu
ed de
h sce e f Aex der (3
23 BC).[4] Here, Ser s h s
eme
B by , d s f such mr
ce
h

he  e s med s be g c su


ed  beh f f
he dy g k g. Hs rese ce
 B by ud r dc y 
er erce
 s f
he my
hges f
hs er :
he
u c ec
ed B by  gd E (E k)  s

ed Ser s, me  g k g f
he d
ee, d 
s ssbe
hs Ser s s
he  e referred
 
he d res. The
sg fc ce f
hs Ser s 
he Hee c syche, due
 
s  vveme

Aex ders de
h, m y h ve s c
rbu
ed

he chce f Osrs-As s
he
chef P
em c gd.
Br ze v
ve
be
 scrbed
 Ser s (2 d ce
ury)
Accrd g
 Pu
rch, P
emy s
e
he cu
s

ue frm S e, h v g bee 
s
ruc
ed  dre m by
he "u k  gd"
 br g
he s

ue
 Aex dr , her
e
he s

ue  s r u ced
 be Ser s by
 regus exer
s. O e f
he e
xer
s  s f
he Eumd e,
he ce
f my frm hse members
he herh

f
he Eeus  Mys
eres h d bee chse s ce befre hs
ry, d
he 
h
er  s
he sch ry Egy
 res
M e
h, hch g ve egh


he judgeme

b
h fr
he Egy
 s d
he Greeks. Pu
rch m y 
be crrec
, hever, s
sme Egy
gs
s ege
h

he S e 
he
e s re y
he h f S
e , me gve

he s
e f
he re dy exs
 g Ser eum
Memhs. A
s, ccrd g
 T c
us, Ser s (.e., As exc
y de
fed s Osrs 
fu) h d bee
he gd f
he v ge f Rh k
s befre 
ex ded 

he g
re
c 
 f Aex dr . The s

ue su
by dec
ed fgure resemb g H d
es r Pu
, b
h be g k gs f
he Greek u derrd, d  s sh e
hr ed 

h
he mdus, b ske
/gr  -me sure,  hs he d, s ce 
 s Greek symb
fr
he  d f
he de d. He s hed sce
re  hs h d  dc
 g hs ru
ersh, 
h Cerberus, g
ekeeer f
he u derrd, res
 g
hs fee
, d 

s h d h
e red
 be sere


s b se, f

 g
he Egy
 symb
f ruersh,
he ur eus. W
h hs (.e. Osrss) fe Iss, d
her s Hr
us (
he frm f H rcr
es), Ser s  mr

 ce 
he Greek r
d. I hs Descr
 f Greece, P us  s 
es
 Ser e 
he ses f
Acrcr
h, bve
he rebu
Rm c
y f Cr
h d  e
C e  Be

.[5] Ser s  s m g
he 
er
  de
es hse cu
 s receved d ds
sem
ed
hrughu

he Rm Emre, 
h A ubs sme
mes de
fed 
h Cer
berus. A
Rme, Ser s  s rshed 
he Iseum C me se,
he s c
u ry f Is
s bu
dur g
he Sec d Trumvr
e 
he C mus M r
us. The Rm cu
s f
Iss d Ser s g  ed  u r
y 
e 
he 1s
ce
ury he Ves s ex
ere ced eve
s he

rbu
ed

her mr cuus ge cy he he  s  Aex
dr , here he s
yed befre re
ur  g
 Rme s emerr  70. Frm
he F v
Dy s
y  , Ser s  s  e f
he de
es h mgh
e r  mer  c g
e 
h
he reg  g emerr.
Hgh Cerk 
he Cu
f Ser s, A
es Museum, Ber
The m  cu

Aex dr survved u

he 
e 4
h ce
ury, he Chrs

mb des
ryed
he Ser eum f Aex dr  385, d
he cu
 s  r
f
he
ge er  rscr
 f reg s 
her
h rved frms f Chrs
 
y u de
r
he Theds decree.

Ser s
281
G ery
O  m 
h bus
f Ser s, f ked by cresce
m d s
r (Rm -er
Ehesus, 100-150)
S

ue

e ssby f Ser s (bu


e
he hercue

cub) frm Begr m, Afgh 

He d f S r s (150-200)
He d f Ser s, frm 12-f
s

ue fu d ff
he c s
f Aex dr
Ser s  Rm

Egy
, Aex dr , B Te
r dr chm

He d f Ser s (Rm -er Hee s


c
err c

, S

ches Museum gy
scher
Ku s
, Mu ch)
N
es
[1] C su
 g
he u brdged es 
 exc shs
h
"Ser s"  s
he 
y 
 vers f
he me 
qu
y: [2] "Of
he Egy
 s c
u res f
Ser s
he ms
f mus s
Aex dr ", P us  s 
ed (Descr
 f Greec
e, 1.18.4, 2 d ce
ury AD),  descrb g
he Ser e
A
he s erec
ed by P

emy 
he s
ee se f
he Acrs: "As yu desce d frm here

he er
 r
f
he c
y, s s c
u ry f Ser s, hse rsh
he A
he  s 
rd
uced frm P
emy." [3] Accrd g
 Sr J.G. Fr zers 
e

he Bb
ec f
Pseud-Adrus, 2.1.1: "Adrus de
fes
he Argve As 
h
he Egy

 bu As, h  s 
ur de
fed 
h Ser s (S r s)"; P us  s
s c f
es Ser s d Egy
 As: "Of
he Egy
 s c
u res f Ser s

he ms
f mus s
Aex dr ,
he des

Memhs. I

hs e
her s
r
ger r res
m y e
er, u

hey bury As" (P us  s,Descr
 f Greec
e, 1.18.4). [4] Rer
ed frm Arr , A b ss, VII. 26. [5] P us  s 2.4.5 d
9.24.1.

Ser s
282
Refere ces
E.R.Bevan: The House of Ptolemy, Chapter.II (http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/
Gazetteer/Places/ Africa/Egypt/_Texts/BEVHOP/2*.html#Sarapis_cult) James Grout:
"Temple of Serapis", part of the Encyclopdia Romana (http://penelope.uchicago.edu
/~grout/ encyclopaedia_romana/greece/paganism/serapeum.html) "Immoralities of th
e Gods: Of the fugitive Serapis chased from Sinope to Alexandria" (http://www.cc
el.org/ ccel/schaff/anf02.iv.ii.i.ix.html), by Theophilus of Antioch "Greco-Egyp
tian Mythology: The Alexandrian Synthesis" (http://www.grecoegipcio.galeon.com/e
nglish.htm)

Serket
283
Serket
Serket
the Egyptian goddess Serket. She is often depicted as a woman with a scorpion gr
acing her crown. Name in hieroglyphs Symbol Parents Siblings [1] Scorpion Ra pre
sumably Hathor, Sekhmet, Bast

Serket /sr kt/, also known as Selket, Serqet or Selcis /slss/, is the goddess of healin
poisonous stings and bites in Egyptian mythology, originally the deification of
the scorpion.[2] Scorpion stings lead to paralysis and Serket's name describes
this, as it means (she who) tightens the throat, however, Serket's name also can
be read as meaning (she who) causes the throat to breathe, and so, as well as b
eing seen as stinging the unrighteous, Serket was seen as one who could cure sco
rpion stings and the effects of other poisons such as snake bites. In Ancient Eg
yptian art, Serket was shown as a scorpion (a symbol found on the earliest artif
acts of the culture, such as the protodynastic period), or as a woman with a sco
rpion on her head. Although Serket does not appear to have had any temples, she
had a sizable number of priests in many communities. The most dangerous species
of scorpion resides in North Africa, and its sting may kill, so Serket was consi
dered a highly important goddess, and was sometimes considered by pharaohs to be
their patron. Her close association with the early kings implies that she was t
heir protector, two being referred to as the scorpion kings. As the protector ag
ainst poisons and snake bites, Serket often was said to protect the deities from
Apep, the great snake-demon of evil, sometimes being depicted as the guard when
Apep was captured. As many of the venomous creatures of Egypt could prove fatal
, Serket also was considered a protector of the dead, particularly being associa
ted with poisons and fluids causing stiffening. She was thus said to be the prot
ector of the tents of embalmers, and of the canopic jar associated with poisonthe
jar of the intestinewhich was deified later as Qebehsenuf, one of the Four sons
of Horus. As the guard of one of the canopic jars and a protector, Serket gained
a strong association with Aset (Isis), Nebet Het (Nephthys), and Neith who also
performed similar functions. Eventually, later in Egyptian history that spanned
thousands of years and whose pantheon evolved toward a merger of many deities,
Serket began to be identified with

Serket Isis, sharing imagery and parentage, until finally, Serket became said to
be merely an aspect of Isis, whose cult had become very dominant.
284
References
[2] Pharaonic Gods (http:/ / www. egyptianmuseum. gov. eg/ selket. html) Egyptia
n Museum

Seshat
285
Seshat
Seshat
Seshat, depicted in a leopard skin, inscribing the years of reign for the king o
n the palm-leaf rib which served for tallying up the years and so had [1] become
the hieroglyph for "year". Goddess of writing and wisdom Symbol Consort Parents
Siblings Unknown seven-pointed emblem above her head. Thoth (in some accounts)
Ra (in some accounts) or Thoth ? presumably Maat [2][3][4][5]
In Egyptian mythology, Seshat (also spelled Safkhet, Sesat, Seshet, Sesheta, and
Seshata) was the Ancient Egyptian goddess of wisdom, knowledge, and writing. Sh
e was seen as a scribe and record keeper, and her name means she who scrivens (i
.e. she who is the scribe), and is credited with inventing writing. She also bec
ame identified as the goddess of architecture, astronomy, astrology, building, m
athematics, and surveying. These are all professions that relied upon expertise
in her skills. She is identified as Safekh-Aubi in some late texts.[6] Mistress
of the House of Books is another title for Seshat, being the deity whose priests
oversaw the library in which scrolls of the most important knowledge were assem
bled and spells were preserved. One prince of the fourth dynasty, Wep-em-nefret,
is noted as the Overseer of the Royal Scribes, Priest of Seshat on a slab stela
. Heliopolis was the location of her principal sanctuary. She is described as th
e goddess of history. In art, she was depicted as a woman with a seven-pointed e
mblem above her head. It is unclear what this emblem represents.[2][3][4][5] Pha
raoh Tuthmosis III (1479-1425 BCE) called her Sefket-Abwy (She of seven points).
Spell 10 of the Coffin Texts states "Seshat opens the door of heaven for you."
Usually, she is shown holding a palm stem, bearing notches to denote the recordi
ng of the passage of time, especially for keeping track of the allotment of time
for the life of the pharaoh. She was also depicted holding other tools and, oft
en, holding the knotted cords that were stretched to survey land and structures.
She is frequently shown dressed in a cheetah or leopard hide, a symbol of funer
ary priests. If not shown with the hide over a dress, the pattern of the dress i
s that of the spotted feline. The pattern on the natural hide was thought to rep
resent the stars, being a symbol of eternity, and to be associated with the nigh
t sky.

Seshat As the divine measurer and scribe, Seshat was believed to appear to assis
t the pharaoh in both of these practices. It was she who recorded, by notching h
er palm, the time allotted to the pharaoh for his stay on earth. Seshat assisted
the pharaoh in the "stretching the cord" ritual. This ritual is related to layi
ng out the foundations of temples and other important structures in order to det
ermine and assure the sacred alignments and the precision of the dimensions. Her
skills were necessary for surveying the land after the annual floods to reestab
lish boundary lines. The priestess who officiated at these functions in her name
also oversaw the staff of others who performed similar duties and were trained
in mathematics and the related store of knowledge. Much of this knowledge was co
nsidered quite sacred and not shared beyond the ranks of the highest professiona
ls such as architects and certain scribes. She also was responsible for recordin
g the speeches the pharaoh made during the crowning ceremony and approving the i
nventory of foreign captives and goods gained in military campaigns. During the
New Kingdom, she was involved in the Sed festival held by the pharaohs who could
celebrate thirty years of reign. Later, when the cult of the moon deity, Thoth,
became prominent and he became identified as a god of wisdom, the role of Sesha
t changed in the Egyptian pantheon when counterparts were created for most older
deities. The lower ranks of her priestesses were displaced by the priests of Th
oth. First, she was identified as his daughter, and later as his wife. After the
pairing with Thoth the emblem of Seshat was shown surmounted by a crescent moon
, which, over time, degenerated into being shown as two horns arranged to form a
crescent shape, but pointing downward (in an atypical fashion for Egyptian art)
. When the crescent moon symbol had degenerated into the horns, she sometimes wa
s known as Safekh-Aubi, meaning she who wears the two horns.[citation needed] In
a few images the horns resemble two cobras, as depicted in hieroglyphs, but fac
ing each other with heads touching.
286
Gallery
Hatshepsut with goddess Seshat.
Seshat carved on the back of the throne of the seated statue of Rameses II in th
e Amun temple at Luxor. It dates from around 1250 [7] BCE.
Seshat. Same carving, full length.
Seshat, at the Karnak Temple Complex.

Seshat
287
References
[1] Seshat in Luxor (http:/ / www. recoveredscience. com/ const288seshatluxor. h
tm). H. Peter Aleff. See also Huh (god). [2] Wilkinson, Richard H. (2003). The C
omplete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt. Thames & Hudson. p. 166. ISBN 0-500
-05120-8. [3] In Search of Cosmic Order: Selected Essays on Egyptian Archaeoastr
onomy. Editors: Juan Antonio Belmonte, Mosalam Shaltout. Contributor: Zahi Hawas
s. Publisher: American University in Cairo Press, 2010. ISBN 9789774794834. In c
hapter 7 on page 197 (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=COoYkSabGVAC& pg=PA1
97& dq=seshat& hl=en& ei=u6YbTZ2QPIH78Abgm8isDg& sa=X& oi=book_result& ct=result
& resnum=4& ved=0CC8Q6AEwAw#v=onepage& q=seshat& f=false) it says, "The sign hel
d by Seshat over her head has given rise to many attempts to offer an explanatio
n for this rare feature, but none has yielded a definitive conclusion." [4] Sesh
at and her tools (http:/ / www. recoveredscience. com/ const201seshathempmath. h
tm). H. Peter Aleff. From his article: Many Egyptologists have long speculated a
bout the emblem which Seshat wore as her head dress. Sir Alan Gardiner described
it in his still category-leading Egyptian Grammar as a conventionalized flower (?)
surmounted by horns. His question mark after flower reflects the fact that there i
s no likely flower which resembles this design. Others have called it a star surm
ounted by a bow, but stars in the ancient Egyptian convention had five points, no
t seven like the image in Seshat's emblem. This number was so important that it
caused king Tuthmosis III (1479 to 1425 BCE) to call this goddess Sefkhet-Abwy,
or "She of the seven points". [5] Egyptian Grammar (Dictionary). By Sir Alan Hen
derson Gardiner. ISBN 978-0900416354. [7] Seshat in Luxor (http:/ / www. recover
edscience. com/ const288seshatluxor. htm). H. Peter Aleff. See also Huh (god).

Set (mythology)
288
Set (mythology)
Set
God of storms, the desert, and chaos Major cult center Ombos Symbol Consort Pare
nts Siblings Offspring The was scepter Nephthys, Tawaret (in some accounts), Ana
t, Astarte Geb and Nut Osiris, Isis, Nephthys Anubis (in some accounts)
or or Seth in hieroglyphs
Set /st/ or Seth (/s/; al  lld 
 h, 
kh, 
kh, r 
y)  a d f
h
 d r
,
rm , and frnr n ann
Ey
an rln. In la
r my
h h
 al 
h d f darkn and ha . In nn
Grk,
h d nam  v
n a 
(). In Ey
an my
hly, 
 r
rayd a
h  rr wh klld and m

la
d h wn br
hr O r . O r  wf I  ra mbld O r  r  an
d mbalmd hm. O r  n Hr h
rvn n 
, and
h my
h d rb

hr nfl
. Th da
h f O r and
h ba

l b
wn Hr and 
 a
lar vn
n Ey
an my
hly.


(my
hly)
289
Famly
H wf  rnally Nh
hy and n m an
had rla
n h w
h 
h
r dd  : Tawar
, na
, and 
ar
. H hld n m an
 nb wh
l n 
hr 
 Th
h. H bln ar O r , I  , and Nh
hy .
Orn
Th mann f
h nam 
h  nknwn,
hh

 hav bn rnally rnn
d *ta based on the occurrence of his name in Egyptian hieroglyphs (swt), and his
later mention in the Coptic documents with the name S
.[1]
Se
animal
In a
, Se
i mo
ly depic
ed a a fabulou c ea
u e, efe ed
o by Egyp
ologi

a
e Se
animal o Typ onic bea
. T e animal a a cu ved nou
, long, e
c
angula ea , a fo ked
ail, and canine body; ome
ime , Se
i depic
ed a a
uman wi
only
e ead of
e Se
animal. I
doe no
e emble any known c ea

u e, al
oug i
could be een a a compo i
e of an aa dva k, a donkey, a jackal
, o a fennec fox. Some ea ly Egyp
ologi
ave p opo ed
a
i
wa a
yli ed
ep e en
a
ion of
e gi affe, due
o
e la ge fla
-
opped ' o n ' w ic co e
pond
o a gi affe' o icone . Howeve ,
e Egyp
ian make a di
inc
ion be
wee
n
e gi affe and
e Se
animal. In
e La
e Pe iod, Se
i depic
ed a a donke
y o wi

e ead of a donkey.[2] T e ea lie
ep e en
a
ion of w a
may be

e Se
animal come f om a
omb da
ing
o
e Naada I p a e of
e P edyna
ic
Pe iod (3790 BC3500 BC),
oug
i iden
ifica
ion i unce
ain. If
e e a e u
led ou
,
en
e ea lie
Se
-animal appea on a mace ead of
e King Sco pio
n, a p o
odyna
ic ule . T e ead and
e fo ked
ail of
e Se
animal a e cle
a ly p e en
.[3]
Conflic
be
ween Ho u and Se

In
e my
ology of Heliopoli , Se
wa bo n of
e ky godde Nu
and
e ea

god Geb. Se
' i
e and wife wa Nep
y . Nu
and Geb al o p oduced ano
e

wo c ild en w o became u band and wife:


e divine O i i and I i , w o e on
wa Ho u . T e my
of Se
' conflic
wi
Ho u , O i i , and I i appea in m
any Egyp
ian ou ce , including
e Py amid Tex
,
e Coffin Tex
,
e S abaka
S
one, in c ip
ion on
e wall of
e
emple of Ho u a
Edfu, and va iou pa
py u ou ce . T e C e
e Bea

y Papy u No. 1 con


ain
e legend known a T e
Con
ending of Ho u and Se
. Cla ical au
o al o eco ded
e
o y, no
abl
y Plu
a c ' De I ide e
O i ide.[4] T e e my
gene ally po
ay O i i a a w
i e lo d, king, and b inge of civiliza
ion, appily ma ied
o i i
e , I i
. Se
wa enviou of i b o
e , and e killed and di membe ed O i i . I i ea
embled O i i ' co p e and embalmed im. A
e a c e
ypal mummy, O i i eigne
d ove
e af
e wo ld a a king among de e ving pi i
of
e dead. O i i ' on
Ho u wa conceived by I i wi
O i i ' co p e. Ho u na
u ally became
e ene
my of Se
, and
e my
de c ibe
ei conflic
. Some Egyp
ologi
ave econ

uc
ed
e e a Se
poking ou
Ho u ' lef
eye, and Ho u e
alia
ing by ca

a
ing Se
. Howeve
e efe ence
o an eye and
e
icle appea mo e indi ec
,
efe ing
o
e evil Se
exually abu ing
e young Ho u , w o p o
ec
im el
f by deflec
ing
e eed of Se
, w ic can be con
ued a
e
ef
of Se
' vi
ile powe .[5] I
a al o been ugge
ed
a

e my
may eflec
i
o ical e
ven
. Acco ding
o
e S abaka S
one, Geb divided Egyp
in
o
wo alve , giving
Uppe Egyp
(
e de e
ou
)
o Se
and Lowe Egyp
(
e egion of
e del
a
in
e no
)
o Ho u , in o de
o end
ei feud. Howeve , acco ding
o
e

one, in a la
e judgmen
Geb gave all Egyp

o Ho u . In
e p e
ing
i my
a
a i
o ical eco d would lead one
o believe
a
Lowe Egyp
(Ho u ' land) con
ue ed Uppe Egyp
(Se
' land); bu
, in fac
Uppe Egyp
conue ed Lowe Egyp
.
So
e my
canno
be imply in
e p e
ed.

Se
(my
ology) Seve al
eo ie exi

o explain
e di c epancy. Fo in
ance,
ince bo
Ho u and Se
we e wo ipped in Uppe Egyp
p io
o unifica
ion, p
e ap
e my
eflec
a
uggle wi
in Uppe Egyp
p io
o unifica
ion, in
w ic a Ho u -wo ipping g oup ubjuga
ed a Se
-wo ipping g oup. W a
i know
n i
a
du ing
e Second Dyna
y,
e e wa a pe iod in w ic
e King Pe ib
en' name o Se ek w ic ad been u moun
ed by a Ho u falcon in
e Fi
Dyn
a
y wa fo a
ime u moun
ed by a Se
animal, ugge
ing ome kind of eligiou

uggle. I
wa ended a

e end of
e dyna
y by K a ek emwy, w o u moun
e
d i Se ek wi
bo
a falcon of Ho u and a Se
animal, indica
ing ome kind
of comp omi e ad been eac ed. Rega dle , once
e
wo land we e uni
ed, Se

and Ho u we e of
en own
oge
e c owning
e new p a ao , a a ymbol of

ei powe ove bo
Lowe and Uppe Egyp
. Queen of
e Fi
Dyna
y bo e
e

i
le "S e W o See Ho u and Se
." T e Py amid Tex
p e en

e p a ao a a f
u ion of
e
wo dei
ie . Eviden
ly, p a ao believed
a

ey balanced and e
conciled compe
ing co mic p inciple . Even
ually
e dual-god Ho u -Se
appea ed
, combining fea
u e of bo
dei
ie (a wa common in Egyp
ian
eology,
e mo

familia example being Amun-Ra). La
e Egyp
ian in
e p e
ed
e my
of
e
conflic
be
ween Se
and O i i /Ho u a an analogy fo
e
uggle be
ween
e
de e
( ep e en
ed by Se
) and
e fe
ilizing flood of
e Nile (O i i /Ho u
).
290
P o
ec
o of Ra
Se
wa depic
ed
anding on
e p ow of Ra' nig
ba ue pea ing Apep in
e
fo m of a e pen
,
u
le, o o
e dange ou wa
e animal . In ome La
e Pe iod
ep e en
a
ion , uc a in
e Pe ian Pe iod
emple a
Hibi in
e K a ga O
a i , Se
wa ep e en
ed in
i ole wi
a falcon' ead,
aking on
e gui e
of Ho u . In
e Amdua
Se
i de c ibed a aving a key ole in ove coming Ape
p.
Se
in
e Second In
e media
e and Rame ide Pe iod
Du ing
e Second In
e media
e Pe iod, a g oup of A ia
ic fo eign Se
pea ed Ap
ep c ief known a
e Hyk o (li
e ally, " ule of fo eign land ") gained
e
ule ip of Egyp
, and uled
e Nile Del
a, f om Ava i . T ey c o e Se
, o igi
nally Uppe Egyp
' c ief god,
e god of fo eigne and
e god
ey found mo

imila
o
ei own c ief god, a
ei pa
on, and
en Se
became wo iped
a
e c ief god once again. T e Hyk o King Apop i i eco ded a wo iping S
e
in a monola
ic way: "[He] c o e fo i Lo d
e god Se
. He didn'
wo ip
any o
e dei
y in
e w ole land excep
Se
." Jan A mann a gue
a
becau e

e Ancien
Egyp
ian could neve conceive of a "lonely" god lacking pe onali

y, Se

e de e
god, w o wa wo iped exclu ively, ep e en
ed a manife
a
i
on of evil.[6] W en A mo e I ove
ew
e Hyk o and expelled
em f om Egyp
,
Egyp
ian a

i
ude
owa d A ia
ic fo eigne became xenop obic, and oyal p opa
ganda di c edi
ed
e pe iod of Hyk o ule. None
ele ,
e Se
cul
a
Ava i
flou i ed, and
e Egyp
ian ga i on of A mo e
a
ioned
e e became pa
of

e p ie
ood of Se
. T e founde of
e Nine
een
Dyna
y, Rame e I came f
om a mili
a y family f om Ava i wi

ong
ie
o
e p ie
ood of Se
. Seve
al of
e Rame ide king we e named fo Se
, mo
no
ably Se
i I (li
e ally, "
man of Se
") and Se
nak
(li
e ally, "Se
i
ong"). In addi
ion, one of
e
ga i on of Rame e II eld Se
a i
pa
on dei
y, and Rame e II e ec
ed

e o-called Fou Hund ed Yea ' S


ele a
Pi-Rame e , commemo a
ing
e 400 yea
annive a y of
e Se
cul
in
e Del
a.

Se
(my
ology) Se
al o became a ocia
ed wi
fo eign god du ing
e New King
dom, pa
icula ly in
e Del
a. Se
wa al o iden
ified by
e Egyp
ian wi


e Hi

i
e dei
y Te ub, w o wa a
o m god like Se
.
291
Demoniza
ion of Se

He man
e Velde da
e
e demoniza
ion of Se

o af
e Egyp
' conue
by eve
al fo eign na
ion in
e T i d In
e media
e and La
e Pe iod . Se
, w o ad
ad
i
ionally been
e god of fo eigne ,
u al o became a ocia
ed wi
fo eign o
pp e o , including
e A y ian and Pe ian empi e .[7] I
wa du ing
e
ime

a
Se
wa pa
icula ly vilified, and i defea
by Ho u widely celeb a
ed.
Se
' nega
ive a pec
we e emp a ized du ing
i pe iod. Se
wa
e kille of
O i i , aving acked O i i ' body in
o piece and di pe ed i
o
a
e coul
d no
be e u ec
ed. T e G eek la
e linked Se
wi
Typ on becau e bo
we e
evil fo ce ,
o m dei
ie , and on of
e Ea

a
a

acked
e main god . N
eve
ele ,
oug ou

i pe iod, in ome ou
lying egion of Egyp
Se
wa

ill ega ded a


e e oic c ief dei
y.
Temple
Se
wa wo ipped a

e
emple of Ombo (Nub
nea Naada) and Ombo (Nub
ne
a Kom Ombo), a
Oxy ync u in uppe Egyp
, and al o in pa
of
e Fayyum a ea
. Mo e pecifically, Se
wa wo ipped in
e ela
ively la ge me
opoli
an (ye

p ovincial) locale of Sepe me u, e pecially du ing


e Ramme ide Pe iod.[8] T
e e, Se
wa ono ed wi
an impo
an

emple called
e "Hou e of Se
, Lo d o
f Sepe me u." One of
e epi
e
of
i
own wa "ga
eway
o
e de e
," w ic
fi
well wi
Se
' ole a a dei
y of
e f on
ie egion of ancien
Egyp
.
A
Sepe me u, Se
'
emple enclo u e included a mall econda y ine called "
T e Hou e of Se
, Powe ful-I -Hi -Mig
y-A m," and Rame e II im elf buil
(o
modified) a econd land-owning
emple fo Nep
y , called "T e Hou e of Nep

y of Rame e -Me iamun.".[9] T e e i no ue


ion, oweve ,
a

e
wo
empl
e of Se
and Nep
y in Sepe me u we e unde epa a
e admini
a
ion, eac wi

i
own olding and p op e
.[10] Mo eove , ano
e mode a
ely ized
emple
of Se
i no
ed fo
e nea by
own of Pi-Wayna.[11] T e clo e a ocia
ion of S
e

emple wi

emple of Nep
y in key ou
ki
-
own of
i milieu i al
o eflec
ed in
e likeli ood
a

e e exi
ed ano
e "Hou e of Se
" and ano

e "Hou e of Nep
y " in
e
own of Su, a

e en
ance
o
e Fayyum.[12] P
e ap mo
in
iguing in
e m of
e p e-Twen
ie
Dyna
y connec
ion be
ween

emple of Se
and nea by
emple of i con o
Nep
y i
e evidence of Pa
py u Bologna, w ic p e e ve a mo
i i
able complain
lodged by one P a'em-
ab, P op e
of
e "Hou e of Se
" in
e now-lo

own of Punodjem ("T e Swee

Place"). In
e
ex
of Papy u Bologna,
e a ied P a'em- ab lamen
undue
a
xa
ion fo i own
emple (T e Hou e of Se
) and goe on
o lamen

a
e i a
l o addled wi
e pon ibili
y fo : "
e ip, and I am likewi e al o e pon ib
le fo
e Hou e of Nep
y , along wi

e emaining eap of di
ic

emple "
.[13] I
i unfo
una
e, pe ap ,
a
we ave no mean of knowing
e pa
icula

eologie of
e clo ely connec
ed Se
and Nep
y
emple in
e e di
ic

i
would be in
e e
ing
o lea n, fo example,
e eligiou
one of
emple of
Nep
y loca
ed in uc p oximi
y
o
o e of Se
, e pecially given
e eemin
gly con
a y O i ian loyal
ie of Se
' con o
-godde . W en, by
e Twen
ie

Dyna
y,
e "demoniza
ion" of Se
wa o
en ibly inaugu a
ed, Se
wa ei
e
e adica
ed o inc ea ingly pu ed
o
e ou
ki
, Nep
y flou i ed a pa

of
e u ual O i ian pan
eon
oug ou
Egyp
, even ob
aining a La
e Pe iod

a
u a
u
ela y godde of e own Nome (UU Nome VII, "Hw
-Sek em"/Dio poli Pa
va) and a
e c ief godde of
e Man ion of
e Si
um in
a
di
ic
.[14
][15][16][17] Ye
, i
i pe ap mo

elling
a
Se
' cul
u pe i
ed wi

a
oni ing po
ency even in
o
e la

e day of ancien
Egyp
ian eligion, in o
u
lying (bu
impo
an
) place like K a ga, Dak la , Dei el-Haga , Mu
, Kelli ,
e
c. Indeed, in
e e place , Se
wa con ide ed "Lo d of
e Oa i /Town" and
Nep
y wa likewi e vene a
ed a "Mi
e of

Se
(my
ology)
e Oa i " a
Se
' ide, in i
emple [18] (e p.
e dedica
i
on of a Nep
y -cul

a
ue). Meanw ile, Nep
y wa al o vene a
ed a "Mi
e
" in
e O i ian
emple of
e e di
ic
, a pa
of
e pecifically O i i
an college.[19] I
would appea
a

e ancien
Egyp
ian in
e e locale ad
li

le p oblem wi

e pa adoxical duali
ie in e en
in vene a
ing Se
and Ne
p
y a jux
apo ed again
O i i , I i & Nep
y . Fu
e
udy of
e eno m
ou ly impo
an
ole of Se
in ancien
Egyp
ian eligion (pa
icula ly af
e

e Twen
ie
Dyna
y) i impe a
ive. T e powe of Se
' cul
in
e mig
y (ye

ou
lying) ci
y of Ava i f om
e Second In
e media
e Pe iod
oug
e Rame i
de Pe iod canno
be denied. T e e e eigned up eme a a dei
y bo
a
odd and
in league wi

ea
ening fo eign powe , and in
i ca e, i c ief con o
godde e we e
e P oenician Ana
and A
a
e, wi
Nep
y me ely one of
e
a em.[ci
a
ion needed]
292
In popula cul
u e
T e Kane C onicle
ilogy, by Rick Rio dan.
Refe ence
[1] .H.
e Velde, Se
, God of Confu ion: A S
udy of Hi Role in Egyp
ian My
ol
ogy and Religion, P obleme de gyp
ologie, 6 , G. E. van Baa en-Pape,
an l. (W.
Helck. Leiden: B ill 1967), pp.1-7. [2] H.
e Velde, Se
, God of Confu ion: A
S
udy of Hi Role in Egyp
ian My
ology and Religion, P obleme de gyp
ologie, 6
, G. E. van Baa en-Pape,
an l. (W. Helck. Leiden: B ill 1967), pp.13-15. [3] H
.
e Velde, Se
, God of Confu ion: A S
udy of Hi Role in Egyp
ian My
ology an
d Religion, P obleme de gyp
ologie, 6 , G. E. van Baa en-Pape,
an l. (W. Helck
. Leiden: B ill 1967), pp.7-12. [4] H.
e Velde, Se
, God of Confu ion: A S
udy
of Hi Role in Egyp
ian My
ology and Religion, P obleme de gyp
ologie, 6, G. E
. van Baa en-Pape,
an l. (W. Helck. Leiden: B ill 1967), c ap
e 2. [5] H.
e
Velde, Se
, God of Confu ion: A S
udy of Hi Role in Egyp
ian My
ology and Rel
igion, P obleme de gyp
ologie, 6, G. E. van Baa en-Pape,
an l. (W. Helck. Leid
en: B ill 1967), pp. 32-41. [6] "Of God and God ", Jan A mann, p47-48, Unive i

y of Wi con in P e , 2008, ISBN 0-299-22550-X [7] .H.


e Velde, Se
, God of C
onfu ion: A S
udy of Hi Role in Egyp
ian My
ology and Religion, P obleme de gy
p
ologie, 6 , G. E. van Baa en-Pape,
an l. (W. Helck. Leiden: B ill 1967), pp.
138140. [8] cf. Saune on, P ie
of Ancien
Egyp
, p. 181 [9] Ka
a y, Land Tenu
e in
e Ramme ide Pe iod, 1989 ,p. 216 [10] Ka
a y, Land Tenu e, pg. 220 [11]
Ka
a y, Land Tenu e, p.216 [12] Ga dine , Papy u Wilbou Commen
a y, S28, pp.
127-128 [13] P. Bologna 1094, 5,8-7, 1 [14] Saune on, Bei
age Bf. 6, 46 [15] C.
T aunecke , Le
emple d'El-Qal'a. Relev de cne e
de
ex
e . I' Sanc
uai e c
en
al. Sanc
uai e no d. Salle de off ande 1 112 [16] .P. Wil on, 'A P
olemaic
Lexikon: A Lexicog ap ical S
udy of
e Tex
in
e Temple of Edfu', OLA 78, 1
997 [17] P. Collombe
, "Le
le
a dive de Hou
- ek em (Hou
- ek em e
le ep

ime nome de Hau


e-gyp
e II)", RdE 48 (1997), pp. 15-70, pl. I-VII [18] E ay on
Ancien
Egyp
in Hono of He man
e Velde, pp. 234-237 [19] E ay , 234-237

Se
(my
ology)
293
Bibliog ap y
Allen, Jame P. 2004. "T eology, T eodicy, P ilo op y: Egyp
." In Sa a Ile Jo
n
on, ed. Religion of
e Ancien
Wo ld: A Guide. Camb idge: Ha va d Unive i

y P e . ISBN 0-674-01517-7. Bickel, Su anne. 2004. "My


and Sac ed Na a
ive
: Egyp
." In Sa a Ile Jo n
on, ed. Religion of
e Ancien
Wo ld: A Guide. C
amb idge: Ha va d Unive i
y P e . ISBN 0-674-01517-7. Co n, No man. 1995. Co m
o , C ao and
e Wo ld
o Come: T e Ancien
Roo
of Apocalyp
ic Fai
. New Hav
en: Yale Unive i
y P e . ISBN 0-300-09088-9 (1999 pape back ep in
). Ion , Ve
onica. 1982. "Egyp
ian My
ology." New Yo k: Pe
e Bed ick Book . ISBN 0-87226249-9. Kape , Olaf E n
. 1997. Temple and God in Roman Dak la : S
udie in

e Indigenou Cul
of an Egyp
ian Oa i . Doc
o al di e
a
ion; G oningen: Rijk
unive i
ei
G oningen, Facul
ei
de Le

e en. Kape , Olaf E n


. 1997. "T e S

a
ue of Penba
: On
e Cul
of Se
in
e Dak la Oa i ". In Egyp
ological Mem
oi , E ay on ancien
Egyp
in Honou of He man Te Velde (

p://p in
.google.
com/ p in
?id=dv_2 lp
e4C), edi
ed by Jacobu van Dijk. Egyp
ological Memoi 1
. G oningen: S
yx Publica
ion . 231241, ISBN 90-5693-014-1. Le ko, Leona d H. 198
7. "Se
." In T e Encyclopedia of Religion, edi
ed by Mi cea Eliade, 2nd edi
ion
(2005) edi
ed by Lind ay Jone . Fa ming
on Hill , Mic igan: T om on-Gale. ISBN
0-02-865733-0. O ing, J gen. 1985. "Se
in Dac la und C a ga." Mi

eilungen de
Deu
c en A c ologi c en In
i
u
, Ab
eilung Kai o 41:229233. Qui ke, S
ep en G.
J. 1992. Ancien
Egyp
ian Religion. New Yo k: Dove Publica
ion , inc., ISBN 0-4
86-27427-6 (1993 ep in
). S
oyanov, Yu i. 2000. T e O
e God: Duali
Religion
f om An
iui
y
o
e Ca
a He e y. New Haven: Yale Unive i
y P e . ISBN 0300-08253-3 (pape back).
e Velde, He man. 1967. Se
, God of Confu ion: A S
udy
of Hi Role in Egyp
ian My
ology and Religion. 2nd ed. P obleme de gyp
ologie
6. Leiden: E. J. B ill, ISBN 90-04-05402-2.
Ex
e nal link
Le
emple d'Hibi , oa i de K a g a (

p://alain.guilleux.f ee.f /k a g a_ ibi


/k a g a_
emple_ ibi .
ml): Hibi Temple ep e en
a
ion of Su
ek a Ho u

S ai
294
S ai
Fo
e 1990 R&B g oup, ee S ai (band); fo
e fo ebea of Mo ad ee S ai (H
agana uni
). S ai (al o pel
Sai, occa ionally S ay, and in G eek, P ai ) wa

e deifica
ion of
e concep
of fa
e in Egyp
ian my
ology.[1] A a concep
, w
i
no pa
icula ea on fo a ocia
ing one gende ove ano
e , S ai wa ome

ime con ide ed female, a


e
an
e mo e u ual unde
anding of being male,
in w ic ci cum
ance S ai wa efe ed
o a S ai
( imply
e feminine fo m of

e name). Hi name eflec


i func
ion, a i
mean (
a
w ic i ) o dained
. A
e god of fa
e, i
wa aid
a
e de
e mined
e pan of eac man' life
, and wa p e en
a

e judgemen
of
e oul of
e decea ed in dua
. In con e
uence, e wa ome
ime iden
ified a
e u band of Me ene
, godde of bi
,
o , in la
e yea , of Renenu
e
, w o a igned
e Ren, and ad become con ide
ed godde of fo
une. Becau e of
e powe a ocia
ed in
e concep
, Ak ena
en
, in in
oducing mono
ei m, aid
a
S ai wa an a

ibu
e of A
en, w e ea Ra
m e II claimed
o be lo d of S ai (i.e. lo d of fa
e). Du ing P
olemaic Egyp
,
S ai, a god of fa
e, wa iden
ified wi

e G eek god Aga
odaemon, w o wa

e god of fo
une
elling. T u , ince Aga
odaemon wa con ide ed
o be a e pen

, and
e wo d S ai wa al o
e Egyp
ian wo d fo pig, in
e Hellenic pe iod,
S ai wa ome
ime depic
ed a a e pen
- eaded pig, known
o Egyp
ologi
a

e S ai animal.
Refe ence
S ed (dei
y)
S ed i an Ancien
Egyp
ian dei
y, popula ly called, "
e avio " and i fi

eco ded af
e
e Ama na Pe iod.[2] Rep e en
ing
e concep
of alva
ion e i
iden
ified wi
Ho u and in pa
icula "Ho u
e C ild".[3] Ra
e
an ave f
o mal wo ip in a
emple o a an official cul
, e appea
o ave been a god

a
o dina y Egyp
ian looked
o
o ave
em f om illne , mi fo
une o dange
.[4] He i own on
e Me

e nic S
ela a vanui ing dange in
e fo m of a
e pen
, a co pion and a c ocodile.[5] T e i e of "Savio " name in pe onal
pie
y du ing
e Ama na pe iod a been in
e p e
ed a
e popula e pon e of [
1] Amule
depic
ing S ed ubduing dange ou animal . o dina y people
o
e a

e
mp
by Ak ena
en
o p o c ibe
e ancien
eligion of Egyp
. S ed a al o been
viewed a a fo m of
e ancien
Semi
ic god Re ef.[6] S ed can be depic
ed a
a young p ince ove coming nake , lion and c ocodile .[7] S ed a been viewed
a a fo m of avio , a elpe fo
o e in need w en
a
e au
o i
y o
e king
' elp i wan
ing. T e inc ea ed eliance on divine a i
ance could even ex
en
d
o aving a pe on f om
e unde wo ld, even

S ed (dei
y)
o p oviding a ub
i
u
e, and leng
ening a pe on'
ime in
i
wo ld. In
e New Kingdom S ed "
e avio " i add e ed on coun
le
elae by
people ea c ing o p ai ing im fo elp.[8]
295
Refe ence
[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] Wilkin on, Ric a d H. (2003). T e Comple
e God and Godde e
of Ancien
Egyp
. T ame & Hud on. p. 135 "T e Oxfo d Hi
o y of Ancien
Egyp

", p. 306, Ian S aw, Oxfo d Unive i


y P e , 2002, ISBN 978-0-19-280458-7 "T e
Egyp
ian : an in
oduc
ion", Robe
Mo ko
, Rou
ledge, p210, 2005, ISBN 0-415-27
104-5 T omp on, S
ep en E. in Ka
yn A. Ba d, Encyclopedia of
e A c aeology o
f Ancien
Egyp
, Rou
ledge 1999, ISBN 0-415-18589-0 p.610 "T e Sec e
Lo e of Eg
yp
: i
impac
on
e We
", p. 56, E ik Ho nung, T an la
ed by David Lo
on, C
o nell Unive i
y P e , 2001, ISBN 0-8014-3847-0 [6] "T e Oxfo d Guide: E en
i
al Guide
o Egyp
ian My
ology", edi
ed Donald B. Redfo d, p. 120 & 312, Rou
led
ge, 2003, ISBN 0-425-19096-X [7] "Egyp
ian My
ology: A Guide
o
e God , Godde
e , and T adi
ion of Ancien
Egyp
", Ge aldine Pinc , p. 195, Oxfo d Unive i

y P e , 2004, ISBN 0-19-517024-5 [8] "Concep


ion of God in Ancien
Egyp
", E
ik Ho nung, p. 211-212, 1996 edi
ion, Co nell Unive i
y P e , ISBN 0-8014-8384
-0
S e me
e

S e me
e
in ie oglyp
[1]
S e me
e
( m.
.
) i an ancien
Egyp
ian godde . S e wa men
ioned in
e Py am
id Tex
[2] and wa u ually efe ed
o a
e decea ed' mo
e . S e wa depic

ed a a lion o a woman wi
a lion' ead and
u wa ome
ime con ide ed a f
o m of Sek me
o Ba
e
, bu
one of e epi
e
"Lady of Pun
" diffe en
ia
e
e f om
em and may efe
o a po ible Af ican o igin. He name come f om
e me
, a a deco a
ed wi
bead , w ic appea on
e depic
ion of Old Kingd
om ule and
e god Sopdu.[3]
Sou ce
[1] W
e buc , IV, p.538 [2] PT 262, 2206 [3] Ric a d Wilkin on: T e Comple
e God
and Godde e of Ancien
Egyp
. London, T ame and Hud on, 2003. ISBN 978-0500
051207 p.138

S ezmu
296
S ezmu
S ezmu (al o known a S e mu, Sc ezemu, Sc e mu, S e emu, S ezmou, S e mou, Sezm
u and Se mu) i
e ancien
Egyp
ian demonic god of execu
ion, laug
e , blood,
oil, wine and pe fume. Like many of
e god of Ancien
Egyp
, S ezmu wa of a
complex na
u e. He ad uali
ie of bo
lig
and da kne , bu

i wa no


e ea on
a
e wa known a a 'demon'. To
e Egyp
ian , like o
e Af ican go
d , demon we e no
nece a ily evil in na
u e. Of
en
ey we e ui
e elpful. I
n
ead,
e
e m "demon" wa given
o S ezmu becau e e wa one of
e le e de
i
ie , and due
o i ela
ion
o
e unde wo ld.
Role
S ezmu wa
e demonic god of ed wine, laug
e , and ome
ime pe fume o oil
. T e link be
ween blood and
e c im on colo of wine i clea . S ezmu wa kno
wn
o de
oy w ongdoe , g ue omely pu

ing
ei ead in winep e e
o emov
e
e blood. He wa known a
e 'Execu
ione of O i i '. S ezmu followed
e co
mmand of T e God of T e Dead, and
e efo e wa ome
ime given
e
i
le Slaug

e e of Soul . H n
ally m
 b a fr ndrwrld d
y, b
hzm wa

 hlfl

h dad. l
hh h wa a har h x
nr f
h wkd,
h wa al  a ra
r

r f
h vr
 . hzm ffrd rd wn

h 
wh had a d n. O
hr
han wn, h wa n har f ar
hly bj
h a
mbalmn l , and rfm . mn
h d , h jb wa
  
h bd and
bld f
h dad
 ra
 
nan fr Una . O r wa
h n wh rdrd

h   f
h wkd n bld
 b
rnd
 wn. H wa m
m vn
h


l Dmn f
h Wn r . On a darkr n
, hzm affn
y w
h
h lr
rd lnkd hm
 vl. Crm n wa a fard and ha
d lr amn
h Ey
an
. N
nly  

h nvr al lr f bld, and
hrfr da
h, b

wa

h lr f
h d f ha , 
h. n 
wa al 
h lr f
h 

n
n, rd wa a a
d w
h
h mn darkn and
h rn f h
h 
rn
dmn. H aard
 hav
h had f a ln, fan and man drnhd n
bld. I
 ad h wr hman kll arnd h wa
lk a bl
.
D
n and wr h
Lk many 
hr Ey
an d
 , hzm wa m
m d
d a a man r a ma
n w
h
h had f a faln. T lnk hm fr
hr w
h bld and d
r
n, h

k
h frm f a man w
h a lnn had. Th rha wa a brd b
wn h
m and khm
,
h dd f vnan. Fr
hrmr, h  a a
d w
h Nf
r
m
hrh b
h h aaran and
h nn
n w
h rfm . hzm md

 b b
h rr n
d a a ra
vl and an n

y f d. In many la h
 hld n hh rard by
h d O r , and  wr hd a a r

r d
. Hwvr, h wa al  fard a
h nyldn n hr f
h damnd. H ra


l
wa n
rd n Faym, b
h wr hr wr al  wdly d
rb

d n Dndra and Edf.


Chan
D
 
lr, rd wn bam
rnly dn
fd w
h bld, and
h hz
m wa dn
fd a lrd f bld. n wn wa n a a d
hn, h a
a
n w
h bld wa n drd n f rh
 n , makn hm n drd a
n x
nr f
h nrh
 , bn
h lah
rr f l . Whn
h man
frm f x
n wa by bhadn, 
wa ad
ha
hzm rd ff
h had
f
h  wh wr wkd, and
hrw
hm n
 a wn r ,
 b r hd n

rd wn, whh wa vn

h rh
 dad. Bhadn wa mmnly arrd

by
h v
m r
n
hr had n a wdn blk, and  hzm wa rfrr
d
 a Ovr
hrwr f
h Wkd a

h Blk. Th vln
a 
lad
 d

n, n ar
, a a ln-hadd man,
h bn knwn a fr f fa. In la

r

hzm
m , Ey
an  d
h wn r fr rdn l n
ad f wn,
whh wa rdd by r hn ndr f
n
ad. Cn n
ly, hzm bam a
a
d w
h nn
and mbalmn l , and
h
h r rva
n f
h bd
y, and f ba
y.
297
N
 Rfrn
awrh, Carln. "Ey
: h m, Dmn-Gd f
h Wn r , Ol and lah

rr f
h Damnd" (h

:/ /www.
ry
.n
/fa
r
r / h m.h
m). R
r
vd 17 Fbrary 2013.

h (Ey
an d
y)
298

h (Ey
an d
y)
 h
h  hwn hldn
h ky abv h had. Gd f
h wnd and ar Nam n h
rlyh Majr l
n
r ymbl Cn r
arn
bln Hll , Ln
l

h 
rh fa
hr Tfn
Ra-
m and I aa 
Tfn
Ha
hr khm

h (//; meaning "emptiness" and "he who rises up") was one of the primordial god
s in Egyptian mythology, a personification of air, one of the Ennead of Heliopol
is.
Family
He was created by Atum, his father and Iusaaset, his mother in the city of Helio
polis. With his sister Tefnut (moisture), he was the father of Nut and Geb. His
daughter, Nut, was the sky goddess whom he held over the Earth (Geb), separating
the two. The Egyptians believed that if Shu didn't hold his son and daughter (t
he god of the earth and the goddess of the sky) apart there would be no way life
could be created. Shu's grandchildren are Osiris, Isis, Set and Nephthys. His g
reat-grandsons are Horus and Anubis.
Myths
As the air, Shu was considered to be cooling, and thus calming, influence, and p
acifier. Due to the association with air, calm, and thus Ma'at (truth, justice a
nd order), Shu was portrayed in art as wearing an ostrich feather. Shu was seen
with between one and four feathers. In a much later myth, representing the terri
ble weather disaster at the end of the Old Kingdom, it was said that Tefnut and
Shu once argued, and Tefnut left Egypt for Nubia (which was always more temperat
e). It was said that Shu quickly decided that he missed her, but she changed int
o a cat that destroyed any man or god that approached. Thoth, disguised, eventua
lly succeeded in convincing her to return. He carries an ankh, the symbol of lif
e.

Shu (Egyptian deity)


299
Sources
Hans Bonnet: Lexikon der gyptischen Religionsgeschichte, Berlin 2000, ISBN 3-9378
72-08-6, S. 685-689 Shu Adolf Erman: Die Aegyptische Religion, Verlag Georg Reim
er, Berlin 1909 Wolfgang Helck: Kleines Lexikon der gyptologie, 1999 ISBN 3-447-0
4027-0, S. 269f. Shu
Sia (god)
Saa in hieroglyphs
In Egyptian mythology, Sia or Saa was the deification of perception in the Helio
politan Ennead cosmogony and is probably equivalent to the intellectual energies
of the heart of Ptah in the Memphite cosmogeny.[1] He also had a connection wit
h writing and was often shown in anthropomorphic form [2] holding a papyrus scro
ll. This papyrus was thought to embody intellectual achievements.[3] It was said
that Atum created the two gods Sia and Hu from his blood spilled while cutting
his own penis, a possible reference to circumcision.[4] Sia appeared standing on
the Solar barge during its journey through the night in New Kingdom underworld
texts and tomb decorations,[5] together with Hu, "creative utterance" and Heka (
god) the god of magic. These gods were seen as special powers helping the creato
r, and although Heka had his own cult Sia did not.[6]
Hieroglyph: Sia
The Sia (hieroglyph) was also used to represent "to perceive", "to know" or "to
be cognizant".
References
[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] The Routledge Dictionary of Egyptian Gods and Goddesses,
George Hart ISBN 0-415-34495-6 The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt
, Wilkinson ISBN 0-500-05120-8 The Routledge Dictionary of Egyptian Gods and God
desses, George Hart ISBN 0-415-34495-6 The Routledge Dictionary of Egyptian Gods
and Goddesses, George Hart ISBN 0-415-34495-6 The Complete Gods and Goddesses o
f Ancient Egypt, Wilkinson ISBN 0-500-05120-8 Conceptions of God in Ancient Egyp
t: The One and the Many, Hornung pg. 76

Sobek
300
Sobek
Sobek
The Nile, The Army and Military, Fertility Name in hieroglyphs
Sobek in hieroglyphs
Sobek, shortened writing in hieroglyphs
Major cult center Symbol Parents Siblings Crocodilopolis, Faiyum, Kom Ombo croco
dile Set and Neith Anubis
Sobek (also called Sebek, Sochet, Sobk, Sobki, Soknopais), and in Greek, Suchos
() was an ancent Egyptan dety wth a cmplex and fld natre.[1] He s asscated
wth the Nle crcdle and s ether represented n ts frm r as a hman wth
a crcdle head. Sek was als asscated wth pharanc pwer, fertlty, an
d mltary prwess, t served addtnally and qte cntrarly as a prtectve
dety wth aptrpac qaltes, nvked partclarly fr prtectn aganst th
e dangers presented y the Nle rver.

Sek
301
Hstry
Sek enjyed a lngstandng presence n the ancent Egyptan panthen, frm the
Old Kngdm (c. 26862181 BCE) thrgh the Rman perd (c. 30 BCE350 CE). He s f
rst knwn frm several dfferent Pyramd Texts f the Old Kngdm, partclarly
frm spell PT 317.[2] The spell, whch prases the pharah as lvng ncarnat
n f the crcdle gd, reads: Uns s Sek, green f plmage, wth alert face a
nd rased fre, the splashng ne wh came frm the thgh and tal f the great
gddess n the snlghtUns has appeared as Sek, Neth n. Un wll a
w
h
h m
h, Un wll rna
 and Un wll la
 w
h h n . Un  lrd
f mn, wh
ak wmn frm
hr h band

h la Un lk ardn

 h har
fany. [3]
Th
a
 f bk wa fnd a
mnmha
III mr
ary
ml (whh wa nn

d
 h yramd a
Hawara n
h Faym), rvn a a

amn


h kn
 dv
n
 bk.  hmlan M m, Oxfrd.

 n an ndr


and frm
h
x
aln, bk wa n drd a vln
, hy
r- xal, and rra
 d
y, rn
 h rmal whm . Th rn f h nam,
bk[4] n ann
Ey
an,  dba
d amn hlar , b
many blv
ha


 drvd frm a a a


v f
h vrb
 mrna
..[5] Thh bk wa wr h
d n
h Old Kndm, h
rly and rmnn n
h Mddl Kndm (. 20
551650 BCE), m
n
ably ndr
h Twlf
h Dyna
y kn, mnmha
III. mnmha

III had
akn a ar
lar n
r
n
h Faym rn f Ey
, a rn h
avly a a
d w
h bk. mnmha
and many f h dyna
 n
mrar 
nad n bldn rj

 rm
 bk rj

ha
wr f
n x
d 
n
h Faym. In
h rd, bk al  ndrwn
an mr
an
han: h wa 
f
n f d w
h
h faln-hadd d f dvn kn h, Hr . Th brh

bk vn l r w
h
h kn f Ey
,
hrby vn hm a la f ra
r 
rmnn n
h Ey
an an
hn.[6] Th f n addd a fnr lvl f mlx

y

h d na
r, a h wa ad
d n

h dvn
rad f Hr and h

w arn
: O r and I  .[7] bk fr
ard a rl a a lar d
y
h
rh h nn
n
 Hr , b

h wa fr
hr
rn
hnd n la
r rd
w
h
h mrn f bk-Ra, a f n f bk and Ey
rmary n d, R
a. bk-Hr r 
d a a fr n
h Nw Kndm (15501069 BCE), b

wa
n
n
l
h la
dyna
 f Ey

ha
bk-Ra and rmnn. Th n
dr
andn f
h d wa man
and af
r
h fall f Ey
la
na
v dyna

y n 
lma and Rman Ey
(. 332 BCE390 CE). Th r
 f b
h bk and
bk-Ra ndrd n
h
m rd and
rb

 hm a

and ra
r rm
nn b
h
hrh
h xan n f h dda
d l
 
 and a nr
d
hlarly ffr

 mak hm
h bj
f rl d
rn.[8]
Th La
 rd (. 400 250 BCE)
a
 hw bk barn
h faln had f
R-Harakh
, ll
ra
n
h f n f bk and R n
 bk-R. Wal
r r

M m, Bal
mr.

bk
302
Cl
n
r
Th n
r Faym rn rvd
h Land f
h Lak n Ey
an ( fally rf
rrn
 Lak Mr ) a a l
 n
r f bk. M
Faym lal
 dvl
d
hr wn lalzd vr n f
h d, b
bk hd
y,
h a
rn vr
n f
h Faym n
rally la
d a
al, Crdll (r Ey
an hd
),
wa
h m
rmnn
. Ex
n v bldn rram hnrn bk wr ralzd
Th rlf frm
h Tml f Km Omb hw bk w
h
yal a

rb
 f
kn h, n hd
, a 
wa
h a
al f
h n
r r n
 nm and nl
dn a wa 
r and ryal kl
. Th ankh n n
ly
h m
mr
an


y n
h Faym. I

hh

ha
n h hand rr n
h rl a an O ra
n
h ffr

 xand bk man
ml wa n
ally drvn by halr and h
rwn  a lar rwn a a
d 
lmy II.[9] alzd r
n
h man

ml a
hd
w
h n f
h many frm f R. fn
nd lly
 rv 
bk, ba
n

l lk rh
f
h rdl-d and brr f
h bd 
f
h rdl-d f
h Land f
h Lak.[10] O
d f
h Faym, Km Omb
, la
d n 
hrn Ey
, wa
h b
l
 n
r f bk, ar
larl
y drn
h 
lma and Rman, rd . Th
ml a

h 
 wa alld
h
 r-bk, mann
h h  f bk.[11]
Chara
r and rrndn my
hl
bk  , abv all l , an ar v and anmal
 d
y wh lv 

h
 v r
a
n f h a
rn anmal,
h lar and vln
Nl rdl.
m f h mmn 
h
b
ray
h na
r n
ly,
h m
n
abl f
whh bn: h wh lv rbbry, h wh a
whl h al  ma
 , and n
d f


h.[12] Hwvr, Th Rman rd bx hw a kn makn an h al  d lay 
rand bnvln n mr
han n lbra
d my
h. ffrn
 a lar frm f 
bk. I

hh

ha

h bx ld hav bn  d n h f
r h a a

n w
h Hr and n n
ad
n n

h ffrn r
al . Wal
r r
M
 m, Bal
mr. O ran
rad f O r , I  , and Hr n
h Mddl Kndm
, bk bam a a
d w
h I  a a halr f
h da d O r (fllwn
 h vln
mrdr by 
n
h n
ral O r my
h).[13] In fa
,
hh man
y hlar blv
ha

h nam f bk, bk,  drvd frm -bk,
 mrn
a
, 
hr 
la

ha

 a ar
al frm f
h vrb b,[14] an al
r
na
v wr
n f ,
 n
,
hrby mann bk ld rhly
ran la

 h
wh n
 (
h d mmbrd lmb f O r ). [15] I
 frm
h a a
n w

h haln
ha
bk wa n drd a r

v d
y. H frn wa abl

 ward ff vl whl ml


an ly dfndn
h nnn
. H wa
h ly mad
 a bj
f r nal 
y and a mmn rn
f v
v ffrn , ar

larly n
h la
r rd f ann
Ey
an h
ry. I
wa n
nmmn, a
r
larly n 
lma and Rman Ey
, fr rdl
 b r rvd a mmm
 n rdr
 r n
a
bk l
 n
r .[16] bk wa al  ffrd mmm
fd rdl  , man

 mha z
h ylal na
r f h lar a

rb

 a bk-Ra.[17] Lkw , rdl wr ra d n rl rnd a l


vn narna
n f bk. Un
hr da
h ,
hy wr mmmfd n a rand r

al d lay a ard, b


ar
hly, manf
a
n f
hr a
rn d. Th r
a
 wa x
d fally a

h man
ml f Crdll .[18] I
h
ld al  b mn
nd
ha

h  mmmfd rdl hav bn fnd w
h baby
rdl n
hr m
h and n
hr bak . Th rdl n f
h nly n
n-mammal
ha
dln
ly ar fr 
yn f
n
ran r

ff rn n

h mannr. Th ra


 f r rvn
h a 
f
h anmal bhavr va m
mmfa
n  lkly n
ndd
 mha z
h r

v and nr
rn a 

f
h fr bk, a h r


h Ey
an l n

bk
h am mannr
ha

h rdl r


yn.[19] In 
lma an
d Rman Ey
, a lal mnrah alld
h Bk f
h Faym n
rd n bk w

h a n drabl r
n dv
d

h jrny mad by bk-Ra ah day w
h

h mvmn
f
h n
hrh
h ky. Th
x
al  f  havly n bk
n
ral rl n ra
n a a manf
a
n f Ra, a h  ad
 hav r n
frm
h rmal wa
r f Lak Mr , n
nlk
h Odad n
h
rad
nal
ra
n my
h f Hrml .[20] Many vard  f
h bk x
and many
hlar fl
ha

wa rdd n lar an

 a a b
- llr n an


y. Th n
ral rla
n h b
wn
h Faym and bk  hhlh
d va
h

x
, and h far rahn nfln  n n lal

ha
ar 
d f

h Faym a wll; a r


n f
h bk  d n
h Ur Ey
an (man
n 
hrn Ey
an) Tml f Km Omb.[21]
303
Gallry

bk n h rdl frm, 12


h Dyna
y. 
aa
lh M m y
 hr Kn
, M
nh.
Th Nw Kndm
a
 hw harah mnh
 III w
h a lar frm f bk,
lkly bk-Hr . Lxr M m, Lxr.
Crdl f var a mmmfd n hnr f bk. Th Crdl M m, 
wan.
Mmmfd rdl . Th Crdl M m,  wan.

 wall rlf frm Km Omb hwn bk w


h lar a

rb
 .
Th dark bl la had rvd a an nlay. Wal
r r
M m, Bal
mr.

bk
304
Bblrahy
lln, Jam . Th nn
Ey
an yramd Tx
. 
lan
a: 
y f Bblal
L
ra
r, 2005. Br an, Edda. bk, Lrd f
h Land f
h Lak. In Dvn
Cra
r : nmal Mmm n nn
Ey
, d
d by alma Ikram, 199-206. C
ar: Th mran Unvr 
y n Car r , 2005. Ikram, alma. r

n 

and Clann Crdl : Th nmal Mmmy rj


. Dvn Cra
r : nmal M
mm n nn
Ey
, d
d by alma Ikram, 207-227. Car: Th mran Un
vr 
y n Car r , 2005. Mrray, Mary l. Th lndr
ha
wa Ey
. L
ndn: dwk and Jak n, 1963. OCnnr, Davd. Frm Trahy
 C m : n
n
Ey
Ml
l Ma . In nn
r 
v : Ma and Thr la n M 

ama, Ey
, Gr, and Rm, d
d by Rhard J.. Talbr
, 47 79. Cha: U
nvr 
y f Cha r , 2012. Ta
, Jhn. Th Bk f
h Faym: My
ry n a K
nwn Land a. In My
r Land , d
d by Davd OCnnr and 
hn Qrk, 1
83 202. r
land: Cavnd h bl hn, 2003. Zh, Mar. bk f hd
: T
h Crdl Gd n
h Fayym n
h Dyna
 rd. Umbra: Ta Ed
r, 201
0.
Fr
hr radn
Bnlh, Hr
. Da Bh vm Faym : zm rl n Envr
ndn nr y
 h
n Land haf
. W badn: Harra w
z, 1991. Dlzan, Clada. Il D bk. Rma
: adma naznal d Ln, 1961.
Rfrn
[1] Zh, 3-4. [2] Br an, 199-200. [3] lln, 60. [4] WB IV, 95. [5] Mrra
y, 107 [6] Zh, 37-52. [7] Ibd. , 3. [8] Zh, 153-154. [9] Zh, 153. [
10] Br an, 203. [11] Ibd. [12] Ibd., 199. [13] Zh, 3. [14] WB IV, 95.
[15] Br an, 200. [16] Ikram, 219. [17] Ibd. , 225. [18] Br an, 202-203.
[19] Ikram, 219. [20] OCnnr [21] Ta
, 183-4.

bk
305
Ex
rnal lnk
Mda rla
d
 bk a
Wkmda Cmmn

d

d

d
n rd dr , w
h
ar n
h had Gdd f
ar r Nam n hr
lyh ymbl Cn r
Off rn
ar ah (n
lla
n f Orn) d
In Ey
an my
hly, d
wa
h dfa
n f 
h , a
ar n drd b
y alm
all Ey
l

 b r . Th nam d
man ( h wh  ) har
 n Ey
an, a rfrn

h brh
n f r , whh 
h brh


ar n
h nh
ky. In ar
h  d
d a a wman w
h a fv-n
d
ar
n hr had.[2] J
af
r r aar n
h Jly ky,
h Nl Rvr b
n 
annal fld, and 
h ann
Ey
an nn
d
h
w. Cn n

ly d
wa dn
fd a a dd f
h fr
l
y f
h l, whh wa br
h

 
by
h Nl fldn. Th nfan ld
h Ey
an
 ba 

hr alndar n
h hlaal r n f r .[2] d

h n r
f ah
,
h n
lla
n f Orn, nar whh r aar , and
h d d wa
ad
 b
hr hld. Th  rla
n h aralll
h  
h d O r and
h famly, and ah wa lnkd w
h O r , d
w
h I  , and d w
h Hr
 .[2]
Rfrn

d
306

d
"d" n hrlyh
d (al  rndrd 
 r d) wa a d f
h ky and f a
rn brdr
rn n ann
Ey
an rln.[1]  a ky d, d wa nn
d w
h

h d ah,
h r nfa
n f
h n
lla
n Orn, and
h dd 
d
, rr n
n
h
ar r . rdn

h yramd Tx
, Hr -d,
a mbna
n f d and
h ra
r ky d Hr , 
h ff rn f O r
-ah and I  -d
.[1]  a d f
h a
, d wa ad
 r

Ey

an 

aln
h frn
r and
 hl
h harah n
rl
h  rn  f
rn nhab
an
. H wa rfrrd
 a Lrd f
h Ea
, and had h ra


l
n
r a

h a
rnm
nm f Lwr Ey
, whh wa namd r-d,
mann la f d. H al  had hrn a
Ey
an 

lmn
n
h na
nn la, h a
h
r  mn a
rab
l-Khadm.[1] d nam 
m d f
h hrlyh fr har, a n
d
ranl, and
h 3rd r n l
ral ffx (a al);
h a l
ral
ran la
n f h nam  har n .[2]
H wa ad, n
h yramd Tx
,
 r


h

h f
h da d harah.
[1] d wa d
d a a faln 

n n a rl
andard, f
n w
h a

w-fa
hrd rwn n h had and a flal vr h hldr. In h brdr-
ardn rl h wa hwn a a Nar Ea
rn warrr, w
h a hm 
rdl and an
ax r ar.[1]
d
Rfrn
[1] Wlkn n, Rhard H. (2003). Th Cml
 Gd and Gdd 

. Tham & Hd n. . 211 [2] Grk and Ey
an My
hl By
and Wndy Dnr, . 221. Unvr 
y f Cha r , 1992 IBN

f nn
Ey
Yv Bnnfy
0-226-06454-9


a
 f khm

307


a
 f khm

Th 
a
 f khm
/sk mt/[1] currently housed in the Gallery of Ancient Egypt at
the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is a life-sized sculpture of one of the oldest kn
own Egyptian deities.[2] Her name is derived from the Egyptian word sekhem (which
means power or might) and is often translated as the Powerful One.[3] Depicted as a wo
man with the head of a lioness - sometimes with the addition of a sun disc and t
he uraeus serpent atop her head - Sekhmet is the ancient Egyptian goddess of war
who was believed to be a protector of Maa
(balan r j
) and f
h Ey

an l.[4] h wa al  a a


d w
h haln and mdn, and hr r

wr knwn fr bn


rand d
r and rn f rmarkabl albr.[3][5]
Th a 
n f
h  f Ey
an ar
wa mad  bl by
h r

f
h L  Hawly 
n Char
abl Tr
, and  nw n f
h m m n
bj
.[2] Th
a
 da
 bak

h 18
h dyna
y (Nw Kndm) ra 1360
BCE, drn
h rn f Kn Th 
a
 f khm
a

h Ryal On
ar T
ankh
amn randfa
hr, mnh
 III, and 
hh

 hav M m n Gallr f 
fra: Ey
. rna
d frm
h Tml f M
a
Karnak, Ey
.[2] Th Tml
f M
 rha b
knwn fr 
many
a
 f khm
, whh nmbr n
h
 hndrd .[6] khm
  ally d
d w
h a l
 flwr ( ymbl n U
r Ey
,
h n, ra
n, and rbr
h) n hr rh
hand, and an ankh (al  kn
wn a
h ky f lf, whh ymbl  
rnal lf) n hr lf
.[4][7] Th

a
  mad f arvd and l hd ran
 and d

h dd n a a
d
 
n hldn nly an ankh n hr lf
hand, and
and a
a hh
f ab

6 f
(184 m).[2] Th 
a
 f khm
an b fnd n Lvl 3 f
h ROM n

h Gallr f fra: Ey


, whr l 
 2,000 bj
frm
h ROM Ey

an ll
n ar hwa d. Th ROM Ey
an ll
n mr  arxma
ly
25,000 ar
fa
.[8]
Rfrn
[2] Ryal On
ar M m. "ROM Ima " (h

:/ / ma . rm. n. a/ bl/ n


dx. h?fn
n=ma& a
n=d
al& d=& d=), Ryal On
ar M m. R
r
vd n Marh 3, 2013. [3] "Gd f nn
Ey
: khm
" (h

:/ / ann

y
nln. . k/ khm
. h
ml). R
rvd n Marh 8, 2013. [4] El dl, Omar.
"khm
b
: Fr

n
a
 nvrd" (h

:/ / www. dalynw y


. m/
2013/ 01/ 17/ khm
-b
-fr

n-
a
-nvrd/ ), Daly Nw Ey
, Jan
ary 17, 2013. [5] "khm
, nn
Ey
an n Gdd " (h

:/ / www.
hk
. r/ ~knh/ knh/
hm
ram/ khm
. h
ml#. UVEGavwKjI). R
rv
d n Marh 10, 2013. [6] "Brklyn M m: Fa
r : M
rn
" (h

:/ / www
. brklynm m. r/ fa
r / m
/ ). R
rvd n Marh 8, 2013. [7] "Ey

an ymbl and Dfn
n " (h

:/ / www. y


ar

. m/ yml
. h
ml). R

rvd n Marh 8, 2013. [8] "Gallr f fra: Ey


| Lvl 3 | Ryal On
ar
 M m" (h

:/ / www. rm. n. a/ n/ xhb


n -allr / allr / wr
ld-l
r / allr -afra-y
). R
rvd n Marh 3, 2013.


a
 f khm

308
Ex
rnal lnk
Ryal On
ar M m ffal wb 
 (h

://www.rm.n.a/n)
Ta-B
j

Ta-B
j
 an ann
dd f Ey
an my
hly. h  dn
fd a
h
n r
f Hr . Ta-B
j
 a rn dd and
h bld
ha
flwd frm
whn Hr r
rd hr hymn an rv a a anaa fr all  n .
Ta
nn
Ta
nn (al  Ta-
nn, Ta
jnn, Ta
hnn, Tann, Tnn, Tann, and Tan) wa

h d f
h rmrdal mnd n Ey
an My
hly. H nam man r n lan
d[1] r xal
d ar
h,[2] a wll a rfrrn

h l
f
h Nl.  a r
mval h
hn d
y,[3] Ta
nn wa dn
fd w
h ra
n. H wa an andry
n r

r f na
r frm
h Mmh ara,
hn knwn a "Mn-nfr". Ta
n
n rr n
d
h Ear
h and wa brn n
h mmn

r  frm
h wa
ry ha
,[1] anal

h rmval mnd f
h bnbn and ma
aba and
h la
r y
ramd . H wa n a
h r f "fd and vand ,dvn ffr , all d
h
n ",[4] a h ralm wr
h d rn bna
h
h ar
h "frm whh vr
y
hn mr ", fally nldn lan
, v
abl , and mnral .[3] H
fa
hr wa
h ra
r d Khnm, wh mad hm n h 

r whl f Nl m


d a

h mmn
f ra
n f Ear
h.[5] Th fr

y ran
d hm
h

l f
b
h "ra
r and m
hr wh av br
h
 all d " and "fa
hr f all
h d
".[1][6] H al  r nfd Ey
(d
 h a a
n w
h rbr
h and
h
 Nl) and wa an a 
f
h ar
h-d Gb, a a r f ar

 n ra

n,[7] a wll a a 
n
h dad n
hr jrny

h af
rlf.[8] H 
fr
a


d n
h Cffn Tx
, whr h nam aar a Tann r Tan,

h nr
land, a nam whh hara
rz hm a a d f
h rmval nd

n f
h ar
h. Mddl Kndm
x
rvd
h fr
xaml f
h frm T
a
nn.[3] W
h a
aff Ta
nn rlld
h vl rn
 frm
h rmval
Mnd. H al  had a maal ma dda
d

h faln, vnra
d a "Th Gr
a
Wh
 f
h Ear
h Cra
r".[9] In n n
rr
a
n, Ta
nn brh

h D
jd-llar f
abl
y

h n
ry,[9] al
hh
h  mr mmnly a

r
b
d
 
ah.


ah-Ta
nn
B
h Ta
nn and 
ah wr Mmh
 d . Ta
nn wa
h mr ann
d, mb
nd n
h Old Kndm w
h 
ah a 
ah-Ta
nn, n
hr aa
y a ra
r
d .[2] By
h Nn
n
h dyna
y 
ah-Ta
nn  h l frm, and h  wr
hd a ryal ra
r d. 
ah-Ta
nn an b n a fa
hr f
h Odad f
Hrml ,
h h
d wh
hm lv mbdy
h rmval lmn
frm bf
r ra
n.[3]
r
rayal
Ta
nn amb r
rayal  a r l
f
h ann
na
r f
h rd h
wa wr hd n, a wll a
h b n
nf n whn h wa mrd w
h

ah. H wa alway n hman frm,  ally a
d w
h a harn bard, warn

hr an 
f-rwn (a 
ah-kar) r, mr mmnly, a ar f ram hrn
rmn
d by a n d k and
w
all fa
hr .[3]  Tann r Tan, bv ly
a h
hn d
y, h arrd
w nak n h had. H wa b
h fmnn and ma
ln, a n n f h
a
 a a rmval, ra
r d
y.[1] m d

n
[3]
hw Ta
nn w
h a rn mlxn (fa and arm ), a h had nn
n
 f
r
l
y and a h
hn a a
n

Ta
nn w
h lan
.[2]
309
Rfrn
[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] Ta
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nn. h
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rvd 2009-10-21. Th Ey
an Gd (h

:
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/ N
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rvd 2008-10-21. Ta
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rvd 2009-10-21
. C. J. Blkr. H
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d: nn
Rrd f E
y
, ar
Thr, 411 J. H. Bra
d: nn
Rrd f Ey
, ar
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Tawr

310
Tawr

Tawr

Th rvr dd Tawr


, r
rayd a a bdal h
am w
h lmb lk

h  f a fln. Gdd f hldbr


h ymbl Cn r

h a, vry dar, H

am 

In Ey
an my
hly, Tawr
(al  lld Tar
, Ta
, Tar , Tar
, Ta-wr

, Tawar
, and Tar
, and n Grk, "Thrs" and Ters) s the ancent Egypta
ddess f chldrth and fertlty. The name "Taweret" means, "she wh s great"
r smply, "great ne".[1] When pared wth anther dety, she ecame the wfe
f Apep, the devrng serpent gd mch feared y the Egyptans. Hwever, the Eg
yptans essentally treated Taweret as a enevlent fgre and ths dety s att
ested as early as the Old Kngdm perd "when she tk three prncpal names: O
pet r Ipy ('harm' r favred place), Taweret ('the great gddess') and Reret
('the sw'). She has een lnked wth the ferce, devrng gddess Ammt"[2] Wh
le there s a temple f Opet at Karnak, datng t the Late Perd and Ptlemac
era, "t was the clt f Taweret that ganed partclar mprtance ver tme."[
2]
A faence fgrne f Taweret fllwng the fgre f Wadjet, the cra

Taweret
311
Early elefs
Taweret was knwn as mstress f the hrzn. Lke the dwarf gd Bes, Taweret: "
appears t have had n clt temples f her wn, althgh a few states have srv
ved, and she was smetmes prtrayed n temple relefs. The Egyptan system f
cnstellatns cnnected the hppptams wth the nrthern sky, and t was n t
hs rle as Neet-akhet ('mstress f the hrzn') that Taweret was depcted n
the celng f the tm f Set I...n the Valley f the Kngs (KV15)."[2] She
was "sally prtrayed wth the arms and legs f a ln and the ack and tal f
a crcdle (r even a cmplete crcdle perched n her ack), whle her pend
ls reasts and fll elly cnveyed the dea f pregnancy."[2] On ccasn, lat
er, rather than havng a crcdle ack, she was seen as havng a separate, smal
l crcdle restng n her ack, whch was ths nterpreted as Sek, the crcd
le-gd, and sad t e her cnsrt.
Ths Taweret amlet made frm green serpentnte has a ln head nstead f the
sal head f a hpp, shwng an alternate frm f the gddess. Amlets lke th
ese were wrn y mthers and expectant mthers t prtect ther [3] chldren. Th
e Walters Art Msem.

Taweret
312
Later elefs
Early drng the Old Kngdm, the Egyptans saw female hppptamses as less ag
gressve than the males, and egan t vew ther aggressn as nly prtectng t
her yng--nt terrtral, as was male aggressn. Cnseqently, Taweret ecam
e seen, very early n Egyptan hstry, as a dety f prtectn n pregnancy an
d chldrth. Pregnant wmen wre amlets wth her name r lkeness t prtect t
her pregnances. Becase f her prtectve pwers drng chldrth, "the mage
f the hppptams-gddess was cnsdered a stale mtf fr the decratn
f eds and headrests.[2] In mst sseqent depctns, Taweret was depcted w
th featres f a vsly pregnant wman. In a cmpste addtn t the anmal-c
mpnd she was als seen wth pendls reasts, a fll pregnant admen, and l
ng, straght hman har n her head. Faence vases n the shape f the gddess
"prvded wth a small prng hle at the npple, were smetmes sed t serve
mlk, presmaly n an attempt t nvke extra dvne ptency nt the lqd."[
4] As a prtectr, she ften was shwn wth ne arm restng n the sa syml, wh
ch symlzed prtectn, and n ccasn she carred an ankh, the syml f l
fe, r a knfe, whch wld e sed t threaten evl sprts. As the hppptam
s was asscated wth the Nle, these mre pstve deas f Taweret allwed her
t e seen as a gddess f the annal fldng f the Nle and the ntfl ha
rvest that t rght. Ultmately, althgh nly a hsehld dety, snce she wa
s stll cnsdered the cnsrt f Apep, Taweret was seen as ne wh prtected ag
anst evl y restranng t.
Clay state f the gddess fnd n a fndatn depst nder the enclsre wal
l f the pyramd f Kng Anlaman (623-595 BCE), n Na.
In pplar cltre
In the Rck Rrdan k seres The Kane Chrncles, Taweret appears as a perman
ently pregnant, pedal hpp wh s n charge f the Hse f Rest, a nrsng h
me where frgtten gds and gddesses lve t ther fnal years. She s prtra
yed as eng n lve wth the dwarf gd Bes. She appears as a large mnment n
the Island n the ht ABC seres, Lst. She s depcted as havng fr tes and
the meanng ehnd her appearance n the shw was never drectly explaned.
References
[1] http:/ / www. tregypt. net/ featrestres/ taweret. htm [2] Ian Shaw & Pa
l Nchlsn, The Dctnary f Ancent Egypt, Brtsh Msem, Henry N. Arams I
nce. New Yrk, 1995. p.283 [4] Shaw & Nchlsn, pp.283-84
External lnks
Hatshepst: frm Qeen t Pharah (http://lmma.cntentdm.clc.rg/cdm/cmpnd
ject/cllectn/ p15324cll10/d/82622/rec/1), an exhtn catalg frm The
Metrpltan Msem f Art (flly avalale nlne as PDF), whch cntans mater
al n Taweret (see ndex) Meda related t Taweret at Wkmeda Cmmns

Tefnt
313
Tefnt
Tefnt
The gddess Tefnt wth the head f a lness sttng n her thrne. Gddess f
mstre Name n herglyphs Majr clt center Syml Cnsrt Parents Slngs H
elpls, Lentpls Lness Sh Ra-Atm and Isaaset Sh
Tefnt (/tf n t/; Egyptian: Tefenet) is a goddess of moisture, moist air, dew and rain
in Ancient Egyptian religion.[1] She is the sister and consort of the air god S
hu and the mother of Geb and Nut.
Etymology
Literally translating as "That Water",[] the name Tefnut has been linked to the
verb 'tfn' meaning 'to spit'[2] and versions of the creation myth say that Atum
(or Ra) spat her out and her name was written as a mouth spitting in late texts.
[3] Unlike most Egyptian deities, including her brother, Tefnut has no single id
eograph or symbol. Her name in hieroglyphics consists of four single phonogram s
ymbols t-f-n-t. Although the n phonogram is a representation of waves on the sur
face of water, it was never used as an ideogram or determinative for the word wa
ter (mw), or for anything associated with water.[4]

Tefnut
314
Mythological origins
Tefnut is a daughter of the solar god Atum-Ra. Married to her brother, Shu, she
is mother of Nut, the sky and Geb, the earth. Tefnut's grandchildren were Osiris
, Isis, Set and Nephthys. She was also a great grandmother of Horus. Alongside h
er father, brother, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchild, she is a memb
er of the Ennead of Heliopolis. There are a number of variants to the myth of th
e creation of Tefnut and her twin brother Shu. In all versions, Tefnut is the pr
oduct of parthenogenesis, and all involve some variety of bodily fluid. In the H
eliopolitan creation myth, the solar god Atum masturbates to produce Tefnut and
Shu.[] Atum was creative in that he proceeded to masturbate himself in Heliopoli
s. He took his penis in his hand so that he might obtain the pleasure of orgasm
thereby. And brother and sister were born - that is Shu and Tefnut. Pyramid Text
527[] In some versions of this myth, Atum also swallows his semen, and spits it
out to form the twins, or else the spitting of his saliva forms the act of proc
reation. Both of these versions contain a play on words, the tef sound which for
ms the first syllable of the name Tefnut also constitutes a word meaning "to spi
t" or "to expectorate".[] The Coffin Texts contain references to Shu being sneez
ed out by Atum from his nose, and Tefnut being spat out like saliva. The Bremner
-Rind Papyrus and the Memphite Theology describe Atum masturbating into his mout
h, before spitting out his semen to form the twins.[1]
Iconography
Tefnut is a leonine deity, and appears as human with a lioness head when depicte
d as part of the Great Ennead of Heliopolis. The other frequent depiction is as
a lioness, but Tefnut can also be depicted as fully human. In her fully or semi
anthropomorphic form, she is depicted wearing a wig, topped either with a uraeus
serpent, or a uraeus and solar disk, and she is sometimes depicted as a lion he
aded serpent. Her face is sometimes used in a double headed form with that of he
r brother Shu on collar counterpoises.[1] When depicted as a woman with a lions h
ead, she can be distinguished from Sekhmet as Sekhmet's ears are rounded while T
efnuts are pointed.[5]
Cult centres
Heliopolis and Leontopolis (modern Tel el-Muqdam) were the primary cult centres.
At Heliopolis, Tefnut was one of the members of that city's great Ennead,[1] an
d is referred to in relation to the purification of the wabet (priest) as part o
f the temple rite. Here she had a sanctuary called the Lower Menset.[1] "I have
ascended to you with the Great One behind me and <my> purity before me: I have p
assed by Tefnut, even while Tefnut was purifying me, and indeed I am a priest, t
he son of a priest in this temple." Papyrus Berlin 3055[6] At Karnak, Tefnut for
med part of the Great Ennead and was invoked in prayers for the health and wellb
eing of the Pharaoh.[] She was worshiped with Shu as a pair of lions in Leontopo
lis in the Delta.[7]

Tefnut
315
Mythology
Tefnut was connected with other leonine goddesses as the Eye of Ra.[8] As a lion
ess she could display a wrathful aspect and is said to escape to Nubia in a rage
from where she is brought back by Thoth.[3] In the earlier Pyramid Texts she is
said to produce pure waters from her vagina.[9]
References
[1] [2] [3] [5] [7] [9] The Routledge Dictionary of Egyptian Gods and Goddesses,
George Hart ISBN 0-415-34495-6 http:/ / henadology. wordpress. com/ theology/ n
etjeru/ tefnut The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt, Wilkinson, page
. 183 ISBN 0-500-05120-8 Gallery of Feline Deities in Ancient Egypt (http:/ / ww
w. philae. nu/ akhet/ Felines. html) The Routledge Dictionary of Egyptian Gods a
nd Goddesses, George Hart ISBN 0-415-34495-6, The Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts
, trans R.O. Faulkner, line 2065 Utt. 685.
Tenenet
Tenenet, alts. Tjenenet, Zenenet, Tanenet, Tenenit, Manuel de Codage translitera
tion Tnn.t, was an ancient Egyptian goddess of childbirth and beer. She is menti
oned in texts dating from the Ptolemaic period as well as in the Book of the Dea
d.
Associations with childbirth and beer
Tenenet was associated with childbirth and was invoked as the protector of the u
terus for pregnant women.[1] She was depicted wearing a cow uterus on her head,
as was the goddess Meskhenet, who is also associated with childbirth. Because wo
men were customarily tasked with bread-making, the making of beer was also consi
dered to be a woman's task. The making of beer was based on specially made loave
s of bread baked with barley and then fermented in jars.[2] In this way, Tenenet
was also associated with beer.
Worship
Her cult centre was at Hermonthis. She was a consort of Monthu. She was later me
rged with Rat-Taui,[3] Isis and Anit.[4] Her shape was human and on her head she
wore a symbol similar to Meskhenet's.
References
[1] [2] [3] [4] Christian Jacq, Les Egyptiennes, Perrin, 1996, ISBN 2-262-010757 Norman Bancroft Hunt, Living in Ancient Egypt, Thalamus Publishing, 2009, ISBN
978-0-8160-6338-3 Manfred Lurker, The Routledge Dictionary of Gods and Goddesse
s, Devils and Demons, Routledge 2004, ISBN 0-415-34018-7, p.208 By W. Max Muller
, Egyptian Mythology, Kessinger Publishing 2004, ISBN 0-7661-8601-6, p.150
External links
Beer in ancient Egypt (http://www.thekeep.org/~kunoichi/kunoichi/themestream/egy
pt_alcohol.html)

Theban Triad
316
Theban Triad
The Theban Triad are three Egyptian gods that were the most popular in the area
of Thebes, in Egypt. The group consisted of Amun, his consort Mut and their son
Khonsu. The eighteenth and twenty fifth dynasties of the New Kingdom favored the
triad. These gods were the primary objects of worship of the massive temple com
plex at Karnak, although temples and shrines exist throughout Egypt, such as one
at Deir el-Hagar close to the Dakhla Oasis.[] Amenhotep I, the Pharaoh who buil
t Karnak, was often depicted among these gods.
References

Thoth
317
Thoth
For other meanings of "Thoth", or of "Djehuti" and similar, see Thoth (disambigu
ation).
Thoth
Thoth, in one of his forms as an ibis-headed man God of Knowledge, Hieroglyphs a
nd Wisdom Major cult center Hermopolis Symbol Consort Parents Moon disk, papyrus
scroll Seshat, Ma'at, Bastet or Hathor None (self-created); alternatively Ra or
Horus and Hathor,

Thoth (/ / r /to t/; from Greek


h
h, frm Ey
an wty, perhaps pronounced */t
idered one of the more important deities of the Egyptian pantheon. In art, he wa
s often depicted as a man with the head of an ibis or a baboon, animals sacred t
o him. As in the main picture, Thoth is almost always shown holding a Was (a wan
d or rod symbolizing power) in one hand and an Ankh (the key of the Nile symboli
zing life) in the other hand. His feminine counterpart was Seshat, and his wife
was Ma'at.[1] Thoth's chief temple was located in the city of Khmun,[2] later ca
lled Hermopolis Magna during the Greco-Roman era[3] (in reference to him through
the Greeks' interpretation that he was the same as their god Hermes) and
shmounein
the Coptic rendering. In that city, he led the Ogdoad pantheon of eight principa
l deities. He also had numerous shrines within the cities of Abydos, Hesert, Uri
t, Per-Ab, Rekhui, Ta-ur, Sep, Hat, Pselket, Talmsis, Antcha-Mutet, Bah, Amen-he
ri-ab, and Ta-kens.[4] Thoth played many vital and prominent roles in Egyptian m
ythology, such as maintaining the universe, and being one of the two deities (th
e other being Ma'at) who stood on either side of Ra's boat.[5] In the later hist
ory of ancient Egypt, Thoth became heavily associated with the arbitration of go
dly disputes,[6] the arts of magic, the system of writing, the development of sc
ience,[7] and the judgment of the dead.[8]

Thoth
318
Name
Etymology
, or Common names for [9] Thoth in hieroglyphs

The Egyptian pronunciation of wty is not fully known, but may be reconstructed as
*iaut, ased n the Ancent Greek rrwng Thth or Theut a d the fact that it evolve
i to Sahidic Coptic variously as Thoout, Thth, Thoot, Thaut as ell as Bohairic
Coptic Thout. The fi al -y may eve have bee pro ou ced as a co so a t, ot a vo
el.[10] Hoever, ma y rite "Djehuty", i serti g the letter 'e' automatically b
etee co so a ts i Egyptia ords, a d riti g '' as 'u', as a co ve tio of
co ve ie ce for E glish speakers, ot the tra sliteratio employed by Egyptologi
sts.[11] Accordi g to Theodor Hopf er,[12] Thoth's Egyptia ame ritte as wty or
iginated from w, claimed to be the oldest known name for the Ibis although normall
y written as hbj. The addition of -ty denotes that he possessed the attributes o
f the Ibis.[13] Hence his name means "He who is like the Ibis".
Further names and spellings
Djehuty is sometimes alternatively rendered as Jehuti, Tahuti, Tehuti, Zehuti, T
echu, or Tetu. Thoth (also Thot or Thout) is the Greek version derived from the
letters wty. Not counting differences in spelling, Thoth had many names and titles
, like other goddesses and gods. (Similarly, each Pharaoh, considered a god hims
elf, had five different names used in public.[14]) Among the names used are A, S
heps, Lord of Khemennu, Asten, Khenti, Mehi, Hab, and A'an.[15] In addition, Tho
th was also known by specific aspects of himself, for instance the moon god IahDjehuty, representing the Moon for the entire month,.[16] The Greeks related Tho
th to their god Hermes due to his similar attributes and functions.[17] One of T
hoth's titles, "Three times great, great" (see Titles) was translated to the Gre
ek (Trsmegsts) makng Hermes Trsmegsts.[18]

Thth
319
Depctns
Thth has een depcted n many ways dependng n the era and n the aspect the
artst wshed t cnvey. Usally, he s depcted n hs hman frm wth the head
f an s.[19] In ths frm, he can e represented as the reckner f tmes an
d seasns y a headdress f the lnar dsk sttng n tp f a crescent mn res
tng n hs head. When depcted as a frm f Sh r Ankher, he was depcted t 
e wearng the respectve gd's headdress. Smetmes he was als seen n art t 
e wearng the Atef crwn r the Unted Crwns f Upper and Lwer Egypt.[13] When
nt depcted n ths cmmn frm, he smetmes takes the frm f the s drec
tly.[19] He als appears as a dg faced an r a man wth the head f a a
n when he s A'an, the gd f eqlrm.[20] In the frm f A'ah-Djehty he t
k a mre hman-lkng frm.[21] These frms are all symlc and are metaphrs
fr Thth's attrtes. The Egyptans dd nt eleve these gds actally lke
d lke hmans wth anmal heads.[22] Fr example, Ma'at s ften depcted wth a
n strch feather, "the feather f trth," n her head,[23] r wth a feather f
r a head.[24]
Depctn f Thth as a an (c. 1400 BC), n the Brtsh Msem

Thth
320
Attrtes
Thth's rles n Egyptan mythlgy were many. He served as a medatng pwer, e
specally etween gd and evl, makng sre nether had a decsve vctry ver
the ther.[25] He als served as scre f the gds,[26] credted wth the nve
ntn f wrtng and alphaets (.e. herglyphs) themselves.[27] In the nderw
rld, Dat, he appeared as an ape, A'an, the gd f eqlrm, wh reprted whe
n the scales weghng the deceased's heart aganst the feather, representng the
prncple f Ma'at, was exactly even.[28] The ancent Egyptans regarded Thth
as One, self-egtten, and self-prdced.[19] He was the master f th physcal
and mral (.e. Dvne) law,[19] makng prper se f Ma'at.[29] He s credted
wth makng the calclatns fr the estalshment f the heavens, stars, Earth
,[30] and everythng n them.[29] Cmpare ths t hw hs femnne cnterpart,
Ma'at was the frce whch mantaned the Unverse.[31] He s sad t drect the
mtns f the heavenly des. Wtht hs wrds, the Egyptans eleved, the g
ds wld nt exst.[26] Hs pwer was nlmted n the Underwrld and rvaled t
hat f Ra and Osrs.[19] The Egyptans credted hm as the athr f all wrks
f scence, relgn, phlsphy, and magc.[32] The Greeks frther declared hm
the nventr f astrnmy, astrlgy, the scence f nmers, mathematcs, gem
etry, land srveyng, medcne, tany, thelgy, cvlzed gvernment, the alph
aet, readng, wrtng, and ratry. They frther clamed he was the tre athr
f every wrk f every ranch f knwledge, hman and dvne.[27]
Mythlgy
Lee Lawre, Thth (1939). Lrary f Cngress Jhn Adams Bldng, Washngtn, D
.C.
Thth has played a prmnent rle n many f the Egyptan myths. Dsplayng hs
rle as artratr, he had verseen the three epc attles etween gd and evl
. All three attles are fndamentally the same and elng t dfferent perds.
The frst attle tk place etween Ra and Apphs, the secnd etween Her-Bekh
tet and Set, and the thrd etween Hrs, the sn f Osrs, and Set. In each 
nstance, the frmer gd represented rder whle the latter represented chas. If
ne gd was sersly njred, Thth wld heal them t prevent ether frm ve
rtakng the ther. Thth was als prmnent n the Osrs myth, eng f great a
d t Iss. After Iss gathered tgether the peces f Osrs' dsmemered dy,
he gave her the wrds t resrrect hm s she cld e mpregnated and rng f
rth Hrs. When Hrs was slan, Thth gave the magc t resrrect hm as well.
Thth was the gd wh always speaks the wrds that flfll the wshes f Ra. Th
s mythlgy als credts hm wth the creatn f the 365 day calendar. Orgnal
ly, accrdng t the myth, the year was nly 360 days lng and Nt was sterle d
rng these days, nale t ear chldren. Thth gamled wth the Mn fr 1/72n
d f ts lght (360/72 = 5), r 5 days, and wn. Drng these 5 days, Nt gave 
rth t Kher-r (Hrs the Elder, Face f Heaven), Osrs, Set, Iss, and Nepth
ys.

Thth
321
Hstry
He was rgnally the defcatn f the Mn n the Ogdad elef system. Int
ally, n that system, the Mn had een seen t e the eye f Hrs, the sky gd
, whch had een sem-lnded (ths darker) n a fght aganst Set, the ther ey
e eng the Sn. Hwever, ver tme t egan t e cnsdered separately, ecm
ng a lnar dety n ts wn rght, and was sad t have een anther sn f Ra.
As the crescent mn strngly resemles the crved eak f the s, ths separa
te dety was named Djehty (.e. Thth), meanng s. The Mn nt nly prvde
s lght at nght, allwng the tme t stll e measred wtht the sn, t t
s phases and prmnence gave t a sgnfcant mprtance n early astrlgy/astr
nmy. The cycles f the Mn als rganzed mch f Egyptan scety's cvl, a
nd relgs, rtals, and events. Cnseqently, Thth gradally ecame seen as
a gd f wsdm, magc, and the measrement, and reglatn, f events, and f t
me. He was ths sad t e the secretary and cnselr f Ra, and wth Ma'at (t
rth/rder) std next t Ra n the nghtly vyage acrss the sky, Ra eng a s
n gd. Thth ecame credted y the ancent Egyptans as the nventr f wrtng
, and was als cnsdered t have een the scre f the nderwrld, and the M
n ecame ccasnally cnsdered a separate Thth, sttng n hs thrne entty,
nw that Thth had less asscatn wth t, and mre wth wsdm. Fr ths rea
sn Thth was nversally wrshpped y ancent Egyptan Scres. Many scres h
ad a pantng r a pctre f Thth n ther "ffce". Lkewse, ne f the sym
ls fr scres was that f the s. In art, Thth was sally depcted wth th
e head f an s, dervng frm hs name, and the crve f the s' eak, whc
h resemles the crescent mn. Smetmes, he was depcted as a an hldng p
a crescent mn, as the an was seen as a nctrnal, and ntellgent, creat
re. The asscatn wth ans led t hm ccasnally eng sad t have as a
cnsrt Astenn, ne f the (male) ans at the place f jdgment n the nde
rwrld, and n ther ccasns, Astenn was sad t e Thth hmself. Drng the
late perd f Egyptan hstry a clt f Thth ganed prmnence, de t ts m
an centre, Khnm (Hermpls Magna), als ecmng the captal, and mllns f
dead s were mmmfed and red n hs hnr. The rse f hs clt als le
d t hs clt seekng t adjst mythlgy t gve Thth a greater rle. Thth wa
s nserted n many tales as the wse cnsel and persader, and hs asscatn
wth learnng, and measrement, led hm t e cnnected wth Seshat, the earler
defcatn f wsdm, wh was sad t e hs daghter, r varaly hs wfe. T
hth's qaltes als led t hm eng dentfed y the Greeks wth ther clse
st matchng gd Hermes, wth whm Thth was eventally cmned, as Hermes Trsm
egsts, als leadng t the Greeks namng Thth's clt centre as Hermpls, me
anng cty f Hermes. It s als cnsdered that Thth was the scre f the gd
s rather than a messenger. Ans (r Hermans) was vewed as the messenger f
the gds, as he travelled n and t f the Underwrld and presented hmself t
the gds and t hmans. It s mre wdely accepted that Thth was a recrd keep
er, nt a dvne messenger. In the Papyrs f An cpy f the Egyptan Bk f t
he Dead the scre prclams "I am thy wrtng palette, O Thth, and I have r
ght nt thee thne nk-jar. I am nt f thse wh wrk nqty n ther secret
places; let nt evl happen nt me."[33] Chapter XXX (Bdge) f the Bk f t
he Dead s y the ldest tradtn sad t e the wrk f Thth hmself.[34]

Thth There was als an Egyptan pharah f the Sxteenth dynasty f Egypt named
Djehty (Thth) after hm, and wh regned fr three years.
322
Ttles
Thth, lke many Egyptan gds and nlty, held many ttles. Amng these were
"Scre f Ma'at n the Cmpany f the Gds," "Lrd f Ma'at," "Lrd f Dvne W
rds," "Jdge f the Tw Cmatant Gds,"[30] "Jdge f the Rekhekh, the pacf
er f the Gds, wh Dwelleth n Unn, the Great Gd n the Temple f Att,"[2
5] "Twce Great," "Thrce Great,"[19] ", "Three Tmes Great,"[35] and als "The
Tmeless."
Ntes
[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] Thtmse III: A New Bgraphy By Erc H Clne, D
avd O'Cnnr Unversty f Mchgan Press (Janary 5, 2006)p. 127 Natnal Geg
raphc Scety: Egypt's Nle Valley Spplement Map. (Prdced y the Cartgraph
c Dvsn) Natnal Gegraphc Scety: Egypt's Nle Valley Spplement Map: Wes
tern Desert prtn. (Prdced y the Cartgraphc Dvsn) (Bdge The Gds f
the Egyptans Thth was sad t e rn frm the skll f set als sad t e 
rn frm the heart f Ra.p. 401) (Bdge The Gds f the Egyptans Vl. 1 p. 400)
(Bdge The Gds f the Egyptans Vl. 1 p. 405) (Bdge The Gds f the Egyptans
Vl. 1 p. 414) (Bdge The Gds f the Egyptans p. 403)
[9] Herglyphs verfed, n part, n (Bdge The Gds f the Egyptans Vl. 1 p.
402) and (Cller and Manley p. 161) [10] Infrmatn taken frm phnetc sym
ls fr Djehty, and explanatns n hw t prnnce ased pn mdern rles, re
vealed n (Cller and Manley pp. 24, 161) [11] (Cller and Manley p. 4) [12] H
pfner, Thedr, . 1886. Der terklt der alten Agypter nach den grechsch-rm
schen erchten nd den wchtgeren denkmalern. Wen, In kmmssn e A. Hlde
r, 1913. Call#= 060 VPD v.57 [13] (Bdge The Gds f the Egyptans Vl. 1 p. 402
) [14] (Cller and Manley p.20) [15] (Budge The Gods of the Egyptians Vol.1 pp.4023
) [16] (Budge The Gods of the Egyptians Vol.1 pp.4123) [17] (Budge The Gods of the
Egyptians p.402) [18] (Budge The Gods of the Egyptians Vol.1 p.415) [19] (Budge The
Gods of the Egyptians Vol. 1 p. 401) [20] (Budge The Gods of the Egyptians Vol.
1 p. 403) [21] (Budge The Gods of the Egyptians Vol. 1 plate between pp. 4089) [
22] Allen, James P. (2000). Middle Egyptian: An Introduction to the Language and
Culture of Hieroglyphs, p. 44. [23] Allen, op. cit., p. 115 [24] (Budge The God
s of the Egyptians Vol. 1 p. 416) [25] (Budge Gods of the Egyptians Vol. 1 p. 40
5) [26] (Budge Gods of the Egyptians Vol. 1 p. 408) [27] (Budge Gods of the Egyp
tians Vol. 1 p. 414) [28] (Budge Gods of the Egyptians Vol. 1 p. 403) [29] (Budg
e The Gods of the Egyptians Vol. 1 p. 407) [30] (Budge Gods of the Egyptians Vol
. 1 p. 401) [31] (Budge Gods of the Egyptians Vol. 1 pp. 4078) [32] (Hall The Her
metic Marriage p. 224) [33] The Book of the Dead", E.A Wallis Budge, org pub 189
5, Gramercy books 1999, p562, ISBN 0-517-12283-9 [34] The Book of the Dead, E.A
Wallis Budge, orig pub 1895, Gramercy Books 1999, p282, ISBN 0-517-12283-9 [35]
(Budge Gods of the Egyptians Vol. 1 p. 415)

Thoth
323
References
Bleeker, Claas Jouco. 1973. Hathor and Thoth: Two Key Figures of the Ancient Egy
ptian Religion. Studies in the History of Religions 26. Leiden: E. J. Brill. Boy
lan, Patrick. 1922. Thoth, the Hermes of Egypt: A Study of Some Aspects of Theol
ogical Thought in Ancient Egypt. London: Oxford University Press. (Reprinted Chi
cago: Ares Publishers inc., 1979). Budge, E. A. Wallis. Egyptian Religion. Kessi
nger Publishing, 1900. Budge, E. A. Wallis. The Gods of the Egyptians Volume 1 o
f 2. New York: Dover Publications, 1969 (original in 1904). Jaroslav ern. 1948. "T
hoth as Creator of Languages." Journal of Egyptian Archology 34:121122. Collier, M
ark and Manley, Bill. How to Read Egyptian Hieroglyphs: Revised Edition. Berkele
y: University of California Press, 1998. Fowden, Garth. 1986. The Egyptian Herme
s: A Historical Approach to the Late Mind. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge Uni
versity Press. (Reprinted Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993). ISBN 0-6
91-02498-7. The Book of Thoth, by Aleister Crowley. (200 signed copies, 1944) Re
printed by Samuel Wiser, Inc 1969, first paperback edition, 1974 (accompanied by
The Thoth Tarot Deck, by Aleister Crowley & Lady Fred Harris)

Tutu (Egyptian god)


324
Tutu (Egyptian god)
Tutu
A relief depicting Tutu. He wears the headdress of a king, has a human face, the
body of a lion, the wings of a bird, the tail of a cobra and he stomps on Sekhm
et's arrows. God of protection of tombs, later guarded the sleeping from danger
or bad dreams Master of demons. Major cult center Symbol Parents Kellis Lion, Sp
hinx, weaponry Neith
Tutu (or Tithoes in Greek) was an Egyptian god worshipped by ordinary people all
over Egypt during the late period.[1] The only known temple dedicated to Tutu i
s located in ancient Kellis, but reliefs depicting Tutu are seen in other temple
s, such as the Temple of Kalabsha. Tutu's title at the Shenhur temple was "Who c
omes to the one calling him". Other titles of Tutu are "Son of Neith," "the Lion
," "Great of Strength", and "Master of the demons of Sekhmet and the wandering d
emons of Bastet". His iconography is hybrid consisting of the body of a striding
, winged lion, the head of a human, other heads of hawks and crocodiles projecti
ng from the body, and the tail of a serpent. Tutu was son of Neith, who was cons
idered as a "dangerous goddess". Other goddesses in the same aspect were named a
s Mut, Sekhmet, Nekhbet and Bastet. This meant that Tutu is placed in a position
of power over demons. It was his role to slay demons sent out by "dangerous god
desses"; other sons of these goddesses performed the same function. These were M
ahes, Khonsu and Nefertem. Originally the protector of tombs, Tutu later guarded
the sleeping from danger or bad dreams. Tutu was also regarded for ordinary peo
ple to worship, offering and rituals were made on portable altars. Offerings inc
luded goose, and bread, and rituals were for protection from demons and bad drea
ms. Tutu was stated to have given protection from demons, giving longer life and
protecting people from the Netherworld.
References
[1] www.globalegyptianmuseum.org retrieved March 18, 2009 (http:/ / www. globale
gyptianmuseum. org/ glossary. aspx?id=377)
Kaper, Olaf E. ( 2003): The Egyptian god Tutu: a study of the sphinx-god and mas
ter of demons with a corpus of monuments. Peeters Publishers Sauneron, JNES 19 (
1960) p 285 Hart, George (2005). The Routledge Dictionary of Egyptian Gods and G
oddesses, Second Edition. Routledge.

Unut
325
Unut
For the town in Armenia, see Hunut.
[1]
Wenut in hieroglyphs
Unut, alt. Wenut or Wenet, is a prehistoric Egyptian snake goddess. Originally,
she had the form of a snake and was called "The swift one". She came from the fi
fteenth Upper Egyptian province and was worshipped with Thoth at its capital Her
mopolis (in Egyptian: Wenu). Later she was depicted with a woman's body and a ha
re's head.[2] She was taken into the cult of Horus and later of Ra. Her name can
be represented with five different hieroglyphs, but she appears rarely in liter
ature and inscriptions. An exceptional sculpture of her has been found by Americ
an archaeologists and is probably the only one of its kind found so far. Her nam
e was taken into the highest royal position just once in the long Egyptian histo
ry. The only king bearing her name was Unas. Her male companion is Wenenu, who w
as sometimes regarded as a form of Osiris or Ra.[3]
References
[1] Wrterbuch, I., p.317 [2] Erik Hornung, Conceptions of God in Ancient Egypt: T
he One and the Many, Cornell University Press 1996, ISBN 0-8014-8384-0, p. 82 [3
] Richard Wilkinson: The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt. London, T
hames and Hudson, 2003. ISBN 978-0500051207 p. 199
Wadj-wer
Wadj-wer is an Egyptian fertility god whose name means the "Great Green". Someti
mes depicted in androgynous form, he is a personification of the Mediterranean S
ea or of the major lakes of the Nile delta. He is depicted as carrying the ankh
and a loaf. Wadj-wer is often depicted as being pregnant and is associated with
the richness of the waters of the Nile delta.
References
Encyclopedia of Gods, Kyle Cathie Limited, 2002

Wadjet
326
Wadjet
w yt in hieroglyphs
cobra+Sun in hieroglyphs
t "cobra" in hieroglyphs

Wadjet (/wd dt/ or /wd dt/; Egyptian w yt, "green one"),[1] known to the Greek worl
or Buto /bjuto / among other names, was originally the ancient local goddess of the
city of Dep (Buto),[2] which became part of the city that the Egyptians named Pe
r-Wadjet, House of Wadjet, and the Greeks called Buto (Desouk now),[3] a city th
at was an important site in the Predynastic era of Ancient Egypt and the cultura
l developments of the Paleolithic. She was said to be the patron and protector o
f Lower Egypt and upon unification with Upper Egypt, the joint protector and pat
ron of all of Egypt with the "goddess" of Upper Egypt. The image of Wadjet with
the sun disk is called the uraeus, and it was the emblem on the crown of the rul
ers of Lower Egypt. She was also the protector of kings and of women in childbir
th. As the patron goddess, she was associated with the land and depicted as a sn
ake-headed woman or a snakeusually an Egyptian cobra, a venomous snake common to
the region; sometimes she was depicted as a woman with two snake heads and, at o
ther times, a snake with a Two images of Wadjet appear on this carved wall in th
e Hatshepsut Temple at Luxor woman's head. Her oracle was in the renowned temple
in Per-Wadjet that was dedicated to her worship and gave the city its name. Thi
s oracle may have been the source for the oracular tradition that spread to Gree
ce from Egypt.[4] The Going Forth of Wadjet was celebrated on December 25 with c
hants and songs. An annual festival held in the city celebrated Wadjet on April
21. Other important dates for special worship of her were June 21, the Summer So
lstice, and March 14. She also was assigned the fifth hour of the fifth day of t
he moon. Wadjet was closely associated in the Egyptian pantheon with Bast, the f
ierce goddess depicted as a lioness warrior and protector, as the sun goddess wh
ose eye later became the eye of Horus, the eye of Ra, and as the Lady of Flame.
The hieroglyph for her eye is shown below; sometimes two are shown in the sky of
religious images. Per-Wadjet also contained a sanctuary of Horus, the child of
the sun deity who would be interpreted to represent the pharaoh. Much later, Wad
jet became associated with Isis as well as with many other deities. In the relie
f shown to the right, which is on the wall of the Hatshepsut Temple at Luxor, th
ere are two images of Wadjet: one of her as the uraeus sun disk with her head th
rough an ankh and another where she precedes a Horus hawk wearing the double cro
wn of united Egypt, representing the pharaoh whom she protects.

Wadjet
327
Etymology
The name Wadjet[5] is derived from the term for the symbol of her domain, Lower
Egypt, the papyrus.[6] Her name means "papyrus-colored one",[7][8] as wadj is th
e ancient Egyptian word for the color green (in reference to the color of the pa
pyrus plant) and the et is an indication of her gender. Its hieroglyphs differ f
rom those of the Green Crown (Red Crown) of Lower Egypt only by the determinativ
e, which in the case of the crown was a picture of the Green Crown[9] and, in th
e case of the goddess, a rearing cobra.
Protector of country, pharaohs, and other deities
Uraeus Uraeus on Basket Ntr + Cobra in hieroglyphs
Wedjat - Eye of Horus in hieroglyphs
Eventually, Wadjet was claimed as the patron goddess and protector of the whole
of Lower Egypt and became associated with Nekhbet, depicted as a white vulture,
who held unified Egypt. After the unification the image of Nekhbet joined Wadjet
on the crown, thereafter shown as part of the uraeus. The ancient Egyptian word
Wedjat signifies blue and green. It is also the name for the well known Eye of
the Moon,[10] which later became the Eye of Horus and the Eye of Ra as additiona
l sun deities arose. Indeed, in later times, she was often depicted simply as a
woman with a snake's head, or as a woman wearing the uraeus. The uraeus original
ly had been her body alone, which wrapped around or was coiled upon the head of
the pharaoh or another deity Depicted as an Egyptian cobra she became confused w
ith Renenutet, whose identity eventually merged with hers. As patron and protect
or, later Wadjet often was shown coiled upon the head of Ra, who much later beca
me the Egyptian chief deity; in order to act as his protection, this image of he
r became the uraeus symbol used on the royal crowns as well. Another early depic
tion of Wadjet is as a cobra entwined around a papyrus stem, beginning in the Pr
edynastic era (prior to 3100 B.C.) and it is thought to be the first image that
shows a snake entwined around a staff symbol. This is a sacred image that appear
ed repeatedly in the later images and myths of cultures surrounding the Mediterr
anean Sea, called the caduceus, which may have had separate origins. Her image a
lso rears up from the staff of the "flag" poles that are used to indicate deitie
s, as seen in the hieroglyph for uraeus above and for goddess in other places.

Wadjet
328
Associations with other deities
An interpretation of the Milky Way was that it was the primal snake, Wadjet, the
protector of Egypt. In this interpretation she was closely associated with Hath
or and other early deities among the various aspects of the great mother goddess
, including Mut and Naunet. The association with Hathor brought her son Horus in
to association also. The cult of Ra absorbed most of Horus's traits and included
the protective eye of Wadjet that had shown her association with Hathor. When i
dentified as the protector of Ra, who was also a sun deity associated with heat
and fire, she was sometimes said to be able to send fire onto those who might at
tack, just as the cobra spits poison into the eyes of its enemies.[11] In this r
ole she was called the Lady of Flame. She later became identified with the war g
oddess of Lower Egypt, Bast, who acted as another figure symbolic of the nation,
consequently becoming Wadjet-Bast. In this role, since Bast was a lioness, Wadj
et-Bast was often depicted with a lioness head.
After Lower Egypt had been conquered by Upper Egypt and they were unified, the l
ioness goddess of Upper Egypt, Sekhmet, was seen as the more powerful of the two
warrior goddesses. It was Sekhmet who was seen as the Avenger of Wrongs, and th
e Scarlet Lady, a reference to blood, as the one with bloodlust. She is depicted
with the solar disk and Wadjet, however. Eventually, Wadjet's position as patro
n led to her being identified as the more powerful goddess Mut, whose cult had c
ome to the fore in conjunction with rise of the cult of Amun, and eventually bei
ng absorbed into her as the Mut-Wadjet-Bast triad. When the pairing of deities o
ccurred in later Egyptian myths, since she was linked to the land, after the uni
fication of Lower and Upper Egypt she came to be thought of as the wife of Hapy,
a deity of the Nile, which flowed through the land.[12] Wadjet is not to be con
fused with the Egyptian demon Apep, who is also represented as a snake in Egypti
an mythology.
Wadjet as Wadjet-Bast, depicted as the body of a woman with a lioness head, wear
ing the uraeus
Footnotes
[1] Also spelled Wadjit, Wedjet, Uadjet or Ua Zit [2] Wilkinson, Early Dynastic
Egypt, p.297 [3] Wrterbuch der gyptischen Sprache, 1, 268.18 [4] Herodotus ii. 55
and vii. 134 [5] Wrterbuch der gyptischen Sprache, 1, 268.17 [6] Wrterbuch der gypti
schen Sprache, 1, 263.7264.4 [7] J. A. Coleman, The Dictionary of Mythology: AZ Re
ference of Legends and Heroes [8] Age of Mythology: In-Game Manual, Wadjet [9] Wr
terbuch der gyptischen Sprache, 1, 268.16; [10] Wrterbuch der gyptischen Sprache 1,
268.13 [11] Curl, The Egyptian Revival, p.469 [12] Ana Ruiz, The Spirit of Anci
ent Egypt, p.119

Wadjet
329
References
James Stevens Curl, The Egyptian Revival: Ancient Egypt as the Inspiration for D
esign Motifs in the West, Routledge 2005 Adolf Erman, Hermann Grapow, Wrterbuch d
er gyptischen Sprache, Berlin 1963 Ana Ruiz, The Spirit of Ancient Egypt, Algora
Publishing 2001 Toby A. H. Wilkinson, Early Dynastic Egypt, Routledge 1999

Weneg (Egyptian deity)


330
Weneg (Egyptian deity)
Weneg (Egyptian deity)in hieroglyphs
Weneg wng Weneg-plant Personal name, based on the Pyramid Texts Weneg (also read
as Uneg) was a sky and death deity from ancient Egyptian religion, who was said
to protect the earth and her inhabitants against the arrival of the "great chao
s".
Mythology
The first known mention of a god named Weneg appears in a spell from the Pyramid
Texts from the Sixth Dynasty, where he is described both as a death deity and a
s the deceased king. He is addressed as "Son of Ra". The texts contain several p
rayers asking that the king receive safe travel across the sky together with Ra
in his celestial barque. The king is addressed by the name of Weneg.[1] PT 363;
column 607c - d: Ra comes, ferry the king over to yonder side, as thou ferriest
thy follower over, the wng-plant, which thou lovest![2] PT 476; column 952a - d:
O thou keeper of the way of the king, who art at the great gate, certify the ki
ng to these two great and powerful gods, for the king is indeed the wng-plant, t
he son of Ra, which supports the sky, which governs the earth and which will jud
ge the gods![3] Weneg as a deity is sparsely attested. He appears only in anothe
r Pyramid Text spell from 6th dynasty, where he is identified and equated with t
he sky god Shu.[4][5][6] The name Weneg a a h  
hrw  knwn nly a
h n
am f a kn frm
h nd Dyna
y, wh  hrnlal  
n and ln
h 
f rn  nr
an.[7]
Rfrn
[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] Chr
an L
z .a.: Lxkn dr y
 hn G

r nd
G

rbzhnnn., vl. 7. 


r , Lvn 2002, IBN 90-429-1152-2, .418. Pyr
amid text 363; column 607c - d (http:/ / www. sacred-texts. com/ egy/ pyt/ pyt19
. htm) (english) Pyramid text 476; column 952a - d (http:/ / www. sacred-texts.
com/ egy/ pyt/ pyt25. htm) (english) Georg Hart: The Routledge dictionary of Egy
ptian Gods and Goddesses. Routledge 2005, ISBN 0415361168, page162 Stephen Quirke
: Ancient Egyptian Religions. London 1992, ISBN 0714109665, page22 Adolf Erman: D
ie gyptische Religion. G. Reimer 2005, page91 Jochem Kahl: Ra is my Lord - Searchi
ng for the rise of the Sun God at the dawn of Egyptian history, Harrassowitz, Wi
esbaden 2007, ISBN 3-447-05540-5, page45.

Wepset
331
Wepset
Wepset in hieroglyphs
[1]
Wepset (wps.t) is an ancient Egyptian goddess. She is one of the personification
s of the uraeus cobra that protected the kings; she is also an Eye of Ra and is
mentioned as "the Eye" in the Coffin Texts. Her name means "she who burns". In N
ew Kingdom texts she destroys the enemies of Osiris. She was mentioned as having
a temple on the island of Biga; no such structure has been found there, but she
appears in the temples of other deities here and in Lower Nubia.[2]
Iconography
She is most often depicted as a snake, but in the Greek and Roman period she als
o has anthropomorphic depictions, as a woman with a lion's head or with uraeus o
r sun disk on her head.[2]
Sources
[1] Wrterbuch, I., p.305 [2] Richard Wilkinson: The Complete Gods and Goddesses o
f Ancient Egypt. London, Thames and Hudson, 2003. ISBN 978-0500051207 p.228

Wepwawet
332
Wepwawet
Wepwawet or Upuaut
Wepawet God of warfare and hunting Name in hieroglyphs Major cult center Symbol
Parents Siblings Lycopolis the mace, hunting arrows ambiguously either Set, or A
nubis Anubis (in some accounts)
In late Egyptian mythology, Wepwawet (hieroglyphic wp-w3w.t; also rendered Upuau
t, Wep-wawet, Wepawet, and Ophois) was originally a war deity, whose cult centre
was Asyut in Upper Egypt (Lycopolis in the Greco-Roman period). His name means,
opener of the ways and he is often depicted as a wolf standing at the prow of a
solar-boat. Some interpret that Wepwawet was seen as a scout, going out to clea
r routes for the army to proceed forward.[1] One inscription from the Sinai stat
es that Wepwawet "opens the way" to king Sekhemkhet's victory.[2] Wepwawet origi
nally was seen as a wolf deity, thus the Greek name of Lycopolis, meaning city o
f wolves, and it is likely the case that Wepwawet was originally just a symbol o
f the pharaoh, seeking to associate with wolf-like attributes, that later became
deified as a mascot to accompany the pharaoh. Likewise, Wepwawet was said to ac
company the pharaoh on hunts, in which capacity he was titled (one with) sharp a
rrow more powerful than the gods.

Wepwawet
333 Over time, the connection to war, and thus to death, led to Wepwawet also be
ing seen as one who opened the ways to, and through, Duat, for the spirits of th
e dead. Through this, and the similarity of the jackal to the wolf, Wepwawet bec
ame associated with Anubis, a deity that was worshiped in Asyut, eventually bein
g considered his son. Seen as a jackal, he also was said to be Set's son. Conseq
uently, Wepwawet often is confused with Anubis.[2] This deity appears in the Tem
ple of Seti I at Abydos.[2] In later Egyptian art, Wepwawet was depicted as a wo
lf or a jackal, or as a man with the head of a wolf or a jackal. Even when consi
dered a jackal, Wepwawet usually was shown with grey, or white fur, reflecting h
is lupine origins. He was depicted dressed as a soldier, as well as carrying oth
er military equipmenta mace and a bow.
For what generally is considered to be lauding purposes of the pharaohs, a later
myth briefly was circulated claiming that Wepwawet was born at the sanctuary of
Wadjet, the sacred site for the oldest goddess of Lower Egypt that is located i
n the heart of Lower Egypt. Consequently, Wepwawet, who had hitherto been the st
andard of Upper Egypt alone, formed an integral part of royal rituals, symbolizi
ng the unification of Egypt. In later pyramid texts, Wepwawet is called "Ra" who
has gone up from the horizon, perhaps as the "opener" of the sky.[2] In the lat
er Egyptian funerary context, Wepwawet assists at the Opening of the mouth cerem
ony and guides the deceased into the netherworld.[2]
Ivory label depicting the pharaoh Den, found at his tomb in Abydos, circa 3000 B
C. Originally attached to a pair of royal sandals, which is depicted on the reve
rse. The side shown here depicts the pharaoh striking down an Asiatic tribesman
along with the inscription "The first occasion of smiting the East
Animal origin
It would appear that a lack of comprehension of the animal species native to Egy
pt led European Egyptologists to mistake the deity Wewawet for a jackal even whi
le the Ancient Egyptians clearly identified it as a wolf. The Egyptian Jackal (C
anis aureus lupaster) also known as the African Wolf or Wolf Jackal is currently
listed as a subspecies of the golden jackal but molecular and osteological data
has established that it is a unique species in its own right. It is native to E
gypt, Libya, and Ethiopia, though its post-Pleistocene range once encompassed th
e Palestine region. Its closest relatives are the Abyssinian Wolf, also known as
the Red Wolf and the King Jackal, and the Indian Wolf. The dogs of ancient Egyp
t were likely domesticated subspecies of one or more of these enigmatic species.
References
[1] Pat Remler, Egyptian Mythology A to Z: A Young Readers Companion, Facts on F
ile Inc., 2000. p. 170 Note: Remler's reference only states that Wepwawet's name
means 'Opener of the ways'. [2] Remler, p.170

Werethekau
334
Werethekau
Werethekau, alts. Urthekau and Weret Hekau, was the ancient Egyptian personifica
tion of supernatural powers, weret hekau meaning "great of magic" or "great ench
antress".[1]
In myth
As a deity dedicated to protection, she often appeared on funerary objects, part
icularly weapons, to allow the deceased to protect him or herself against the da
ngers of the underworld. She also was placed on ivory knives as a charm to prote
ct pregnant and nursing mothers.[citation needed] Her power was one of the inher
ent qualities of the Crowns of Egypt. As goddess of the crowns she was a snake o
r a lion-headed woman and dwelt in the state sanctuary.[2] As the wife of Ra-Hor
akhty she is depicted with his solar disk on her head. Werethekau was an epithet
frequently conferred on Isis,[3]Sekhmet,[4] Mut,[5] and others.
A relief representing Weret-hekau. From the reign of Ramesses II
References
[1] Barbara S. Lesko, The great goddesses of Egypt, University of Oklahoma Press
, 1999, p 74 [2] [3] [4] [5] Manfred Lurker, The Routledge Dictionary of Gods an
d Goddesses, Devils and Demons, Routledge 2004, ISBN 0-415-34018-7, p.192 Lurker
, op.cit., p.192 Erik Hornung, Conceptions of God in Ancient Egypt: The One and
the Many, Cornell University Press 1996, ISBN 0-8014-8384-0, p.284 Carol A. R. A
ndrews, Amulets of Ancient Egypt, University of Texas Press 1994, ISBN 0-292-704
64-X, p.37

Wosret
335
Wosret
WosretWikipedia:Manual_of_Style/Pronunciation, Wasret, or Wosyet meaning the pow
erful was an Egyptian goddess with a cult centre at Thebes. She was initially a
localised guardian deity, whose cult rose widely to prominence during the stable
twelfth dynasty when three pharaohs were named as her sons, for example, Senwos
ret (also spelled as Senusret) - the man (son) of Wosret. She was rarely depicte
d, and no temples to her have been identified. One example of a depiction of Wos
ret is on the stela shown to the right where she is the figure farthest to the r
ight. When she was depicted, it was wearing a tall crown with the Was sceptre, w
hich was related to her name, upon her head and carrying other weapons such as s
pears as well as a bow and arrows. Wosret was later superseded by Mut and became
an aspect of Hathor. She was also identified with the protection of the deity H
orus, Isis' son, when he was young. She was Amun's first wife (John Ray calls he
r "the theological equivalent of the girl next door"), and was replaced by Mut,
although it is possible that Mut is simply a later name for Wosret.[1] On the st
ela above Amun is depicted to the left.
Rare image of Wosret, the figure to the right on a dual stela of pharaoh Hatshep
sut (centre left) in the blue Khepresh crown offering oil to the deity Amun and
her nephew who would become Thutmose III behind her in the hedjet white crown Vatican Museum
Footnotes
[1] Ray, John Reflections of Osiris: lives from ancient Egypt p.28 (http:/ / boo
ks. google. co. uk/ books?id=ussoYlKONPIC& pg=PA28& dq=wosret+ goddess+ Mut& num
=100& as_brr=3& ei=BG99S8nOBpWwNpTavdEE& client=firefox-a& cd=1#v=onepage& q=wos
ret goddess Mut& f=false)

336

Helenic era
Harpocrates
In late Greek mythology as developed in Ptolemaic Alexandria, Harpocrates (Ancie
nt Greek: ) s the gd f slence. Harpcrates was adapted y the Greeks frm the E
chld gd Hrs. T the ancent Egyptans, Hrs represented the newrn Sn, r
sng each day at dawn. When the Greeks cnqered Egypt nder Alexander the Grea
t, they transfrmed the Egyptan Hrs nt ther Hellenstc gd knwn as Harp
crates, a renderng frm Egyptan Har-pa-khered r Her-pa-khered (meanng "Hr
s the Chld").
Hrs
In Egyptan mythlgy, Hrs was cnceved y Iss, the mther gddess, frm Os
rs, the rgnal gd-kng f Egypt, wh had een mrdered y hs rther Set,[1
] and ths ecame the gd f the nderwrld. The Greeks melded Osrs wth ther
nderwrld gd, Hades, t prdce the essentally Alexandran syncretsm, Serap
s. Amng the Egyptans the fll-grwn Hrs was cnsdered the vctrs gd 
f the Sn wh each day vercmes darkness. He s ften represented wth the head
f a sparrwhawk, whch was sacred t hm, as the hawk fles hgh ave the Ear
th. Hrs fght attles aganst Set, ntl he fnally acheved vctry and eca
me the rler f Egypt. All the Pharahs f Egypt were seen as rencarnatns f
the vctrs Hrs.
Ptlemac rnze Harpcrates as the chld Hrs (Glenkan Fndatn, Lsn)
Stelae depctng Her-pa-Khered standng n the ack f a crcdle, hldng sna
kes n hs tstretched hands were erected n Egyptan temple crtyards, where
they wld e mmersed r lstrated n water; the water was then sed fr less
ng and healng prpses as the name f Her-pa-Khered was tself attrted wth
many prtectve and healng pwers.

Harpcrates
337 In the Alexandran and Rman renewed vge fr mystery clts at the trn f
the mllennm mystery clts had already exsted fr almst a mllennm the wr
shp f Hrs ecame wdely extended, lnked wth Iss (hs mther) and Seraps
(Osrs, hs father).
Iss, Seraps and ther chld Harpcrates (Lvre Msem)
Harpcrates
In ths way Harpcrates, the chld Hrs, persnfes the newrn sn each day,
the frst strength f the wnter sn, and als the mage f early vegetatn. Eg
yptan states represent the chld Hrs, pctred as a naked y wth hs fnge
r n hs mth, a realzatn f the herglyph fr "chld" that s nrelated t
the Grec-Rman and mdern gestre fr "slence". Msnderstandng ths sgn, t
he later Greeks and Rman pets made Harpcrates the gd f Slence and Secrecy,
takng ther ce frm Marcs Terents Varr, wh asserted n De lnga Latna
f Caelm (Sky) and Terra (Earth) "These gds are the same as thse wh n Egypt
are called Seraps and Iss,[2] thgh Harpcrates wth hs fnger makes a sgn
t me t e qet. The same frst gds were n Latm called Satrn and Ops." O
vd descred Iss:
Brnze statette f Harpcrates, Begram, Afghanstan, 2nd centry.
"Upn her Is