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Egypt: Gods of Ancient Egypt


For comprehensive information see our New Egypt Mythology Section and Old Egyptian Mythology Section. You may also read The Egyptian Book of the Dead

 


Amentet, Goddess of the Dead, Personification of the West By Caroline Seawright

 

Amentet (Ament, Amentit, Imentet, Imentit) was the Egyptian goddess and friend of the dead, and the personification of the Land of the West, 'Amenti'. It was she who welcomed the deceased to their new dwelling place in the netherworld. She was also a goddess who helped with the rebirthing process, and thus a goddess of fertility and rebirth, who regenerated the deceased.

 

Ammut, Great of Deaht, Eater of Hearts, The Devourer By Caroline Seawright

 

Ammut(Ammit, Ahemait, Ammemet) was an Egyptian demoness. She was known as the 'Eater of Hearts', 'The Devourer' and 'Great of Death' because she was a demoness of punishment. She had the head of a crocodile, the body of a leopard and the backside of a hippopotamus - all fierce creatures to the Egyptians.

 

Amun and Amun-Re by Jimmy Dunn writing as Taylor Ray Ellison

 

Some assume that Amun (Amen, Amon) was a relatively modern god within the context of ancient Egyptian religion. His worship at Thebes, where the earliest known Temple dedicated to him was located, is only documented from the 11th Dynasty onward. It is true that he gained most of his prestige after replacing the war god Montu as the principle god of Thebes during Egypt's New Kingdom, when he was recognized as the "King of Gods". At that time, because of Egypt's influence in the world, he actually became a universal god. In fact, by the 25th Dynasty, Amun-Re was even the chief god of the Nubian Kingdom of Napata and by the Ptolemic, or Greek period, he was regarded as the Egyptian equivalent of Zeus. However, he is actually mentioned in the pyramid text from the Old Kingdom (5th Dynasty, Unas - line 558), which show him to be a primeval deity and a symbol of creative force. This text seems to assign great antiquity to his existence.

 

Animals and the Gods of Ancient Egypt By Caroline Seawright

 

Anqet, The Embracer, Goddess of Fertility and the Nile at Aswan By Caroline Seawright

 

Anqet (Anket, Anuket, Anjet, Anukis) was an Old Kingdom goddess related to the Nile in the Aswan area. She was 'She Who Embraces', a name indicating that she was probably thought to hold the Nile in her arms, and thus was related to the banks of the Nile as well. Originally a daughter of the sun god Ra, she became either the wife or the daughter of Khnum. She was also a goddess of the hunt whose sacred animal was the gazelle. Anqet was generally depicted as a woman wearing a tall headdress made either of reeds or of ostrich feathers, often holding a sceptre and the ankh symbol.

 

Egyptian towns usually had their own local sacred animal. It was thought that some gods and goddesses represented themselves on earth in the form of a single representative of a specific species, and honoring that species of animal would please the god or goddess associated with the animal

 

Anubis, God of Embalming and Guide and Friend of the Dead By Caroline Seawright

 

Anubis (Inpew, Yinepu, Anpu) was an ancient Egyptian god of the underworld who guided and protected the spirits of the dead. He was known as the 'Lord of the Hallowed Land' - the necropolis - and Khenty Amentiu, 'Foremost of the Westerners' - the Land of the Dead was thought to be to the west, where the Egyptians buried their dead. (Khenty Amentiu was the name of a previous canine deity who was superseded by Anubis.) The worship of Anubis was an ancient one - it was probably even older than the worship of Osiris. In the pyramid texts of Unas, his role was already very clear - he was associated with the Eye of Horus and he was already thought to be the guide of the dead in the afterlife.

 

Bast, Perfume Protector, Cat Goddess By Caroline Seawright

 

Information on Bast, the Cat Goddess

 

Bes, God-Demon of Protection, Childbirth and Entertainment By Caroline Seawright

 

Bes (Bisu, Aha) was an ancient Egyptian dwarf god who was a god of protection against evil with his tambourine or harp, swords, maces and knives. Previous to being given the name 'Bes', he was known as the demonic 'Aha' ('fighter') because of his ferocity - he was thought to have been able to strangle bears, lions, antelopes and snakes with his bare hands. In this role, despite being thought of as a demon, he was seen as a supporter of Ra, helping to defeat his serpent enemies.

 

The Crocodile Cod, Sobek by Catherine C. Harris

 

The ancient goddess of war, Neith, was revered as the goddess of wisdom. At different periods she was identified with Athena, noted as the sister of Isis, and named the protector of Duamutef. Neith was the mother of Sobek, known as the crocodile god. Sobek was most popular in the city of Arsinoe. In fact, the Greeks renamed the city Crocodilopolis. Ancient Egyptians would keep crocodiles in pools and temples. They ornamented the crocodiles with jewels in honor of their beloved god, Sobek. The people of ancient Egypt worshiped Sobek in order to appease him, the crocodiles, and to insure the fertility of their people and crops.

 

Divine Cults of the Sacred Bulls by Anita Stratos

 

The deification of animals in ancient Egypt existed even before the country

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