Egypt: Arensnuphis, God of Egypt


Arensnuphis was an anthropomorphic Nubian deity wearing a plumed crown who occurred in southern temples during the Graeco-Roman period, coeval with the Meroitic civilization based around the mid fifth to sixth cataract region of the Nile river. Sometimes he was also represented as a lion.

The Egyptian rendering of his name, which is 'Ari-hes-nefer' gives us little indication to his nature, other than being a benign deity. A small kiosk style temple was built in his honor on the island of Philae during the reign of Ptolemy IV Philopator in about 2250 BC. The blocks from the southern enclosure wall show that it was a joint project with the Meroitic King Arqamani (Ergamenes II). However, only the fact that he is a "companion" of the goddess Isis, pre-eminent deity of Philae, can be elucidated from the inscriptions. He is also represented on a wall at the Dendur temple (originally sited above the first cataract of the Nile, now re-erected at the Metropolitan Museum of Att in New York. There, he accompanies the local deified heroes Peteese and Pihor being worshiped by the Roman emperor Augustus.

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