Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Goddesses and Gods of Ancient Egypt (brief)

Amon (Amen, Amun): the great god of Thebes of uncertain origin; represented as a man, the sun, and sometimes as ithyphallic; identified with Re as Amen-Re; his sacred animals were the ram and goose. anubis.gif (8608 bytes)

Anat: goddess of Syrian origin, with warlike character; represented as a woman holding a shield and an axe.

Anubis (Anpu): the jackal-god, patron of embalmers, healers, and surgeons; in both healing and mummification ceremonies, Anubis was the patron deity which prepared the dead and healed the living. Anubis is considered to be the great necropolis-god.

Anukis (Anqet): goddess of the cataract-region at Aswan; wife of Khnum; represented as a woman with a high feather head-dress.

Arsaphes (Herishef): ram-headed god from, Heracleopolis.

Astarte (As-start-a): goddess of Syrian origin; introduced into Egypt during the 18th Dynasty. She is also known as The Queen of Heaven and her cult often times overlapped with Isian worshipers.

Aten: god of the sun-disk, worshipped as the great creator-god by Akhenaten.

Atum (Tum): the original sun-god of Heliopolis, later identified with Re; represented as a man.

Bastet (Bast): A cat-goddess whose cult-center was at Bubastis in the Delta; in the Late Period regarded as a beneficent deity. She was seen as the patron of cats, of women, and protection.

Bes: A dwarf-deity with leonine features. Seen as a domestic god, protector against snakes and various terrors; helper of women in child-birth.

Edjo (Wadjet, Buto): the cobra-goddess of Buto in the Delta; tutelary deity of Lower Egypt, appearing on the royal diadem, protecting the king.

Geb: the earth-god; husband of Nut; member of the ennead of Heliopolis; represented as a man.

Hapy: god of the Nile in inundation; represented as a man with full, heavy breasts, a clump of papyrus on his head, and bearing heavily laden offering-tables.

Haroeris: a form of Horus, the 'Elder Horus'; identified with the falcon-god and particularly the patron of the king.

Harpocrates (Hor-Pa-Khred): A late form of Horus in his aspect of being son of Isis and Osiris; represented as a naked child wearing the lock of youth and holding one finger to his mouth.

Harsiesis: A form of Horus, specifically designated 'son of Isis'.

Hathor: Goddess of many functions and attributes; represented often as a cow or a cow-headed woman, or as a woman with horned head-dress; the suckler of the king; the 'Golden One'; cult-centers at Memphis, Cusae, Gebelein, Dendera; the patron deity of the mining-region of Sinai; identified by the Greeks with Aphrodite. She was sent by Re to cleanse the land of disbelievers. After slaying all who opposed Re, she asked to rest, and became the equivalent to the Greek form of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, fertility, women, and also their protector. There are many myths surrounding the goddess Hathor.

Hat-mehit: Fish-goddess of Mendes in the Delta; sometimes represented as a woman with a fish on her head.

Heqet: Frog-goddess of Antinoopolis where she was associated with Khnum; a helper of women in child-birth.

eyeofhorus.jpg (4314 bytes)Horus (Haroeris, Harpocrates, Harsiesis, Re-Harakhty): The falcon-deity, originally the sky-god, identified with the king during his lifetime. Known more importantly as the son of Osiris and Isis. Horus was also the avenger of his father Osirius, who was killed by Set. The eye of Horus came from a myth of his battles where Horus gave up his right eye in battle. Since then the Eye of Horus, has come to represent strength, vigor, and self-sacrifice. His cult-centers were in many places, Behdet in the Delta, Hierakonpolis and Edfu in Upper Egypt.

Imhotep (Imouthes): The deified chief minister of Djoser, and architect of the Step Pyramid; in the Late Period venerated as the god of learning and medicine; represented as a seated man holding an open papyrus; equated by the Greeks with Asklepios.

Isis: Isis is known as the divine mother, and as wife of Osiris and mother of Horus; Isis is one of the four great protector goddesses (Bast, Nephythes, and Hathor), guarding coffins and Canopic jars. Isis is sister animatedankh.gif (2641 bytes)of Nephthys with whom she acted as a divine mourner for the dead, and is divinely represented by the Ankh. In the Late Period Philae was her principal cult-center. She is also known as The Queen of Heaven (similar to Astarte), and rules over all matters concerning life, mothering, and sorcery. In the origin myth of Re and the world, it was written that she found out Re's name by enchanting a poisonous snake to bite him. The snake bit Re, and Isis could only heal him by knowing Re's true name. By knowing Re's name, she then had power equal to him and was then given all of her magical power and was thenceforth known as the divine sorceress. Another of the Isian myths concerns, both Isis, Osiris, and Horus. In this myth, Set kills Osiris and scatters his body in fourteen pieces around the world. Isis goes to find these pieces. After she find all of the peices, she reassembles Osiris and he comes back to life for one night during which Isis conceives their son, Horus. Osiris then becomes Lord of the Dead. Horus was given birth to and was committed to avenging his fathers death by killing Set. Isis from then on lived as the divine mourner on earth and in heaven.

Khepri: The scarab-beetle god, identified with Re as a creator-god; often represented as a beetle within the sun-disk.

Khnum: Ram-headed god of Elephantine, god of the Cataract-region; thought to have molded man on a potter's wheel.

Khons: The moon-god, represented as a man; with Amun and Mut as father and mother, forming the Theban triad.

Maat: Goddess of truth, right, and orderly conduct; represented as a woman with an ostrich-feather on her head. It is said that in the judgement of the dead she holds the scales which weigh the human heart.

Min: The primeval god of Coptos; later revered as a god of fertility, and closely associated with Amun; represented as an ithyphallic human statue, holding a flagellum.

Month (Munt): Originally the local deity of Hermonthis, just south of Thebes; later the war-god of the Egyptian king; represented as falcon-headed.

Mut (Mutt): The divine wife of Amun; cult-center at Asheru, south of the main temple of Amen-Re at Karnak; originally a vulture-goddess, later represented usually as a woman.

Nefertum: The god of the lotus, and hence of unguents; worshipped at Memphis as the son of Ptah and Sakhmet; represented as a man with a lotus-flower head-dress.

Neheb-kau: A serpent deity of the underworld, sometimes represented with a man's body and holding the eye of Horus.

Neith (Net): Goddess of Sais; represented as a woman wearing the red crown; her emblem, a shield with crossed arrows; one of the four 'protector'-goddesses who guarded coffins and Canopic jars; identified by the Greeks with Athena.

Nekhbet: Vulture-goddess of Nekheb (modern El-Kab); tutelary deity of Upper Egypt, sometimes appearing on the royal diadem beside the cobra (Edjo).

Nephthys (Nebet-het): Sister of Isis; one of the four 'protector'-goddesses, who guarded coffins and Canopic jars; with Isis acted as mourner for Osiris and hence for other dead people; represented as a woman.

Nun (Nu): god of the primeval chaos, the Nu was also seen as the primeval water from which the gods, earth, and humans were created from, i.e. the chaos from which order was created.

Nut (Nuit): the sky-goddess, wife of Geb, the earth-god; represented as a woman, her naked body is curved to form the arch of heaven.

Onuris (Anhur): God of This in Upper Egypt; the divine huntsman; represented as a man.

Osiris (Asar): The god of the underworld, identified as the king of the dead; also a god of the inundation and vegetation; represented as a mummified king; principal cult-center, Abydos.Osiris is seen as the great judge of the dead.

Ptah: Creator-god of Memphis, represented as a man, mummiform, possibly originally as a statue; the patron god of craftsmen; equated by the Greeks with Hephaestus.

Ptah-seker-osiris: Composite deity, incorporating the principal gods of creation, death, and after-life; represented like Osiris as a mummified king.

Qadesh: Goddess of Syrian origin, often represented as a woman standing on a lion's back.

Re (Ra): The sun-god of Heliopolis; head of the great ennead, supreme judge; often linked with other gods aspiring to universality, e.g. Amen-Re, Sobk-Re; represented as falcon-headed. Seem as the father of the gods, it was from him that all the gods and goddesses were created. He is also known by three aspects, which correspond to the positions of the sun, Amen at dawn, Re in the evening, and Set at dusk.

Re-harakhty: A god in the form of a falcon, embodying the characteristics of Re and Horus (here called 'Horus of the Horizon').

Renenutet (Ernutet, Thermuthis): Goddess of harvest and fertility; represented as a snake or a snake-headed woman.

Reshef (Reshpu): God of war and thunder, of Syrian origin.

Sekhmet: (Sakhmet) A lion-headed goddess worshipped in the area of Memphis; wife of Ptah; regarded as the bringer of destruction to the enemies of Re.

Sarapis: a god introduced into Egypt in the Ptolemaic Perod having the characteristics of Egyptian (Osiris) and Greek (Zeus) gods; represented as a bearded man wearing the modius head-dress; the Egyptian writing of the (i.e. Osiris-Apis) may not signify the true origin of this god.

Satis (Satet): A goddess of the Island of Siheil in the Cataract-region; represented as a woman wearing the white crown with antelope horns; the daughter of Khnum and Anukis.

Selkis (Selkit, Selkhet, Serqet): A scorpion-goddess, identified with the scorching heat of the sun; one of the four 'protector'-goddesses, guarding coffins and Canopic jars; shown sometimes as a woman with a scorpion on her head.

Seshat: The goddess of writing; the divine keeper of royal annals; represented as a woman.

Seth (Set, Sutekh): The god of storms and violence; identified with many animals, including the pig, ass, okapi, and hippopotamus; represented as an animal of unidentified type; brother of Osiris and his murderer; the rival of Horus; equated by the Greeks with Typhon.

Shu: The god of air; with Tefnut, forming the first pair of gods in the Heliopolitan ennead; shown often as a man separating Nut (sky) from Geb (earth).

Sobk (Sebek, Suchos): The crocodile-god, worshipped throughout Egypt, but especially in the Faiyum, and at Gebelein and Kom Ombo in Upper Egypt.

Sokaris (Sokar, Seker): A falcon-headed god of the necropolis; cult-center in Memphis.

Sopdu: The ancient falcon-god of Saft el-Henna in the Delta; a warrior-god, protector of the eastern frontier; represented often as an Asiatic warrior.

Sothis (Sepdet): The dog-star Sirius (see the constellation Canis), defined as a goddess; shown as a woman with a star on her head.

Tatjenen: The primeval earth-god of Memphis; later identified with Ptah.

Tefnut: The goddess of moisture; with Shu forming the first pair of the Heliopolitan ennead.

Thoeris (Taurt, Taweret): The hippopotamus-goddess; a beneficent deity, the patron of woman in child-birth.

Thoth: the ibis-headed god of Hermopolis; the scribe of the gods, the inventor of writing, and the great god of all knowledge; the ape as well as the ibis are sacred to him. In the judgment of the dead he was the scribe who recorded the confessions and affirmations of the dead on his scrolls, and also kept a record of who went into paradise and who was eaten by the dogs of judgment.

Unnefer (Wenen-nefer, Onnophris): A name meaning 'he who is continually happy', given to Osiris after his resurrection.

Wepwawet (Upuaut): The jackal-god of Asyut in Middle Egypt; a god of the necropolis and an avenger of Osiris.

1 comment:

tony said...

nice....will help me to refresh my ancient egyptian history