As Wilkinson notes, however, they did not go quietly: In AD 383 pagan temples throughout the Roman Empire were closed by order of the Emperor Theodosius and a number of further decrees, culminating in those of Theodosius in AD 391 and Valentinian III in AD 435, sanctioned the actual destruction of pagan religious structures. The people of Egypt would leave bowls of offerings by caves for them. The king of Egypt, in any period, was watched over by a hawk who represented the god Horus. Astarte - Phoenician goddess of fertility and sexuality, often closely equated with Aphrodite of the Greeks, Inanna/Ishtar of Mesopotamia, and Sauska of the Hittites; referred to as Queen of Heaven. He was associated with healing and images of Khonsu were believed to have miraculous abilities to heal the sick instantly. This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon this content non-commercially, as long as they credit the author and license their new creations under the identical terms. In the beginning, all was One and then, with the rise of the ben-ben and the birth of the gods, multiplicity entered creation; the One became the many. Ptah-hotep - Author of one the more famous Wisdom Texts, who was deified after his death and honored with his own cult. Ancient History Encyclopedia Limited is a non-profit company registered in the United Kingdom. The more famous gods became state deities while others were associated with a specific region or, in some cases, a ritual or role. He presided over the Sed Festival (also known as the Heb-Sed Festival) which was held every thirty years of a king's rule to rejuvenate him. When a major god evolved from an earlier minor deity, it is noted. He eventually became associated with Ra as the composite sun god Mont-Ra and was associated with Horus as a war god. We have also been recommended for educational use by the following publications: Ancient History Encyclopedia Foundation is a non-profit organization registered in Canada. Ra was among the most important and popular gods of Egypt. He is depicted as a man holding the ankh and was sceptre standing in a boat surrounded by stars in a night sky. Am-Heh - A god in the underworld, "devourer of millions" and "eater of eternity" who lived in a lake of fire. In the modern day, the caduceus is frequently confused with the Rod of Asclepius in iconography related to the medical profession. Egyptian kings identified themselves with Osiris in death and he is usually depicted as a mummy (symbolizing death) and with green or black skin (symbolizing the fertility of the Nile region and life). Nephthys - A funerary goddess, one of the first five gods born of Geb and Nut after the creation of the world, wife of Set, twin sister of Isis, and mother of Anubis. She was thought to have invented birth and was closely associated with living and growing things. Web. In all aspects of life, the deities of Egypt were present and continued to care for their people after death. He existed before the gods and was present in the act of creation although, in later myths, he is seen as the son of Menhet and Khnum and part of the triad of Latopolis. Fetket - The butler of the sun god Ra who served him his drinks, patron god of bartenders. She was the most important goddess of Lower Egypt in early history and continued to hold a prominent position in worship for millenia. His name means "Beautiful Atum". In this version, Neith is the wife of Nu, the primordial chaos, who gives birth to Atum and all the other gods. She was also known as Weret-Kekau, "The Great Magic", because of her incredible powers. Soon most of Egypt's temples were shunned, claimed for other use, or actively destroyed by zealous Christians, and the ancient gods were largely deserted (22). They painted images of Bastet on their shields and drove animals in front of their army knowing the Egyptians would rather surrender than offend their goddess. Our latest articles delivered to your inbox, once a week: Our mission is to engage people with cultural heritage and to improve history education worldwide. His name means "Lord of the Two Lands". Please support Ancient History Encyclopedia Foundation. He is always shown in a front-facing position of protection watching over his charges. Mehit (Meyht) - She was a moon goddess from the Early Dynastic Period (c. 31250-2613 BCE) identified with the concept of the Distant Goddess who departs from Ra and returns to bring transformation. He is most likely the same god referred to as Khenty-Tjenenet in the period of the Old Kingdom (c. 2613-2181 BCE). Please note that content linked from this page may have different licensing terms. Hathor became associated with the sistrum specifically and music generally but, earlier, Merit was the goddess who "conducted" the symphony of order which accompanied creation. Neith - One of the oldest and most enduring deities of ancient Egypt, worshipped from the Predynastic Period (c. 6000-3150 BCE) through the Ptolemaic Dynasty (323-30 BCE), the last to rule Egypt before it was taken by Rome. She is the patroness of libraries, both public and private, and was known as "She Who is Foremost in the House of Books". Sebiumeker is associated with Atum as a creator god and may have been the supreme god of the pantheon in the region which is modern-day Sudan. In some parts of ancient Egypt, however, he continued to be worshiped as one the chief deities. In the story of the creation of the world, Atum is angered by the intimate relationship between Geb (earth) and Nut (sky) and so separates them, declaring that Nut may not give birth to her children on any day of the year. There were no doubt pockets of resistance to the new faith but the widespread veneration of the old gods was now a memory. They were originally associated with Shu and Tefnut as sky deities and eventually became linked with Ra and the solar barge. The New Kingdom (c. 1570- c.1069 BCE) is the era in Egyptian history... Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike. He was later considered his own deity and became associated with sweet-smelling flowers. Sobek is one of the best known gods of ancient Egypt and was extremely popular in his time. He was worshipped with Hathor at Dendera and invoked at festivals. Animism not only concerned higher cosmic forces and earth energy but the souls of those who had died. Iusaaset - A very early Mother Goddess referred to as "Grandmother of the Gods" and linked to Atum at the creation of the world. Sia - The personification of perception and thoughtfulness who represented the heart (seat of emotion, thought, and character). This destruction would overwhelm even the gods and goddesses themselves. Nekheny - A protector god in the form of a falcon who was patron of the town of Nekhen in the Predynastic Period (c. 6000-3150 BCE). Her name means "Mistress of the Temple Enclosure" or "Mistress of the House" referring to a heavenly house or temple. The male hippopotamus was very aggressive and considered one of the most dangerous animals in Egypt so he was associated with the god Set resulting in images of Taweret as consort of Set even though the two deities had nothing in common. Sekhmet was also associated with medicine and both disease and health. He was a personification of corn and associated with Osiris as a fertility god. Early depictions show her in battle dress with bow and arrow but she was transformed into a Mother Goddess and nurturing figure. They are mentioned in Spell 168 of the Egyptian Book of the Dead and are represented as serpents or serpent-like. Bastet was worshiped for her maternal, protective nature and was often painted surrounded by kittens. We use cookies to personalize content and ads and to analyze traffic on our website. In some texts she is referred to as the Mother of the Gods while in others she is a virgin and, in still others, sensuous and erotic, described as the most beautiful goddess. Their relationship was so intimate that it disturbed Atum who pushed Nut high above Geb and fixed her there. Both are seen in tomb inscriptions of the kings kneeling to honor the deceased king's arrival in the afterlife. He was the personification of the raging sea and greatly feared. The king was thought to be the living incarnation of Horus and, through him, the god gave all good things to his people. She is depicted as a cow or a woman with a cow's head and evolved from the earlier goddess Bat. Submitted by Joshua J. (2016, April 14). She is the second-born of the First Five Gods (Osiris, Isis, Set, Nephthys, and Horus the Elder), sister-wife of Osiris, mother of Horus the Younger, and symbolically understood as the mother of every king. He is depicted as a serpent and, like Heka, has always existed. Ruty - The twin lion gods who represented the eastern and western horizons. Ba'al - Storm god originally from Phoenicia. Ptah was usually depicted as a mummified figure with his hands protruding through the bandaging to hold a staff with the symbols of dominion and stability. In iconography she appears like either of these two but with a crocodile head. Osiris was originally a fertility god who grew in popularity and influence through the Osiris Myth in which he is killed by his brother, Set, brought back to life by his wife Isis, fathers sky god Horus, and descends to the underworld as Judge of the Dead. Her nurturing qualities were later absorbed by Isis. He is depicted as a red beast with cloven hooves and a forked tale and is the prototype for the later iconography of the Christian Devil. He presided over the north, had the form of a baboon, and was watched over by Nephthys. Her qualities were later absorbed by Hathor. She represented the hand, the active part, of the supreme god Atum (Ra). She provided pure, cool water to the souls of the deceased as they awaited judgment in the Hall of Truth. They had names like Far-Strider, Fire-Embracer, Demolisher, Disturber, Owner of Faces, and Serpent Who Brings and Gives, among others. Wenenu - A protective god, aspect of Osiris or sometimes Ra, consort of Unut. Imagery of the Virgin Mary holding her son Jesus comes directly from Isis cradling her son Horus and the Dying and Reviving God figure of Jesus himself is a version of Osiris. Sed - An ancient jackal deity who name first appears on the Palermo Stone from the Fifth Dynasty (2498-2345 BCE) but who was most likely much older. Ancient History Encyclopedia, 14 Apr 2016. Wepset - A protective goddess whose name means "She Who Burns" who destroys the enemies of Osiris. Imhotep - The vizier of king Djoser (c. 2670 BCE) who designed and built the Step Pyramid. License. Isis-Eutheria - A later Greek version of Isis worshipped in Egypt whose tears, when she mourned for Osiris, were thought to cause the inundation of the Nile River. He is an early example of the Dying and Reviving God figure in mythology who leant himself to the later version of this figure, Jesus Christ. Bastetby Trustees of the British Museum (Copyright). He is depicted as a rabbitt-headed man. She blessed people with success owing to her ability to see both past and future. Khentekhtai (Khente-Khtai) - He was a crocodile god worshipped in the Fourth Dynasty (c. 2613-2498 BCE) at the city of Athribis. She symbolized the vengeful aspect of the Eye of Ra. Please review our, List of 15 Most Worshiped Ancient Egyptian Gods and Goddesses. She was thought to hunt at night and terrify her enemies. Often equated with Aphrodite of Greece, Astarte of Phoenicia, Inanna of Mesopotamia, and Sauska of the Hittites. His name means "Crocodile" and he was lord of marshes and wetlands and any other wet areas of Egypt. He entered the Egyptian pantheon through trade and made his way into Egyptian mythology through stories of his battles with Set. A freelance writer and former part-time Professor of Philosophy at Marist College, New York, Joshua J. 27 Oct 2020. She set the stars in the sky and regulated the seasons. They were the forces that shaped the creator or even the first manifestations of the creator (58). Ancient History Encyclopedia Foundation is a non-profit organization. His consort was Taweret, the hippopotamus goddess of childbirth and fertility. Set is often characterized as "evil", and did manifest many evil qualities, but was not regarded by the ancient Egyptians as an embodiment of evil or darkness.

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