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Ancient Egypt /
1. Introduction
2. Gods
3. Concepts
4. Cult
5. Cult centres
6. Necropolises
7. Structures

Detailed articleAncient Egypt

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Major gods of Ancient Egyptian religon in this overview are presented in details with their own articles. The ancient Egyptian understanding of gods is unique and deeply fascinating, and presented here. Please click on the name to investigate in depth.

Earth-god that in the earliest stages was represented as a strip of land with a human head. Later this changed into two lion heads, or a double sphinx. In some instances, Aker was the helper of the dead.

Statue of Amaunet at Karnak, Luxor, Egypt.
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Statue of Amaunet at Karnak, Luxor, Egypt.

Goddess, that belonged to Heliopolis, and was the female counterpart of Amon. She was sometimes thought of as the mother, but she was never worshipped alone, only together with Neith.

Egyptian goddess Ammut
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Ammut: From the Book of the Dead, during the Weighing of the human heart against the feather of Maat, Ammut awaits the opportunity to gobble down sinful hearts.

Crocodile goddess, of a demonic nature. Her role was to attend the judging of the dead and devoured sinners following the Weighing of the Heart ceremony. She is rarely found represented, and is noted for having the body of a lion and the hindquarters of a hippopotamus. Other spelling: .

AmonDetailed article

Goddess of Semitic origin (see article on the purely Semitic Anath), probably introduced by the Hyksos. She was a war goddess, daughter of Re and a consort of Seth. In representations, she had a shield, battle-axe and a tall crown encircled by feathers.

Was at first two falcons, but during the New Kingdom, they were combined to one deity. Antaios was then equated with Horus.

AnubisDetailed article

Goddess in the shape of a human being, with the gazelle as the sacred animal. She was revered in the area of the 1st cataract together with Khnum and Satet, like on the island of Elephantine (next to modern Aswan, Egypt).

ApisDetailed article

ApophisDetailed article

ArensnuphisDetailed article
God of Nubian religion, introduced to Egyptian religion. Had his own temple at Philae.

Goddess of love and war. Introduced from the Levant into Egypt in the 18th Dynasty. She was often equated with Sekhmet or Hathor, and considered to be a consort of Seth.

AtenDetailed article

AtumDetailed article

Ram god of Mendes. He was the husband of Hat-Mehit and father of Harpocrates.

BastetDetailed article

BesDetailed article

God in human form, imported from Nubian religion, and is the dispenser of incense.

GebDetailed article

God representing infinity, often represented as sky-bearer.

HapyDetailed article

God of Herakleopolis, represented with ram's head. Harsaphes was eventually assimilated with Osiris and Re.

Harsomtus is from the Greek, indicating a form of Horus as a child. Harsomtus unifies northern and southern Egypt. At the Edfu Temple, he is identified as the offspring of Horus the elder and Hathor. He is also called Har-mau.

HathorDetailed article

Fish goddess, deity of Mendes. From pre-dynastic times, and into the 2nd Dynasty, she was the chief deity here. Then she became replaced by Banebdjedet. She was the mother of Harpocrates.
She was the symbol fof the 16th nome. Later on, she became represented as a carp or as a women with a fish emblem on her head.

God identified with magical power. The name for magical power was likewise "heka", but only in a few cases, was it personified as a god. Heka was one of the foremost gods at Esna.

HorusDetailed article

Youthful god represented with a neck ornament and a percussion instrument.

ImhotepDetailed article

IsisDetailed article

Love goddess, usually represented naked. Kadesh was introduced from the Middle East. Together with Min and Resheph she formed a triad.

KhnumDetailed article

KhonsuDetailed article

MaahesDetailed article

MaatDetailed article

MandulisDetailed article

Goddess related to child birth, protection of the newly born and of individuals's destiny. She was the personification of the tile used by women giving birth for kneeling.

God of virility and fertility, as well as creation, represented with the shape of a phallus. Main cult centres were Coptos and Akhmim.

Sacred bull of Heliopolis.

The principal god of Thebes, before the rise of Amon. Mentu was represented as a falcon, and was also a thought of as a parallel to Horus. Also spelled Month and Montu.

MutDetailed article

Goddess represented with a serprent's head. She represented the counter-heaven, the wife of Nun, and central in the Hermopolitan cosmology.

Youthful god of secondary importance in myths and cult, except that he was part of the triad of Memphis, together with Ptah and Sekhmet. He is often represented as a young man sitting on a lotus blossom, and sometimes as a young sun.

NeithDetailed article

NekhbetDetailed article

Falcon god, one of the most ancient of Egypt, revered at Nekhen (Hierakonpolis). He would at some time in history merge with, or be transformed into, Horus.

NephthysDetailed article

God of corn, from which he was personified.

NunDetailed article

NutDetailed article

OnurisDetailed article

OpetDetailed article

OsirisDetailed article

God of revenge. Petbe belongs probably to later periods in the development, appearing first in Greek and Roman times.

PtahDetailed article

ReDetailed article

RenenutetDetailed article

ReshefDetailed article

SerapisDetailed article

SatetDetailed article

SekhmetDetailed article

SerketDetailed article

Goddess of the arts of writing, and of books. She was sister or daughter of Thoth, and paralleled to Isis in later periods.

SethDetailed article

Not really a god, as much as an aspect — the lifespan given to each living being, together with its fate. But at Hypselis, Shay came to be the object of a cult, in association with Khnum.

God that kills dangerous animals and is in general helpful — is referred to as "The Saviour". Shed is represented as s youthful god, and often associated with Horus.

ShuDetailed article

Not really a god, but more a personification of qualities like creativeness of mind and speech, together with the quality of divine knowledge.

SobekDetailed article

God of artisans and of the dead. Sokaris was worshiped at early stages at Memphis, and she was represented as a falcon. Sokaris was also associated with Ptah and Osiris.

God protecting the eastern borders and of foreign lands. Sopdu was revered in southern Egypt, and represented in the shape of a falcon.

Goddess overlooking the flood waters of the Nile and the beginnings of every new year. Was associated with Isis, and at a later stage fused with Satis. At late periods, Sothis was worshipped as Isisothis.

TaweretDetailed article

Most probably, personification of moisture. Brother of Shu and mother of Geb and Nut, being part of the Ennead of Heliopolis.

Goddess of fertility and harvest, and of fate. Thermuthis was represented as a serpent. She was the mother of Nepri.

ThothDetailed article

In some contexts, demon of the underworld. Originally, she was goddess of Hermopolis, and represented as a hare.

God of war (as Assyut) or of the necropolis (at Abydos). Upawet was represented with the head of a jackal.

WadjetDetailed article

Goddess represented either with a lion head, or as a snake with the head of a woman. She was the wife of Re-Herakhte, wearing his symbol of a sun disc on her head, as well as a cobra on her brow.
Her name means "Great Magician", and she was thought to protect the dead in the underworld. She also protected pregnant and nursing women. She was the nurse of the king, and myths relate the mother of king to her.
She is sometimes associated with Wadjet and Sekhmet.

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By Tore Kjeilen