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The Probert Encyclopaedia of Egyptian Mythology

AMEN

Amen is an alternative spelling of Ammon.
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AMENTHES

In Egyptian mythology, Amenthes was the Egyptian equivalent of Hades, the underworld.
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AMMON

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Ammon was an ancient Egyptian god. He was depicted as a human with a ram's head or simply with the horns of a ram. He was one of the chief gods, and was adopted by the Greeks as Zeus and the Roman's as Jupiter.There was a celebrated temple of Ammon in the Oasis of Siwah in the Libyan desert, and Ammon appears to have been primarily a Libyan deity.
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AMSET

In Egyptian mythology, Amset was son of Horus; guardian of the south. His canopic jar receives the stomach and large intestines of the dead.
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AMUN

Amun is an alternative spelling of Ammon.
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ANNIU

Anniu was an ancient Egyptian god.
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ANUBIS

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Anubis (Anepo) was an ancient Egyptian god. He was the son of Osiris and Isis. He was depicted as having the head of a jackal. He guided the souls of the dead from this world into the next. He also weighed the actions of the deceased in the presence of Osiris.
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APEP

Apep (Aapep) is an evil serpent in ancient Egyptian mythology. He is the eternal enemy of Ra. He swallows light, chasing Ra across the sky, but his main task was to snatch the souls of the dead as they passed between one life and the next.
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APIS

The Apis was the sacred bull, symbolic of Osiris, in ancient Egyptian culture. The Apis was primarily worshipped at Memphis and was represented by a black bull bearing a white square on the brown and a figure of an eagle on the flank and a scarabaeus under the tongue. After twenty-five years the animal was solemnly drowned in the Nile and embalmed. A period of mourning then ensued until a properly marked successor was found.
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ASET

Aset was the original, and Egyptian name for the goddess later called Isis by the Greeks, and now generally known by the name Isis.
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ASMODAI

In ancient Egyptian mythology Asmodai (Asmodeus) was an evil spirit who killed seven husbands of Sara but was driven away into the uppermost part of Egypt by Tobias. Asmodai is also represented as the prince of demons who drove King Solomon from his kingdom.
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ATEN

In Egyptian mythology, Aten was a sun god, a form of the god Ra, depicted as an enormous red disc from which rays of light emanate, ending in hands.
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ATHOR

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In Egyptian mythology, Athor (Hathor, Hat-Her) was a goddess symbolised by a cow with a solar disk on its head and haw-feather plumes. She was originally a Nubian war goddess, who took the same lioness form as Sekhmet and drank her enemies' blood.
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BA

In Egyptian mythology, Ba was the soul, depicted as a bird or a human-headed bird.
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BACCHIS

In Egyptian mythology, Bacchis was a sacred bull which changed its colour every hour of the day.
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BAST

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Bast was an ancient Egyptian goddess. She was represented as a woman with the head of a lion or cat, and the cat was sacred to her. She is depicted carrying a sistrum in her right hand, a breastplate in her left hand and a small bag over her left arm. The cult of Bast was popular around Bubastis and later at Memphis. The Romans also took the cult back to Rome, Ostia, Nemi and Pompeii.
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BASTET

Bastet was the earlier form of the Egyptian goddess later known as Bast.
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BES

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Bes was the Egyptian god of recreation, music and dancing. He was represented as a grotesque dwarf wearing a lion's skin and a crown of feathers.
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BUBASTIS

In Egyptian mythology, Bubastis was the daughter of Isis. She was represented as having the head of a cat, the animal sacred to her.
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BUTO

In Egyptian mythology Buto was a goddess identified by the Greeks with Leto.
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CRIO-SPHINX

In Egyptian mythology, the Crio-sphinx is a sphinx with the head of a ram, as distinguished from the andro-sphinx with a human head and the hieraco-sphinx with the head of a hawk.
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DUAMUTEF

In Egyptian mythology, Duamutef was son of Horus and guardian of the East. His canopic jar receives the lungs and heart of the dead.
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HAP

In Egyptian mythology, Hap was the power of the god Ptah, symbolized by a bull and born when Ptah's thunderbolt made Isis pregnant. Hap acted as a messenger between gods and mortals, carrying the gods messages to Earth in the form of oracles, and travelling beside each soul as it made the perilous journey from this world to the next.
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HAPI

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In Egyptian mythology, Hapi was a fertility god and the personification of the Nile. He was son of Horus and guardian of the North. He lived in the cave where the river was born, and his job was not to start or control the floods but to ensure that the waters were fertile. His canopic jar receives the small intestines of the dead.
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HAPY

In Egyptian mythology, Hapy was the leader of the team of gods who assisted in the embalming of the dead.
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HARPOCRATES

Harpocrates was the Egyptian god of silence.
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HEQT

Heqt was the frog-headed goddess of ancient Egypt. She was wife of Khnemu. She represented resurrection and was symbolised by a frog.
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HORUS

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Horus was the Egyptian hawk-headed sun god, son of Isis and Osiris, of whom the pharaohs were declared to be the incarnation.
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ISIS

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In Egyptian mythology, Isis (Aset) was the daughter of Nut and Geb and the sister of Osiris, Set and Nebthet. She and Osiris had a dual function as fertility gods: she over saw love and union, he was the god of growth. They ruled Egypt as husband and wife; he taught his subjects the rule of law and respect for the gods; she taught them marriage, household management and medicine. After Osiris was drowned and dismembered by their jealous brother Seth, Isis used her medical skills first to impregnate herself with the last drop of semen in her consort's penis, and then to reassemble the corpse and bring it back to life. The first magic worked, and she became pregnant with Horus. But the gods refused to let Osiris return to the world of mortals, and he went to rule in the Underworld, leaving Isis vowing revenge on Set. Instead of fighting him herself, she encouraged Horus to take every chance to try to kill him, and when this proved impossible she arranged for Horus to humiliate and disempower Set. In some accounts this happened when Horus
castrated Set in a duel, fit punishment for Set's crime of cutting off Osiris' penis and throwing it into the Nile.
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KA

In Egyptian mythology, Ka was an attendant spirit thought to live as a vital force in a man or a statue.
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KHEM

In Egyptian mythology, Khem was the god of reproduction and generation. He was identified as Pan by the Greeks.
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KHEPERA

Khepera was the ancient Egyptian god of creation who propelled the sun across the sky.
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KHU

Khu was the ancient Egyptian term for the soul.
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MAAT

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In Egyptian mythology, Maat was the goddess of truth and world order. She was depicted as holding an ankh.
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MEMPHIS

In Egyptian mythology, Memphis was the daughter of Nile. She married Epaphus who founded the city of
Memphis and named it after his wife.
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MIN

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Min was the Egyptian god of roads and travellers. He was depicted with an erect phallus and with a flail raised in his right hand. He protected travellers and was also a fertility god, protecting crops.
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NEITH

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In Egyptian mythology, Neith was the goddess of the heavens and a war goddess and the mother of Sebek and Re. She was often depicted with, or holding, crossed arrows. She was thought of as the great weaver who wove the world.
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NEKHBET

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In Egyptian mythology, Nekhbet was the vulture goddess. She was a mother goddess who looked after the ruling Pharaoh, and held the symbols of eternity in her claws.
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NEPHTHYS

Nephthys was an ancient Egyptian goddess. Daughter of Seb and Nut, she married Seth. Her proper sphere was the nether world, though she occurs in the upper world as the instructress of Horus. She is associated as one of a tetrad with Osiris, Isis, and Horus. She was called by the Greek writers Teleute (End), Aphrodite, and Nike (Victory).
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NUT

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In Egyptian mythology, Nut was the sky goddess and mother of Osiris by Seb. She was married to Ra, but also took Thoth for a lover.
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NUTPE

In ancient Egyptian mythology, Nutpe was the sister and wife of Seb. She was the mother of Isis and Osiris and presided over births and nursing.
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OSIRIS

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Osiris was one of the great Egyptian divinities. He was the brother and husband of Isis, and the father of Horus. He is styled the Manifestor of Good, Lord of Lords, King of the Gods, etc. In the Egyptian theogony he represented the sum of beneficent agencies, as Set of evil agencies. Osiris, after having established good laws and institutions throughout Egypt, fell a prey to the intrigues of his brother Set, the Typhon of the Greeks. He became afterwards the judge of the dead. There are a multitude of traditions, both Greek and Egyptian, about Osiris. He is represented under many different forms, and compared sometimes to the sun and sometimes to the Nile, His soul was supposed to animate the sacred bull Apis, and thus to be continually present among men. The worship of Osiris extended over Asia Minor, Greece, and Rome, but the attacks of the philosophers and the rise of Christianity put an end to it.
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PEHRER

Pehrer was an ancient Egyptian god.
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PHOENIX

In Egyptian mythology, the phoenix was a fabulous bird, about the size of an eagle, with plumage partly red and partly golden. Of the various stories told of it by Herodotus and others the most popular is to the effect that the bird, at an age of 500 years, conscious of its approaching death, built a funeral pile of wood and aromatic gums, which it lighted with the fanning of its wings, and rose from the flames with a new life. The Egyptians regarded it as a symbol of immortality, and it is still used as an emblem of this.
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PTAH

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In Egyptian mythology, Ptah or Phtha, was the great creator, and the god of crafts and skills, the guardian of all knowledge. He was the son of Nun and Naunet, and made the first gods by imagining them and then naming them, so that they were creations of both intention and the breath-of-life. He was worshipped chiefly at Memphis under the figure of a mummy-shaped male, and also as a pygmy god.
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QEBHSENNUF

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Qebhsennuf was the ancient Egyptian god of the West. His canopic jar receives the liver and the gall-bladder.
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RA

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Ra was the ancient Egyptian god of the Sun. He was complemented by the moon goddess, Osiris and was identified by the Greeks with their own sun god, Helios. He was represented with a hawk's head, over which is a solar disc.
Ra was the son of Neith and married Mut, representing the interaction of earth and sunlight in producing vegetation.
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RANNO

Ranno was the ancient Egyptian god of gardens. he was represented as an asp.
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SATI

In Egyptian mythology, Sati was the goddess of the lower heavens (the air).
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SEB

In Egyptian mythology, Seb was the earth god. He was the father of Osiris and the son of Ra. Seb married his own sister, Nutpe.
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SEBEK

In Egyptian mythology, Sebek or Sobek was the crocodile god associated with death and burial. He was the son of Neith.
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SEKHMET

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In Egyptian mythology, Sekhmet (Sakhmet) was consort of Ptah and daughter of Ra. She was lion headed and carried a fire spitting Cobra. Fire arrows darted from her eyes, she breathed flames and the parching desert winds radiated from her body.
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SERAPIS

In Egyptian mythology, Serapis (or Sarapis) was another name for Osiris, and was a sun god known as the judge of the underworld. His worship was introduced into Egypt in the reign of Ptolemy I. Plutarch and Tacitus relate that Ptolemy having seen in a dream the image of a god, which he was ordered to remove from the place in which it stood, sent to Sinope, and brought thence a colossal statue, which he set up in Alexandria. It was declared to represent the god Serapis, and appears to have been originally a statue of Pluto or Jupiter. The name Serapis is composed of the names Osiris and Apis. A magnificent temple was built at Alexandria for the reception of the statue of Serapis, and this temple - the Serapeum - was the last hold of the pagans in that city after the introduction of Christianity. The ruins of another temple to Serapis at Memphis were discovered in fairly recent times. The Egyptians themselves never acknowledged him in their pantheon, but he was the principal deity in the Greek and Roman towns of Egypt. Forty-two temples are said to have been erected to him in Egypt under the Ptolemies and Romans; his worship extended also to Asia Minor, and in 146 AD it was introduced to Rome by Antoninus Pius. The image of Serapis perished with his temple at Alexandria, which was destroyed in 389 by the order of Theodosius.
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SERQET

In Egyptian mythology, Serqet was the scorpion mortuary goddess. She was an expert bandager and helped with the embalming of bodies for burial.
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SETH

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In Egyptian mythology, Seth (Set) was the devil and enemy of Osiris. He was the god of evil and the desert, of storms and chaos. Antelope (symbols of Osiris and Horus) were sacrificed to him. Seth was jealous of his elder brother Osiris, and murdered him, appointing himself king of Egypt. Seth was killed by Horus, son of Osiris, who took the throne. Seth was depicted as part pig and part ass.
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SHU

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In Egyptian mythology, Shu was the god of air and son of Atum and the brother of Tefnut. He and Tefnut mated to produce the interlocking twins Geb and Nut, and Shu then separated them, leaving Geb floating in the primordial ocean and arching Nut's body high above as a pathway for the Sun to travel each day from horizon to horizon.
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SPHINX

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The Sphinx is a composite monster which appears in both Greek and Egyptian mythology. Both sphinx have the body of a lion and the head of a man - though the Egyptians had also two other sphinx with the head of a ram or a hawk. The Greek sphinx has wings, the Egyptian does not. In Greek mythology, the Sphinx posed a riddle to all who sought to pass. This riddle was at last explained by Oedipus, where upon the Sphinx destroyed itself. The Egyptian Sphinx was deemed to represent a real creature fabled to haunt the deserts, and was a god of wisdom and knowledge.

The oldest example of a statue of a sphinx is the Great Sphinx of Gizeh, in lower Egypt. This is a recumbent image of a man-headed lion, hewn out of a rocky knoll near the pyramid of Khafra. It is 57 meters long, the head nine meters long, the face four meters wide, and the height to the top of the head is 20 meters. The features were originally painted red, but were marred by mediaeval Mameluke vandals. Portions of the beard and uraeus are in the British Museum. In front of the breast Thothmes IV set up a granite slab, mentioning Khafra's name, to commemorate the digging of the image out of the drifted sand. Worshipped as Harmachis, there are the remains of an open-air temple between the paws, with an altar dating to Roman times.

The next oldest pair of sphinxes are a granite pair two meters long, bearing the name of Pepi I, of the Vith dynasty. Several examples from Tanis , once regarded as of Hyksos origin, are attributed to Amenemhat III. Under the New Empire avenues of sphinxes, mostly recumbent rams or ram-headed lions (crio-sphinx), were erected at Thebes from temple to temple. An unfinished Sphinx of that period was found in the Gebel Silsila quarries.
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TAURT

In Egyptian mythology, Taurt or Touaris was an animal goddess represented as a pregnant hippopotamus, sometimes crowned with a disk, horns and plumes. Taurt was the goddess of midwifery and childbirth and devourer of the wicked, waiting in Amenti for those who failed when weighed in the scales of judgement. Later she was depicted as the consort of Seth and in the Theban form as Apet or Opet as the mother of Osiris.
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TEFNUT

In Egyptian mythology, Tefnut (Tefenet) was the goddess of moisture and the daughter of Atum and the sister and companion of Shu. She was often depicted as a pair of spitting lips.
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THOTH

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Thoth was the ancient Egyptian god of wisdom. He was a lover of Nut, and playing draughts with the moon won from her a seventy second part of every day which he compounded into five days which he added to the original Egyptian calendar of 360 days. The divine scribe, Thoth recorded the result of the weighing of the souls of the dead in the underworld. Thoth was represented as having the head of an Ibis with a lunar disk and crescent, and the cynocephalus baboon was sacred to him. He is identified with the later Greek god Hermes.
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UBASTI

In Egyptian mythology, Ubasti was a form of the goddess Bast. In the form Ubasti she was the goddess of the kindly sun, merriment, mental-health, music and dance. The guardian of pregnant women.
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USHABTI

Ushabti were funerary statuettes in the form of a mummy, interred with the dead in ancient Egypt. The word is usually said to denote an 'answerer' who responds on behalf of the deceased to the call for service in the realm of Osiris. At first made of stone or wood, by the end of the 18th dynasty they were almost always of glazed falence. The many-coloured type was afterwards replaced exclusively by plain blue, with the name of the deceased, and usually also the 6th chapter of the Book of the Dead, inscribed in black. In the tomb of Seti I there were found 700 ushabtis, and in the Saite age 400 were regularly enclosed in partitioned boxes in each tomb.
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UTO

In Egyptian mythology Uto was an earlier form of the goddess Buto. She was represented as a serpent sometimes with wings and wearing a red crown.
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