Apep or Apophis was the ancient Egyptian deity who embodied chaos and was thus the opponent of light and Ma'at. He appears in art as a giant serpent, his name is reconstructed by Egyptologists as *ʻAʼpāp, as it was written ꜥꜣpp and survived in Coptic as Ⲁⲫⲱⲫ Aphōph. Apep was first mentioned in the Eighth Dynasty, he was honored in the names of the Fourteenth Dynasty king'Apepi and of the Greater Hyksos king Apophis. Ra was the solar deity, bringer of light, thus the upholder of Ma'at. Apep was viewed as the greatest enemy of Ra, thus was given the title Enemy of Ra, "the Lord of Chaos". Apep was seen as a giant snake or serpent leading to such titles as Serpent from the Nile and Evil Dragon; some elaborations said that he had a head made of flint. On a Naqada I C-ware bowl a snake was painted on the inside rim combined with other desert and aquatic animals as a possible enemy of a deity a solar deity, invisibly hunting in a big rowing vessel. While in most texts Apep is described as a giant snake, he is sometimes depicted as a crocodile.
The few descriptions of Apep's origin in myth demonstrate that it was born after Ra from his umbilical cord. Combined with its absence from Egyptian creation myths, this has been interpreted as suggesting that Apep was not a primordial force in Egyptian theology, but a consequence of Ra's birth; this suggests that evil in Egyptian theology is the consequence of an individual's own struggles against non-existence. Tales of Apep's battles against Ra were elaborated during the New Kingdom. Storytellers said; this appropriately made him a part of the underworld. In some stories Apep waited for Ra in a western mountain called Bakhu, where the sun set, in others Apep lurked just before dawn, in the Tenth region of the Night; the wide range of Apep's possible location gained him the title World Encircler. It was thought. Myths sometimes say that Apep was trapped there, because he had been the previous chief god overthrown by Ra, or because he was evil and had been imprisoned; the Coffin Texts imply that Apep used a magical gaze to overwhelm his entourage.
Ra was assisted by a number of defenders who travelled with him, including Set and the Eye of Ra. Apep's movements were thought to cause earthquakes, his battles with Set may have been meant to explain the origin of thunderstorms. In one account, Ra himself defeats Apep in the form of a cat. What few accounts there are of Apep's origin describe it as being born from Ra's Umbilical cord. Ra's victory each night was thought to be ensured by the prayers of the Egyptian priests and worshippers at temples; the Egyptians practiced a number of rituals and superstitions that were thought to ward off Apep, aid Ra to continue his journey across the sky. In an annual rite, called the Banishing of Chaos, priests would build an effigy of Apep, thought to contain all of the evil and darkness in Egypt, burn it to protect everyone from Apep's evil for another year; the Egyptian priests had a detailed guide to fighting Apep, referred to as The Books of Overthrowing Apep. The chapters described a gradual process of dismemberment and disposal, include: Spitting Upon ApepDefiling Apep with the Left FootTaking a Lance to Smite ApepFettering ApepTaking a Knife to Smite ApepPutting Fire Upon Apep In addition to stories about Ra's winnings, this guide had instructions for making wax models, or small drawings, of the serpent, which would be spat on, mutilated and burnt, whilst reciting spells that would kill Apep.
Fearing that the image of Apep could give power to the demon, any rendering would always include another deity to subdue the monster. As Apep was thought to live in the underworld, he was sometimes thought of as an Eater of Souls, thus the dead needed protection, so they were sometimes buried with spells that could destroy Apep. The Book of the Dead does not describe occasions when Ra defeated the chaos snake explicitly called Apep. Only BD Spells 7 and 39 can be explained as such. Apep, triple star system, a gamma-ray burst progenitor in the Milky Way 99942 Apophis, near Earth asteroid Egyptian influence in popular culture Ethnoherpetology Jörmungandr Mehen Ouroboros Unut Wadjet Vritra Apep, Water Snake-Demon of Chaos, Enemy of Ra... ancient Egypt: The Mythology - Apep
Amunet is a primordial goddess in ancient Egyptian religion. Her name, jmnt, is a feminine noun that means "The Hidden One", she is a member of the Ogdoad of Hermopolis, who represented aspects of the primeval existence before the creation: Amunet was paired with Amun — whose name means "The Hidden One" too, with a masculine ending — within this divine group, from the earliest known documentation. Such pairing of deities is characteristic of the religious concepts of the ancient Egyptians, being the Ogdoad itself composed by four balanced couples of deities or deified primeval concepts, it seems that Amunet may have been artificially conceived by theologians as a complement to Amun, rather than being an independent deity. The Pyramid Texts mention the beneficent shadow of Amun and Amunet: O Amun and Amunet! You pair of the gods. By at least the 12th dynasty, Amaunet was superseded as Amun's partner by Mut as cults evolved or were merged following Mentuhotep II's reunification of Egypt — but she remained locally important in the region of Thebes, where Amun was worshipped.
There she was seen as a protector of the pharaoh, playing a preeminent role in rituals associed with the coronation of the pharaoh and Sed festivals. In the Festival Hall of Thutmose III, Amaunet is shown with the fertility-god Min while leading a row of deities to visit the Pharaoh in the anniversary celebration. In spite of Amaunet's stable position as a local goddess of Egypt's most important city, her cult had little widespread following outside the Theban region. At Karnak, Amun's cult center, priests were dedicated to Amaunet's service. Amaunet was depicted as a woman wearing the Deshret "Red Crown of Lower Egypt" — as in her colossal statue placed in the Record Hall of Thutmose III at Karnak during the reign of Tutankhamun — and carrying a staff of papyrus; the exact reason for this iconography is uncertain. In some late texts from Karnak she was syncretized with Neith, although she remained a distinct deity as late as the Ptolemaic Kingdom: she is carved on the exterior wall of the Festival Hall of Thutmose III in Karnak suckling pharaoh Philip III of Macedon, who appears after his own enthronement, as a divine child.
Hart, George, A Dictionary of Egyptian Gods and Goddesses, Routledge, 1986, ISBN 0-415-05909-7. Wilkinson, Richard H; the Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt, Thames & Hudson, 2003, ISBN 0-500-05120-8
In Egyptian mythology, the Ogdoad were eight primordial deities worshipped in Hermopolis. References to the Ogdoad date to the Old Kingdom of Egypt, at the time of composition of the Pyramid Texts towards the end of the Old Kingdom, they appear to have been antiquated and forgotten by everyone except religious experts, they are mentioned in the Coffin Texts of the Middle Kingdom. The oldest known pictorial representations of the group do not predate the time of Seti I, when the group appears to be rediscovered by the theologians of Hermopolis for the purposes of a more elaborate creation account. Texts of the Late Period describe them as having the heads of frogs and serpents, they are depicted in this way in reliefs of the Ptolemaic Kingdom. E. A. Wallis Budge compares the concept to a group of four pairs of primeval gods mentioned in the Babylonian Enûma Eliš, viz. Abzu and Tiamat and Lahamu, Anshar and Kishar and Nudimmud. Budge argues that the Ogdoad is the original "company of gods" or pꜣwt nṯrw, represented by nine "axes" or "flagpoles",arrived at by augmenting the original Ogdoad by the local chief deity of Heliopolis, Tem, by the authors of the theological system reflected in the Pyramid Texts.
The eight deities were arranged in four male-female pairs, as follows: The names of Nu and Naunet are written with the determiners for sky and water, it seems clear that they represent the primordial waters. The fourth pair appears with varying names; the common meaning of qerḥ is "night", but the determinative suggests the principle of inactivity or repose. Ḥeḥu and Ḥeḥut have no identifiable determiners. But from the context of a number of passages in which Ḥeḥu is mentioned, Brugsch suggested that he may be a personification of the atmosphere between heaven and earth; the names of Kekui and Kekuit are written with a determiner combining the sky hieroglyph with a staff or scepter used for words related to darkness and obscurity, kkw as a regular word means "darkness", suggesting that these gods represent primordial darkness, comparable to Greek Erebus, but in some aspects they appear to represent day as well as night, or the change from night to day and from day to night. The fourth pair has no consistent attributes.
The common meaning of qerḥ is "night", but the determinative suggests the principle of inactivity or repose. There is no obvious way to allot or attribute four functions to the four pairs of gods, it seems clear that "the ancient Egyptians themselves had no clear idea" regarding such functions. There have been attempts to assign "four ontological concepts" to the four groups. For example, in the context of the New Kingdom, Karenga uses "fluidity", "darkness", "unboundedness" and "invisibility". Ennead Baines, John D.. Religion in Ancient Egypt: Gods and Personal Practice, Cornell University Press Budge, E. A; the Gods of the Egyptians: Or, Studies in Egyptian Mythology, 1 Dunand, Françoise. Retrieved 2010-08-21
Ancient Egyptian offering formula
The offering formula known under transliterated forms of its incipit as the ḥtp-ḏỉ-nsw or ḥtp-ḏj-nswt formula was a conventional dedicatory formula found on ancient Egyptian funerary objects, believed to allow the deceased to partake in offerings presented to the major deities in the name of the king, or in offerings presented directly to the deceased by family members. It is among the most common of all Middle Egyptian texts, its incipit ḥtp-ḏj-nswt "an offering given by the king" is followed by the name of a deity and a list of offerings given. The offering formula is found carved or painted onto funerary stelae, false doors and sometimes other funerary objects; each person had titles put into the formula. The offering formula was not a royal prerogative like some of the other religious texts such as the Litany of Re, was used by anyone who could afford to have one made. All ancient Egyptian offering formulas share the same basic structure, but there is a great deal of variety in which deities and offerings are mentioned, which epithets and titles are used.
Below is an example of a typical offering formula: ḥtp dỉ nsw wsỉr nb ḏdw, nṯr ꜥꜣ, nb ꜣbḏw dỉ=f prt-ḫrw t ḥnqt, kꜣw ꜣpdw, šs mnḥt ḫt nbt nfrt wꜥbt ꜥnḫt nṯr ỉm n kꜣ n ỉmꜣḫy s-n-wsrt, mꜣꜥ-ḫrw"An offering given by the king Osiris, the lord of Busiris, the great god, the lord of Abydos." "That he may give an invocation offering of bread, oxen, alabaster and every good and pure thing upon which a god lives." "For the ka of the revered Senwosret, True of Voice."The offering formula always begins with the phrase: ḥtp dỉ nswThis phrase was in use since Old Egyptian, means "an offering given by the king." This dedication does not indicate that the gift was given by the king. Because the king was seen as an intermediary between the people of Egypt and the gods, the offering was made in his name. Next the formula names a god of the dead and several of his epithets; the god is Osiris, Anubis, or Geb, Wepwawet, or another deity. This part of the formula identifies the local funerary establishment that provided the offering.
The following phrase is a typical invocation of Osiris: wsỉr nb ḏdw, nṯr ꜥꜣ, nb ꜣbḏwwhich means "Osiris, the lord of Busiris, the great god, the lord of Abydos." There was no set rule about what epithets were used. Frequent were: nb ỉmnt nb nḥḥmeaning "Lord of the West, Lord of Eternity" Anubis is seen less than Osiris, read, ỉnpw, ḫnty sḥ nṯr tpy ḏw=fmeaning "Anubis, he, in front of his divine booth, he, on his mountain." After the list of deities and their titles, the formula proceeds with a list of the prt-ḫrw, or "invocation offerings," of which the spirit of the deceased is called to partake. The list is always preceded by the phrase: or dỉ=f prt-ḫrw or dỉ=sn prt-ḫrwwhich means "He give invocation offerings." After this phrase, the list of offerings follows. Sometimes the text at the end of the list is replaced with the phrase: ḫt nbt nfrt wꜥbt ddt pt qmꜣ tꜣ ỉnnt ḥꜥp ꜥnḫt nṯr ỉmMeaning "Every good and pure thing that the sky gives, the earth creates, the inundation brings, on which the god lives."The last part of the offering formula lists the name and titles of the recipient of the invocation offerings.
For example: n kꜣ n ỉmꜣḫy s-n-wsrt, mꜣꜥ-ḫrwwhich means "for the ka of the revered Senwosret, True of Voice." Egyptian mythology Egyptian soul Ancient Egyptian burial customs Ancient Egyptian funerary texts Bennett, C. John C.. "Growth of the ḥtp-dỉ-nsw Formula in the Middle Kingdom". Journal of Egyptian Archaeology. Egypt Exploration Society. 27: 77–82. Doi:10.2307/3854561. JSTOR 3854561. Franke, Detlef. "The Middle Kingdom Offering Formulas—A Challenge". Journal of Egyptian Archaeology. 89: 39–57. Lapp, Günther. Die Opferformel des Alten Reiches unter Berücksichtigung einiger später Formen. Mainz am Rhein: Verlag Philipp von Zabern. Smither, Paul C.. "The Writing of the ḤTP-DI-NSW Formula in the Middle and New Kingdoms". Journal of Egyptian Archaeology. Egypt Exploration Society. 25: 34–37. Doi:10.2307/3854927. JSTOR 3854927. O'Brien, Alexandra A. "Death in Ancient Egypt". Telford, Mark Patrick, "Death And The Afterlife"
Ancient Egyptian religion
Ancient Egyptian religion was a complex system of polytheistic beliefs and rituals that formed an integral part of ancient Egyptian society. It centered on the Egyptians' interaction with many deities believed to be present in, in control of, the world. Rituals such as prayer and offerings were provided to the gods to gain their favor. Formal religious practice centered on the pharaoh, the rulers of Egypt, believed to possess a divine power by virtue of their position, they acted as intermediaries between their people and the gods, were obligated to sustain the gods through rituals and offerings so that they could maintain maat, the order of the cosmos. The state dedicated enormous resources to the construction of the temples. Individuals could interact with the gods for their own purposes, appealing for help through prayer or compelling the gods to act through magic; these practices were distinct from, but linked with, the formal rituals and institutions. The popular religious tradition grew more prominent in the course of Egyptian history as the status of the pharaoh declined.
Egyptian belief in the afterlife and funerary practices is evident in great efforts made to ensure the survival of their souls after death, providing tombs, grave goods, offerings to preserve the bodies and spirits of the deceased. The religion lasted for more than 3,000 years; the details of religious belief changed over time as the importance of particular gods rose and declined, their intricate relationships shifted. At various times, certain gods became preeminent over the others, including the sun god Ra, the creator god Amun, the mother goddess Isis. For a brief period, in the theology promulgated by the Pharaoh Akhenaten, a single god, the Aten, replaced the traditional pantheon. Ancient Egyptian religion and mythology left behind many writings and monuments, along with significant influences on ancient and modern cultures; the beliefs and rituals now referred to as "ancient Egyptian religion" were integral within every aspect of Egyptian culture. The Egyptian language possessed no single term corresponding to the modern European concept of religion.
Ancient Egyptian religion consisted of a vast and varying set of beliefs and practices, linked by their common focus on the interaction between the world of humans and the world of the divine. The characteristics of the gods who populated the divine realm were inextricably linked to the Egyptians' understanding of the properties of the world in which they lived; the Egyptians believed that the phenomena of nature were divine forces of themselves. These deified forces included animal characteristics, or abstract forces; the Egyptians believed in a pantheon of gods, which were involved in all aspects of nature and human society. Their religious practices were efforts to sustain and placate these phenomena and turn them to human advantage; this polytheistic system was complex, as some deities were believed to exist in many different manifestations, some had multiple mythological roles. Conversely, many natural forces, such as the sun, were associated with multiple deities; the diverse pantheon ranged from gods with vital roles in the universe to minor deities or "demons" with limited or localized functions.
It could include gods adopted from foreign cultures, sometimes humans: deceased pharaohs were believed to be divine, distinguished commoners such as Imhotep became deified. The depictions of the gods in art were not meant as literal representations of how the gods might appear if they were visible, as the gods' true natures were believed to be mysterious. Instead, these depictions gave recognizable forms to the abstract deities by using symbolic imagery to indicate each god's role in nature; this iconography was not fixed, many of the gods could be depicted in more than one form. Many gods were associated with particular regions in Egypt. However, these associations changed over time, they did not mean that the god associated with a place had originated there. For instance, the god Montu was the original patron of the city of Thebes. Over the course of the Middle Kingdom, however, he was displaced in that role by Amun, who may have arisen elsewhere; the national popularity and importance of individual gods fluctuated in a similar way.
Deities had complex interrelationships, which reflected the interaction of the forces they represented. The Egyptians grouped gods together to reflect these relationships. One of the more common combinations was a family triad consisting of a father and child, who were worshipped together; some groups had wide-ranging importance. One such group, the Ennead, assembled nine deities into a theological system, involved in the mythological areas of creation and the afterlife; the relationships between deities could be expressed in the process of syncretism, in which two or more different gods were linked to form a composite deity. This process was a recognition of the presence of one god "in" another when the second god took on a role belonging to the first; these links between deities were fluid, did not represent the permanent merging of two gods into one. Sometimes, syncretism combined deities with similar characteristics. At other times it joined gods with different natures, as when Amun, the god of hidden power, was linked with Ra, the god of the sun.
The resulting god, Amun-Ra, thus united the power that lay behind all things with the greatest and most visible force in nature. Many deities could be given epithets that seem to indicate that they were greater than any other god, suggesting some kind of u
Egyptian temples were built for the official worship of the gods and in commemoration of the pharaohs in ancient Egypt and regions under Egyptian control. Temples were seen as houses for the kings to whom they were dedicated. Within them, the Egyptians performed a variety of rituals, the central functions of Egyptian religion: giving offerings to the gods, reenacting their mythological interactions through festivals, warding off the forces of chaos; these rituals were seen as necessary for the gods to continue to uphold maat, the divine order of the universe. Housing and caring for the gods were the obligations of pharaohs, who therefore dedicated prodigious resources to temple construction and maintenance. Out of necessity, pharaohs delegated most of their ritual duties to a host of priests, but most of the populace was excluded from direct participation in ceremonies and forbidden to enter a temple's most sacred areas. A temple was an important religious site for all classes of Egyptians, who went there to pray, give offerings, seek oracular guidance from the god dwelling within.
The most important part of the temple was the sanctuary, which contained a cult image, a statue of its god. The rooms outside the sanctuary grew larger and more elaborate over time, so that temples evolved from small shrines in late Prehistoric Egypt to large stone edifices in the New Kingdom and later; these edifices are among the largest and most enduring examples of Egyptian architecture, with their elements arranged and decorated according to complex patterns of religious symbolism. Their typical design consisted of a series of enclosed halls, open courts, entrance pylons aligned along the path used for festival processions. Beyond the temple proper was an outer wall enclosing a wide variety of secondary buildings. A large temple owned sizable tracts of land and employed thousands of laymen to supply its needs. Temples were therefore key economic as well as religious centers; the priests who managed these powerful institutions wielded considerable influence, despite their ostensible subordination to the king they may have posed significant challenges to his authority.
Temple-building in Egypt continued despite the nation's decline and ultimate loss of independence to the Roman Empire in 30 BC. With the coming of Christianity, traditional Egyptian religion faced increasing persecution, temple cults died out during the fourth through sixth centuries AD; the buildings they left behind suffered centuries of neglect. At the start of the nineteenth century, a wave of interest in ancient Egypt swept Europe, giving rise to the discipline of Egyptology and drawing increasing numbers of visitors to the civilization's remains. Dozens of temples survive today, some have become world-famous tourist attractions that contribute to the modern Egyptian economy. Egyptologists continue to study the surviving temples and the remains of destroyed ones as invaluable sources of information about ancient Egyptian society. Ancient Egyptian temples were meant as places for the gods to reside on earth. Indeed, the term the Egyptians most used to describe the temple building, ḥwt-nṯr, means "mansion of a god".
A divine presence in the temple linked the human and divine realms and allowed humans to interact with the god through ritual. These rituals, it was believed, sustained the god and allowed it to continue to play its proper role in nature, they were therefore a key part of the maintenance of maat, the ideal order of nature and of human society in Egyptian belief. Maintaining maat was the entire purpose of Egyptian religion, it was the purpose of a temple as well; because he was credited with divine power himself, the pharaoh, as a sacred king, was regarded as Egypt's representative to the gods and its most important upholder of maat. Thus, it was theoretically his duty to perform the temple rites. While it is uncertain how he participated in ceremonies, the existence of temples across Egypt made it impossible for him to do so in all cases, most of the time these duties were delegated to priests; the pharaoh was obligated to maintain, provide for, expand the temples throughout his realm. Although the pharaoh delegated his authority, the performance of temple rituals was still an official duty, restricted to high-ranking priests.
The participation of the general populace in most ceremonies was prohibited. Much of the lay religious activity in Egypt instead took place in private and community shrines, separate from the official temples; as the primary link between the human and divine realms, temples attracted considerable veneration from ordinary Egyptians. Each temple had a principal deity, most were dedicated to other gods as well. Not all deities had temples dedicated to them. Many demons and household gods were involved in magical or private religious practice, with little or no presence in temple ceremonies. There were other gods who had significant roles in the cosmos but, for uncertain reasons, were not honored with temples of their own. Of those gods who did have temples of their own, many were venerated in certain areas of Egypt, though many gods with a strong local tie were important across the nation. Deities whose worship spanned the country were associated with the cities where their chief temples were located.
In Egyptian creation myths, the first temple originated as a shelter for a god—which god it was varied according to the city—that stood on the mound of land where the process of creation began. Each temple in Egypt, was equated with this original temple and with the site of creation itself; as the primordial home of the god and the mythological location of the city's fou
Kek is the deification of the concept of primordial darkness in the Ancient Egyptian Ogdoad cosmogony of Hermopolis. The Ogdoad consisted of four pairs of four male gods paired with their female counterparts. Kek's female counterpart was Kauket. Kek and Kauket in some aspects represent night and day, were called "raiser up of the light" and the "raiser up of the night", respectively; the name is written as kk or kkwy with a variant of the sky hieroglyph in ligature with the staff associated with the word for "darkness" kkw. In the oldest representations, Kekui is given the head of a serpent, Kekuit the head of either a frog or a cat. In one scene, they are identified with Kait. In the Greco-Roman period, Kek's male form was depicted as a frog-headed man, the female form as a serpent-headed woman, as were all four dualistic concepts in the Ogdoad. In relation to the 2016 United States presidential election, individuals associated with online message boards, such as 4chan, noted a similarity between Kek and the character Pepe the Frog.
This, combined with the frequent use of the term "kek" as a stand-in for the internet slang "lol", paired with images of Pepe, resulted in a resurgence of interest in the ancient deity. Heqet Erebus Seawright, Caroline. "Kek and Kauket, Deities of Darkness and Night"