Bulfinch's Mythology The Age of Fable

Page: 184

Miss Edwards gives the following convenient register of the names most familiar among the Egyptian gods (in her very interesting book, "A Thousand Miles up the Nile").

PHTAH or PTAH: In form a mummy, holding the emblem called by some the Nilometer, by others the emblem of Stability, called "the father of the Beginning, the Creator of the Egg of the Sun and Moon," Chief Deity of Memphis.

KNEPH, KNOUM or KNOUPHIS: Ram-headed, called the Maker of gods and men, the Soul of the gods. Chief Deity of Elephantine and the Cataracts.

RA: Hawk-headed, and crowned with the sun-disc, encircled by an asp. The divine disposer and organizer of the world; adored throughout Egypt.

AMEN RA: Of human form, crowned with a flat-topped cap and two long, straight plumes; clothed in the schenti; his flesh sometimes painted blue. There are various forms of this god (there were almost as many varieties of Ammon in Egypt as there are varieties of the Madonna in Italy or Spain), but he is most generally described as King of the Gods, chief deity of Thebes.

KHEM: Of human form, mummified; wears head-dress of Amen Ra; his right hand uplifted, holding a flail. The god of productiveness and generation. Chief deity of Khemmis, or Ekhmeem.

OSIRIS: Of human form, mummified, crowned with a mitre, and holding the flail and crook. Called the Good; the Lord above all; the one lord. Was the god of the lower world; judge of the dead; and representative of the sun below the horizon. Adored through Egypt. Local deity of Abydos.

NEFER ATUM: Human-headed, and crowned with the pschent. This god represented the nocturnal sun, or the sun lighting the lower world. Local deity of Heliopolis.

THOTH: In form a man, ibis-headed, generally depicted with the pen and palette of a scribe. Was the god of the moon, and of letters. Local deity of Sesoon, or Hermopolit.

SEB: The "Father of the Gods," and deity of terrestrial vegetation. In form like a man with a goose upon his head.

SET: Represented by a symbolic animal, with a muzzle and ears like a jackal, the body of an ass, and an upright tail, like the tail of a lion. Was originally a warlike god, and became in later times the symbol of evil and the enemy of Osiris.

KHONS: Hawk-headed, crowned with the sun-disc and horns. Is sometimes represented as a youth with the side-lock, standing on a crocodile.

HORUS: Horus appears variously as Horus, Horus Aroeris, and Horus Harpakhrat (Hippocrates), or Horus the child. Is represented under the first two forms as a man, hawk-headed, wearing the double crown of Egypt; in the latter as a child with the side- lock. Local deity of Edfoo (Apollinopolis Magna).

MAUT: A woman draped, and crowned with the pschent (the pschent was a double crown, worn by the king at his coronation), representing a vulture. Adored at Thebes.

NEITH: A woman draped, holding sometimes a bow and arrows, crowned with the crown of Lower Egypt. She presided over war, and the loom. Worshipped at Thebes.