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Nubian Gods and Goddesses

 
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anneke
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2005 9:34 pm    Post subject: Nubian Gods and Goddesses Reply with quote

I wonder which gods and goddesses were of Nubian origin.
What I have been able to find is the following:

Anqet - Nubian Goddess

Apedemak - Nubian god of war and victory. Isis was his wife.

Bes (also known as Bisu) - God of protection of the home.

Dedwen - God of resources. Brought incense to the gods?

Mandulis - Nubian God of Fertility. Identified with Horus??



Is Dedun (the god of the four directions) the same as Dedwen?

Know of any other gods/goddesses that are particularly Nubian in origin?

I read several times that Amun as a ram-headed god was identified with some Nubian god. This identification lead to several large Amun temples to be built in Nubia (like Gebel Barkal???). Anyone know who this original Nubian deity was?

There seem to be several other deities that are common to Egypt and Nubia. Such as Khnum,Selqet and Taweret for instance. Was this a transplantation of egyptian gods to Nubia or a sign of the fact that some of these gods/goddesses were very ancient and spread over a very large area?
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isisinacrisis
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2005 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I never knew Bes or Anquet (is she the same as Anukis?) were Nubian. I knew Bes was foreign, but all the sources I've seen say he's from the near east, although I may be wrong.

I've not heard of Apademak-and I've certainly not heard of him being married to Isis! (Osiris will be jealous!! Oh well, at least he can go back to Nephtys...that's if Set doesn't get jealous again...)
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anneke
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2005 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was surprised as well because he also seems to be identified with Horus. Seems a bit incestuous Shocked

I could not figure out when these identifications/associations occurred.

I did not know before today that Bes was Nubian either. I don't know how good my source was. That's kinda why I decided to throw it out there Wink

Quote:
if Set doesn't get jealous again

Laughing Not a good idea me thinks.
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Charly
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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi anneke,

I found the following about the origins of the deities you mentioned:

Anqet (=Anukis): Anukis was the goddess of the southern border region of Egypt and particulary the cataracts of the lower Nile in the region of Aswan. She was worshipped since at least Old Kingdom times as a daughter of Re. In the Middle Kingdom she was incorporated into the triad of Elephantine as the offspring of Khnum and Satis.

Apedemak: An apparently indigenous lion deity of the Meroitic civilization to the south of Egypt, Apedemak is thought to have been a deity whose origins were independent of Egyptian religious thought, yet whose worship was incorporated into the Egyptian-influenced temples of the Sudanese region, and even some of the Egyptian-built temples of Nubia. In the ‘lion temple’ at Naqa he headed a unique triad, which incorporated Isis and Horus as his divine consort and child.

Bes: Little can be said with certainty about the origins of this god. In the past different scholars have assigned him both African and Near Eastern roots, but this is unnecessary and the god is attested in Egypt since Old Kingdom times.

Dedwen (=Dedun)
Originally a Nubian deity, known in Egypt from at least the Old Kingdom times when the king is identified with ‘Dedwen, who presides over Nubia’ in the Pyramid Texts (PT 994, 1476). He was also identified as the supplier of incense (one of the important resources of Nubia) for the gods and was said to burn incense at royal births (PT 803, 1017)


Mandulis (Greek name): a local solar god of the Lower Nubian region; Egyptian name Merwel. A late text known as the ‘Visions of Mandoulis’ equates him with Horus and Apollo. Also equated with Helios and at Philae he was called the ‘companion’ of Isis.

From: Richard H. Wilkinson, The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt, London 2003.
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kmt_sesh
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PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2005 2:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wilkinson's book is a treasure. It helps to make a lot of sense of the dizzying array of deities worshiped in ancient Egypt. No personal library is complete without it.

Wilkinson's treatment of Apedamak is a terrific example of how Nubian deities were adopted and transformed by the Egyptians. He shows one example of Apedamak depicted as a serpent deity with a lion's head, and another with a human body topped by three lion heads.

As Charly's quote of Wilkinson mentions, Apedamak was at the head of a triad involving Isis and Horus as his consort and child; unfortunately he does not elaborate on when this union is thought to have originated. It's also interesting that Apedamek was originally a Meroitic god of war but was usually represented as feminine in Egypt.

anneke wrote:
Quote:
I read several times that Amun as a ram-headed god was identified with some Nubian god. This identification lead to several large Amun temples to be built in Nubia (like Gebel Barkal???). Anyone know who this original Nubian deity was?


Gebel Barkal is a good example of Amun's worship in Nubia; I think it is the southernmost temple within ancient Egypt's sphere of influence. But as I've always understood it, Amun in ram form was adopted by the Kushites and did not actually displace or replace any particular Nubian deity. The Kushites really took to Amun. I always think of that famous granite statue of Taharqa at Kawa showing a miniscule Taharqa sheltered between the paws of a recumbent ram-headed Amun.
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Charly
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PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2005 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another god of Nubian origin is Arensnuphis an anthropomorphic deity of Meroitic Nubia. His origins are unclear, but the god seems to have been indigenous to the area to the south of Egypt. He was equated with the Egyptian gods Onuris and Shu, sometimes merged with the latter as the syncretic deity Shu-Arensnuphis.

From: Richard H. Wilkinson, The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt, London 2003.

In a german book 'Die Pharaonen des Goldlandes', Mannheim 1998; Karl-Heinz Priese says that Arensnuphis has been mistakenly thought to be Meroitic in origin. I guess he has to be a Nubian god then.
This author also suggest that a god named Khaskhas (meaning 'dancer'), mentionned in a funerary text, could be the Egyptian god Bes. According to the text he had a tempel in Kasr Ibrim. If the author is correct in his identification this would have been the only known temple dedicated to the god Bes.
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kmt_sesh
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PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2005 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
This author also suggest that a god named Khaskhas (meaning 'dancer'), mentionned in a funerary text, could be the Egyptian god Bes.


As Wilkinson reminds us, the origins of Bes are not clearly understood. He likely developed from a collective of numerous deities and was not even truly popular in the form by which we know him until the New Kingdom, though Bes is considerably older than that. I've never heard of Khaskhas, though he may be one of these minor deities later absorbed by the developing Bes. I'm not sure of the etymology of the word "khaskhas" but it doesn't seem to be Egyptian. The closest comparison would be khbb or khbt.
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anneke
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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 11:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for looking up all this information Smile

I found it interesting to read about these gods and goddesses of Nubian origin. Just made me wonder about the whole development of religion in the Nile River area. It seems to me that the Nubians may have had a long history for as far as their religion and culture went.

I can't tell if it developed in parallel or separately, only to be woven together with the Egyptians at certain intervals.
We will probably never know right? Smile
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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2005 12:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, look who's back from frolicking about Europe. I hope you're all tanned and refreshed and have lots of new material for us. Very Happy

As for your post, it would seem certain that at least in the beginning the Nubians had their own pantheon of deities, as most tribal people do. The difference is, though Egypt also began as a tribal society, it evolvded into a cohesive, well-developed, highly bureaucratic nation that could sustain and build upon a complex state religion. By all accounts the culture and religion of Egypt enveloped Kush to the point that Kush would later become rather fully "Egyptianalized." That's why we know so much about Egyptian religion and its deities and relatively little about that of the Nubians'.

That's how I see it, anyway. Wink
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anneke
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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2005 1:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kmt_sesh wrote:
Well, look who's back from frolicking about Europe. I hope you're all tanned and refreshed and have lots of new material for us. Very Happy


It was generally dreary and cold Evil or Very Mad So no tan...

Did have a blast visiting the relatives though Very Happy

And I do have some questions/comments Very Happy Need to get a good night sleep first though Wink
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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2005 2:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
And I do have some questions/comments Need to get a good night sleep first though


Look forward to talking with you again. Now, get some beauty sleep so you're fresh and ready for the holiday weekend.

Oh, boy...I can't wait for this weekend! Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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