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Nut, Shu and Geb
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Horus was worshipped throughout Egypt and was particularly associated with Edfu, the site of the ancient city of Mesen, where his temple can still be seen. There are many stories of his wars against his uncle Seth, who murdered his father and usurped the throne. Eventually Horus defeated Seth and became the king of Egypt. A very important figure in the ancient world, Isis was the wife of Osiris and mother of Horus.

She was associated with funeral rites and said to have made the first mummy from the dismembered parts of Osiris. As the enchantress who resurrected Osiris and gave birth to Horus, she was also the giver of life, a healer and protector of kings. Isis is represented with a throne on her head and sometimes shown breastfeeding the infant Horus. Her most famous temple is at Philae though her cult spread throughout the Medi-terranean world and, during the Roman period, extended as far as northern Europe.

There was even a temple dedicated to her in London. Also known as, Khepri, Khepra, Khepera, Khepre was a creator god depicted as a Scarab beetle or as a man with a scarab for a head. The Egyptians observed young scarab beetles emerging spontaneously from balls of dung and associated them with the process of creation. It was thought that Khepre rolled the sun across the sky in the same way a dung beetle rolls balls of dung across the ground.

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Khnum, was depicted as a ram-headed man. He was a god of the cataracts, a potter, and a creator god who guarded the source of the Nile,. His sanctuary was on Elephantine Island but his best-preserved temple is at Esna. He was a moon god depicted as a man with a falcon-head wearing a crescent moon headdress surmounted by the full lunar disc. Like Thoth, who was also a lunar deity, he is sometimes represented as a baboon. Khonsu was believed to have the ability to drive out evil spirits. Rameses II sent a statue of Khonsu to a friendly Syrian king in order to cure his daughter of an illness.

She was depicted as a seated woman wearing an ostrich feather, or sometimes just as the feather itself. Her power regulated the seasons and the movement of the stars. Ammut, devourer of the dead, ate those who failed her test. Montu was a warrior god who rose to become the state god during the 11th dynasty.

During the Twelfth Dynasty Montu was displaced by the rise of Amun, but he took on the true attributes of a war god when warrior kings such as Thutmose III and Rameses II identified themselves with him. Mut formed part of the Theban Triad. She was one of the daughters of Ra, the wife of Amun, and mother of Khonsu. She was the Vulture goddess and is often depicted as a woman with a long, brightly colored dress and a vulture headdress surmounted by the double crown. In her more aggressive aspect she is shown as a lion-headed goddess. Like Isis and Hathor, Mut played the role of divine mother to the king.

Her amulets, which depict her as a seated woman suckling a child, are sometime confused with those of Isis. Together with Isis she was a protector of the dead, and they are often shown together on coffin cases, with winged arms. She seems to have had no temple or cult center of her own. Osiris was originally a vegetation god linked with the growth of crops. He was the mythological first king of Egypt and one of the most important of the gods. It was thought that he brought civilization to the race of mankind. He was murdered by his brother Seth, brought back to life by his wife Isis, and went on to become the ruler of the underworld and judge of the dead.

He is usually depicted as a mummy holding the crook and flail of kingship. On his head he wears the white crown of Upper Egypt flanked by two plumes of feathers. Sometimes he is shown with the horns of a ram. His skin is depicted as blue, the color of the dead; black, the color of the fertile earth; or green, representing resurrection. Each year, during his festival, there was a procession and a reenactment of his story in the form of a mystery play.

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Ptah was a creator god, said to have made the world from the thoughts in his heart and his words. He was depicted as a mummy with his hands protruding from the wrappings and holding a staff. His head was shaven and he wore a scull cap.

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Ptah was associated with craftsmen, and the High Priest of his temple at Memphis held the title Great Leader of Craftsmen. Also known as Re The supreme sun god was represented as a man with the head of a hawk, crowned with a solar disk and the sacred serpent. However, in the underworld through which he passes each night, he is depicted as ram-headed. Each day Ra traveled across the sky in the form of the sun, riding in his solar boat, and each night he journeyed through the underworld where he defeated the allies of chaos.

He was reborn each morning in the form of the sunrise. His influence on the other gods was so strong that he subsumed many of their identities. His cult center was at Heliopolis, which nowadays is covered by the northern suburbs of Cairo. Sobek was a crocodile god, depicted as a crocodile on an altar or as a man with a crocodile head wearing a headdress in the form of the sun disk with upright feathers and horns. There was a pool at Kom Ombo containing sacred crocodiles and it is still possible to see original mummified crocodiles at the temple.

He was the god of darkness, chaos, and confusion, and is represented as a man with an unknown animal head, often described as a Typhonian by the Greeks who associated him with the god Typhon. He is sometimes depicted as a hippopotamus, a pig, or a donkey. Seth murdered his brother and usurped the throne of Egypt and most of the other gods despised him. Horus eventually defeated Seth, but it was thought that their battle was an eternal struggle between good and evil.

Although Seth failed to keep the throne of Egypt he continued to be a companion of Ra. He sometimes accompanied Ra across the sky in his solar boat, causing storms and bad weather.


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Seth was venerated by some, and his main cult center was at Naqada. Some kings would liken themselves to Seth in battle, but for the most part the people loathed him and his defeat by Horus was regularly celebrated. Tefnut was the wife of Shu and mother of Nut and Geb. She and her husband were the first gods created by Atum. The Greeks associated him with Hermes and ascribed to him the invention of all the sciences as well as the invention of writing. He is often portrayed writing or making calculations.

Thoth stands apart from most of the other gods. He was as old as the oldest gods and often acted as an intermediately between gods. He was associated with the moon, and is sometimes shown wearing a moon disk and crescent headdress.


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One of his most important roles was to record the deeds of the dead at the day of their judgment and is often seen doing this in the Book of the Dead. His main temple was at Hermopolis in Middle Egypt. There are more than Hieroglyphic illustrations including Egyptian word examples and over hieroglyphs from the Gardiner list. Egyptian Hieroglyphics includes detailed information on the history of Egyptian writing and mathematics, the use of the different types of symbols, how to write your name, how to recognize kings names and the story of the scribe with a video showing how papyrus is made.

As he emerged from eternal Nun, he named many things, from the ground on which he stood to the air and the sands. Thus he named and created his children. He named Shu , and the god of the wind was born. He then named Tefnut, and his daughter the goddess of the rain emerged. Ra continued to name the plants and the animals, creating life around him that was pleasing to the eye. And from his tears, the first of mankind emerged.

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In time, Shu and Tefnut also created their own children. And so emerged Geb , the god of the earth, and Nut , goddess of the sky. Satisfied with all he had created, Ra set down and ruled the land of Egypt as the first Pharaoh. Centuries passed, and Ra continued to rule Egypt. He then learnt a prophecy that a child of the goddess Nut would rise to take his place as Pharaoh. Fearful, he forbade Nut to have any children. However, she sought the aid of the wise god Thoth , and she gave birth to four children: Osiris , Isis , Nephthys and Set.

As long as his Secret Name was not known to anyone, Ra would continue to rule the land. Once it was revealed, he would have to leave the earth and only rule from the skies. The other gods knew this, and Isis, sister and wife of Osiris, was determined to learn Ra's secret name. With guile and deceit she succeeded, and Ra was forced to leave. Thus the prophecy was fulfilled and Osiris, son of Nut, became the next Pharaoh.

Ancient Egyptian Myths

After Ra left the land to rule from the skies, Osiris took his place as pharaoh of Egypt, with Isis by his side. Together, they had a son, the baby Horus. Osiris taught mankind many things, from the secrets of planting grain to make bread, to those of brewing barley for beer. And the people rejoiced at having such a great pharaoh. However, not all were happy. Osiris' brother, the crafty god Set , was jealous of the attention and power that Osiris had. He gathered some conspirators to remove Osiris permanently.

Through trickery, Set succeeded in trapping Osiris in a chest, and sealing it shut, suffocated the mighty pharaoh. The chest was dropped into the Nile river , where it floated out into the sea. When the goddess Isis learnt of this, she fled into the wilderness with the baby Horus.

Isis knew that as long as Osiris was not buried with the proper funerary rites, he could not carry on his journey into the afterlife. So, leaving Horus with a guardian, Isis set forth searching for the chest. In time, she managed to find it. But Set found out about it and broke the chest, butchering Osiris' body into many pieces and threw them all over the countryside.

Again Isis searched, and where she found each piece of Osiris, she performed the funerary rites, and at last Osiris was able to complete his journey and join Ra in the underworld. As Horus grew up in hiding with Isis, Set controlled the deserts. But Horus was guided by the spirits of Ra and Osiris, and soon was powerful enough to challenge Set.

Set was a master of disguises, and as the armies of Horus and Set met, Set transformed into a giant hippopotamus in order to crush Horus' armies. But with a mighty throw of his harpoon, Horus pierced the head of the hippopotamus and slew the evil Set.