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The various aspects of Bes.

feathers on his head, and a leopard's skin thrown round his
body. As a warrior, or the god of war, he is armed with a
shield and sword, and sometimes he has a bow; he was also
the god of music and the dance, and in this character he
is represented as a tailed creature, half man, half animal,
playing a harp, or striking cymbals together and dancing.
It is thought that he symbolized the destructive power of
nature, and in this capacity he is identified in the Book of the
Dead with Set; as the god of joy and pleasure figures of him
are carved upon the kohl jars, and other articles used by
Egyptian ladies in their toilet. The worship of this god
seems to have been introduced into Egypt from 7
Neter ta, i.e., the land which was situated by the eastern bank
of the Nile, supposed by the Egyptians to be the original
home of the gods. Figures of this god in bronze and faïence
are very common, and they represent him as described above.
Faïence figures were made as much as fourteen inches long,

Worship of Bes of foreign origin.

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and were sometimes in relief and sometimes “in the round.”
The British Museum possesses a large mould (No. 20,883)
used for making flat figures, presented by F. G. Hilton
Price, F.S.A., who obtained it from Bubastis ; it also possesses
a beautiful figure in the round in blue glazed faïence
(No. 28,112), about fourteen inches high. A remarkable
example of the use of the head and face of this god is
furnished by a bronze bell in the British Museum (No. 6374).
The plumes on his head form the handle, and the head,
hollowed out, forms the bell. Bronze and faïence statues
of this god, to which have been added the distinguishing
characteristics of many other gods,
also exist. B.M. No. 17,169 is a

Various bronze ithyphallic bird with two pairs

forms of of outstretched wings and the legs of

Bes. a man, from the knees of which spring serpents, the arms of a man, and the head of Bes. Above the wings is a second pair of outstretched arms, with clenched fists, and on each side of his head, in relief, are the heads of a ram, a dog-headed ape, a crocodile, and a hawk (?). Above the head are two

x pairs of horns, two pairs of uræi and two pairs of plumes, between which is a disk. In this figure are united the attributes of Amen-Rā, Åmsu, Horus, Chnemu, Sebek, and other gods. No. 1205, a bronze cast from

Bes. a genuine bronze, makes this polytheistic figure stand upon crocodiles; the whole group is enclosed within a serpent having his tail in his mouth. A very interesting example of a similar kind of figure in faïence is described by Lanzone in his Dizionario, p. 211, tav. lxxx., and compare B.M. No. 11,821. It need hardly be said that such figures belong to a very late period, and they are found imitated on gems inscribed for the Gnostics ; see B.M. Nos. G. 10, 11, 12, 151, 205, etc. On the Metternich stele Bes is represented in much the same way as in the bronze figures,


Bes in

but in the pair of outstretched arms and hands he holds sceptres of t. 1, 1, knives, A H, etc., and in those which hang by his side he holds 4 and † ; he has on his head in addition eight knives and the figure “myriads of years.” He stands on an oval in which are a lion, two serpents, a jackal, crocodile, scorpion, hippopotamus and tortoise. This scene is repeated very accurately on Gnostic lapis-lazuli plaque in the British Museum, No. 12, on the back of which is an address to IAW ZABAWO = ning PT, with whom this polytheistic deity was identified. Figures of the god Bes are common on gems and seals other than Egyptian, and on a small Babylonian cylinder in the possession of Sir Charles Nicholson he is represented in the

form in which he ordinarily occurs On a red carnelian Babylonian art. cylinder in the British Museum (Reg. No. 6??) he is en

graved, full face, wearing plumes, and holding a lotus flower in each hand; on each side of him is a male bearded figure, with upraised hands and arms, supporting a winged disk. This seal was inscribed for Arsaces, and belongs to the Persian period.

Sechet 4 3, also written, was the wife of Ptaḥ, and was, in this capacity, the mother of Neser-Åtmu and I-cm-ḥetep; she was the second person of the triad of Memphis. She represented the violent heat of the sun and its destroying power, and in this capacity destroyed the souls of the wicked in the underworld. In bronze and faïence figures she has the head of a lion, upon which she wears the disk and uræus, and she holds f in her right hand and ♡ in her left ; she is sometimes scated, when her hands are laid upon her knees. Bast :

represents the heat of the sun in its softened form as the producer of vegetation. She has often the head of a lion, but, properly speaking, the head of a cat is her distinguishing characteristic; in her right hand she holds a

sistrum, on her left arm she carries a basket, and in her left hand she holds an ægis. She was chiefly worshipped at The Lady

of Bubas Bubastis, Pa-Bast, where a magnificent temple was built in

tis. her honour. Bronze figures of this goddess are tolerably numerous, and she is represented, both sitting and standing, wearing the disk and uræus on her head. In faïence, standing figures hold a sceptre (B.M. No. 236), or R (B.M. No. 233), or an ægis (B.M. No. 11,297); when seated she often holds a sistrum, B.M. No. 272; a fine large example of the goddess seated is B.M. No. 277. Such figures are sometimes inscribed with the prayer, “may she grant all life and power, all health, and joy of heart,"

, or, “I am Bast, the lady of life,"


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14- represented the

Menḥit power of light or heat, or both; in faïence

Bast. she is represented as an upright woman, walking, having a lion's head, upon which she wears a disk and uræus ; in her right hand is and in her left

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Mut the

universal second member of the Theban triad ; she is called the “lady mother. of Åsher,"

the name given to a district to the south of the great temple of Amen-Rā at Karnak, where her temple was situated.

She symbolized Nature, the mother of all things. In bronze and faïence figures she is represented as a woman, seated or standing, wearing a head-dress in the form of a vulture, surmounted by the crowns of Upper and Lower Egypt; she holds f 우 in her right hand, and in her left.



or Neith, the “Weaver” or “Shooter," was a The Lady counterpart of the goddess Mut, and was also identified with B. M.


of Sais.

Hathor ; she wears the crown of Lower Egypt Y

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head, and she is often represented armed with bow and

In bronze and faïence figures of this goddess are tolerably common.

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The god. dess of Right.

Maāt 3-3, the “ daughter of Rā and mistress of the
gods,” symbolized Law, and she is always represented with
ß maāt, emblematic of Law, upon her head ; in papyri two
Maāt are shown together, each wearing ß, but sometimes
this feather alone takes the place of the head. In figures of
bronze, lapis-lazuli, and faïence she is represented sitting
Hathor, in Egyptian

Het-Hert, the
“house of Horus,” is identified with Nut, the sky, or place
in which she brought forth and suckled Horus ; she was the
wife of Átmu, a form of Rā. She is represented as a woman


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