VIII : Names and titles of Gods
this lesson you will learn to recognise the names of some
of Ancient Egypt's most popular gods and the epithets (titles)
that very often accompanied these names. The reader should
be aware that the names and epithets presented here can be
and were written in many different ways. This lesson covers
the most frequent spellings.
Some more general epithets
epithets had a more general nature and applied to a wide range
of gods or goddesses. As the Ancient Egyptians loved stereotypes,
such epithets occur throughout religious texts. Some of the
most recurring epithets are:
- , nb p.t, "lord of the heavens" (gods);
, nb.t p.t,
"mistress of the heavens" (goddesses)
- , nb mAa.t, "lord of the cosmic order".
This epithet is often used for creator-gods or gods related
- , nTr aA, "the great god"
- , Hnw.t
nTr.w, "mistress of the gods"
- , xpr Ds=f, "who created himself".
This is usually applied to a creator-god.
Some gods and their epithets
, imn, is the most common way to write the name of
Amun. Variant writings may add different determinatives to
this name: , , or the more generic
determinative for a god . Amun's name can also me written using the first two determinatives
Associated with the solar god Re, Amun became a solar god
himself, named , imn-ra, Amun-Re.
The most common titles for Amun (-Re) are:
imn-ra nsw nTr.w, "Amun-Re, king of the
gods". This combination was so frequent, that it became
the name of a manifestation of Amun-Re: Amunrasonther.
- , nb ip.t-s.wt, "lord of Ipet-Sut".
Ipet-Sut is one of the names of Amun's temple at Karnak.
It means "the (most) secret of places".
- , nb wAs.t, "lord of Waset (=Thebes)"
- , nb
ns.wt tA.j, "lord of the Thrones of the Two Lands".
The "Thrones of the Two Lands" is a reference
to Amun's principal temple at Karnak.
, inpw, Anubis. Variant writings may use different
determinatives: , ,
His most common epithets are:
- , imj-wt, "the one who is in Ut". "Ut"
refers to the embalming tent.
- , tpj-Dw=f, "the one who is on his mountain"
, transcribed is.t or As.t, is the wife
of Osiris and the mother of Horus, Isis.
, wsir, is the most common way to write the name
of Osiris. A playful writing found mostly in Thebes during
the Greek-Roman era combines part of the name of Thebes with
part of the name of Osirs: .
One of his most common titles is:
- , nb AbDw, "the lord of Abedju (=Abydos)
, ptH, Ptah, was the primary god of Memphis.
, mAa.t, Maat, the goddess representing the cosmic
, mw.t, is Amun's wife, "Mut". Her name
literally means "mother". One of her most common
- nb.t iSrw, "the mistress of Isheru",
where Isheru is the name of Mut's sanctuary south of Amun's
great temple at Karnak.
, ra, Re. Variant writings may either abbreviate
this name to or even , or add some
Alternative determinatives are or . The
latter determinative may also be used to refer to this god.
The name of Re is combined with the names of different other
gods who gain a solar aspect by this association.
, Hw.t-Hr, Hathor, the goddess of love, music and
procreation. Among her epithets, we find:
- , nb.t iwn.t, "mistress of Iunet (=Dendara)"
, Hr, is the god of kingship, Horus, the son of Osiris
and Isis. Such was his popularity, that different manifestations
were worshiped as individual gods. Here are the names of some
of the more popular manifestations:
- , Hr-Ax.tj,
"Harakhte", or "Horus of the horizon",
a reference to Horus as the rising sun. This name is often
combined with the name of the solar god Re as , ra-Hr-Ax.tj, Re-Harakhte, "Re-Horus of
the horizon". Note that Ax.tj can also be
written as .
- , Hr-wr, HaroŽris, or "Horus the Old",
referring to the grown up Horus who has avenged his father.
- , Hr-pA-Xrd,
Harpocrates, or "Horus the Child", the young Horus
- , Hr-sA-is.t,
HarsiŽsis, or "Horus, the son of Isis"
, xnsw, is a lunar-deity considered to be the son
of Amun at Thebes, Khonsu. The actual translation of his name
is not known. Khonsu is sometimes associated with Re as ,
xnsw-ra, Khonsu-Re, making him the god of the two
most important celestial bodies. He is also often associated
with another important lunar god, Thot , xnsw-DHwtj,
, sxm.t, Sekhmet, "the powerful one".
, or more frequent , DHwtj,
Thot, the god of wisdom, justice and writing.