The Egyptian hieroglyphic word for “baboon” is jana in the German style of transliteration. Attested roughly forty times in extant literature, this word refers to the animal itself. Many Egyptian gods can manifest in a baboon aspect or have other associations with the animal, including
- Hapy, a god who protects the canopic jar containing the lungs after embalming.
- Khonsu, a god known as “eater of hearts” in the Pyramid Texts.
- Thoth, a god of reason and writing: “And so the Baboon of Thoth came into being,” says one 18th Dynasty text.
It should be noted that animal iconography does not imply the Egyptians identified the animals concerned as deities themselves. Rather, the animal was an icon, or a large hieroglyph, representing a god.
- Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, repeated in Benet, The Reader's Encyclopedia (1948) and in Gertrude Jobes. Dictionary of Mythology, Folklore, and Stymbols, Part 1. New York:The Scarecrow Press, 1962.
- William Ricketts Cooper, An Archaic Dictionary: Biographical, Historical, and Mythological, 1876
- Thesaurus Linguae Aegyptiae, jana “baboon.” Wb 1, 41, 5-6; vgl. FCD 11; LÄ IV, 917. Lemma no. 850186. Uses in Pyramid Texts spells PT 275, 315, 320, 570B, 698B, especially from the Pyramids of Wenis and Pepi. Book of Dead usage occurs in spells BD 5, 75, and 126. Online at Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences, http://aaew.bbaw.de/tla/index.html
- Taylor, J., Death and the Afterlife in Ancient Egypt, Univ. of Chicago Press, pp. 65-66.
- Pinch, G., Egyptian Mythology: A Guide to Gods, Goddesses, and Traditions of Ancient Egypt, Oxford, 2002, p. 155.
- "Myth of the Heavenly Cow," line 73. Simpson, W.K., The Literature of Ancient Egypt, Yale Univ. Press, 2003. p. 295
- Hornung, Erik, Conceptions of God in Ancient Egypt: The One and the Many, Cornell Univ. Press, 1996, p. 124
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