Anhur

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Anhur
God of War and Sky Bearer
Shu.svg
Anhur was depicted wearing a headdress of two or four tall feathers.[1]
Consort Mehit
Parents Ra
Siblings Bastet

In early Egyptian mythology, Anhur (also spelled Onuris, Onouris, An-Her, Anhuret, Han-Her, Inhert) was originally a god of war who was worshipped in the Egyptian area of Abydos, and particularly in Thinis. Myths told that he had brought his wife, Mehit, who was his female counterpart, from Nubia, and his name reflects this—it means (one who) leads back the distant one.[2]

One of his titles was Slayer of Enemies. Anhur was depicted as a bearded man wearing a robe and a headdress with four feathers, holding a spear or lance, or occasionally as a lion-headed god (representing strength and power). In some depictions, the robe was more similar to a kilt.[3]

Roles[edit]

God of war[edit]

Amulet of Anhur

Due to his position as a war god, he was patron of the ancient Egyptian army, and the personification of royal warriors. Indeed, at festivals honoring him, mock battles were staged. During the Roman era the Emperor Tiberius was depicted on the walls of Egyptian temples wearing the distinctive four-plumed crown of Anhur.

The Greeks equated Anhur to their god of war, Ares. The Olympian gods fled from Typhon and took animal form in Egypt, Ares was said to have taken the form of a fish as Lepidotus or Onuris.[4]

Sky Bearer[edit]

Anhur's name also could mean Sky Bearer and, due to the shared headdress, Anhur was later identified with Shu, becoming Anhur-Shu. He is the son of Ra and brother of Bastet if identified as Shu.

High priests of Anhur[edit]

  • Amenhotep, from the time of Thutmose IV. Amenhotep's wife Henut was a songstress of Anhur. Their sons Hat and Kenna were Chariot Warriors of His Majesty. Known from a stela now in the British Museum (EA 902).[5]
  • Hori [6]
  • Minmose, son of the High Priest of Anhur Hori and his wife Inty. From the reign of Ramesses II. [6]
  • Anhurmose, from the time of Merenptah. [6][7]
  • Sishepset, from the time of Ramesses III [7]
  • Harsiese, mentioned on an ostracon in Abydos [7]

In popular culture[edit]

Anhur is a playable character in the multiplayer online battle arena, SMITE. Anhur is a hunter and is nicknamed the Slayer of Enemies [8] and is shown in his (anthropomorphic) lion form maintaining his beard, robe and a crown garnished with four large feathers upon it.

Anhur is also a chaotic god in the computer game NetHack/Slash'EM.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wilkinson, Richard H. (2003). The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt. Thames & Hudson. p. 118
  2. ^ The Way to Eternity: Egyptian Myth, F. Fleming & A. Lothian, p. 56
  3. ^ Turner and Coulter, Dictionary of ancient deities, 2001
  4. ^ Antoninus Liberalis, Metamorphoses 28 (trans. Celoria) (Greek mythographer 2nd century AD)
  5. ^ Topographical Bibliography Vol VIII, retrieved from Griffith Institute website May 2010
  6. ^ a b c Kitchen, K.A., Rammeside Inscriptions, Translated & Annotated, Translations, Volume III, Blackwell Publishers, 1996
  7. ^ a b c Porter and Moss Topographical Bibliography; Volume V Upper Egypt Griffith Institute
  8. ^ http://www.smitewiki.com/Anhur

External links[edit]