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This is a page about the mythical creature. For the black metal musician, see Astennu (musician).

In Egyptian mythology, Astennu (also spelt Asten, Isten, Astes, and Isdes) refers to a baboon associated with Thoth. It was also stated that Astennu was merely another aspect of Thoth, as the god could take the form of a baboon. [1] He was one of four baboons who stood around the lake of fire at the place of judgement in Duat, and consequently associated with Utennu.

He appears in spell 17 of the Book of the Dead. The name Astennu means the moon[citation needed].

Baboon may be an equivalent term for dog-headed ape. Among the Egyptians several kinds of apes were regarded as sacred animals, but the most revered of all was that which was the companion of Thoth, and which is commonly known as the Dog-headed Ape. This animal seems to have been brought in old, as in modern, times from the country far to the south of Nubia, but whether this be so or not it is certain that the Cynocephalus ape found its way into Egyptian mythology at a very early period.[citation needed] In the Judgment Scene he sits upon the standard of the Great Scales, and his duty was to report to his associate Thoth when the pointer marked the middle of the beam. [2]


  1. ^ E. A. Wallis Budge, Book of the Dead, Kessinger Publishing, 2003, p 188
  2. ^ Cornelis Petrus Tiele, Comparative history of the Egyptian and Mesopotamian religions, tr. by J. Ballingal [from Vergelijkende geschiedenis der oude godsdiensten, vol.1]. 1882, p 64 Google Books