|The Nile, The Army and Military|
|Major cult center||Crocodilopolis, Faiyyum Oasis, Kom Ombo|
|Parents||Set and Neith|
Sobek (also called Sebek, Sochet, Sobk, Sobki, Soknopais), and in Greek, Suchos (Σοῦχος) was the deification of crocodiles, as crocodiles were deeply feared in the nation that was so dependent on the Nile River. Egyptians who worked or traveled on the Nile hoped that if they prayed to Sobek, the crocodile and Nile god, he would protect them from being attacked by the crocodiles who lived in the river.
The god Sobek, which was depicted as a crocodile or a man with the head of a crocodile, was a powerful and frightening deity; in some Egyptian creation myths, it was Sobek who first came out of the waters of chaos to create the world. As a creator god, he was occasionally linked with the sun god Ra.
Cult of Sobek 
During the twelfth and thirteenth dynasties (1991 BCE – 1650 BCE), the cult of Sobek was given particular prominence, and a number of rulers incorporated him in their coronation names. Most of Sobek's temples were located "in parts of Egypt where crocodiles were common." Sobek's cult originally flourished around Al Fayyum where some temples still remain. The area was so closely associated with Sobek that Arsinoe was known to the Greeks as Crocodilopolis or 'Crocodile Town.'
Another major cult centre was at Kom Ombo, "close to the sandbanks of the Nile where crocodiles would often bask. Some temples of Sobek kept pools where sacred crocodiles were kept: these crocodiles were fed the best cuts of meat and became quite tame. When they died, they were mummified and buried in special animal cemeteries. In other areas of Egypt, however, crocodiles were dealt with by simply hunting and killing them.
Sometimes the ferocity of crocodiles was seen in a positive light, Sobek in these circumstances was considered the army's patron, as a representation of strength and power.
In Egyptian art, Sobek was depicted as an ordinary crocodile, or as a man with the head of a crocodile. When considered a patron of the pharaoh's army, he was shown with the symbol of royal authority – the uraeus. He was also shown with an ankh, representing his ability to undo evil and so cure ills. Once he had become Sobek-Ra, he was also shown with a sun-disc over his head, as Ra was a sun god.
In other myths, which appeared extremely late in ancient Egyptian history, Sobek was credited for catching the Four sons of Horus in a net as they emerged from the waters of the Nile in a lotus blossom. This motif derives from the birth of Ra in the Ogdoad cosmogony, and the idea that as a crocodile, Sobek is the best suited to collecting items upon the Nile.
See also 
- Geraldine Harris and Delia Pemberton, Illustrated Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt, Peter Bedrick Books, 1999. pp. 142–143
Media related to Sobek at Wikimedia Commons