Sopdet

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Sopdet
Goddess of star Sirius
Sopdet.svg
Sopdet in red dress, with star on the head
Name in hieroglyphs
M44 t
Symbol star
Consort Sah (constellation of Orion)
Offspring Sopdu

In Egyptian mythology, Sopdet was the deification of Sothis, a star considered by almost all Egyptologists to be Sirius. The name Sopdet means (she who is) sharp in Egyptian, a reference to the brightness of Sirius, which is the brightest star in the night sky. In art she is depicted as a woman with a five-pointed star upon her head.[1]

Just after Sirius appears in the July sky, the Nile River begins its annual flood, and so the ancient Egyptians connected the two. Consequently Sopdet was identified as a goddess of the fertility of the soil, which was brought to it by the Nile's flooding. This significance led the Egyptians to base their calendar on the heliacal rising of Sirius.[1]

Sopdet is the consort of Sah, the constellation of Orion, near which Sirius appears, and the god Sopdu was said to be their child. These relationships parallel those of the god Osiris and his family, and Sah was linked with Osiris, Sopdet with Isis, and Sopdu with Horus.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Wilkinson, Richard H. (2003). The complete gods and goddesses of ancient Egypt. London: Thames & Hudson. pp. 167–168, 211. ISBN 0-500-05120-8.