ancient egypt: history and culture
Ancient Egyptian bestiary: The lynx
Main menu Main Index and Search Page History List of Dynasties Cultural chronology Mythology Aspects of Life in Ancient Egypt Glossary of ancient Egyptian terms Herodotus on the pharaohs Ancient Egyptian texts Apologia and Bibliography

  For best results save the whole webpage (pictures included) onto your hard disk, open the page with Word 97 or higher, edit if necessary and print.
  Printing using the browser's print function is not recommended.


The lynx

    The lynx was one of the smaller wild cats living in Egypt. The Desert lynx, or caracal, lives mostly beyond the narrow strip of fertile Nile plain. Its colour is brownish and it preys on birds and small mammals.

Lynx; Source: Jon Bodsworth- New Kingdom sketch of a lynx
Louvre Museum
Source: Jon Bodsworth

Mafdet, goddess of the execution of judgment, was sometimes depicted as a lynx. The lynx also fought existential evil, embodied by the serpent Apep:
O Apep, thou enemy of Ra. Get thee back, Fiend, before the darts of his beams! Ra hath overthrown thy words, the gods have turned thy face backwards, the Lynx hath torn open thy breast, the Scorpion hath cast fetters upon thee, and Maat hath sent forth thy destruction.
E. A. Wallis Budge Egyptian Magic, Chap. 3, p.79
    But it was also a danger to the deceased in his journey through the underworld, who needed charms to ward off the Lynx, as well as the Great Crocodile Sui, the Serpents Rerek and Seksek, the Beetle A-pshait, the terrible Merti snake-goddesses, and Apep.

© 2005
August 2009