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Anat

also Anath, Anta
 
    Anat was a westsemitic war goddess who was adopted by the Egyptians during the Middle Kingdom [1] as ant.j (translit. ant.j).

Roles

    Like Kadesh she was famous for her sexuality,[5] and like Astarte she protected the king and his chariot in battle. The scribes wrote about the second Libyan war of Ramses III:
Montu and Sutekh are with [him in] every fray, Anath and Astarte are his shield.
Ramses III's inscriptions at Medinet Habu [3]
The common people, more likely to encounter a crocodile or hippo than a Libyan soldier, revered her as a protectress against wild beasts.
    The descendents of Seti I were the royals closest to Anat. Seti himself named one of his horses "Anath-is-satisfied" [6], while Ramses II had a dog called "Anat-is-Protection" [7] and named one of his daughters Bint-Anat, daughter of Anat.[9]

Cult

    Anat had cult centres in Lower Egyptian cities like Tanis, Pi-Ramesse,[4] and Memphis,[12] but also, as an Egyptian goddess with feathered crown, in a temple in Beit Shean in Canaan.[11] After the 20th dynasty her cult went into decline and was replaced by that of the Theban triad.

Appearance

    She was depicted as a woman wearing a crown with two ostrich feathers. Her attributes were a shield, a speer and a battleaxe.[2]

Consorts

    In Canaan Anat had been the consort of the storm god Baal, in Egypt she was also matched with Seth, Baal's Egyptian equivalent.[1] In the Contendings of Horus and Seth Neith appeals to Re to settle the issue between Horus and Seth and as part of the deal Anat was to be given to the latter as consort:
The Universal Lord, the Bull who resides in Heliopolis, ought to be told: Enrich Seth in his possessions. Give him Anath and Astarte, your two daughters, and install Horus in the position of his father Osiris.
    Anat was also at times considered to be the consort of Reshef.[7]

Associations, epithets

    She is spoken of as the "great cow of Seth", whom she saves after he had sex with the Seed Goddess, forbidden to all but Re himself, and was poisoned by this sacrilege. Anat asked her father Re for help, and he ordered Isis, the One-Great-in-Magic, to cure him. She is also at times associated with Hathor and her epithets include "Mistress of the Sky" and "Mother of all Gods". In her role as sex goddess she was depicted jointly with Min.[8]

Other Middle Eastern deities worshipped in Egypt:
Astarte (Ishtar)
Baal
Hauron
Kadesh
Reshef

Footnotes:
[1] Pinch 2004, p.102
[2] Lurker 1998, p.42
[3] Breasted 1906, Part Four §105
[4] Bard & Shubert 1999, p.922f.
[5] Bard & Shubert 1999, p.736
[6] Breasted 1906, Part Three, §84
[7] Breasted 1906, Part Three, §467
[8] Shaw and Nicholson, p.32
[9] Kitchen 1996, p.267
[10] Edwards 2000, p.649
[11] Edwards 2000, p.152
[12] American Schools of Oriental Research 1973, p.46
 
Bibliography:
American Schools of Oriental Research, Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research, Issues 209-214, American Schools of Oriental Research, 1973
Kathryn A. Bard, Steven Blake Shubert, Encyclopedia of the archaeology of ancient Egypt,Routledge, 1999
J. H. Breasted, Ancient Records of Egypt, Chicago 1906
I. E. S. Edwards (ed.), The Cambridge ancient history, Volume 4,Cambridge University Press, 2000
Kenneth Anderson Kitchen, Ramesside Inscriptions, Serie A Volume 2,Wiley-Blackwell, 1996
Manfred Lurker, Lexikon der Götter und Symbole der alten Ägypter, Scherz 1998
Geraldine Pinch, Egyptian Mythology: A Guide to the Gods, Goddesses, and Traditions of Ancient Egypt, Oxford University Press US, 2004
Ian Shaw, The Oxford history of ancient Egypt.Oxford University Press, 2003
Ian Shaw, Paul Nicholson, British Museum Dictionary of Ancient Egypt, British Museum Press
 

 
© October 2009

 

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