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Ancient Egyptian deities: Buchis
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Buchis

Buchis stele     Buchis [1] was the bovine incarnation of the god Montu at Iuny [2] in the 4th Upper Egyptian nome, who was a war and solar deity and since the Middle Kingdom often referred to as "bull". [3]

Buchis stele
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Stele_buchis.jpg
Published under GNU Free Documentation License

    A peripatetic deity, he was also revered at Tod and at Medamut[15], where there was a Buchis oracle. [4] He was the Upper Egyptian pendant of the Lower Egyptian Apis bull, but retained his character of fighting bull until the Late Period [13] and never became as popular as the latter. [5]
    Buchis was thought to be the ba of the gods Re, called the living soul of Re since the 30yh dynasty,  [6] and Osiris[7] Like Apis he merged with Osiris and was known as Osiris-Buchis:
Petosiris, son of Oteyris, speaks to Tithoes, son of Imuthes, the supervisor of the secret of Osiris-Buchis:
Make the interment of Tnephersais, daughter of Horos, her mother is Nebetwedja.
15 BCE
Thesaurus Linguae Aegyptiae: Demotische Textdatenbank, Akademie für Sprache und Literatur Mainz => Objektaufschriften => Mumienschilder => Leiden Inst. V.3
    At any given time there was just one Buchis bull. He lived a life of pampered ease. More than twenty people, among them priests, weavers, dancers and musicians looked after him. [8] After his death he was embalmed and entombed in the underground Bucheum [9] inaugurated during the reign of Nectanebo II and replaced by a successor chosen for his white body and black face. These were festive occasions which could be used by politicians to curryt favour with the priesthood and the populace. When the old bull died in 52 BCE and a new Buchis was installed in the following year, Cleopatra VII accompanied him on his river journey and people remembered her for it decades later. [10] The last known Buchis bull was buried during the reign of the emperor Diocletian. [11]
    The mothers of the bulls [12] as incarnations of the goddess Hathor [3] also received special treatment. They were entombed in the Baqariyeh catacombs at Hermonthis [14] after undergoing mummification. For a mortal to be given similar treatment was a distinction, which not everyone could expect. One such was Tanut, daughter of the brother of the family of the king, Kalasiris, son of Monkores; born of Hatheretis and wife of the brother of the family of the king, Menthesuphis,son of Monkores:
Salves were cooked for her, as is done for the mother of Buchis.
Thesaurus Linguae Aegyptiae: Demotische Textdatenbank, Akademie für Sprache und Literatur Mainz => religiöse Texte (s.a. magische Papyri!) => Rhind 2

 
Other bull deities: Mnevis, Apis

Bibliography:
Andrew Hunt Gordon & Calvin W. Schwabe, The quick and the dead, Brill 2004
Christian Leitz, Dagmar Budde, Frank Förster, Daniel von Recklinghausen, Bettina Ventker Lexikon der ägyptischen Götter und Götterbezeichnungen, Peeters Publishers, 2002
Miriam Lichtheim, Demotic Ostraca from Medinet Habu, University of Chicago Press 1957
Karol Mysliwiec, David Lorton,The twilight of ancient Egypt, Cornell University Press 2000
Karol Mysliwiec, Geoffrey L. Packer, Eros on the Nile, Cornell University Press. 2004
Trudy Ring, K.A Berney, Robert M. Salkin, Sharon La Boda, Noelle Watson, Paul Schellinger, International Dictionary of Historic Places: Middle East and Africa, Taylor & Francis, 1996
Ian Shaw & Paul Nicholson, Dictionary of Ancient Egypt, British Museum Press, 1995
Religionsgeschichte des alten Orients, Brill Archive
 
Footnotes:
[1] MdC transliteration bX, Wb 1, 472.14
[2] Greek Hermonthis, modern Armant
[3] Gordon & Schwabe 2004, p.46
[4] Mysliwiec & Packer 2004, p.76
[5] Mysliwiec & Lorton 2000, p.59
[6] Gordon & Schwabe 2004, p.47
[7] Shaw & Nicholson 1995, p.56
[8] Ring et al. 1996, p.342
[9] Egyptian per-jtm, House of Atem
[10] Burstein 2007, p.16
[11] Mysliwiec & Lorton 2000, p.171
[12] translit. mwt net bX, Leitz et al. 2002, p.258
[13] Religionsgeschichte des alten Orients, p.56
[14] Shaw & Nicholson 1995, p.56
[15] There was an important temple of Montu at Medamut (translit. mAd, 4th Upper Egyptian nome) and he was at times referred to as Lord of Medamut. At Medinet Habu (Egypt. Jeme, translit. Dma) in the 4th nome of Upper Egypt they swore in the name of Montu's incarnation, the Bull of Medamut:
Text of the oath which Harsiesis, son of Senwosre, shall swear in the temple of Jeme, the temple of Mont of Medamut....:By the bull of Medamut who dwells here and every god who dwells here with him....
Lichtheim 1957, p.71
 

 
© June 2009

 

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