ancient egypt: history and culture
Ancient Egyptian deities: The moon god Duau
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also Dwaw
    Duau was an ancient lunar god. [1] He is mentioned in the Pyramid Texts of Unas:
The hills of (my) hill, the hill of Horus, the hill of Seth, the fields of reeds, they praise you in this your name Duau, like Sopdu, who is under his ksb.t-trees
PT 306 (line [588]) [2]
    During the Old Kingdom Duau appears to have been of some importance. The nobleman and official Ptahshepses was proud of his association with the god:
Prince, councilor of Nekhen, guardian of Nekhen, priest of Nekhbet–the goddess of the Upper Egyptian shrine–supreme judge, vizier, head of the royal works, beloved of his master, sole friend (of the king), secretary of the morning house, highest lector priest, right hand of the god Duau, Ptahshepses.
Inscription in the mastaba of Ptahsgepses at Abusir [4]
Ptahhotep II described himself as Duau's follower [5], Medunefer as his supporter [7] and the fifth dynasty vizier Sekhemkare as his doorkeeper. [6]
    Duau became the patron god of the ophthalmologists. Diseases of the eye were not rare in ancient Egypt, and if the exertions of the eye doctors were of no avail and a person went blind, he could find succour from Mechenti-irti, the god of the blind. [3]
    Sight being one of the important senses, eyes were given special consideration in art. Since the middle of the fourth millennium artsts made artificial eyes of stone, later also of metal and of glass for their sculptures. [3]

[1] Claas Jouco Bleeker, Hathor and Thoth, Brill, 1973, p.114
[2] After the transliteration on the Thesaurus Linguae Aegyptiae website => Altägyptisches Wörterbuch, Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften => Pyramidentexte => Unas Pyramide => Vorkammer => Nordwand => PT 306
[3] Daniel M. Albert, Dates in Ophthalmology, Informa Health Care, 2002, p.7
[4] Miroslav Verner, Steven Rendall, The Pyramids: The Mystery, Culture, and Science of Egypt's Great Monuments, Grove Press, 2002, p.270
[5] Nigel Strudwick, Ronald J. Leprohon, Texts from the Pyramid Age, Society of Biblical Literature, 2005, p.212
[6] Strudwick & Leprohon, op.cit., p.416
[7] Strudwick & Leprohon, op.cit., p.244

© October 2005


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