ancient egypt: history and culture
Ancient Egyptian deities: Nepri
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also Neper
Nepri     Corn god. Nepri, Lord of the Risen Grain, belonged to a group of deities which created Egypt's wealth: its agricultural produce, Geb, the earth, Hapi, the Nile, Osiris and others.

Nepri at Edfu
Source: Agropolis Museum website

    In the Hymn to Hapi the Nile god is referred to as friend of Geb, but as lord of Nepri [1]. More than any other venture the success of the grain harvest was paramount. In his Instruction Amenemhet I prided himself
I was grain-maker, beloved of Nepri,
Hapy honored me on every field.
None hungered in my years,
None thirsted in them.
M. Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature, Vol.1, p.137
    Nepri was closely associated with Osiris, at times merged into Nepri-Osiris. In the Hymn to Osiris Nepri and Djefah (DfA), Fields' Bounty, satisfy the needs of the Egyptian people:
Nepri gives all his herbs,
Field's Bounty brings satiety,
And gives it to all lands.
Everybody jubilates,
Hearts are glad, breasts rejoice,
Everyone exults...
M. Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature, Vol.2, p.84
    The corn god was the husband of Tait, the goddess of linen and weaving. Together they satisfied two of the most basic needs of mankind, that for food and that for clothing. In Egypt, unlike in more northern climes, the need for clothing is relatively small, thus the importance attributed to Tait was minor compared with Nepri's. The 11th dynasty ruler of Thebes Mentuhotep bore the epithet of
Son of Nepri, the husband of Tayet, the one for whom Sekhat-Hor created cattle.
Stela UC14333
D. M. Doxey, Egyptian Non-Royal Epithets in the Middle Kingdom: A Social and Historical Analysis, Brill Academic Publishers, 1998, p.36
as did Ramses II in an inscription on a stela found in Jordan, on which he is facing a Canaanite deity:
[/// of] Nepri, begotten by Geb
Stefan Jakob Wimmer, A New Stela of Ramesses II in Jordan in the Context of Egyptian Royal Stelae in the Levant , 3rd international Congress on the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East (3ICAANE), Paris, 18 April 2002
a rare mention of the corn-god outside Egypt.
    Nepri was at times seen as the son of Renenutet, called the Lady of the Barns and also Lady of the Fields. She was depicted carrying the still small Nepri.
[1] Thus in M. Lichtheim's translation. Two other, older renderings are a bit different.

© January 2006
April 2009

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