Ancient Egyptian Goddesses (2024)

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Ancient Egyptian Goddesses (1)

by Joshua J. Mark
published on 07 February 2024

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Egyptian goddesses are among the best-known and most popular from antiquity. Images of Isis, Hathor, Bastet, and Selket – among many others – are world-famous. The popularity of these female deities reflects the high status of women in ancient Egypt, who were regarded as almost equals to males and held prominent positions.

Among these was the prestigious office of the God's Wife of Amun, the counterpart to the male high priest of Amun, the most powerful religious cult in ancient Egypt's history. Women also ruled, periodically, from early queens such as Mereneith (c. 3000 BCE) to Cleopatra VII in 30 BCE.

Included in this collection is the goddess Astarte, technically a Phoenician deity but regarded by the ancient Egyptians as a consort of the god Set. Omitted is the goddess Ma'at, who personifies balance and harmony and was understood to inform the powers of all the other deities, both male and female, as well as the decisions of the king, the law of the land, and the proper behavior of the people. Ma'at, therefore, is always understood as present in any representation of the other deities of ancient Egypt.

Articles & Definitions

Definition NeithNeith (aka Net, Neit or Nit) and is one of the oldest deities of ancient... Definition HathorHathor is an ancient Egyptian goddess associated, later, with Isis and... Definition Book of the Heavenly CowThe Book of the Heavenly Cow is an ancient Egyptian text dealing with... Article The Five Gifts of Hathor: Gratitude in Ancient EgyptThe central cultural value of ancient Egypt was ma'at – harmony and... Definition IsisIsis is an ancient Egyptian goddess who became the most popular and... Definition NephthysNephthys was one of the original five gods of ancient Egypt born of... Definition SerketSerket (also known as Serqet, Selkis, and Selket) is an Egyptian goddess... Definition SeshatSeshat (also given as Sefkhet-Abwy and Seshet) is the Egyptian goddess... Definition BastetBastet is the Egyptian goddess of the home, domesticity, women's secrets... Definition QebhetQebhet (also known as Kebehwet, Kabechet or Kebechet) is a benevolent... Definition AstarteAstarte is the Canaanite/Phoenician goddess of love, sex, war, and hunting... Article The Lamentations of Isis and NephthysThe Lamentations of Isis and Nephthys is an ancient Egyptian text in...

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Questions & Answers

When were the goddesses of ancient Egypt first worshipped?

The goddesses of ancient Egypt were first worshipped c. 6000 BCE.

Who is the oldest Egyptian goddess?

Neith is the oldest Egyptian goddess. In some myths, she is present at the act of creation.

Who is the most powerful Egyptian goddess?

Isis is the most powerful Egyptian goddess. She was also the most popular as her cult spread throughout ancient Egypt, to Rome, and even to ancient Britain.

How long were the goddesses of ancient Egypt worshipped?

The goddesses of ancient Egypt were worshipped from c. 6000 BCE to c. 400 CE after Christianity had toppled the Cult of Isis. In the present day, however, those who adhere to Neo-Pagan and Wiccan belief systems still worship one or more ancient Egyptian goddesses.

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About the Author

Joshua J. Mark

Joshua J. Mark is World History Encyclopedia's co-founder and Content Director. He was previously a professor at Marist College (NY) where he taught history, philosophy, literature, and writing. He has traveled extensively and lived in Greece and Germany.

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Uploaded by Joshua J. Mark, published on 07 February 2024. The copyright holder has published this content under the following license: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike. This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon this content non-commercially, as long as they credit the author and license their new creations under the identical terms. When republishing on the web a hyperlink back to the original content source URL must be included. Please note that content linked from this page may have different licensing terms.

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