Ancient Egyptian Gods for Kids
Much of the ancient world was unknown to the people who lived in ancient Egypt, so they worshiped many gods. This helped them feel more secure and more able to cope with their surroundings. Some of the Egyptian gods are listed below, along with a description of their characteristics and duties.
Amun - King of the Egyptian Gods
Amun was also known as Amen or Ammon and his name means “hidden one of mysterious form”. He was a major deity and often depicted in various forms, such as a human, a ram, or a goose. The various forms indicated that the Egyptians could never know his true identity. Amun eventually merged with the sun god Ra and became Amun-Ra; this made him head of all the gods.
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Anubis - God of Death
Anubis was the protector of the dead and was depicted as a human being but with the head of a jackal; his image is always in profile. His function was to escort the deceased to the judgment hall, where they would be held accountable for their actions during their earthly life.
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Bastet was known as the goddess of pleasure and she was depicted in profile as a female human with the head of a cat. Her temple was filled with cats and when they died, they were mummified.
Bes was the guardian of childbirth. He was also the god of entertainment and happiness, and protected people from dangerous animals and demons. He is shown full-faced rather than in profile and he appears as a dwarf with bowed legs and his tongue sticking out.
Hathor was Ra's daughter and the goddess of beauty, love, music, pleasure, and women. Sometimes, she punished humans for their wrongdoings. Her image has three forms: as a cow, as a woman with a cow's ears, and as a woman wearing cow's horns.
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Horus - The Egyptian Falcon God
Horus was the protector of kings, the god of the sky, and the enemy of Seth, who was the wicked god. He was also the son of Isis and Osiris and is depicted in profile as a human male with a hawk's head. Occasionally, he is shown as a young boy sitting on Isis' lap.
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Isis - The Goddess of Fertility
Isis was the goddess of funeral rites. She was also Osiris' wife and Horus' mother. She was the goddess who protected and healed kings, and was the giver of life. She is depicted in profile with a throne atop her head.
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Ma'at - The Goddess of Truth and Justice
Ma'at is depicted in profile as a female human with an ostrich feather on her head. Ma'at symbolized justice, truth, and harmony. She was also the main judge of those who had died.
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Nephthys was Isis' sister and Anubis' mother. She is depicted in profile as a female human with the hieroglyphs, or Egyptian letters, of a basket and a palace on her head. She and her sister Isis were the protectors of the dead and unlike other goddesses, Nephthys had no temple dedicated to her.
Osiris - God of the Underworld
Osiris is depicted as a mummified male with a white feathered headdress. He was the god of vegetation and harvest and one of Egypt's most important gods. His brother Seth killed him but his wife Isis brought him back to life. After his resurrection, he ruled the underworld and judged the dead who went there.
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Ra - The Sun
Ra was the sun god and the most important of all the gods. Usually, he is depicted as a seated human, in profile, and with the head of a falcon. He sailed the skies in the “Barque of Millions of Years” during the day and then went through the underworld at night.
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Seth - God of Chaos
Seth was Osiris' evil brother and the god of chaos, confusion and darkness. He is depicted in profile as a human male with the head of an indeterminate animal. He was despised by most of the other gods and often depicted as a donkey, a hippopotamus, or a pig. Although eventually defeated by Horus, their struggle connotes the ongoing battle between good and evil.
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Thoth is depicted as a human male with an ibis' head. He is shown holding a palette and pen and is the god of knowledge and writing. He was the oldest of the gods and acted as intermediary with other gods. One of his most important tasks was to record the deeds, both good and bad, of those who died and were sent to judgment.
Some other Egyptian gods are: