Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Anubis, whose hieroglyphic name more closely translates as Anpu, Anupu, or Inepu, is the Greek name for the Ancient Egyptian god of death and dying, and sometimes god of the underworld. His mother is Hesat or Bastet with an unknown father, or Nephthys, and his father is variously said to be Set, Ra or Ausare (Osiris). His daughter is Qeb-hwt, also known as Kebechet. In later times, Anubis was combined with the Greek god Hermes to form Hermanubis. The center of his cult was in Suten-ha/Sa-ka/Cynopolis .
He has the head of a jackal or some other kind of dog, and the jackal is his symbol. The jackal imagery is related to Anubis' role among the deities of Egypt, as the jackal is a scavenger and is strongly associated with death and dying. He was also known as the Guardian of the Dead. In art, he is depicted as a man with a canine head and alert ears, often wearing a ribbon and wielding a whip.
Roles in mythology
Anubis was originally the lord of the underworld, however following the rise of the cult of Osiris he becomes the gatekeeper. In the Horus story he stands down his position out of respect for Osiris in order to allow him to take over.
Anubis' role as gate keeper was primarily that of either holding or watching the scales with which the souls of the dead were weighted against the feather of Ma'at. If the soul was as light as the feather, Anubis led the soul to Osiris; otherwise, it was fed to Ammit. (Some authors reverse the weighing: if the soul's lies and sins weren't as weighty/worthy as the truth, they were fed to Ammit) In this role, he is sometimes identified with a god known as Wep-wawet ("opener of the ways").
Worship of Anubis is likely older even than that of Osiris. The Unas text (line 70) associates him with the Eye of Horus. In the Book of the Dead, he embalms the body of Osiris, wraps it in linens made by Aset (Isis) and Nephthys, and protects the body by laying his bare hands on it.
The wife of Anubis is the goddess Anput, whose symbol is also a jackal. For many years Anput was thought to be just another name for Anubis — a strange idea when one considers that Egyptian names ending in t are usually feminine.
Anubis is worshiped by some Neopagans.
Anubis in modern culture
- Anubis appears as 'Jaquel', co-running a funeral parlor in Neil Gaiman's novel American Gods.
- Anubis appears in an episode of the animated TV series Gargoyles.
- Anubis appears in the TV show Stargate: SG-1 as a hostile alien.
- Anubis is the focus of a series of erotic furry comic books produced by Radio Comix .
- Anubis is a primary character in Stephen King's made-for-TV adaptation of Lars von Trier's series Kingdom Hospital.
- Anubis appears in the Nintendo 64 game 'War Gods '.
- Anubis also appears in the PlayStation 2 games Zone of the Enders: The Second Runner (as an Orbital Frame) and Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy (to direct and aid the hero in his quest).
- Anubis is a character in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie . In that movie he had the Pyramid of Light one of the Millennium Items.
- Anubis is also the first name of the character, Anubis Kruger, who is the mentor of the current Power Rangers incarnation: "Power Rangers SPD." He is featured as a dog-like creature with a humanoid body.
- Some information in this article was taken from the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism website at http://www.touregypt.net/ANUBIS.htm
Papio anubis is the scientific name for the savannah baboon. The name is taken from Anubis because the baboon is commonly thought of as dog-headed.
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