God of the Week: Anubis

God of the Week 11/23/09: Anubis
anubisAnubis was the ancient Egyptian god of the afterlife. He was associated with the embalming, a practice that was associated with the concept of an afterlife. Anubis is known for his characteristic jackal head. He was frequently depicted carrying the Ankh, a symbol for eternal life.

Since he also shared the similar purpose of guiding souls to the underworld with the Greek god Hermes, the deities were syncretized during the Hellenistic period as Hermanubis during the Roman occupation of Egypt.

“In later times embalmment also was counted among these mechanical means, for ithad been forgotten that the only object of the mummification of the body and the preservation of the most important viscera in canopic vases was to keep an abode for the soul. It was then believed that Osiris was the first to be mummified, and that embalmment by the fingers of Anubis had secured for him eternal life.” – The Mythology of All Race, Volume XII Max Muller, Edited by Louis Herbert Gray

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