Ammit, goddess of Egypt

Ancient Egyptian Gods and Goddesses for kids - Ammit the 'Devourer of the Dead'

Mythology & History of ancient Egypt surrounding Ammit the 'Devourer of the Dead' and the 'Eater of Souls'

 

Ammit, goddess of Egypt
Discover the legends and myths and religious beliefs surrounding Ammit, the crocodile-headed goddess of the Underworld (Duat), the 'Devourer of the Dead' and 'Eater of Souls'. Although Ammit is often referred to as a goddess of the Underworld, a more accurate description is that of a demon, a supernatural and malevolent being. She was depicted as having the head of a crocodile, the torso of a lioness and the hindquarters of a hippopotamus, a combination of the most terrifying and ferocious creatures known to the ancient Egyptians. She features in the Book of the Dead as the punisher and executioner. Ammit waited in the Judgement Hall of the Two Truths during the Weighing of the Heart ceremony, and devoured those deemed to be sinners.

Ammit in Egyptian Mythology
Ammit was the demonic goddess of the Underworld who attended the judgement of the soul in the Underworld. Actions in the earthly life were judged by Osiris and 42 other deity judges. If they judged that the soul had led a sinful earthly life their soul being given to Ammit the "devourer of the dead" or the "soul-eater".

Facts about the Crocodile Headed Demonic Goddess, Ammit the Devourer
The following facts and profile provides a fast overview of Ammit the Devourer of the Dead:

Ammit Profile & Fact File

Egyptian Name: Ammit. Alternative Names: Ammut, Ahemait, Amam, Am-mit
 
Role & Function: The function of Ammit is described as being a Demonic goddess, the executioner of the Underworld (Duat)
 
Status: Demonic goddess of death and punishment
 
Symbols: The crocodile, lion and hippo. The Owl, a symbol of death
 
Cult Center Ammit had a own cult center at Thebes
Titles: The "Devourer of the Dead" or the "Soul-eater".
 
Name in Hieroglyphics: Translation of Hieroglyphics for Ammit: Letter A (the arm), the owl representing the letter M and also the soul, the half circle symbol representing feminine

Hieroglyphic Symbol for Ammit

 

The Egyptian Gods and Goddesses

 

The Hieroglyphic Symbol for Ammit
The Hieroglyphic Symbol for Ammit is interesting as it reflects her association with death as the eater of souls. Ammit is represented by two symbols of the owl. The Hieroglyphic symbol for Ammit starts with the Letter A (the arm) followed by the first Owl representing the letter M, the combined letters indicate her name. The second owl symbolizes death and the soul.

Hieroglyphic Symbol for Ammit Hieroglyph Alphabet - M

Ammit - The Eater of Souls'
The ancient Egyptians called the soul by two names - the Ka and Ba. The two owl symbols are a reminder of this.

  • The Ka was the life-force and spiritual essence of the soul
  • The Ba was the roaming physical essence of the soul and was represented as a bird, a hawk, with a human head that symbolized the deceased

The Akhu was the divine spark of the soul that emerged when the Ka and Ba were united. The ancient Egyptians were desperate for the Ka to survive and unite with the Ba so the Akhu, the divine spark, could emerge and the soul could enter the world of immortality . Should they be deemed to have led sinful lives, the part of the soul called the 'Ba' would be given to Ammit, the 'Devourer of the Dead' and 'Eater of Souls'.

Ammit, eater of souls

Ammit, eater of souls

Ammit in Egyptian Mythology - The Book of the Dead
The Book of the Dead was a protective 'guide' providing the correct ways to address the gods of the Underworld, to answer any questions and persuade the gods that they had committed no evil or wrong doings. Success allowed for entry into the 'House of Reeds' (the Egyptian paradise). Failure to answer questions correctly, or use the appropriate responses, implied that they had led a sinful life and would result in their soul being given to Ammit the "devourer of the dead" or the "soul-eater". The text contained in the Book of the Dead was prepared before death and used like a 'crib sheet' in preparation for the trials of the Underworld. Prior study of the text and the spells contained in the Book of the Dead would help to provide safe passage through the trials which led to the Hall of Two Truths where actions in mortal lives would be examined. The texts were also entombed with the dead to ensure they avoided punishment and execution by Ammit.

Ammit in Egyptian Mythology - The Negative Confessions
The Magic Spell 125 is the best known spell of the Book of the Dead and was included in every papyrus buried with deceased Egyptians. Spell 125 deals with the dead soul's judgement by Osiris and the 42 judge deities who were faced in the Hall of the Truth in the Underworld. The soul of the dead had to recite the "declaration of innocence" which was addressed to Osiris and consisted of the denial of sinful actions (negative confessions) in order to assure Osiris that he has lived a good life and should not be executed by Ammit. There are different versions of the Egyptian "declaration of innocence" or Negative Confessions - this is a selection of the Negative Confessions:

Negative Confessions
The Declaration of Innocence to avoid Ammit

I have not killed anyone
I have not committed evil
I have not wronged my kinfolk
I have not consorted with evil people
I have not committed acts of abomination
I have not done less than duty requires
I have not attempted to gain undeserved honors
I have not oppressed anyone
I have not treated any Deity with disrespect
I have not defrauded anyone
I have not done what the Deities detest
I have not caused anyone to suffer
I have not allowed anyone to go hungry
I have not caused anyone to weep
I have not taken offerings intended for the temple
I have not cheated in the measuring of grain
I have not encroached upon the fields of others
I have not added to the weight of the balance of the scales
I have not neglected to make temple offerings

Gods of The Underworld

Ammit and the Gods of the Underworld

 

Ammit

  • Ammit, the devourer of the dead
  • Interesting research information and Facts about the Egyptian demonic goddess Ammit
  • Ammit, the eater of souls
  • Stories and Legends in Egyptian Mythology associated with Ammit
  • Facts and information about the gods and deities of of classical Egypt for schools, research and kids
  • Ammit, the demonic goddess of death and the Underworld

The Egyptian Gods and Goddesses

 

Facts about Ammit in Egyptian Mythology
Discover interesting information and research facts about Ammit, the Egyptian demonic goddess of death and the Underworld, the executioner. The facts about Ammit provides a list detailing fascinating additional info to increase your knowledge about Ammit in Egyptian Mythology.

History, Mythology and Facts about Ammit

Fact 1: Ammit or Ammut was the demonic goddess of death and execution who resided in the Underworld (Duat)
 
Fact 2: Ammit was also known as the 'Dweller in Amenty' or the 'Devourer of Amenty', the place where the sun sets
 
Fact 3: Amenty was a name given to the west bank of the Nile - Egyptian cemeteries and tombs were all on the west of the Nile
 
Fact 4: There are ancient images found on papyrus showing Ammit lying beside the Lake of Fire (or Hell) which was said to also be in Amenty 
 
Fact 5: The Feather of Maat was placed on the opposite side of the scale from the spiritual heart of the deceased. If the scale balanced, the deceased was allowed to go on to the afterlife. If not, it was given to Ammit to devour.
 
Fact 6: The spiritual heart was called the 'Ib', the source of good and evil. (The physical heart was called the haty)
 
Fact 7: Once Ammit swallowed the 'Ib', the remaining parts of the soul were believed to become restless forever - this was called "to die a second time". The ancient Egyptians feared the "second-death" even more than the first death.
 
Fact 8: Ammit sat beside the scales of Ma'at ready to devour the souls of those who had sinned
 
Fact 9: Ammit was never worshipped, but her image was thought to ward off evil.
 
Fact 10: Ammit never left the Judgement Hall of the Two Truths and was only encountered by the dead on their day of judgement.
 

Ammit

 

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