Religious Cults

Ancient Egyptian Gods and Goddesses for kids - Religious Cults

Facts about the history, locations and significance of the ancient Egyptian Religious Cults

 

Religious Cults in Ancient Egypt
Discover the history surrounding the Religious Cults in ancient Egypt. The strange ancient Egyptian cults consisted of groups of people at specific cities in Egypt who created cult centers that adopted a system of ritual practices and worship relating to a small number of gods. The major gods of Egypt had political backing leading to large followings and cult centers where their gods were celebrated with great festivals and processions. This article provides details of major cult centers in Upper and Lower Egypt and the names of the gods and goddesses that were worshipped.

Religious Cults - Chart of Cult Centers in Ancient Egypt
There were over 2000 ancient Egyptian gods and goddesses. Most were only worshipped at local level, and each town had their local deity, but other gods developed a cult status. The Egyptian priests were very rich, powerful and highly influential. Records relating to the New Kingdom show that the priests of the temples dedicated to the god Amun had over 80,000 people working for them and owned enormous amounts of land, cattle and hundreds of ships. Egyptian Priests therefore vied for position and power and the way to succeed was to establish a cult center in their city. The Egyptian priests therefore evolved different  creation myths explaining how their favored gods came into being. Not surprisingly there were many different religious cults in ancient Egypt.

Names of Religious Cults
The names of the cults indicated the number of gods worshipped in the cult and the location of the cult center. The Ennead is a collection of nine gods, an Ogdoad a collection of eight gods and a Triad a collection of three gods - refer to the Triads of Egyptian Gods.

Religious Cults and Festivals
Cult centers attracted many visitors who attended elaborate celebrations and festivals which often included magnificent river processions. Ordinary Egyptians were not allowed inside the temples that were built at the cult centers, so the festivals gave them the opportunity to see some of the rituals of the priests and gaze at the awesome statues of the gods and goddesses. Statues of the gods were removed from the temples and ceremoniously placed on gilded ceremonial barques, that were carried on the shoulders of the priests to even bigger river boats. The massive processions were similar to our own parades and included standard-bearing Egyptian soldiers, priests, musicians, singers and dancers. Statues of other gods were added to the procession as different temples were passed. The people would enjoy the spectacle of the procession and celebrate with drinking and feasting.

Ancient Egyptian Festival Procession

Ancient Egyptian Festival Procession

 

The Egyptian Gods and Goddesses

 

Religious Cults - Chart of Cult Centers
The names of the cults indicated the number of gods worshipped in the cult and the location of the cult center. The names of some of the major cults of ancient Egyptian religion were the Ennead of Heliopolis, the Ogdoad of Hermopolis, the Triad of Thebes, the Triad of Memphis and the Elephantine Triad of gods. Other religious cults are detailed in the chart of cult centers and religious cults.
 

 
Chart of Religious Cults
Cult Centre Gods an Goddesses
Abydos Osiris and Anubis
Bubastis Bastet
Busiris Osiris and Isis
Buto Wadjet
Coptos Min
Crocodopolis Sobek
Dendera Hathor
Edfu Horus
Esna (Triad of Latopolis) Khnum, Neith and Heka
Elephantine Triad Khnum, Satet & Anuket. Also Hapi
Heliopolis Atum Ra and the Ennead
Heraklepolis Heryshaf
Hermonthis Menthu
Hermopolis The Ogdoad and Thoth
Hierakonpolis Horus
Leontopolis Ra and the lion gods
Letopolis Horus
Memphis Triad Ptah, Sekhmet & Nefertum
Naqada Set
Ombos Sobek
Sais Neith
Tanis (Tanite Triad) Amun, Mut and Khonsu. Also Set
Thebes Triad Amun, Mut and Khonsu
Thinis Anhur

 

The Ancient Religious Cults - Map of Upper & Lower Egypt
The following maps show the location of the religious cults and their centers of worship in ancient Egypt.

The Ancient Cities of Egypt

Map of the Cities of Egypt (Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt)

 

Religious Cults

  • Interesting information and Facts about the Religious Cults
  • The ancient Religious Cults
  • History and Egyptian Mythology associated with Religious Cults, the city of the sun
  • Facts and information about Religious Cults for schools, research and kids
  • Facts about the Religious Cults
  • Religious Cults

The Egyptian Gods and Goddesses

 

Facts about Religious Cults in Upper Egypt
Interesting facts about the locations of the ancient Religious Cults and the gods and goddesses that were worshipped at the cult centers in Upper Egypt.

Religious Cults Fact Sheet - Religious Cults in Upper Egypt

Names of Ancient Religious Cults Facts about Ancient Religious Cults

Fact 1 on the Religious Cults:

Thebes
 

The cult center of the Triad of Thebes (Luxor) consisting of Amun, his consort Mut, and her son, Khonsu.
 

Fact 2 on the Religious Cults:

Abydos

The mythical burial place of the god Osiris and his cult center. A sacred center of worship notably to the the gods Anubis and Osiris with other shrines dedicated to Isis, Horus, Amun Ra and Ptah.
 

Fact 3 on the Religious Cults:

Thinis

Thinis was the cult center of the war god Anhur.
 

Fact 4 on the Religious Cults:

Dendera

Dendera, located south of Abydos was the cult center primarily for the goddess Hathor but Horus as her consort and Ihy as their son were together worshipped
 

Fact 5 on the Religious Cults:

Hierakonpolis

Hierakonpolis, the 'City of the Hawk', that worshipped the god Horus. 
 

Fact 6 on the Religious Cults:

Koptos

Coptus or Koptos the cult center of Min, a sky god. Isis and Horus were also worshipped at Coptos.
 

Fact 7 on the Religious Cults:

Edfu

The beautiful Temple of Horus was dedicated to the hawk-headed god
 

Fact 8 on the Religious Cults:

Elephantine

Elephantine was the cult center for the three gods Khnum, Satet the war goddess of the flood or inundation and their daughter Anuket, the goddess of the cataracts. The Nile god Hapi was worshipped at Elephantine Island
 

Fact 9 on the Religious Cults:

Khmun (Hermopolis)

Ogdoad of Hermopolis consisted of four pairs of deities. Aquatic gods represented by frogs and the goddesses represented by snakes : Amun and Amaunet, Heh and Hehet, Kek and Keket, and Nun and Naunet.
 

Fact 10 on the Religious Cults:

Kom Ombo
(Ombos)

The Kom Ombo temple was built primarily in honor of the crocodile-headed god Sobek but the gods Hathor, Khonsu and Horus the Elder were also worshipped there.
 

Fact 11 on the Religious Cults:

Esna (Latopolis)

Esna (Latopolis) was the cult center of the Triad of Latopolis consisting of Khnum, Neith and Heka.
 

Fact 12 on the Religious Cults:

Hermonthis

Hermonthis was the cult center of the god Menthu the ancient god associated with raging bulls, strength and war.
 

Fact 13 on the Religious Cults:

Naqada

Naqada was a cult center for the god Set
 

Facts about Religious Cults in Lower Egypt
Interesting facts about the locations of the ancient Religious Cults and the gods and goddesses that were worshipped at the cult centers in Lower Egypt.

Religious Cults Fact Sheet - Religious Cults in Lower Egypt

Names of Ancient Religious Cults Facts about Ancient Religious Cults

Fact 14 on the Religious Cults:

Memphis

The Triad of Memphis centred around the Cult of Ptah, his wife Sekhmet and their son was Nefertem but many other gods were also worshipped in the city
 

Fact 15 on the Religious Cults:

Hermopolis
(Khmunu)

An important religious center with its own version of the creation myth in respect of the Ogdoad of Hermopolis  which consisted of 4 pairs of aquatic gods represented by frogs and cobras. The names of the gods of the Ogdoad of Hermopolis were Amun and Amaunet, Heh and Hehet, Kek and Keket, and Nun and Naunet. The city was also the cult center of Thoth.
 

Fact 16 on the Religious Cults:

Busiris

Busiris Definition: Busiris was the cult center of Osiris
 

Fact 17 on the Religious Cults:

Sais

The city's patron goddess was Neith, whose cult was based in the city
 

Fact 18 on the Religious Cults:

Crocodilopolis
(Shedyet)

Shedyet or Crocodilopolis, "Crocodile City", was the cult center of Sobek the Egyptian crocodile god
 

Fact 19 on the Religious Cults:

Buto

Wadjet was the cobra goddess of Buto, there was also a sanctuary to Horus and became associated with Isis and Nefertum, the god of perfume
 

Fact 20 on the Religious Cults:

Bubastis

Bubastis was the cult center of Bastet the goddess of cats.
 

Fact 21 on the Religious Cults:

Leontopolis

Leontopolis, the "City of Lions" as there were many temples dedicated to the lion gods and goddesses such as Bastet (or Bast), Sekmet, Mafdet and Tefnut
 

Fact 22 on the Religious Cults:

Tanis

The chief deities of Tanis were Amun, his consort, Mut, and their child Khonsu, forming the Tanite Triad. Tanis become known as the 'Thebes of Lower Egypt' as the same three gods were worshipped as the Triad of Thebes.
 

Fact 23 on the Religious Cults:

Letopolis

Letopolis where its principle god was Horus the Elder, who was worshiped as Khenty-khem as the patron of the blind.
 

Fact 24 on the Religious Cults:

Heraklepolis

The city of Heraklepolis was the cult center of Heryshaf a creator and fertility god
 

Fact 25 on the Religious Cults:

Heliopolis

The ancient city of Heliopolis "City of the Sun" was extremely important as a religious center and was believed by the ancient Egyptians to be the birthplace of the sun god Atum and the first nine Egyptian gods known as the Ennead of Heliopolis, the divine family consisting of Atum (Ra), Geb, Isis, Nephthys, Nut, Osiris, Set, Shu and Tefnut.
 

Religious Cults Fact Sheet - Religious Cults in Lower Egypt

 

Religious Cults - Life - Symbol - Definition - Meaning - Significance - Religious Cults - Ancient -  Eygptian - Cities of Eygpt - Religious Cults - Cities of Eygpt - Kids - Religious Cults - Children - Eygptian - Deity - Life - Religion - Mythology - Myths - Religious Cults - Legends - Ancient - Religious Cults - Kids - Children - Symbol - Facts - Interesting - Information - Definition - Kids - Children - Religious Cults - History - Symbol - Religious Cults -  Definition - Significance - Ancient - Cities of Eygpt - Egyptian - Cities of Eygpt - Religious Cults - Egyptology - Old Egypt - Religion - Religious Beliefs - Egyptology - Egypten - Egyption - Cities of Egipt - Cities of Eygpt - Religious Cults - Travel - Tours - Nile cruise - Holiday - Cruise - Flights - Hotels - Vacation - Written By Linda Alchin