Triads of Egyptian Gods

Ancient Egyptian Gods for kids - Triads of Egyptian Gods

The history of ancient Egypt and the Triads of Egyptian Gods and Goddesses

 

Triads of Egyptian Gods
Discover the history and religious beliefs surrounding the Triads of Egyptian Gods. In ancient Egypt there was no single god, the Egyptian religion allowed for an unlimited number of gods and goddesses. There was not a single ‘Holy Book’, and there were different versions of Creation myths which featured gods from different locations. These religious cults provided the basis of ancient Egyptian religion. The names of the cults indicated the number of major gods worshipped in the cult and the location of the cult center. Often three favored gods were worshipped which are referred to as a triad. The most famous triads of Egyptian gods were the Triad of Thebes and the Triad of Memphis.

Facts about the Triads of Egyptian Gods
The creation myths about the Triads of Egyptian Gods provided answers to many questions about life on earth and in the afterlife that were posed by ordinary ancient Egyptians. The religious leaders developed new cults benefiting the city,the pharaoh and, of course, the priests.
 

 

Triads of Egyptian Gods
Fact File

 


Name:

A triad was a group of three Egyptian gods that featured in the religion of ancient Egypt. The word 'triad' derives from the Latin word "triadis" meaning a group or set of three
 
A Triad: A triad would typically consist of a god, his spouse and one of their children representing a family unit. However, some triads of Egyptian gods were not related to each other
 
Number of Triads: There were many Triads of Egyptian Gods but most of the triads were of local importance. The major gods of Egypt had political backing leading to large followings and the establishment of cult centers where the Egyptian gods were celebrated with lucrative festivals and processions. 
 
Famous Triads of Egyptian gods: The most famous Triads of Egyptian gods were:
  • The Triad of Thebes
  • The Triad of Memphis
  • The Elephantine Triad
  • The Triad of Abydos
  • The Triad of Kom Ombo
  • The Triad of Latopolis
  • The Triad of Edfu
  • Triad of Medamud (near Thebes)
  • Triad of Dendera
  • Triad of Crocodilopolis
  • Triad of Mendes
 

The Egyptian Gods and Goddesses

 

Cult Centers and Triads of Egyptian Gods
Ancient Egyptian Cities that achieved the status of a cult center became extremely rich and powerful. The ancient Egyptian priests vied for position and power, re-inventing Egyptian gods and creation myths to increase the popularity of their gods and create cult centers. A cult center brought great wealth to a city and this brought about powerful political backing, high status and great influence. 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. The financial and political implications explain why there were so many cult centers and Triads of Egyptian gods.

Ancient Egypt

Locations of the Triads of Egyptian Gods
The names of the cults indicated the number of major gods worshipped in the cult and the location of the cult center. The most famous Triads of Egyptian gods were those located at the ancient Egyptian cities of Thebes, Memphis, Elephantine Island, Abydos, Kom Ombo, Latopolis and Edfu. The following maps show the location of the ancient Egyptian cities in Lower and Upper Egypt that had Triads of Egyptian gods.

The Ancient Cities of Egypt

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

 

Triads of Egyptian Gods

  • Interesting research information and Facts about the ancient Triads of Egyptian Gods
  • The Triads of Egyptian Gods
  • Egyptian History associated with the Triads of Egyptian Gods
  • Facts and information about the gods and deities of of classical Egypt for schools, research and kids
  • Summary of the Triads of Egyptian Gods for kids and schools

The Egyptian Gods and Goddesses

 

Triads of Egyptian Gods - The Triad of Memphis
The Triad of Memphis centred around earth worship and the cult of the god Ptah, his wife Sekhmet, and their son Nefertem. Memphis was an ancient city in Lower Egypt, whose ruins are situated on the Nile River about 10 miles (15 km) south of Cairo. It is the site of the pyramids of Saqqara and Giza and the Sphinx.

Triads of Egyptian Gods - The Triad of Thebes (Karnak and Luxor)
The Triad of Thebes consisted of Amun, his consort Mut and son, Khonsu. Thebes is the Greek name for a city in Upper Egypt on the east bank of the river Nile (now Luxor and Karnak). The Valley of the Kings and Queens is located in the desert necropolis on the west bank of the Nile opposite Thebes. Amun  was originally a local god, then a member of the eight gods collectively called the
Ogdoad of Hermopolis. He then emerged as a member of the three gods referred to as the Triad of Thebes.

Triads of Egyptian Gods - The Elephantine Triad
The Elephantine triad of gods consisted of Khnum, Satet and their daughter Anuket, the goddess of the cataracts. Elephantine is situated at Aswan standing at the border between Egypt and Nubia in Upper Egypt and was the cult center for the three gods.

Triads of Egyptian Gods - The Triad of Abydos
The Triad of Abydos consisted of Osiris, his consort Isis  and son, Horus. Abydos is located in Upper Egypt, near Dendara. It was the site of an Ancient Egyptian city and burial place of the early Egyptian kings. The most famous of the royal monuments at Abydos include that of the Temple of Seti I and the mortuary complex of Queen Tetisheri.

Triads of Egyptian Gods - The Triad of Kom Ombo
The Triad of Kom Ombo consisted of Sobek, his consort Hathor and son, Khonsu. Kom Ombo was originally an Egyptian city called Nubt, meaning City of Gold that was located in Upper Egypt and controlled trade routes from Nubia to the Nile Valley. The Kom Ombo temple was built by Tuthmosis III primarily in honor of the crocodile-headed god Sobek but also to the gods Hathor, Khonsu and Horus the Elder.

Triads of Egyptian Gods - The Triad of Latopolis (Esna)
The Triad of Latopolis consisted of Khnum, his consort Neith and son, Heka. The Egyptian city of Esna was known to the Greeks as Latopolis and located in Upper Egypt on the west bank of the River Nile, 45 km south of Luxor. The temple of Esna was dedicated to this triad.

Triads of Egyptian Gods - The Triad of Edfu
The Triad of Edfu consisted of Horus, Hathor and Harsomtus (Horus the child). The city of Edfu (Behdet) is located in Upper Egypt on the west bank of the Nile River between Esna and Aswan. The Temple of Horus is situated at Edfu, and dates from the Old Kingdom.

Triads of Egyptian Gods - The Triad of Medamud (near Thebes)
The Triad of Medamud consisted of Menthu the god of warfare, the cow goddess Raet (aka Raettawy) and Harpocrates (as Horus the child). When the Greeks conquered Egypt under Alexander the Great, they transformed the Egyptian Horus into their Hellenistic god known as Harpocrates meaning "Horus the Child"). The location of the ancient city of Medamud (from the Ancient Egyptian Madu) was in Upper Egypt about 8 km east-north from Thebes (Luxor).

Triads of Egyptian Gods - The Triad of Dendera
The Triad of Dendera consisted of Horus, his consort Hathor and their child god Ihy. The location of the ancient city of Dendera was located south of Abydos in Upper Egypt.

Triads of Egyptian Gods - The Triad of Crocodilopolis
The Faiyum was a center of agriculture and the cult center of the crocodile-headed god Sobek was at Crocodilopolis the main city of this region. Renenutet was worshipped as the consort of Sobek and their son was believed to be Neper, the child-god of grain and the harvest. Together they formed a triad of agricultural deities. 

Triads of Egyptian Gods - The Triad of Mendes
Mendes was a city in the Nile Delta region of Lower Egypt and the cult center of Banebdjedet, the ram god god of fertility and the "Ba of the Lord of Mendes". Together with his consort, the fish goddess Hatmehit, and their son Harpocrates, aka Horus the child, they formed the Triad of Mendes, also referred to as the "Mendesian Triad".

Triads of Egyptian Gods - The Child Gods of Ancient Egypt
Many of the Triads of Egyptian gods included a child god, emphasizing the importance of the family in ancient Egypt and the divine and royal status as a legitimate heir.

 

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