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Nubia / Religion / Gods /


In Ancient Nubian religion, lion-god.
Apedemak was called "The Lord of Royal Power." In Nubia, with the kingdoms of Cush, the royal throne was always depicted as a lion. Temple reliefs could show kings subdued by lions, and even eaten.
Apedemak originated in MeroŽ region, and had his main cult centres near the 6th cataract of the Nile river. The main temples were at the lion temples at Musawwarat al-Sufra and Naqa. There was also a temple at MeroŽ itself, and perhaps even at Basa.
Interestingly, inscriptions at Musawwarat al-Sufra are in hieroglyphs, not in Meroitic script, indicating a close link with Egyptian religion, although Apedemak was uniqe to Nubia.
At Naqa, walls are filled with reliefs of Apedemak together with Egyptian deities, forming a triad with Isis, with Horus as their son. Apedemak is also represented together with Hathor and Amon.
There are great similarities between Apedemak and the obscure Egyptian god, Maahes, who also represented a specific religious dimension in the oases of the Western Desert. Also, it is possible that the cult of Sekhmet, Egypt's lion goddess, was introduced from Nubia, and related to that of Apedemak.

By Tore Kjeilen