Omissions? Sobek’s mother Neith was worshipped by the Egyptians as an ancient goddess of war. After murdering Osiris, Seth (Osiris’ brother) dumped the mutilated body of Osiris in the Nile River. According to the. Iconography Crocodile, Crocodile with a falcon head. Though, some myths say they were enemies, yet some myths indicate that Sobek was a feature of Horus. Column with a carving of the crocodile god Sebek at Ombos, Egypt. Sobek’s most obvious symbol was that of a crocodile. Some of the goddesses most commonly paired with him are Hathor, Renenutet, Heqet, and Tawaret. Updates? First, the god in question is most likely the crocodile deity Sobek. Required fields are marked *. Archaeologists have confirmed these facts. Though it was a fusion, but this brought Sobek closer to the kings of Egypt. During his reign, Sobek went through an important change. Depicting Sobek as the son of Horus often times accentuates his good side and attributes. #2 Ancient Egypt Online, Your email address will not be published. 12 Third, Sobek was especially venerated by king Amenemhet III, a pharaoh contemporary to Abraham. This article was most recently revised and updated by, Sebek - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). Therefore, anything that had to do with crocodiles were either feared or honored in ancient Egypt. In some cases, such persons were given the same mummification process and treatment comparable to that of a pharaoh. His name was often seen in the same light as the falcon-headed god Horus. The cult centers of Sobek were built in such places where there were crocodiles. He was often associated with fellow Egyptian gods such as Re (or Ra), Horus and Seth. Sebek may have been an early fertility god or associated with death and burial before becoming a major deity and patron of kings in the Middle Kingdom (c.1938–c. Sobek, fully aware of the heinous act perpetrated by Seth, went ahead to devour Osiris’ body parts. The story goes on to say that Sobek’s tongue was cut off. The Eye of Horus: The Real Meaning of a Powerful Ancient Symbol, Amaterasu: The Solar Goddess and Divine ascendant of the Japanese Imperial Family, 8 Most Important Gods and Goddesses of Mayans. Sobek’s link with the Nile river also indicated that he was considered as the god of fertility. The decendants of Amenemhat, including Pharaoh Amenemhat III, often called themselves in relation to Sobek. At Kom Ombo, the best-known cult center for Sobek was made and there was also a temple dedicated to him along with Horus. Worldhistoryedu is not responsible for the content of external sites. World History Edu © 2020. Sobek’s name is found in the Pyramid Texts which is the oldest corpus of ancient Egyptian religious texts. – Biography, Final Flight, Disappearance, & Facts. To the ancient Greeks, Shedyet was known as “Crocodolpolis”, which translates into the “City of Crocodile”. Tags: Ancient Egyptian godsHorusNile River FactsOsirisSet (Seth)Sobek, Your email address will not be published. One of the first pharaohs of the First Dynasty of Egypt, Pharaoh Hor-Aha (or Aha), is believed to have been a devout follower of Sobek. Classical authors, for instance, Herodotus and Strabo said that the priests of Sobek used to respect or admire crocodiles as those were believed to be the earthly embodiment of the god. One of the myths states that while the crocodile god Sobek was creating the world, the Nile river was formed from his sweat. the divine Triad of Horus). The Unas Pyramid Texts (Utterances 308 and 317) refers that Sobek is the son of Neith, an old deity of the ancient Egyptian pantheon. This story also shows how animalistic Sobek can be sometimes. FACT CHECK: At, we strive for utmost accuracy and objectivity. Old Kingdom Egyptians also called Sobek the “Lord of Faiyem”. Sebek, also spelled Sobek, Greek Suchos, in ancient Egyptian religion, crocodile god whose chief sanctuary in Fayyūm province included a live sacred crocodile, Petsuchos (Greek: “He Who Belongs to Suchos”), in whom the god was believed to be incarnate. Ayia Napa Sea Monster – Is It Real or Just Myth. In the case of ‘Sobek-Horus’, the head of a falcon was placed on top of the body of crocodile. When the god Set fought with Horus, Sobek was there for Set. A crocodile god of the ancient, oasis city of Arsinoe always wanted plenty of water to survive and thrive. Egyptian God who personified the fruitful and beneficial action of water, but at the same time, also its destructive power. In Uncategorized; Leave a comment; Sobek was said to have rescued Horus’ four sons by gathering them into a net and scooping them from the waters where they had emerged from the centre of a lotus blooming flower. Renenutet was venerated by the Egyptians as the guardian of the harvest. Sobek is the ancient Egyptian god of power, virility, fertility, and strength. Sobek was also offered mummified crocodile eggs, meant to emphasize the cyclical nature of his solar attributes as Sobek-Ra. Sobek. When set was defeated, all his people those were with him turned themselves into crocodiles to escape from Horus. Regardless of how dangerous crocodiles were, the ancient Egyptians believed that keeping them as house pets bestowed on the household a plethora of blessings, as well as protection. Sobek being the creator of the Nile meant that he had dominion over how and when the Nile rose. Sobek is also known as Sebek, Sebek-Ra, Sobeq, Sochet, Sobki, or Sobk to the ancient Egyptians. The king took many initiatives in building projects to promote Sobek. Required fields are marked *. Another myth says that when Isis was giving birth to Horus, Sobek provided help to her. 1. Ancient Egyptians believed that Sobek could bring back sight and senses to the dead. Second, among other things, Sobek was closely associated with the Pharaoh of Egypt. The worship of Sebek continued into Ptolemaic and Roman times in the Fayyūm, at Kawm Umbū (Kom Ombo) in Upper Egypt, and elsewhere. Along with it, Sobek is sometimes said as the father of Khonsu, Khnum, or Horus. And Sobek gave protection to the Egyptians against the dangers of the Nile. Sobek has all the standard abilities of an Egyptian god and is very powerful. According to the famous Greek historian and philosopher Herodotus, the ancient Egyptians believed that dying at the hands of a crocodile guaranteed deceased a divine place in the aftermath. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Basically, Crocodiles were seen as sacred animals that warded off bad spirits and wicked people. The crocodile-headed god was found guilty and punished. Sobek’s worship and veneration peaked during the reigns of twelfth dynasty pharaohs Amenemhat I and Senusret I. Archeological findings have revealed that those pharaohs built several monuments and temples (at Faiyum) in honor of Sobek. Undoubtedly, Sobek’s most famous cult center has got to be Crocodopolis (also known as the “City of Crocodiles”). 4. This was due to Shedyet’s close proximity to the reigion of Faiyem (also Faiyum). As a matter of fact, many Middle Kingdom and New Kingdom pharaohs believed that their power was derived from Sobek. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. His name translates into ‘traveler’. His role as creator god put him in direct relationship with Ra and Khnum, associating the habitat of the crocodile, his sacred animal. In him, the army drew strength, courage and vitality. The name “Crocodopolis” is actually a Greek name given to one of the most, It is most likely that pharaohs from the 12. References: Priests would feed them and even sometimes they would be adorned with jewelry. Cemeteries of mummified crocodiles have been found in the Fayyūm and at Kawm Umbū. Posted on October 9, 2020; By . During the Middle Kingdom, Sobek was considered one of the three important disciples of Horus (i.e. He was honored by them as he was considered as the patron of the army. For example, Sobek exhibited his nurturing and protective trait when he saved four of Horus’ sons from dying. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. The snake god Renenutet was commonly regarded as the wife of Sobek. Another famous cult center of Sobek was Kom Ombo, where crocodiles were given the utmost veneration and protection. Ancient Egyptian texts, such as the Pyramid Texts and the Book of the Dead, generally depict Sobek as a man with the head of a crocodile. From Cairo to Khartoum, sort out this facts in this African odyssey. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). The partner of Sobek differs from place to place. Egypt without the Nile would have been a barren desert or a waste land. The powers of Sobek were believed to have extended to the very creation of the world and was associated with the sun god Ra. So we can say that sobek was worshiped in the old kingdom, but he gained popularity in the middle kingdom from 2055 to 1650 BCE. But if you come across something that doesn’t look right, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. In fact, the temple’s crocodile came to be revered as the “Son of Sobek” or “Petsuchos”. And mummified crocodiles were found there. The armies of the Egyptian pharaohs would pray to him to bestow upon them strength and courage during battles. Below is a presentation of everything that you need to know about Sobek in Egyptian mythology – the crocodile-headed god of the Nile: Major Cult Centers – Crocodilopolis and Kom Ombo, Role – God of the Nile, crocodiles and fertility, Association – Fertility, strength and power, military capabilities, protection against evil spirits, Meaning of the name – Sbk : “to impregnate”. He was violent in many aspects. Sebek, also spelled Sobek, Greek Suchos, in ancient Egyptian religion, crocodile god whose chief sanctuary in Fayyūm province included a live sacred crocodile, Petsuchos (Greek: “He Who Belongs to Suchos”), in whom the god was believed to be incarnate. Sobek’s son, Khonsu, was worshiped as the god of the moon and time. Of all the three major kingdoms that characterized ancient Egypt, the Middle Kingdom was the era when Sobek’s fame and veneration was at its highest. Sobek, Hathor, and Khonsu were called the Triad of Kom Ombo. In other accounts, it is said that Sobek emerged out of the primeval waters of Nun. Subsequently, a new crocodile was selected to succeed the old one. Sobek was an ancient Egyptian God of the Nile, fertility and crocodiles. Ancient Egyptians had some creation myths and they included Sobek in it. Together, Sobek and Renenutet bore a son called Khonsu – a moon and time deity. When any crocodile died, they would be mummified with respect. Owing to this, Sobek was the kind of god that the ancient Egyptians did not mess around with. Some believed that the worship of crocodiles started from the fear of Sobek. For engaging in such sacrilegious act, Sobek was brought before the counsel of Egyptian gods and tried. I thought he did pretty good considering he was attacked from... D.Trump served his purpose. And because the Nile deposited rich soil sediments across the land, many ancient Egyptians venerated Sobek as the god of fertility. However, there are some accounts that believe that Sobek was the son of Horus.