Crocodiles in Ancient Egypt

October 6, 2017

Within the populated Nile wildlife, the crocodile has always been one of the most characteristic and disturbing presences. At a height of six meters, its powerful jaw and scaly shield represented a constant and distressing threat to the ancient Egyptians, accustomed to sailing and fishing in fragile papyrus boats. It is not strange, therefore, that this dreaded animal occupy a prominent place in Pharaonic culture.For the inhabitants of the Nile valley, the crocodile was synonymous with danger. Some signs of hieroglyphic writing show the saurian with one or more knives stuck in his body. In addition, some terms were written with a particle in the shape of a crocodile to express concepts linked to “aggressiveness” and “voracity”.South East Asia is very beautiful.

 

The stealthy reptile posed a threat to all who approached the banks of the Nile, beginning with the other animals. Thus, in a papyrus of the New Empire registers some spells necessary to protect the horses that crossed the river. As for humans, the danger of crocodiles became a literary topic. In the Satire of the trades , for example, the risk is explained by the laundress washing on the banks of the Nile, having the crocodiles as neighbors, or the fisherman who works in the river mixed with them and whom fear prevents from getting a copious fishery. In the Dialogue of the desperate with his ba , the protagonist declares: “Look, my name is detested, rather than sitting on a sandbank full of crocodiles”. In the Westcar Papyrus , a fantastic crocodile intervenes in a story of jealousy and revenge. In the story, the priest Ubaoner discovers that his wife is unfaithful to him and to know the appointment programmed by the lovers creates a crocodile of wax that, by means of the magic, comes alive and catches the lover of his wife, taking it to the bottom of the river. After several adventures, the animal eats the unfortunate, while the adulteress dies burned.You can read about history in http://www.helohistory.com/ .

God Sobek, with crocodile head

In a tale of the New Empire called The Predestined Prince , the goddesses of fate predict to the king that his unborn child will die because of a crocodile, a dog or a snake. The king then judges it necessary to hide the child in a house in the desert; the crocodile discovers it, although it does not seem to kill it (the end of the story is lost). Another narrative of the same period relates the confrontation between two brothers, Inpu and Bata, because of the lies machined by the woman of the first in revenge for having felt rejected by his brother-in-law; the fight stops when intervening a divinity that interposes between them a lake full of crocodiles that no one dares to cross.But the crocodile was not just a terrifying beast. It also aroused special reverence, which made various deities take their form. Thus, the hawk god Horus was transformed into a crocodile to remove from the depths of the river his father Osiris, murdered by his evil brother Set. He was also identified with the solar god Re at the time of his resurrection emerging from the Nun, the primordial waters.

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