Egyptian Gods: Menhit

In ancient Egypt, Menhit was the foreign war goddess of Nubian origin. Her name Menhit, sometimes spelled as Menchit, Menhet, Menkit, Menkhet, translates into “the slaughterer”, “the one who sacrifices”, or “she who massacres”.  Because of her very aggressive and warrior-like character, she is sometimes known as the goddess of lions.  She was less commonly known as the Crown goddess.

She is believed to have the form of a woman with the head of lion. She often seen wearing a headdress with a solar disc and uraeus mounted on it.

Originally, she was a consort of the Nubian war god Anhur, or Onuris, who brought her to Egypt. She is believed to ride ahead of Egyptian armies and destroy great warriors of enemies by shooting fiery arrows causing an almost assured success in wars. In this aspect, she is the protector of kings, pharaohs and their armies.

In the third nome of Egypt, more particularly in Esna, she became the wife (mostly believed as Neith) of Khnum (the god of the source of Nile), and mother to Heka (the god of magic and witchcraft). Together, they became the “Triad of Latopolis” in Upper Egypt. Her cult center is at the city of Latopolis towards the southern border of Egypt and become closely associated with another war goddess, Sekhmet because of her duty and appearance. When Upper and Lower Egypt united, she became an aspect of Sekhmet.