In early Egyptian
mythology, Anhur (also spelt Onuris,
Onouris, An-Her, Anhuret, Han-Her, Inhert) was
originally a foreign god of war, who started being
worshipped in the Egyptian area of Abydos, and
particularly in Thinis, during the 11th dynasty.
Myths told that he had brought his wife, Menhit,
who was his female counterpart, from Nubia, and
his name reflects this - it means (one who) leads
back the distant one.
One of his titles was Slayer of Enemies. Anhur was depicted
as a bearded man wearing a robe and a headdress with four
feathers, holding a spear or lance, or occasionally as a lion-headed
god (representing strength and power). In some depictions,
the robe was more similar to a kilt.
Due to his position as a war god, he was patron of the ancient
Egyptian army, and the personification of royal warriors.
Indeed, at festivals honoring him, mock battles were staged.
During the Roman Era the Emperor Tiberius was depicted on
the walls of Egyptian temples wearing the distinctive four-plumed
crown of Anhur.
Because Anhur's name also could mean Sky Bearer,
and due to the shared headdress, Anhur was later
identified as Shu,
becoming Anhur-Shu. Since Anhur was the more
popular and significant deity, and, indeed,
Shu was more a concept than a god, Shu was eventually
absorbed completely into Anhur.
In the New Kingdom, his popularity increased
and Anhur was also titled Saviour, becoming
to the people their deliverer from human burden,
due to their view of war as their source of
freedom and victory.
The aspects of war, and saviour, shared with
Horus, contributed to Anhur's eventual identification
with the much greater Horus.
During the egyptian period of dominance over
Nubia, the kushites named Horus-Anhur as Arensnuphis
(also Arsnuphis, Harensnuphis), Ari-hes-nefer
in Egyptian, meaning something along the lines
of Horus of the beautiful house. Consequently
became identified as an aspect of Horus (and
vice-versa), Arensnuphis was viewed as having
as his wife.
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