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Sesmu
 
In Egyptian mythology, Sesmu (also spelt Shezmu, Shesmou, Sezmu, and Schesmu) was originally a deification of the wine press, when it gained cultural significance, his name simply translating as wine press. Until the Middle Kingdom, Egyptians only produced red wine, rather than white wine. The colour of the wine was the same as the setting sun, and so Sesmu was occasionally depicted as a hawk, the symbol of Horus, who was, in early times, the sun god.

Due to its colour, red wine became strongly identified with blood, and thus Sesmu was identified as lord of blood. Since wine was seen as a good thing, his association with blood was considered one of righteousness, making him considered an executioner of the unrighteous, being the slaughterer of souls. When the main form of execution was by beheading, it was said that Sesmu ripped off the heads of those who were wicked, and threw them into a wine press, to be crushed into red wine, which was given to the righteous dead. Beheading was commonly carried out by the victim resting their head on a wooden block, and so Sesmu was referred to as Overthrower of the Wicked at the Block. This violent aspect lead to depiction, in art, as a lion-headed man, thus being known as fierce of face.

In later times, Egyptians used the wine press for producing oils instead of wine, which was produced by crushing under foot instead. Consequently, Sesmu became associated with unguents and embalming oils, and thus the preservation of the body, and of beauty.

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This article is copied from an article on Wikipedia.org - the free encyclopedia created and edited by online user community. Although the vast majority of the wikipedia encyclopedia articles provide accurate and timely information please do not assume the accuracy of any particular article. This article is distributed under the terms of GNU Free Documentation License.

 

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