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Wepwawet
 

In Egyptian mythology, Wepwawet (also spelt Upuaut, Wep-wawet, and Ophois) was originally a war god, whose cult centre was Lycopolis (Atef-Khent), in Upper Egypt. In particular Wepwawet was seen as a scout, going out to clear routes for the army to proceed forward, thus his name, which means opener of the ways, indeed, Wepwawet is depicted on the shedshed, a standard that led armies to battle.

Wepwawet was originally seen as a wolf-god, thus the Greek name of Lycopolis, meaning city of wolves, and it is likely the case that Wepwawet was originally just a symbol of the pharaoh, seeking to attribute himself with wolf-like attributes, that was later deified as a mascot.

    
Likewise, Wepwawet was said to accompany the pharaoh on hunts, in which capacity was he was titled (one with) sharp arrow more powerful than the gods.

Over time, the connection to war, and thus to death, lead to Wepwawet also being seen as one who opened the ways to, and through, duat, for the spirits of the dead. Thus this, through also the similarity of the jackal to the wolf, Wepwawet became considered connected to Anubis (Anupu), eventually becoming considered his son, and seen as a jackal.

In art, Wepwawet was shown as a wolf, or as a jackal, or as a man with the head of a wolf or a jackal. Even when considered a jackal, Wepwawet was usually shown with grey, or white fur, reflecting his lupine origins. He was depicted dressed as a soldier, as well as carrying other military equipment —a mace and a bow.

For what is generally considered to be propaganda purposes of the Pharaohs, a later mythos was briefly circulated claiming that Wepwawet was born at the sanctuary of Wadjet, a location in the heart of Lower Egypt. Consequently, Wepwawet, who had hitherto been the standard of Upper Egypt alone, formed an integral part of royal rituals, symbolising the unification of Egypt.

Eventually, his identity merged into that of Anubis, and so when Anubis, the god of the dead in the Ogdoad belief system, was displaced by Osiris (Ausare), the god of the dead in the Ennead, Wepwawet, more accurately Anubis, became considered Isis' (Aset's) adopted son (his real mother being said to be Nephthys (Nebt-het), the father being Osiris).     


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