Montu, the god of war. 'Montu'


(Mont, Monthu, Mentu, Menthu)

Symbols: weapons, bulls, falcons
Cult Center: Hermonthis

Montu was the falcon-headed god of war. He was called the "lord of Thebes" even though his chief seat of worship was 10 miles to the south in Hermonthis. Hermonthis was the capital of the Theban nome.

Montu was portrayed as a falcon-headed man wearing a headdress consisting of the sun-disc encircled by the uraeus topped by two plumes. In his hands he would hold various weaponry, including the schimtar, bows and arrows, and knives.

Early in Theban history, Montu was an important and prominent god. Later when Amon rose in popularity, Montu became overshadowed and was incorporated into the Theban worship of Amon. He was sometimes shown with a bull's head during this period. He was said to be the destructive element of the sun's heat. Also, Montu was said to slay the sun's enemies from the prow of the night-boat of the sun.

During the 11th Dynasty, Montu was particularly powerful. Four kings in this period were named after him as Mentuhotep.

In all periods, Montu's warrior aspect was evident. He was almost always shown carrying a weapon of some sort and even slaying the enemies of Egypt. In the famous narrative of the Battle of Kadesh, Rameses II was said to have seen the enemy and "raged at them like Montu, Lord of Thebes."

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