Statuette of Onuris Onuris


(Anhur, Onouris)

Cult Center: This, Sebennytos, Abydos
Symbols: plumes, spears and weaponry

Onuris was a warrior sky-god whose primary cult center was near Abydos. Onuris was often identified with the sky god Shu and was called the "son of Re. His name meant "He Brought Back the Distant One" (an alternate translation is "Sky-Bearer"). This is a reference to the myth in which Shu, as Onuris, retrieved Tefnut when she ran away to Nubia. Onuris' consort, Mekhit, was often identified with Tefnut, and both goddesses were portrayed as lioness-headed women.

With Shu's solar connection, Onuris became seen as a warrior aspect of the sun-god Re. He was depicted in Egyptian artwork as a bearded, spear-wielding man. He was often shown with his one of both of his arms upraised and prepared to strike at the enemies of Egypt. Onuris wore an embroidered robe and a crown with four high plumes.

As a warrior god, Onuris was identified with Horus. Onuris was seen as a protector of the people against enemies, evil spirits and pests. At festivals honoring him, mock battles were staged.

He became very popular during the New Kingdom. He was called "Savior", and the common people believed that he was a deliverer from their human burdens. His Egyptian name was "Anhur" and the Greeks called him Onuris. The Greeks associated him with their god of war, Ares. Following the fall of the New Kingdom, he remained very popular. During the Roman Era the Emperor Tiberius was depicted on the walls of Egyptian temples wearing the distinctive four-plumed crown of Onuris.

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