Study Guide

Ma'ahes

  • Profile

    Imagine there’s a man with a lion’s head standing behind you, with two giant knives in his hands. Sorry to break it to you, but he’s not your imagination: He’s Ma’ahes, the original Avenger, and the biggest, baddest, most brutal god northern Egypt has to offer. (Down south, toward Nubia, there’s another guy just like him called Apedemak. Maybe they’re the same god, but nobody’s got the guts to ask.)

    Basic Information

    Name

    Ma’ahes, Maa-hes, Maihes (Mihos or Miyeses to the Greeks)

    Nickname

    True Beside Her, Lord of Slaughter, The Punisher, The Red Lord, Son of Sekhmet, Lion-O

    Sex

    Male

    Current city

    Taremu (Leontopolis, modern Tell el Muqdam) or Per-Bast (Bubastis, modern Zagazig)

    Work & Education

    Occupation

    I kick butts and take names. (I’m a war god. What do you expect?)

    Education

    Battlefield Earth (the place, not the movie)

    Beliefs

    Political views

    Kill ‘em all and let Ra sort ‘em out

    Family & Friends (& Enemies)

    Parents

    My mother’s name is Bast. Or it's Sekhmet. Or maybe it's both of them—I don’t know, don’t ask me. My father might be Horus the Elder, or Atum, or Ptah, or Ra. Ugh—don’t ask me about this either.

    Siblings

    Nefertem and sometimes Imhotep are my brothers

    Children

    Snoop Lion (just kidding)

    Friends

    Horus the Younger, Anubis, Montu, Osiris, Horus the Elder, the pharaohs

    Enemies

    Apep (Apophis). I really hate that guy… er, snake… er… Whatever he is, I hate him.

    Relationships

    Relationship status

    Single

    Interested in

    War, not love

    Favorites

    TV Shows

    Criminal Minds
    It’s important to know your enemy.
    Do you think Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. would hire me? I wonder.
    I’m watching Game of Thrones, but only until I can figure out how to get the swords off that Iron Throne.
    They aren’t killing bad guys on Hell’s Kitchen, but they’re good with knives!

    Quotations

    “Always run from a knife and rush a gun.”
    – Jimmy Hoffa

    “You must be willing to protect yourself and what you cherish, no matter what the cost.”
    – Christopher Paolini in
    Eragon“The lion and the calf shall lie down together, but the calf won’t get much sleep.”– Woody Allen
    “I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar” 
    – Katy Perry
    “An army of lions commanded by a deer will never be an army of lions.” 
    – Napoleon Bonaparte

    Books

    Revenge of the Witch (The Last Apprentice) by Joseph Delaney
    Tom’s a good kid, and Spook is one of my favorite mentors.
    Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers by Adrienne Rich
    Why tigers? Why not lions? Ripoff.
    Titus Andronicus by William Shakespeare
    Okay, maybe this is going a little too far with the violence.
    The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
    I’d read this to my kids, if I had any. Aslan’s a hero and he doesn’t even need a knife.
    Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now! by Dr. Seuss
    I could’ve kicked him out with a big knife or two. But nobody asked.
    Grimms' Fairy Tales by the Brothers Grimm
    Would the Brothers Grimm have written about me if they knew about me? I wonder.
    Face to Face with Lions (Face to Face With Animals) by Dereck and Beverly Joubert
    National Geographic: Making me look good for a really long time.
    Knives and Swords: A Visual History by DK
    Is this a book, or my holiday shopping list?

    Music

    Can I Kick It? by A Tribe Called Quest
    Kick it, punch it, stab it… just for starters…?
    Mack the Knife by Bobby Darin
    Mmm, knives… And bad people getting them where they deserve.
    Welcome to the Jungle by Guns N’Roses
    Life’s tough, baby. You gonna die?
    The Marines’ Hymn 
    I like all your armed forces anthems, but this one is especially wicked!
    Hoochie Coochie Man by Muddy Waters
    I’ll kick your butt with magic, too. Black cat bones are for wusses.
    Burn by Ellie Goulding
    Fire’s cool. Bring the knives, too.
    Demons by Imagine Dragons
    Show me your demons, and I will eat them all.
    Kung Fu Fighting by Carl Douglas
    It was a little bit frightening. For the bad guys.
    Fight Fire With Fire by Metallica
    The gods are laughing! Take your last breath.
    Heartbreaker by Motörhead
    It won’t be just Apep’s heart I break—watch out, snake boy.

    Movies

    Fight Club
    I need to ask Mom for a bunk bed. Which means maybe I need to figure out who my mom is.
    Edward Scissorhands
    He should’ve tried knives, but I’ll give him credit for creativity.
    Is there a better way to spend a weekend than watching silly Chuck Norris movies? I don’t think so.
    Bloodsport
    Jean-Claude Van Damme is almost as cool as Chuck Norris. Almost.
    The Scorpion King
    Just look at all those weapons…
    House of Flying Daggers
    Mmm. Daggers.
    RoboCop
    I'm old enough to remember the original, but the remake isn't too shabby.
    Iron Monkey
    It should be iron lion. Duh.

    Activities & Interests

    Likes

    Knives
    Swords
    Machetes
    Daggers
    Pusheen.com

    Interests

    Martial arts
    Military tribunals
    Criminal justice
    Desert ecology
    Endangered species

    Groups

    Ancient Egyptian Gods
    Egyptian Mythology 
    Lions Clubs International
    Badass of the Week 
    Knifewerks
    ArmyAttack!

    • Spotter's Guide

      There are a lot of lion gods, but only one shows up with a knife in each hand. His name is Ma’ahes, and you’d better hope he hasn’t come for you.

      Physical Appearance

      Sex: Male
      Age: Grown-up
      Build: In human form, I'm a man with a short-maned lion’s head. On special occasions, though, I bust out my full-on lion appearance.
      Complexion: As a man, I'm light red-brown, like all Egyptian men in paintings. As a lion, it's all about my sandy-coloring.
      Hair Color: Dark brown if I'm wearing a wig; otherwise, sand-colored fur
      Facial Hair: Fuzzy lion hair in fuzzy lion form
      Scars/marks/tattoos: Nothing official, but let's just say you don't play with knives this much and come away unscathed.
      Jewelry and accessories: As a man, I don golden bracelets and sometimes add a golden collar around my neck.
      Clothing: In human form, I prefer nothing more than a short white linen kilt. As a lion, I let it all hang out.
      Armor: Sometimes I put on a scale mail shirt, like Horus the Elder wears.
      Type of Weapon: All knives, all the time.

      Typical Companions

      Anubis
      Horus the Younger
      Horus the Elder
      Apedemak
      Four Sons of Horus

      Known Hangouts

      Deserts
      Dojos
      Wherever evil hides
      Wherever the weak and innocent need protecting
      Knife and gun shows

    • Sightings

      Jan 1, 1970 - Dec 20, 2019

      Are you really Ma’ahes? Or are you lion?

      Ma’ahes doesn’t show up until about halfway through ancient Egyptian history. Is it because he’s really Apedemak, or another lion god from somewhere else? Egyptologists are still arguing, but we do know he showed up under his own name about this time.

      Jan 1, 1970 - Dec 20, 2019

      Lion around

      At Ta-remu (Leontopolis, or “Lion City” in Greek), Ma’ahes had a temple full of pet lions. Not only did they get to wander wherever they liked, they got a daily banquet fed to them by singing priests and priestesses. It must’ve been like going to the zoo and a concert at the same time. (We bet the pet crocodiles at Sobek’s temple up the Nile must’ve been jealous.)

      Jan 1, 1970 - Jan 1, 1970

      In the City of Cats

      When the Libyan pharaoh Osorkon III built a temple for Bast at Per-Bast (Bubastis), he was thoughtful enough to include a second temple for her son Ma’ahes. It was the biggest temple for Ma’ahes in Lower (northern) Egypt, a great place to hang out with lots of temple cats, and it was very popular with Greeks and Libyans as well as the native Egyptians. Good on ya, Osorkon.

      Dec 20, 2019

      Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, or be eaten by a lion?

      A magical papyrus written in Demotic (a type of hieroglyphs) asks Ma’ahes to send spirit lions to gather ghosts and other spiritual beings, so a magician can talk to them. It also says that these spirit lions can force anyone to tell the truth. (It’s that easy? Why doesn’t everybody have a spirit lion lie detector?)