Study Guide

Ma'ahes Sightings

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?)

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