Study Guide

Montu Sightings

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Jan 1, 1970 - Jan 1, 1970

First Temple: Medamud

Montu's first temple went up in Madu, called Medamud today. When it was built, Montu was a sun god as well as a war god, because Ra's worship hadn't come that far south. Once it did, the gods fused to be Montu-Ra.

King of the Hill

A temple for Montu-Ra once stood on Thoth Hill on the western side of the river near Thebes (modern Luxor), but it broke down at some point. (Let's face it: Mud brick isn't the best thing to build temples out of.) During the Middle Kingdom, Montuhotep III (ca. 2010-1998BCE) built a new temple to replace it, but it also fell down, possibly because of an earthquake. Maybe that's why Montu's later temples were all made out of stone?

Dec 21, 2019 - Jan 1, 1970

Montu is Satisfied

Six kings (and one queen) took Montu's name in the form Montuhotep, meaning "Montu is satisfied." And Montu sure was: Each Montuhotep was a successful warrior, architect, explorer, or nation-builder, and sometimes all of the above. Another Dynasty 16 king, Montuhotepi, thought more highly of himself—his name means "Montu satisfies me." But Montu was only satisfied with his reign for one year. Just goes to show you don't take a god's name in vain.

Jan 1, 1970 - Dec 21, 2019

Deir el-Bahri

An unusual stepped mortuary temple (a temple for a royal mummy) with ramps, pillars, and a big obelisk on top, built up against the mountains west of Thebes (modern Luxor), for Montuhotep II. More than five hundred years later, the female pharaoh Hatshepsut copied its style and built a bigger one right next door. Today you can visit both of them, side by side, as well as a smaller tomb that Montuhotep III built on the other side of his father's temple.

Jan 1, 1970 - Jan 1, 1970

Sinuhe's Praises

The story of Sinuhe, one of king Amenemhat I's assistants, and how he got out of Egypt after Amenemhat's assassination and eventually found his way home again is a classic in ancient Egyptian literature. And when Sinuhe is forced to fight for his life against a guy three times his size, and wins, he gives all the credit to Montu.

Dec 20, 2019 - Jan 1, 1970

Fortress Temples for the God of War

The New Kingdom in Egypt was empire time. Flashy warrior kings ran around the neighborhood taking over nearby states and shipping home all their gold. This kind of military required a huge army, and a huge army honored Montu with bigger and bigger temples. Montu even got his own area inside Amun's temple at Karnak.

Jan 1, 1970 - Dec 20, 2019

Bully for Ramses!

King Ramses II builds lots of temples for Montu, and likes him so much that he starts to identify himself with Montu on various temple walls. Statues of Ramses-Montu-in-the-Two-Lands (Two Lands, or Tawy, is another name for Egypt) were put up in their honor, too. During the battle of Kadesh, the military reporters even say Ramses "raged […] like Montu" when he saw the enemy approaching. And from what we know about Montu, that must've been pretty angry.

Jan 1, 1970 - Dec 20, 2019


Under the Greek and Macedonian Ptolemaic dynasties, ancient Egyptian gods got animal companions, called theophanies. These animals lived in the gods' temples and were treated like the gods they represented: fed, dressed up in jewelry, and presented offerings. In some cases, the bulls that represented gods were sacrificed, or even eaten. Montu had a bull mascot named Buchis, which was a white bull with a black face. Fancy.

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