Just like the pharaohs of Egypt, the people of Egypt mummified the temple’s crocodile after it died. Some say, Neith gave birth to the child without any father. When any crocodile died, they would be mummified with respect. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). As a result of his nurturing and protective attributes, Egyptian pharaohs often prayed to Sobek to keep them safe and healthy. Undoubtedly, Sobek’s most famous cult center has got to be Crocodopolis (also known as the “City of Crocodiles”). Worldhistoryedu is not responsible for the content of external sites. I thought he did pretty good considering he was attacked from... D.Trump served his purpose. Besides being the God of Crocodiles, Sebek is also the great God of the Nile, the Military and Fertility. The name “Crocodopolis” is actually a Greek name given to one of the most, It is most likely that pharaohs from the 12. References: Sebek, also spelled Sobek, Greek Suchos, in ancient Egyptian religion, crocodile god whose chief sanctuary in Fayyūm province included a live sacred crocodile, Petsuchos (Greek: “He Who Belongs to Suchos”), in whom the god was believed to be incarnate. 12 Third, Sobek was especially venerated by king Amenemhet III, a pharaoh contemporary to Abraham. It is for this reason why every ancient Egyptian story, architecture, and event evolved around the Nile. The Greeks and Romans call him as Suchos and Suchus. Cemeteries of mummified crocodiles have been found in the Fayyūm and at Kawm Umbū. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Sobek is believed to have been born to very powerful parents – the goddess Neith and the god Seth. Sobek’s most obvious symbol was that of a crocodile. He was seen as the falcon-headed god of divine kingship, Horus. Sobek is believed to have been born to very powerful parents – the goddess Neith and the god Seth. The above explains why many of Sobek’s images show him without a tongue. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. In some cases, such persons were given the same mummification process and treatment comparable to that of a pharaoh. The king took many initiatives in building projects to promote Sobek. For engaging in such sacrilegious act, Sobek was brought before the counsel of Egyptian gods and tried. There is a small shrine for Hathor at the temple of Kom Ombo. Your email address will not be published. 12th Dynasty pharaoh Amenemhat III took special interest in the Faiyum of Egypt, an area associated with Sobek to a great extent. Upon their deaths, they were mummified in a grand ritual display as sacred, but earthly, manifestations of their patron god. Sobek is considered the god of fertility: Sobek Provided Protection to the Egyptians Against the Dangers of the Nile: The Ancient Symbolism of the Famous Mythical Bird Phoenix, The Children’s Crusade: Thousands of Children Marched to Jerusalem, Never to Return…. On the contrary, the Nile was also home to several dangerous and lethal creatures, including crocodiles. He was violent in many aspects. Now, those mummies are displayed in the crocodile museum outside the temple. The city of Crocodilopolis is believed to have had a massive temple dedicated solely to the god of the Nile, Sobek. Ancient Egyptian texts, such as the Pyramid Texts and the Book of the Dead, generally depict Sobek as a man with the head of a crocodile. Sebek, also spelled Sobek, Greek Suchos, in ancient Egyptian religion, crocodile god whose chief sanctuary in Fayyūm province included a live sacred crocodile, Petsuchos (Greek: “He Who Belongs to Suchos”), in whom the god was believed to be incarnate. Renenutet was venerated by the Egyptians as the guardian of the harvest. And Sobek gave protection to the Egyptians against the dangers of the Nile. He was honored by them as he was considered as the patron of the army. But ferocious Sobek was not feared by the ancient Egyptians. Seth was the god of chaos, destruction and war. During his reign, Sobek went through an important change. The worship of Sebek continued into Ptolemaic and Roman times in the Fayyūm, at Kawm Umbū (Kom Ombo) in Upper Egypt, and elsewhere. The Unas Pyramid Texts (Utterances 308 and 317) refers that Sobek is the son of Neith, an old deity of the ancient Egyptian pantheon. However, there are some accounts that believe that Sobek was the son of Horus. Another myth says that when Isis was giving birth to Horus, Sobek provided help to her. The cult centers of Sobek were built in such places where there were crocodiles. Sobek is also known as Sebek, Sebek-Ra, Sobeq, Sochet, Sobki, or Sobk to the ancient Egyptians. Required fields are marked *. Amenemhat III was sometimes, Sobek’s worship and cult centers were still existent during the Greco-Roman era. nurturing and protective of their young, strong, aggressive, unpredictable and instinctual. Sebek may have been an early fertility god or associated with death and burial before becoming a major deity and patron of kings in the Middle Kingdom (c.1938–c. 3. The crocodile was literally treated like a king; it was fed with the best food and meat and many people offered it sacrifices in hopes of getting protection from Sobek. Pandora: The Tale of a Good Woman Gone Evil? The powers of Sobek were believed to have extended to the very creation of the world and was associated with the sun god Ra. Others say, Set, the god of thunder and chaos is the father of Sobek. He was largely considered as the god that protected Egyptian pharaohs and armies. – Biography, Final Flight, Disappearance, & Facts. Some myths depict sobek as the creator of the world who emerged from the waters of Nile. His name was often seen in the same light as the falcon-headed god Horus. Exactly how important was Sobek in ancient Egypt? As a matter of fact, many Middle Kingdom and New Kingdom pharaohs believed that their power was derived from Sobek. Ancient Egyptians had some creation myths and they included Sobek in it. The other two were Isis and Osiris – Horus’ parents. Some painting and sculptures have shown him as a real crocodile, from head to toe. The traits that were given to the god Sobek is almost exactly in line with that of a real life crocodile, i.e. Man with a crocodile […] At the helm of all these was the god Sobek. To the ancient Greeks, Shedyet was known as “Crocodolpolis”, which translates into the “City of Crocodile”. FACT CHECK: At worldhistoryedu.com, we strive for utmost accuracy and objectivity. His name translates into ‘traveler’. In him, the army drew strength, courage and vitality. Column with a carving of the crocodile god Sebek at Ombos, Egypt. Sobek, Hathor, and Khonsu were called the Triad of Kom Ombo. All Rights Reserved. Sobek is the ancient Egyptian god of power, virility, fertility, and strength. the divine Triad of Horus). Second, among other things, Sobek was closely associated with the Pharaoh of Egypt. And mummified crocodiles were found there. According to many Egyptian myths, the Nile River sprung out of existence from the sweat of Sobek. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Iconography Crocodile, Crocodile with a falcon head.