Anubis, the dog-faced archangel

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Probably one of the Egyptian deities most similar to our angels, Anubis is undoubtedly one of the most interesting figures of Egyptian mythology, strongly linked to death

Egyptian angel

Unlike the other deities treated so far, Anubis, for much of Egyptian history, did not represent so much a real divinity, as much as a helper of the latter. In fact, only in the Old Kingdom was he seen as lord of the underworld, being ousted by Osiris from the Middle Kingdom. However, the cult of Anubis remained connected to death, transforming it into a fate of Osiris‘ right arm and linking it above all to practical aspects of the afterlife, such as, for example, the weighing of souls.

Anubis
A rare example of Hermanubi, union of Hermes and Anubis

The final judge was the latter, but it was Anubis who physically weighed the heart and accompanied the deceased for the rest of the time, keeping his steps until the supreme judgment. Precisely for these aspects it is perhaps comparable to some angels of Christian iconography, Michael, for example, is often represented as a psychopomp and it is not difficult to think that the jackal god was, in a certain sense, the ancestor. It is no coincidence that in Greek religion he was associated with Hermes, with whom he shared this particular role.

Anubis the mummifier

In addition to post-mortem, however, Anubis also took care of preparing the body of the deceased from a practical point of view through the mummification ceremony. This practice served to keep the meat as similar as possible to how it was shown alive, allowing the dead to be at the best of his condition in the Iaru Fields.

Anubis

The ritual was long and complex, taking 70 days for each single body, the result, however, was decisive for the fate of the soul and therefore held in great consideration. Anubis also took care of watching over cemeteries and necropolises, allowing mummified people to enjoy real eternal rest. Right here we find the choice to represent him as a canid, animals that most of all infested those places and that, at the same time, were the animals most able to defend them.

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