(Amaunet) A Goddess belonging to the Hermopolitan Ogdoad but who, unlike the other Goddesses in the group, had an independent cult as consort of the God Amun. She is represented as a woman wearing the Red Crown of Lower Egypt and is distinguished thus from Amun’s other consort, Mut, who wears the double crown of Egypt united. (Amunet is also sometimes fused with Neith, who also wears the Red Crown as “Neith-Amunet” (Klotz, p. 71).) A certain degree of convergence between Amunet and Mut can be seen in the naming after Amunet of a vulture amulet (Ritner, p. 52), but Amunet and Mut remain distinct, as can be seen from instances where they are pictured together with Amun in the same image. In a scene from Luxor temple depicting Amun’s annual procession to Luxor from Karnak at the festival of Opet, celebrating the union of Amun and Mut, on the outbound journey from Karnak to Luxor Amun is depicted accompanied by Mut, while on the journey back to Karnak he is depicted accompanied by Amunet. A clear distinction between Amunet and Mut is the latter’s typical epithet “Lady of the Isheru”, referring to the sacred lake used in rites for the so-called “Distant Goddess”. In addition, as noted by Klotz (p. 70), Amunet, in contrast to Mut, appears most frequently alongside ithyphallic forms of Amun (e.g. Amun Kamutef or Amun-Min). In this capacity, Amunet can be regarded as the primordial mother of the Gods (though only Mut is regarded as the mother of Khonsu). In a fragmentary demotic cosmogony involving the Ogdoad, it is said that the Ogdoad transformed themselves, the four males coalescing into a single black bull, the four females into a black cow, this bull and cow being none other than Amun and Amunet, who thus unite in themselves the potencies of the group as a whole (Sauneron and Yoyotte, p. 58). The tendency to identify Amunet with the primordial cow Mehet-Weret can also be seen from a passage in the Greek Magical Papyri, in which an invocation referring to “Amauni” (Amunet) in one papyrus (PGM XIII, 789) is altered in another papyrus (XXI, 19) to “Io”, the Hellenic nymph and lover of Zeus who is transformed into a cow and travels to Egypt (Klotz, p. 74).

Klotz, David. 2012. Caesar in the City of Amun: Egyptian Temple Construction and Theology in Roman Thebes. Turnhout: Brepols.
Ritner, Robert K. 1993. The Mechanics of Ancient Egyptian Magical Practice. Chicago: The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago.
Sauneron, Serge and Jean Yoyotte. 1959. “La Naissance du Monde selon l’Égypte Ancienne.” Pp. 17-91 in La Naissance du Monde. Paris: Éditions du Seuil.

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