Buchis

mythical bull in Egyptian mythology, incarnation of Montou's ka

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Stela of pharaoh Alexander the Great, commemorating the death of a Buchis in his regnal year 4, British Museum

In Egyptian mythology, Buchis (Ancient Greek: Βουχις, Coptic: ⲃⲱⲱϩ, ⲃⲟϩ)[1] (also spelt Bakh and Bakha) was the deification of the kꜣ ("power, life-force", Egyptological pronunciation ka) of the war god Montu[2] as a sacred bull that was worshipped in the region of Hermonthis.[3]: 95 

In order to being chosen as the Buchis incarnation of Montu, a bull was required to have a white body and black face. When these bulls – and in later times also their mothers – died, they were mummified, and placed in a special cemetery known as the Bucheum in Hermonthis.[3]: 95–100 

Unlike the other Egyptian sacred bulls – the Apis and the Mnevis – the Buchis cult started towards the end of the pharaonic period, with the earliest known burial taking place in regnal year 14 of Nectanebo II (mid 4th century BC). However, four different bull cults dedicated to Montu were known in earlier times in Upper Egypt, and it seems that the Buchis was the result of their syncretism.[3]: 95  Eventually, the Buchis bull was identified as a form of the Apis, and consequently became considered an incarnation of Osiris.

Sources disagree about when the last burial of a Buchis took place. It may have happened either in regnal year 12 of Diocletian[3]: 100  or further later, in 340 CE.[4][5]

References

  1. ^ Černý, Jaroslav (1976). Coptic Etymological Dictionary. p. 29.
  2. ^ W. Max Muller, Egyptian Mythology, Kessinger Publishing 2004, p.160
  3. ^ a b c d Dodson, Aidan (2004). "Bull cults". In Ikram, Salima (ed.). Divine Creatures: animal mummies in ancient Egypt. American University in Cairo Press. pp. 72–105.
  4. ^ M. W. Daly, Carl F. Petry, The Cambridge History of Egypt, Cambridge University Press 1998, p.28
  5. ^ David Frankfurter, Religion in Roman Egypt: Assimilation and Resistance, Princeton University Press 1998, p.72

External links

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