Ammit

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Missing image
AmmutPapyrus.jpg
A depiction of Ammit in a late period papyrus, showing mostly leonine traits.

In Egyptian mythology, Ammit (also spelt Ammut, and Ahemait) was the personification of divine retribution for all the wrongs one had committed in life. Ammit was said to live near the scales of justice, in the underworld, Duat, where the hearts of the dead were weighed by Anubis against Ma'at, the principle of truth and justice. The hearts of those who failed the test were given to Ammit to devour, and their souls were not permitted to enter Aaru, having to be restless forever - dying a second time.

Ammit was not worshipped, and was never regarded as a goddess, instead she embodied all that the Egyptians feared, threatening to bind them to eternal restlessness if they did not follow the principal of Ma'at. Thus Ammit was depicted with the head of a crocodile, the front part of her body like a lion or leopard, and her back part in the form of a hippopotamus, a combination of those animals which were considered as the most dangerous to the ancient Egyptians. Although often referred to as a demon, technically, in destroying evil she acted as a force for good.

Thus her name, which means Devourer or, more accurately, and less euphemistically, Bone Eater, and her titles such as Devourer of the dead, Devourer of millions (Am-heh in Egyptian), Eater of hearts, and Greatness of Death. In some traditions, Ammit was said to stand by a lake of fire, into which the unworthy hearts were cast, rather than her eating them. In this role, Ammit was more the lake guardian than the destroyer, which some scholars believe may be evidence of syncretism of a fiery lake belief, from an, as yet unidentified, elsewhere.

Some experts have linked Ammit with the goddess Tawaret, who has a similar physical appearance and, as a companion of Bes, also protected others from evil. Other authors have noted that Ammit's lion characteristics, and the lake of fire, may be pointers to a connection with the goddess Sekhmet.de:Ammit fr:Ammout pl:Ammit

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