Athor (or Athyr)

Athor (or Athyr)

in Egyptian mythology, was a goddess of night, who, as such, was the hidden cause of all things. She was principally worshipped at Athribis, in the Delta, which city is said to have received its name from her. Upon certain coins of Athribis she appears as a womanly figure, with a spear in her left and a bird in her right hand. The Egyptians declared their Athor to be the Aphrodite of the Greeks and the Venus of the Romans. Therefore the bird in her hand possibly represents the dove sacred to Venus as a symbol of fruitful brooding. Later Egyptologists, however, doubt this identification. Her name signifies "the abode of Hor," and she is closely associated with Isis (q.v.). She probably represented the lower hemisphere, into which the sun sinks at night, and so came to be regarded as the goddess of the under-world. She appears on the monuments in various forms, such as a female, a cow, or a hawk, with the characteristic emblem of the disk and the horns. See Rawlinson, Hist. of Egypt, i, 364 sq.

 
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