Anubis, or in Greek “Ἄνουβις,” is the Greek name given to the Egyptian god of mumification, the afterlife, and is typically depicted with the head of a canine. The head of Anubis is of the african golden wolf, a species that can still be found throughout Egypt and North Africa. Anubis has assumed many different roles throughtout all the changes and evolutions of Egyptian mythology. The earliest recordings depict Anubis as the protector of graves and tombs. At one time he was reffered to as “the lord of the afterlife,” but eventually Osiris was given such title sometime between 2055 – 1650 BCE. It was then that Anubis became associated with the symbolic weighing of the heart, which would determine if a person was worthy enough to enter the realm of the dead. Though many stories differ through history, it was often believed that Anubis was the son of the ancient sun god Ra. One of the most interesting facts regarding Anubis is, despite being one of the oldest depicted and most popular gods of the Egyptian pantheon, Anubis occupies almost no role in Egyptian mythology. Egyptologist believe that Wepwawet, the other canine headed god who was depicted with either white or gray fur as opposed to black, was eventually combined with Anubis. Anubis’ black fur is said to be symbolic of death, rebirth, and the discoloration that accompanies a corpse. Like the Greek god Hermes, Anubis was considered a psychopomp and that is why the Greek combined the two deities to create Hermanubis, a 1st and 2nd century synthesis of Hermes and Anubis, which is on display at the Vatican Museums. Greeks were fairly fond of Anubis, in fact Plato wrote that Socrates uttered phrases such as "by the dog" (kai me ton kuna), "by the dog of Egypt", and "by the dog, the god of the Egyptians", both for emphasis and to appeal to Anubis as an arbiter of truth in the underworld. Despite there being little myths regarding the legends of Anubis, he was and is one of the most popular Egyptian gods, so when you see him think of the protector of tombs, mummification, a guide to the souls, and the weigher of the heart.
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