Grave Moss & Stars


Please note, lovely readers: All of this is a work-in-progress. It will change as I continue digging through books and other sources. Do not take this as a rock-solid encyclopedic entry at any point. :)

Hail Ma’ahes, the Living Lion, my brother; I gather old truths about You in honor of Your name.


– war
— destroyer of enemies
— devourer of enemies
— executioner
— punishes those who go against ma’at (truth/balance/justice)
– guardian/protector
— of sacred places (shrines, sanctuaries, temples)
— of the innocent
— of Ra’s night-barque
– storms, darkness, and winds (Greek)
– personification of the summer heat
– horizons
– perfumes and oils (via His connection to Nefertem)


– a lion
— wearing a sun-disk crown
— wearing a sun-disk and uraeus
— wearing Nefertem’s crown (either floral emblem or falcon + floral emblem)
— bearing knives (or a reed-leaf to symbolize the knife)
— with lotus buds
– a lion-headed man
— carrying a large knife
— wearing the atef crown
— wearing the double crown (indicating Heru-Ma’ahes)
— holding an ankh
— holding the was scepter


– son of Bast
– son of Ptah
– son of Sekhmet
– son of Ra / Amun-Ra
– brother of Nefertem through Sekhmet
– occasionally identified with Nefertem
– syncretized with Heru of Hebenu as Heru-Ma’ahes
– brother of Heru-Hekenu through Bast
– equated with the Kushite lion god Apedemak
– connected to Anhur (Onuris)
– connected to Shu

epithets (non-exhaustive list; there are more)

– True Before Her (referring to Ma’at)
– The Great God
– The Raging Lion
– Wielder of the Knife
– The Scarlet Lord
– Lord of the Massacre
– The Lion
– The Noble God
– The Living Lion
– The Noble Power
– The Great Protector
– The Son of Bast
– The Son of the Goddess
– He of the Loud Roar
– He of the Grim Face
– He of the Great Roar
– He of the Great Respect
– He of the Raging Moment
– He of the Strong Body
– He of the Great Power
– Whose Arms Are Strong
– Whose Eyes Are Reddened
– The Lord of Bubastis
– The Lord of the Foreign Lands
– He Who Kills Adversaries
– He Who Robs Hearts
– He Who Devours Hearts
– He Who Dwells Amongst His Enemies
– Son of Bast, Lord of slaughter, Who Is Pleased With Your Blood (“your” here indicating an enemy)
– He Who Dwells In The Midst of the Oasis
– He Who Protects Sanctuaries From Isfet
– The Kindly One (Greek-given, Furies-related)
– Helper of the Wise Ones
– Avenger of Wrongs


– His major cult centers were in Bubastis and Leontopolis.
– Ma’ahes is a word meaning “lion” from the Pyramid Texts; it did not indicate Ma’ahes-the-god until the Middle Kingdom.
– Inscription at Abaton: “To be said by Ma’ahes: I enter against them, my hands holding the knife, in this my name of the Raging Lion (Ma’ahes).”
– Poem: Beloved Maahes by Terri Sharp

Primary Sources

The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt (Richard H. Wilkinson)
Bast and Sekhmet: Eyes of Ra (S. Constantine and E. Coquio)
Ma’ahes Essay (Lena J. Rosa) – sources cited include:
— Édouard Naville. Bubastis. 1887-1889 . pp 48-49.
— Labib Habachi. Tell Basta Supplément ASAE 22. 1957. pp 46-47, pp 52-53.
— Žabkar, Louis. Apedemak, Lion god of Meroe. Warminster, Eng: Aris & Phillips, 1975. pp 52-70.
— Leitz, Christian, and Dagmar Budde. Lexikon der ägyptischen Götter und Götterbezeichnungen. 3. Peeters Publishers, 2002. pp 211-212.
— Tamara Siuda, M.A., Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago