Bes, The Protector Deity: Exuberant Harbinger of Health, Happiness and Vitality – Part II

Bes, The Protector Deity: Exuberant Harbinger of Health, Happiness and Vitality – Part II

Few gods achieved the fame that the lion-dwarf Bes managed to garner. He was not only a popular god among the elite in ancient Egypt, but in time was worshipped by people of every strata of society. His unique appeal probably lay in the fact that he was a jovial deity who not only cared for, but was accessible to, the poorest of the poor. As a being who combated evil, along with his counterpart Beset, he proved to be an inalienable part of the lives of the devoted, across cultures and geographies.

(Read Part I here)

Bes was worshipped and invoked by ordinary Egyptians as a protector. His usual depiction, as a grotesque dwarf with a lion's ears and mane, was thought to deter the approach of the malevolent forces believed to cause illness. His image here appears in a bronze statuette made for the unnamed man shown worshipping the god. The harp held by Bes may reflect his power to calm angry spirits. Bronze or copper alloy. Late Period, Dynasty 26–29. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Bes was worshipped and invoked by ordinary Egyptians as a protector. His usual depiction, as a grotesque dwarf with a lion's ears and mane, was thought to deter the approach of the malevolent forces believed to cause illness. His image here appears in a bronze statuette made for the unnamed man shown worshipping the god. The harp held by Bes may reflect his power to calm angry spirits. Bronze or copper alloy. Late Period, Dynasty 26–29. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.


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