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Description of Min

Min in Egyptian mythology is the god of rain, fertility, producer of crops, male potency, master of all women. Min – an ithyphallic deity, is depicted with a vertically erect penis, the head of which is open, as if preparing for copulation with the universe through his hand. Min was portrayed as a bearded man with closed legs and a headdress (the same as Amon’s). Min’s right hand is turned up, a whip in the shape of the Orion constellation is embedded in it, the left hand is usually not depicted on Egyptian frescoes, but on statues it clasps the phallus at the base, completely pulling the flesh from the head of the penis, which as a result looks like a cut off. Around the forehead it is usually tied and a red ribbon descends vertically from the back, which almost reaches the very ground. Min was the patron saint of human and livestock reproduction. It was believed that it was he who endows men with sexual strength, the power to give birth to a son. The sacred animal of Min was the white bull, which was also the image of abundant seed and fertility. Another symbol was the long lettuce, which in Egypt was considered an aphrodisiac and which men ate in the hope of making themselves more masculine.

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Egyptian main description

Egyptian hieroglyphics are arguably one of the most famous examples of symbolism across history. Created by the ancient Egyptians, this served as their formal writing system. Hieroglyphics can be dated back to the 32nd century BC, and perhaps even earlier. Evidence demonstrates that this writing system continued into the Roman period of the 4th century AD. However, much of the knowledge of hieroglyphics and their meanings were lost after the end of pagan temples in the 5th century. There was no existing knowledge of what these symbols meant, how they were meant to be read and their significance. Hieroglyphics were decoded in the 1820s with the aid of the Rosetta Stone by Egyptologist Jean-François Champollion. These symbols are not just phonetic sounds or symbols. In fact, they are a combination of different elements. As Jean-François Champollion discovered, hieroglyphics are a “complex system” that encompasses “figurative, symbolic, and phonetic all at once.” For many Egyptians, this form of writing was seen as the “words of God” and thus used by priests. Generally, hieroglyphics in cursive form were used for religious texts and engraved into wood or written on papyrus. They are written in rows or columns and can be read either left to right or right to left. The direction can be established by seeing which way the human or animal figure faces at the beginning of the line.

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