How Egyptian god Bes gave the Christian Devil his looks   Leave a comment

Leering and lewd

Tongue out and facing defiantly forward, the figure of Bes guards the ‘birth house’ near the Egyptian temple of Dendera. (Corbis)

Man about the house

The image of Bes was carved on furniture and personal items, like this headrest now held by the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. (Corbis)

Devil in the detail

Among the figures in Giotto’s vast fresco cycle in the Arena Chapel in Padua is this pot-bellied Satan, munching on sinners.

Judgement day

The swivel-eyed ogre in Venice’s Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta belongs to an iconographical tradition stretching back to ancient Egypt.

Ear wiggle

Serpents issue from the ears of Satan in the mosaic of hell in the Florence Baptistery, just as they slithered from representations of Bes.

Close cousin

The Greek god Pan shares characteristics with the Christian Devil (a beard, hairy haunches, cloven feet) and Bes (lewd face, licentious conduct). (Corbis)

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Posted July 15, 2013 by kitokinimi in Uncategorized

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