Les génies armés, gardiens de la porte du pylône du temple d’Horus à Edfou
ISBN: 2-87457-004-4
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Les génies armés, gardiens de la porte du pylône du temple d’Horus à Edfou

= Article =
 
S. H. AUFRÈRE, « Les génies armés, gardiens de la porte du pylône du temple d’Horus à Edfou », Res Antiquae 3, Bruxelles, 2006, p. 3-55.
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On both jambs of Edfu’s temple pylon, at the northern side, the visitor can see the figures of 64 anthropoid genious carrying a weapon and affecting an offensive attitude. The legends assigned to these genious mention their names whose significations are related to a wide range of specific concepts of the war and to the psychology of terror in the Egyptian thought. The reading of the texts reveals that these figures, organized in three seasons (akhet, peret, shemu), are distributed in twelve squads (the twelve months). Each team consisting of an unequal number of genious is leaded by a god, in association with his defensive function according to the Apollinopolite mythology. The activity of these armed and terrifying protectors of the Edfu’s temple court is clearly associated to the mythological fight of the Darkness against the Light, i.e. the forces of the Evil and those of the Good. Actually, the pylon and the columns of Edfu’s temple are respectively used as a style and graduations of a solar clock. Therefore, during the solar year, the effects of this phenomenon are observable in the advance of the pylon’s shadow cast on the columns, from the southern (summer solstice)  to the northern side (winter solstice) of the court. According to the sacerdotal interpretation, the armed genious, by their magical power, were supposed to repulse the assault of Darkness against the temple, whose court was considered as a battle field, between the summer and the winter solstice.
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