She is the goddess of beauty and love, but her role cannot be identified with the one of the Greek Aphrodite or the Roman Venus. She was portrayed in many figures but the most typical of her representations is a figure of young woman wearing the characteristic Hathor-wig and cow-ears. Usually she carries the sun disk between her ears or horns. Her iconography often got mixed with the one of Isis.

The goddess represents even the martial aspect of love, some kind of overwhelming emotional dimension: when Ra got angry with mankind, he commanded Hathor to destroy the people. The goddess was so enthusiastic to complete her work that Ra – after changing his mind about the destiny of those pitiful creatures – had to turn to a trick in order to stop her.

She is both wife and mother of Horus (her name – Hut-hor – means: The House of Horus). It is accepted, however strange in the Egyptian mythology that these two functions can be fulfilled simultaneously. What more, the fact that Horus is the son of Isis and Osiris did not contradict the above relations. We have to consider the Egyptian religion neither consistent nor logical.

Once a year Hathor goes on honeymoon with Horus. From her sanctuary at Dendarah, the statue of the goddess (which is considered equal to the deity herself) was taken to Edfu, to the temple of Horus where they can love each other for two weeks. 14 days a year – no surprise that they did not got bored of each other for millennia. :-)

Hathor in a shape of cow, feeds Thutmosis III. Relief of the Hatshepsut's mortuary temple (18th dynasty) - © 1999 Born 2B Wide

This scene is from Hatshepsut's mortuary temple. It pictures Hathor as a cow,
feeding the pharaoh, presumably Thutmosis III with her milk.

Hathor-headed columns at Deir-el-Bahri, in Hathor chapel of Hatshepsut's mortuary temple (18th dynasty) - © 1995 Born 2B Wide

The Hathor-headed columns are typical to Hathor temples, from the New Kingdom all the way to Ptolemaic ages.

Rameses III presents offering to Hathor at Medinet Habu (19th dynasty) - © 1999 Born 2B Wide

We often see Hathor as a beautiful woman (even by our taste) wearing crown with cow horns and sun disk.

Hathor temple of Dendarah (Ptolemaic age) - © Photo and graphics by Born 2B Wide

The Hathor temple of Dendarah, with its Hathor-headed columns in the hypostyle hall,
is one of the finest Ptolemaic temple. The faces of the columns were later intentionally mutilated
because the Islam forbids the human presentation.

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