Montu (from Egyptian mntw meaning "Nomad;" also spelled as Mont, Monthu, Ment, or Mentu) was an Egyptian god of war and of vitality, specifically of the life force of the Pharoh. He was originally worshiped in Thebes. He was particularly popular in Egypt during the 11th dynasty (2134 BC - 1991 BC) as a patron of their successful warfare during expansion.
It is possible that he also symbolized the kingship for Upper Egypt, while Atum represented the kingship for Lower Egypt.
Montu had several consorts, including Tjenenyet and Iunit (Theban goddesses), and a female form of Ra, Raet-Tawy.
In earliest Egyptian mythology, Montu represented Ra's scorching effect from the rays of the sun, and so was formerly known as "Montu-Ra." As this characteristic was known for its destructiveness, he became known as a warrior and therefore a war god.
He was believed to fight against agents of chaos (or those who were considered enemies of the cosmic order, Ma'at) and inspire incredible exploits in war in his people.
In Egyptian art, Montu was often depicted with either a falcon head or bull head with a solar disk crown (due to the ancient link with Ra). In art he would hold two feathers, but he would also wield various weapons of war, such as the curved sword, a spear, bow and arrows, or knives.
Both of his animal forms represented his past connection to Ra, and his later connection to war, as the falcon was a symbol of the sky and the bull was a symbol of strength and war. The Egyptians also believed that Montu could manifest as a white bull with a black snout they named Bakha.
|Gods and goddesses of Egyptian mythology|
|Gods||Ahy • Amun • Anedjti • Anhur • Anubis • Ash • Aten • Atum • Banebdjedet • Duamutef • Geb • Hapi • Hapi • Heka • Herishef • Horakhty • Horus • Imseti • Khepri • Khnum • Khonsu • Maahes • Montu • Nefertem • Nehebkau • Nemty • Nun • Osiris • Ptah • Qebehsenuef • Ra • Rem • Serapis • Set • Shu • Sobek • Sokar • Thoth • Wepawet|
|Goddesses||Amentet • Anat • Ankhet • Bastet • Buto • Ernutet • Hathor • Hatmehit • Isis • Ma'at • Menhit • Meretseger • Meskhenet • Mut • Neith • Nekhbet • Nephthys • Nut • Satet • Sekhmet • Serket • Seshat • Sopdet • Tawaret • Tefnut • Wosret|