Scarab


Scarab
    The dung-beetle which the Egyptians called 'Kheper'; they also used this symbol to represent the verb 'kheper', meaning 'to come into existence' or 'to become'. It came to symbolise spontaneous creation and rebirth, and to be regarded as the manifestation of Khepri, the creator-god who personified the rising sun.
    Scarabs were produced as amulets (to give magical protection to the owner) and, in rings and pendants, to act as seals: the flat underside usually bears an inscription or design and many carry the names and titles of officials.
    The kings also issued historical scarabs (rather like medals) to commemorate events of the reign. Large heart scarabs were often placed between the layers of bandages around the mummy; these were often inscribed with a spell from the Book of the Dead to prevent the heart testifying against its owner at the Day of Judgement.
Biographical Dictionary of Ancient Egypt by Rosalie and Antony E. David
* * *
   Modern name for the dung beetle that was regarded as sacred by the ancient Egyptians as, according to one perception, the sun was pushed through the sky by a celestial beetle. The ancient Egyptian name for the beetle was kheper. The scarab was a popular form of amulet usually made of steatite and then glazed and pierced vertically to fit on necklaces or rings. The underside could carry a prayer or name when used as a seal. The larger heart scarab was unpierced and made of hard stone, like schist. It was placed over the heart of the mummy, as the underside carried a spell to enable the heart to act favorably toward the deceased during the weighing of the heart ceremony. Winged and smaller scarabs all made of faience were also placed amid the wrappings of the mummy.
   See also Kherpi.
Historical Dictionary Of Ancient Egypt by Morris L. Bierbrier

Ancient Egypt. A Reference Guide. . 2011.

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  • Scarab — Scar ab, Scarabee Scar a*bee, n. [L. scarabaeus; cf. F. scarab[ e]e.] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) Any one of numerous species of lamellicorn beetles of the genus {Scarab[ae]us}, or family {Scarab[ae]id[ae]}, especially the sacred, or Egyptian, species… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Scarab — beetle may refer to: *A beetle of the family Scarabaeidae *A dung beetle, especially the Scarabaeus sacer worshipped by the ancient Egyptians as an embodiment of the god Khepri (an amulet made by that people in the shape of the species is also… …   Wikipedia

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  • scarab — ► NOUN 1) a large dung beetle, regarded as sacred in ancient Egypt. 2) an ancient Egyptian gem in the form of a scarab beetle, engraved with hieroglyphs on the flat underside. ORIGIN Greek skarabeios …   English terms dictionary

  • scarab — (n.) black dung beetle, held sacred by the ancient Egyptians, 1570s, from M.Fr. scarabeé, from L. scarabaeus a type of beetle, from Gk. karabos beetle, crayfish, a foreign word, probably Macedonian (the suffix bos is non Greek) …   Etymology dictionary

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  • scarab — /skar euhb/, n. 1. any scarabaeid beetle, esp. Scarabaeus sacer, regarded as sacred by the ancient Egyptians. 2. a representation or image of a beetle, much used among the ancient Egyptians as a symbol, seal, amulet, or the like. 3. a gem cut to… …   Universalium

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  • scarabæid — noun (ent.) A beetle of the family Scarabæidæ (which includes stag and dung beetles). See Also: scarab beetle …   Wiktionary


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