Other Names:
Net, Neith

(Net; G/R Neith) - (meaning unclear, but could be derivative of either the phrase for "primeval water" or for "one who is") A Name of unclear origin, sometimes attributed to the northwestern desert or Libya, Nit is attributed from predynastic times with a warlike nature; some Egyptologists believe She was the main Netjer of Lower Kemet before unification and subsequently the Red Crown of reeds, also named Nit, became Lower Kemet's symbol and contribution to the Double Crown. Nit's symbol of two arrows crossed over a shield is shown in Predynastic pottery as a herald and on the roof of boats and buildings; later, Nit would also be given a weaver's shuttle as a symbol for Her head. Nit is sometimes titled "She Who Saw Tem's Birth" and so is sometimes equated with Nunet (a feminine Nun) as the potential womb of creation; in very late times she would be seen as the Great Dark Mother of Greeks and Romans and also the motherless virgin warrior embodied in their Athene and Diana. At all times, Nit was understood to be mysterious and abstract; in the late story called "The Contendings of Heru and Set," the other Names defer to "Nit the Great's" wisdom in resolving the conflict. Nit's city, Saw (G/R Sais), became a cosmopolitan center and capital of Kemet during the Late Period and during the Third Intermediate Period when Saite kings ruled, Nit's role as national Netjer flourished. In these times and into Ptolmaic-Roman times She is considered to be the wife of Khnum, a creator-Name from extreme southern Kemet, and the temple of Khnum and Nit at Esna contains many depictions of Nit along with the lates-fish sacred to Her cult.

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