Min, Egyptian fertility god, was the most important deity in the Egyptian pantheon in respect to sexual virility.

He was worshipped from about 3000 BC until Christianization, ca. 400 AD. In some legends he is the son of Isis while in others he is her consort with Horus as their child.

He was depicted in anthropomorphic form wearing a modius bearing two plumes and a hanging ribbon. When generally drawn in profile, his legs are together with his left arm raised into an angle made by his royal flail.

His most obvious feature in iconography is his strong, erect penis. In older art forms Min is represented by two serrated cones projecting horizontally from a disc.

The white bull is his sacred animal, and he is associated with the tall lettuce species, Lactuca sativa, which maybe reminiscent of the erect penis.

Toward the end of the second millennium Min had become partially syncretized with Horus as the god Min-Horus.

He became the guardian of mines, naturally leading to his cults centered in Qift and Akhim, which were bases for gold-mining expeditions.

Temples at both sites were only known from the Greco-Roman period. Min was celebrated in the coronation rites for the kings of Egypt so to ensure the sexual vigor and fertility of the new pharaoh.

The festival found depicted at Thebes was in association with Ramsey II and III. Frequently offerings to the deity consisted of flowers and lettuce. A.G.H.


Jordan, Michael, Encyclopedia of Gods, New York, Facts On File, Inc. 1993, pp. 165-166