Naqa Lion Temple: Three-headed Apedemak with four arms
Naqa Lion Temple: Three-headed Apedemak with four arms
Name in hieroglyphs

Major cult centerLion Temple, Naqa

Apedemak or Apademak was a lion-headed warrior god worshiped by the Meroitic peoples inhabiting Nubia. In the temple of Naqa built by the rulers of Meroe, Apedemak was depicted as a three-headed leonine god with four arms[1] and as a snake with a lion head. However, he is usually depicted as a man with a lion head.

Apedemak was considered the war god of Kush. The Kushites believed that Apedemak brought victories to their armies and defeated their enemies. When Kushite pharaohs carried out military campaigns, they often claimed the support and companionship of Apedemak.


A number of Meroitic temples dedicated to this deity are known from the Western Butana region of Sudan: Naqa, Meroe, and Musawwarat es-Sufra,[2][3] which seems to be his chief cult place.


  1. ^ Claude., Traunecker (2001). The gods of Egypt (1st English language ed., enhanced and expanded ed.). Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press. p. 106. ISBN 978-0801438349. OCLC 46564790.
  2. ^ Edwards, David (2004). The Nubian Past. Oxon: Routledge. pp. 150–153, 167, 179–180. ISBN 9780415369886.
  3. ^ Casely-Hayford, Gus (2012). The Lost Kingdoms of Africa. London: Transworld Publishers. pp. 35–36. ISBN 9780593068144.
  4. ^ Török, László (2002). The Image of the Ordered World in Ancient Nubian Art: The Construction of the Kushite Mind, 800 Bc-300 Ad. BRILL. p. 226. ISBN 978-90-04-12306-9.

Further reading