Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964623 | Print ISBN: 9781412936361 | Online ISBN: 9781412964623 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Molefi Kete Asante
Apep was the god of dissolution, destruction, and nonbeing. Nothing could escape the attention of Apep when he wanted to advance an adversary position. Indeed, in ancient Egypt, Apep was the main adversary to Ra, seeking to destroy Ra, to bring him into nonbeing, and to create havoc in the society. He swallowed his enemies and caused them complete nonexistence; because no one wanted to be nonexistent, Apep was especially feared. The ancient Egyptians believed that Apep was without natural characteristics; indeed, he was outside of the natural world and therefore could not be looked on like the deities or humans. As a being who needed nothing from the natural world, neither sustenance nor companionship, Apep was totally devoid of any respect for humans. Apep was depicted as a huge snake that existed at the beginning of time in the primieval chaos prior to creation, and he was thought to ...