By Barbara Waterson
Last updated 2011-02-17
Hathor was a cow-goddess, depicted as a cow, a cow-headed woman, or a woman with a cow's horns and ears. She was known as the Golden One, Lady of Love, Music and Intoxication, and her main cult centre was at Dendera.
She was a symbol of motherhood and fertility, the suckler of the king, and the patron-goddess of unmarried women. Also, with the help of the dwarf-like god Bes, she protected women in childbirth.
As Hathor-of-the-West she was a goddess of the dead. She was also patron-goddess of the mining region in Sinai. Her name means House of Horus, and she was closely associated with Horus, as his wife and as mother of his son, Hor-sma-tawy. The Greeks identified her with Aphrodite, goddess of love.
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